The Curious Autodidact

November 27, 2011

Women’s Words of Wisdom to Contemplate on a Busy Day

Filed under: end of life,helpful hints,women heroes,Word Related — Honilima @ 10:04 pm

If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it.

Wanda Sykes

People living deeply have no fear of death.

Anais Nin

Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live. –Natalie Babbitt


November 12, 2011

Have you Kissed a Teacher Today?

Filed under: kitchen tips,media related,social justice,women heroes — Honilima @ 12:48 pm

With all the discouraging news drifting about these days it’s a good idea to focus on some good news and applaud those in this world who are quietly making a difference.

Take a break tonight and sit down to watch the 99 minute documentary Pressure Cooker” and you will be inspired by the difference teacher Wilma Stephenson has made in the lives of her inner-city students, at Frankford High School.  Ms. Stephenson teaches Culinary Arts, in a North Philadephia all-black high school, and her passion and determination to provide choices for her students is nothing short of inspirational. This movie is well-paced and will reminder viewers that one person can make a difference.

November 8, 2011

7,000,000,000 Nine Zeros…

It was said that Halloween marked the day that the world population reached seven billion.

Many people I surveyed had no idea how to get their heads around that number and didn’t have any idea how many zeros that really was. We can comprehend ten, hundred, and thousand easily and routinely but then the numbers get to move into more zeros they are less familiar.

Population control is one of those taboo topics I have always been interested in, along with prison reform and end of life choice. There was an excellent New York Times opinion piece by  this week called the “Birth Control Solution” urging us to look more realistically at controlling family size vs. listening to religious people many of whom have taken a vow of chastity.

If you are interested in exploring various countries and their birth rates here’s a link that will ring your bell.

If you would like to see an estimate where you fall in the population of the world based on your birthday give this a whirl.

Take a moment this week to talk about population by posing the question to your friends and family if they know how many zeros there are in a billion and use it as a starting point to discuss the world’s resources and the growing strains population puts on Mother Earth.

November 2, 2011

Book: After the Fall, Thanks Studs!

Filed under: book related,media related,social justice,women heroes — Honilima @ 10:13 pm

Studs Terkel - 1979-1.jpg

In the precious tradition of Studs Terkel , within days of the September 11th tragedy the Columbia University Oral History Research Office deployed a team to interview people in New York City.


For the tenth anniversary The New Press has published a stunning selection of these interviews that took place initially and in the years following in the book After the Fall: New Yorkers Remember September 2001 and the Years After.This book deserves special attention amid a field of others. Although we have heard from many people who lost family members in this attack, here you will hear from the blind woman who ran a candy shop in a nearby building lobby, artists who lived in Tribeca, and other people whose perspectives you likely didn’t get to hear from before and if you did likely it wasn’t in their own words allowed to breath and come alive with emotion. Here selected interviews have been distilled and are presented in their own words and you will learn things you didn’t know previously even if you have read other books. It’s easy to visualize what the editors plowed through to come up with the brilliant selection that is presented here, they had over 900 hours of interviews to choose from.

If you aren’t familiar with Studs Terkel‘s work I’d recommend listening to Hearing Voices piece about him called Working With Studs it gives you a taste of this man who spent his life listening to those who are rarely featured and presenting them in their own words. He is perhaps the most famous for his book Working published back in 1974.

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