The Curious Autodidact

January 28, 2010

Everyone Wants to go to Heaven but No One Wants to Die

Filed under: end of life,helpful hints,media related,social justice — Honilima @ 1:43 am

I used to have a co-worker who used this old adage often, and I couldn’t help but think of it when introducing this radio documentary from NPR station WBUR on Boston called Quality of Death: End of Life Care in America. It is worth a listen and this helpful website has information about the quality of care in various states and a list of links to more resources about end of life care.


January 21, 2010

Protect Yourself: Take Action TODAY

Okay the holidays are over, you are back in the routines of daily life and whoosh time slips away. Today is the day you should fill out the form that is on the Federal Trade Commissions website to get your free annual credit report. Ask for a report from just one credit bureau each time you send a form (every four months) from each of the three.

Even if you aren’t planning to apply for a loan or get a credit card it is important to request a report at least every six months to rest assured that no one is using your identification erroneously.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine recently touted MY ID Score that will let you know how at risk you may be for ID theft.

There are plenty of companies out there trying to sell you something like asking you to pay for your report, but these are free ways to check up and check up you should today. No excuse, better safe than sorry.

January 13, 2010

Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women

the woman more interesting than her characters

Thought not a fan of the book “Little Women” I have always been interested in the transcendentalist movement and the group of authors who lived in Concord during Louisa May Alcott’s childhood and beyond. When I heard a Diane Rehm podcast of author Harriet Reisen talking about her well-researched biography of Ms. Alcott and the involvement in the abolitionist movement I wanted to know more.

It is a brilliantly written book about the Alcott’s struggle for food and shelter and Louisa May’s determination to lift the family from poverty with her written gifts. Readers will gain a sense of her time and place in history and the progressive ideas this community encouraged. Well researched and equally well-written this book gives readers a “you are there” feeling for the times of slavery and civil war and the struggle of women in a male dominated culture.

There is an accompanying film that was done by PBS but has only been aired but once that I missed seeing. It’s part of the American Master’s series so I will look forward to viewing it.

January 10, 2010

For the Many Fans of Elizabeth Warren: Mother Jones article

Filed under: media related,money saving ideas,social justice — Honilima @ 9:12 am

— Illustration: Polly Becker; Source photo: Cliff Owen/Newscom

Writing in Mother Jones Magazine David Corn asks:
Can DC’s top bailout cop beat the finance lobby—and Larry Summers?

Here is just one of the comments about the piece titled Let’s Clone Elizabeth Warren:

Elizabeth Warren speaks to the people and for the people as a bureaucrat, and this is highly unusual. I especially liked her comment about “tricks and traps” accommodated by the law.

No wonder she is feared. She is an honest woman and her excellent background makes her eligible for positions where she can work for the “public good” — but we see that the view of what constitutes the “public good” is always overcome by the realities of law and process and procedure that are generally purchased by those with the most money and influence to determine what constitutes the “public good.”

January 6, 2010

A Documentary: The Beauty Academy of Kabul

Filed under: cool internet stuff,media related,social justice,women heroes — Honilima @ 1:18 am

In our world of the “new new thing” it’s sometimes good to stop and cull through the archives of not so new things. The number of quiet documentaries of merit that are made in this country every year, some make an initial splash but are then forgotten. Netflix has helped to lift quite a few lesser known titles back from obscurity. This documentary is one that can be viewed streaming on-line.

“The Beauty Academy of Kabul” is just such a film. Although it would appear the well-meaning hairdressers, from across the oceans, hadn’t read a newspaper in years and had minimal cultural sensitivity, the story of their establishing a beauty school in Kabul is a moving one. Women helping women is always a lovely thing to see and the joy in these women’s eyes, as they establish themselves as skilled new stylists, is a delight.

Although they were criticized for putting their efforts toward beauty instead of more pressing issues, and some of their reactions to the culture they visited were less than mature, it is a worthwhile movie to enjoy.

Blog at