on 29 February 2012
I was recently in Harare, Zimbabwe at a management meeting of one of the local media companies. Towards the end of the meeting, the chairman of the company asked all of his managers to write down two goals in a particular format: "DearSelf, I am writing to remind you of the goals you set in February."

Being that I wasn't a staff member, I didn't write anything down or turn anything in (the staff will be reviewing their letters in six month). But it's a great idea, so why not do so right here?

Dear Syed, 
 I am writing to remind you about the following goals you made in February.
1. Run one mile in eight minutes (I originally wrote 3 miles in 24 minutes, but let's be realistic).
2. Build a prototype of one of your ideas. 
3. Tell everyone you love that you do.
on 12 February 2012
I just finished Eating Animals, an extraordinarily well-written book about the factoring farming industry in America. As informative as it is, it leaves me searching for many more answers than it provides, such as (in no particular order):

1. Which countries have no factory farms and still practice small-scale animal husbandry?
2. Why don't any animal welfare organizations merge so that they can gain from an increased presence?
3. There is clearly a market for humanely raised meat, so why aren't there more vendors of field-harvest wild game?
4. Why do so many meat-eaters become so defensive about their actions; why don't people just say, "I know I am contributing to extreme suffering, and I really don't care."

At this time, I don't consider myself a vegetarian, though I tend to eat like one. I prefer not to contribute to the conditions found in factory farms if I can help it, so my wife (who is a vegetarian) and I end up eating a lot of rice and beans. I have no qualms with death or with the fact that meat is flesh. I do, however, have an issue with prolonged and immeasurable suffering. If I had easy access to field-harvested wild game, then I'd be a regular customer (one such vendor is Broken Arrow Ranch). But I live in the middle of Easter Europe now, where I don't speak the language or know how to get what. So for the time-being, rice and beans it is.

"Not responding is a response--we are equally responsible for what we don't do." p226.
"On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?" And Vanity comes along and asks the question, "Is it popular?" But Conscience asks the question "Is it right?" And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution" (31 March 1968)