The Curious Autodidact

July 6, 2015

Another Brilliant Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton

Filed under: media related,women heroes — Honilima @ 5:42 pm

Wendy MacNaughton, San Francisco artist of vast talent.

July 5, 2015

Freeing Your Inner Artist

Filed under: environmental ideas,helpful hints,money saving ideas — Honilima @ 12:31 am

New uses for your paper money?

What you don’t think of yourself as artist? Take time this winter to take on some creative and fun project to use another part of your brain.

Here’s a simple one to start with that will make everyone think you are a crafty clever person. Taking time to gift wrap a gift is part of the present and here’s a way to recycle and make your present stand out from the rest, make a bow using materials that at already close at hand.

Who needs a Dollar Store when you can do some origami projects using a dollar bill? Here are some crafty ways to make a cheap gift that you can say you made yourself, certainly this is one thing that is not plastic and is not made in China! If this inspires you and you are curious what else you can do on the cheap take a look at these sculptures from Stacey Lee Webber made from coins. You may never pass a penny on the sidewalk again. Here are some more intricate uses of our legal tender to get you thinking in new directions.

If you want to be very “old school” and stand out from the crowd nothing is more endangered than decent hand writing. Take an hour to improve your handwriting and you’ll never regret this rarely shown art if you want to get noticed for an unusual talent in today’s computer world.

Teaching an old dog new tricks is what keeps us young and our brains more elastic. Perhaps you thought that you learned how to tie your shoes so long ago there is nothing new about it but here is an alternative way to tie your shoelaces that will likely never come untied when you are walking.

New use for old Scrabble tiles DIY hack

Check out Richard R. Nagy’s Scrabble computer key board and think of the clever things you could do with the materials at hand in our home.

These are all clever little things you can do in less than an hour that will open up new worlds to you and allow you to think about the world around you in a different hue. Go for it!

July 2, 2015

Chilli is Loaded With: Infographic

Filed under: cool internet stuff,kitchen tips — Honilima @ 6:22 pm

Chef Hari Ghotra's Key Ingredients Infographics Chilli

June 30, 2015

Podcast Worth a Listen: Chris Anderson Curator of TED Talks

Filed under: cool internet stuff,media related,women heroes — Honilima @ 5:56 pm

Image result for "chris Anderson" TED talks

Chris Anderson is the curator of TED Talks and he gives an outstanding interview on the radio program called “On Point Radio” about his job in this role. For those of you unfamiliar, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and the talks are a maximum of 18 minutes long on various topics. You can imagine trying to get some of these broad thinkers to distill their ideas down to this period of time. TED’s mission statement begins: “We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.” There are over 850 available for free on-line including talks by Jane Goodall, Melinda Gates, Sunitha Krishnar, Kiran Bedi, Sir Ken Robinson, Steve Jobs, Sherwin Nulan, and Lewis Pugh.

This interview with Mr. Anderson features some behind the scene stories and highlights from some of his favorite talks. These are outstanding presentations and his insights make for a lively program worth a listen.

(this originally appeared here in 2011 worth a new posting)

June 29, 2015

Perfect Endings

Filed under: women heroes — Honilima @ 12:47 am

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.

Delicious ambiguity.

Gilda Radner -actress and comedian (1946-1989)

June 28, 2015

Roz Chast: National Book Critic Award Winner & National Book Award Finalist

Filed under: book related,cool internet stuff,women heroes — Honilima @ 11:40 pm

If like me and you smile when opening your The New Yorker and seeing one of Roz Chast’s cartoons you must read her book Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant. She has appeared on those pages since 1978 and focused primarily on domestic topics. This book is a cartoon memoir that candidly capture her experience seeing to her parent’s needs at the end of their lives. She is an only child, they have lived in the same New York apartment she grew up in. It is an amazing book, all I could think about was her reliving all these things as she got about halfway into this artistic project and what it was like to read this one of kind terrific book. If you aren’t yet convinced listen to her on KQED’s radio segment.

June 27, 2015

Infographic: How to Properly use Sunscreen

Filed under: cool internet stuff,helpful hints — Honilima @ 9:10 pm

STACK How To Use Sunscreen Properly infographic

June 24, 2015

Recycled Posting: Studying the Japanese American Internment

Filed under: book related,cool internet stuff,media related — Honilima @ 2:51 am

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I heard a podcast of Kiyo Sato talking about her book Kiyo’s Story: A Japanese-American Family’s Quest for the American Dream, and she sounded so young telling her family’s story I couldn’t believe she was a senior citizen. Her talk was lively and candid. She told of how she did presentations to school children so that this ugly piece of American history will not be forgotten. Her book is highly recommend.

If like you this book gets you more curious about the history surrounding Executive Order 9066 exploring it further using the many on-line resources about the WWII Internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans including this annotated list of materials.

There’s a digital archive of photos out of University of California that are amazing to browse.  Here’s recent radio show from NPR’s affiliate KUOW featuring stories from internment in Minidoka.

Out of Seattle’s International District comes the nonprofit
Densho, a Japanese term meaning: “to pass on to the next generation,” or to leave a legacy. This extensive project includes 500 hours of oral history and over 8000 visual images. Check it out and  learn what this experience was like for so many law-abiding citizens whose stories should be honored and remembered.

Nikkei: persons of Japanese ancestry
Issei: First generation Japanese immigrants to America. Federal law prevented them from becoming naturalized citizens until 1952.
Nisei: Second generation, born in the U.S. and citizens by birth.

June 21, 2015

Podcasts of Merit

Filed under: book related,media related,social justice,Word Related — Honilima @ 3:34 pm

Image result for vintage microphone
There are so many great things to list to in the podcast category for free through I-Tunes or on the web. These are great to listen to while driving, doing housework, or even while updating your blog.

If you aren’t a regular listen to KQED radio’s program FORUM in San Francisco you may well become a regular listener once you hear one of the outstanding programs. One that struck my fancy of late was on called Why Books Matter an interview with LA Times book critic David Ulin about his book The Lost Art of Reading. If you are a fan of reading this program will tickle your fancy.

If reading interests you the Thomas Jefferson Hour‘s program on Education#839 is a must-listen. Clay Jenkinson’s program in character as Thomas Jefferson is usually outstanding but this was one i sent to several friends who are teachers.

“People generally have more feeling for canals and roads than education. However, I hope we can advance them with equal pace.” -Thomas Jefferson to Joel Barlow, 1807

It got us to sit down after dinner and write down as many countries in Africa we could each recall, indeed an interesting exercise. We studied the atlas to find out which we missed and did it again the next night, it’s a good brain stretch and certainly proves Jenkinson’s point about American’s limited knowledge of geography especially the continent of Africa.

June 20, 2015

POV: What I Want my Words to Do To You

Filed under: media related,social justice,Word Related — Honilima @ 8:34 am


Eve Ensler, Obie winning playwright, she has devoted her artistic and activist energies to helping homeless women and survivors of violence around the world. She is likely best known for her play “The Vagina Monologues.

Ms. Ensler has taught on the college level. She takes these well honed teaching skills into New York’s Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, to encourage women inmates to explore their inner feelings through the written word. This documentary “What I Want My Words To Do To You” takes you inside these classes and into the world few are privy to, in a film that is sure to inspire.This portrait of fifteen women prisoners, and their experiences in this writing workshop, is powerful viewing.

Their writings are later performed before fellow prisoners by actresses Mary Alice, Zoe Caldwell, Glenn Close, Ruby Dee, Hazelle Goodman, Marybeth Hurt, Phylicia Rashad, Rosie Perez, and Marisa Tomei. This group of actresses have generously donated their time and talent to performances in various venues these written works, some of which have raised significant funds for the prison’s college education program.

This documentary was recommended by a friend and recently became available through Netflix having been previously featured on the PBS Point of View series for independent films some years back. There is a teaching guide on their site and viewers are encouraged to use the film to spark community dialogue about the topics in this thoughtful film.

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