Feb 2: Sustainability Salon: Gas Rush Stories

The 13th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon will take place on Saturday, February 2nd.  This time, rather than multiple speakers with presentations (just in case rough winter weather arises, with or without the shadow of our backyard woodchuck), we'll have local journalist and filmmaker Kirsi Jansa with several examples of her documentary series on the Marcellus Shale, Gas Rush Stories.  GRS, she says, is something likeround table somewhere between anti-drilling documentary Gasland and a new pro-drilling documentary FrackNation.  

Kirsi will show GRS 6: A Private Pilot, to give all of us a chance to see what shale gas drilling looks like from the air, as well as her latest episodes, GRS 14: Sustainable Farmers and GRS 13: Renewable Energy Experts.  And one of these experts, Carnegie Mellon green chemist Terry Collins, is slated to join us, as well!  We'll have time for discussion of each film, and may show other segments depending on how the time goes.  

Gas Rush Stories is produced with a grant from The Heinz Endowments, and also received support from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a Kickstarter project.  All 14 Gas Rush Stories can be viewed online.  And as a kind of meta-documentary, WQED will air a half-hour piece on the series, including episodes 10 and 13 in their Filmmaker's Corner at 10 p.m. on February 9th.

Kirsi Jansa is an independent filmmaker and journalist, as well as a Salon regular.  She is originally from Finland, but has been living in Pittsburgh since 2008.  She previously worked as a freelance broadcast journalist for the Finnish Broadcasting Company, from the anchor chair to walking trails, after earning a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication with a minor in Public Health at the University of Tampere.

All are welcome to come watch, converse, make music, and enjoy shared food and drink along with a fire in the masonry heater and candles to entice the sun's return:  it will be Candlemas, also known as St. Brigid's Day or Imbolc -- and traditionally half of a household's food, fuel, and fodder should remain to last until the new crops come in.  Ours are still being harvested, so I guess we're doing pretty well for modern-day folk.

3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  (Please don't arrive before 3pm; we plan on introducing Kirsi beginning around 4pm.)  Please email me to RSVP (important for yesses and maybes, please do so each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies from 25 to 75, and it helps to have a handle on numbers in advance;  also, weather and such can be unpredictable and it's good to know who to contact if there's a change) -- and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em.  Be sure to include "salon" in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  Bring food or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play.  Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events), for updates.  

Note that I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks on Saturday morning;  there are lots of email addresses to transcribe and it's been a really long day/week!  One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit (assistance would be welcome), but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  
And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, don't forget the evening sing -- we typically run the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time is had by all.  Bring instruments if you play, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations will continue through the evening as well. 

Quite a few people have asked me what sorts of food to bring -- and my answer, as always, is whatever inspires you;  I believe in the "luck" part of potlucks.  Tasty noshings for the afternoon, hearty main dishes or scrumptious salads and sides for dinner, baked goods from biscuits and breads to brownies or baklava -- and/or beverages of any kind.  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homegrown or boughten.  Dishes containing meat are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  

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