Friday, March 31, 2006

Reader to Reader

I spent some time surfing the Mensa websites and found this cool charity called Reader to Reader.

Reader To Reader, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to bringing books, free of charge, to needy school libraries across the United States. It is our belief that books have a singular power to inspire and change people’s lives.

The need for books is critical, because 60% of underprivileged children do not own a single book. This makes a well-stocked school library a critical resource hub that is a necessity not a luxury. Thankfully, a simple solution lies at hand with the millions of books that are routinely discarded on an annual basis. The solution is to efficiently collect and distribute these books to needy school libraries where they can educate and inspire generations of readers.

They are also doing a Hurricane Katrina book drive.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

It's Eating My Brain!

If you've never seen the Virgin Digital "How Many Bands Can You Find?" game, count yourself lucky. If you are the slightest bit OCD it will eat your brain. The original site is apparently down but you can still find the jpg on the Virgin Digital site. If you would like to see some answers to help you through the process you can check out Janine Dalton's blog posting and comments.

Good luck!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

On Writing and Being a Writer

Sixthdoctor's review of Ben Domenech's plagiarism led him to contemplation about what it means to write and to be a writer. Much like the sixthdoctor I have created a small collection of rejection slips and found that I didn't have the stick-to-it-tivity to continue when I wasn't getting positive reinforcement. Because writing is, at heart, all about honesty. Which means that it is real and it hurts that much more when it isn't appreciated. My job is just "a job," but my writing is me. Like sixthdoctor the idea of plagiarism isn't even comprehensible. Who would do that? Why? Since writing is all about honesty plagiarism means you aren't a writer. You can be a transcriber, and a dishonest one at that, but not a writer.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday Random Tunes

  1. Depeche Mode (Violator) Clean
  2. Gloria Estefan (Greatest Hits) Don't Wanna Lose You
  3. Peter Gabriel (So) Red Rain
  4. Sting (Nothing Like the Sun) The Secret Marriage
  5. Barenaked Ladies (Stunt) Who Needs Sleep
  6. The B-52's (Millennium Party) Rock Lobster
  7. Belinda Carlisle (Sounds of the Eighties) Mad About You
  8. Madonna (The Immaculate Collection) Vogue
  9. Evanescence (Grammy Nominees 2004) Going Under
  10. Enya (Shepherd Moons) How Can I Keep From Singing?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I Coulda Been a Contenda...

I'm drawn to sports where women can compete on a level playing field with men. I've never been a fan of car racing but that might change now that women are becoming competitive in the field. I had done some research awhile back and knew that women had always been involved in the sport, but never in large numbers. Then I ran across a promo display at my grocery store for the Hostess Race Divas.

I also have dreams of a woman one day winning (overall) the Ironman Triathlon and I think Heather Fuhr has gotten the closest. Go Heather! Make them change it to the FeMale Triathlon. (Although since women don't finish in the top ten that is currently a distant dream.)

Any ideas for sports that women should compete in where they are currently under-represented or not allowed?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Ireland Forever

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday random tunes, playlist: St. Paddy's Day
  1. Loreena McKinnitt (Book of Secrets) Night Ride Across the Caucasus
  2. Maire Brennan (Perfect Time) The Big Rock
  3. Robin Williamson (Songs for Children of All Ages) Witches Hat
  4. Clannad (Greatest Hits) Robin (The Hooded Man)
  5. Anuna (Anuna) The Raid
  6. Voyager (Ireland's Tin Whistle) Lowlands of Holland
  7. Parson's Hat (The Celtic Lullaby) Do Chuirfinnse Fein
  8. Anuna (Invocation) Eiri Na Greine
  9. Clannad (Greatest Hits) The Wild City
  10. Alison Kinnaird (The Celtic Lullaby) Ellen's Dreams
In celebration of my Irish heritage I did some research on a dark part of our history and found out it was darker than I had realized.
From Race and History (News & Views)
Irish Slavery by Jim Cavanaugh

On 14 August 1652, Cromwell began his Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland, ordering that the Irish were to be transported overseas, starting with 12,000 Irish prisoners sold to Barbados. The infamous “Connaught or Hell” proclamation was issued on 1 May 1654, where all Irish were ordered to be removed from their lands and relocated west of the Shannon or be transported to the West Indies. Those who have been to County Clare, a land of barren rock will understand what an impossible position such an order placed the Irish. A local sheep owner claimed that Clare had the tallest sheep in the world, standing some 7 feet at the withers, because in order to live, there was so little food, they had to graze at 40 miles per hour. With no place to go and stay alive, the Irish were slow to respond. This was an embarrassing problem as Cromwell had financed his Irish expeditions through business investors, who were promised Irish estates as dividends, and his soldiers were promised freehold land in exchange for their services. To speed up the relocation process, a reinforcing law was passed on 26 June 1657 stating: “Those who fail to transplant themselves into Connaught or Co Clare within six months… Shall be attained of high treason… are to be sent into America or some other parts beyond the seas… those banished who return are to suffer the pains of death as felons by virtue of this act, without benefit of Clergy.”

Although it was not a crime to kill any Irish, and soldiers were encouraged to do so, the slave trade proved too profitable to kill off the source of the product. Privateers and chartered shippers sent gangs out with quotas to fill, and in their zest as they scoured the countryside, they inadvertently kidnapped a number of English too. On March 25, 1659, a petition of 72 Englishmen was received in London, claiming they were illegally “now in slavery in the Barbados”' . The petition also claimed that "7,000-8,000 Scots taken prisoner at the battle of Worcester in 1651 were sold to the British plantations in the New World,” and that “200 Frenchmen had been kidnapped, concealed and sold in Barbados for 900 pounds of cotton each."

Subsequently some 52,000 Irish, mostly women and sturdy boys and girls, were sold to Barbados and Virginia alone. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were taken prisoners and ordered transported and sold as slaves. In 1656, Cromwell’s Council of State ordered that 1000 Irish girls and 1000 Irish boys be rounded up and taken to Jamaica to be sold as slaves to English planters. As horrendous as these numbers sound, it only reflects a small part of the evil program, as most of the slaving activity was not recorded. There were no tears shed amongst the Irish when Cromwell died in 1660.

The Irish welcomed the restoration of the monarchy, with Charles II duly crowned, but it was a hollow expectation. After reviewing the profitability of the slave trade, Charles II chartered the Company of Royal Adventurers in 1662, which later became the Royal African Company. The Royal Family, including Charles II, the Queen Dowager and the Duke of York, then contracted to supply at least 3000 slaves annually to their chartered company. They far exceeded their quotas.

There are records of Irish sold as slaves in 1664 to the French on St. Bartholomew, and English ships which made a stop in Ireland enroute to the Americas, typically had a cargo of Irish to sell on into the 18th century. Few people today realize that from 1600 to 1699, far more Irish were sold as slaves than Africans.

Éireann go Brách.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Thank God It's Friday?

Ya'll have probably noticed that my typical meager posting is down to nearly zilch. My apologies if you happen to come by looking for something interesting to read. My work mantra of "if I can only make it to the end of February" has now become "if I can only make it to the end of March." Today was supposed to be my first day off in two weeks, but no dice. At least I got to work from home. But it was still work.

I WILL be taking tomorrow off, gosh darnit. And we'll be playing D&D. Maybe Stephen Colbert will stop by. :) I have to say that if my cosmic reward for all this work is to play D&D with Stephen, it was a small price to pay.

Meanwhile, I thought I could at least drop a little Friday random music on you. Playlist: All Dat Good Stuff. I'm trying the structure of Artist (Album) Song. Tell me how you like it...
  1. Nickle Creek (Nickle Creek) When You Come Back Down
  2. Barenaked Ladies (Stunt) It's All Been Done
  3. Peter Gabriel (So) In Your Eyes
  4. Mr. Mister (Billboard Top Hits: 1986) Kyrie
  5. ELO (The Essential Electric Light Orchestra) Shine a Little Love
  6. Gloria Estefan (Greatest Hits) Here We Are
  7. Shania Twain (Up!) I'm Not in the Mood (To Say No)
  8. Cheap Trick (Greatest Hits) The Flame
  9. Dixie Chicks (Wide Open Spaces) Let 'Er Rip
  10. Loreena McKinnitt (Journeys) Dante's Prayer
Yes, I like ELO, ok? Shut up.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Jon's "Flaming Bag of Poop" Show

When Jon said on tonight's Daily Show that he thought impostor (name of the book whose author he interviewed) was imposter I just had to look it up. According to - pretty much same difference.

You'll Be Cool If You Do

Can you name the literature? When I ran across this my first thought was, "Stephen has always been cool."
"Granted, but he might easily become the fashion by only changing his name into that of Colbert."
Is this anything like the importance of being earnest?

Friday, March 3, 2006

"No Kill"? Not Really

I posted one of my husband's old (1999) school papers about no-kill animal shelters so that Bruce Cordell can take a gander at it. If you are inclined to read it you can find it in my archives. A little snippet to get you clickin':
One of the most important distinctions that separates a shelter like San Francisco’s from most shelters stems from a fundamental difference in intake policies. Since both are faced with a greater number of displaced animals than homes, when cages are filled, they are faced with one of two choices: make room or stop taking animals until room is available. The no-kill shelters often close their doors and animals are placed on a waiting list that may require several months for an opening. This is not a real option for many owners who need to place pets immediately (moving, owner dies, etc.), strays that cannot be kept by the finder, and problem pets that are being destructive or aggressive. Typically, communities with no-kill shelters have a pound operated by animal control or another agency that is required to handle the overflow. The statistics for many of these shelters are therefore not driven by the need to accept all animals and allows time for adoption. Warren Cox, of the Dallas SPCA, said “It’s making the rest of us look like cold-blooded killers. And it’s turned into a heck of a fund-raising hype. There is no such thing as a true no-kill organization. You may not kill them yourself but send them to the next organization that will.”

Blogging on blogging on blogging...

"And here I am. With everything and nothing to say."

The Notorious ADB captures the spirit of frustrated brilliance.