A Guest Post From The CitizenGlobal Outreach Team

We’re still awfully busy over here, but that doesn’t mean there’s no news to share. As a matter of fact, there’s plenty — especially with regard to a certain BP oil spill/leak/screwup.

Thankfully, Joel Dominic of the CitizenGlobal Outreach Team agreed to pen a guest post today. CitizenGlobal is documenting the BP disaster, and if you have a camera, vidcam, or cell phone, they need your help. The details are pretty self explanatory, but if you have questions, you can email them to gulfdesk@citizenglobal.com.

We’ll be back soon…

Sharing Stories of the Gulf Coast Oil Disaster

Did you know there’s a way for you to tell your story to help bring attention and crowd-sourced solutions to those affected by one of the worst environmental disaster in US History – the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

If you own a cell phone, a camera or even if you are a musician, you can upload your pictures, videos or music clips to CitizenGlobal’s Gulf Coast News Desk to tell your side of the story. The uploaded media is repurposed in a variety of ways: mainstream media outlets can browse, purchase, edit, and publish on a variety of platforms; and filmmakers, advocacy groups and other parties interested in documenting the historical narrative emerging from the gulf can utilize footage from CitizenGlobal in any number of media campaigns, news articles, films, etc.

The Gulf Coast News Desk is a “virtual studio” on CitizenGlobal dedicated to telling the story of the oil spill and its effects, set against the background of the legacy of Katrina, as it continues to unfold. More and more, the Internet has provided individuals with an effective way to gather and spread information, as well as influence popular media. As such, any local footage of the spill, along with the people, wildlife and communities affected by it can be shared on the Gulf Coast News Desk where it will go a long way in telling a very important story and keeping others informed. As the fifth anniversary of Katrina and activities around that occasion approach, we want to hear all your stories, including stories of communities becoming empowered and coming together to support each other. You can learn more at: http://www.citizenglobal.com/citizenglobal/gulfcoast/overview

Please spread the word around on social media and to your favorite organizations that are making and sharing news. Please follow us on Twitter @gulfnewsdesk and fan us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gulf-News-Desk/113063612073772?ref=ts

Please share any upcoming events where footage might be taken at: gulfdesk@citizenglobal.com.

Let’s keep the story and the region alive and prevent the spill from becoming yesterday’s news!

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Guest Post from ProPublica About The BP Claims Process

Some of us are a tad too busy to write at the moment, but ProPublica has an important message to get out, so we’ve asked them to pen a guest post for today. Please give them your full attention — especially those of you in the back of the class. Surely, no one wants another detention slip?

Readers:

We’re ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroom, and we’re taking a close look at BP’s claims process. We’d like your help with this project. 

More than 100,000 claims have been filed.  So far, BP has paid less than a third of the claims it has received, and spent a little over $200 million, about 1 percent of the $20 billion that it set aside in an escrow account to pay damages. Sometime this month, Kenneth Feinberg, an independent claims administrator appointed by President Barack Obama, will take over the claims process from BP.

ProPublica wants to hear about YOUR experience filing a claim with BP. In its first piece, the site reported that BP has left many damage claims waiting in limbo.

If you have filed a claim on behalf of your business or local government, please share your experience. If you offer your information, reporters from Pro Publica may contact you for a follow-up interview.

If you have no plans to file a claim, you can help find claimants in other ways — tweet this, post it to Facebook or share with friends in the Gulf Coast who may be affected by the Gulf oil disaster.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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This Month In New Orleans Culture: Theater, Vetiver, And The World Air Sex Championship

New Orleans has been dealing with a lot of heavy stuff the past few months, what with all the oil and the heat and the threat of storms and the new mayor who simply refuses to to be stupid so that we, the citizens can have something to laugh at. (Thankfully, Maggie Gallagher fills the void. Thoroughly.)

Given all that, I’m thinking it’s time for a little break — just a little one — to look at some less vexing stuff:

1. New Orleans is losing (briefly, hopefully) a lovely woman, a fantastic writer, and a fabulous dog/house-sitter: Barbara Hermann. She plans to return later this year, but for now, she’s penned a beautiful adieu post about local parfumeur Hové and its magnificent “vetivert” line.

2. Former New Orleanian Ralph McGinnis and his pal Sarah Keough have just published their second issue of Put A Egg On It, featuring essays by another former NOLA resident of note, Miss Susie K (anyone remember Candace’s On Conti?), as well as one of my best friends, culinary historian par excellence, Elizabeth Pearce. The issue runs a whole $7, including shipping.

3. The Air Sex World Championship will stop at the Howlin’ Wolf on Sunday, August 26 Thursday, August 19. Apparently, air sex is kind of like air guitar, only “simulated fingering” takes on a very different meaning: behold. I’d say that I’ll see you there, but that’s my birthday, and I’m going to get drunk and go bowling like a sensible person.

4. A certain theater company is remounting The Really Desperate Housewives of Stepford Parish this weekend at Le Chat Noir. You should buy your tickets now because it is 100% awesome. Also: it’s freakin’ hot outside, so what else are you gonna do?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled anxiety and heat index.


Hello, Bonnie!

Now, go screw yourself.

P.S. I apologize if you’re actually a dude named Colin. NOAA’s system of nomenclature doesn’t always make sense to me — much like the careers of, say, Bonnie Franklin and Colin Farrell.


Be The One

A new campaign to restore the Gulf of Mexico officially broke last week, but I’ve been so preoccupied (i.e. lazy, lascivious) that I haven’t had a chance to post it. Anyway, please take one minute and 40 seconds out of your day to watch this video, and another 15 seconds to click through and sign the petition. That’s two minutes. Less, even.

And yes, I know some of you are dubious of celebrity-fueled causes. Believe me, I know. But if everyone were dubious of everything, Justin Bieber’s mom would never have sent him to Atlanta to sign that recording contract, and then where would be we, people? Would you really want to live in that world? Case rested.

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Tomorrow Night: New Orleans Dines Out For Life

Dining Out For Life joins some of the world’s best restaurants with some of its most deserving nonprofits. For one night each year, civic-minded restaurateurs donate 25% of their sales to a local charity that provides crucial services for people living with HIV and AIDS, as well as education and prevention programs for the broader community.

Dining Out For Life takes place at different times of the year in different cities around the globe. Tomorrow, July 15, is New Orleans’ turn. If you’re in the area, check the details below and the (very diverse) restaurant list, then make plans to let someone else do the cooking tomorrow night.

This isn’t the first time I’ve extolled the virtues of eating out, and it probably won’t be the last.

NO/AIDS Task Force is asking locals to make a date to make a difference and dine out for its 15th annual Dining Out For Life fundraiser. NO/AIDS has teamed with over 60 area restaurants to raise funds for men, women and families affected by HIV and AIDS in Southeast Louisiana.

It’s simple. Dine at one of the more than 60 restaurants participating, order your favorite culinary delights, sit back, relax and enjoy! At the end of the day, those participating restaurants will donate 25% of the daily proceeds to NO/AIDS Task Force.

Additionally, as the oil spill continues to affect our tourism and restaurant industries, Dining Out For Life is not only an opportunity to help NO/AIDS Task Force, but also to give our area restaurants a boost in the typically slow summer months.

The full list of restaurants is available below, or at DiningOutForLife.com. There are a wide variety of eateries catering to any taste or budget.

Support of Dining Out For Life and NO/AIDS Task Force is now more important than ever. Just last week, the Centers For Disease Control released new stats about the state of the AIDS epidemic in the US. Currently, New Orleans ranks 3rd in the nation among major cities for AIDS case rates and the state of Louisiana ranks 4th .

Additionally the state of Louisiana has capped all new enrollments in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program due to a $7 – $11 million deficit. This means that anyone newly diagnosed, will have to go through other channels to access medications such as patient assistance programs, through individual drug companies.

2010 Participating Restaurants:

13
7 on Fulton
Acme Oyster House (French Quarter)
Acme Oyster House (Metairie)
Adolfo’s
Barcelona Tapas
The Barley Oak
Between The Bread
Bombay Club
Bywater Bar-B-Que
Cafe at the Square
Cafe Degas
Cafe Luna
Cafe Rani
Chad’s Bistro
Chateau du Lac
City Diner
The Country Club Restaurant
Eat New Orleans
Feelings Café
Flaming Torch Restaurant
Fresco Café
The Green Goddess
Iris
Italian Barrel
Jaegerhaus
Jamila’s
Joey K’s
Julie’s Little India Kitchen at Schiro’s
Juniper Restaurant
K-Joes Restaurant
The Kupcake Factory (French Quarter)
The Kupcake Factory (Kenner)
The Kupcake Factory (Old Metairie)
The Kupcake Factory (Uptown)
La Crepe Nanou
La Divina Cafe e Gelateria
La Divina Gelateria (Garden District)
La Peniche
Louisiana Pizza Kitchen – French Market
Louisiana Pizza Kitchen – Uptown
Marigny Brasserie
Mark Twain’s Pizza Landing
Martinique Bistro
Mat & Naddie’s
Maximo’s Italian Grill
Maya’s Restaurant & Bar
Meauxbar Bistro
Mike’s on the Avenue
Mona Lisa Restaurant
Nirvana Indian Cuisine
Nonna Mia Cafe & Pizzeria
Oceana
Patois
Ralph’s on the Park
Restaurant des Familles
Rooba’s Crescent Spoon
Royal Street Deli
Sake Café
Slim Goodies
The Steak Knife Restaurant
Tomatillo’s
Upperline Restaurant
Vega Tapas Café
Vianne’s Tea Salon
Zoe Bistro at the W Hotel


This Saturday: Annual Vodou Hurricane Ceremony

If you practice Vodou, or if you’re just a curious onlooker, you might want to swing by the annual Hurricane Ceremony taking place this Saturday night in the Bywater. It’ll be similar to the one held a couple of weeks ago in honor of St. John, but with a few key differences — namely, it honors both Catholic and Vodou deities. Sounds efficient, killing two spirit birds with one stone, no?

HURRICANE CEREMONY XIII

What: Public prayer ceremony dedicated to Our Lady of Prompt Succor (who has intervened historically on New Orleans’ behalf when a hurricane has threatened) and Ezili Danto (also associated with Mater Salvatoris and Mount Carmel) to ask for protection from hurricanes

When: Saturday, July 17th. 7:00 p.m.

Where: Achade Meadows Peristyle, 3319 Rosalie Alley (off of Rampart, between Piety and Desire)

What to bring in offering:
For Our Lady: flowers, statues, candles, religious pictures, jewelry

For Danto: Barbancourt Rum, Clarin, Florida Water, candles, daggers, dolls dressed in red and blue with gold trim or calico prints, spicy black beans, peasant cakes, unfiltered cigarettes, pan fried cornbread with peppers, fried pork, white crème de menthe

What to wear: Please dress in white (the color of purity), with red head scarves, or all red (the color of Petwo rites).


Tonight: Bring Supplies To The Gulf Coast Benefit At Tipitina’s

Live in New Orleans or nearabouts? Looking for a party — something to get you out among the living after being cooped up for several days thanks to Alex’s rain-athon? I’d suggest heading up to Tip’s for tonight’s Gulf Coast benefit, which is just one of dozens taking place around the world today.

At just $15, the price is very right, and you can give cleanup volunteers a hand by bringing along a bag of supplies from your utility closet (full details below). Coco, Ivan, and I will see y’all there.

And just to be perfectly clear: no, I will not be performing. You’re welcome.

Supplies for Dirty Birds Collection at Tipitina’s during tonight’s Gulf Coast Benefit

Date: Tonight, Thursday, July 1, 2010

Time: 7:30pm – 11:30pm

Location: Tipitina’s Uptown, 501 Napoleon at Tchoupitoulas

Description: In support of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuaries Program, Tipitina’s is pleased to announce a collection point this Thursday July 1st for the supplies most needed by the Gulf Response Involvement Team (the wildlife cleaners).

BTNEP is currently looking for:

Clorox Wipes
Plastic Measuring Tapes (like ones used for measuring fabrics/sewing)
Knee-high Rubber Boots
Duct Tape
Large CLEAR Plastic Storage Bins with LATCHABLE lids
Solid Foam Camping Mats (for cutting to line turtle cages)
Yellow Kitchen Cleaning Gloves
Safety goggles/glasses
Bug Spray
Aveeno face sunscreen
Coppertone spray sunscreen
Zip Ties/Cable Ties
Heavy Mil Lawn Trash Bags
Hand Saws
Blue Tarps
Ratchet Straps
Bungee Cords
Nets (all shapes and sizes for catching wildlife)
Ziploc Bags (gallon and quart-double zipper seal for preserving samples, NOT THE KIND WITH THE SLIDE CLOSURE)
GPS Units
Baby wipes
Orange soap hand cleaner soap
Binoculars
Dry Bags (Dufflebag Style)
Grease Pens
Mechanical Pencils
Clickable Sharpies
Waterproof Paper
All-in-one Printer & Copiers
1” & 2” 3-ring Binders
Printer mailing labels
Scissors
Large Ice Chests
DC to AC Power Inverters
Bolt Cutters
Box Cutters
3 gallon Lawn Sprayers
Plastic Folding Tables
Heavy Mil Visqueen Plastic Roles
Rope
Large Rubber Trash Cans with Lids
Garden hoses
Leatherman Multi-tools
Waterproof Digital Cameras
2 GB SD memory cards
Digital Video cameras
Pliers
Mustang Lifejackets
Rain gear
Chest Waders
Nitrile gloves
Gauze pads
Forceps
Mini hand-held propane torches
8” x 10” dry erase boards and markers
Disposable sterilized scalpels
Clipboards with internal storage
Letter Sized File folders
Large Backpacks for making field kits
Pelican Cases
Aluminum foil
Small ice chests
Small hard-plastic swimming pools
300 gal Rubbermaid Tanks
Electrical Tape
Hand Soap (soft soap)
Bleach
48” wooden stakes (1” x 2”)
¼” Yellow twisted nylon rope (minimum 100’ lengths)
Solar power units
Plastic sheet protectors (8.5” x 11”)
White copier paper (8.5” x 11”)

Ransack the house, empty the closets, go borrow something from your neighbor (kidding) or stop by a store on the way to the show. There will be a collection point by the Tip’s Walk of Fame. Come donate something to help clean these dirty birds then go shake a tail feather to Galactic, Ivan Neville, Coco Robicheaux and more.

There’s more info at VOLUNTEER.BTNEP.ORG. See ya tonight!


Evacuate The Gulf? Matt Simmons Turns The Washington Post Into The New York Post

Matt Simmons

Over the weekend, an anonymous email landed in my inbox. That’s not especially unusual: I subscribe to several community newsletters, and most emails arrive without the addy of the original sender.

Anyway, this one was talking about the deadly toxicity of the oil from the BP leak and about the fact that the U.S. military is preparing for massive evacuation of the Gulf Coast. He (or she) concluded the email by saying something to the effect of, “I know this sounds crazy, but my source on this is really, really good.”

Now, I may be crazy myself, but I’m not so completely out to lunch that I can’t spot a rumor born of mass hysteria. It often happens in the face of major disasters — we saw it after Katrina, with reports of carjackings and muggings and breakins amid the normally peaceful suburbs of Baton Rouge and Lafayette and the other places New Orleanians fled to. But as stressed out as we were then, we could see that such rumors were utter fabrications.

Still, just because I can spot them doesn’t mean I can shrug them off so easily. Things are tense here now, and they’re getting more so, and honestly, the last thing we need is a bunch of Cassandras running around, screaming in our ears. I can overlook the message, but shouting and mob mentality makes me want to cut a bitch.

Thankfully, Glenn had the good sense to share a link to American Zombie, which shed a little more light on the situation. Apparently, the whole thing started with a poorly researched, dodgily sourced, sloppily written article in the Washington Post (yes, that’s redundant). The author, Joel Achenbach, set the ball rolling by reveling in extreme case scenarios:

Week by week, the truth of this disaster has drifted toward the stamping ground of the alarmists.

The most disturbing of the worst-case scenarios, one that is unsubstantiated but is driving much of the blog discussion, is that the Deepwater Horizon well has been so badly damaged that it has spawned multiple leaks from the seafloor, making containment impossible and a long-term solution much more complicated.

Video from a robotic submersible, which is making the rounds online, shows something puffing from the seafloor. Some think it’s oil. Or maybe — look again — it’s just the silt blowing in response to the forward motion of the submersible.

More trouble: A tropical wave has formed in the Caribbean and could conceivably blow through the gulf.

“We’re going to have to evacuate the gulf states,” said Matt Simmons*, founder of Simmons and Co., an oil investment firm and, since the April 20 blowout, the unflagging source of end-of-the-world predictions. “Can you imagine evacuating 20 million people? . . . This story is 80 times worse than I thought.”

To which I say: FUCKTARDS.

American Zombie’s response is a little more nuanced:

And how is that a financial trader who is known for promoting the highly contended notion of “Peak Oil” (basically states the planet’s oil needs have now surpassed it’s capacity) knows what the emergency preparedness plan is for the entire Gulf Coast? If the story is “80 times worse” than he thought, I’d like to know who wrote that story for him and informed him of DHS’s game plan. If the WaPo is breaking this news via a financial oil trader, buried seven paragraphs into the story, I’m not only questioning their integrity I’m questioning their business acumen. If this claim is true, it should be a headline on every news resource on the planet and the WaPo may have just landed the scoop of the century.

To make matters worse the very next paragraph quotes Coast Guard Admiral, and point man for the disaster, Thad Allen, talking about the integrity of the wellhead. Achenbach just prints the entire Gulf Coast will have to be evacuated in the wake of a tropical event, then instead of confirming that claim with Allen, he shifts the story to the integrity of the wellhead and the efforts on drilling the relief well.

Bottom line: I can handle realism, I can even handle pessimism, but I swear on my my collection of science fiction first-editions, I’ve nearly had it with the alarmists.

*Naturally, survivalists and Unibomber-types just eat Simmons up with a spoon.

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Tacos, Beer, And Men In Uniform

Some of my friends are throwing a benefit tonight for performance artist Antonio Garza. The guy — whose cojones are clearly bigger than my own — plans to ride his bike through the Arizona desert next month as part of a rolling one-man show that protests Arizona’s strict new immigration laws.

The benefit kicks off at 8pm with complimentary jambalaya tacos (yes, I think that’s “jambalaya tacos”) and beer, and the suggested donation is a wee $10. If you’re not already planning to come to our show — and of course, you’ve already seen it, right? — I highly recommend this one. Here’s the skinny.

In July, Antonio Garza will travel through the blazing Arizona heat on bicycle with his one-man show “Men in Uniform” to tell Arizonans what it is like to grow up hassled by authorities who did not think he looked American enough. His idea? Turn up the heat on Arizona’s new law, SB1070, which makes it legal for police to demand “documents” of anybody they think might be an illegal immigrant.

Antonio first performed “Men in Uniform” at the 2008 New Orleans Fringe Festival. The Fringe Alternative Theater Incubator (FATI) is now helping Antonio take it on the road by cosponsoring a fundraiser, 8 pm, June 25 at the Shadowbox Theater, 2400 St. Claude Ave, to show support for his ride from Phoenix into the Arizona hinterlands to perform wherever he can – at cafes, bars or churches. Doors open at 8 pm with free all-you-can-eat-and-drink jambalaya tacos and beer, and at 9 pm Garza will present a special performance of “Men in Uniform”. Suggested donation of $10 will help Garza cover the costs of bike tires and power bars to fuel his ride.

For more information, please visit http://www.nofringe.org/antoniogarza.html or contact Antonio Garza at antoniogarza@gmail.com 504-915-3539.

Can’t make the fundraiser? Send a friend in your place and support Antonio’s ride with an online donation (all donations will go directly to his project)!


This Doesn’t Absolve Anyone, But BP Built Its Faulty Reponse Plans On Faulty U.S. Data

BP PLC and other big oil companies based their plans for responding to a big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on U.S. government projections that gave very low odds of oil hitting shore, even in the case of a spill much larger than the current one.

The government models, which oil companies are required to use but have not been updated since 2004, assumed that most of the oil would rapidly evaporate or get broken up by waves or weather. In the weeks since the Deepwater Horizon caught fire and sank, real life has proven these models, prepared by the Interior Department’s Mineral Management Service, wrong.

[full story at WSJ]

In other news, apparently neither the Wall Street Journal nor NOAA think Louisiana’s coastline has been affected by the oil leak:

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St. John Vodou Ceremony: Tonight At Bayou St. John And Tomorrow At International House

I know it’s last minute, but for the Vodou fans I thought I should mention that tonight is the annual St. John’s Eve Headwashing Ceremony on Bayou St. John. If you’re a cutter, or an epileptic, or a tailor, or if you’re positively terrified of hail, you might want to head on over. Alternately, you can catch the repeat performance tomorrow at the International House Hotel. Details below.

Leonardo da Vinci: St. John the Baptist in the Wilderness

St John’s Eve Headwashing Ceremony
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Time: 7:00pm – 10:30pm
Location: Footbridge over Bayou St John

Sallie Ann Glassman and La Source Ancienne Ounfo celebrate St. John’s Eve with their annual Headwashing Ceremony (form of Vodou baptism) dedicated to Marie Laveau. The ceremony will take place on the footbridge over Bayou St. John, near Cabrini High School. Attendees should:

  • Wear all white, and bring a white scarf or rag for your head. (It will get dirty.)
  • Bring an offering for Marie Laveau. She likes flowers, blue and white candles, Creole foods, hair ribbons and hair dressing supplies (she was a hairdresser), Vodou-esque items (dolls, potions, gris-gris bags, etc.), or images of Marie Laveau.

St. John’s Day 2010
The same ceremony will be held Thursday June 24th at 6:00 pm at the International House Hotel.


2526-28 Bienville Fire

Fire 2526 Bienville (4)

I came home from work today, weak and ready to hit the sack after an exhausting battle with the stomach flu over the weekend, tired but alive.

Then I heard fire trucks. . . .at first just listened, but it was too close.

I walked out to the end of the drive and I saw the NOFD “hook up” on the corner hydrant, so grabbed the camera suspecting it was a vacant building I’d seen on the NCDC agenda months ago.

I was wrong. It was an occupied “titanic” building, the type with the concrete lower structure, traditional high ceilings, windows, etc on 2nd level which was on fire.

By the time I arrived the residents were safe outside, Drucella and her partner. . . Drucella said she was napping and awoke to smoke and ran out, yelling to the neighbors to call 911.
Fire 2526 Bienville
They said it took over 11 mins to hear the trucks which are at about 6 mins away at Banks and S. Jeff Davis. But it does take time to suit up.

The crazy thing is, the house itself was not ever on fire, the television was not plugged in, the heat coming in the window or just the ambient heat caused it to catch fire!

Thus, there is no structural damage to the house and no one was hurt but the electric is out.

I went back to take a look after the fire truck left and the Red Cross had been by to see if there was anything I could do. Drucella invited me in for an inspection. Thankfully, there is very little damage, mostly some water. I offered any assistance, rides, water, bathroom, boxes, phone calls, but they were ok.

Thanks to the NOFD and neighbors’ fast response, the residents and the structure are ok. The Red Cross is putting them up at a hotel for the next 3 days. Since all these structures sit so close together, whew, close call for us all. Glad they are ok.


Graphic: Animals Collected In The Gulf Since The BP Oil Leak

I’ve always had a soft spot for animals. I grew up surrounded by cats, dogs, cows, horses, turtles, and the occasional hamster. I’ve been an off-and-on vegetarian for much of my life because I don’t like the thought of causing pain. Once, I even took it upon myself to throw back the bream my dad and brothers caught on a weekend fishing trip. So it should come as no surprise that I’ve found it nearly impossible to watch the footage running on newscasts these days — b-roll of animals covered in crude from the BP oil leak.

And yet, I’d never want to reduce the disaster to that. I’d never want to quantify BP’s impact based solely on the number of animals killed. Doing so would minimize or maybe erase altogether the damage done to the residents of Louisiana and their families, beginning with the 11 workers killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion and continuing today, as small businesses go under and people lose jobs they’ve held for decades.

Animal deaths are an important metric, but not the only one. They have to be considered alongside other stats and graphics that are less cutesy, less emotionally appealing, like the number of fisherman BP has put out of work, the number of restaurants that have closed their doors for good, the miles of Louisiana coastline lost to sludge — sludge that only accelerates the already-speedy deterioration of our unique marshland ecosystem. And so, with that in mind:

BP oil spill: animals collected between April 20 and June 11, 2010

[Times-Picayune]


Tumblr Goes Black To Raise Awareness And Money For BP Oil Leak Recovery

If you’re a Tumblr user — and I know some of you are — you might’ve noticed that the website went black over the weekend. Not black as in “went down”, but changed its color scheme. Personally, I thought it was an aesthetic choice (that blue was getting a little old, no?), but it’s actually part of a campaign to raise awareness about the BP oil leak and raise money for recovery efforts.

If you have a Tumblr account, click over to your dashboard, and right below the “tracked tags” field you’ll see a “donate” button. Just like the widget says, for every $5 you send to Save Our Gulf through that widget, Tumblr will also send $5. And as a professional fundraiser, lemme tell you: a 1-to-1 match is nothing to sneer at.

If you don’t have a Tumblr account…well it’s free, and it’ll put you in touch with 95% of all bears and teenage girls in America. Surely that’ll pay off down the line.


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