My fellow bloggers are probably the only ones who will find this particularly interesting, but Wired’s chart of the Life Cycle of a Blog Post is pretty cool – it tracks where your words, images, videos and other creations go once you hit publish.

Shop For The Snow Leopards

January 29, 2008

Every once in a while I come across a thoroughly excellent site, and the Snow Leopard Trust definitely falls into that category – it combines exotic ornaments and textiles, charity, and one of my favorite things, big cats.  Besides having tons of information about these majestic creatures, you can shop for handmade goods from the felines’ homelands of Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and more.  It’s a great way to add a touch of the exotic to your home; of course, you can also adopt a snow leopard or two as well.

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How can you say no to this adorable face?

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The Definition of Adorable

January 27, 2008

Is sweet little tiger cubs!  Don’t you want to hug them?

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More pictures of these Siberian tiger quadruplets here.

On a more positive note – DonorsChoose.org won a Crunchie award for “most likely to make the world a better place”.  Congratulations to them!

Their mission:

DonorsChoose.org is dedicated to addressing the scarcity and inequitable distribution of learning materials and experiences in our public schools. We believe this inequity is rooted in the following factors:

  1. Shortages of learning materials prevent thorough, engaging instruction;
  2. Top-down distribution of materials stifles our best teachers and discourages them from developing targeted solutions for their students; and
  3. Small, directed contributions have gone un-tapped as a source of funding.

DonorsChoose.org will improve public education by engaging citizens in an online marketplace where teachers describe and individuals can fund specific student projects. We envision a nation where students in every community have the resources they need to learn.

Think micro-lending a la Kiva.org but with U.S. public schools.  There are tons of different projects available that cover all subjects from art to science, and grade levels from K-12 – and if you live in the U.S., chances are there are local schools you can help fund.

More Blog For Choice Posts

January 22, 2008

Some links to great posts for Blog For Choice Day:

Erica Jong in the Huffington Post: If Men Could Get Pregnant, Abortion Would Be A Sacrament.

Anna J. Cook: The Radical Idea That I Am A Person(here’s a bit, but you should really go read the whole thing):

“Over the last twelve years, however, I have been forced to recognize how fragile my right to bodily integrity and self-determination is. I have gotten the message loud and clear from politicians, judges and activists: My personhood is conditional. My body is not my own. I am one broken condom, one impulsive sexual encounter, one sexual assault, one anti-abortion, conscience-ridden pharmacist away from becoming less than a person in the eyes of the law.

The modern political and legal struggle over abortion rights, and reproductive rights more broadly, has developed a hyper-focus on the question of fetal rights and the definition of when life begins. We have forgotten to consider an equally important question: regardless of how we determine when human life and constitutional rights begin, when do women’s basic human rights end? I ask this question of anyone who supports anti-abortion, fetal rights policies: do I somehow become less of a person in the eyes of the law the moment I become pregnant?”

And Cristina Page’s article in the Huffington Post about Huckabee is just scary:

“Today, Governor Mike Huckabee is scheduled to travel to Georgia to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. There he plans to join Georgia Right to Life to lend his support, as well as the focus of the national media, to HR 536. This legislation, also called the Human Life Amendment, is a state constitutional amendment that reclassifies the most effective and popular forms of contraception as abortion. The goal of the amendment is to create a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade while also defining life as beginning at fertilization. The anti-abortion movement believes that hormonal contraception (the pill, the patch, the depo shot, the nuva ring, the IUD) can destroy a fertilized egg. By setting in law the assertion — the unproveable assertion — that life begins at the moment of fertilization, the most common forms of contraception become abortion.

James Bopp, a leading anti-abortion attorney, in a memo to pro-life activists, explained what the practical applications of HR 536 would be. Establishing in law that life begins at the moment of fertilization could lead to, he writes, “enforcement of homicide laws against pregnant women, restricting the activities of pregnant women, outlawing contraception and so on.” He continues, “The big picture is that the Human Life Amendment creates uncertainty in the law leaving it up to future legislatures to establish implementing laws and up to enforcement officials and courts to sort out what the law might mean in various applications.” In other words, let’s leave your right to use contraception up to your local assemblymember, district attorney and sheriff.”

“What the Huck?” indeed.

It’s Blog For Choice Day

January 22, 2008

Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and NARAL America is hosting Blog for Choice Day in honor of that historic decision.  To take a page from Feministing’s book, here are the reasons why I vote pro-choice:

Because I believe that in everyone’s right to complete bodily autonomy.

Because I believe that reproductive freedom is not a reward for those who have the means and access to birth control and who can easily afford medical care.

Because I know that outlawing abortion will not cause it to disappear, rather, it will become a dangerous underground procedure that can seriously harm or kill the women who undergo it.

Because President Bush’s Global Gag Rule, a.k.a the Mexico City Policy, is detrimental to the health of women and children around the world.

Because I trust women to make the choice that is best for them and their families.

Because I believe every mother should be willing and every child should be wanted.

Because I am sick and tired of wealthy old white men telling women what they can and can’t do with their bodies.

Because I am horrified by the fact that pharmacists, doctors, and hospitals can still deny sexual assault survivors access to Plan B.

Because the lack of access to birth control, reproductive counseling, and yes, abortions disproportionately affects poor women.

Because women will never achieve total equality with men until they have complete dominion over their bodies, including reproductive freedom.

Because in the United States, no one has the right to force their religious views, beliefs, or opinions on anyone else – and I’ll like to keep it that way.

And for more information on the current state of reproductive rights in the U.S., here is a great article from the Nation by Frances Kissling and Kate Michelman.

And a link to Jezebel’s post on the topic.

In Honor of MLK Day…

January 21, 2008

Some timely quotes from the man himself:

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

“Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.”

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

And last but not least, one that fits well with the current rise (and relative ease) of citizen journalism  –

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Check out this article about blogging, compensation, and the future of the new media.

Link to “blogonomics“.

That is all.