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Joe Hill’s Thrills | Scribble Scribble

And something about working in a notebook frees me up to make this mess without worry or guilt. I can’t explain why exactly. I’ve tried to see if there’s a scientific basis that connects working longhand with uncritical creativity, but evidence for that notion seems pretty scant. The actual work of shaping letters one by one, though, seems to turn off the part of my mind that hesitates and likes to second guess. My conscious mind kind of goes away. I think it helps that I know my notebook is just for me, a private thing, almost like a diary. The work becomes a recorded daydream.

Read the entire piece at Joe Hill’s Thrills | Scribble Scribble.

 

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Grammar Jedi

“If we had no speed limits or traffic laws, some people would drive like idiots, even more than they do now. If we had no age of consent, some people would have sex with children, even more than happens now. If there was no IRS, no taxes would be paid, and our country would collapse overnight into anarchy, a horror almost beyond imagining.

And if we had basically no gun restrictions…whoops. We don’t. And gun crime is rampant, and accidental shootings as well, and mass slaughters are becoming more and more common.

One political party in America wants to have meaningful regulations, regulations that would not infringe on the right to gun ownership any more than speed limits infringe on the ability to drive your car. The other party wants mayhem and murder, crime and terrorism, mass shootings, 5 year old boys shooting their 2 year old sisters, and they will fight to the death to keep as many of those things happening as possible.

Sometimes life is very simple: Democrats are good people, Republicans are evil. May the Force be with us, always.”

via Grammar Jedi

‘Most Threatened’ Tribe Sees No Relief from Illegal Loggers | LiveScience

A young Awá girl from Juriti eats papaya, Brazil. CREDIT: ©Sarah Shenker/Survival

A deadline to remove illegal loggers and settlers from the lands of one of the most threatened tribes on Earth appears poised to pass without action in Brazil.

The Awá, a tribe of about 450, have won multiple legal battles granting them the rights to their territory, which are also guaranteed in the Brazilian constitution. But enforcement of those rights has been lacking, with reports of illegal logging camps operating only 3 miles (5 kilometers) from one Awá settlement.

“It’s a complete joke, really,” said Sarah Shenker, a Brazilian campaigner for Survival International, a group that advocates for the rights of indigenous people.

A judge, in a declaration published in March 2012, ordered the eviction of illegal loggers, settlers and ranchers from Awá land within a year. Even with the March 31 deadline approaching, no one has been removed.”

Read more @ ‘Most Threatened’ Tribe Sees No Relief from Illegal Loggers | LiveScience.

Anxiety - Just because you feel bad, doesn't mean things really are bad.

ANXIETY is the body’s way of responding to danger. It’s a survival mechanism designed to keep us alive.

But the danger we perceive doesn’t actually have to be there. We just have to think that it is.

Whether the danger is real or imagined, our automatic survival mechanisms will kick in and we will try to escape or avoid the danger.

We might avoid certain people or places. We might refuse to go out. Perhaps we’ll only go out with someone else present and then leave early.

If we choose to face the danger, we might use coping behaviours to get us through, like smoking more, fiddling with our clothes, avoiding eye contact or taking medication.

Whilst our coping behaviours get us through the perceived danger, they actually keep our anxiety going. As long as we depend on them to cope, we don’t give ourselves the opportunity for the anxiety to go away on its own.

Learning to confront our anxiety might be uncomfortable in the short term, but it helps us take control and feel better in the long term.

If you feel anxiety starting to overwhelm you, ask yourself if you have any proof that what you fear is actually going to happen. What is the worst that could happen and how would you cope with it if it did? Imagine it is six months from now. How important will this feel then?

Just because you feel bad, doesn’t mean things really are bad. Imagine yourself coping with this situation. If you can handle it in your imagination, you can handle it in reality.

via Inner Child Healing.

Nanoparticles Made From Bee Venom Can Kill HIV

"For the experiment, Wickline's team prepared free melittin and melittin-loaded nanoparticles and set them against various strains of HIV..."

“For the experiment, Wickline’s team prepared free melittin and melittin-loaded nanoparticles and set them against various strains of HIV…”

“… researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that nanoparticles infused with a toxic bee venom can kill HIV. The researchers hope to take this new compound and develop a vaginal gel that can prevent the further spread of the disease.

The key to this discovery, which was made by Samuel A. Wickline and his team at Washington University, involves cytolyic melittin peptides. Melittin is found in bee venom, and it has the fortuitous trait of being able to degrade the protective envelope that surrounds HIV.”

via Nanoparticles Made From Bee Venom Can Kill HIV.

 

5 Easy Steps…

… to keep your cool.

 

It is surprisingly easy to lose your cool, and to react to minor stresses and to irritating people.
However, most of us would rather feel relaxed and in control, and the following guidelines can
help us reach this goal.

1. Keep things in perspective: Often we catastrophise or over-react when the issue or
offense is insignificant. Here, it is best to force yourself to take a balanced approach and remind
yourself, “it’s minor, and not worth the energy!”

2. Visualise yourself coping: Take a few deep breaths and let your feelings settle down. Draw
a mental picture of a calm, unflustered “you”, who takes their time to respond and is able to
cope. Then, in a calm, low voice – with a few well chosen words – respond as you would like, so
you maintain your self-respect.

3. Be aware of your triggers: When someone pushes our buttons we generally react.
However, if we know what those are then we can regain control, and can practice how to cope
when our feelings are stirred. Also, if we’re tired or hungry, feeling cold, or over-stretched then
we’re much more likely to over-react.

4. Create a calm environment: Stay one step ahead by preparing yourself for inevitable
setbacks and infuriating people. For example, play some music in the car, or take a walk during
lunch, or keep some photos in your office of the people that you love.

5. Distract yourself: When you feel the pressure building, or you start to ruminate, think of
something that’s amusing, or a fun event you’ve planned.
These are just a few suggestions to help you stay detached so that stresses and people don’t
make you lose your cool.
Found at onlinecounsellingcollege.tumblr.com.

Panic Rant ‘n’ Roll

This! This right here! I finally leave mum’s house, meet a wonderful man and move in together to start our new life, and I settle into my new life and happiness

and

then

PANIC SETS IN because one of my sisters can’t get her shit together and yells at me about it on the phone. Because my mother will always see me as her baby girl and not the woman I’ve grown up to be MORE THAN 12 YEARS AGO. Because three moves, falling in love, and starting my own family wasn’t stressful enough. Because of so much family shit packed into 30 LOOOONG years I am a fucking nervous wreck.

No more.

I am not your therapist, nor am I your journal/diary. Do not call to complain about things I cannot control because all it fucking does is make me PANIC. You (plural “you’) ALL know I suffer from panic attacks and fucking ptsd so you best remember this: If you want to continue to be in my life in any meaningful way, then you will restrain yourself (plural again) and be civil in every last one of our fucking communications or, I swear to you, there will be no further communication between you and I. I will answer your calls again, but if/once they turn for the worse, then the call is over.

I don’t know if this is a form of Tough Love, and I don’t really care. All I know is this is now affecting my health very seriously. And if my family, my literal flesh and blood, can’t bring themselves to care, then so be it. I will always love you, even though you never believe it. But I will not die for you. I will not lose my sanity for you.

I am shaking so bad right now. I’m ready to cry again. Fuck. Fuck this shit. I need chocolate.

Bonnie Sparks’s fundraising page for NaNoWriMo 2012 Author Sponsorship | StayClassy.org

Dear Friends, Family, and Righteous Supporters,

This November, I’m writing a novel. An entire novel, started from scratch, and completed in just one month, as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

And you thought nothing interesting ever happened in November.

NaNoWriMo is free. I’m raising money to help the nonprofit that runs it build communities in classrooms, coffee shops, libraries, and living rooms all over the world and help the inspiration flow for me and thousands of my fellow novelists.

Every dollar I raise will keep my spirits high as I write my way towards the realization of my creative goals. More importantly, your contribution will help The Office of Letters and Light build a more engaged and inspiring world.

Thank you so much for your support of my writing! I’ll be posting updates on my novel and fundraising on my sponsorship page throughout the month.

As a Thank You: Every sponsor that donates $5 or more will receive a digital copy of my book when I finish it and, if I get it published at a later date, you’ll be included in the thank yous in my book. Just make sure you use a valid email when donating (one you use regularly too) so I can contact you when it’s all over.

Here’s more details about what I’m writing.

Bonnie Sparks - author - NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month

via Bonnie Sparks’s fundraising page for NaNoWriMo 2012 Author Sponsorship | StayClassy.org.

Calling All Gynecologists « I Heart Guts

menstrual cycle infographic

Menstrual cycles can be baffling, and that’s why I really wanted to make this special poster explaining this special time of the month, mostly so I can justify to my poor husband exactly why I am feeling totally insane. “It’s not me, honey, it’s the progesterone spiking,” or, “Can you understand now why I’m being a total bee-yatch? I’ve got at least five different hormones coursing through my body right now. I’m on drugs.” Marvel at the leuteinizing hormone! Be amazed as the estrogen takes a nosedive right before ovulation! Check out the egg as it takes its long journey through your reproductive system! Anyway, check it out and give me feedback — calling all OB/GYNs! Editors! Anatomy nuts! Sex educators! — before I send this thing to the printer. I know it’s a little crazy-looking, design-wise, but then again, so’s the menstrual cycle.

via Calling All Gynecologists « I Heart Guts.

You can buy this poster at The Good Ol’ Menstrual Cycle « I Heart Guts.

A Simple Fix for Farming – NYTimes.com

A simple fix for farming - Image Credit: Rosie Gainsborough

Image Credit: Rosie Gainsborough

IT’S becoming clear that we can grow all the food we need, and profitably, with far fewer chemicals. And I’m not talking about imposing some utopian vision of small organic farms on the world. Conventional agriculture can shed much of its chemical use — if it wants to.

This was hammered home once again in what may be the most important agricultural study this year, although it has been largely ignored by the media, two of the leading science journals and even one of the study’s sponsors, the often hapless Department of Agriculture.

The study was done on land owned by Iowa State University called the Marsden Farm. On 22 acres of it, beginning in 2003, researchers set up three plots: one replicated the typical Midwestern cycle of planting corn one year and then soybeans the next, along with its routine mix of chemicals. On another, they planted a three-year cycle that included oats; the third plot added a four-year cycle and alfalfa. The longer rotations also integrated the raising of livestock, whose manure was used as fertilizer.

The results were stunning: The longer rotations produced better yields of both corn and soy, reduced the need for nitrogen fertilizer and herbicides by up to 88 percent, reduced the amounts of toxins in groundwater 200-fold and didn’t reduce profits by a single cent.

In short, there was only upside — and no downside at all — associated with the longer rotations. There was an increase in labor costs, but remember that profits were stable. So this is a matter of paying people for their knowledge and smart work instead of paying chemical companies for poisons.

And though critics of this path can be predictably counted on to say it’s moving backward, the increased yields, markedly decreased input of chemicals, reduced energy costs and stable profits tell another story, one of serious progress.

via A Simple Fix for Farming – NYTimes.com.

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