I pissed in the teapot at an impromptu party in our co-op on a snow day by bringing up the awful truth that thunder and lightning are not normal in a January blizzard, and by wondering how we the little people can push back against undeniable global warming. The Guardian ran a pretty good story recently noting that rationing in World War II actually strengthened British society, and by chance one of the guests had firsthand tales of trading kitchen scraps for eggs, surviving on powdered eggs from America and watching her mom weigh out candy once a week. Surely we could do something, anything while our “leaders” dither and pocket checks from Big Oil and “Clean” Coal. While I wait for suggestions, I was happy to hear a report on PRI’s The World on the teacups of Kolkata: They’re made from clay, used once on the street and crashed to the ground, where they dissolve to be recycled into fresh containers. The rest of India is giving in to plastic, but the reporter interviewed a family responsible for baking these eternal-life cups for now. And she had the details down to the little bit of grit in the bottom of each cup — I can still taste the chai we drank one long morning while my consort was shooting there in 1993. I think of it every time I go into some snooty coffee joint in NYC when the dishwasher is (inevitably) broken and the clerks are serving in disposable cups rather than having someone get his/her hands clean scrubbing the china ones. My big fear will always be reincarnation, but if I have to come back, I hope it’s to Kolkata.