Tag: Censorship

Seven Things I Love (4-18-2022)

  1. 1. This Shower “Tool” – I’ve used a loofah/pouf for decades. Originally I used natural sponge loofahs but I stopped after reading they were breeding grounds for bacteria. I switched to nylon poufs, which are a little easier to keep clean, but always felt guilty about the environmental impact, especially because they are so big and they need to be replaced every few months since they stretch out so much.

When I read about LuvScrub exfoliating scrubs, which have been used in West Africa for decades, they sounded like a potential compromise.

And they are. They may not be made out of a natural material but they are made out significantly less nylon than poufs. And there are other reasons why they are better than both loofahs and poufs.

  • They make may skin feel wonderful. It’s much smoother and softer. I feel it does a better job exfoliating than my pouf. Not sure why, it’s kind of the same material, but it does.
  • I love that you can stretch it, like you would a towel, to scrub your back. I had been using a separate brush with a long handle, now I only have the one thing in my shower.
  • This thing is going to be awesome if I ever get to travel again (which may never happen now that that dumb-ass Florida judge got rid of the travel mask mandate. I hope to god that get appealed, and quickly.) It’s small and compact and will be so easy to pack and it dries quickly.

[Found on Refinery29]

2. These Knitting Projects – I’m still just a beginning knitter but a girl likes to dream…

Details on the projects:

  1. “Foolish Virgins” Mittens – created by Lacesockslupins (knitting), this person used this scarf as inspiration. FANTASTIC!
  2. Fantailed Goldfish Hot Water Bottle Cover – created by MimiCodd (knitting), Mimi wrote that it’s going to be a Christmas gift for someone, “probably” (that made me smile). I would totally keep it. When I was in India in 2019 we stayed in an inn that gave the guests hot water bottles. It was heaven. Americans should use them more.
  3. Horse Sculpture – created by Psyche-dog (crochet) and many, MANY others for the National Waterways Museum. “500 – 4” granny squares were made by the museum crochet group plus yards of curly braid for mane and tail. All stitched to topiary frame by me. Made to celebrate the value of horses in the history of England’s canals. The horse will be displayed at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK from the end of June 2017 for a few years, hopefully.” EPIC.
  4. Chair Cover – created by Ponnekeblom (crochet) for their daughter using loads of leftover yarn. Why pay hundreds of dollars for a reupholsterer?
  5. “Knit” Apple Pie – created by Knitsforlife (knitting), technically it’s the top crust. This person is one dedicated knitter.
  6. “A Very Warm Book” or A Knitted Book Cover – created by Craftivore (knitting). They had me at EX LIBRIS.
  7. Flashdance Chair Sock/Legwarmers – created by The KnittyStew. Gotta love people who have a sense of humor! I’m thinking these might have people sliding around but that might not be such a bad thing. At least they’ll protect the floors for a bit.

[Found on Ravelry]

3. This Basic Income Program for Artists in Ireland – 2000 artists will be chosen to receive €325 (about $355) per week with no restrictions. Ireland wants to make the idea of the “starving artist” a thing of the past (though I’m not sure how far $350/week will go). Still, it’s a start. They will be trying this out for three years.

There’s good reason to support the arts – it has a positive impact on society and communities that have strong arts programs thrive. And, though this isn’t necessarily good for the artists themselves, it has been discovered that as public art goes up so do property values.

Meanwhile, over in Dublin, a legal battle over street art is brewing.

Mural by Nick Harvey in Galway, Ireland – photo by Hardiman’s Galway

[Found on Hyperallergic]

4. These New York Libraries Giving Access Nationally to Fight Censorship

New York Public Library

Books for All – The New York Public Library is giving anyone who wants to sign up free access to a variety of commonly censored titles through their free reading app, SimpleE. You can download the app on your iOS or Android device and read the “unbanned books” through May 31st (must be 13 years of age.) There is no wait time!

Books UnBanned – Brooklyn Public Library is doing one better. They are offering cards to any young adult in the country, age 13 to 21, for an entire year. The service is meant to be used to supplement and fill the gaps of what YAs can’t get in their own communities. Additionally (and this is super cool) “Those 13 to 21, who access the free eCard from BPL, will be able to connect with their peers in Brooklyn, including members of BPL’s Intellectual Freedom Teen Council, to help one another with information and resources to fight censorship, book recommendations and the defense of freedom to read.”

If I were a teen right now I would totally be doing this. (BPL also has a collection of frequently censored titles with no wait times.)

To apply for the card, teens can send a note to BooksUnbanned@bklynlibrary.org, or via the Library’s s teen-run Instagram account, @bklynfuture. The $50 fee normally associated with out-of-state cards will be waived.

[Found on Time Out]

5. This Iris Apfel Ring – Sigh. Ms. Apfel teamed up with H&M and put out a fantastic collection that was also affordable. It became available in the U.S. last Thursday and SOLD OUT in hours – before I even had a chance to read the Refinery29 article. UNFAIR! There are many things I would have loved to have bought but this ring is the one thing I really, REALLY wanted.

Photo of some of the pieces from the collection including Iris Apfel wearing THE ring.

[Found on Refinery29]

6. This Bio-Series – Bio-series, I think that’s what this would be called – so many different names for the various types of television series nowadays.

This new show, on HBOMax, is about Julia Child as she works through the first year of her cooking show being on the air. Overall it’s fairly historically accurate but of course nobody knows exactly what people say or do in private, so the writers extrapolated some of it using biographies, articles, documents, letters, recordings, and even Wikipedia. And a few things they made up but it totally works.

It’s simply called Julia and that is a perfect title. I LOVE THIS SHOW! It’s exactly what I think people need right now – upbeat, cheerful, funny, and hopeful. After all, we all know that she’s going to succeed.

If you don’t have HBOMax you may want to get it just for this, or at least get the 7-day trial and watch it (though if you do that, wait until May 5th since that is when the last episode will be airing.)

Also, if you have or get HBOMax I recommend watching Our Flag Means Death and Minx.

Sarah Lancashire as Julia Child

7. This Man, Who Won the Lottery and Used the Winnings to Start an Environmental Foundation – This is what I’ve said I always wanted to do if I ever won the lottery! If you don’t believe me I have multiple friends you can ask – there’s a group of us who all want to do the same thing.

A retiree in France won the second highest lottery in French history €200 million ($217 million) and used the money to start a foundation that concentrates on revitalizing forests, and preserving and regenerating biodiversity. He also has money set aside for supporting family caregivers, which is amazing. You can read more if you click on the image below.

[Found on MyModernMet]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week


Song of the Week

Seven Things I Love (4-11-2022)

  1. 1. This Winslow Homer Painting – I just think it’s an incredible piece of art but if you want to read an in-depth analysis of the piece, you can find that here.
“Dressing for the Carnival” by Winslow Homer, (1877)

[Found in The New Yorker]

  1. 2. These Easter Bonnets – You know what they say, GO BIG OR GO HOME!

3. These Cookies – Too cute to eat! I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E! (But did she sterilize that date stamper?)

@paintedladiespastry

Cookie Library Card decorated with royal icing and edible ink #cookiedecorating #isitcake

♬ Tom’s Diner – AnnenMayKantereit & Giant Rooks

[Found by Ann L. – thanks Ann!]

4. This Lip Balm – I had been using the same lip balm (Sugar Advanced Therapy Treatment Lip Balm) for some time but found that whenever I carried it in places where it could get warm it got melty. Kiehl’s has a similar product that is better but I’m not sure they are making it anymore. I haven’t been able to find it for a while and their website shows it is out of stock in all colors (though they do have a “notify me” option on the page.)

They both lasted longer than most lip balms I had found but I still have to re-apply throughout the day. That is when I found this product. Well, technically I found this first, but it’s a bit pricey. So I looked for something similar that wasn’t going to break the bank AND that was an all natural product.

And I found it. Lather lip conditioning balm is $11 per tube and it lasts for hours. No more peeling lips! I also fell in love with the Sweet Almond Face moisturizer ($26) and the Rose & Shea Hand Therapy ($16).

5. This (AWESOME) NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert – at the Los Angeles Public Library!

[Found on Uproxx]

6. This Banned Book – Which resulted in a non-fiction graphic book about its banning to be published in fall of 2023.

Jarrett Dapier was a library science graduate student in 2013 when he filed a Freedom of Information Act request that resulted in his uncovering a Chicago school district’s attempt to remove Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi without following the formal book challenge process. Once the information became public there was an outcry from both students and parents.

The book, called Wake Now In The Fire, is written by Dapier and illustrated by AJ Dungo, and tells the story of a group of high school students who are trying to push back against censorship at their own school.

[Found on Book Riot]

7. These Two Friends – Denise Mercedes and Maria Castellanos like to show how clothes look on bodies of different sizes. I would give anything to have had more body positivity growing up.

[Found on My Modern Met]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week


Song of the Week

I thought I’d add a new section to the blog. Am I taking requests? We’ll see.
Either way, hopefully you’ll discover something new or reminisce on something old.

Click on the image to go to the video to hear the song.

Natalia Lafourcade – Alma Mía (En Manos de Los Macorinos) ft. Los Macorinos

Seven Things I Love (2-14-2022)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

1. This Streaming Service – For me this is the best streaming service for one simple reason, your monthly “fee” is actually a donation to your LOCAL PBS station!

Simply download the PBS app on your smart TV or device – even if you don’t make the donation there is a lot you can watch for free but if you would like access to everything, including the newest Masterpiece programs, you are going to want PBS Passport, especially if you’ve cut the cable cord.

You can find out more here (scroll down.)

Currently I’ve been watching the new Around the World in Eighty Days .
It’s FANTASTIC!!! There is one more episode coming next week.

IBRAHIM KOMA as Passepartout, DAVID TENNANT as Phileas Fogg,
and LEONIE BENESCH as Abigail ‘Fix’ Fortescue

2. This Seven-Year-Old Girl – Isobel is going to go far in this world.

In case you don’t follow British politics, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, is in a bit of a sticky wicket. It was discovered that he had several social gatherings at No. 10 Downing Street during the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns.

“Partygate,” as it has been dubbed, has led to calls for his resignation not only from members of other political parties but from members of his own Conservative Party. And now the POLICE are investigating it. Quite a different response to bad behavior/corruption from a politician than what happens in the U.S., where a sitting president can instigate an insurrection and nearly every member of his party will stand by him.

Well, Little Isobel wouldn’t have it so she sent the PM a withering note. After all, if she had to miss her birthday parties then he should have to do the same! As she says – “follow the rulse!”

Here’s the letter –

Family photo obtained from BBC news.

3. This Embroidered Brooch – I can’t even. This artist is located in Russia, which doesn’t surprise me. Whenever I find truly stunning pieces on Etsy they always seem to be from Russia or Romania or someplace in Eastern Europe – probably because they are still passing on the skills I imagine.

4. This Tweet by Adidas – I had to go post a few comments on this. I LOVED it so much. Seeing real boobs – if I could have seen things like this or ads with women that were not stick skinny when I was a teen I would probably be a hell of a lot thinner now (and I certainly wouldn’t be so ashamed of the way I look.)

5. These Samantha Bee Videos on Book Banning – Well said Samatha! I think what we are going to find is that as soon as mid-term elections are over both CRT and book banning are going to disappear {poof} and no longer be an issue, because right now Neo-conservatives are using these issues to get votes. Because they have no actual platforms or policies of their own that would make anyone want to vote for them, and they know that. The only way they can win is to demonize their opponents.

6. This Turkish Man Who Replanted a Forest – Hikmet Kaya started his career in forest management in 1979 in a town called Sinop. When he retired 19 years later, he and his team had brought in and planted 30 MILLION saplings! Over the past few decades he’s been able to see the results of their efforts. Incredible.

Unfortunately, as has been the case in so many places in the world, there has been a reduction in tree coverage in Turkey over the past twenty years or so – the major cause is deforestation. Hopefully the Turkish people can get that evil, autocratic president out so they have a chance at getting legislation passed that is best for the people of their country.

Hikmet Kaya shows a photo of what the landscape looked like over 40 years ago when he began working on the forestation project with the help of some colleagues and people from his village.

7. This Meme – Love every single one of them!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Divider-2.png

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (2-7-22)

1. This Map of Great British TV Shows – Created by Tim Ritz, fans of British television will love this map. It also has a cute backstory:

From Tim Ritz’s website:

One day my wife asked me to make a little sketch of the UK so she could envision where some of the cities depicted in our favorite shows are located. Then she said “You should do a really good version of this”, so that’s what I set out to do.

Then it got picked up by the Daily Mail, The Atlantic, Radio Times, The Evening Standard, and generally around the internet.

Click on the map below to go to a high-res (larger) version of the map that you can actually read.

2. This Art Therapy Practice, Zentangle – A friend of mine introduced me to this a few weeks ago and I’m a little obsessed. The purpose is primarily to both inspire creativity and allow for relaxation.

I’m not so sure I find it relaxing… yet.

Here’s the first one I tried (I’m doing kid’s level projects right now – as a person who was a children’s librarian for about 12 years I’ve found the best starting place is always kid’s level.)

And here’s my first attempt.

3. These New SeriesAfterparty & Murderville – If you are in a funk because ‘Only Murders in the Building’ is on hiatus then check out these two new shows.

Afterparty (AppleTV) is probably my favorite of the two. The show starts out with someone having been murdered and then each episode is a replay of the evening told from the point-of-view of the different guests at an after party that was held following a high school reunion. At first you think you really hate all the characters or that they are just weird as hell but after they have their episode, if you’re like me, you will find yourself rooting for all of them and hoping that none of them are the murderer.

(l. to r.) SAM RICHARDSON as Aniq, BEN SCHWARTZ as Yasper, TIFFANY HADDISH as Detective Dancer, TIYA SIRCAR as Jennifer #1, KELVIN YU as Ned, ILANA GLASER as Chelsea, ZOE CHAO as Zoe, and IKE BARINHOLTZ as Brett

Murderville (Netflix) – this series is unique. Here’s the premise – a grizzled detective named Terry Seattle (played by Will Arnett) lost his partner years ago. Since then he has gone through a string of new partners, the latest being celebrities, namely Conan O’Brian, Marshawn Lynch, Kumail Nanjiani, Sharon Stone, Ken Jeong, and Annie Murphy – all playing themselves. The new “partners” each have to solve a crime (they really don’t know who’s done it!) The celebrities also don’t have scripts.

It’s very funny. I’m amazed at how the suspects are able to keep straight faces. And Arnett does some fabulous ad-libbing. I hope they do more episodes. I binged all six in a few hours.

WILL ARNETT as Detective Terry Seattle and CONAN O’BRIEN as Conan O’Brien

4. This 8-WEEK OLD Baby Girl Telling Her Parents “I Love You” – And if you think this is a trick or they are really good actors, nope. Here’s an article in the Greenville News and Anderson Cooper covered it on CNN’s The Goods. AMAZING! I’ve watched it about a dozen times… so far.

5. These Results for a Contest Held by the Minnesota DOT – People can be SO CLEVER!!! I think we can all agree on which one is the best name.

The results are in and Minnesota has eight newly named snowplows.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced the results of its second annual “Name a Snowplow” contest, which attracted hundreds of pun-tastic submissions.

Here are the winners, and the districts in which they’ll be operating:

Betty Whiteout – District 8 (SW Minnesota)

Ctrl Salt Delete – District 7 (SW Minnesota)

The Big Leplowski – District 4 (West-Central Minnesota)

Plowasaurus Rex – Metro District 

Scoop Dogg – District 3 (Central Minnesota)

Blizzard of Oz – District 2 (NW Minnesota)

No More Mr. Ice Guy – District 1 (NE Minnesota)

Edward Blizzardhands – District 6 (SE Minnesota)

6. These Unexpected Heroes in the Fight Against Censorship – I think my first introduction to Furries was on an episode of NCIS. And of course, as with everything that people don’t understand, it was made out to be silly and kinky.

Skipping to a different topic, have you heard about this batshit crazy mayor in Mississippi who decided (unilaterally I might add) that he was going to withhold the public library’s funds ($110,000) unless the director removed all the LGBTQ books???

One would think that sanity would prevail – that when the rest of the board found out they would say, no, we can’t do that. Or when the municipal attorney counseled them he/she would say – um, that is against the ordinances/statutes but sadly that is not what happened. In fact, after the board met the entire board not only backed up the batshit crazy mayor but the attorney said that it was kosher.

What’s a library director to do? Well, she said up a GoFundMe (or at least the library version of one.) And that’s where I get back to the Furries. One Furry saw what had happened and was outraged (for good reason) and shared the fund-raiser and it got shared and shared and shared until….

The library is almost to $99,000 on it’s Library Fundraising page!!! Consider making a donation. I did! (Click on the photo below for the full story.)

7. This Video Called ‘Epic Time with Alan Rickman’ – I haven’t thought about this in a while but a friend of mine (Hi Stasie) posted something on FB that made me think of it so I thought I’d put in in my blog this week. Damn, I miss Alan Rickman.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (3-8-2021)

Happy International Women’s Day!

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 8: An International Women’s Day march, led by the Bread and Roses group, takes place in downtown Boston on March 8, 1970. The march advocated rights to abortion and equality in work opportunities. (Photo by Don Preston/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
  1. 1. This Couple, Annie Kampfe and Cliff Donnelly, Who Built a Miniature Mid-Century House Based on the Homes They Grew Up In – who doesn’t love miniatures and someone who put this much into the details of a Mid-Century home – I mean, it really would be every kids dream house, right?
ANNIE KAMPFE and CLIFF DONNELLY of Leewood, Kansas

2. This DoorDash Commercial – I don’t know about you but there is something quite comforting about the idea of being roomies with Cookie Monster. Yeah, he’d make a mess when he ate, yeah, you’d have to hide the cookies, but how cute is he sitting there on the sofa, reading next to Daveed Diggs?!?!

https://youtu.be/J8uXvfKjax4

3. This New(ish) Television Series, Resident Alien – based on a comic book series, Resident Alien takes a fairly common premise – alien invasion – and turns it upside down. In the SyFy series (which stars Alan Tudyk, most famous for his role as Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne in Firefly, though I also love his ‘Steve the Pirate’ in Dodgeball: a True Underdog Story, one of my all-time favorite movies) is an alien who crash lands in Colorado while on a mission to actually destroy planet Earth. In the crash he loses some of the equipment he needs to destroy earth because it’s winter and it gets buried in the snow, somewhere on a rather large mountain.

Without alien equipment he has to go old school and look for it by walking around and digging, which he knows could take weeks. He decides he will need food and shelter and luckily finds a remote home on the lake. Not so lucky for the homeowner, it isn’t abandoned. The alien kills the man and disposes of his body in the lake but also takes the human’s form in case he’s noticed while searching for his lost equipment.

Soon after though a murder occurs in the nearby town and the victim is the town’s only doctor. The people in the town need someone to help them with the autopsy and guess who is the nearest doctor, yep, the guy the alien killed and transformed himself into.

What is most hilarious I think is that there are a couple kids in town who can see through the facade. I can’t remember what the explanation was – I just took it as being something like in the Polar Express and why kids could still hear the jingle bell. At first there was only one boy who could see him and the alien decided he was going to have to murder the kid. But the kid was a bit more of a challenge than he anticipated.

Anyway, it’s an excellent show! The first episode was a little slow but it has only gotten better and better.

You can watch the trailer here. OR if you really want to get drawn in, here are the first 7 minutes.

ALAN TUDYK as the Alien and Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle

4. This COMPLETELY FABRICATED Series Called Tiny Secret Whispers‘ that Seth Meyers Has Been Gushing Over on His Show for the Past Three Weeks – Sorry Stephen, but Seth has officially become my favorite late night host. His impressions, his banter with his staff, long running jokes like the Thorn birds, the Sea Captain and now this. It’s sheer brilliance and it keeps his audience tuned in every night.

5. These Waterproof Notepads, Aquanotes – I’ve found that I think most clearly in the shower. I suspect it is because there is no distractrations. I’ve tried for several years to find the best way to keep track of my thoughts and ideas. I moved in an Alexa. I bought a waterproof recorder, a few different ones actually. But nothing worked because everything that I bought required me to then take transcribe what I dictated and that was a pain. I finally found these and they have been the best solution. They keep me from rambling (as we know, that is my tendency) and then I can rip off the page, take it to my desk and get it all taken care of without having to listen to a recording first. They are a little pricey but after you buy the first pencil/pad set for $9.75 you can get refills, 3 pads for $26, so it’s a little over a dollar less per pad.

6. This Response from LeVar Burton on the Decision by Seuss Enterprises to Discontinue Publication of Six of Their Titles – Who is better qualified to speak on this topic than Mr. Reading Rainbow himself (and of course ST:TNG’s Geordi La Forge)? You should watch the entire interview and listen to his full reply. It’s exceptional.

“Actually, I think that, in the general sense, once you know better, it is incumbent upon you to do better, and that’s exactly what Seuss Enterprises is doing here. They are being a responsible steward of the brand and they looked at these six titles and determined that in the light of today, they really don’t fit with the values that we’ve all come to know Dr Seuss for. Look, all of our heroes are human; they are all flawed. It’s one of the things I learned from Gene Roddenberry, one of my storytelling mentors. Gene was a guy who had this great vision, but he also wanted all the women in short skirts, so our heroes are flawed.”

-LeVar Burton on CNN’s Full Circle

7. This Website that Drives You Around Most Major Cities of the World – called Drive and Listen, the website will make you feel like you are sitting in a taxi in one of over 50 cities in the world. You can choose whether you want to include street noise (why wouldn’t you?!?) and a local radio station. Unfortunately you don’t get to choose the radio station but that only makes the ride more realistic.

London, UK
Paris, France
Havana, Cuba

Word of the Day

I came across a great list of female related words (most of which I will be using in the future so I’m not going to include the link.) I’m starting with this one. The root of the word, vir-, is Latin for man, such as in the word virile. Don’t you find it interesting how one definition is a nagging shrew and the other is strong, heroic woman?


Quote of the Day


Have a lovely week!