Suggestion Saturday: September 28, 2013

Here is this week’s list of blog posts, dystopian short stories, lectures, and other tidbits from my favourite corners of the web.

“I Am an Aunt No Longer.” In early 1911 a teenage girl named Helena Muffly started a diary that she kept until the end of 1914. Two lifetimes later her granddaughter began blogging each entry on the 100th anniversary in which it was written. The entire blog is fascinating, but this entry is especially poignant because Helena’s older sister gives birth to a baby who only lives a few hours. He’s buried before Helena even knows of his existence. What an awful day that must have been for the entire Muffly family.

It Doesn’t Take Much to Make Me Happy via Zorabike. This will be funnier if you start reading it without any clues about it’s subject matter.

Yes, I Buy Ice Cream with My Food Stamps via Youngmomsmusing. I completely understand wanting to encourage healthy eating patterns (especially since the standard American diet is so lopsided), but stories like this one reinforce my belief that people using food stamps shouldn’t be treated like children. There’s nothing wrong with buying treats.

Crisco Candle. My cousin sent me a link to this blog a long time ago when I desperately needed to be cheered up.  Too often people – especially women – feel like we’re in competition with one another, that our worth as human beings depends on maintaing a perfect image. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying traditionally “feminine” pursuits like homemaking, but I love the author’s snarky, self-deprecating take on cooking, decorating, being beautiful (in a consumeristic, insincere, plastic-y sort of way), and entertaining.  This is one of her funnier updates so far.

Zero Hours via AbiWilks. Imagine bidding on the Internet to work extremely low wage jobs with zero guaranteed hours per week. There are no other positions available and there’s no such thing as a minimum wage or worker’s rights.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this is how a lot of people live in the western hemisphere in the near future.

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments. Common logical fallacies in cartoon form.

If you can spare 20 minutes this weekend, I highly recommend this TED talk about how IQ rates have changed over the last 100 years. I’m intrigued by James Flynn’s hypothesis.

Quick, what’s the silliest thing you ever thought or did as a kid? As I’ve mentioned here earlier I was homeschooled for grades K-3. Almost all of the other kids who lived in our trailer park attended public school, and when I was about 8 a neighbourhood girl attended a mysterious something called Saturday School. I was so naive and geeky that I thought she got to attend an extra few hours of school as a reward. It took several rounds of me knocking on her parent’s door before I understood that a) it was a punishment, and b) she wouldn’t be expected home again until late afternoon.

Self-Inflicted Wounds is the hilarious account of Aisha Tyler’s long list of embarrassing mistakes. I highly recommend it to everyone who wasn’t beamed down onto earth as a fully-formed human adult. Sometimes what one needs more than anything is a good laugh, and this book provides it in spades.

What have you been reading?

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