Saturday, September 24, 2016

Singalong! Miles From Nowhere by Cat Stevens

Guys. I just really like this song today.


MILES FROM NOWHERE
by Cat Stevens

Miles from nowhere
I guess I'll take my time
Oh yeah, to reach there

Look up at the mountain
I have to climb
Oh yeah, to reach there.

Lord my body has been a good friend
But I won't need it when I reach the end

Miles from nowhere
I guess I'll take my time
Oh yeah, to reach there

I creep through the valleys
And I grope through the woods
'Cause I know when I find it my honey
It's gonna make me feel good, yes

I love everything
So don't it make you feel sad
'Cause I'll drink to you, my baby
I'll think to that, I'll think to that.

Miles from nowhere
Not a soul in sight
Oh yeah, but it's alright

I have my freedom
I can make my own rules
Oh yes, the ones that I choose

Lord my body has been a good friend
But I won't need it when I reach the end

I love everything
So don't it make you feel sad
'Cause I'll drink to you, my baby
I'll think to that, I'll think to that.
Oh yeah

Miles from nowhere
Guess I'll take my time
Oh yeah, to reach there.

Let's singalong with Cat Stevens and Miles from Nowhere
Photo by Chris Barnes


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Friday, September 23, 2016

HELLO, MY PATRONUS IS A NEBELUNG CAT! WHAT IS YOURS?

This is my little refuge today: Pottermore has a Patronus test (and it's WONDERFUL!) and I took it and felt an instant kinship with my Patronus, the Nebelung Cat:

Excuse me while I spend the rest of my life frolicking in the woods with my magical cat patrons.

Facts about the Nebelung Cat:

It is known as the "creature of the mist".

It likes jumping up to high spots to study the people moving around below.

It is incredibly loyal to its beloveds.

IT WILL RIDE ON THE SHOULDERS OF ITS HUMAN FRIENDS!!! (All I've ever wanted in the whole wide world is a cat to sit on my shoulder.)

It is known for being affectionate, playful, and smart.

It is known for shedding a lot.

It is my Patronus and it is the perfect representation of my heart. (She says, with total humility.)


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Learning! Roundup: Addiction, cat talk, Bill Nye, and more!

Learning! Roundup: addiction, cat talk, Bill Nye, and more race education

Your Cat IS Talking To You

EEP! I love this! Cats are actually talking to us when they meow at us! Well, sort of. Turns out that they don't vocalize much when they communicate with each other, using subtle body language instead. Unfortunately, just like our complete ineptitude with hunting, our cats can also tell that we fail miserably at picking up on their body language. They also notice that we talk to each other. So what to d they do? They chatter at us!

This is What Addiction Feels Like

A short and beautiful video about the impact of addiction on a person.


Learning with Franchesca "Chescaleigh" Ramsey

If you have any questions about race-related issues, chances are that Franchesca "Chescaleigh" Ramsey has made a video about it. She goes into the actual history of things like the concept of "caucasian", terms like "white cracker", the concept of "sounding white", and more. She is smart AND accessible in how she explains the background and current impact of all these things. It's pretty awesome.


Touchscreen Aren't All Bad for Babies

Okay, maybe they're not great for babies, but new research shows that toddlers who use touchscreens have improved fine motor skills. Parents! Now you can feel a tiny bit less guilty for letting your little one play on your iPad!

Bill Nye is BACK!

GUYS! Bill Nye is doing a new science show! I am so freaking EXCITED! He's doing a series with Netflix (who the freak else) to further his goal of "changing the world by getting everyone excited about science."


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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Me & Ryan Gosling at a Birthday High Tea

My friend Natalie and I have birthdays that are close together, and so we go for a birthday date as our birthday presents to each other. This year we did high tea, and Ryan stopped by for a quick birthday surprise. Don't worry, Ry Ry knows the value of time with friends and didn't stick around for the whole thing, but he did arrange for them to bring us special birthday treats!

(And just in case you're thinking that he is grabbing my boob in this picture, rest assured, Ryan is a gentleman. He is shielding the candle on my tray from the draft in the room.)

Ryan Gosling sitting with me when he surprised me at my birthday high tea. This is obviously totally real.



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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Inspiration! Roundup: Speedy people, women in the Whitehouse, subway doodles, and drug store vagina zones

This Week's I Want to Go to There: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo Credit: The Conmunity Pop Culture Geek


The Fastest People in the World

The Paralympics just finished, and I bet you didn't know that four paralympians ran the 1500m faster than any "able bodied" athlete. Guys! World records are being smashed by people that are largely assumed to be less capable! Maybe we need to adjust some of these expectations? Finally, right?

Women in the Whitehouse

Because even the best of us can fall to systemic biases, even America's coolest, most egalitarian president, the female staffers at the White House came up with a genius strategy for making sure they didn't get overshadowed: amplification. It's sort of like the human megaphone idea. Whenever one of them said a key idea in a meeting or otherwise, the others would repeat it and give credit to its original author. That way the common occurrence of men (consciously or not) taking/getting credit for a woman's idea was not possible. By Obama's second term, his top aids were evenly split by gender and department heads. High fives, ladies!

Subway Doodles

Artist Ben Rubin is making subway commutes a little more magical. He takes pictures of people in transit, and then adds cute and fantastical creatures into the images. Imagine, guys, what could be accompanying us as we journey through the world!



Drug Store Epiphanies

This may be the best text exchange between a mother and daughter I have seen yet. A daughter couldn't find the tampons in a drug store, and then proceeded to learn just how much the world is terrified of our lady flows. She even made a diagram for it, identifying the vagina zone of the drug store.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hunger Games: A very important question

I recently re-watched The Hunger Games movie. What I really wanted to watch was Harry Potter, but the Harry Potter movies are apparently no longer on Netflix, and I literally only JUST remembered that I OWN several of the DVDs. So, basically, I'm a fool.

That's okay. I insisted against all nay sayers (lone soldier that I am) that The Hunger Games was a good movie when it first came out, and I maintain my position.


A few things I am reminded of watching The Hunger Games:

I will never not cry when Katniss volunteers as tribute. I just had to hold back the tears writing that sentence.

Same goes with Rue's death. Oh man.

I will never not be on Team Peeta. He is a good man! He is supportive! He is strong of heart and of body! He is totally cute! And you know what, guys? I'm a tall girl and if I had to listen to people telling me my whole life that I was superficial for hoping to find a boyfriend who was taller than me, then we can bloody well have a heroine who's love interest is on the shorter side, too, okay?

In many ways, Peeta could have been the hero of the Games. He went into it wanting to be different, wanting to show the Capital that he is better than this and won't just bend to their terrible will. Then, of course, he winds up getting injured and painting himself into a rock, whereas Katniss, who just wants to survive, winds up making his point both by legitimately mourning Rue as well as dismantling the end of the games.

A big sigh over racial representation in the movie. As far as I noticed, the only black people are from Rue's District and I don't know that there are any Asian or Latinx people. (Granted, this observation is mostly in retrospect.)

Katniss' straightforwardness and difficulty being likeable is rather likeable, and I can't decide if this is a problem or not.


Finally, one question has always plagued me, from reading the books on through the movies and even working on a parody musical last year:  how does a person who lives in the Capital, but is opposed to its activities (both the slavery of the Districts and the Games), be an actual good citizen/person?

There are those, like Cinna and Plutarch, who fight from the inside, working for an underground movement intent to change the system. They devote their lives to changing things and make incredible sacrifices.

What about the people who have normal jobs and maybe families? Who maybe don't even know that there is an underground movement? Or who know about it, but are not ready to devote their entire lives to this one thing? Who don't know how to have a life and burn the system to the ground, should they even be quite prepared to go that far?

What can they do?

They can refuse to watch the Games. They can speak of the Tributes as if they are humans, not sport. They can avoid the incredible consumerism at the core of Capital life that drives District slavery. They can work to be generally kind and generous and hope that, should they encounter an extraordinary opportunity to do the right thing (perhaps by protecting a District person from punishment), they would take it.

Is that enough?

In order to be "good" in the world of The Hunger Games, does someone have to give up their life to change the system? Does their luck of being born into the relative comfort of the Capital actually put a huge responsibility on their shoulders? This is, perhaps, only fair, considering that the system sucks the lives out of thousands of people who don't have the same choice.

The answer to this question is not insignificant.

Thanks to the obvious parallel of the relationship between the Capital and the Districts to the relationship between "Developed' and "Developing" nations, as well as the relationship between pretty much any person of privilege to the rest of the world, the answer to this question should have an equally parallel answer on our side of the equation.


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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Singalong! How's It Gonna Be by Third Eye Blind

Okay, so this is no Semi-Charmed Life, but How's It Gonna Be is a pretty perfect encapsulation of nineties melancholy, don't you think? Oh boy, feel those low-grade negative emotions swirl around in your gut like a confusing, sometimes angry, stew.


HOW'S IT GONNA BE
by Third Eye Blind

I'm only pretty sure that I can't take anymore
Before you take a swing
I wonder what are we fighting for
When I say out loud
I want to get out of this
I wonder is there anything
I'm going to miss

I wonder how it's going to be
When you don't know me
How's it going to be
When you're sure I'm not there
How's it going to be
When there's no one there to talk to
Between you and me
Cause I don't care
How's it going to be, How's it going to be

Where we used to laugh
There's a shouting match
Sharp as a thumbnail scratch
A silence I can't ignore
Like the hammock by the
Doorway we spent time in, swings empty
Don't see lightning like last fall
When it was always about to hit me

I wonder how's it going to be
When it goes down
How's it going to be
When you're not around
How's it going to be
When you found out there was nothing
Between you and me
Cause I don't care

How's it going to be
And how's it going to be
When you don't know me anymore
And how's it going to be

Want to get myself back in again
The soft dive of oblivion
I want to taste the salt of your skin
The soft dive of oblivion oblivion
How's it going to be
When you don't know me anymore
How's it going to be, How's it going to be
How's it going to be


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