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Author Topic: Kiva Friends and the Books They Love  (Read 74986 times)
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« Reply To This #270 on: November 02, 2012, 11:22:00 PM »

Half the Sky is on Netflix instant now  Smiley
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« Reply To This #271 on: January 10, 2013, 11:54:11 AM »

For whatever itís worthÖ.

Check out the surprise that some kids will now be getting as part of their ďHappy Meals.Ē
What a revolutionary, and, at the same time, almost sorrowfully old-fashioned of an ideaÖ. in this day and ageÖ to promote BOOKS to children as though they were actually SOMETHING TO BE PRIZED.,0,2150667.story

The first of the two pics Iím posting is from a similar McDonalds Happy Meal book promotion, but that one was in New Zealand.

EDIT: Speaking of prizes (or of treasures), ever since I first learned about him, Ai Weiwei has been kind of a prize for me.  For anyone interested, besides the pretty choice video of him dancing Gangnam style, censored, not all that surprisingly in China, that's on youtube and thatís been out for awhile, thereís a relatively new DVD: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, thatís out now and that's filled with some pretty incredible stuff. Also, thereís a documentary video on him that has a British spin, Ai Weiwei: Without Fear or Favour, available for free online viewing.

Check out the second photo at this link, especially.  When I realized what the codpieces or the fig leaves were, even though Iím not usually all that outwardly expressive of a person, I burst out laughing.

EDIT #2: As long as I'm here and talking about rather amazing people in China, check out this story that was in the news last Spring.  I loved it especially for its exemplifying the universality and the immeasurable fierceness of family love.  And I didnít mind its exaltation of the value of an education one bit, either.

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« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 10:18:23 AM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #272 on: January 30, 2013, 08:15:10 PM »

Hi Guys and gals,

Bob Harris's book--The First International Bank of Bob, will be hitting stores in March. It helps create buzz if you pre-order a copy.
Go to Amazon and read the 2 reviews of the book:
 I have pre-ordered my first copy. I know I will order many more--a perfect gift for anyone.
I have read an advance copy and I knew it would be great---but it exceeded my expectations--so full of heart, soul, and laughter. Get your orders in!
Good Dogg

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« Reply To This #273 on: May 26, 2013, 12:09:29 AM »

Who knows?  There may come a time when Paul Farmer will be revealed to be a serial killer child-abusing maniac.  But until then, as I sit here watching him on Book TV in a presentation thatís about his new book and so very much more, itíd be tough to fully express just how grateful I feel for my still being able to be moved by this manís almost bigger-than-life compassion, dedication, incredible mind and beautiful heart.  In my mind, heís a teacher in the very finest and richest sense of the word.

If you go to this link after either this weekend or, at the latest, after a week or two, Iím close to certain that the program thatís being shown right now will be available for free viewing online. Iíve heard him speak a number of times but can tell you just partway through his talk that he continues to touch, he continues to awe and is pretty definitely worth an hour or so of your time and attention.

For your information, and I was surprised I didnít recognize him, thatís Desmond Tutu with Paul Farmer in the pic that Iím tacking on here.

EDIT: Ponderings, and, just to warn you, very possibly of little interest to anyone besides me.

A couple of hours ago, I happened upon a link where a contributor had some less than totally laudatory things to say about Paul Farmer.  Because I have clearly had and still have an emotional (and, for that matter, a small financial donation-type) investment in Farmer and his work, what I read unsettled me.

And because I needed/wanted to know, I found myself googling some more.  I discovered, and it shouldnít have surprised me, that there were other websites where a contributor here or a contributor there also expressed reasons to regard Farmer in something less than a thoroughly deifying light.  

Nothing I read suggested anything unsavory or dishonest.  If true, what they did do was imply some chinks in his selfless armor, at least, a few human imperfections that might well keep him off Mount Olympus or prevent him from being sainted tomorrow or the next day.  

My not particularly sought out side trip into what may or may not have been ďreality,Ē (well, very definitely, the various articles represented someoneís reality) almost immediately brought to mind something Iíd read in Howard Zinnís (for me) really wonderful book, You Canít Be Neutral On A Moving Train.  Itís stuck with me ever since I read it, though itís embarrassing to admit that at the time I first read it, it served almost as a kind of epiphany for me.

In his memoir, the late social justice activist, author and historian wrote about the decades when he was a political science instructor first at Spelman College and a professor, predominantly, at Boston University.  He told how he started off his classes every semester by reminding his students that all historians, (all their professors? all human beings?) including the one currently in front of them, quite inescapably had a bias.  

That therefore the students, no matter how much they might admire or resonate with this or that professor owed it to themselves to take whatever they learned (in Zinnís class or in any other and rather than regard it as being tantamount to the word of God, instead) that they should use it merely as a springboard or a spur to further research.  That they should take whatever struck them as the important things and expose themselves to a variety of sources from a diversity of political perspectives to try to come closer to a more objective truth.

For whatever itís worth, my morningís research didnít dissuade me from believing in the value of Paul Farmerís mission or the work of Partners in Health. Nor will it keep me from donating to PIH in the future.  If anything, what Iím hoping it might do is remind me that irrespective of the veracity and validity of the sources I happened to read this morning, that itís long past time for me to put away my childish thing of needing to have unassailable heroes and heroines in my life.  That itís quite enough to have super caring and accomplished if mortal human being role models whose very being provide me balance and hope in this sometimes incalculably complex and too troubled world.


EDIT #2:  Not in any way related but interesting to me and maybe to some of you.

And, as per your request, sweet teaching/learning/caring partner of mine, Iíll go ahead and post the link you just sent me.  I havenít read the story and only super quickly and half-distractedly watched the video, while ignoring completely the advertising component that unapologetically was built into it.  But what I managed to see was enough to make me both ache in wist-and-wishfulness and believe as you and I seemingly forever have believed--  that most people in the world, just like most of us here, simply want to live quiet, decent, reasonably comfortable lives and coexist peacefully with everyone else.

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« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 02:34:20 PM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #274 on: June 20, 2013, 06:17:37 AM »

Yesterday evening, I was talking with a dog trainer, service dog-raiser friend of mine who asked me what kinds of things I wanted to teach my dog, Fella, that might enhance his value as a therapy dog.  I told her that besides the ďBe a love,Ē ďGive us a hugĒ, ďSay hiĒ and other, sort of standard tricks Iíve already taught him, I wasnít sure.

She then mentioned she had a book about teaching your dog to read that she said was fascinating and sheíd be glad to lend me.  My curiosity greatly whetted, I said I would try to track it down, but that if I couldnít, Iíd love to see it.

On the way home, the more I thought about it, the more excited I got at the thought of the potential value and kick thereíd be if I could teach Fella to read.  Iím not talking about reading books or newspapers or documents or websites on the computer.  They havenít quite figured out how to teach dogs how to do that.

No, according to the book I was able to locate at good olí trusty Amazon,
and then immediately download onto my Kindle app, itís apparently about making giant flash cards with cue words on them like ďSit,Ē, ďDownĒ, ďSay hi,Ē etc.  Over time and working them up to it with preliminary steps and aids starting out, people have trained dogs to be able recognize the forms of the letters and distinguish the way one group of letters (or the way one word) looks from another.  

From the little Iíve read so far, turns out that able trainers can get to a point where they can hold up this oversized flash card or that one and without any other hint, verbal or body language type, the dog will follow the cue, or command, and will do what the flash card says.

I donít know if I have the ability or whether Iíll have the patience to teach this to Fella, but heís almost definitely smart enough, eager enough and food-driven enough that I know that someone could.  Thinking about how special it would be to take him to schools, etc. if he could learn to do it, Iím really excited about trying.  REALLY excited.  

Iím guessing that it might tax my brain and patience as learning how to play the pianoís been doing.  The prospective rewards and stimulation offered by both make Ďem seem much more than worth the effort.

NOTE: Most of the pics Iím tacking on are goofy, posed, not ďrealĒ pics of dogs actually reading.  But theyíre fun.

Dog-related, if not about books.
And then thereís this video displaying the caninification of patience.  Incredible.  No way would I ever be able to teach my guy to put up with this.

EDIT: Not even dog-relatedÖ
Am currently watching Alan Cumming being interviewed on Charlie Rose about his new Broadway gig where he plays all the parts in Macbeth, and a mental patient, to boot. Macbeth is one of my all-time favorites. How Iíd love to see this production.

EDIT #2: Just caught this on the news.  I find it pretty amazing.  As a one-time teacher and just as a human who wishes every kid, actually, that every person could have the kind of access to the Internet and its almost unimaginable bounty of knowledge and learning that I get to have, it actually pleases me A WHOLE LOT.  Los Angeles, first, and then I hope, the world.....

« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 07:52:31 AM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #275 on: February 28, 2014, 02:32:41 PM »

If you caught the post in the Other Pleasures thread the other day, it won't come as much of a surprise that I am absolutely enthralled with children's picture books.

Following are some of the most pleasure-giving websites I have ever been to.  
Once you start clicking on the names of the illustrators, the blog postings, the pictures, the links to other blogs, the dates, and everything else at the following links, watch out, you may never ever come back.  

Youíll probably run into a bunch of "dead end" links (may be a question of copyright), but keep clicking on illustrators' names, other hyper links, other blogs, etc. and keep scrolling down pages.  

And oh yeah, if you're curious about an illustrator whose kids' book illustrations you can't see because you're getting that damned grey dot with a white thick rectangular line through it, you can always do what I tried and copy the person's name, go to Google Images, and paste the name there, in case you need to get even more sucked in and taken that much further down the rabbit hole.

As an example, I clicked on the first pic, below, that was on the main page.  Before I knew what was happening, I found myself on this rather enchanting journey down Red Riding Hood Lane where I happened upon the 4 other pics, among many, many, many others.


A Dream Of A Website

A Tremendous Number of Other Picture Book & Other Art Blogs- Still Wonderful

Variations on Little Red Riding Hood to the Infinite Power - Fantastic

Specifically, Kidsí Book Illustrations and Blogs Having ANIMAL PICS



EDIT: Discovered this book, Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm, by Alice and Martin Provenson, another time when I lost and found my way in these links, some time ago.  I got a hold of it and absolutely loved it.  And everyone Iíve shown it to has really loved it, too.  

So, since I happened on it again just now, I decided to punch the Provensonsí names into Google Images to see what I could see.  And I found some fun stuff.  I clicked on one of the pics and it led me to this, what turned out to be an absolute joy and surprise of a treasure trove that includes some wonderful cowboy art that sang to my ďback in the saddle againĒ soul, a pretty neat poem for a cockroach, and all kinds of other gems that kept on bringing me pleasure the more and more I scrolled down the page.

And the last pic I'm tacking on, by Svjetlan Junakovic, well, how could anyone possibly resist this one of a couple of loving moms taking their beautiful darlings out for a bit of fresh air?  
Be sure to click to enlarge it.  It's a smile.

EDIT #2: If you like Children's Picture Book Art, you might find pleasure in the most recent post in the Art thread.

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« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 12:36:19 PM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #276 on: June 07, 2014, 08:36:36 AM »

I donít think Iím a manic-depressive, but if I were, then for the past several hours Iíd have said that Iíve been going through a manic-type, actually, a pretty happy, if bleary-eyed (still on African time, apparently) immersion in Will Allen videos, articles, etc., the whole and implications of which excite me tremendously.  I've mentioned the book here before.

So, rather than go on, Iíll just paste here a list of links, etc., that I compiled and just sent off to family and friends for anyone here that, if anyone here might be interested.

I think the videos, especially the first two listed, will have tremendously more meaning and power for you if you read the book, first, but Iíll just say I think the stuff is absolutely amazing, and really really hopeful.

Thatís all.



ďA pioneering urban farmer and MacArthur Genius Award-Winner points the way to building a new food system that can feed- and heal- communities.

The son of a sharecropper, Will Allen had no intention of ever becoming a farmer himself. But after years in professional basketball and as an executive for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Procter & Gamble, he cashed in his retirement fund for a two-acre plot just outside Milwaukee's largest public housing project. The area was a food desert with only convenience stores and fast-food restaurants to serve the needs of locals.

Despite financial challenges and daunting odds, Allen built the country's preeminent urban farm-a food and educational center that now produces enough produce and fish year-round to feed thousands. Employing young people from the neighboring housing project and community, Growing Power shows how local food systems can help troubled youths, dismantle racism, create jobs, bring urban and rural communities closer together, and improve public health. Today, Allen's organization helps develop community food systems across the country.

An eco-classic in the making, The Good Food Revolution is the story of Will's personal journey, the lives he has touched, and a grassroots movement that is changing the way our nation eats?


(Not the highest quality video, but good enough if enlarged, and, I think, well worth watching.  Itís beyond amazing, to me, anyway, what this guyís been able to do in the middle of Milwaukee, having implications for urban and rural places all over the world).

Like The Book, Good Food Revolution,
Pretty Impressive, This:
A Nearly 30 Minute-Long Video About Will Allen, Growing Power & ďCSAísĒ

Community Supported Agriculture

Edible City: Grow The Revolution (the documentary)

Tilapia Farming





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« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 08:41:58 AM by Jill » Logged
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