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ticklebugscoverI am very pleased to announce that the Tickle Bugs have officially joined the Gift Economy.  Like any economy, the gift economy is a medium of exchange.  In a gift economy, this exchange is unregulated and based on trust and generosity.  At, you can now order a copy of HERE COME THE TICKLE BUGS! and you get to name your own price.  Whatever amount you feel like paying is totally fine.  (Of course, if the price you name is silly, you’ll see what happens.) ;)

It’s a great solution, because it feels good to just open everything up and say: ‘please, come and enjoy these books! Don’t worry about the price; pay what makes you feel happy paying.’  There are only a handful of examples of people doing this kind of thing, but it generally seems to work out, the most publicized example possibly being Radiohead’s new album.

The real value in the Gift Economy is that the interaction between ‘buyer’ and ‘seller’ becomes more familial.  In a family, we rarely charge each other for things.  There is a bond that exists and a medium of sharing.  Everyone looks out for one another.  It’s this same philosophy that brings family economics to society at large.  Whether it works or not is anyone’s guess.  So far, there are plenty of examples of it working.  It’s certainly a noble experiment though, because what you get when it succeeds is a society built around giving and trusting, connected and caring people.

katydid_b_160For those of you who don’t know, Here Come the Tickle Bugs! was written and illustrated by a good friend of mine named Uncle Sillyhead III.  It’s a children’s book that has a tendency of becoming the favorite book in the house, probably because it encourages oodles of unstoppable giggles.  I would love to see every kid between the ages of 1 1/2 to 3 grow up with this book.  The joy kids get from it is priceless.  And it’s a great book for learning to read, up to about age 6.

I also encourage everyone to email Unc himself and order a bunch of books to distribute, especially for the holidays.  It’s kind of fun when you can have people pay whatever they want. :)  His email is Uncle –at–

bigodeFor another great Gift Economy book, check out the legendary Cooking Com Bigode by Ankur Shah — ‘vegetarian improvisational peasant fusion cuisine for the 22nd century’.  A must. :)


atit150x224_3The single-most effective thing a person (that means YOU) can do to stop global warming is to switch to a vegetarian/vegan diet.  Not only will you live longer and feel better all around, but you will actually be reducing the effect of Global Warming.  What Al Gore hasn’t yet told you…

  • In the U.N.’s recent report Livestock’s Long Shadow, scientists concluded that the meat industry generates nearly40% more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, SUVs, ships, and planes in the world combined. The report also found that the meat industry is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”
  • Researchers at the University of Chicago determined that switching to a vegan diet is more effective in countering global warming than switching from a standard American car to a Toyota Prius (in fact, it’s 50 percent more effective).
  • Environmental Defense also recently reported on its Web site that if every American substituted vegetarian food for chicken meat in just one meal per week, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as if more than half a million cars were taken off U.S. roads.

If we ever want to seriously address global warming, we have to acknowledge the catastrophic impact caused by factory farming — wasted resources: land, food, energy, water, rainforest, animal suffering; pollution: feces, water, air, global warming.  The only reason factory farming is generally overlooked as a primary cause for global warming is because acknowledging this inconvenient truth would bring a feeling of shame to those not ready to take personal responsibility.  And that’s most people.

Do you love your planet enough to stop eating animals?

*This information was extracted from a letter to Al Gore from Ingrid E. Newkirk, President of PETA

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