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Source: Animals Talking in All Caps

“OH, HEY. DIDN’T MEAN TO STARTLE YOU. WE HEARD YOU PLAYING THAT FLORENCE + THE MACHINE RECORD IN YOUR TENT.

CAN WE JUST HANG OUT AND LISTEN TO IT? WE’LL BE SUPER QUIET. WE’RE JUST REALLY BIG FANS OF HER WORK.”

Here ya go.
http://thissongissick.com/blog/2014/childish-gambino-just-released-must-hear-19-song-mixtape-stn-mtn-kauai/#sthash.vTcne2fQ.dpbs

Can Art Actually Save the World?

Two dancers from Brooklyn based Urban Dance Women came to speak at UGA, today. In addition to a performance centered mission, this dance troupe has community and human rights focused core values, and define themselves by their work to make the world a better place. This, of course, brings about the question, what can dance, and more specifically, your home-based dance troupe actually do to help your community?

We all know how art helps the community. Art has been proven to decrease violence and crime in communities; it can help you to better absorb information; Art can decrease rates of depression; and can help high risk children graduate from high school. But can art feed the hungry? Can art house the homeless? Can art fight for equal rights? Yes? No? Maybe.

Charity Watch’s index of top rated charities fall into the following categories.Let’s discuss how dance can make an impact.

CONSUMER PROTECTION AND LEGAL AID-This is a difficult topic for a troupe to advocate for when a pressing issue is not directly affecting their community. I hope that in our very anti-establishment troupe, we communicate a very healthy fear of big business and the government. I know I make fun of my fair share of politicians.

HUMAN RIGHTS

ABORTION & REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH POLICY-My dance troupe has been involved in the fight for reproductive justice in the past, but is has mainly been in partnership with an organization focused on the fight for reproductive justice (GRJAN). While directly facilitating abortions or lobbying congress for policy change would not be fitting with our mission, I still believe there’s more we can do. Abortions are highly stigmatized, though 30% of women have or will have one in their lifetime. As dance is a means for storytelling, our job is to tell these stories.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN-History shows that the most effective means of fighting discrimination begins with protests, followed by laws. We stand in solidarity with all of our brothers and sisters fighting for equality, but how does that translate into action? Inclusivity starts in your home troupe. It should look like 50 Shades of Brown Skin when you look at your dance family. Can’t find dancers? Bring your art form to the audience you wish to encourage to join.
AIDS-Once again, my troupe has held benefit shows and raised awareness for this cause. We are publicly sex positive and give out condoms at shows, indirectly encouraging healthy sexual encounters. This is a topic we need to make an effort to be more outspoken on.
AMERICAN INDIAN-Please see AFRICAN-AMERICAN
ANIMAL & ANIMAL PROTECTION-Despite almost everyone in our troupe owning a pet, we have done nothing to help this cause. A dance troupe could raise funds, raise awareness, volunteer. I’ve long wanted my troupe to get involved in Pets and Wonder, for instance.
ASIA & ASIAN-AMERICAN-Please see AFRICAN-AMERICAN
BLIND & VISUALLY-IMPAIRED-UBW talked about instructing blind children in dance by describing what each part of their body needed to be doing. This is a wonderful jumping off point.
CANCER-Cancer survivors are actually my troupe’s major project moving forward. Using Pink Light Burlesque as a model, we hope to begin to offer classes to breast cancer survivors, as well as survivors of sexual abuse. In addition to the therapeutic elements of dance, we hope to make a impact in our community by helping others rediscover and own their sexuality.
CHILD PROTECTION-Unfortunately, due to the nature of our performance, we cannot be involved with children, however, working with children may be the most important work that other troupes can do. In addition to ensuring future generations of performers and artists, physical activity and art help students in just about every way possible. No work that a troupe does is more important than working with the next generation.
CHILD SPONSORSHIP-Please see CHILD PROTECTION
CONSUMER PROTECTION AND LEGAL AID-This is a difficult topic for a troupe to tackle when a topical incident is not directly affecting their community. I hope in our very anti-establishment troupe, we inspire a healthy fear of the government and big business. I think more of our numbers could tackle some global issues and bring awareness to current events.
CRIME & FIRE PREVENTION-I definitely have my eye on a lot of fire hazards at shows, but how does one prevent crime through dance, aside from working with at risk children? Is that the only way?
DISABLED-We need to be holding workshops and introducing our art to all people.
DRUG & ALCOHOL ABUSE-I’m sure that dance troupes that have not had in-house issues with drugs and alcohol are few and far between. We need to take that expertise out into our communities. Art can be a very helpful means of healing.
ENVIRONMENT-In 2004, Canopy Studio did an evocative show about the tragedies of environmental destruction. Who knows if it resulted in any lifestyle changes, but it’s a great first step.
GUN CONTROL (PRO/CON)-Right now, action on this issue needs to be taking place in our government. While our venue is gun free, as a feminist troupe we have to do more.
HEALTH – GENERAL-Between our medium (dance) and our sexual health positivisity, I feel as though we’re doing a great job of encouraging healthy habits for our audience. However, many of our food involving activities do involve sweets. Perhaps we can work to change that in the future.
HISPANIC – GENERAL-Please see AFRICAN-AMERICAN
HOMELESSNESS & HOUSING-What began this blog post what a thought I had that dance can’t shelter the homeless. Unfortunately, I still don’t have a great idea of what dance can do to help our homeless neighbors. The first step for all of these causes is to partner with a local nonprofit working on the cause and raise money and awareness for them. Perhaps on this issue, this is the best that we can do.
HUMAN RIGHTS-I can proudly say that my troupe is actively fighting for human rights, through our performances, our social media, and our day-to-day actions. I know that any member of my troupe will stand up against injustices in real life, and our numbers will address issues of discrimination. I am fortunate that this has happened naturally thus far and am confident that it will continue to be this way. As far as cultivating this attitude in other troupes, the main reason I believe my troupe is so passionate is because it is a frequent topic of conversation whenever we are all together.
HUMAN SERVICES-Human services seems to fall into the category of dance can’t build houses. Like the homeless issues, align yourself with an organization that can help the injured and provide services in natural disasters, and give them time, money, and volunteers.
HUNGER-Dance can’t feed the hungry, either, but a troupe can hold a food drive. Syrens of the South does an excellent job of serving their local community. Many of their shows offer a ticket discount if an audience member brings a donation for the charity that the shows sponsors. I specifically remember them holding a food drive in their past.
INTERNATIONAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT-Frequently, troupes are lucky to be reaching out beyond their community, let alone at a world-wide scale. Yet again, my suggestion is to find an organization working on this cause and offer exposure, funds, and volunteers.
JEWISH & ISRAEL-Please see AFRICAN-AMERICAN
LITERACY-The fight for literacy in America is being fought with our youth–on a elementary, middle, and high school level. Unfortunately, that means that my troupe an only support the mission from afar. We’ve done benefits for our local library and shows celebrating books, but that’s as far as we can go.
MENTAL HEALTH & DISABILITIES-Please see DISABLED.
PEACE & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS-Please see INTERNATIONAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT
POPULATION PLANNING-Please see INTERNATIONAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT
PUBLIC POLICY-Please see CONSUMER PROTECTION AND LEGAL AID
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH-Please see ABORTION & REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH POLICY
SENIOR CITIZENS-Senior citizens need to be at the top of our list of populations to target, along with cancer and sexual violence survivors. Other troupes have done a better job at involving their legends to perform with them, and we need to get on board.
TERMINALLY OR CHRONICALLY ILL-While some people may be too ill to dance, those that are physically able to be involved in our art deserve the opportunity. It is our responsibility to bring such opportunities to them.
VETERANS & MILITARY-Dancing ladies and the military have a long history together. I would love to have my troupe’s thoughts on how to recreate this relationship in our own community.
WOMEN’S RIGHTS-Please see HUMAN RIGHTS
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT-Please see CHILD PROTECTION
YOUTH – RESIDENTIAL CARE-Please see CHILD PROTECTION

Everyone I know is having a really tough time right now.

So let’s do our best for one another.

Banned Books Week 2014

Welp, time to read some banned books.

http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10#2013

Top Ten Challenged Books Lists by Year: 2001-2013

Find out if your favorite book has been banned or challenged by exploring the top ten lists of the 21st century below. For more information on how many books were challenged in a given year or for reasons why these books were challenged, please explore the top ten list by year.

2013

Out of 307 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

2012

Out of 464 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom
  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

2011

Out of 326 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism

2010

Out of 348 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  3. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, and sexually explicit
  4. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  6. Lush, by Natasha Friend
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  8. Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich
    Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, and religious viewpoint
  9. Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie
    Reasons:  homosexuality and sexually explicit
  10. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
    Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence

2009

Out of 460 challenges as reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: drugs, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  2. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality
  3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: anti-family, drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group
  4. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group
  5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
    Reasons: religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  6. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  7. My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  10. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

2008

Out of 513 challenges as reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
  2. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
    Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence
  3. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  4. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence
  5. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence
  6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group
  7. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  8. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
    Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group
  9. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  10. Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
    Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group

2007

Out of 420 challenges reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons:  anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, sexism, and unsuited to age group
  2. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, violence
  3. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit
  4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
    Reason: religious viewpoint
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Reason: racism
  6. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. ttyl, by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
    Reason: sexually explicit
  9. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
    Reasons: sex education and sexually explicit
  10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

2006

Out of 546 challenges reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
    Reasons: anti-family, homosexuality, and unsuited to age group
  2. Gossip Girls (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, and unsuited to age group
  3. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: offensive language and sexually explicit
  4. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
    Reasons: anti-family, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  5. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  6. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons:  insensitivity, occult/Satanism, unsuited to age group, and violence
  7. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
    Reasons: homosexuality and offensive language
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  9. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  10. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and violence

2005

Out of 405 challenges reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health, by Robie H. Harris
    Reasons: abortion, homosexuality, nudity, religious viewpoint, sex education, unsuited to age group
  2. Forever, by Judy Blume
    Reasons: offensive language, sexual content
  3. The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger
    Reasons: sexual content, offensive language, unsuited to age group
  4. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: sexual content, offensive language
  5. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
    Reasons: racism, offensive language
  6. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
    Reason: sexual content
  7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: sexual content, being unsuited to age group
  8. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: anti-family content, unsuited to age group, violence
  9. Crazy Lady!, by Jane Leslie Conly
    Reason: offensive language
  10. It’s So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families, by Robie H. Harris
    Reasons: sex education, sexual content

2004

Out of 547 challenges reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  2. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, violence
  3. Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, by Michael A. Bellesiles
    Reasons: inaccurate, political viewpoint
  4. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit
  6. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group, sexually explicit
  7. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
    Reasons: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  8. King & King, by Linda deHaan
    Reason: homosexuality
  9. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  10. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, violence

2003

Out of 458 challenges reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: sexual content, offensive language, unsuited to age group
  2. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
    Reasons: occult/Satanism
  3. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
    Reason: offensive language
  4. Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, by Michael Bellesiles
    Reason: inaccuracy
  5. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
    Reason: drugs, offensive language, racism, sexual content, violence
  6. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
    Reason: drugs
  7. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
    Reason: homosexuality, nudity, sexual content, sex education
  8. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
    Reason: offensive language, sexual content
  9. King & King, by Linda de Haan
    Reason: homosexuality
  10. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
    Reason: occult/Satanism, offensive language

2002

Out of 515 challenges reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling
    Reasons: occult/Satanism, violence
  2. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  5. Taming the Star Runner, by S.E. Hinton
    Reason: offensive language
  6. Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group
  7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Reason: offensive language
  8. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
    Reasons: occult/Satanism, offensive language, violence
  9. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
    Reason: offensive language
  10. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
    Reasons: unsuited to age group, violence

2001

Out of 448 challenges reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling
    Reasons: anti-family, occult/Satanism, religious viewpoint, violence
  2. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, sexually explicit
  6. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group
  7. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit
  9. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
    Reason: offensive language
  10. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Happy Birthday, Keanu

Carina Guardians of Galaxy

© Matt Hardy

I was Carina from Guardians of the Galaxy. 

GISHWHES 2014

This year I participated in the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. ~200 items worth ~10k points were released on Saturday August 2 and we were given exactly 7 days to complete them all with our team of 15 total people. All of the submissions where in the form of video or picture. I’ve been trying to find the best medium to share our completed challenges, and I landed on wordpress.

Challenges Team Athens (myself and Victoria) Completed

Note: We enlisted some friends to help. Thanks Sarah, George, Kyle, Sondra, Benjamin, Tim, and random people we met along the way.

Item 176: Try to make yourself look exactly like an iconic local statue (in every detail) and stand next to it.

Item 106:  Let’s see a fully dressed, face-painted geisha mowing the lawn

Item #29. If you’re like me, you’re sick of the go-to barista foam-art. If I have to sip at another latte adorned with a fern or clover shape, I’m going to cry. Let’s see the Elopus professionally recreated in the foam of a café’s hot drink. (This one was all Victoria.)

121: Challenge a movie theater employee: If you beat them in an arm-wrestling competition, they have to give you a free ticket. If they beat you, you’ll buy one. (This one was also all Victoria)

#147 It’s summertime and everyone loves a lemonade stand. But then again, every Tom, Dick and Harry is setting up a lemonade stand in the summertime and the market is flooded. Respond to consumer demand and carve out your own niche. Let’s see two children manning a “Hot Pasta With Jam Sauce” stand.

#35 Suck the blood from a doughnut.

37. [IMAGE] “When I grow up, I want to be…” Have a child dress up as what they want to be when they grow up (lawyer, doctor, ballerina, dragon-slayer, etc.).

Item #154: IMAGE. Sculpt John Barrowman’s head from duct tape.

Item #49: IMAGE. Make a 5-foot in diameter bird’s nest on a sidewalk in an upscale neighborhood. Nest in it.

Item 148: GISHWHES rock band album cover including one, some or all of your teammates.

Item #28. Stage a mini-newspaper boat regatta in a public fountain with at least four competing vessels. We must see intense competitiveness and gambling.

 

#36: You at the beach, pool or on a boat, wearing a homemade, 99% edible, candy bathing suit. (The remaining 1% can be inedible thread or wire, but we don’t want to see it.)

Item #12: GISHWHES has taken its toll this year. You deserve a break. Hit the hot tub with a couple of friends… wearing hats made of ice cream.

Item #134-You or your pet, in period costume, seated on a Game of Thrones-style kale throne.Make it so good that GOT producers would want it as a marketing poster

Item 130: An angel made from feminine hygiene products.

#178 Birds have style too. Create an architecturally-significant GISHWHESESQUE birdhouse. Hang it on a tree in a public park. On the photo, write the name of the park and the city and country in which it is installed.

 

#173 You see people holding up signs from time to time that say “free hugs.” I have always been wary of those people. I don’t know what it is they’re after. Are they trying to cop a feel? Get me to buy a timeshare? I avoid them. But your “free hugs” sign won’t leave any doubt in the readers’ minds… Wearing a bathing suit, cover every inch of your exposed skin with honey, peanut butter, syrup or jam. Hold a sign on a busy public sidewalk that reads, “Free Hugs.” Enthusiastically attempt to recruit hug-victims.

#8 A lot of politicians oppose minimum wage laws. Let’s expand their horizons: pay an elected official less than minimum wage to do at least 1 hour of yard work for you.

 

 

 

 

Journal Time Up!

This past week, I finished up all pages in the notebook of my journal. The time with this journal spanned over 10 years, many life changes, and even more shopping and to-do lists. I thought I would go ahead and post my very first and my very last entry.

7-22-03
I’m wondering why there’s all this emphasis on maturity and growing up. I never wanted to grow up to begin with, and now I’m all upset because I acted irrationally and immaturely. I guess it’s because I’m worried about what effects it’s going o have in the long term, but . . . well . . . maybe it’s because I’ve ruined so many of these things in the past.
 
7/30/2014
Well, this is it. The last page. We have moved in to our house (the one we bought!) so it’s obviously the end and beginning of an era. It’s only right that this journal should end, as well.
The house is perfect and adorable and requires so much work. I keep telling people that it’s like having a child–I’m exhausted all the time but I’m so happy.
. . .
What a boring, devoid of emotion entry for my final page. That’s okay. I’m excited about the new house and the new process of adulthood. I’m probably a different person from 2003. I’ve grown into the person I was afraid of, and I’m pretty sure I like myself a lot more, now.
 

The Original: Females

Does the book contain one or more female characters? Yes

Do these characters have names? Yes: Sarah, Ernestina, Aunt Tranter, Mrs. Poultney, Mrs. Talbot, Mrs. Fairley, Milly, Mary

Do these characters talk to one another? Yes

Do they discuss something other than men? Yes. Mrs. Fairley and Mrs. Poulteney talk about Sarah. The one time that conversation is witnessed by the reader, however, they discuss Sarah walking through what serves in the story as the red light district. Therefore, while the conversation is not about men, it does indirectly pertain to men.

Other-The fascinating thing about a Victorian novel being written in the late sixties is the perspective and self-awareness The French Lieutenant’s Woman has. While the 60’s were not as advanced when it comes to feminism as we are, today, the author is surprisingly advanced for his time: “What are we faced with in the nineteenth century? An age where woman was sacred; and where you could buy a thirteen-year-old girl for a few pounds–a few shillings, if you wanted her for only an hour or two. Where more churches were built than in the whole previous history of the county; and where one in sixty houses in London was a brothel…Where the sanctity or marriage (and chastity before marriage) was proclaimed from every pulpit, in every newspaper editorial and public utterance; and where never–or hardly ever–have so many great public figures, from the future king down, led scandalous private lives…Where the female body had never been so hidden from view; and where every sculptor was judged by his ability to carve naked women…Where it was universally maintained that women do not have orgasms; and yet every prostitute was taught to simulate them. Where there was enormous progress and liberation in every other field of human activity; and nothing but tyranny in the most personal and fundamental” (p266-267).

Racism:

Does the book contain one or more characters of a minority race? No

Other: “My dear Charles, if you play the Muslim in a world of Puritans, you can expect no other treatment,” the doctor tells the main character. While there are no minority characters in Victorian England, this statement does imply that there is awareness of other races, at least in the more educated population of the country.

Heterosexism:

Does the book contain one or more gay characters? It is unclear, though the book does make mention of the question, during a scene in which the main heroine is seen in bed with another woman: “But some vices were then so unnatural that they did not exist. I doubt if Mrs. Poulteney had ever heard of the word “lesbian”; and if she had, it would have commenced with a capital , and referred to an island in Greece . . . But what of Sarah’s motives? As regards lesbianism, she was as ignorant as her mistress” (p. 157-158). Is Sarah a lesbian? Maybe.

Classism:

Does the book contain one or more lower-class characters? Yes. There is a significant amount of time spent on the romantic subplot between two lower class characters.

Do these characters have names? Millie, Mary, Sam…

Do these characters talk to one another? Yes, frequently.

Do they discuss something other than the upper class? Sam and Mary discuss their love, marriage, as well as make some small talk. The conversation that the reader is privy to does tend to revolve around the larger plot, Charles and Sarah, so the instances of Mary and Sam talking, unrelated to their employers are few, but existent, none the less.

Other- The narrator, in his more “enlightened” viewpoint, seems to have interesting opinions about the Victorian class structure. Mr. Freeman, one of the only financially successful characters in the novel offers Charles, his future son-in-law at the time, his business. This immediately pits Charles in a quandary. Though he has no money, it’s so plebeian to work for money. Gentlemen simply don’t do that. The most respectable character in the novel, Dr. Grogan, is both learned, middle class, and self-employed in the business of helping others.

Also important to mention is the distinction and time the author spends on Sam’s position: “Of course, to us any Cockney servant called Sam evokes immediately the immortal Weller; and it was certainly from that background that this Sam had emerged…But the difference between Sam Weller and Sam Farrow (that is, between 1836 and 1867) was this: the first was happy with his role, the second suffered it. Weller would have answered the bag of soot, and with a verbal vengeance. Sam had stiffened, ‘rose his hibrows’ and turned his back.” This paves the way for much more characterization and time spent on/with Sam, but it only ends up being foreshadowing.

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