More Than Average

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“I’m not the average girl from your video
And I ain’t built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally,
Because I am a queen

I’m not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I’m wearing I will always be
India.Arie”

Acoustic Soul by India Arie

Boone Fear

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Daniel Boone, who not only wrestled bears but tried to date their sisters, described corners of the southern Appalachians as “so wild and horrid that it is impossible to behold them without terror.” When Daniel Boone is uneasy, you know it’s time to watch your step.

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail) by Bill Bryson

Small Choices Lasting Changes

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Now she stared numbly down the hall of closed and opened doors. Choices, some she might make and others closed forever to her. How did one ever know how one small choice might forever change the course of one’s life?

Blood of Dragons (Rain Wilds Chronicles Book 4) by Robin Hobb

Wisconsin Drug War

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“Even in small towns, such as those in Dodge County, Wisconsin, SWAT teams treat routine searches for narcotics as a major battlefront in the drug war. In Dodge County, police raided the mobile home of Scott Bryant in April 1995, after finding traces of marijuana in his garbage. Moments after busting into the mobile home, police shot Bryant—who was unarmed—killing him. Bryant’s eight-year-old son was asleep in the next room and watched his father die while waiting for an ambulance…The Dodge County sheriff compared the shooting to a hunting accident.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

 

Laika

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“She had been rescued from the broken spaceship and taken far away from the lonely life she had known by a loving family that she had always dreamed of finding.”

Laika Astronaut Dog by Owen Davey

Author’s Note: On November 3, 1957, Laika became the first animal to orbit Earth when she was launched into space in the Sputnik 2 rocket.

A few hours later, Laika‘s spacecraft malfunctioned. Though many think she perished, this story, with its happy ending for the brave little dog, is the one I choose to believe.

It’s About the Challenge

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“Give me a stick and I’ll build you a bridge, unless I’ve already done that, so give me a bigger challenge or I’ll move on to something else.

Don’t do me any favors; just applaud me when I’m done.

Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds

Blessing For Presidential Term

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THOMAS JEFFERSON FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C., WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 1801

And may that Infinite Power which rules the destinies of the universe lead our councils to what is best, and give them a favorable issue for your peace and prosperity.”

United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches by United States. Presidents.

Not a Cornflake

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Cornflake Girl

“Never was a cornflake girl
Thought that was a good solution
Hangin’ with the raisin girls
She’s gone to the other side
Givin’ us a yo heave ho”

Under The Pink by Tori Amos

Note: The album image featured here is for Abnormally Attracted To Sin, which does not contain this song.

Mongolian Horse Spirit

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On the Trail of Genghis Khan

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“Mongolians believe the spirit of a horse can live on in its hair, even long after death, and in the past, nomad warriors collected the hair from their best stallions to weave into a sulde or “spirit banner,” which served to bring good luck and as a way of harnessing the spirit of nature. Genghis Khan had famously used a white spirit banner in times of peace and a black banner for guidance during war, and it was thought that after death the soul of the warrior was preserved in these tufts of stallion hair.”

-On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads by Tim Cope

A description of the journey from the beginning of the book: “The world expanded with every new challenge, from frostbitten toes to the dark clouds of mosquitoes that came with summer in Siberia. But most of all it was the people who left an impression on me….I found it astonishing that in the midst of an adventure I experienced more comradeship and connection with many of these people than with those where I had grown up in Australia.

Belief After Experience

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Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s not stupidity or weakness, that’s just human nature.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks