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Fading Out: Aging and Beyond RSS feed

Signs of aging that start after you turn 40

Did you know...

That the moment you hit 40 your vision declines and you may soon need reading glasses

That you too may start wearing glasses on a holder around your neck because you never know when you may need them.

That some people begin developing glaucoma or macular degeneration in their 40s. "If it's caught early, your vision can usually be saved.”
That you're now likely to grow crops of wrinkles, age spots, and small growths called skin tags. 

That the time between feeling the urge to pee and peeing grows shorter, so you need to move quickly.

That you'll need to see a dermatologist  to detect which of those could be or become skin cancer.

That all those days spent tanning hasten the aging process as UV rays cause thick, damaged skin.

That you may get shorter, as your spinal bones get thinner and lose some height.

That you may appear to be getting stooped.

That your facial bones lose volume, so you begin to show your age.

That joint changes may appear, ranging from minor stiffness to severe arthritis.
That you're at greater risk of heat stroke or hypothermia.

That you now appreciate the days when your upper arms were toned.

That you've made enough mistakes to have learned many valuable life lessons.

That little children are unlikely to be able to tell you from any other adult stranger with similar features.

That you will suddenly learn of rare and peculiar diseases and conditions associated with aging. 

Feel free to suggest further surprises of aging. 

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Waiting for G&G's Guide to Life (an ethical will)

Guest post by (aka an email from) Judy Helm Wright

 

Dwain and I are working on our ethical will right now, but know we need to update our physical wills for our trust. Most of the valuable things we have already given away because better they have them in their safety deposit box or jewelry case than us.  But in our Friday night Zoom call with our Young Professionals scattered in five states, we asked what they wanted after we died and were surprised by the requests.  One wanted Dwain's wedding ring, one wanted my diamond necklace, and one wanted a painting that we had put in the garage and were going to donate to a thrift shop!  No one wanted silver or china.


Our son asked me to finish my life story but I am still living and loving it.


They are all looking forward to the ethical will called "G&G's Guide to Life"  It has been fun to do.  Dwain's section was all about practical things like checking the oil and making sure you don't spend your money before you make it.  My section is all about airy-fairy spiritual stuff.  As our daughter says 'I never lose a moment when I can tell a story and teach a lesson'.



~Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, author of How to Discipline Without Damage: Empowering Your Child's Spirit. Judy hangs out in Missoula, Montana. I got to know her through the late, lamented Association of Personal Historians.

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Police, Protest , and Racial Justice

Police, federal agents, protests, and racial justice

 

After a short section on clashes between police, federal agents, and protesters in Portland and other cities, you will find more general links about police, protests, and racial justice.


How a Deadly Police Force Ruled a City (Shane Bauer, New Yorker, 11-23-2020) After years of impunity, the police in Vallejo, California, took over the city’s politics and threatened its people. Reformers who have succeeded in getting rogue cops censured or fired often come up against a frustrating reality: because there are no national and few statewide indexes that track police terminations and disciplinary infractions, tainted officers often find new jobs in different jurisdictions.
Trump's Portland crackdown is controversial. The man spearheading it might be doing so illegally. (Aaron Blake, Washington Post, 7-22-2020) Experts say acting Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf can't legally serve in that role, compounding issues raised by the crackdown.
Trump’s Effort to Provoke Violence Is Working (David A. Graham, The Atlantic, 7-28-2020) The president sent federal agents into Portland with the apparent aim of inciting a confrontation.
Federal Officers Deployed in Portland Didn’t Have Proper Training, D.H.S. Memo Said (New York Times, 7-18-2020) The tactical agents deployed by homeland security include officials from a group known as BORTAC, the Border Patrol’s equivalent of a SWAT team, a highly trained group that normally is tasked with investigating drug smuggling organizations, as opposed to protesters in cities. The agents lacked sufficient training in riot control or mass demonstrations. Rather than tamping down persistent protests in Portland, Ore., a militarized presence from federal officers seems to have re-energized them.
What to Know About Portland's Crackdown on Protesters and How You Can Help (Chelsea Sanchez, Harpers Bazaar, 7-21-2020) The Trump administration is trying to make an example out of Portland. But protesters and supporters are refusing to let him. 'Trump has since defended his decision to deploy armed units to confront Portland protesters, tweeting on Sunday, "We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. These were not merely protesters, these are the real deal!" '
Federal Officers Use Unmarked Vehicles To Grab People In Portland, DHS Confirms (Jonathan Levinson, Conrad Wilson, James Doubek, and Suzanne Nuyen, NPR, 7-17-2020) NPR reported that the federal officers deployed come from the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Border Patrol Tactical Unit, and are intended to protect federal property. They have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least Tuesday. Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation about why they are being arrested, and driving off. The New York Times additionally found that the units deployed are not specialized in nor have they been trained in riot control or mass demonstrations.
Cities in Bind as Turmoil Spreads Far Beyond Portland (Mike Baker, Thomas Fuller and Shane Goldmacher, NY Times, 7-26-2020) Galvanized in part by the deployment of federal agents in Portland, Ore., protesters have returned to the streets in Oakland, Seattle and elsewhere.
Police and protesters clash in violent weekend across the US (Jeff Martin, AP, 6-27-2020) Protests took a violent turn in several U.S. cities over the weekend with demonstrators squaring off against federal agents outside a courthouse in Portland, Oregon, forcing police in Seattle to retreat into a station house and setting fire to vehicles in California and Virginia.
N.Y.P.D. Says It Used Restraint During Protests. Here’s What the Videos Show. (video, NY Times, 7-14-2020) The New York Times found more than 60 videos that show the police using force on protesters during the first 10 days of demonstrations in the city after the death of George Floyd. A review of the videos, shot by protesters and journalists, suggests that many of the police attacks, often led by high-ranking officers, were not warranted.
Police wanted ‘a dog that would bite a Black person’ (Challen Stephens, AL.com, Alabama,11-2-2020) The terrifying reign of a small town’s police dog. Published in partnership with The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization covering the U.S. criminal justice system, USA Today, IndyStar and the Invisible Institute.
Trump Has Brought America's Dirty Wars Home (Stuart Schrader, New Republic, 7-21-1010) The authoritarian tactics we've exported around the world in the name of national security are now being deployed in Portland.
'Wall of Moms' joins Portland's anti-racism protests (BBC, 7-22-2020) Anti-racism protests have been taking place in Portland, Oregon, for almost two months - but in recent days they have been joined by a growing number of "moms." The "Wall of Moms" - as they have been dubbed - have been acting as a human shield between the protesters and the federal officers sent in to disperse them.
Conservative media helps Trump perform 'law and order' in Portland, with risks for November (Isaac Stanley-Becker, Washington Post, 7-22-2020) The strategy, resembling the focus on the migrant caravans in 2018, left some Republicans in bellwether counties uneasy.
Elected leaders need to take action to stop the rioting (Jeff Barker, Opinion, Oregon Live, 7-8-2020) "Oregon supports free speech. Go through the normal channels, obtain a permit and then follow the rules in the permit. You can march, you can gather to listen to speeches, you can hold up any sign you'd like even if it makes the rest of the world uncomfortable. But what you can't do is break the law." Barker was a law enforcement officer for 31 years and has represented House District 28 in the Oregon Legislature since 2003.

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Problems with policing generally


What should be done about America's policing problem? (The Stream, Al Jazeera, 6-15-2020) Driven by nationwide protests, calls are growing to boost accountability and oversight of US law enforcement.
Terror Lynching in America (Equal Justice Initiative, video, 10-11-16)
Trump Sidesteps Mentions of Systemic Racism as He Signs Police-Friendly Executive Order (KHN Morning Briefing, 6-17-2020) Advocates and Democrats say President Donald Trump's executive order on police violence falls far short of what's needed to make actual changes to the system. The White House focused on police-backed ideas, such as a national misconduct database, and continued to insist the problems lie with a few officers rather than deeper issues. Congress is also taking steps to address reform, but the parties are on a collision course with their bills.
In wake of protests, New York lawmakers repeal law used to keep police misconduct records secret (Anjali Berdia, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 6-10-2020) In the wake of widespread protests against police violence and racial injustice, New York lawmakers voted on Tuesday to repeal Section 50-a of the state’s Civil Rights Law, a provision used to keep police disciplinary records secret.
Why Policing Is Broken (Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 6-17-2020) Years of research on brutality cases shows that bad incentives in politics and city bureaucracies are major drivers of police violence. In wake of protests, New York lawmakers repeal law used to keep police misconduct records secret.
How Police Unions Fight Reform (William Finnegan, New Yorker, 8-3-2020) Police unions enjoy a political paradox. Conservatives traditionally abhor labor unions but support the police. The left is critical of aggressive policing, yet has often muted its criticism of police unions—which are, after all, public-sector unions, an endangered and mostly progressive species. Police unions have spent decades amassing influence. They have often used it to combat what Patrick Lynch, the head of New York City's P.B.A., calls "pro-criminal advocates."
The '3.5% rule': How a small minority can change the world (David Robson, BBC, 5-13-19) Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts – and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change.
The Defunding Debate ((Jack Herrera, Columbia Journalism Review, Summer 2020) Suddenly, defunding the police had exploded as a central campaign plot point. Look at the issue in historical context.
'Defund the police' calls grow amid protests. Reallocations could fund minority entrepreneurship instead (Steve Strauss, USA Today, 6-10-2020) Defunding the police certainly does not mean not having any police. But it does mean that some of the money used to fund police forces can likely be better spent if the goal is long-term safety, and to begin to eradicate the poverty gap and racial disparity between white and black America that fosters crime.
Teaching About Race, Racism and Police Violence (Teaching Tolerance)
Leo Tolstoy vs. the Police (Jennifer Wilson, NY Times, 6-25-2020) Why the great Russian novelist's critique of state-sponsored violence bears thinking about now. Tolstoy's views, particularly his strong invective against state-sponsored violence, riled authorities who consequently placed the writer under near-constant police surveillance.
Screening police officers before they kill (Jack El-Hai, Medium, 1-4-16) Psychiatrist Douglas M. Kelley found that one-third to one-half of America's police officers during the 1950s were psychologically unqualified to protect citizens or enforce laws. Kelley was uniquely qualified to investigate the psychological traits of people in positions of authority. During the months immediately after World War II, Kelley, then a U.S. Army captain, was sent to the jail in Nuremberg, Germany, to evaluate the sanity of the top 22 captured Nazi leaders awaiting trial on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The History of Policing in the United States, Part 1 of 6 parts. (Gary Potter, Eastern Kentucky University Police Studies Online) The development of policing in the United States closely followed the development of policing in England. In the early colonies policing took two forms. It was both informal and communal, which is referred to as the "Watch," or private-for-profit policing, which is called "The Big Stick" (Spitzer, 1979).
Violence Interrupter The Interrupters is a 2011 documentary film, produced by Kartemquin Films, that tells the story of three violence interrupters who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. ... The film features the work of CeaseFire, an initiative of the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention.
He used to sell drugs on D.C. streets. Now he's paid to make them safer. (Peter Hermann, Washington Post, 12-13-18) Duane Cunningham is a member of the District's Violence Interrupters, a group that works in troubled neighborhoods to try to stop violence before it happens.
Defund police? Some cities have already started by investing in mental health instead (Lindsay Schnell, MSN, USA Today, 6-20-2020) As calls to "defund the police" echo around the country at Black Lives Matter protests, a handful of communities already know what that looks like as they invest millions of dollars into mental health resources and response teams instead of just traditional policing. These crisis intervention teams typically do not include an armed, uniformed officer but do feature counselors, social workers and paramedics. And Eugene's 30-year-old program CAHOOTS, or Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets, is the model other cities are looking to as they form their own programs. SEE In Cahoots: How the unlikely pairing of cops and hippies became a national model (Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick, Oregon Register/Guard, 10-20-19)
These Cities Are Stopping Police From Responding to Homelessness, Drug Use, and Mental Health Issues (Emma Ockerman, Vice, 6-17-2020) Los Angeles proposed the change Tuesday. San Francisco and Albuquerque have already made it.
What does 'defund the police' mean and why some say 'reform' is not enough (Ryan W. Miller, USA Today, 6-8-2020)
Most Americans do not want to “defund” the police (The Economist, 6-18-2020) But they support other reforms.
Defunding Everything But the Police Short, effective video with a message
How ‘Defund the Police’ went from moonshot to mainstream (Maya King, Politico, 6-17-2020) To many watching the historic protests against racism and police brutality unfold across the country, it was a call that came out of nowhere: Defund the Police. Yet hours after the first videos of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer went viral online, those three words became the rallying cry of a movement that had suddenly won America’s undivided attention. See more stories on the topic here: The Deep Roots Behind Seemingly Sudden Rise of 'Defund the Police' (KHN Morning Briefing, 6-17-2020)
Protests focus on over-policing. But under-policing is also deadly. (Rod K. Brunson, WaPo, 6-12-2020) People in high-crime neighborhoods already don’t trust law enforcement to protect them.

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Practical Covid links for village members in Montgomery County, MD

Updated 3-4-2021

(Bethesda, MD)

Crisis hotlines
COVID-19-related links
Safety info, preparing for disaster, emergencies
Transportation options in MontCo
Buying groceries or takeout and dining out
Food assistance programs in MontCo MD
Repairs, parts, appliances, specialty shopping and assistance
Things to do while sheltering in place
Outdoor Maryland

Recycling
Where to donate used computers and other stuff
Potential sites for installation of small cell/5G antennae
Election info
Composting info from Mom's

Village organizations in MontCo MD
 Parkside Village website and resources  Read More 
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85+ things to do (listen, watch, read, share, do) during the pandemic

Updated and expanded 3-6-2021. The list keeps growing!

Originally 55+ things to do during the pandemic    (April 2020)

 


PBS to Broadcast ‘Met Stars Live in Concert’ Performances Featuring Jonas Kaufmann, Anna Netrebko, Renée Fleming, Angel Blue, Sonya Yoncheva
Free re-broadcasts of full Met Operas from recent years every night
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Chroma, Grace, Takademe, Revelations (Lincoln Center at Home -- and at the Movies, 2015)
Front Row Mainstage: The Brandenburg Concertos (Chambermusic Music Society of Lincoln Center) Listen free till end of December 2020)
Moth Holiday Playlist (listen to a selection of funny stories about the holidays from The Moth)
Cool science sites for kids (Do safe experiments at home!)
Buy Nothing Groups Are Inclusive, Locally-Managed Gift Economies (12-2-2020). Curious? Read  A Brief History of the Buy Nothing Project, Complete with Controversies (12-22-2020)
How to Paint a Venice Canal in Acrylic. These how-to videos really make me want to paint. Check out the series: Drawing and Painting with Paint Lesson (free online tutorials, both video and text).
Find the Song Name Without Knowing the Lyrics (Amit Agarwal, Digital Inspiration, 1-7-12. See also Find the Song Name Without Knowing the Lyrics
Fall Fun for Kids (B-Inspired Mama, Pinterest) 789 Pins. See also 50+ Awesome Fall Activities for Toddlers (Busy Toddler) "Making it to naps, one activity at a time."
10 Easy Preschool Activities (Play to Learn Preschool)
Parent Resources: Maryland Public Schools (a nifty list of links to activities and learning aids for kids to do while homebound. Sorted by grade level.)
All About Birds (the Cornell Lab's bird guide)
---Bird Song Opera (ShakeUp, a sound forge for original music and sound design for film, advertisement, events and interactive applications, based in Berlin)
---Merlin Bird ID Cornell Lab's bird identification app (available only on the App Store for iPhone)
Smart Bird ID (with this bird ID app you can identify bird by camera or microphone--that is, by sound)
---Scroll to bottom for links about building bird houses for various types of birds.
Tree Identification Guide (Tree Musketeers, an informative site) As you walk see how many types of trees you can identify. This site has great explanations, identifications and many pictographic charts all about trees. Learn about the differences between various conifer and broadleaf trees.
Kids vs. Plastic (National Geographic) Save the Earth from plastic with this DIY crafting series of easy-to make, eco-friendly party favors and school gadgets. Watch and learn how to make jeans pencil cases, paper jewelry beads, reusable sandwich bags, and more!
Clean and disinfect your home (video, CNN how-to lesson)
Start gathering and telling your family history. See Good interview questions for the family and The art and craft of interviewing (Pat McNees's site) and Great interview questions and guides (Telling Your Story). Do some of it on Zoom!
• Talk "face to face" with your friends and family on Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts. See Using Zoom for a family or office teleconference call (or class)
Learn where journalists get their medical news and updates(Writers and Editors)
• Participate in Virtual fitness classes (Senior Planet)
• Explore 100 years of veterans stories from World War I to the Iraq War (The History Channel)
• Watch events from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (archived--watch free)
Standing Pilates for Seniors (The girl with the Pilates mat) 30 minutes of exercise.
• Watch the free webcast of the Paris Review Lit Fête: A Virtual Celebration of Writers and Writing(June 9, 8 pm). Indeed, many literary conferences will probably be going virtual this year! See Writers conferences, workshops, book fairs, and other learning places
I spend my day working in the hospital. Then I come home and bake. (Tamal Ray, Opinion, WaPo, 4-13-2020) The only thing I can do in the face of a global disaster is focus on the patients in front of me and keep myself and my colleagues safe.But in my kitchen, my quiet corner of the world, I still have control.
• Check out Pourhouse Trivia, which hosts online trivia games every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the pandemic.

TED’s summer culture list: 114 podcasts, books, TV shows, movies and more to nourish you (Ideas.TED.com) This list is divided into three buckets: “Things to listen to (primarily podcasts)”;“Things to read (basically books)”; and “Things to watch (mainly TV shows and movies)”<.
• ****Listen to Dozens of really good radio talk shows and podcasts (a curated list of excellent programs, with links)
• Listen to Sidedoor (podcasts from the Smithsonian)
• ***Stream all of the Library of Congress author webcasts from the National Book Festival (two decades' worth) H/T Holly Pollinger.
• Watch Carnegie Science programs on YouTube--on various topics, including the MESSENGER space probe; Life at the Extremes: Microbes, Salt and Pressure; and other topics.
Dancing ballet at home (les danseurs de l'Opéra de Paris dancing alone together, by videoconference). Play this where children can watch and see if they don't join in.
• Learn the difference between memoir and autobiography and start writing your life story, or your family (hi)story.

• Read memoirs and personal accounts of vocation, avocation, occupation, profession -- "calling"
• Read memoirs about friendship, family, and other relationships
Choose the music you want played at your (or someone else's) funeral or memorial service.
Missing Sounds of New York (NY Public Library)
Coronavirus: A Book for Children (with artwork by The Gruffalo’s Axel Scheffler) Read free online.
Facing the Rising Tide (The New Group) A free digital festival of play readings and conversations about environmental racism, the climate crisis and hope.
Stories from Audible For as long as schools are closed, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. All stories (including Harry Potter) are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.
A digital directory of remote learning resources (Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators)
Remember Books? Researcher Shows How Reading Is Superior to Screen Time (Nick Zagorski, Psychiatric News, 3-20-2020)
Small free libraries offering solace amid virus shutdowns (Michelle A. Monroe and Russell Contreras, AP/Tuscon.com, 5-17-2020) More people have been selecting and donating books since the pandemic.
Running list of Kids and YA Lit available free online during the crisis (Publishers Weekly links)
Free Online Book Access for Students and Kids (Publishers Lunch links)
Learn at Home Materials (Scholastic projects to keep kids reading, thinking, growing)
Listen online to 'The Moth'
• Read about story structure and the art of storytelling
• Read Will Storr on the Science of Storytelling (8 Longreads)
• Listen to old episodes of This American Life and all the other really good (intelligent) radio talk shows and podcasts. Do this while cleaning the house, working on your car, or organizing the garage!
• Stream Films and video from the Library of Congress (all free), as described in Film Treasures, Streaming Courtesy of the Library of Congress (New York Times story plus links, 4-3-2020)
What to Stream: Eighty-Three of the Best Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now (Richard Brody, The Front Row, New Yorker, 4-10-2020)
The Best Movies on Amazon Prime Video Right Now (Jason Bailey, NY Times, 4-16-2020)
The 50 Best Movies to Watch With Your Parents During Quarantine (Nate Jones, Vulture, 3-31-2020)
The 50 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now (Jason Bailey, NY Times, 4-14-2020)
The 100 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now (Brian Tallerico, Vulture, 4-10-2020)
The Best Documentaries on Netflix Will Change How You See the World (Hilary Weaver and Esquire Editors, 4-10-2020)
The 50 Best TV Shows on Netflix Right Now (Noel Murray, NY Times, 4-17-2020)
Stream 80 Indigenous Films from Latin America & the Caribbean for Free on YouTube (Repeating Islands)
Selections from the National Film Registry (YouTube playlist) Check out "The House I Live In" with a young Frank Sinatra, made in 1945.
Read "Why's This So Good?" (a"collaboration on the magic of long-form stories" (Nieman Storyboard pieces that explore what makes classic narrative nonfiction stories worth reading). And then
Read outstanding examples of narrative nonfiction online
New Netflix documentary tells the bittersweet story of a lesbian couple forced to keep their love secret for 60 years (Lily Wakefield, Pink News, 4-23-2020)
• Watch the wonderful Sondheim tribute: Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration a fundraiser for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), an organization that connects performing and visual artists with youth from underserved communities in the U.S., encouraging them to break the cycle of poverty. You can Donate here.
Television (wonderful YouTube video, a historic celebration of TV on its 10-year anniversary. "It is much like a radio in appearance.")
• ****Discover addictive and wonderful TV and cable shows (Writers and Editors)
• Do a virtual tour of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. From close-up examinations of some the collection’s best-known works to 360-degree virtual strolls though the museum, the website is the ticket to a perfect (and socially distanced) excursion for art lovers.
We're All Homebound -- The Coronavirus Song Claire and Mel Vatz (of Pittsburgh) sing an ode to our pandemic, to the tune of the Simon & Garfunkel classic “Homeward Bound.”
For the Longest Time Phoenix Chamber Choir (Vancouver's super a capella choir) sings Quarantine version of Billy Joel song.
• Follow the lead of the talented LeBaron family singing 'One Day More' from Les Misérables to Karaoke.
Senior Gold Dance Workout (exercise class at home) Or try this one: 20 minute exercise workout for Beginners and Seniors
COVID safety precautions (sung to The Sound of Music, Do Re Me)
Quarantine Music Video "Dance Song (for the End of the World)" - Lizzy & The Triggermen a 5-minute dance video pick-me-up for those getting Cabin Fever
Watch one of the National Zoo's webcams Watch the cheetah, the naked mole, the giant panda, the lion, or the elephant!
• Read Becoming by Michele Obama, and/or watch the documentary (on Netflix).v
Authors: Plan your literary estate (blog post, Writers and Editors)
Check out blogs and podcasts about book publishing
12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch (video, Travel & Leisure links to the tours)
View museum art online (Google, Arts and Culture)
• (Adults:) Read F--k the Bread. The Bread Is Over. by Sabrina Orah Mark (Paris Review (5-2-2020), whose column Happily focuses on fairy tales and motherhood. (H/T Abby Rasminsky
• Listen to earlier presidents' talks: "Obama out:" President Barack Obama's hilarious final White House correspondents' dinner speech (4-30-16) George W. Bush's powerful message of hope during the coronavirus pandemic (YouTube)
Recreate classical art with things you can find at home (Sad and Useless)
See New York City nearly empty (Stephen J. Reynolds video)
Download and color in beautiful coloring books (Biodiversity Heritage Library, a worldwide consortium of natural history, botanical, research, and national libraries working together to digitize the natural history literature in their collections and make it available for open access) Download individual images or annual collections, color them, and share them on social media using the event hashtag #ColorOurCollections.
Virtual First Amendment Classroom (National Coalition Against Censorship)
• Watch trailer for The Plot Against America and decide if you want to watch the HBO series.
How to paint good (YouTube video) Bob Ross - Mountain Ridge Lake
The Classical Station (The ClassicalStation.org, WCPE-FM, Central North Carolina) Can be heard online anywhere 24/7) Including free operas being streamed by the Met and the Vienna State Opera during the pandemic.
La traviata in full from The Royal Opera (YouTube, as part of the #OurHouseToYourHouse series)
Anastasia in full from The Royal Ballet, a YouTube Premiere of Kenneth MacMillan's Anastasia, a piece inspired by the true story of Anna Anderson, a woman who believed herself to be Anastasia, youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II and the only survivor from the assassination of the Romanovs in 1918. <
Light Shall Lift Us: Opera Singers Unite in Song More than 100 opera singers unite (from afar) in a song of hope and solidarity for a virtual performance of LIGHT SHALL LIFT US.
Toronto Symphony Plays Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring From Their Homes (Listen to 'Appalachian Spring')
• Listen to Hour-Long Stories from This American Life.
Read up on pandemics (links to great fiction and nonfiction about pandemics through history)
• Organize all those plastic lids and containers, or have the kids do so.
Join millions of people reducing their plastic waste.


Best birdhouses (aka bird boxes, nest boxes)
---Best Bird Houses for Different Types of Birds (Perky Pet)
---How to Build a Bird Box in Your Garden (My Job Quote, UK)
---House Wren: Nest box Plan and Information (All About Birdhouses, NestWatch, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
---Nest Shelf: American Robin, Barn Swallow, Eastern and Say’s Phoebes (NestWatch and State of Minnesota, Department of Natural Resources)
---How to Build a Birdhouse for Martins (Will Shelton, Mother Earth News, Feb/March 1998) Martins not only eat copious amounts of insects but also scare away hawks and crows.
---Building Bird Houses for Cavity Nesters (Wild Bird Watching) Very informative, with dimensions for birdhouses for various types of birds. One size does not fit all when it comes to building bird houses. Bluebirds and House Wrens have different entrance hole sizes and floor to opening height requirements. You also must provide easy access for clean out. You can do this simply by hinging the front panel or one of the side panels or by having a removable floor or roof. And more such practical tips.
---Finally! A Bluebird House You Don't Have to Replace (Wild Bird Watching) Going Green Bluebird House by Woodlink


Largest human mattress dominoes (YouTube, Guinness World Records) Watch. Then discuss why people would go to this much trouble for this kind of honor.

H/T to Susan Pourian, Parkside Green; Jane Friedman, The Hot Sheet; Marcy Davis (Readers, Streamers, and Watchers);  Abby Rasminsky,  Lynne Lamberg, Holly Pollinger, and others!

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You Are Here: A story about people who don't know where they are

Listen to You Are Here (RadioLab, WNYC Studios, January 25, 2011)

A fascinating story about a phenomenon that I'll bet you haven't heard of.

 

"When Sharon Roseman was five years old, something strange happened. She was playing a game with her friends, and when she took off her blindfold--she didn't know where she was. She was lost on her own block, in her own backyard. For most of her life, Sharon feared it was all in her head, and kept her troubles a secret.

     Until she saw something on TV that led her to get in touch with Dr. Guiseppe Iaria, who helped her find a diagnosis...and a friend with the same condition. And Sharon's story begs the question--how do we know where we are? What does it take to be able to walk down the hall, or down the block, and back?

      Jonah Lehrer explains the very recent science that's helping unlock how our brains make maps from moment to moment. Along the way, Karen Jacobsen, who calls herself "the GPS Girl" (her voice can be heard in GPS units in millions of cars around the world), helps Jad and Robert navigate the episode's twists and turns."

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Index of blog posts

 
Covid-19 (Coronavirus pandemic, 2020)
You, your body, and your health
Health care, medicine, and the health care system
How we die (managing and honoring the end of life)
Life, home, and estate management
Justice and injustice
Telling our life stories
Wisdom and entertainment

Covid-19 (Coronavirus pandemic, 2020)


COVID-19: politics and the stock market vs. science and survival (the good, the bad, and the ugly)
Coronavirus: How to minimize your risks (the practical stuff)
Recommended reading about pandemics (novels and nonfiction books and articles)
Lost to the coronavirus pandemic
On keeping a diary or journal of the pandemic
Poems for the Pandemic
55+ things to do (listen, watch, read, share, do) during the pandemic
How prepared are you for disaster?

You, your body, and your health


Top sites for health news and advice
Medical links for patients, families, and caregivers
Where journalists get their medical news and information (Writers and Editors site)
Do you trust your doctor? How can you protect yourself?
Ratings for hospitals, doctors, surgeons, home health agencies, nursing homes
You, drug-resistant superbugs, and what's for dinner?
The flu: what you need to know
Overcoming flu vaccine hesitancy: The caregiver's resource sheet
We are what we eat? Read this, get healthy, feel better! (Part 1 of 2). See also Part 2 (with links to more good articles).
Healthy food that isn't yucky
Home remedies for relieving sciatica pain
The truth (and controversy) about chronic (late-stage) Lyme disease
Resources for finding service dogs, therapy dogs, and other types of assistance dogs

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Health care, medicine, and the health care system


Why U.S. medical costs are so high -- and where the system needs fixing
Taking the mystery out of health care prices
Drugs, Big Pharma, conflicts of interest, and why U.S. patients pay too much for medication
Ratings for hospitals, doctors, surgeons, home health agencies, nursing homes
Doctors rebel against a re-certification test that costs $23,600 per doctor
The anatomy of medical error Human factor scientists call skill-based errors slips and rule-based and knowledge-based errors mistakes. See also an Update on medical errors
Exposing abuse and neglect in a chain of brain injury rehab centers
Lead wars and the health of children
Organizations serious about improving U.S. health care
Talking points about the Affordable Care Act
The NIH Clinical Center: A national healthcare treasure
Nine great TED talks on improving health care

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How we die (managing and honoring the end of life)


Preventing fraud, elder abuse, and guardianship problems
Three cases for better management of dying
Autopsies: when and why and how
Farewell to T.L Hawkins, part 1 (October 2014)

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On keeping a diary or journal of the pandemic

What better time to keep a diary or journal than these strange times trying to duck a weird and dangerous coronavirus. Write about how life sheltering in place (and losing money fast) is with you. These historic times will be best recalled not by famous decisions or the tweet history of our demented president but by accounts of our daily lives trying to survive this sneaky killer.
Why We Should All Be Keeping Coronavirus Journals (Katherine Sharp Landdeck, Time, 4-27-2020)
What We Can Learn From 1918 Influenza Diaries (Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, 4-13-2020) Though much has changed since 1918, the sentiments shared in writings from this earlier pandemic are likely to resonate with modern readers. These letters and journals offer insights on how to record one's thoughts amid a pandemic.
What Historians Will See When They Look Back on the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020 (The New York Times) Universities and institutions are inviting the public to share their experiences during the coronavirus 2020 pandemic and its aftermath.
The race to save the first draft of coronavirus history from internet oblivion (Abby Ohlheiser and Tanya Basu, MIT Technology Review, 4-21-2020) How researchers, archivists, and citizens are racing to preserve a record of how we lived and changed during this strange period of history.
12 Ideas for Writing Through the Pandemic with The New York Times (New York Times)
Students' Journals Could Be 'Primary Sources' (Lauren S. Brown, MiddleWeb, 4-10-2020)
Share Your Story: Remembering COVID-19 Front-Line Workers (Meghan Collins Sullivan, The Coronavirus Crisis, NPR, 4-29-2020)
New York State Library Covid-19 Personal History Initiative The state is asking New York residents to share journal entries about living during the COVID pandemic.
Why You Should Start a Coronavirus Diary (Jen A. Miller, NY Times, 4-13-2020) It’ll help you organize your thoughts during these difficult times, and may help educate future generations.
How Can I Keep a Personal, Private Journal Online? (Alan Henry, LifeHacker, 1-14-13) How can I set up my journal so I can edit and update it online on my phone or laptop without the world seeing it? I want a diary, not a blog!
Guide to keeping an audio journal (Journaling Habit) Evernote and Onenote both have audio recording features that can be used on desktop or mobile.
The Art of Audio Journaling: How to Think and Write Out Loud on Your Way to Work
A Coronavirus Chronicle: April 15, 2020 (Local correspondents, New Yorker, 4-27-2020) Twenty-four hours at the epicenter of the pandemic.
The ER diaries: a coronavirus case that nearly broke me A California nurse’s journals from the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. A patient’s anguish is enough to crack even a medical worker’s professional resolve.  A nurse's coronavirus journal: 'The new normal of this pandemic sinks in' (The Guardian, 3-24-2020) "For the first time in the decade I’ve been working as a healthcare worker, the warning to stay home has been heard and obeyed by the masses."
My Students Are Finally Keeping a Journal (Jeanne Bonner, Brevity, 4-27-2020) "Yet on a whim, I wondered if using the forum tool to create a weekly diary might make sense so I inserted one during the first week of our confinement that was simply called 'Coronavirus Journal.' I told them they should not see it as a mandatory assignment but rather as a refuge.... Judging by the voluminous entries some have posted, they are galvanized in this hot-house atmosphere of illness and fear. Forced suddenly to live in new ways – or in some cases, return to living in old ways, specifically with their parents! – they've received a jolt of inspiration paired with a desperate need to vent their frustrations."
The Quarantine Diaries (New York Times) Around the world, the history of our present moment is taking shape in journal entries and drawings.
Quarantine diary from author Rick Bragg in Alabama (Celebs, Hello News, 4-18-2020)
'Write It Down': Historian Suggests Keeping a Record of Life During Pandemic (Anne E. Bromley, Virginia News, 3-17-2020)
Dear Diary, the World Is Burning (Katy Waldman, New Yorker, 4-10-2020) On the value of private thoughts during a public crisis.
Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project (National Women's History Museum) "We invite individuals from all ages, backgrounds, cultures, and socio-economic circumstances to be a part of living history by keeping a journal in 30, 60, 90, 120-day, or any longer OR shorter increments, and contributing their journalistic efforts to the National Women’s History Museum. If life gets in the way of a daily, month-long journal, that’s okay! Simply commit to what you can or what you already have. You do not have to journal daily.
"The kicker, alas: By agreeing to donate your journal, it is understood that the purpose and intent of the gift is to transfer and assign all rights, title, and interest in the journal that you may possess to the National Women's History Museum. A Deed of Gift will be issued to you from the Museum. The NWHM and/or the Museum's collaborative project partner, The New York Times Company, may make discretionary use of the donated materials to include, but not limited to, exhibition, display, publication, digitization for preservation and access purposes, and making materials available for research and future scholarship. The NWHM reserves the right to decline any submission deemed inappropriate for the project." (Make sure you have the right to use your own story, especially as they reserve the right to decline to use it.)

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RECOMMENDED READING ABOUT PANDEMICS

Here are links to a few recommended books (both fiction and nonfiction) and articles (and one serial documentary) about pandemics. Let me know in comments if I've overlooked anything.

 

A Documentary:
 Pandemic: How to Prevent an Attack (Netflix)

 

NOVELS ABOUT DISEASES AND PANDEMICS
Blindness by José Saramago (1995). A city is hit by a sudden and strange epidemic of "white blindness", which spares no one.A powerful and haunting novel about humanity's will to survive against all odds during an epidemic.
The End of October by Lawrence Wright (“An eerily prescient novel about a devastating virus that begins in Asia before going global"~New York Post). See This Is 'Creepy': Lawrence Wright Wishes His Pandemic Novel Had Gotten It Wrong (Mary Louise Kelly, All Things Considered, NPR, 4-28-2020)
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. A flight from Russia lands in middle America, its passengers carrying a virus that explodes "like a neutron bomb over the surface of the earth.... "No more trains running under the surface of cities ... No more cities ... No more Internet " Survivors become scavengers, roaming the ravaged landscape or clustering in pocket settlements, some of them welcoming, some dangerous. What's touching is the novel's ode to what survived, in particular the music and plays performed for wasteland communities by a roving Shakespeare troupe, the Traveling Symphony, whose members form a wounded family of sorts. The story shifts deftly between the fraught post-apocalyptic world and, twenty years earlier, just before the apocalypse, the death of a famous actor, which has a rippling effect across the decades.
The Plague (novel by Albert Camus) About which, see Camus and the Political Tests of a Pandemic (Steve Coll, The New Yorker, 5-19-2020) Coll mentions this W.H. Auden poem: September 1, 1939. It can be uncanny to encounter a leader "whose advisers cannot bear initially to acknowledge the catastrophe, or even to speak aloud the name of the disease that is its cause."
Zone One Colson Whitehead's wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel. A pandemic has devastated the planet, sorting humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. After the worst of the plague is over, armed forces stationed in Chinatown's Fort Wonton reclaim the island south of Canal Street—aka Zone One and our hero is helping clear lower Manhattan of its remaining feral zombies.
A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe (published in 1722). Also available as a free PDF. "Bring out your dead!" calls the bell-ringing collector in this classic fictional account of the epidemic of bubonic plague — known as the Black Death — that ravaged England in 1664–1665.
Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks. An unforgettable tale, set in 17th century England, of a village that quarantines itself to arrest the spread of the plague.
Dooms Day Book (Oxford Time Travel) by Connie Willis (Oxford Time Travel). The story of a history student in 2048 who is transported to an English village in the 14th century. She arrives mistakenly on the eve of the onset of the Black Plague. Her dealings with a family of "contemps" in 1348 and with her historian cohorts lead to complications as the book unfolds into a surprisingly dark, deep conclusion. Winner of both Hugo and Nebula awards.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy (a post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son wandering through the ruins of civilization, reason for which unspecified)
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann. A novella (published in 1912) in which Venetian authorities and businesses try to hide or underplay the seriousness of a cholera epidemic. See Charles Mudede's article Death in Venice and the History of Underreporting a Pandemic.
World War Z a horror-comic novel by Max Brooks, posing as an "oral history" of a virus that originated in China and spread across the world, transforming millions of people into zombies. Message: "The threat is not the virus or the zombies, but our response, especially denial and panic."
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. Against a backdrop of recurring civil war and recurring cholera epidemics, Márquez explores death, decay and the idea of lovesickness as disease—in this turn-of-the-century chronicle of a unique love triangle.
The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi) by Alessandro Manzoni. A sweeping novel set in northern Italy during the years of Spanish occupation, well-known for its remarkable account of the Italian plague of 1629-1631, and the devastating impact the epidemic had on Milan. The archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Borromeo, is shown going into the pest houses, willing to lay down his life to look after the poorest and most unwell people in his flock.

 

NONFICTION BOOKS ABOUT PANDEMICS
The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance (1995) by Laurie Garrett. (She Predicted the Coronavirus. What Does She Foresee Next? (Frank Bruni, NY Times, 5-2-2020) Years of debt and collective rage.
Plague: The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the World's Most Dangerous Disease by Wendy Orent
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara Wertheim Tuchman. "Many of the disruptive forces at work in the 14th century — war, religious schisms, the plague — played out again during the 20th century (hence the book's title)."~ New York Times
1491 by Charles Mann, on how the arrival of disease in North America changed history
The Miraculous Fever-Tree by Fiammetta Rocco, a rich and wonderful history of quinine – the cure for malaria.
Fever of War: The Influenza Epidemic in the U.S. Army during World War I by Carol R. Byerly. The startling impact of the 1918 influenza epidemic on the American army, its medical officers, and their profession.
The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry. "A sobering account of the 1918 flu epidemic, compelling and timely." ~ Boston Globe
World Epidemics: A Cultural Chronology of Disease from Prehistory to the Era of Zika by Mary Ellen Snodgrass
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson. Johnson's narrative of the 1854 cholera epidemic in London is humanized by his portrayal of the people who suffered through it, including the intrepid doctor, John Snow, who ultimately traced the outbreak to contaminated water. 
Scurvy:How a Surgeon, a Mariner, and a Gentleman Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sailby Stephen Bown (read excerpt here
Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by epidemiologist Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker
World Epidemics: A Cultural Chronology of Disease from Prehistory to the Era of Zika by Mary Ellen Snodgrass
The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus, the 2012 nonfiction bestseller by Richard Preston, as well as The Demon in the Freezer (about first major bioterror event in the United States—the anthrax attacks in October 2001)
And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, by Randy Shilts. “The story of these first five years of AIDS in America is a drama of national failure, played out against a backdrop of needless death....It is a tale that bears telling, so that it will never happen again, to any people, anywhere.”~Randy Shilts
Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 by Elizabeth A. Fenn. The history lesson you probably didn't get in high school.
Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present by Frank M. Snowden

 

ARTICLES, STORIES, and ARCHIVES:
Bingeing on Doom: Expert on the ‘Black Death’ Attracts Cult Following (JoNel Aleccia, KHN, Los Angeles Times, 7-22-2020) Fascinating article by the woman who narrates The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague, "a video series that became must-see TV this spring when it aired on Amazon Prime, just as stuck-at-home 21st-century humans were reeling from the coronavirus crisis. In 24 surprisingly compelling episodes, Armstrong introduced the devastation of the mid-14th century to doom-obsessed modern viewers. The flea-driven plague, also known as the “Great Mortality,” overran Eurasia and North Africa from 1347 to 1353, killing tens of millions of people and wiping out half of Europe’s population....“The Black Death” has spurred a broad cult following for Armstrong — even as it underscores the dismaying parallels between the great plague and the deadly disease now circling the globe."
'The impossible has already happened': what coronavirus can teach us about hope (Rebecca Solnit, a 'long read,' The Guardian, 4-7-2020) In the midst of fear and isolation, we are learning that profound, positive change is possible. Having lived through and written extensively about past disasters, Rebecca Solnit senses as well as anyone what comes next. We're still in the middle of a global battle, but slowly talk of "after" will come, and we will need guidance from those who have endured similarly treacherous stretches. "It is too soon to know what will emerge from this emergency," Solnit writes, "but not too soon to start looking for chances to help decide it."
The Masque of the Red Death (originally published as "The Mask of the Red Death: A Fantasy") is a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1842. The story follows Prince Prospero's attempts to avoid a dangerous plague, known as the Red Death, by hiding in his abbey.
A Historian's View of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the Influenza of 1918 (David Remnick, New Yorker, 3-25-2020) Remnick interviews historian John M. Barry about what that historic pandemic can tell us about our current situation and the future.
How the 1918 Pandemic Frayed Social Bonds (Noah Y. Kim, The Atlantic, 3-31-2020) The influenza pandemic did long-lasting damage to relationships in some American communities. Could the mistrust have been prevented?
How Pandemics Change History (Isaac Chotiner, New Yorker, 3-3-2020) In his new book, "Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present," Frank M. Snowden, a professor emeritus of history and the history of medicine at Yale, examines the ways in which disease outbreaks have shaped politics, crushed revolutions, and entrenched racial and economic discrimination.
The Deadly Virus: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 (National Archives) Selected records reveal details about daily life at the time.
Journalist finds lessons in the history of pandemics (Bara Vaida, Covering Health, AHCJ, 4-16-2020) Q&A with Beth Skwarecki, author of the book Outbreak: 50 Tales of Epidemics that Terrorized the World (writing only 1,000 words about each is not easy!).
What Shakespeare Actually Wrote About the Plague (Stephen Greenblatt, The New Yorker, 5-7-2020)

 

SEE ALSO
On keeping a diary or journal of the COVID-19 pandemic (blog post)
Coronavirus: the good, the bad, and the practical
Covering the coronavirus as a journalist
Pandemic: The Big Picture
What to do or not do (disinfecting, among other things) and how or how not to do it
(
Social distancing, sheltering in place, and lockdown
Testing: what you need to know
Expanding contact tracing
Reliable sources of information and updates about COVID-19
Coronavirus maps and numbers
The search for anti-viral treatments
COVID-19's economic impact
Problems with personal protective equipment (PPE)
Combatting the misinformation epidemic/campaign (and persuading skeptics there's a crisis)
Trump’s handling of the pandemic
Covering the COVID-19 pandemic: Resources for journalists
Who is harmed most by Covid19?
Politics, government, and the coronavirus
Where things went wrong in the U.S.
Where in the world things went right
Coronavirus: A Primer

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Poems for the Pandemic

Poem by Kitty O'Meara

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.  And listened more deeply.  Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.  Some met their shadows.  And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed.  And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

 

Poem  by Laura Kelly Fanucci

"When this is over, may we never again take for granted:

A handshake with a stranger, full shelves at the store, conversations with neighbors, a crowded theatre...

Friday night out, the taste of communion, a routine checkup, the school rush each morning...

Coffee with a friend, the stadium roaring, each deep breath...

A boring Tuesday, Life itself.

When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be...

we were called to be....

we hoped to be and may we stay that way....

better for each other because of the worst."

LKM

 

See also

Lockdown A poem by Brother Richard (Irish Central, 3-23-2020)

Pandemic by Lynn Ungar

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