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Heroes: A Collaboration Between Janet Mock & Julio Salgado

From Janet Mock: “Brilliant artist Julio Salgado reached out to me about collaborating on an art project. I provided the words, he the images. He drew me embracing my biggest influences and I said a few words about my heroes. You can visit Julio’s FB here.”

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lunulata: is one of the coolest websites I’ve stumbled across for art reference. From their site:

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.” The BHL consortium works with the international taxonomic community, rights holders, and other interested parties to ensure that this biodiversity heritage is made available to a global audience through open access principles. In partnership with theInternet Archive and through local digitization efforts, the BHL has digitized millions of pages of taxonomic literature, representing tens of thousands of titles and over 100,000 volumes.

Which right off the bat sounds pretty cool, but that’s not why it’s exciting. It’s exciting because of illustrations like these ones:








Over 100,000 books containing intricately detailed studies of animals, anatomy, plants, people, minerals, fungi, machinery, fossils, extinct species, tools, architecture, insects, science, and a ton of other subjects.

Oh, and they scan the entire book. Cover to cover. So if you want some awesome paper textures or book covers, or reference for title pages or calligraphy, they’ve got you covered (ha).









Everything on the site is completely free, open, and available to look through or use in accordance with public domain laws. Plus, any page containing a scientific name or term will be tagged with that word, so if you’re looking for something specific you can find it! 

They have books published from the 1450’s all the way to current day.

I’m a pretty big fan!

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JK Rowling’s and Evanna Lynch’s twitter conversation

Thisssssss is adorable


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"Motherfuckers will read a book that is 1/3 elvish, but put two sentences in Spanish and they think we’re taking over." Junot Diaz to the interview questions, "Do you think using Spanish in your writing alienates some of your readers?"

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Drop a number in my ask and I’ll answer any of these book-related questions! :D

1. Favorite childhood book?
2. What are you reading right now?
3. What books do you have on request at the library?
4. Bad book habit?
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
6. Do you have an e-reader?
7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
12. What is your reading comfort zone?
13. Can you read on the bus?
14. Favorite place to read?
15. What is your policy on book lending?
16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
18. Not even with text books?
19. What is your favorite language to read in?
20. What makes you love a book?
21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
22. Favorite genre?
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
24. Favorite biography?
25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
26. Favorite cookbook?
27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
28. Favorite reading snack?
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
35. Favorite poet?
36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
38. Favorite fictional character?
39. Favorite fictional villain?
40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
52. Name a book that made you angry.
53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

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A former chief recalls the horrors of residential school: Q&A

How many spoonfuls does it take to eat a bowlful of your own vomit?

Edmund Metatawabin knows: 15.

As a young Cree lad at the notorious St. Anne’s residential school, he remembers throwing up his morning porridge into his bowl and being forced to eat it again — spoonful by disgusting spoonful.

And he counted. And he remembered.

Just as he remembers the other serial indignities and casual tortures he endured at the northern Ontario institution during the 1950s.

With Toronto author Alexandra Shimo, Metatawabin recounts many of these in Up Ghost River: A Chief’s Journey Through the Turbulent Waters of Native History, published this week by Knopf Canada.

He also recounts the alcoholism and depression that his boyhood trauma led him to as a man — and the traditional healing rituals and teachings he employed to reclaim his life.

The Star spoke this week to the former chief of the Fort Albany First Nation band. The is an edited version of the conversation.

You’ve gotten to a good place in your life now, a solid, happy place. What made you want to relive those horrors and make them public?

I think it’s good for young people, it’s good for people, it’s good for anybody to learn the true story about the past. And for me it was especially helpful when I read (Austrian neurologist) Victor Frankl who was a Holocaust survivor. I thought our story was bad, but here was somebody who was able to dissect everything, to explain everything, to help people understand what was happening to the children, to the women, to the men. And as a young person, it helped me understand what I was feeling about my own experience. I didn’t understand. I thought we were the only ones who went through that and I even began to feel that it was normal.

Can you briefly describe some of that experience, which you detail at length in your book?

I was slapped and strapped and made to suffer physically, sexually … A slap can happen anytime. Some of the other nuns used to pinch, but our supervisor was a slapper.

There was an electric chair … there’s a steel metal frame and we’re made to sit on that. And it’s attached to two wires going to a box where the brother would crank it up. So once the power starts you can’t let go of the chair’s arms. The power was on and kids, they were small, it would shake their whole body.

I was put in that twice. For nothing, for entertainment — entertainment on a Friday night.

What do you believe motivated the people who ran these schools? Was it simple sadism? Or did they just feel they were dealing with a lesser brand of human being?

Well they were dealing with a lesser brand of human being, that’s for sure. That’s in the history books. Duncan Campbell Scott (a Canadian poet and federal Indian Affairs bureaucrat in the early century) said that repeatedly. He said “my campaign is to get rid of the Indian problem until there’s no Indian problem left.” So I think he was talking about genocide when he was saying that. And, yeah, that was the attitude. You have to get rid of this problem any way you can. To make us frustrated was the intent. To frustrate us as much as possible.”

You write about how this kind of treatment came back to haunt you in later life. Can you talk about that and about how you came to heal yourself?

Well the memories are there, you remember everything. It’s when you see something, like a bag of oats in a store — the porridge incident would just come up. They call them triggers, and whatever you see — the colour of the strap, the colour of the ruler, the metal chair, those kind of things — effected you, making you remember.

And you do learn to hate yourself. You learn to try to harm yourself. You’re trying to hurt yourself. And alcohol was the best one. You can hurt yourself real well with alcohol. So we got carried away.

I lost everything. I lost any sense of self esteem. When I married, that’s when it sort of started to spin out of control. Me and my wife split for about six years. And it was a long process to come together.

But what brought me back were the ceremonies, the sweat lodges. Just going to the ceremonies and beginning to hear the elders talk about life experiences, life plans. And to wake up, to feel. My first sweat was physical, I had to walk out of there. My second experience in a sweat was totally, totally emotional. I couldn’t stop crying. We had a feast after. I was crying inside the lodge, I was crying outside, I recovered for the feast and I went home and cried for two more hours.

So there was a lot of stuff in my system. But after that time, then I began to think of my children and now my heart was feeling something. I began to see what I was doing, that I was hurting everybody.

Right now we are in the midst of the federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission that’s looking into the residential school catastrophe. Seeing it unfold, do you have confidence that it will do some good for people who suffered through experiences like yours?

Not too much. I think it’s up to each individual to find out and heal themselves. It cannot be done as a group of people and saym “I have a resolution, magic, we’re healed.” It doesn’t happen like that. It happens over years. You have to feel pain at the discovery, at a certain point in your life, that, “Hey, I better do something here.”

My hope is to talk to the Canadian people and remind them that I have a band number. This is the year 2014. Why do I have a band number? Why do I live in a reserve? Why is the minister of aboriginal affairs in charge of everything I do? Why does the bank not listen to me when I want to borrow money for a major business enterprise? Why do they shove my business plan to a native liaison officer? I am not treated as a Canadian citizen. I am an Indian within the meaning of the Indian Act. I am defined as a person that is not your average Canadian, I’m a second class person. I’m a nobody.

What I would hope … is that we gain access to the House of Commons, that our national chief is invited to sit in the House of Commons and have access to all the privileges the MPs have.

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Writers often spend a great deal of time developing their protagonists only to neglect their villains. However, a well-developed villain is just as important as the protagonist to a story’s success.

A villain who is too evil or not evil enough, a villain who is one-dimensional or a villain lacking clear motivation are some of the problems you might run into while trying to develop a character who will oppose your protagonist. A great villain can sometimes be the difference between a novel that is good and a novel that is great. Here are some questions you can ask yourself in creating that great villain.

Read More →

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A Fallows-brand internet rant just wasn’t going to cut it for this one. So here’s a dumb comic about an amazing comic by the massively inspirational Liz Prince. Now go buy Tomboy, ya dummy! x

This is a pretty amazing book. I just read it cover to cover last night. Liz Prince does really awesome work!

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So you know what I don’t get? Why people repeat words. (x)

Grammar time: it’s called “contrastive reduplication,” and it’s a form of intensification that is relatively common. Finnish does a very similar thing, and others use near-reduplication (rhyme-based) to intensify, like Hungarian (pici ‘tiny’, ici-pici ‘very tiny’).

Even the typologically-distant group of Bantu languages utilize reduplication in a strikingly similar fashion with nouns: Kinande oku-gulu ‘leg’, oku-gulu-gulu ‘a REAL leg’ (Downing 2001, includes more with verbal reduplication as well).

I suppose the difficult aspect of English reduplication is not through this particular type, but the fact that it utilizes many other types of reduplication: baby talk (choo-choo, no-no), rhyming (teeny-weeny, super-duper), and the ever-famous “shm” reduplication: fancy-schmancy (a way of denying the claim that something is fancy).

screams my professor was trying to find an example of reduplication so the next class he came back and said “I FOUND REDUPLICATION IN ENGLISH” and then he said “Milk milk” and everyone was just “what?” and he said “you know when you go to a coffee shop and they ask if you want soy milk and you say ‘no i want milk milk’” and everyone just had this collective sigh of understanding.

Another name for this particular construction is contrastive focus reduplication, and there’s a famous linguistics paper about it which is commonly known as the Salad Salad Paper. You know, because if you want to make it clear that you’re not talking about pasta salad or potato salad, you might call it “salad salad”. The repetition indicates that you’re intending the most prototypical meaning of the word, like green salad or cow’s milk, even though other things can be considered types of salad or milk. 

My inner linguistics nerd just woke up and it was Christmas morning.

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this website SAVED MY BRAIN when i was a stressed out college student who couldn’t stop flipping out long enough to prioritize. quite a few of you are still suffering through college so i hope this helps you too!! c:

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I’d like to find a corpus of writing from children in a non-self-selected sample (e.g. handwritten letters to the president from everyone in the same teacher’s 7th grade class every year)—and score the kids today versus the kids 20 years ago on various objective measures of writing quality. I’ve heard the idea that exposure to all this amateur peer practice is hurting us, but I’d bet on the generation that conducts the bulk of their social lives via the written word over the generation that occasionally wrote book reports and letters to grandma once a year, any day.

Writing Skills [explained]

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YA RecommendationsFor Fans of Throne of Glass [UPDATED]

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