Friday, September 29, 2006

Banned Books Week -- Day 7

Today is the sixth day of Banned Books Week.

Celebrate the freedom to read. Book Browse gives recommendations and helps with your personal reading list.

Spread the joy of reading by starting a book club. Book Browse gives advice on starting and running a book discussion club, even offering a way to invite authors to a telephone chat with your club.

Catalog your books online for free by visiting the Library Thing. While you are visiting, share with other readers who like the same books. Visit the gallery to see pictures of the authors. Join a group that focuses on your favorites. Check out a book on your cell phone while standing in line at a bookstore. This is a fun sight.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Banned Books Week -- Day 6


The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression works to raise awareness of censorship beginning with Dante’s The Divine Comedy, but continuing today with book burning by high school students parents.

The sight highlights new books about free expression, including Potentially Harmful that details art censorship in US over last 30 years. They have products such as t-shirts, buttons, stickers, and bumper stickers with "FREADOM" emblazoned on the front.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Banned Books Week -- Day 5

Amnesty International takes advantage of Banned Books Week to highlight individuals who are persecuted because of the writings that they produce, circulate or read.

This year the list includes people who are journalists, publishers and poets, both male and female, from countries such as Russia, Ethiopia, China and Tunisia. Some are prisoners of conscience, on trial or already sentenced, detained or on probation. Their crimes include writing articles against torture, calling for peace, or simply sending e-mails.

For details about their cases or possible action on their behalf, visit Amnesty International. They offer two posters for downloading, including the one above, created by student Camden Forgia from Arizona State University.

Be sure to exercise your freedom by reading about censorship or writing about a subject important to you. And while you’re at it, take a chance and send an e-mail.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Banned Books Week -- Day 4

Our freedom to read can be celebrated by keeping up with the news. The Book Standard provides insight on the book publishing and book selling industries.

The Radcliffe Publishing Course lists the Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century of 1900 - 2000. The list includes 42 banned books, indicated in bolded type.

Vote here for your favorite challenged books and tell why you like it. You also have the opportunity to tell why you think we should celebrate our freedom to read. I chose Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein, a book I gave as a gift to my young nephew as well as a few friends and one of two Silverstein collections in my own library, because the poetry is refreshing and fun.

Voting results will be announced October 2.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Family Day

Today is Family Day with a goal of starting family dinner at the table. Some people don't have time, some families just fuss or eat different types of foods, so there is always an excuse.

It is generally accepted that families who spend time together over a meal stay connected. See how your family compares to other American families by taking the Family Table Challenge. If the table is too quiet, try these
Conversation Starters. Give it a try. It's a good habit to start.

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Banned Books Week -- Day 3

The American Library Association (ALA) promotes intellectual freedom free of censorship, especially during Banned Books Week.

Read about the importance of the freedom to read and the role of censorship in this free society. The Supreme Court says there are some types of expression that really should be censored. Find the details here. And what about the children -- how can they be protected? Read what the ALA has to say here. What kinds of materials are censored most often? Find out here.

I am not going to try to stop you from reading. Learn which books are most frequently challenged and banned, and why. Read through the site and decide for yourself.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Banned Books Week -- Day 2

Today is the second day of Banned Books Week.

Remember Ray Bradbury's cautionary tale where all books are banned and firemen burn them? Fran├žois Truffaut made the film – his only one in English. It really left an impression on me. Frightening concept.
the book and the audio book

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The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Today begins the twenty-fifth anniversary of Banned Books Week celebrating the freedom to read. We celebrate the right to express our opinions and the right to read them. Want to know more? Read FAQs about Banned Books Week.

For more information about the First Amendment, visit the First Amendment Center.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Can you talk the talk? -- Pirate, that is

Ahoy! Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

You don't know how? Don't get addled me bucko. Just use yer deadlights, matey, and check out this glossary for some help.

If your young tars are interested, here's an award-winning book. How I Became a Pirate won the Irma S and James H Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature.

Fair Winds!

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Fashion Week

I don't plan to fill my closet with designer originals, but I still like to look.

Over a week twice a year, designers present their collections in runway shows. Some are traditional and sophiticated; others, outrageous or playful; but each show is a major production, taking months of planning and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Take a peek at the Spring 2007 Olympus Fashion Week. Select Designers to get a list of the designers who presented this year, then select your favorite designer to see the collection. Go to the Accessory Exhibit to see the latest shoes, belts, handbags, jewelry, sunglasses, and this year even digital cameras!

Browse where the stores' buyers browse and build a fantasy wardrobe.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Can you write a short story?

I mean a REALLY short story.

Through many years of writing in a business environment, I developed my style based on three C’s: complete, comprehensive, concise. Right now I am focusing on concise.

Mark Twain once apologized for sending a long letter, saying he would have written a shorter letter but did not have the time.

It takes thought to tell a story in few words instead of many, and it takes practice to do it well. Can you tell a story in a single sentence? Some try, and some are pretty good. See if you can write a sentence that paints a picture to your mind. Good luck!

1. He met me at the door and told me with his eyes I would hold my fluffy white, purring cat again only in my memory.

2. On my first neighborhood walk in my Amigo scooter, my hair rustled in the fresh spring air and I knew that, even paralyzed, there is still joy in my life.

3. Two children were walking into the school room when he hit her, then sat two seats away, looking down at his lap knowing the raven-haired girl would be a good bride for him.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday, Lynn

My college roommate, beautiful, talented Lynn.

Happy Birthday!

Remember when we shared an apartment with Debra and Mary Beth?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Patriot Day

President Bush proclaimed September 14, 2001, as the National Day of Prayor and Remembrance for the Victims of the Terrorist Attacks. Congress designated observance on the actual anniversary of the attacks. The name said it all, but it was too much -- it was more popularly known as September 11 or simply 9/11 -- so it is to be Patriot Day.

Don't confuse it with Patriots' Day commemorating the Battle of Lexinton and observed in April in New England. There was a Revolutionary War battle on September 11, but that was in 1777.

Regardless of the possible confusion between Patriot Day and Patriots' Day, it is difficult not to remember the day America was attacked.

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

It's a Wonderful Life

A Wonderful Life? Sometimes it is difficult to remember that life is so wonderful, like when you don't get that promotion, or when your car begins to rattle, or when you stub your toe. Doesn't feel so wonderful then.

Tonight I watched AFI's 100 Years 100 Cheers program on Bravo TV. The American Film Institute reviewed their list of the most inspiring movies and I found myself smiling through much of the three hour program. I tuned in late so I missed the first 20 on the list, but there were plenty of good ones in the remaining 80 topped by Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life. Among the film clips were comments by film artists telling the audience what is inspiring in each chosen film.

What lesson did we learn? It Is a wonderful life. These films inspire us to take a positive perspective, to stand up for what is right even if we stand alone, to realize every life is significant, to keep working through trying times, to respect people, to believe, to -- well I cannot go through all 80 films. They were inspiring.

The American Film Institue
recognizes and celebrates excellence in film, television, and digital media. Check out the list of inspirational films before you check out your next video. You may decide it really is a wonderful life.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

What to Wear -- What to Wear

For years women depended on the big fashion houses to dictate the styles and department stores followed their lead. But in the same way that blogs are adding a new dimension to disseminating the news, they are adding to women's fashion options.

A photo blogger sees an interesting outfit, snaps a picture and shares it with the blog-reading public. Candid shots displayed on the runway of blogs are usa new perspective on what is "in."

Justin Shubow has written an article about this phenomenom while highlighting some really good
street-fashion blogs from around the world, including Go Fug Yourself critiquing celebrities with a minimum of tact.

Look at some of these sites and make a shopping list. Be sure to note what NOT to buy. And be sure to dress ready for the camera. You never know what fashion-street photo blogger might be waiting out there.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Labor Day

In 1894 President Grover Cleveland signed a law proclaimingLabor Day a holiday.

Labor Day celebrates organized labor, or unions -- the working man and woman who cannot stand alone negotiating with the big industrialist. Unions had an official day, but it still wasn't an easy ride. It has been a long road, and labor's story may not be finished yet.

I have never been in a union, but I know something about them because I have worked in the travel and hopitality industry. However, before that my first deep impression came from The Jungle -- not an easy read, but an eye-opener.

Why do we need unions anyway? Many individual workers toiled in poverty, in unfair and unreasonable working conditions, with few or no options to improve their lives. Or their families' lives, or neighbors' or fellow workers' lives, or even those around the world. Remember Lech Waleska? Poland is celebrating the 26th anniversary of Solidarity.

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Nellie Died

Her death was reported in relation to the Kennedy assassination. She was the last survivor who rode in the limousine when John F. Kennedy was shot.

But she was more than a limousine passenger. Nellie Connally was Texas' First Lady from 1963 to 1969. She was in the public eye when her husband served as Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of the Treaury and later made a run for President. She was a breast cancer survivor and she worked tirelessly for fundraising for charity including diabetes.

To get an idea of Nellie Connally's grace and courage, watch her interview with Ernie Manouse reliving that day in Dallas. I would have liked a different topic so we could remember her as the woman she was instead of just the last survivor of that fateful limousine ride. She was there, but she was more than a passenger in history, and she died Friday.

Rest in Peace, Nellie Connally.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Women's Rights and Turkey

We watched the Discovery Channel's show about the Ottoman Empire, but I thought the most interesting part was actually the end of the empire.

After a 3-year revolution, Mustafa Kemal founded the Turkish Republic. He was given the surname Ataturk, meaning the father of the Turks. Even though Turkey is largely Islamic, it was founded as a modern democracy, based on a secular system rather than religious law.

But here's what really impressed me. Ataturk liberated women by giving them political and social rights, including the right to vote and to be elected. This was in the early 20's -- and remember the United States granted women the vote in 1920 only after a long and difficult struggle.

Read more about this forward-looking father of the Turks.

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