Hello Friends, welcome to Friday Food for Thought. Every Friday I’ll help start your weekend by sharing four people, thoughts, or things that are on my mind this week. These may be books or movies, podcast suggestions, interesting people I follow on Twitter, music, products, or, well, anything. You may find interesting creativity boosts here, some conversation starters, or just a small dose of entertainment. Click here for last week’s post. Feel free to share this with friends, offer suggestions via the comments, or connect with me on Twitter @bradbravard. Let’s begin!
1) Native Landscaping:
Spring arrives sooner here in Florida than it does in much of North America, and the season is already visible in the cluster of tropical sage in our yard. Tropical sage, in my area, is a generous, but not overly aggressive, self-seeder that brightens the landscape and attracts bees and other pollinators. It may not be the right landscape plant for your location, but native landscaping is a big idea whose time is long overdue. Replacing turfgrass – environmentally toxic on multiple levels – with native trees, shrubs, and ground covers is not only better for air, sea, and wildlife, but creates visual interest to engage the senses and calm the soul. Compare a walk through Berkeley, CA, where many lawns are a mix of natives, with a walk through a typical suburb with boring turfgrass. Look for plants truly native to your area and avoid big-box tropicals. Think of the time and money you’ll save by ditching the lawnmower while you sit back and enjoy nature’s show.
2) Media Storage:
Despite being something of a minimalist, I will always prefer physical media over digital. But stuff takes up space, and I recently decided it was finally time to consolidate my CD collection. I was recently gifted a set of Bellagio Italia DVD storage binders, which work equally well for compact discs. The Bellagio Italia binders don’t hold as many discs as other, bulkier storage binders, but the benefit is they are a lot easier to manage. Bellagio Italia also offers additional insert sheets to hold larger items, such as DVD cover art or box-set liner notes. My music collection is already taking up less space, and these binders look good on my media shelves. Another bonus: you can order direct from Bellagio Italia’s web site.
Mel Mermelstein passed away on January 22, though I didn’t learn about it for several days. Born in Czechoslovakia, Mermelstein was imprisoned in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps during World War II. Most of his family died in the camps. Mermelstein committed his life to educating the public on the Holocaust, eventually confronting delusional Holocaust-deniers in a court of law. Mermelstein’s experience was dramatized in the 1991 TV movie Never Forget, with Leonard Nimoy, Dabney Coleman, and Blythe Danner. At the time I write this, the movie is available on Youtube. Watch it while it lasts. It’s quite a movie, inspired by an eventful life.
Speaking of movies, I watch a lot of them, and I’ve seen some outstanding ones in recent years, but rewatching Blindspotting (2018) this week reminded me that it remains one of the finest movies I’ve seen so far in the 21st century. Director Carlos López Estrada, and writers/co-stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, created a perfect blend of humor, sorrow and compassion. The cinematography is outstanding, the acting is first-rate, and the story reminds us that race, class, gender, gentrification, police corruption, mass incarceration, employment, and art don’t exist independently. Blindspotting, like life, turns on a dime from hope to hopelessness and back again. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for? As I write this, Blindspotting is streaming free on IMDb TV, the Roku Channel, Tubi, and Pluto TV.
That’s all for this week. Have a good weekend!
This post contains NO affiliate links. All suggestions are based on my own personal experience, your experience may vary. Nothing herein is intended to serve as medical, legal, financial, or any other advice for which you should consult professionals and not some random guy on the Internet.