Three short poems I wrote tonight in eight minutes

An exercise in the co-op management workshop I attended tonight put me in charge of motivating a team of poetry writers to produce poems; and then measure our production against the forecasts that I provided before we got started. Happy to say, my team of 7 awesome poem writers produced way above expectations, with many submitting more than one poem in each of two rounds of writing – that were each four minutes long. We had fun!

Here are my submissions. What do you think?

On a cool summer’s eve
I think about politics
I think about Wednesday
I think about going somewhere this weekend
The end of the workweek
Beginning of fun!!!
Oh, I like fun.
But, wait. My job is writing poems ….
So, really, I am having fun all week.
I guess I will need to work harder on the weekend:
To have MORE fun.
Sounds like a job.
Sounds like work.
I love work.

School year’s almost over
So watch out for roaming children!
Bikes, baseballers and basketball players
Kids walking to the pool
And heading out for ice cream.
Share the road and be safe everybody!

Buzz buzz buzz
Was was was
A bee

John Cleese on oversensitivity & taking PC way too far

John Cleese
Source: The Big Think
John Cleese points out that all humour is critical – even the inclusive type and gives the example: “How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” But in today’s environment of hyper-sensitivity over political correctness, many instances of humour are now viewed as unkind.

The reasons for this may be, as Cleese relates, this: “Robin Skinner said something very interesting to me: if people cannot control their own emotions they have to start trying to control other people’s behaviour.” And well, see the rest of what he says for yourself. It’s a quick watch, and worthwhile.

Adam Grant says: Be an original thinker – and possibly change the world

Adam Grant
Source: TED
Adam Grant gives a TED Talk on The surprising habits of original thinkers. It’s lovely.

Innovate, procrastinate, take risk, try, get messy, Adam suggests. Try something new – because you could change the world. And remember, creative people are on a different time schedule. A quote I love from this TED Talk: “You call it procrastination. I call it thinking.”

Thanks, Adam!

A thoughtful Jim Carrey promotes love over fear in short video

Jim Carrey speaks
Source: Screenshot from Jim Carrey’s The Meaning Video
In this sweet little video, actor Jim Carrey urges us to choose love over fear – and to have some fun with life. There are pictures of Jim sitting quietly and talking thoughtfully … he’s a surprisingly good looking and interesting man when not portraying characters that are dangerous, demented or disgusting. I enjoyed so much seeing this different side of a social icon whom frankly, I have often found disturbing.

Hat tip to Theresa Lam for the nice share

Must watch! The cutest munchkin versions of famous woman professionals

Viola Davis
Source: YouTube Fast-Forward Girls 2015 video by GoldieBlox
GoldieBlox’s Fast-Forward Girls project celebrates superstar women and the girls they inspire – 10 women role models who have “broken the mold, blazed a trail, and made it happen in politics, entertainment, sport, and STEM. Each superstar is played by a mini-superstar in the making…” and these girls are cuties!

Grown ups portrayed:
Amy Schumer: #iLookLikeAComedian
Hillary Clinton: #iLookLikeAPresident
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: #iLookLikeAJustice
Isis Anchalee: #iLookLikeAnEngineer
Beyoncé: #iLookLikeAnEntrepreneur
Nicki Minaj: #iLookLikeASuperstar
Jen Welter: #iLookLikeAnNFLCoach
Viola Davis: #iLookLikeAnEmmyWinner
Misty Copeland: #iLookLikeAPrincipalBallerina
Abby Wambach: #iLookLikeAWorldChampion

For more info on who these remarkable women are and what they accomplished in 2015, visit the GoldieBlox blog.

A Syrian refugee in the UK shares hope and thanks for the kindness he’s experienced

Jack AR's room in UK
Foto source: Jack AR’s post to Calais – People to People Solidarity – Action from UK Facebook Group
Syrian refugee Jack AR (Ahmad al Rashid) posted these words of thanks, hope and homesickness in the Facebook group Calais – People to People Solidarity – Action from UK. It’s quite a statement:

This is my new home in England and, I have to tell you, it has taken me completely by surprise. I had heard and read so much about how the British people were so unwelcoming to migrants and asylum seekers and want to close the borders and even bomb the boats carrying migrants. But my experience has shown me that the ones who care and want to help far outnumber the ones who don’t. I have met such kindness from so many strangers.

I was forced to leave my home in Syria due to the terrible war in my country. Of course, wherever I go I will never feel happier or more comfortable than being in my home in Syria. I have my roots there, I grew up there, I have all my friends and loved ones there (the ones who are still struggling to stay alive and the ones who lost their lives in this horrendous war), I have all my memories there, my childish dreams and aspirations.

Many people understand this, especially the refugees, migrants and immigrants who have been forced to leave their home and have also felt the pain and recognise what I feel.

Yesterday, when I moved into this house and I was shown my room by the family who are hosting me in their own home, I was stunned and amazed by their attitude and the way they treated me. The hospitality and care which they showed to make me comfortable is something I don’t have words to describe. This was a tremendous relief and soothed my fears and worries.

I sincerely thank all and everyone who made this happen. You can’t imagine how many people are giving their time, efforts and money to help people like me. I thank all the Calais support /solidarity groups, the organisers and their dedicated supporters within the UK and elsewhere. I thank the Room for Refugees initiative and the people behind it.

I thank everyone who helped to spread the word and showing me that people here really do care.

Good luck, Jack and God bless!

Native Americans give no thanks for Columbus’ legacy of destruction and neither should we

picture from One Cut video
Screen shot from One Word – Episode 25: Christopher Columbus invited Native Americans to free-associate one word with Columbus. They got fabulous responses worked into a short video, which made me feel very thoughtful.

Although American schoolchildren do learn about the destruction Columbus brought to our land and the First Nation people who were already living here, we are also taught to idolize both the destroyer and the destruction Columbus initiated. Which means that from a very young age, our schools are teaching children to idolize cruelty, thievery, genocide and to value the monetization of natural resources. Resources which – when left intact or at least, used sustainably – remain treasures of Mother Earth with the power to nurture and allow us to live surrounded by beauty, in comfort.

School lessons about Thanksgiving and the “discovery of America” also exercise a subtle, insidious effect on their minds, as these lessons require students to discard accurate perceptions of what fairness is and to replace them with interpretations of reprehensible acts as acts of charity and kindness. Internalizing these fallacies create in students’ minds a state of cognitive dissonance, and may create a mental imbalance that follows them throughout their lives.

Small wonder that faced with the internet-empowered and growing ability of The People to learn real history, educate others and advocate for serving up authentic lessons delivered by professors who represent gender and cultural diversity, Big Money pushes back by spending massive amounts of lobbying dollars to close the internet down and is intent on destroying public education as well. Educated and digitally empowered democratic citizens are not Big Money’s best customers.

These powerful, monied interests keep us complicit in the Earth’s destruction by inveigling us to labor at enriching the industries that are destroying it and then spend our leisure hours shopping for the largely useless goods that those industries produce. The industrialists seem hopeful of disabling challenges to the narratives they have injected into and made dominant in our society by limiting our ability to communicate with each other on a mass scale via the internet and by blocking upcoming generations from the acquisition of critical thinking skills by destroying public education.

Big Money designed narratives to destroy morality, intellect, the love for truth and belief in its innate rightness in order to create generations of confused and frustrated, but compliant laborers and consumers who are easily led … and on both sides of the consumption coin we are enriching them to the point that .1% of society now owns as much as the lower 90%. But truth can be our remedy to this grand manipulation.

Let’s circle back to truth talk and to life lessons of intrinsic value. I love the truths spoken by Native Americans in CUT’s video and if you do too, please share it widely.

Please also share your ideas, if you have any, on whether Thanksgiving Day can be transformed from a celebration of wrongdoing into a celebration of goodness … and how. My family’s approach is by supporting Newark’s Share the Harvest and Break Bread With You Celebrations in Newark, where we help to share a festive day and delicious home-cooked food with 3000 plus underserved, elderly and NWNAs (Neighbor With No Address) families and individuals in northern New Jersey.

Hat tip to Nathaniel Davis for the fantastic find.

In 84 seconds learn why Cable & Telcos are trying to gut Net Neutrality funding and take it away from you

Squeezing internet users
FFTF warns that Big Cable & Telcos want to squeeze more money out of users

Fight for the Future cautions:

Net Neutrality is Under Attack. Don't let Congress break the Internet by dismantling Net Neutrality — share this video to raise the alarm.

Why not also call your elected federal officials and ask them to protect net neutrality on your behalf? Calling is a powerful action to make sure net neutrality doesn’t go away. Call using this convenient tool.

white house net neutrality letter
President Obama endorses net neutrality
The White House defines net neutrality:

More than any other invention of our time, the Internet has unlocked possibilities we could just barely imagine a generation ago. And here’s a big reason we’ve seen such incredible growth and innovation: Most Internet providers have treated Internet traffic equally. That’s a principle known as “net neutrality” — and it says that an entrepreneur’s fledgling company should have the same chance to succeed as established corporations, and that access to a high school student’s blog shouldn’t be unfairly slowed down to make way for advertisers with more money.

In 84 seconds, learn from this FFTF video why net neutrality (AKA the Open Internet) is important to all the ways we experience and share information about our lives and businesses and why we need to fight to keep the internet open — the way it has been from the start.

Visit FFTF on Facebook.

Uganda Jews sing Shalom Mirembe with joy, a peace song

Shalom Mirembe songThere are not only Jews in Uganda, but they dance, sing, are farmers and land stewards.

The Abayudaya Jewish Community of Uganda and Israeli artist Irene Orleansky partnered to create “Shalom, Mirembe!” as part of a music collection from Israelites and Jews of Africa and Asia. For more information and to purchase the CD visit The participating Jewish communities receive all proceeds from CD sales.

Obama falls in love with baby pope & his popemobile at White House Halloween

Obamas with baby pope
Source: video
President Obama falls for the baby pope at this year’s Halloween White House celebration and names him the top prize winner. First Lady cleary likes Popini too :-). If you’re watching the video, caution: cute alert! Love Dad’s Men in Black outfit too.

This nice little video shows more 2015 White House Halloween fotos and gives the history of the celebration.

Hat tip to Cynthia Flood for the fabulous share.

Woman keeps her bogged horse from being swallowed up for 3 hours

Nicole Graham desperately tries to pull her horse Astro from the thick mud. Picture: Peter Ristevski/Geelong Advertiser Source: News Limited
For hours that must have seemed like days, Nicole Graham held onto her horse and kept him from being sucked down into a bog until rescuers found a way to get him out. In a miracle rescue, the 1200 pound fella was extracted just before the incoming sea tide could cover him up completely – and he is now OK. Nicole kept Astro calm, and kept his head from sinking into the mud, during their entire 3 hour experience.

What a great story 🙂

Reported in