The Jefferson Exchange

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If you've ever heard of the "wrap dress," you've heard of Diane Von Furstenberg. 

In fact, you've probably heard the name even if you haven't heard of the dress. 

Von Furstenberg is one of the most influential fashion designers of our time. 

Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped tracks the designers career and work. 


The judge said no.  The plaintiffs appealed.  The judge said no again. 

That's the ultra-short version of a lawsuit filed against state leaders in Oregon, filed to produce action on climate change on behalf of children, by Our Children's Trust

Despite limited success in state court (now on appeal), the group just filed a similar suit against the federal government. 

At least one group is determined to get government to act on climate change through court action (see today's 8 AM segment). 

On VENTSday, let's hear what you think of that approach, and what you think of the big gap between the salaries of CEOs and their workers. 

Why should the politicians and pundits have all the fun?  You've got opinions on events in the news, too.  And our VENTSday segment is designed to let the world hear them. 

We plop a pair of topics on the table--frequently unrelated--and let YOU deliver your passionate (and polite) views on them.

Caravel Books

A truck driver walks into a diner. Not a joke setup, but the first scene in James Anderson's debut novel, The Never-Open Desert Diner.

Anderson calls Ashland home for part of the year, and he can call his novel a success, at least judging by some of the reviews of it.

Anderson's own story--logger, truck driver, car salesman, book publisher--is at least as interesting as the tale of his tractor-trailer driving protagonist.


It's not just a way of farming, it's a way of life: permaculture. 

Narrowly defined, it's about agriculture that can be sustained indefinitely, because it is agriculture that acknowledges the needs and rhythms of the ecosystem being farmed. 

And it's not just for the country.  The Northwest Permaculture Convergence is an annual gathering of permaculture devotees, to be held in a suburban setting for the first time this year, in Eugene. 

Harvard University Press

When you speak frequently about the coming end of the world, are you changing the world in the process? 

Washington State University professor Matthew Avery Sutton says yes, in his book American Apocalypse

Sutton cites the work of Billy Graham and fellow Christian pastors, making sense of nuclear weapons and communism by casting them as signs of the End Times. 

Maybe you know one of those people who is just afraid of bees, and runs when they come near.  They may not change quickly, but society's attitude toward bees is evolving. 

Massive bee kills and ongoing population problems have highlighted the importance of, and challenges to, bees. 

They got their own day this year, with August 15th designated Native Bees Conservation Awareness Day in Oregon. 

The Klamath River's vital importance to both Oregon and California explains the frequent disagreements over how its water will be used.  The debates rage even in non-drought years, and 2015 is not one of those.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation continues work toward an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Long-Term Plan for the Protection of Adult Salmon in the Lower Klamath River. 

Shorter version: it's a plan that should take some of the annual ups-and-downs out of the late-summer releases of additional water into the Trinity River.

BOR just finished a series of open houses on the project and will take public input until Thursday, August 20. 

Hachette Book Group

Many of us could sit by the ocean for hours.  And it's more than just the sound of the rushing waves or the smell of the salt air, because we can bliss out by the side of a river or a lake just as easily. 

Wallace J. Nichols says there's plenty of science to support this, science he shares in Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do.

Charleston Marine Life Center

Lots of us head for the ocean in the summer.  But we tend to stay above the waves, and even a few feet from them.

Not so for ocean explorers like the students and teachers of the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology

OIMB began its explorations in 1924 and is going strong today. 

Recent tasks included trips aboard the famous submersible ship Alvin, and the opening of the Charleston Marine Life Center, across the street from OIMB on the Southern Oregon Coast. 

Two+two=4/Wikimedia Commons

  It's useful for just about any organization to step back once in a while and ask "what are we doing here?" 

The National Park Service is doing just that for the state and national Redwood Parks. 

The Foundation Document for the parks is being reviewed for possible revision at the moment, and the public can comment until August 25th.

  Oregon's Elliott State Forest is supposed to bring in money--through timber sales--for the state's common school fund. 

But there's not much logging, and the forest actually costs the state money now. 

So the state Land Board is looking for ways to up the income and/or logging, or at least cut the deficits. 

Penguin Books

  Go ahead, click that link below.  It's got to be safe, right? 

Nobody would deliberately cause harm to you on the Internet, after all.  If only that were true. 

So much of what appears on the Internet is NOT true, or at least not currently. 

Mathematician/science journalist/watchdog Charles Seife looks at the situation in his book Virtual Unreality: The New Era of Digital Deception.


Depending on how you measure it, Oregon's high school graduation rate is either the worst in the country, or just near the bottom. 

Neither version provides any solace for educational leaders, who clearly have some work to do. 

Nancy Golden is Oregon's Chief Education Officer, responsible for a system now aimed at education from birth to career. 


Police tell us frequently how often they respond to calls that really should involve mental health professionals.  Which begs the question: is there an increase in mental illness? 

This is a question considered by the journalist Bob Whitaker, the head of the organization Mad In America

His reporting raises questions about mental illness generally and specifically about the use and reliability of psychiatric drugs. 

Whitaker plans a workshop in the Rogue Valley next month, sponsored by the Mental Health Resource and Education Network

Hachette Books

If we know a great deal about our enemies, we can beat them in war. 

Especially if we know exactly where they are. 

Military expert William Arkin says these are common lines of thought among warriors, and he finds big problems with them in Unmanned: Drones, Data, and the Illusion of Perfect Warfare

Arkin's book looks at current approaches to military intelligence and hardware--primarily drones--and finds them working against their intentions. 

University of Oregon

Fractals, those mathematical patterns, are fun to look at. 

And they may also help people with the ABILITY to look. 

University of Oregon physicist Richard Taylor was just awarded a patent for a fractal-based implant designed to help blind people see. 

Oregon may double its bottle deposit to a dime, but some people think it's time to do away with bottle returns. 

Let's hear what you think about that, and about the current state of affairs in the race for president, in this week's VENTSday. 

Why should the politicians and activists have all the fun?  You've got opinions on events in the news, too.  And our VENTSday segment is designed to let the world hear them. 

We plop a pair of topics on the table--frequently unrelated--and let YOU deliver your passionate (and polite) views on them. 


Plenty of memoirists join us on the Exchange, sharing stories we might not have heard otherwise. 

But you don't need the title "memoirist" to tell your own story. 

That is precisely the point of Alan Gelb's book Having The Last Say: Capturing Your Legacy in One Small Story

Even if you don't think of yourself as a writer and never will, there are tips in the book to assembling a coherent story or set of stories from your own life. 


The end of container service at the Port of Portland may sound at first like a story affecting just the Portland area. 

But the port says ships carried containers going to and from 31 of Oregon's 36 counties, affecting exports and imports across the state. 

The Agriculture Transportation Coalition, the State of Oregon and other entities are hosting workshops across the state, to help importers and exporters find solutions that do not involve shipping out of Portland.