The Curious Autodidact

February 28, 2015

Around the World in 80 Hats: Fun with Infographics

Filed under: cool internet stuff,helpful hints,Word Related — Honilima @ 7:30 pm

Around the World in 80 Hats infographic


February 26, 2015

The Burden of Disease Behind Bars from the Vera Institute

Filed under: cool internet stuff,social justice — Honilima @ 3:39 pm

Embedded image permalink

February 25, 2015

“A Way With Words” Audio Word Play

Filed under: media related,origin of phrases,Word Related — Honilima @ 7:16 am

Sally’s lovely lillies

Every once in a while you stumble upon a new way to be educated in some way that rocks your world. The radio program A Way with Words is just such a discovery. I was looking for a particular podcast when I came across this radio program and as a word person it was particularly entertaining. I have been hooked ever since.

Here’s the introduction they have on their website: “A Way with Words is a lively hour-long public radio show about language, on the air since 1998. Author Martha Barnette and dictionary editor Grant Barrett take calls about slang, grammar, old sayings, word origins, regional dialects, family expressions, and speaking and writing well.”

This segment that features the saying “Gazelle on the Lawn” will give you a taste of what they have to offer, it’s an entertaining look at words and sayings that is lighthearted and fun. Their show is also broadcast of a range of public radio stations around the country, just not in my region. Highly recommended, you can listen on-line or download to your favorite mp3 player.

February 24, 2015

Black History Month: February

Filed under: book related,social justice,women heroes — Honilima @ 11:34 pm

If you read just one thing this year make it “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson.

You may be distracted as I was about what it takes to create such a masterpiece of history and make it such a compelling read at 500+ pages, but it is so well paced you will likely be upset when you have completed the read.

Over six million blacks left the South between 1917-1975 and it was truly a great migration in our country that few stop to marvel about. Wilkerson gives us the story of three such people two men and one woman and presents their journey along with what was happening in the country in the period of time they were adjusting to the new homes. I enjoyed the book so much that I ended up buying multiple copies and sending them to my several friends I knew wouldn’t jump out the window at the prospect of a book this thick. Here is the New York Times book review, it was later listed as one of the best books of 2011.

It is the perfect book to give to a friend and to ask them to pass it along to another friend.

This is the perfect read for February to celebrate Black History Month and to remember the dream.

Who Gets to Decide When to End Life Support?

Filed under: end of life,media related — Honilima @ 11:13 am


Although I am generally not a fan of Huffpost Live or of celebrity stories but this is a great discussion of who gets to decide when to end life support. The case is that of Bobbi Kristina Brown, who is 21 years old and the daughter of Whitney Houston. She has been in an induced coma for weeks. The experts tapped for this segment are excellent and features Seattle’s own UW Medical Center’s Dr. Randall Curtis.

You can also read more here in a piece written by Candi K. Cann entitled “Letting Someone You Love Die.” This is an important discussion to have with your loved ones, beyond just the decision maker, in case you are unable to make your own choices at the end.

February 23, 2015

Women Hero: Barbara Mancini, Daughter, Nurse, Advocate

Filed under: end of life,social justice,women heroes — Honilima @ 12:19 pm


Barbara Mancini is a former Pennsylvania Emergency Room nurse who was caught up in a legal tangle for over a year after caring for her elderly father at the end of his life.

It is everyone’s worst nightmare to see a loved one suffering without relief and ending up in court for a year costing over $100,000 in legal frees and losing one’s livelihood as the result of what you saw as the most loving of care. Fortunately in February 2013 charges against her were dismissed and she is now a national spokesperson for Compassion and Choices.

Here is an interview about her case on the Diane Rehm show from 2013, a link to her case’s details on the Compassion and Choices website, and an article about Brittany Maynard reaching out to her at the very end of her life. Here is the segment that the CBS show 60 Minutes did on her too.

Siblings of Disabled People: Respond and Be Impactful

Filed under: cool internet stuff,social justice — Honilima @ 11:26 am

This survey came over the transom today from the Siblings Leadership Network and I urge anyone who takes care of a disabled sibling to take a moment to respond to their brief survey. Here is the post in its entirety:

National Sibling Survey

KristinaMajewskiFamilyThe Sibling Leadership Network is conducting an online survey about the support needs of siblings with disabilities. Please share your perspective as a sibling through the survey.  Also, feel free to encourage your other siblings and family members to complete the survey as well.  The survey is available in English and Spanish.

February 21, 2015

Wisdom of George Sand

Filed under: women heroes,Word Related — Honilima @ 12:44 pm

“It is never too late to be who you might have been.”

George Eliot

(Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin)

February 19, 2015

Smaller Nonprofits To Support Today!

Filed under: helpful hints,nonprofit — Honilima @ 12:18 pm


 Lots of people don’t think of sending a little dough to a nonprofit each month. I tend to support the local food pantry first but then to support some of these small nonprofits that most people don’t know about.

It’s easy to give, some employers match donations, take a moment to consider making charity a part of your annual budget, give 5-10% of your annual income to those who haven’t anything extra.

Another thing I try to do is send a gift card to a friend who lives on a fixed income to the grocery store or to a general merchandise place she can get the sundries that add up—like toothpaste and the like. I collect magazines and pens for the local hygiene center.

Groundswell Northwest  

It is their goal to have every resident of Ballard to have access to green space within walking distance without crossing a major arterial. A grassroots group with passion and enthusiasm.

Heron Helpers

This group is Seattle neighborhood Magnolia-centered, to help the herons of the rookery in Magnolia and who lurk around Salmon Bay and the Locks to have a fighting chance. They will accept donations worldwide to continue their important work. Next time you go to the Locks and see dozens and dozens of healthy herons tip your hat to this group.

Bikeworks, a bike shop for kids.

Another smaller but growing nonprofit that does great things for children and adults. They train young people on bike repair, provide a place for them to be involved in activities and to learn the pleasures of self propelled non-electric activities. They also send bikes to Ghana. They have a bike shop in Columbia City that you should drive out of your way to support.

Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center

Miraculously this organization, with a two year waiting list, has found another property to move their riding center too. This should give you an indication of the vast community support they have and the passion of the staff. It serves disabled children and adults by giving them an equine relationship and something to master outside his or her disability.

Footloose Sailing Program for the Disabled  

A sailing program run by volunteers to get the disabled out on the water and to feel the joys of nature close up and a feeling of the power of the wind.

Children’s Play Garden for Disabled Children:

Located by the NW African American Museum this play garden is to teach children the joys of gardening and a place to go that is wheelchair accessible and allows them a chance to experience the outdoors and nature in new ways. The Executive Director is totally dedicated and has pulled more than a few rabbits out of her hat to make this come together. A very dedicated group.

Washington CASH

Microlending for Small Businesses: No need to send your money out of country to participate in the thrills of micro-lending. This organization helps people start their own small businesses with educational programs and loans. It’s a marvelous program that has moved lots of families off public support and into a new status as business owners and tax payers.

KIVA Loans that Change Lives

Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. You can go on their website and filter through specific areas of interest or by location.

Compassion and Choices of Washington, End of Life Choice

This is the local chapter of the national organization bringing education about end of life choice to a culture that rarely speaks about death and dying. If you feel passionate about the freedom to choose the end you most wish for your life were you to be deemed terminally ill send in a check today. Their WONDERFILE is like a $500 trip to an estate attorney and is a gift to those left behind, get one today if you don’t have your affairs in order. Their green ICE wallet card, I don’t get anywhere without one and I hand them out liberally to friends.

Pancreatic Cancer Network

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer. Their PALS service helps those diagnosed and their families to weigh their options and have support as they cope with the realities of this “silent killer.” Further they lobby for more research funds and highlight the work of researchers nation wide, several of whom are in Seattle working at the UW and Hutch.

Funeral Consumer’s Alliance

A watch dog over Funeral Industrial Complex: Funeral Consumers Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting a consumer’s right to choose a meaningful, dignified, affordable funeral. This is a small organization that is looking out for you even though you may have never heard of them. Send them a check today to make sure that others aren’t taken advantage of at a vulnerable time by the ever consolidating funeral industrial complex!

February 18, 2015

DWD in Good Housekeeping? Wow, Watch out for Flying Pigs!

Filed under: end of life,media related,women heroes — Honilima @ 2:13 pm


Let me first say I had no idea that Good Housekeeping Magazine was still being published. For someone my age who grew up with the Good Housekeeping seal of approval it came as a surprise. Then let me say I thought I’d see flying pigs before I’d see this type of story featured there but indeed it was a pleasant surprise someone who had worked in the decent death movement as I have. This is the story of Jennifer Glass and her activism to make Death with Dignity the law in California and beyond. Then today the same day this story about John Jay Hooker, a Tennessee man with similar convictions. This on the heels of this terrific segment on the Diane Rehm show yesterday featuring one of my heroes Barbara Coombs Lee who is not only a trained nurse practitioner but also a lawyer. She is one of the crafters of the 18-year-old Oregon Death with Dignity Law. For those that don’t know Diane’s husband died after stopping eating and drinking this past fall after finding his days with Parkinson’s Disease were not worth it any longer. He had sought help from his doctor who told him there wasn’t much to be done, this incensed both John and his wife Diane and she is working to continue this dialogue. The point was brought up should these decisions be the patients or left in the hands of the medical profession? I found Dr. Byock’s comments interesting but I wondered if he has ever sat at the bedside of someone with pancreatic cancer as I have. It is a brutal way to go and the ability to quell the suffering and pain lack efficacy. Here is another older article from the New York Review of Books that also may edify you further. I think we have gained traction in our quest to make end of life choice a part of the national dialogue, many thanks to Brittany Maynard and her family for their many appearances that helped bring this forward.

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