The Curious Autodidact

May 5, 2017

Prison Visiting: Mother and Daughter

Filed under: prison reform,social justice — Honilima @ 11:40 pm

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If you have ever been to a prison waiting room you will relate to the woman in this video, preparing hours ahead for her visit to prison. This powerful short video shows this brave woman’s quest to  keep her daughter connected to her father and to sacrifice so much to allow them time together. Her little checklist; making sure there is no metal on her undergarments, putting her daughter’s needs in a see-through bag, it all rings true.

Children are expected to behave like adults in a prison waiting room not like children. Visitors are not supposed to interact with other visitors and even smiling a child, which comes naturally to most, is frowned upon. Most prisons have limited coloring books and toys for children, some are purchased by the guards because there is no budget.

What is wrong with our country that we will allow any connections between parents and children in the visiting rooms to be so strained and so damaging to children? We need prison reforms in so many areas this is just one. Many families cannot afford to make the trip to visit loved ones in prison they are so far away, and others are not granted permission to visit.

90% of people who are imprisoned in America will get out and become your neighbors. We need to be sure they are treated as though they are someone’s son or daughter, someone’s brother or sister, or someone’s dad or mom.

This is too important for the relationships of children who are damaged by parental absences.

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April 30, 2017

You Must Dream

Filed under: Word Related — Honilima @ 2:49 pm

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act,

but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

Anatole France

April 24, 2017

Marketing in 2017

Filed under: book related,cool internet stuff,media related — Honilima @ 2:56 pm

Image result for google images "Seth godin"

 

I heard this short piece on Fresh Air and it was at once spooky and fascinating. Terry Gross interviewed Joseph Turow the author of The Aisles Have Eyes.  Ever wonder when you download a free app where what information is collected and where it goes? Turow explains how the information is used and sold and what you agree to when you mindlessly click okay to the permissions. He also tells of some really clever ways that pricing can be changed, people are lured into buying things, and people outsmart the various companies formulas. It’s a fascinating listen and may make Terry Gross re-think her relationship with her frequent shopper’s card, at her favorite neighborhood drug store.

Seth Godin is also an interesting listen on Debbie Millman’s Design Matters, he is a wizard of marketing and a great story teller. He has many books and is featured in many internet videos for his expertise.

Both these are a look into a world many of us may not think about but these two men certainly are the wizards.

 

April 17, 2017

The Bicycle

Filed under: Word Related — Honilima @ 10:56 pm

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The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.

-Iris Murdoch, writer (1919-1999)

April 10, 2017

Six Million Worms!

Filed under: environmental ideas,prison reform,Uncategorized — Honilima @ 8:58 pm

The dream of a sustainable prison? A sustainable farmer on the inside? Yes this is a TEDx Talk by Nick Hacherney took place at Washington’s Monroe Correctional Center about how sustainability can work behind bars and change lives. This sixteen minute talk about their worm program and how they spread the gospel of the worm to other facilities. 36 million tons of food waste is disposed of in our country and this inmate is making a huge difference. This talk is inspiring and shows that no matter where you are you can make the world a better place!

You can donate to the Sustainability in Prison Project (SPP)  here.

from their website:

“Although each endeavor and corrections institution is unique, our experiences point to five

Essential Components for every SPP program:

1. Partnerships and collaborations with multiple benefits

2. Bringing nature “inside”

3. Engagement and education

4. Safe and sustainable operations

5. Evaluation, dissemination, and tracking”

April 1, 2017

Hurston on the Difference a Year Can Make

Filed under: women heroes,Word Related — Honilima @ 9:50 pm

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There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

Zora Neale Hurston, folklorist and writer (7 Jan 1891-1960)

March 25, 2017

Axe Files: Rising Star Kamala Harris

Filed under: book related,social justice,women heroes — Honilima @ 1:32 pm

If you want to hear some intelligent discussion tune into Kamala Harris talking with David Axelrod on the Axe Files.  She is highly driven and intelligent and will give you hope in troubling political times.

The Axe Files is a podcast out of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and has had some fabulous guests. If you enjoy the Harris episode take time to listen to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on episode #126.  Girl Power!

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March 20, 2017

How Broken is our Mental Health System?

Filed under: book related,social justice — Honilima @ 8:48 pm

While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man's Descent into Madness

The brutality that took place on a summer night in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood is a horrific incident no one will soon forget. Stranger writer and Seattle native, Eli Sanders, won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the story and resulting trial and crafted his work into this amazing book While the City Slept.

Certainly, it is the story of a crime but more it is the story of the broken mental health system, in Seattle’s King County, and in the wider country. Sanders has incredible respect for the surviving partner which is handled with nothing short of grace. He also carefully dissects the steps the perpetrator went through, on his journey into brutal madness, and into the criminal justice system. If there is finger pointing it is a system that allowed this man to go improperly treated and monitored.

The book is so well-crafted and so compelling written you will want to read it in but a few sittings.

The bravery of the courtroom testimony, about the crime, and the compassion to see that this young man barely had a chance, from his humble beginnings ,will move readers way after the book is closed.

Read it and realize we have a mental health crisis in our country that spawns neglect, horrific crimes, drug abuse, and prisons bursting at the seams. Read the book and work for mental health parity and more resources to help those who suffer most among us.

“Inspiring . . . From a harrowing crime, it draws powerful lessons for our mental health and criminal justice systems that can’t be ignored.”

Sister Helen Prejean, bestselling author of Dead Man Walking

 

March 17, 2017

Rilke: Words of Wisdom

Filed under: Word Related — Honilima @ 12:14 am

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

 

 

March 15, 2017

Homelessness in the Richest Country in the World

Filed under: helpful hints,media related,social justice — Honilima @ 8:43 pm

Image result for google image homeless camp seattle

 

Tom Ashbrook’s radio program, On Point, out of WBUR in Boston is national treasure.

We are all puzzled how to make a difference when it comes to the problem of homelessness, particularly in big cities. There is no one-size-fits-all and it is sometimes difficult to think of what one person can do to make a difference. I began volunteering at a homeless tent city weekly. I hard boil eggs and take down 4-6 dozen every week with other items I collect such as warm clothes, magazines, toiletries, paper goods, crayons for the children, and tampons. Boiled eggs are a good source of protein are easily kept and easily consumed. Most weeks I remember to bring salt and pepper too which is also much appreciated. Delivering them warm just out of the water is appreciated particularly in the colder seasons.

I don’t just drop these items off and drive away, most weeks I take an hour or so, to talk to people I have come to know there, and ask their names, and treat them with the dignity I would anyone in my home. I don’t make my usual hundred suggestions, I just listen actively, and give them an caring ear. I have heard some amazing tales and have also received amazing appreciation that I care and will take time to stop my busy life to regard their struggles.

I have concluded that when you are homeless you want to be treated with dignity but being on the street changes you immensely. It is almost as if you have been living on another planet and everything is topsy turvy in your life. It is terribly stressful just getting the activities of daily living taken care of to stay healthy and clean, never mind find a place to charge a cell phone, or find a safe place to sleep.

Here is a short video featuring a Real Change vendor in Seattle, Shelly Cohen, that is worth a viewing. Real Change started in Seattle over twenty years ago and has over 300 vendors. It has influenced the lives of many with the advocacy in the social justice arena. It has over a million dollar a year impact on the community of homeless and low-income.

Tom Ashbrook hosts an interesting discussion about Tackling Homelessness we could all benefit to listen to and think for a moment how you could lend an ear or a meal for someone who has no permanent housing. It’s not that hard and there are a million ways to make a difference in someone’s life with very little effort on your part.

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