Local Screenings

Elliot and I recently showed Worse Than Poop! at the Green Kids Festival, and to our local chapter of the Electric Auto Association.

 Elliot receives an award from the Green Kids Conference for his role in Worse Than Poop!

Elliot receives an award from the Green Kids Conference for his role in Worse Than Poop!

The Green Kids Conference was really impressive - a massive undertaking, with two floors of information booths and activities on all things green and kid-friendly. Most impressive is the fact that the event is the brainchild of Pavan Raj Gowda, who founded Green Kids four years ago at the ripe old age of 12!

 Mountains of poop for the Silicon Valley Electric Auto Association!

Mountains of poop for the Silicon Valley Electric Auto Association!

We also received a warm welcome back from the Silicon Valley chapter of the Electric Auto Association. They hosted us during our Kickstarter campaign, which many of their members supported. It was satisfying to be back to share with them the completed film!

 Q&A with the EV driving crowd at SVEAA.

Q&A with the EV driving crowd at SVEAA.

Bittersweet Wednesday

Today was a big day - in part because today I officially FINISHED Worse Than Poop! Last night, I received the last and final animation, and I just finished editing it into the final cut. I am uploading the finished film as I type! Those of you who supported our Kickstarter campaign will be receiving a download link very soon.

But as anyone who isn't living under a rock will also note, today is also the Day After Election Day here in the US - and in particular, an Election Day on which almost all of the candidates and issues we were supporting got thoroughly trounced at the polls.

 Elliot watches Brian Schmidt interviewed on election night at KMTV.

Elliot watches Brian Schmidt interviewed on election night at KMTV.

One particularly bitter loss was for our friend Brian Schmidt, who was running for re-election to the Santa Clara County Water District Board. His opponent, a Silicon Valley millionaire, refused to abide by voluntary campaign spending limits, and outspent Brian 22-to-1. His opponent had no experience in two of the three areas for which the Water District Director is responsible (environmental management and flood protection), but in the end he managed to win the election by a narrow margin. This morning, I told Elliot, "This is a tiny microcosm of what is wrong with our entire voting system - and we need to fix it." When you have unlimited spending, the rich - or their proxies - get elected. Which in most cases does not make for honest or good government - or, for that matter, an electorate that believes in the process of democracy. (Is it any wonder that we had less than 30% turnout at the polls in California, in the most expensive mid-term election in US history?)

However, I am choosing to focus on the positive. One measure that did pass yesterday was Palo Alto's Measure B, which will fund some much-needed bicycle infrastructure here - including retrofitting a truly dreadful narrow cement bicycle underpass at the California Avenue train station that has tormented me and countless Palo Alto cyclists for decades. 

 This nasty underpass' days are numbered! Try pulling your kid in a trailer through that...

This nasty underpass' days are numbered! Try pulling your kid in a trailer through that...

And as my friend Joylette Portlock says, no one ever got depressed into action. With the government this country just elected, we're going to need more action than ever - so I also made a donation today to the Sierra Club, and signed up to participate in a visioning exercise here in Palo Alto for 'big, bold' ideas for sustainability.

And as for Worse Than Poop! - I'll be meeting next week with Carleen Cullen of Cool the Earth, to see if we can hash out a plan to get some funding for a Spanish-language version, some DVD packaging, a study guide, and a resource-rich website. We'd like to include all of these - for free - with Cool the Earth's climate kits, distributed to schools across North America. I'm also talking with some other organizations looking at the possibility of using the film for climate awareness outreach to children and families. There's plenty of work to be done - it's time to just roll up our sleeves and get busy.

Bike to Work Day!

Today was the SF Bay Area Bike to Work Day. Elliot and I got up an hour early, to greet people at the CalTrain station.

  Kathy Durham, Palo Alto's Safe Routes to School/Commute coordinator, gives Elliot goodie bags to hand out.

Kathy Durham, Palo Alto's Safe Routes to School/Commute coordinator, gives Elliot goodie bags to hand out.

We made a giant poster and handed out flyers - along with free bagels, coffee, and goodie bags. Elliot even dressed up in his professor costume. Crowd funding has made us shameless.

  Vanessa and Elliot, in between waves of cycle commuters.

Vanessa and Elliot, in between waves of cycle commuters.

 

  Sven Thesen at 7am, waiting for commuters and chanting "Worse Than Poop!"

Sven Thesen at 7am, waiting for commuters and chanting "Worse Than Poop!"

Towards 8am, more people started  arriving - including the Mayor and the City Manager.

  Elliot & Vanessa with team Bike Palo Alto - including Kathy Durham, Mayor Nancy Shepherd, Chief Transportation Official Jaime Rodriguez, and City Manager Jim Keene.

Elliot & Vanessa with team Bike Palo Alto - including Kathy Durham, Mayor Nancy Shepherd, Chief Transportation Official Jaime Rodriguez, and City Manager Jim Keene.

One cyclist, when he heard about Worse Than Poop!, asked Elliot to sign his flyer.

  The lucky recipient of Elliot's very first autograph.

The lucky recipient of Elliot's very first autograph.