Thursday, June 24, 2010

Things that are making me happy today

- Barbara's summer reading list.

- A magical cottage (I will make one someday, only mine will be a treehouse!) and terrariums. (And apparently both these things fall under the label "Victoriana," so finally I have a word to describe my aesthetic tendencies toward chandeliers, canopy beds, and all things whimsical and cute--but not in a treacly, "country" way.)

- Pretty boys in great outfits. (Which also applies to this.)

- And on a more serious note, this piece on fellow Texan Bill Moyers. (I am behind on my podcasts, clearly.)

My favorite quotes from the interviews:
  • "There are things in this country that the market will not provide: public education, public art, public schools, public broadcasting, public toilets. I mean, there are things that are not profitable, but that still serve a value. And I think the most important thing that we can do is to continue to treat Americans as citizens, not just consumers. If you look out and see an audience of consumers, you want to sell them something. If you look out and see an audience of citizens, you want to share something with them--and there is a difference."
  • ". . . [P]residents shouldn't go to war unless it's a war of necessity, not a war of choice, beccause you can't fight a war in a democratic way without undermining the success of the war. And if you don't fight in a democratic way, you undermine democracy itself. . . . [I]f you start a war on tragic-- on flawed premises, you're going to have terrible things happen, and ultimately, you're going to come to grief."
  • On the importance of the Freedom of Information Act: "I really do think that we need more openness, not more secrecy. . . . We are living in a closed society today."

- L'Editrice

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dads, daughters, mothers, sons

Hope everyone had a lovely Father's Day. Though hopefully all of you already gave your dad his present, if not (or for any future occasion) I thought these ideas were great.

And here's a priceless gift you can give for free, which I'm sure many hard-working dads (and moms) would be very grateful for: Take a minute to speak out in support of the very important DREAM Act.

- L'Editrice

Friday, June 11, 2010

Short and to the (important) point

. . . At least my post today is. The must-read in this week's PW Shelftalker is quite long, but necessarily so.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

- L'Editrice

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Listen up

My recent NPR-listening has my to-read list growing longer and longer!

Here are a couple of recent books--and links to the fascinating, worth-a-listen discussions they prompt--that piqued my interest:

- Getting it Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism, by W. Joseph Campbell. Certainly such myths continue today, so it's a good wake-up call to us to always analyze the news/"facts" we hear/see/absorb/consume--whatever the source--with a critical mind.

- Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths about Our Air-Conditioned World, by Stan Cox. Just in time for summer! (Here's an abstract of the Adaptive Model of Thermal Comfort Cox mentions.) Not to sound like a luddite, but does anyone else also feel that sometimes our "advanced" technology (be it in digital media, air conditioning, or what have you) sometimes takes us too far, leading us to forget the simple facts and pleasures of nature and being human?

- I also learned about this amazing series/project this morning: Hidden World of Girls.

Finally, I love librarians, not least because of their staunch defense of civil liberties. For example, there have been many instances when libraries have refused to release the list of books a particular patron has checked out, even when the government/court tried to get force them to, because they belief in personal privacy. So, I hope that everyone else's librarian keeps in mind this importance of respect for and liberty of the individual, and there is no one else out there who gets snarky comments from the librarian on the books she is checking out, as I did this morning.