The Curious Autodidact

March 28, 2015

Martin on Philanthropy

Filed under: social justice,Word Related — Honilima @ 12:04 am

Philanthropy is commendable,

but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice

which make philanthropy necessary.

 – Martin Luther King

March 25, 2015

How has the Internet Changed Education?

Filed under: cool internet stuff,helpful hints,social justice — Honilima @ 9:22 pm

How Has Internet Changed Education? infographicHow Has Internet Changed Education? infographic

March 22, 2015

Making Friends with Death, Start Today

Filed under: end of life,media related,social justice,women heroes — Honilima @ 12:09 pm

Image result for barbara coombs lee

At the National Compassion and Choices conference in Chicago, Barbara Coombs Lee stated powerfully that, “Making friends with death leads you to a more meaningful life”

To normalize death in our culture would be a step in the right direction to allow us more decent death choices. Nationally we are being crushed by the costs of medical care at the end of life as detailed by this article in the WSJ “The Crushing Cost of Care.”

It has been said that many are replacing a fear of death with a fear of not dying—being stuck in that place between life and death and dying surrounded by machines and strangers.

Michael Wolf’s “Life Worth Ending” in the New York Magazine is a brave piece about his mother. When you read it you realize what a step forward we have taken for a mainstream magazine to feature such a candid article on this end of life topic. We have many more steps to take on this journey.

If you have not taken time to create your very own Advanced Directive, to be certain your end of life choices are made clear, for all to understand, Compassion and Choices has free forms available on-line for all fifty states. Filling out the form is a great way to begin the conversation but talking to your loved ones about this document and making sure it is on file with your doctor is also wise. Having your feelings about medical interventions in serious situations is a marvelous gift to give your family and loved ones.

Barbara Coombs Lee has also written a powerful article called “If Wishes Were Fishes” worth reading too as a cautionary tale about using the Five Wishes document to state your end of life wishes.

March 20, 2015

Sleeping Habits of the Rich and Famous: Infographic

Filed under: cool internet stuff,helpful hints,media related — Honilima @ 6:04 pm

Sleeping Habits of the Rich & Famous infographic

March 18, 2015

Six Million Worms: Sustainability Behind Bars

The dream of a sustainable prison? A sustainable farmer on the inside? Yes, this is an inspired TEDx Talk by Nick Hacherney that took place at Washington’s Monroe Correctional Center about how sustainability can work behind bars and change lives forever. Everyone needs something to get them up out of the bed in the morning. Nick found his inspiration in a sustainability program in prison.

This sixteen minute talk about their worm program and how they spread the gospel of the worm to other facilities. 36 million tons of food waste is disposed of in our country and this inmate and others are making a huge difference. This talk is inspiring and shows that no matter where you are you can make the world a better place!

You can donate to the Sustainability in Prison Project (SPP)  here.

from their website:

“Although each endeavor and corrections institution is unique, our experiences point to five

Essential Components for every SPP program:

1. Partnerships and collaborations with multiple benefits

2. Bringing nature “inside”

3. Engagement and education

4. Safe and sustainable operations

5. Evaluation, dissemination, and tracking”

March 17, 2015

Read and Learn, Listen and Learn

Filed under: cool internet stuff,helpful hints,media related — Honilima @ 11:39 pm


Daniel Levitin a PhD has some very important tips for surviving and thriving in this age of information overload. It’s a thick book, written by the author of the book This is Your Brain on Music, and he is on a 53 minute You Tube, and on KQED’s radio program Forum. His books has been widely reviewed including the Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe. You will learn new things from this great mind.

After listening to him you might be interested in learning more about the Pomodoro Technique.


March 16, 2015

On-line college courses…for free

Filed under: cool internet stuff,helpful hints,media related,Word Related — Honilima @ 5:24 am

In another chapter advancing the educational potential of the internet comes free on-line courses from MIT and the University of Washington. MIT has over 1800 free courses you can participate in on-line
and here’s the link to the UW.

Khan Academy, TED Talks, and You Tube there is no excuse not to enhance your knowledge today.

Expand your mind with these courses at no cost.

Explore these new windows into free advanced educational opportunities.

Bravo for these public and accessible educational resource more no doubt to be added in the future.

March 15, 2015

What to Expect in Prison, Avoiding Abuse Inside

Filed under: media related,social justice — Honilima @ 1:58 pm


If you want a sobering watch, check out the videos featured on the Marshall Project (worth looking at just to see one guy’s wonky mustache) about to keep yourself safe from sexual abuse. There is one for men and one for women. Each feature prisoners, prison administration, and an introduction by a former prisoner who was a victim of this type of abuse.

If you have a woman family member in prison watch the first half, at the twelve minute mark they begin to talk about avoiding prison rape so you may want to be in the right mood to watch it in totality.

This topic was also discussed in the Voice of Witness Series Inside this Place, Not of It a great book about women behind bars done in an oral history format and very powerful to have everything in the women’s own words.

March 13, 2015

No Fear of Death

Filed under: Word Related — Honilima @ 1:14 am

People living deeply have no fear of death.
Anais Nin

March 11, 2015

Being Falsely Imprisoned

Filed under: media related,social justice — Honilima @ 3:15 am
After Innocence (2005) Poster

Take time today to watch AFTER INNOCENCE a movie about the lives of several men who were exonerated by DNA evidence in their court cases including a man who was a police officer. If you think this could never happen to you or someone you love you will think again after 90 minutes of watching this documentary.

Here’s the scoop as detailed by the Innocence Project:

Facts on Post-Conviction DNA Exonerations

There have been 249 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.

• The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exonerations have been won in 34 states; since 2000, there have been 183 exonerations.

• 17 of the 249 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row.

• The average length of time served by exonerees is 13 years. The total number of years served is approximately 3,178.

• The average age of exonerees at the time of their wrongful convictions was 26.

Races of the 249 exonerees:

150 African Americans
71 Caucasians
21 Latinos
2 Asian American
5 whose race is unknown

• The true suspects and/or perpetrators have been identified in 106 of the DNA exoneration cases.

• Since 1989, there have been tens of thousands of cases where prime suspects were identified and pursued—until DNA testing (prior to conviction) proved that they were wrongly accused.

• In more than 25 percent of cases in a National Institute of Justice study, suspects were excluded once DNA testing was conducted during the criminal investigation (the study, conducted in 1995, included 10,060 cases where testing was performed by FBI labs).

• About half of the people exonerated through DNA testing have been financially compensated. 27 states, the federal government, and the District of Columbia have passed laws to compensate people who were wrongfully incarcerated. Awards under these statutes vary from state to state.

• 22 percent of cases closed by the Innocence Project since 2004 were closed because of lost or missing evidence.

• 18 DNA exonerees pled guilty to crimes they didn’t commit, serving more than 100 years in prison before they were exonerated.

Leading Causes of Wrongful Convictions
These DNA exoneration cases have provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events, but arise from systemic defects that can be precisely identified and addressed. For more than 15 years, the Innocence Project has worked to pinpoint these trends.

Eyewitness Misidentification Testimony was a factor in 74 percent of post-conviction DNA exoneration cases in the U.S., making it the leading cause of these wrongful convictions. At least 40 percent of these eyewitness identifications involved a cross racial identification (race data is currently only available on the victim, not for non-victim eyewitnesses). Studies have shown that people are less able to recognize faces of a different race than their own. These suggested reforms are embraced by leading criminal justice organizations and have been adopted in the states of New Jersey and North Carolina, large cities like Minneapolis and Seattle, and many smaller jurisdictions.

Unvalidated or Improper Forensic Science played a role in approximately 50 percent of wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA testing. While DNA testing was developed through extensive scientific research at top academic centers, many other forensic techniques – such as hair microscopy, bite mark comparisons, firearm tool mark analysis and shoe print comparisons – have never been subjected to rigorous scientific evaluation. Meanwhile, forensics techniques that have been properly validated – such as serology, commonly known as blood typing – are sometimes improperly conducted or inaccurately conveyed in trial testimony. In other wrongful conviction cases, forensic scientists have engaged in misconduct.

False confessions and incriminating statements lead to wrongful convictions in approximately 25 percent of cases. In 35 percent of false confession or admission cases, the defendant was 18 years old or younger and/or developmentally disabled. The Innocence Project encourages police departments to electronically record all custodial interrogations in their entirety in order to prevent coercion and to provide an accurate record of the proceedings. More than 500 jurisdictions have voluntarily adopted policies to record interrogations. State supreme courts have taken action in Alaska, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia require the taping of interrogations in homicide cases.

Snitches contributed to wrongful convictions in 16 percent of cases. Whenever snitch testimony is used, the Innocence Project recommends that the judge instruct the jury that most snitch testimony is unreliable as it may be offered in return for deals, special treatment, or the dropping of charges. Prosecutors should also reveal any incentive the snitch might receive, and all communication between prosecutors and snitches should be recorded. Fifteen percent of wrongful convictions that were later overturned by DNA testing were caused in part by snitch testimony.

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