Link Me Up, Scotty - Vote Your Conscience Edition

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

TPM with a partial list of Congressional Representatives and their vote on whether or not to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. Astonishingly enough, my own representative voted "no" on this execrable measure. Since I agree with Ken Buck (R-CO) on almost nothing, I was pleasantly surprised by this turn of events.

(Talking Points Memo: Left leaning Mainstream Media source)
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My favorite Christian Pastor on supporting those who are going through grief. This was very much my experience, as well. I don't remember very much from the first months after we lost our daughter, but what I do recall is the many people who loved and supported us, immediately after her death, and for years after. These are the ties that bind, from the kind people at her Credit Union and the DMV, to the complete strangers on the internet who shared their condolences and their experiences, and from our family and friends who are family who made sure we had the support we needed in that first, terrible year.

(Stuff That Needs to be Said: The personal blog of Pastor John Pavlovitz)
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Little kids with their giant doggie companions. How can you not love these images?

(Bored Panda: Crowd-sourced website focusing on art and culture)
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Tree Lobsters takes on the President-Elect's cabinet picks. Hee.

Tree Lobsters: A webcomic. 
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The Atlantic: Americans at Work series looks at elder care in Massachusetts, including the effort required to coordinate required services for elders as they become less able to care for their daily tasks.

(The Atlantic: Skews left but still a reliable source of in-depth news)
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The President of the United States gives his farewell address. He came into office on a wave of hope, and in his departure, he attempted to regenerate that hope.

I will miss this first family. Not only because I thought President Obama was a good president, but because (as Michelle said) "When they go low, we go high." Enjoy your new life, Obama family - you've earned some peace in your lives.

(NYT: Mainstream Media source with minimal partisan bias)

Link Me Up, Scotty - Goodbye and Good Riddance Edition

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

My favorite Christian Pastor on the reality of a Trump presidency. The bottom line: We all lost, without exception, unless you're incredibly wealthy, white, and male.

(Stuff That Needs to be Said: The personal blog of Pastor John Pavlovitz)
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The hilarious Kristina Kuzmic takes on New Year's resolutions in a new way. I kind of love this idea, and am considering doing it myself. Maybe on Twitter - there's always a need to be more positive on Twitter.

(LittleThings: LittleThings publishes engaging, meaningful content for women across generations.)
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John Scalzi on the moral arc of the universe, and our responsibility in that system.

(Whatever: The personal blog of author John Scalzi)
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The Atlantic with a photo essay of what it means to choose to become an American. A good reminder for those of us who may take our citizenship for granted. Also, there's something in my eye.
  
(The Atlantic: Skews left but still a reliable source of in-depth news)
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A Chicago bakery sees opportunity where others see fear, and improves his business by recruiting and hiring war refugees. These people are wonderful human resources, many highly educated and very motivated to find jobs with a living wage. Companies that give in to fear on this score are surrendering a competitive advantage.

H/T Steve

(NPR: Mainstream Media source with minimal partisan bias)

My Reasons for Gratitude, 2016

Sunday, January 1, 2017

1. I read 139 books this year, across all media. That's a lot of books, even for me, and well worth the time it took to read them.

2. I was reappointed to another three year term on the Douglas County Library Board of Trustees. This is work that is sometimes frustrating, but incredibly rewarding.

3. We had a wonderful vacation in Europe visiting Spain, Greece, France, Italy, Croatia, and Montenegro. Bonus wonderful: I traveled with some of my favorite people on the planet.

4. We got to spend the holidays with Sistah Stacey and Brother JR.

5. We had a lovely visit with the Smart Man's birth family, which put a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

6. My brother-in-law and his family moved to Colorado, giving us the opportunity to spend more time together, and to watch our niece grow. Note: Our niece knows what the word "hypothesis" means and can express her own hypothesis clearly. She's five.

7. I remained employed during an unstable time.

8. I recommitted to my health and fitness.

9. We've continued to make progress in managing our grief at the loss of some of our nearest and dearest.

10. The Smart Man and I have continued to support each other for another trip around the sun. I have now spent half my adult life with him, and I couldn't ask for a better partner and friend.

Let's hope for a 2017 which includes many more things for which I can be grateful.

Link Me Up, Scotty - Science FTW Edition

Saturday, December 31, 2016

It appears that that an experimental vaccine used at the end of the last Ebola outbreak is 100% effective. It hasn't yet received regulatory approval, but the initial results are so encouraging that an emergency stockpile of 300,000 doses is now in place. The ingenuity of humanity when we face dire straits (and the passion with which it's applied), never fails to humble and awe me.

(NYT: Mainstream Media source with minimal partisan bias)
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A pictorial essay of the "war on drugs" taking place in the Philippines. The title is They are Slaughtering Us Like Animals. This is what normalizing bad behavior in our politicians ultimately looks like. Parental guidance is suggested.

(NYT: Mainstream Media source with minimal partisan bias)
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Uncle George on our places in the upcoming resistance. "Be ready, be strong, and be vigilant." Good advice at any time.

(The Advocate: A left-leaning LGBT magazine with an editorial focus on news, politics, opinion, and arts and entertainment.)
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Uncle George on our places in the upcoming resistance. "Be ready, be strong, and be vigilant." Good advice at any time.

(The Advocate: A left-leaning LGBT magazine with an editorial focus on news, politics, opinion, and arts and entertainment.)
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As we move into 2017 with courage and conviction, it behooves us to examine what good a Trump presidency may do for our country.

(WaPo: Mainstream media source with minimal partisan bias)
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Ah, the Trump/Obama transition. What could possibly go wrong?

H/T Steve

(Politico: A center rated political journal that focuses on United States and international politics and policy.)
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Moyers & Co. on how progressives can manage a Trump presidency over the next four years.

(Moyers & Co.: A reputable left-leaning source of news)
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Secretary of State John Kerry is speaking his mind on the status of peace in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, and the behavior of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in light of the the recent UN Security Council vote. I'm one of those people who think both sides of that dispute have valid points and that both sides have also behaved very badly, indeed, and I think more and more people are coming to that point of view. I wonder how long it will take the Israeli government to realize this?

(NYT: Mainstream Media source with minimal partisan bias)
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Vera Rubin, the astrophysicist who found evidence of Dark Matter, has passed away at the age of 88. Vera Rubin was a total bad-ass, a woman who was in the forefront of the continuing sea-change regarding women in science. She was also never awarded the Nobel Prize for her amazing discoveries, in spite of being a favorite in the field since the 1980s.

Fair winds and following seas, Vera.

(NPR:  Mainstream Media source with minimal partisan bias)
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And I thought I was a lover of books. In the 1800s, the European upper classes fell victim to  “bibliomania,” a dark pseudo-psychological illness. Symptoms included a frenzy for culling and hunting down first editions, rare copies, books of certain sizes or printed on specific paper.

H/T Brother Juan

(Atlas Obscura: A collaborative project exposing esoteric and interesting stories from around the world.)

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my True Love Gave to Me...

Sunday, December 25, 2016

My platonic musical boyfriend, Leslie Odom, Jr., singing Winter Song from Simply Christmas.




Whatever you celebrate this holiday season, enjoy the day and count whatever blessings you have in your life.

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, my True Love Gave to Me...

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Voctave, singing This is my Wish/Let There be Peace on Earth. This group has the best soprano choral singer I've every heard (the shorter blonde). Simply remarkable.


On the Tenth Day of Christmas, my True Love Gave to Me...

Friday, December 23, 2016

Trans-Siberian Orchestra singing This Christmas Day from Christmas Eve and Other Stories.