Category Archives: Blogs

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How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained)

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

[tc_dropcap]The Santa Clara Valley was some of the most valuable agricultural land in the entire world, but it was paved over to create today’s Silicon Valley. This was simply the result of bad planning and layers of leadership failure — nobody thinks farms literally needed to be destroyed to create the technology industry’s success.[/tc_dropcap]

Today, the tech industry is apparently on track to destroy one of the world’s most valuable cultural treasures, San Francisco, by pushing out the diverse people who have helped create it. At least that’s the story you’ve read in hundreds of articles lately.

It doesn’t have to be this way. But everyone who lives in the Bay Area today needs to accept responsibility for making changes where they live so that everyone who wants to be here, can.

The alternative — inaction and self-absorption — very well could create the cynical elite paradise and middle-class dystopia…

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Social Media Campaign Takes Aim At Red Bull Following Teen’s Death

Originally posted on TIME:

The sudden death of Lanna Hamann, 16, an Arizona teen who went into cardiac arrest after reportedly drinking many energy drinks while on vacation in Mexico, has caused a stir—and an aggressive campaign—on Twitter. Its target? Red Bull.

Hamann was drinking Red Bull—her drink of choice—on the day she died, and her friends and family believe energy drinks and dehydration are responsible for her death. “Lanna loved Red Bull. She always had it in her hand,” says her friend Brandi Vidal, 15. Medical research has yet to confirm that energy drinks pose a risk beyond that of other caffeine-containing beverages.

After Hamman’s sudden death, her friends launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #GetLannaHome that served two purposes. Its initial goal was to support a GoFundMe campaign to help Hamman’s parents pay the $13,000 it will cost them to get their daughter’s body back from Mexico. Now, Hamman’s friends…

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Paper vs Digital Newspaper Readership/Subscribers – Just Some Thoughts

Why must everything always be an “either / or” thing?

Why can’t they just cater to both sides? Why must we have to pick one or the other? What if I use both formats interchangeably and would rather not ever have to make a reading choice based solely on the fact of print format being inaccessible? I mean, digital media is the newest reading format so obviously all the publishers must jump on that bandwagon. That’s completely understandable and very important to us now and in the future. But, in my opinion, that doesn’t (nor should it) make print any less important!

As someone who was born in the 80’s, went to school in 90’s, graduating high school year 2000, and university in 2004, I am equally comfortable with using both print and digital formats, and I think most others from my generation are likely to say the same thing. Maybe my generation is somewhat unique since we have a little bit of an advantage since we learned old-school stuff early on and then had to adapt to all the tech-based stuff once in high school. Confused? Okay, for example, I recall a penmanship class I had in either kindergarten or 1st grade, learning to write (and read) cursive, using onion paper, frantically trying to keep up with my heavily Swedish-accented teacher’s morning dictation with my eraser-less No.2, and being able to hand-write all my final papers (neatly!) up through 9th or 10th grade. Everything changed in high school when most of our papers were required to be typed on a computer (even though a lot of kids didn’t even have a family computer back then), pagers/beepers were banned because we were all either drug dealers or prostitutes (and cell phones are just so less distracting. Whatever), and we were expected to do actual research on the web, read/answer emails not just use it for spamming friends via AOL/ICQ Chatrooms and Instant Messaging – and take a typing/computer lit. class. of course, my preference for what I like more for reading different things…For example, when I buy a book I want it in print, unless it’s very, very short, article/essay-based, or maybe a haiku. I like household manuals to be printed, too, because I often doggy-ear pages and tend to make quick notes on pages and don’t have the patience for a note-taking program, but I’d rather have a digital copy for self-help or advise or whatnot. Also, I find that I read better (and quicker) with a hard-copy newspaper versus reading it digitally. But that’s just my personal preference if faced with the choice.

Just because sales in print have declined from what the longtime readers switching over to the online version, doesn’t mean print editions are obsolete, less desirable, or that the masses don’t want it anymore! I really wonder what percentage of their sales have, in fact, actually declined due to the decreasingly deplorable quality of journalism, instead aggregating from other outlets who got the info through yet another outlet (remind anyone of the childhood game of telephone??) … That said, most people just don’t want to pay for sub-par ”journalism” with lopsided “research” (or lack-thereof) which reads more like an Op-Ed piece than an investigative article, for instance. At least I know that I don’t which is why I finally cancelled my weekend subscription to a certain nationally reputed newspaper last year. But I’m digressing to a completely different topic, albeit an important one IMO…

 

Dodgeball – Just my opinionated response to the consideration of the game being banished from school P.E., gym class, etc.

Dodge ball … oh lord. I have mixed feelings about this game. Yeah, it was fun and I was the fastest runner in my class (small school), however, I was a very awkward girl shy, and not much a fan of competition girl I also despised it. 

Personal dodgeball story? Ok. So, during PE class (9th grade I think)  I was remember the one of the “popular” boys who a lot of girls had secret, or not so secret, crushes one, launched his ball straight AT MY FACE and busted my lip open, blood dripping down. Yeah, at 31 years old I still remember this whole incident in minute details which I won’t bore the world with except to say that right after school was out for the day, it had been planned tbeforehand that my father would pick me up and take me straight to the Washington Passport Agency to get a new passport photo taken and to apply for a new updated passport book. It was necessary for since I was to be visiting my best friend in France over my Christmas vacation since she had sadly moved back there the following year. So, not only did I Dodgeball diminish my ego by busting my lip open and then publicly humiliating myself because I couldn’t control my tears from streaming down my face, I got to have a PHOTOGRAPH of my face with busted lip et al professionally laminated onto a government document that would remind me (and everyone else in the world, literally!) of that fateful day of Dodgeball whenever it was opened. Ugh.

Well, at least, back then anyway, teens needed a new picture every 5 years so I was beyond thrilled when 1999 rolled around and I got to get another photograph taken –  albeit it being equally as awful looking, but without any personal “stigma” attached.

 I don’t necessarily think the game should be banned from schools, but maybe aiming for the head should not be allowed and should it happen would cause the THROWER to be “out” instead. It’s a cruel game, but so is school, really, and taking dodgeball out of schools is NOT going to make being in school any easier whatsoever…In fact, teens need an outlet and some teens don’t get the chance to have a proper way to ‘let it out” once they leave school property. Having an emotional outlet, even if it’s in something as silly as a game of the much loved/hated dodgeball game, is a million times better than the possible alternative of drugs or, god forbid, another mass school shooting.

Just my two cents and experience.

Thanks for reading.

xo

Anna

A few days ago I stumbled upon this utterly scathing investigative report about the various networks of American “parents” looking to terminate their adoption for one reason or another. It’s a five part series about an underworld network in which adopted parents who no longer want their adopted child (usually foreign born) for whatever despicable reason  can fundamentally advertise and trade/sell “their” child to whomever answers the ad without any legal recourse and many times without even meeting the prospective “highest bidder(s),” so to speak. It is utterly disgusting and beyond abhorrent. I just really think people need to know that this is going on right under our very noses and there’s no one doing a damn thing about it… :pullhair:

No matter the adopted parents intentions, the fact of the matter is is that all parties involved in this “re-homing” are perpetuating, either directly or indirectly, the vileness that is human-trafficking and sex trafficking, not to mention contributing to abuse of all sorts and creating an all-too-easy supply of readily available children – a predators dream come true.

As someone who worked in various orphanages in Russia and have seen firsthand just how vulnerable these needy kids are who are already abandoned within their own country, let alone abandoned/neglected over and over in their new country. Ugh… My words can’t express my own personal feelings enough, not to mention the unimaginable ones that these poor children must go through.

Please read and watch about it from the below sources. Thank you

Please read here about the Child Exchange:
http://www.reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part1
http://www.reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part2
http://www.reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part3
http://www.reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part4
http://www.reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part5

and here:
http://gawker.com/how-parents-use-facebook-and-yahoo-groups-to-sell-adopt-1278659585

and watch an interview conducted (with written transcript available) here:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/nation/july-dec13/adoption_09-11.html

Screenshot of FB Group dedicated to "re-homing" from Reuters investigative report 5-part series

  Screenshot of FB Group dedicated to “re-homing” from Reuters investigative report 5-part series

Uppercase Stationery Guide – via issuu.com

If you are, as I am, one of those people who can’t seem to get enough of all things patterns and paper ephemera, and could use a little bit more inspo in your life at the moment, than have a look at the latest issue of the magazine, UPPERCASE The Stationery Guide Is free to view and read on the web.

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Issuu.com + UPPERCASE

http://issuu.com/uppercaseyyc/docs/uppercasestationeryguide

NYT article Evolving Russia Finds a Recorder of Its Moment .

NYT article Evolving Russia Finds a Recorder of Its Moment .

“The director Andrei Zvyagintsev’s film “Elena” has led to his regard as a seer of contemporary Russia” – New York Times

I really want to see this movie, ‘Elena’. How come I didn’t know Andrei Zvyagintsev had a “new” film?! I say this because I normally am told about these sort of important things by my husband, who also happens to be Russian, and is an utter movie geek, always in-the-know of the latest-and-greatest stuff in the film world, especially if an award-winning director and screenwriter is a compatriot! Oh well. Moving on…  I am still haunted by Zvyagintsev’s ‘The Return’ even though I watched it many years ago (2004I believe it was). It’s is one of the very few movies whose imagery and moodiness have been ingrained into my mind – and probably forever will be. So yeah I want to see his newest work – ‘Elena’. If anyone likes art-house cinema type stuff and doesn’t mind subtitles (they’re all in Russian, naturally) than I highly recommend his films. Oh, and also some of Alexander Sukurov stuff too.

Anyway, has anybody seen this? If so, thoughts?

xo

Anna