What’s Popping

Dr. Pop is a popular education website that helps people become better story-tellers and strategic thinkers.

We do this by telling stories ourselves, explaining complicated things in simple ways, and showing how and why we did it.

Along the way we focus on how the economy, urban planning, and democracy work; provide living examples of how they can work better; and offer tools for organizers, educators, students, activists, and all manner of curious people who are interested in change.

Here’s a few of my favourite blogs that can be found there:

The Invisible Killer Mystery

17 September, 2014

I knew it was going to be ugly, no one had tackled the shed for close to two decades. The last time I had looked in there I just remembered old machinery, a lawn mower inherited from the previous owner, lots of dirt and mess and falling-apart boxes of unknown quantities. My mother being unwell, I told her to leave it all to me, but she didn’t quite. So it wasn’t entirely in a pristine state when I entered it, but close.

beat-up-trunk-7909

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The House My Parents Built

15 July 2014

Going through old boxes I just found the plans to the house my parents built. My dad called it the Nautilus house, I never knew that until I found those old plans. Of course I knew it was snail shaped, I had watched them dig the foundations by hand to save the palo verdes and saguaros around it. (Here I am literally watching — I’m pretty sure holding that shovel is just for show, whereas Chewy has gone for picking up a rock).
building the foundationRead more…

Waiting Rooms

28 May 2013

I’ve been doing many kinds of waiting this past two months. The first has been a universal kind of waiting: waiting to see if someone you love will live or die, waiting first for treatment and then to see if that treatment will work or not. There is an existential core to such a wait, a confrontation with mortality and loss that I mostly have tried to avoid until I could avoid it no longer. At that point limbo is done with anyway, there is only thankfulness or loss and grief. How many books written have spoken to how we face these times or run from them? How many of us are haunted for the rest of our lives by what we have done or not done?

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How to Walk the City

11 March 2013

walk_the_cityI stole the title from Michel de Certeau, and this isn’t a how-to exactly, more of a how do we, how can we? These days I feel like most of my skills have been swallowed up in endless research and writing. So I thought I would find inspiration today, and write about how we can experience the city.

Michel de Certeau writes “The ordinary practitioners of the city live “down below,” below the thresholds at which visibility begins. They walk—-an elementary form of this experience of the city; they are walkers, Wandersmanner…”

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Permaculture is Preparation

25 March 2013

Once upon a time I was lucky enough to move into a house with a small and completely overgrown garden. So my then-partner Manny and I decided we would reclaim it and try to grow as much of our own food as possible. Just to learn what that would take.

chickensRead more…

Vermilion Clydeside

25 January 2011

A piece of my heart will always live in Glasgow. It is a city of incredible warmth and beauty and humour, one that welcomed me when I was sad and tired and burned out from years of work in LA. I worked in a shop where we took pride in what we did and the managers would stand up for staff against bullying customers, something utterly unknown in all of my years experience working for minimum wage. With a single question to start them off, cabbies would break down the privitisation and development of the parks or public housing in the wee hours of the morning. I remember walking the city with Bob, who could tell me the radical history of every building we passed. He also told me once that for an artist there never was a colour to equal the glorious colour of a tube of vermilion paint under Thatcher. As though Thatcher, and all who have followed her, crafted a world where the poor live in shadows and shades of gray, and it remains to us to fight for vermilion.

rent strike

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Blue Line Group

19 July 2010

Community space!

As I stumbled back home late one Friday night after many hours of travel to get from a tiny town in Southern France to London’s own Tower Hamlets, people busy painting a line along the pavement and doing various other things made it hard to get my roller bag past them. I was not pleased, but I woke up to this:

Blue Line

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How to Research a Slumlord

26 April 2010

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Just communities, just cities, Just connections between country and city. Also, the weird and wonderful.

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