Friday, December 31, 2010

welcome 2011

"And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been" - Rilke.

Imagine the possibilities!

What do you want to create this new year?
What do you want to let go of?

Collaborative Consumption

 I am loving the idea of collaborative consumption.

also check out:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Rush in, fools do.
My son's new favorite book, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger, is a wonderful read for late elementary school and early middle-schoolers... and a 'must read' for young Star Wars fans.
It's good hearted, funny, and insightful.

Make your own origami Yoda - and don't be surprised when he begins to give out good advice!

Much to learn, you still have.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

an idea whose time has come

"No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come." 
-Victor Hugo
By a vote of 65-31, the Senate sent the bill to repeal 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' to President Obama. The President is expected to sign the bill next week.

Merry Christmas to me!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

hundreds of paths

There are hundreds of paths up the mountain,
all leading in the same direction,
so it doesn't matter which path you take.
The only one wasting time is the one
who runs around and around the mountain,
telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.
-- Hindu teaching

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the good you do

No lost hope, no violent point of view
Can erase the good you do

No fast pace, no jaded attitude
Can erase the good you do

No dark place, no debt, and no abuse
Can erase the good you do

Thank you

Today is a great day to say, "Thank you".

Sunday, December 12, 2010

thought of you

...this piece allows for each individual who views it to  to experience something unique and personal that touches their own sensibilities. - Ryan Woodward

Thought of You from Ryan J Woodward on Vimeo.

"world spins madly on" performed by the weepies
check out the making of Thought of You:

Thought of You - Behind the Scenes Preview - ROUGH CUT from Cambell Christensen on Vimeo.


Mockingbird"In hopes that we may all understand each other better." - Kathryn Erskine

This weekend I read the book 'Mockingbird' by Kathryn Erskine.
Its audience is late-elementary and early middle-school children, but I'd recommend it for everyone to read.

It's the story of a 10 year old girl, Caitlin, with Asperger's. Her brother was recently killed in a senseless school shooting. He was her protector, her only friend - she played Scout to his Jem (To Kill a Mockingbird).

Caitlin struggles to understand the emotions and feelings of the people around her. The book beautifully portrays how a person with Asperger's syndrome doesn't see some things that we think are obvious - such as voice inflection, sarcasm, literal and figurative meanings of words, and empathy.

It is a genuinely touching book (National Book Award winner for Young People's Literature) with a great afterword by the author.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Students First

And now a message from Michelle Rhee...

America's children have been left waiting long enough.

In a country as great as ours, there is no excuse for even one child to be denied the opportunity to get a great education. And yet millions are robbed of the chance at a better future every day.

The wait is over. The time to achieve comprehensive education reform in America is now.

Teachers, parents, concerned citizens, and students have known for years that access to great teachers should not be left to luck. Every child in America deserves an excellent teacher, and every teacher deserves the resources they need to succeed.

For the first time, we have all the pieces we need to make a lasting change to our education system: proven models of successful reform and a nation outraged over the conditions of our schools.

Now it's time we turn our outrage into action. Get started right now: 

Sign the Pledge to reform America's schools now.

Join the Movement and get involved.

Spread the Word tell everyone you know about this exciting movement to put students first.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pearl Harbor

We were just at Pearl Harbor; the National Park Service and US Navy hosted a joint memorial commemorating the 69th anniversary of the attack. The USS Arizona Memorial is now known as The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
To learn more, check out
To help support the monument, text PH to 20222 to make a $10 donation.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

the secret of happiness...

... as told through TED talk sound bites (genius).

The Secret of Happiness from Maria Popova on Vimeo.

How Good Grows

Yahoo launched a How Good Grows project.
The program hopes to create a ripple of kindness around the world.

Your single good deed, big or small, can inspire others and cause a ripple effect of kindness that continues to grow as others join in. Start something today — the more people who take action, the larger your ripple will become.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dragonfly Holiday

I just got the book, The Dragonfly Effect by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith (an amazing husband and wife team). The book looks at ways to use social media to drive change, but it is also so much more.

When asked by the Pink BlogWhat are three ways people can use the remaining six weeks of the year to both spread their idea and boost their satisfaction?” They gave three amazing tips.

1. People overestimate the buzz they get from doing something nice for themselves — and underestimate the benefit they get by doing good for others. 

2. ... if you want to make a change this holiday season, consider not just who you are spending time with -– but also what activities you do with your time.  One simple way to guide your decision about how to spend your time  is to ask yourself the question, “Is what I’m doing right now going to be of lasting value to me or to others?”

3. In the lead-up to the holidays we often find ourselves caught up in buying gifts and finding the best sales; but consider going into this holiday season with an eye towards systematically giving back. As Khalil Gibran said, “You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”  

Have a Dragonfly Holiday this season and be empowered not by your purchases, but by the value you give back to the people and causes that matter most.

Happy Anniversary Montgomery

55 years ago... December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery public bus. In so doing, Rosa Parks was arrested, ignited the Montgomery Bus Boycott and ushered in the civil rights movement.

But, make no mistake, change rarely comes from a single isolated event.

The year before Rosa Parks' arrest, Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald, Claudette Colvin and Mary Louise Smith each made a similar stand against the unfair laws.

By the afternoon of December 1, 1955... the collective consciousness was ready. Rosa Parks was ready. The community leaders and pastors were ready. Enough was finally enough.

"It always seems impossible until its done." - Nelson Mandela

Monday, November 29, 2010


With our thoughts, we make our world — Buddha

The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen. — Frank Lloyd Wright

We are designing the lives we want to lead by living and working where we’re happiest on projects that call to us. — Jessi Arrington

I have been reading Napoleon Hill...
I am searching for my Chief Aim, my own meaningful work.
I have been examining my beliefs about education, about trying new things, experimenting, making mistakes - learning from them, and trying again.

Dive into life with gusto, learn from  mistakes, create new ideas, rise up to challenges, and set high goals.

What gets you up in the morning?

Learning Lab

Check out my favorite nonprofit, Learning Lab, in Boise, Idaho.
Imagine how you would feel if you couldn’t read to your child, fill out a job application, understand your bills, or use your medications correctly?   Those feelings are a reality for 20% of adults because they are barely literate.  

You can help!

I am asking you to click on: Learning Lab/Donate to donate to Learning Lab’s literacy programs.  You can give low-income adults and families the power to break the cycle of illiteracy and lift themselves out of poverty and despair.

Every contribution allows Learning Lab to unleash the amazing potential in each student.  Your donation will pay for the books, educational software, staff and facilities needed to continue this important work.

Do you believe in the power of literacy like I do?  All it takes is one click to help someone learn. You can change their lives, their children’s future, and strengthen our community.  Join me and support this terrific organization’s work!

Donate here: Learning Lab/Donate

For more information about Learning Lab and their great programs, check out their website at

Thank you!

Friday, November 26, 2010

silence of humanity

I just finished the book, "Every Man In This Village Is A Liar : An Education in War" by Megan Stack.

You will be left to wonder... are the "heroes" really heroic and are the "villains" really evil... maybe everything is a lie or an illusion of perception.

A quote from Every Man:
"You can overcome the things that are done to you, but you cannot escape the things that you have done.
Here is the truth: It matters, what you do at war. It matters more than you ever want to know. Because countries, like people, have collective consciences and memories and souls, and the violence we deliver in the name of our nation is pooled like sickly tar at the bottom of who we are."

"... but up close the war on terror isn't anything but the sick and feeble cringing in an asylum, babies in shock, structure smashed. Baghdad broken. Afghanistan broken, Egypt broken. The line between heaven and earth, broken. Lebanon broken. Broken peace and broken roads and broken bridges. The broken faith and the years of broken promises. Children inheriting their parents' broken hearts, growing up with a taste for vengeance. And all along, America dreaming its deep sweet dream, there and not there. America chasing phantoms, running uphill to nowhere in pursuit of a receding mirage of absolute safety."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tree of Codes

For book and paper lovers everywhere...
What do you get when you take your favorite book and cut out chunks of text?
It's part sculpture, part story telling, and part magic!
Jonathan Safran Foer (of Eating Animals and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close fame) has done the amazing with his new book, Tree of Codes. This brilliant project is created by cutting out large sections of text from Foer's favorite novel, The Street of Crocodiles.

Check out the interview with Jonathan in Vanity Fair.

Finally a book that simply doesn't translate to Kindle :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

free hugs

"I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion - I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more - I could be martyred for my religion - Love is my religion - I could die for that. "
John Keats 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

patti digh

Life is a Verb: 37 days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally...
a great new book I'm reading!

It's funny and wonderful and inspiring. I plan to buy more as gifts this year.

Here's my favorite part so far:

"Go to the grocery store today. Buy five packages of birthday candles. Use them with wild abandon... Never be without your candles. I travel with a pack because you never know when a celebration will break out."

In a nut shell: be generous, speak up, love more, say yes, trust yourself, and slow down.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

... but I'm not the only one

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one.

Happy Veterans Day

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

i love readers :)

Everyone has the right to read. 
Here's a good example of a Reader's Bill of Rights to help you make the most of that right:
Readers have:
·     The right to read.
·     The right to skip pages.
·     The right to not finish.
·     The right to reread.
·     The right to read anything.
·     The right to escapism.
·     The right to knowledge.
·     The right to read anywhere.
·     The right to browse.
·     The right to read out loud.
·     The right not to defend your tastes.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Girl Up

The Girl Up campaign is sponsored by the United Nations and encourages young girls in the US to raise awareness and funds for adolescent girls in developing countries.

With Girl Up, you can join the campaign for every girl's right to be respected, educated, healthy, safe and ready for the future.
Give a "high five" today

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fifty People One Question

asking people one question and filming their answers...

Where would you wish to wake up tomorrow?

Fifty People, One Question: Brooklyn from Fifty People, One Question on Vimeo.

Fifty People, One Question: London from Fifty People, One Question on Vimeo.

By the end of today, what would you wish to happen?

Fifty People, One Question: New Orleans from Fifty People, One Question on Vimeo.

Fifty People, One Question: New York from Fifty People, One Question on Vimeo.

Filmed in 2008...
people are beautiful, funny, curious... amazing!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Four Feet Two Sandals

 Four Feet Two Sandals is a wonderful book about friendship between two refugee girls in Peshawar, Pakistan. A pair of bright yellow sandals bring the girls together. Through sharing, both loneliness and fear are soothed. By the end of the story (sniff, sniff) children will be aware of the plight of refugees - 20 million globally, the majority of which are children.

Want to help children in need get shoes? Check out my blog post on Toms Shoes.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

May we honor those who have died by how we choose to live.

Before you speak to me about your religion,
first show it to me in how you treat other people; 

before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children; 

before you preach to me of your passion for your faith, teach me about it through your compassion for your neighbors. 

In the end, I'm not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as in how you choose to live and give.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Samaritan Blog tips its hat to Operation Beautiful
"A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes."  -- Gandhi
These were as much fun to make as they were to post.
"Smile. You are Beautiful."

Susan Retik

Susan Retik was pregnant when she lost her husband in the 9/11 attacks. After September 11, 2001 Ms. Retik bonded with Patti Quigley who was also pregnant and whose husband had also died in the attack. Together they met hate with love and formed the nonprofit Beyond the 11th.
Read Nicholas Kristof's NYT article The Healers of 9/11

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

money tree

Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Money Tree

How many money trees have you passed by... only for the lack of seeing

Friday, September 3, 2010

operation beautiful

Have you checked out the blog Operation Beautiful?
The goal of Operation Beautiful is to end negative self-talk.

You can participate and/or start a local chapter in your town or state.
Here's my favorite post:
Jenna gave her 17 year old sister a "beautiful" surprise.

pennies for peace

If Lucy doesn't convince you to start a "pennies for peace" collection at your school... then no one will.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Danny and Annie

Know that as you're watching this...
I'm probably still crying.

Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

Story Corps always breaks my heart in the best possible way.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A time to speak

Charles Morgan became a leading civil rights lawyer. His words here ring true today...

"Every person in this community who has in any way contributed during the past several years to the popularity of hatred is at least as guilty, or more so, than the demented fool who threw that bomb."  - Charles Morgan

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Hurricane Katrina hit land on August 29th, 2005.
For the 5 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, check out Telling Their Stories.
Telling Their Stories is a juried exhibit of Katrina imagery - 53 photographs from 35 photographers.

Also, there's this amazing photography from

What do you remember most about August 29, 2005?

I remember feeling helpless and frustrated and angry and overwhelmingly sad. I always thought that the gulf coast would forever after be thought of twice: before Katrina or after Katrina. Who could ever have imagined that the BP oil spill may change all that...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stand with Pakistan

Pakistan needs the world's help.
There has been unimaginable devastation brought on by weeks of flooding.
Pakistan is in crisis and needs all of us to extend a hand.

Check out: On the Ground in Pakistan

Text "FLOOD" to 27722 to donate $10 to the State Department Pakistan Relief Fund

Donate to those who are out doing the work: the Mahvash & Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation, Rural Support Programmes Network, the Kashf Foundation, or the International Rescue Committee.

nothing to envy

I know very little about North Korea... and that became even more obvious as I read the book, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick. It's a wonderful combination of narrative nonfiction and history lesson. It's an inspiring read of a long-suffering people.

Listen to Barbara Demick on NPR's All Things Considered

Sunday, August 22, 2010

mind training

Matthieu Ricard is a  french Buddhist monk :)
He is often called the "happiest person in the world".

I just ordered his newest book, Why Meditate: Working with Thoughts and Emotions.

the measure

"Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit, and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these." -- Susan B Anthony

Saturday, August 21, 2010

alone... how to be

"You could be in an instant surrounded if you needed it. If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it. There is heat in freezing; be a testament."

21st Century Enlightenment

Matthew Taylor's lecture on the meaning of 21st Century Enlightenment is a wonderful RSA video.

I love the reference to Jonathan Haidt's excellent book the Happiness Hypothesis (elephant and the rider).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Noah Wild

Have you met Noah Wild yet?

"Noah Wild is a movement dedicated to the idea that kids can truly make a difference by saving animals and the places they live."

The web site offers animal info for kids and links to other great animal sites. It has videos and cartoons and merchandise. Buying Noah Wild products gives money back to 5 animal non-profits... and your child gets to decide which non-profit gets his/her donation.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

sergey larenkov

Sergey Larenkov has merged historic photos with contemporary pictures to create amazing images.
to me, they are images of healing and resilience.

check out his site featuring Berlin, Prague, & Vienna 65 years later

And, if you've read City of Thieves... you'll want to check out his collection of merged photos of The Siege of Leningrad . Amazing and chilling... during the 900 days, many thousands died.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Sign

A couple of weeks ago, my sister told me about a sign she saw in someone's yard... the sign calls the President a Marxist and a traitor.
She has to pass this sign every day on her way to work, and it was infuriating her.

I kept thinking about it...
part of me wanted to convince the person(s) who put up the sign of how wrong they were...
part of me was infuriated too.

Then it dawned on me that no one experiences freedom until they stop pushing against others. The only thing that ever binds you is the pushing against that which is unwanted. And so I can go about my day pushing against that sign, or I can go about my day with appreciation about what is.

It is with great appreciation that I present the sign which for me is a lesson and a blessing in disguise.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thank You

I'm thankful for free music in a beautiful setting.

Check out the wonderful work of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony
The largest privately funded free-admission symphony in America.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

Read more about Proposition 8 Overturned
My favorite tweet Wednesday was from Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (@villaraigosa) Prop 8 wasn't just unconstitutional, it was un-Californian thoughts exactly :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tom's Shoes

Have you checked out Toms Shoes yet?

Toms Shoes was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie. Toms shoes sells lightweight shoes... and with every pair of shoes sold, Toms donates a new pair of shoes to a child in need.