As most internet users, my e-mail inbox fills up with requests for s this time of the year. The most poignant  is from Move On, which did such a superb job rallying voters to support Obama and which subsequently campaigned hard for his health bill. Now Move On lets us know that food banks are in crisis. Not surprisingly, given the state of the economy, demand is high and supplies are low. While on this topic, I must remember that it is time to honor good New Year resolutions by making blood donations to the Red Cross. It costs nothing to donate blood and you even get a cookie and fruit juice as a reward. Not a bad deal.
 The next piece of e-mail to catch my attention comes from the  Cornell Lab of Ornithology,
"How do birds withstand wicked winter weather and other daily threats to survival, even in warmer climates? We have a new environmental challenge for you from the Celebrate Urban Birds project at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. We invite you to show us how birds are surviving in your neighborhood this winter. It can be a photo, artwork, video, even a story or a poem describing how birds are finding the food, water, and shelter they need. You can take part no matter what your age or skill level. Groups such as schools, libraries, clubs, and businesses are also more than welcome. As you may know, Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round citizen-science project focused on birds in neighborhood settings." The deadline is February 15, 2010. Prizes include a pair of Eagle Optics binoculars, bird feeders, a birdsong calendar, books, posters, cards and more. The first 50 people who enter will receive a copy of the "Little Green Places" poster and selected images and videos will be posted on the Celebrate Urban Birds website. I intend to particpate by photographing birds in my own neighborhood and those brave little sparrows who scrounge crumbs in the parking lots of supermarkets. I remember such a cheeky little guy perched on the back of my chair at a cafe at the Gare du Nord, in Paris, long ago. He had no fear and he gots lots of croissant crumbs.We should all be so lucky. As for the local sparrows, they are just as charming, just as fearless and just as deserving of more than stale doughnuts. Ten minutes of internet fame, perhaps? 
There is also in my mail an article about the Google Superphone, presumably designedto geared to compete with all the smartphones out there. As the owner of stupidphones, I am not unduly concerned, by the big guys at Apple should be.


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