Deep Education


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“A deep education is one of both head and hands. Over the past twenty years of my life, books have taught me some things, people have taught me many things, and tools have taught me everything else.

-Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods by Christine Byl

Flashing Brilliance


““I think it would be easier to fight in a dress,” says Marlene, tapping her chin. “It would give your legs freer movement. And who really cares if you flash people your underwear, as long as you’re kicking the crap out of them?” Lynn goes silent, like she recognizes that as a spark of brilliance but can’t bring herself to admit it.”

-Insurgent (Divergent Book 2) by Veronica Roth

Make It Better


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Your job, when you leave here—as it was the job of educated women before you—is to change the world. Nothing less or easier than that. For the world is not good enough; we must make it better.

-In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker


A Truly Magnifient Broom


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“Then she filled up her cauldron and said with a grin, “Find something, everyone. Throw something in!” …They threw them all in and the witch stirred them well, and while she was stirring, she muttered a spell. “Iggety, ziggety, zagety, ZOOM!” Then out rose…A truly Magnificent Broom!”

-Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler

John Adams: People Centric Government


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Can authority be more amiable and respectable when it descends from accidents or institutions established in remote antiquity than when it springs fresh from the hearts and judgments of an honest and enlightened people? For it is the people only that are represented.

“If national pride is ever justifiable or excusable it is when it springs, not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence, information, and benevolence.

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

Pirates Year Round

Pirate costumes are wonderful. They can be as comfortable and weather-appropriate as necessary, or they can border on fetish-wear. It’s a fun, versatile and reasonably easy look to create for Halloween, movies, the stage, costume parties or visits to the Renaissance Faire. For those who are particularly taken with the character, the costume can be utilized during tall-ship performances or visits to pirate themed pubs and bars. Since pirates were, basically, pre-20th century criminals, they are an excellent outlet for anyone interested in spending an evening acting tough, unrefined, callous, sneaky or eccentric/crazy. Basic Costume The most common and easily recognizable pirate costume consists of a very basic pair of pants, usually ripped at the bottom, a white poet’s shirt, an eye patch, a bandana worn over the hair and a sword (see the image at the top of this blog posting). This look is applicable to both men and women, but most women will wear a skirt with a corset-style belt. The girls pink and black costume included below is easily identifiable as a pirate because of the hat, sword and boots – the tutu-like skirt does not take away (to much) from the overall effect. This illustrates the large amount of room girls and women have when creating a costume. Fancy Costume – Pirates in Suits The fancier versions often depict some sort of pirate captain, while the ripped, torn and poor-man’s version would represent crew members. If the basic (crew) pirate is compared to the fancy/captain pirate the difference pretty much comes down to this – Captains wear suits and crew members do not. Granted, the suits are very old-fashioned versions of today’s managerial coat and tie look, but the key elements are there (e.g.: a coat, nice shirt and tie/ruffle). Pirate Costumes Here are a collection of examples. Pirates in many forms…

Controlling the Daydreaming


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“People were always telling Sam to focus. When they did, he felt frustrated, sad and dumb. Sam’s dad knew he wasn’t dumb, so he brought him to a doctor…And then one day Sam got to school on time with his homework!…He also wrote a really great story that day”

-This Morning Sam Went to Mars: A book about paying attention by Nancy Carlson

Note: This book is about a child who has trouble paying attention in school due to his love of daydreaming. He also loves writing fiction. The ‘cure’ is a change in diet, a clear schedule (including sleep) and help (from mom, dad and teacher) with little things like organization and keeping to a deadline. There’s no mention of medication – pro or con.

Environmentalism and the City


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Cities, ill-planned messes as they might currently be, are the places that the bulk of us will have to live if earthly life—both human and wild—is going to have any chance of flourishing.”

Well-planned urban density is the most ecologically promising mode of human habitation, allowing our homes to cluster, to be built alongside and on top of one another. This clustering encourages a sharing of resources, tools, energy, ingenuity, transport, and pavement that keep humans in one walkable/bikeable/busable place instead of sprawling out and further fragmenting the open spaces, wetlands, and woodlands that support wild creatures and systems.

-The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

From the introduction: “My intent was not to be all-inclusive, but rather to treat species that are common in most urban places and those that have a particular lesson for coexisting with wildlife that can be extrapolated to other species, including the many that are not directly considered here...nearly everyone reading this book will be able to say, “I wish she’d written about __________.” But my goal, my dream, actually, is that this is just the start of a huge, earthen bestiary, an invitation to wild intimacy, written daily by all of us, through attention to the creatures in our midst.

Standing Up For Yourself


Calling Invisible Women

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“When I look back on my life, I was invisible for so many years before I became invisible. I never did stand up for myself. If you don’t stand up before you become invisible, what chance do you have of making people pay attention to you when you aren’t there?”

They’ve trained themselves not to notice things because the less they notice the more we’ll just take care of it for them.

-Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray

Masks, Skin and a Chance to Just Be


It’s 1947. American women had been granted the right to vote less than 30 years earlier. In twenty years, they would be talking about liberating themselves. But for now, women would have to be content to put on scanty costumes and assume a disguise in order to act like themselves”

They had been forced into the roles of well-mannered daughters or girlfriends, and a secret life gave these women a chance to be themselves. Putting on a cape and mask liberated these women to live the kind of life that they dreamed of—one where they could help make their world a better place.

-The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines by Mike Madrid