culture of fear


This caught my attention today, thanx to Cara at January One.

Kazim Ali: Poet, Performer, Teacher, Yogi
On April 19, after a day of teaching classes at Shippensburg University, I went out to my car and grabbed a box of old poetry manuscripts from the front seat of my little white Beetle and carried it across the street and put it next to the trashcan outside Wright Hall. The poems were from poetry contests I had been judging and the box was heavy. I had previously left my recycling boxes there and they were always picked up and taken away by the trash department.

A young man from ROTC was watching me as I got into my car and drove away. I thought he was looking at my car which has black flower decals and sometimes inspires strange looks. I later discovered that I, in my dark skin, am sometimes not even a person to the people who look at me. Instead, in spite of my peacefulness, my committed opposition to all aggression and war, I am a threat by my very existence, a threat just living in the world as a Muslim body.

Unbelievable. Sigh. How sick are you of living in a culture of fear? I am so sick of it.

Read the article here:
Poetry is dangerous. By Kazim Ali.

Static from Crocs


Image via Wikipedia

Thank goodness! I’m not crazy:

A Swedish hospital wants to ban its staff from wearing Crocs plastic clogs, saying they generate static electricity that can knock out medical equipment, a spokesman said.

Here’s the backstory: Last fall my Tevas (which I hadn’t even had FOR A YEAR) totally broke. I was seriously bummed out. I wore those things everywhere last summer and I really expected them to last me forever. Not wanting to by a replacement pair of Tevas (since the first pair didn’t last very long) I decided to buy a pair of Crocs. I didn’t think I would ever jump on that bandwagon, but in the end I am a joiner I guess. So I bought them and wore them last Fall. However, I kept getting shocked when I wore them. And it was a really painful, electricity shooting out of my fingers kind of shock (My hands freaking hurt right now just THINKING about it). It usually happened at the grocery story when I went to grab something off of the shelf. I would grab my can of beans and there would be an audible snap and I could see electricity and it would hurt like hell! and then I would say something like, “Fuck! Ouch!” Not good, being that I am a children’s librarian and I live in the same community in which I work. Yeah. I don’t need the little kids I read stories to seeing me jumping up and down cursing at the grocery store.

Needless to say I don’t wear them anymore at all. Which is too bad because they are really quite comfy. But to this day I still, in the back of my mind, am the tiniest bit afraid to touch the can of beans on the shelf for fear of getting shocked. And now I know I’m not crazy because they are having the same problem in Sweden.

Read the article here:

Crocs a fashion faux pas at Swedish hospital – Health Care –

Newbery books listed by rank

Newbery Medal

Image via Wikipedia

This was posted on a list-serv I belong to. I thought it was very interesting in light of my wanting to read through all of the Newberry books.

Since 1922, the single “most distinguished contribution to children’s literature” has been given the annual John Newbery Medal by the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. Every list you’ve probably ever seen arranges these award winners by year of award, or perhaps by author. Not this one.

Finally, the list everyone really wants… the awards, arranged–not by year–but by how much a totally biased group of readers enjoyed them. What is this group’s opinion of what is really the most fun Newbery winner to read? Well, read on…

The completely biased, non-scientific, Newbery Book Discussion Group met monthly to digest a randomly selected past Newbery book and an equally random pot luck dinner. Group members are primarily teachers and librarians. All like to read children’s and young adults’ books. None can pass up a Dove Bar while arguing the merits of the book under discussion.

For nearly five years, this Group read, debated, and ate its way to creating a list of Newbery winners in rank order of what we liked best. In November 2000, the Group “reordered” the list and decided to discuss and add the latest Newbery winner each year. The annotations, like the ranking itself, reflect the flavor of the Group’s discussion.

check it out here:
Newbery Ranking – Allen County Public Library

Red Barn


Red barn

Raf and I discovered a hiking trail called the “Columbia Plateau Trail” a couple of weeks ago. The first time we went I forgot my camera. But I remembered to bring it last weekend. It looks like it used to be an old railroad track that they converted into a long trail. We started at the Amber Lake trailhead and it was just beautiful. This view of the red barn was so relaxing and pastoral. The picture really doesn’t do it justice. I wish I could paint! Maybe then I could express how it made me feel. Very happy and safe.