The Curious Autodidact

December 7, 2015

Sibling Support: For the Families of the Developmentally Disabled

Filed under: media related,nonprofit,social justice — Honilima @ 9:38 pm


IMG_3957 (1)

When you think about disabled children generally you have pity for the parents. Many marriages crash and burn at the prospect of raising a special needs child but what this little film will make you aware of is how long the relationship is between this child and his or her siblings will go on longer than those with the parents.

Don Meyer is based in Seattle has helped siblings all over the world with his Sibshops and those interested should connect to his website and subscribe to the Sibnet that has subscribers from all over the world who discuss sibling issues.

For a moving YouTube experience see this piece about the word “retarded” and a sister’s love of her brother.

Open your mind to the needs of the developmentally disabled and take a moment to see how you could make a difference in the lives of these special people and his or her family.


November 13, 2015

The Thomas Jefferson Hour

Filed under: media related,social justice — Honilima @ 1:52 am

Thomas Jefferson

If you are looking for a way to escape the day to day routines of life, take an hour to listen to Clay Jenkinson in his weekly portrayal of President Thomas Jefferson. You can listen on the computer or download his podcast using i-tunes and an mp3 player.

The Thomas Jefferson Hour is an hour in which humanities scholar Clay Jenkinson creates a show around a topic as statesman Thomas Jefferson. Occasionally he will take an hour to answer listener’s questions or to talk about one of his journeys. He is a thoughtful person and his portrayal of Jefferson takes you back in time to the founding of the United States.

This is a marvelous way to get in touch with your inner history buff and to seek refuge from the usual daily grind. Highly recommended!

August 21, 2015

The Liberators: History Brought to Life

Filed under: book related,media related — Honilima @ 10:20 am

The Liberators by Michael Hirsh

Podcasts of radio shows are a fun to learn new things and often brings history to life. On Point Radio had a great show featuring Michael Hirsh, author of “The Liberators: America’s Witnesses to the Holocaust.” He interviewed more than 150 World War II veterans who entered the concentration camps.

Milton Silva is also featured, he was a sergeant with the Army’s 120th Evacuation Hospital who arrived at the Nazi Buchenwald concentration camp on April 14, 1945, as U.S. troops liberated the complex and began helping survivors.

Stanley Friedenberg is the other guest, he was an officer in the Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps. He arrived at the Nazi Ohrdruf concentration camp on April 5, 1945, in the hours after U.S. troops first entered the complex. Part of the Buchenwald system of subcamps, Ohrdruf was the first concentration camp to be liberated by American soldiers. Later, Friedenberg was also at the concentration camp at Gusen-Mauthausen, in Austria, on May 5.

August 10, 2015

News Websites of Merit you May not Have Discovered

Filed under: cool internet stuff,media related,nonprofit,social justice — Honilima @ 11:47 pm


A few websites that are worth checking out often are PolitiFact with it’s famous Truth-o-meter. Here you will find the facts behind the many political spins that circulate around our mainstream media. If you are wanting to keep an eye on the health care reforms proposed for our country with in excess of 47 million people without health coverage this is a good place to start.

Check out ProPublica, “an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with “moral force.” We do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.” (from their website) They hope to put into place more investigative journalism that has lost it’s place is our fast paced 24 hour news cycle. Staff includes: Paul Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, Stephen Engelberg, a former managing editor of The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, and former investigative editor of The New York Times, is ProPublica’s managing editor. For a sampling check out their coverage of the bailout.

NewsTrust is also a good site to keep in your bookmarks. Here readers rate the quality of the stories featured and you can find some stories you may not see in the mainstream media. From their site “NewsTrust reviewers evaluate each story against core principles of journalism, such as fairness, accuracy, context and sourcing — using our unique review tools.” Here’s a sampling of that they offer, an article on sleep paralysis. NewsTrust based in California is a nonprofit public benefit corporation with an educational purpose. They started NewsTrust to “address growing problems of information overload, misinformation and mistrust on the Internet, caused by the rise of opinion news and amateur journalism, as well as media consolidation and newsroom cutbacks” (from their website).

For international news that is more in depth check out Global Post where you will find this moving story about children born behind bars. They have quite a stable of on-the-ground journalists of superior quality. They have more than 65 correspondents in nearly 50 countries giving it a hand up in international coverage.

August 6, 2015

We Were So Beloved

Filed under: cool internet stuff,media related,social justice — Honilima @ 1:58 am

Discovering older documentaries on-line is one of the joys of the information super highway to use an old-school term. Netflix streaming has allowed these older titles to be introduced to a whole new audience. You can log onto a movie you might not otherwise try and if you don’t like it stop the stream and begin again, it’s incredible.

We Were so Beloved” is from 1985 and although it is powerful in emotion and message it’s almost worth watching just to see the 80s hairstyles and fashions.

Filmmaker Manfred Kirchheimer, who moved from Germany to New York in 1936, interviews friends and family who moved to New York City’s middle class Washington Heights in the 1930s, to establish the Jewish Community he grew up in.

The film begins slowly and has been criticized it for its length, but his interviews with these survivors of the Holocaust are quite powerful and pull together lesser known attitudes by some emigrants. The attitudes of the elders as compared with their then 50-something sons is also remarkable to absorb. The film focuses on the contradictions that exist in their “whole new lives” in America and some of the elder’s attitudes obviously shock their middle-aged offspring. One son sits on the couch unable to keep quiet, challenging his mother who he feels is being too forgiving and too upbeat. There has been much written about what it is to grow up the offspring of Holocaust survivors and you can see the emotion in the expressions of the three sons who are included in this film.

Just the interview with Elsa Marcus, the lady in purple/pinkish velour with the pearls, with her passionate opinions, is worth your time to watch this low budget film. She has some powerful things to say about our animal nature that will stick with you long after you have completed viewing the film.

July 18, 2015

Mary Jo Kopechne, a Young Woman Never to be Forgotten

Filed under: end of life,media related,social justice — Honilima @ 1:04 am

Mary Jo Kopechne
gone but not forgotten…

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.

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 24, 2015

Recycled Posting: Studying the Japanese American Internment

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


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.

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