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io9 writer Cyriaque Lamar wrote a piece “In the 1870s, Charles Darwin was the theme of a downright deranged Mardi Gras parade” which directs us to Tulane University’s Louisiana Research Collection of Mardi Gras costume and float designs. Here is the Darwin collection, which mocked Reconstruction, and manipulated Darwin’s theories to suggest certain people were subspecies, or part animal.


“Muybridge: The Man Who Made Pictures Move”
by Neda Ulaby

“His idea was to break down motion so it could be studied by scientists.”

I was thrown off balance when a Head of Middle School showed me a neatly laminated 3′ x 2′ poster that may or may not have been titled “The Writing Process” and asked me for my thoughts. The reason I forget is significant: the poster was forgettable- not the least bit sticky. Well I lied, I remember the green border and the green tiger separated with its own palatial blank white territory. They had nothing to do with the writing process.

He said the school was standardizing the writing process and would be hanging these posters in all the classrooms. I’m not sure who designed the poster, but I don’t think it was a writer. My mind streamed with improvements that could be made-

Problems with the Poster

  • There are not always  5 steps (brainstorm, outline, draft, edit, final composition) in the writing process
  • People use different processes
  • The process is not linear and neat like a list
  • Lacked relevant and inspiring visuals
  • Font all the same style and color, nothing pops
  • A poster does not teach a person to write
  • It wasn’t student-centered and created


  • Create a project for students, perhaps a unit “Writing Processes”
  • Students research writing processes, e.g., writing processes used by favorite or notable author; writing processes used by self and friends; improvements they would make, and present to class and perhaps school
  • Create a board in the classroom for Writing Tools and Processes, students can post and organize ideas
  • Address the writing processes they used for this project and how they figured out how to do it, e.g., trial and error, experience, tips, Internet, books, teacher, friends, parents

Zed Nelson, a British photo journalist, traveled the world and took pictures of people who morph and mutilate their bodies to become physically beautiful.

“Bodies Altered in Pursuit of Beauty” by Nadia Sussman covers the book in The New York Times. Sussman quotes Nelson, “‘Globalization hasn’t just given us Starbucks in Beijing and shopping malls in Africa…It is also creating an eerily homogenized look.’”

This looks fantastic. I love paper art. I look forward to seeing the reverberations set in motion by this phenomenon-

“Study Narrows Gap between Mind and Brain” by Jon Hamilton

“A person’s moral judgments can be changed almost instantly by delivering a magnetic pulse to an area of the brain near the right ear, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

PBS preview of episode based on the book The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollen-

“Our copyrights, our living, are at issue.” Ursula K. Le Guin on Book View Cafe Blog

My letter of resignation from the Authors Guild

18 December 2009

To Whom it may concern at the Authors Guild:

I have been a member of the Authors Guild since 1972.

At no time during those thirty-seven years was I able to attend the functions, parties, and so forth offered by the Guild to members who happen to live on the other side of the continent. I have naturally resented this geographical discrimination, reflected also in the officership of the Guild, always almost all Easterners. But it was a petty gripe when I compared it to my gratitude to the Guild for the work you were doing in defending writers’ rights. I went on paying top dues and thought it worth it.

And now you have sold us down the river.

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Hidden World Of Girls: Share Your Stories

facebook The Kitchen Sisters

“Our new radio series, Hidden World of Girls, begins on NPR this coming Monday, March 22. Tune into to NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered to hear our first two stories in this new multi-media series. Join the collaboration and tell us your story.”

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ankraut;; Polluted Water at Dakshinkali Temple

“Unsafe water kills more people than war, Ban says on World Day“, UN News Centre

“Every day around the world, 2 million tons of sewage and industrial and agricultural waste are poured in the earth’s waters, while one child under the age of five dies every 20 seconds from water-related diseases, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).”

“World Water Day Focus on Global Sewage Flood”, National Geographic

“There are few places where this is more clear than in Nairobi’s slums. On a rainy day in Kibera—one of the world’s largest unofficial settlements, or shantytowns—you are ankle deep in a soupy, earthy smelling mess of red mud, human waste, and plastic shreds.”