Summer Updates: Chimpanzee Party and Tap Dancing in Red Hook

Hello Readers,

Its been a while, hopefully everyone is doing a-ok this summer. I just about melted in New York, so am now spending some time cooling off and rewiring in Santa Cruz where the beach plumbs abound. YUM. Anyone else out there in love with a summer fruit? Do tell…

Meanwhile, let me let you in on some summer updates:

This year marked the Second Annual World Chimpanzee Day Celebration on July 14th, which last year I managed to commemorate in writing here.

This year, the party grew, as I was fortunate enough to team up with two like minded, organized, and driven ladies: Tina DeSanto of the waste awareness non-profit, The World is Your Dumpster, and Maria Molino of the up n’ coming textile recycling company, Marimole.

Together, and funded through a grant from the Jane Goodall Institute (Bravo!!), we hosted a free community event at Big Irv’s Art Collective featuring art by yours truly and a talented visiting artist and sailor- Madalyn Freedman. The photo below depicts my collection of garbage art, Madalyn’s work can be found on her website, click here to check it out!

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The event drew a small crowd including some neighbors I’d seen a bajillion times before but never had the chance to speak with, a few innocent passersby that we rangled in with the promise of cold beverages and snacks, and another few people from the Brooklyn Fixit community. We were lucky enough to receieve a generous beer donation from a company called Toast that makes beer out of bread scraps from local bakeries and also provided an educational component: two speakers who enlightened us with information about fixing electronics and current Right to Repair Legislation.

The important takeaway information from the speakers was this: you can fix your own electronics! Yes, you! There is a great company called I-Fixit based out of California that has created step-by-step how-to manuals to guide you through fixing anything from a broken track-pad on your computer to a broken screen on your phone and much more in between. They sell all the equipment you will need to fix your own devices including toolkits and replacement parts. Check them out next time you’ve got a problem with your device, you might be able to fix your item on your own before scrapping it completely, and you’ll defienitely learn something in the process.

Here are a couple photos of our speakers in action at the event:

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Vincent Lai, Fixer Extraordinnaire, Brooklyn Fixer’s Collective

By the end of the day, we collected about two boxes of e-waste from the community which were later brought to the Gowanus E-waste Warehouse for recycling. Discussions were had about the impact of electronics on chimpanzee habitat, facilitated by artwork and fixing discussions, and the connection was made between our event and World Chimpanzee Day. All in all, the event was a great success!

Stay tuned for World Chimpanzee Day III, July 14th, 2020, when I hope introduce tap dancing into the mix for a true great ape extravaganza.

Speaking of tap dancing, I have a few updates to share on that front.

This summer also marked the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival. Struck by inspiration at the original site of the festival, fellow tap dancer transplant Liz Cousins created a show which premiered this summer at the American Tap Dance Foundation. I got to be in it, which was cool. To prepare for the show, the cast (pictured below) all got together one rainy weekend and visited Bethel, NY, the site of the 1969 festival, to learn about the festival and its historical context.

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As soon as I get footage from the show I will share it since it was groovy and different.

Lastly, here is a sound clip from a bluegrass jam I got to participate in a few weeks ago in a breezy spot in New York City called Red Hook. The jam took place in the back of a bar called Sunny’s Bar and was a lot of fun! Take a listen here, if you listen long enough you will here some strange thumping, which is me playing my shoes. If you want the quick and dirty, jump to minute 55. Enjoy!

All the best,

KB

Fire Safety for DIY Spaces, Nina Simone’s B-day, and E-waste News

Hello All,

First off, I’ll start with the fun stuff!

This past Thursday was the late, great, crazy Queen of Soul Nina Simone’s birthday. I was lucky enough to catch this celebration on the radio, hearing many songs she recorded that I’d never heard before. So good!

I’m not sure when I first heard Ms. Simone’s work, but have grown to really love and enjoy her music over the past few years, since one of my favorite tap teachers (Derek Grant) used this song for an improv exercise in a class. This was the song:

Crazy piano!

Another favorite teacher, protégé of Mr. Grant, the young and always so lovely Chirstina Carminucci, used the following song in a class once, which was great for whatever across the floor excercise we were learning at the time that got me all turned around, as usual. This was that song: (ignore the smoking, its bad mmmmkay)

And another great example of Nina Simone in a live recorded performance:

So good! Ok ok, one more video which I love because it uses glitter! Plus it will give you a visual for Christina Carminucci (red pants), a dancer that I’ll likely be mentioning in the future because she performs a lot and is just great:

Alright, next topic:

Fire Safety for DIY Spaces

Tonight I went to a free talk hosted by an NYC artist and fire safety expert Tara McManus. I’m mentioning this because I learned some basic fire prevention tips that I’d like to share with you in case you don’t know, and especially if you’re like me and reside in communal spaces that may or may not follow official codes but want to be safe.

#1 Fire Extinguishers: know where your fire extinguishers are and check them frequently (maybe once/month) to make sure they have pressure. It is important to keep them in a place near an exit as opposed to in a dead-end space like a bedroom; you want to be able to spray the fire as you are making your exit, as opposed to getting stuck in a bedroom.

#2 Extension chords: if you’re plugging in equipment or appliances like heaters that take a lot of energy, plug them into wall outlets and disperse them, so they’re not all plugged into the same outlet. If you have to plug something like a heater into an extension chord, make sure you use a chord meant for higher powered appliances, as opposed to the dinky 2 pronged ones. Also, unravel the chords as opposed to keeping them in a coil (in a coil the chords will get hotter and are more likely to catch fire). And finally, if using multiple extension chords, do not mix 2 pronged chords with 3 pronged chords.

Those are the two main things I think are useful for anyone to know…here is a link to more information if you’re hungry for it: Fire Safety Resources.

Which leads me to my next point:

E-waste News

https://mymodernmet.com/zayd-menk-scale-model-computer-recycling/

**E-waste Art: Model of NYC by Zayd Menk

The Jane Gooddall Institute (JGI) has released a new campaign to encourage people across the globe to become more aware of the impacts of technology on wildlife. That’s what I’ve been talkin’ bout! This campaign is called “The Forest Calls” and I’ll include a snippet from their latest email update to clue you in:

The Forest is Calling

The forest is calling, can you hear it? It’s been a long time since you’ve listened – really listened – to its call. What is it saying? It’s a faint mummer, but if you try you can still hear it’s message: It’s saying that our endless consumption and reliance on new technology is silencing ecosystems, humans and wildlife. It’s saying that you are the only hope the forests have. The forest is calling, and the power is in your hands to answer the call.

The international technology industry is devastating human and wildlife communities, while destroying vital habitats, particularly in the Congo Basin in Africa. Right now, you can do something about it. JGI is launching ‘The Forest is Calling’, a campaign to inspire action around recycling, reduced consumption and extending the useful life of used electronics. The annual campaign will culminate with Mobile Recycling Day on February 26th, getting JGI’s friends and supporters around the world to help protect chimpanzees, people, other species and their habitats.

http://news.janegoodall.org/2019/02/11/the-forest-is-calling-answering-the-call-is-our-only-hope/

So, if you’ve got any old, broken, un-used phones tucked away somewhere, February 26th: Mobile Recycling Day is a decent choice of day to recycle them, or at least research how/where to do that and get the ball rolling. Also, its a good time to think about if you really need a new phone or if your current phone can still serve you. The Chimps will benefit from your conservation efforts as will the chimp part of you (ecopsychology concept to be expanded upon).

More info about The Forest is Calling can be found here.

That’s all, have fun out there, be safe, be creative, and locate your fire extinguishers!

xo

KB

**Find out more about the E-waste art pictured above: Teen Spends 3 Months Building Scale Model of Manhattan from Recycled Computer Parts

Toothpaste Recipe

In a small container, perhaps a glass jar or whatever you can find to re-purpose, combine:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon baking soda

a few splashes of an essential oil like peppermint…or possibly no essential oils since they are potentially a health hazard when ingested. Beware~

Voilà, you got yourself a simple toothpaste that’ll last you a couple months. When its hot, it will get liquidy, but its fine, still usable…Enjoy!

Thchau ciao for now,

KB

Note: adapted from Package Free Shop Lauren Singer’s recipe

Another resource with recipes –

https://earth911.com/health/how-to-make-toothpaste/?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=%F0%9F%8C%8E+Why+Shop+Direct+Trade%3F+%7C+Recycling+Mystery%3A+Propane+Tanks+%7C+DIY+Natural+Toothpaste+%7C+Podcast%3A+Water-Saving+Smart+Device&utm_campaign=Earth911%3A+July+6%2C+2021

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