Posts filed under ‘learn’

Don’t take my word for it

Add your voice by signing a petition calling on world leaders at the G8 Summit to take strong action to end global poverty and fight climate change. Oxfam’s goal is to present a petition with the signatures of one million concerned citizens.

July 1, 2008 at 8:42 am Leave a comment

Green guilt trip

clipped from Patt Morrison’s opionion column at:

A Dickian dystopia is bearing down on us. The government and the greenies are afraid of making you feel guilty. Not me.

Plastic: You’re not throwing away plastic bags, genius — you’re throwing away oil. In energy alone, recycling a ton of plastic bags saves 11 barrels of oil.

And those darling little plastic water bottles you tossed — 18 million barrels of oil to make them.

Paper: The lungs you ruin may be your own. A mature tree eats 13 pounds of carbon dioxide every year, so every time you don’t recycle a huge stack of envelopes and junk mail and wrapping paper and newspapers, you’re murdering a tree that could have saved you. You could heat your house for six months on the energy saved from recycling a ton of paper.

Aluminum cans: Too lazy to shuffle to the recycling bin? The energy you waste by throwing away a single soda can would run your TV for three hours. Throwing away an empty six-pack is like throwing away nearly a $3.50 gallon of gasoline.

July 16, 2007 at 1:17 pm 2 comments

Book meme

I saw this at Quantum Leaps and since I love to read, I decided to participate. If the meme appeals to you, please feel free to carry it forward on your blog.

What’s Your Preference?

1. Novel or novella?
Although I enjoy novellas now and then, they’re over too quickly for my liking. I prefer the longer and more involved experience of a novel. I like to become completely immersed in a story and really get to know the characters.

2. Hardback or paperback?
I like hardbacks best, by far, followed by the large trade paperbacks. I dislike mass market paperbacks and try to avoid them if at all possible.

3. Male authors or female authors?
Makes absolutely no difference to me, as long as they are good at their craft.

4. Fiction or non-fiction?
I read and enjoy both. I’d say about 60% fiction, 40% non-fiction, mixed up for variety and to suit my mood. I’m a fast reader, so it is easy to achieve a good balance of entertainment and education.

5. Bestseller or obscure title?
Both, of course. I have nothing against bestsellers, although I’m occasionally guilty of avoiding a book if it seems over-hyped. I love finding off-the-beaten-track books as well.

6. Local bookstore or chain franchise?
Honestly, I don’t buy a lot of books. I’m a library girl. I couldn’t possibly afford my habit if I bought them all. I buy only the books that I love enough to read more than once or that I would want to loan to friends. When I do buy books, it’s generally online through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. There are very few local bookstores left in my town.

7. Read the book first or see the movie first?
If time allows, I’ll read the book first. This practically guarantees that I’ll have issues with the film, but I like to enjoy a book as a fresh experience, without knowing the outcome in advance. I try to approach the film as a distinct interpretation of the material so that I don’t expect perfect fidelity with the book.

8. How many books do you read in a week? A year?
I read one or two books a week, year-round.

July 6, 2007 at 8:33 am 6 comments

Polar Bear SOS

The message below urges concerned Americans to come to the rescue of the polar bear, which faces extinction as a result of global warming. You can send a copy of this letter to your friends by visiting

Dear Friend,

By speaking out today, you could help save polar bears from extinction.

The Bush Administration has proposed listing the polar bear as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act because its Arctic sea ice habitat is rapidly melting from global warming. This proposed protection comes after successful legal action by NRDC and its partners to protect the imperiled bear.

However, this proposal won’t become reality without a huge outpouring of public support.

Please send a message to the Bush Administration today by going to:

Polar bears live only in the Arctic and are completely dependent on sea ice for survival. But 80 percent of their summer ice could be gone in 20 years and all of it by 2040. They are already suffering the effects: birth rates are falling, fewer cubs are surviving, and more bears are drowning.

Time is running out. Without protection, polar bears could become the first mammal to lose 100 percent of its habitat to global warming.

Please speak out now.

Thank you for speaking out at this critical time.

Frances Beinecke
President, Natural Resources Defense Council

June 26, 2007 at 12:15 pm Leave a comment

I scored 19 – how will you do?

Here are 25 questions about things we see every day or have known about all our lives. How many can you answer correctly? The average person gets 7, which shows how little we pay attention to the commonplace. Write down your answers as you go along. The correct answers are provided at the bottom of the post. Good luck.

1. On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?

2. How many states are there in the USA? (Don’t laugh, some people don’t know.)

3. In which hand is the Statue of Liberty’s torch?

4. What 6 colors are on the classic Campbell’s soup label?

5. What 2 numbers on the telephone dial don’t have letters by them?

6. When you walk does your left arm swing with your right or left leg? (Don’t get up to see!)

7. How many matches are in a standard pack?

8. On the United States flag is the top stripe red or white?

9. What is the lowest number on the FM dial?

10. Which way does water go down the drain, counter or clockwise?

11. Which way does a “no smoking” sign’s slash run?

12. How many channels on a VHF TV dial?

13. On which side of a women’s blouse are the buttons?

14. Which way do fans rotate?

15. How many sides does a stop sign have?

16. Do books have even-numbered pages on the right or left side?

17. How many lug nuts are on a standard car wheel?

18. How many sides are there on a standard pencil?

19. Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc. Who is missing?

20. How many hot dog buns are in a standard package?

21. On which playing card is the card maker’s trademark?

22. On which side of a Venetian blind is the cord that adjusts the opening between the slats?

23. There are 12 buttons on a touch tone phone. What 2 symbols bear no digits?

24. How many curves are there in the standard paper clip?

25. Does a merry-go-round turn counter or clockwise?

– – – –

– – – –

– – – –

– – – –

– – – –

– – – –


1. Bottom

2. 50

3. Right

4. Blue, red, white, yellow, black, and gold

5. 1, 0

6. Right

7. 20

8. Red

9. 87.7

10. Clockwise (north of the equator)

11. Towards bottom right

12. 12 (no number 1)

13. Left

14. Clockwise as you look at it (actually depends on the fan)

15. 8

16. Left

17. 5

18. 6

19. Bashful

20. 8

21. Ace of spades

22. Left

23. * and #

24. 3

25. Counter

To continue the meme, post this on your site with the number of correct answers in your subject line, and trackback to this post.

May 16, 2007 at 7:11 am 5 comments

Why I blog

This meme is courtesy of Some Go Softly.

What is this “blogging” you speak of?
That pretty much sums up why I started a blog. I wanted to see what it was all about, and what better way than to jump in and try it? Now that I’ve been blogging for a while, I’ve had time to develop reasons beyond curiosity.

My blog is a place to collect things that interest me or make me laugh. It’s a convenient, searchable repository where I can easily save items and refer back to them later. What makes it even better? I can easily share it with family and friends (and the world at large, when you get right down to it).

Sharing via a blog is nonintrusive. People choose to visit; likewise, they choose to stop visiting if they don’t like what they see. Readers can browse the blog at any time and any frequency that is convenient, and they can comment, or not, as they see fit.

Through blogging, I am able to provide information and promote causes I believe in. It’s possible that an individual might see something on my blog that informs or inspires them in some way.

On my blog, I have a chance to share my appreciation for art, and point out sites where collections can be viewed online. It’s also a perfect place to display quotations that I find insightful, humorous, or thought-provoking.

Laughter is good medicine, and my blog is often light-hearted in nature. I think brightening someone’s day or inspiring a good belly laugh is, in a way, an act of kindness.

By reading a variety of blogs, I am able to become familiar with different cultures, lifestyles, and opinions. I have an unprecedented opportunity to read about life in far-flung locations. I have access to the thoughts of writers the world over, as well as within the United States. I am often confronted by challenging perspectives that differ from my own. I am forced to look at things in new ways. That’s a good thing.

The aspect of blogging that caught me most by surprise is the sense of community that can develop. Comments add a rich dimension of interactivity and camaraderie.

Blogging can be looked at as a self-indulgent hobby. Do I provide anything of value that justifies my use of this corner of cyberspace? I suppose only readers can answer that. Have I ever made you laugh, or introduced you to something you’d never seen before, or raised an issue you hadn’t previously considered? If I have, then I consider my blog a small success.

Why do you blog? Take the challenge and post your answer with a trackback to this post.

May 9, 2007 at 9:51 am 6 comments

Asian Art


Celebrate the artistic traditions of the East with a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection of Asian Art, a selection of outstanding works.

Seated Ganesha, 14th–15th century
Orissa, India
Ivory; H. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Klejman, 1964 (64.102)

May 8, 2007 at 7:28 am 2 comments

Fascist America?

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

-James Madison

I’ve clipped a small bit of a very interesting article by Naomi Wolf. Click through via the Guardian link to read the entire article.

clipped from
Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree – domestically – as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government – the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens’ ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors – we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled.
We still have the choice to stop going down this road; we can stand our ground and fight for our nation, and take up the banner the founders asked us to carry.
It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable – as the author and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it can happen here.

May 2, 2007 at 9:34 am 4 comments

Gotta’ get goals

I have been tagged by Diogenes at Quasi Fictional to talk about goals. Visit Alex Shalman’s blog, where this meme originated, to read the complete rules.

Goals are a challenge for me, I won’t deny it. Not so much having them. I do, internally. But I don’t often have cause to discuss them or put them in writing. So here are a few that come to mind:

A day-to-day goal, that is harder than it sounds sometimes: choose to have a positive outlook and really live each moment, taking nothing for granted.

Achieve fluency in a second language. This is part of a larger goal to be a lifelong learner.

Guide my sons wisely to help them become responsible, ethical, independent thinkers who will stride confidently into their future.

Find an appropriate balance between planning for the future and enjoying the present.

Get to know much more of our world and its people through study and travel.

Make a positive difference in the lives of others, looking for opportunities to do so whenever possible.

I’d like to tag the following bloggers, specifically, but if the topic interests you, please feel free to participate whether I’ve tagged you or not.

life at the edge

mi | minutia

scrapbooking with words

daily piglet

a fool and his words are soon parted


May 1, 2007 at 7:36 am 7 comments

New thinking

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

-Albert Einstein

April 20, 2007 at 10:50 am 4 comments

It’s not all about us

“The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.”

-Stephen Jay Gould

April 3, 2007 at 7:10 am 4 comments

What’s really in pet food?

Visit the link to access an eye-opening report about pet food.

clipped from
Plump whole chickens, choice cuts of beef, fresh grains, and all the wholesome nutrition your dog or cat will ever need. These are the images pet food manufacturers promulgate through the media and advertising. This is what the $11 billion per year U.S. pet food industry wants consumers to believe they are buying when they purchase their products. This report explores the differences between what consumers think they are buying and what they are actually getting.

March 27, 2007 at 2:31 pm 1 comment

Monday Melee 3/26

meleesmall.jpgThe Monday Melee is a Fracas project. You’re invited to participate. Get details and see the participant list here.

The Misanthropic: Name something you absolutely hate.
“Everyone else is doing it” justification. It is routinely employed to excuse all sorts of questionable behavior: lying, cheating, negative campaigning, racism, greed, bribes, double standards, driving gas guzzlers, taking unfair advantage, doing anything it takes to win, etc. If you have to make an excuse like this for doing something, you probably shouldn’t do it. Sadly, you don’t often encounter this phrase as a reason to do something good. I’d like to hear people say: I’m behaving ethically…standing up for what I believe in…donating to charity…spending quality time with my kids…doing volunteer work…honoring my commitments…because everyone else is doing it.

The Meretricious: Expose something or someone that’s phony, fraudulent, or bogus.
It seems to me that refusing to testify under oath is admitting that you don’t intend to tell the truth.

The Malcontent: Name something you’re unhappy with.
My memory isn’t nearly as sharp as it used to be. Back in the day (as my son would say) I was able to effortlessly remember just about everything: phone numbers, credit card and account numbers, names, birthdays, facts and trivia, song lyrics, and so on. Now, I rely heavily on note-taking and my trusty PDA.

The Meritorious: Give someone credit for something and name it if you can.
“Putting his money where his environmentalist mouth is, Prince Charles is swapping gas-guzzling private planes and helicopters for commercial flights, train journeys and biodiesel cars. A longtime champion of green causes, the heir to the throne says action is needed now to avoid leaving a ruined planet to the next generation.” source: CBS News

The Mirror: See something good about yourself and name it.
I don’t let the fact that I don’t know how to do something stop me; instead I view it as a good reason to learn. New technology, new ways of doing things, new theories? Bring it on.

The Make-Believe: Name something you wish for.
I wish I could enable my kids to clearly see the future consequences of their actions and decisions and act accordingly. Of course, if they could do this, they wouldn’t be kids, would they?

March 26, 2007 at 7:10 am 4 comments

Windows on the world

“Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, ‘Lighthouses’ as the poet said ‘erected in the sea of time.’ They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.”

-Arthur Schopenhauer

March 23, 2007 at 7:26 am 2 comments

Jack be nimble

“There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor.”

-George Santayana

March 7, 2007 at 10:54 am 2 comments

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