Saturday, December 28, 2013

Quotation of the Day

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor,"

~Desmond Tutu

Tutu also penned the forward to the forthcoming Global Guide to Animal Protection edited by Andrew Linzey, for which Tutu writes,
I have seen firsthand how injustice gets overlooked when the victims are powerless or vulnerable, when they have no one to speak up for them and no means of representing themselves to a higher authority. Animals are in precisely that position. Unless we are mindful of their interests and speak out loudly on their behalf, abuse and cruelty go unchallenged.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Outside Tuto House, Soweto by Johan Wessels
licensed under CC BY 2.0 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Love Wins

"Love wins. This is what we taught her: to honor, to praise, to be loving," - Nelba Márquez-Greene, mother of Ana Grace, one of the children killed last year on this day during the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut
Last year on this date, twenty-six people, twenty children and six adults, were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School by Adam Lanza, who had previously shot dead his mother. Minutes after the massacre, Lanza took his own life.

Instead of retreating into hate and bitterness, the families of many of the victims have used the unspeakable losses to promote healing rather than revenge. Since their precious daughter loved animals and even made business cards for "Catherine's Animal Shelter" with herself as Care Taker [sic], Catherine Violet Hubbard's family has created a foundation working with The Animal Center to raise funds to build a sanctuary.

Earlier this fall, Catherine was posthumously honored as the ASPCA Tommy P. Monahan Kid of the Year. In an interview with WFSB Channel 3 News, Jenny Hubbard, Catherine's mother, remarked,"We're (going to) create a place where creatures can come and heal and find tranquility, and Catherine is going to be so proud. She is going to be thrilled that we brought her all her animals."

You can download the "I am a Butterfly" icon here and use it as your profile in social media to raise awareness of Catherine's vision.

A therapist, Nelba Márquez-Greene, mother of Ana Grace, decide to put her work counseling troubled individuals on hold to work on community-level initiatives aimed at promoting compassion and connections through the Ana Grace Project. In partnership with the Klingberg Family Centers, Márquez-Greene founded The Center for Community and Compassion with a mission of reducing violence through promoting connections and compassion.
Ana Grace, Photo from The Ana Grace Project
Please follow the example of these families and use the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings to make a positive impact on your community and your world.
  1. Be kind. Matt Crebbin, coordinator of the Newtown Interfaith Clergy association reminds us, "Kindness is a choice that we all make," (HuffPost). 
  2. Advocate for gun reform. Moyers and Co. provides a primer on how to take a stand against gun violence. Since Sandy Hook, 194 children, with an average age of six, have been killed with guns (Moyers & Co.).
  3. Donate to the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation or The Ana Grace Project.
  4. Practice compassion. If you have children, actively teach compassion to them.
  5. If you are a teacher, consider the Classes4Classes program to promote compassion among school children.
Remember, love wins.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Misadventures at Target

Check out my teaching blog, Real World OB, for a story about my misadventures while recently shopping at Target!

Target Bingo Blog Entry

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Compassion Games

A string of links led me to the Compassion Games, a friendly rivalry between cities to promote kindness within communities. (I am hoping Ithaca will participate one day, maybe even Ardmore!) The organizers of the event outlined four principles of compassion to inspire participants:
  • To cultivate a disposition of loving-kindness and respect in ourselves. 
  • To exhibit that in how we approach each human we interact with. 
  • To commit to the service of others -- in our neighborhood, in our country, even across the world. 
  • To adopt an open-mindedness -- and generative, generous spirit - that leads to creativity in solving the world’s challenges. 
I would never have stumbled upon the Compassion Games if I hadn't been playing SuperBetter and saw mention of the Compassion Games on the app's facebook page. And I started playing SuperBetter because I watched Jane McGonigal's Ted Talk, "The Game That Can Give You Ten Extra Years of Life." (My secret identity is Violet Springs, by the way.)

Watch the talk - you'll be inspired! After you watch the video, be sure to adopt the principles of compassion in your daily life. Undoubtedly, you yourself will gain the benefits!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Some words or phrases are so overused, they become meaningless and/or have lost their connection to their true definition or intention. I really dislike these words and terms, and try to avoid them in speech and writing. (George likes to irritate me by using them more.)

Here are some of my entries in the TOO MEANINGLESS TO USE list:
  • Blindside (perhaps unique to reality TV)
  • Bucket list
  • Just saying
  • Literally
  • No offense/with all due respect 
  • Outside the box
  • Perfect storm
  • Spoilers/spoiler alert
  • Win-win
Much better to be precise, interesting, and individual in your communication! 

What words or phrases would you add to the list?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Quotation of the Day

"Compassion involves both the heartfelt wish that others be free from suffering and the readiness to act on their behalf. It arises from a deep sense of affection for others, coupled with a sensitivity to their pain and the recognition that their suffering can be transformed."

~Brooke Dodson-Lavelle, Training Kids for Kindness

Friday, November 15, 2013

Clues to Our Morality

A fascinating story from 60 Minutes on research coming out of Yale's Baby Lab. The studies have also been discussed in the New York Times Magazine. I don't know whether to feel despondent or hopeful for humanity after this!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Quotation of the Day: Love Edition

When they criticize you, love them for teaching you humility.
When they heap scorn upon you, love them for helping you discover your resiliency.
When they doubt you, love them for giving your dreams greater courage.
When they point out your faults, love them for their accuracy.
When they wound you, love them for showing you your capacity to forgive.
When they try to stop you, love them for making your resolve even stronger.
When they cast you into darkness, love them for helping you discover your inextinguishable light.
And when you stand victorious, when your love has conquered the impossible challenge, invite them to stand with you so they too can see that love is invincible

~Attributed to Cory Booker

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Quotation of the Day: Halloween Edition

“ Of all the creatures that creep and breathe on earth, there is none more wretched than man. ”


image Creative Commons by-sa-2.0 by Fabbio via Flickr

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Something Is Wrong with this Picture

I was so pleased with the sunglasses I bought in downtown Indianapolis and wore while walking around on a sunny day that when I was heading into the Eiteljorg Museum (just to get postcards - no time to see actual art!) I stopped for a selfie. Only after I returned to my hotel did I realize I'd left the UV notice sticker on the lens. Here I was thinking I was so cool...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Quotation of the Day: Nobel Prize Edition

"First of all, it’s not the financial crisis per se, but the most important problem that we are facing now, today, I think, is rising inequality in the United States and elsewhere in the world. This is a problem that has solutions. Many of them are financial solutions. Finance is substantially about risk management, and if it’s supplied right, if it’s democratized, that means if the real tools are made useful to real people and not to just a minority of people, it can help solve these problems." 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Corning Museum of Glass

Here we are at the Corning Museum of Glass in front of Dale Chihuly's Fern Green Tower which always looks yellow to me. I was especially excited to visit during the run of "Life on a String: 35 Centuries of the Glass Bead."

Monday, September 30, 2013

Quotation of the Day

“Since animals and children can’t speak up for themselves, it is our responsibility to make this a better place for them,” 

 ~Fred Willard, Parade Magazine

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

Smoky Mountain Nightmare

I recently watched a rerun of City Confidential: Gatlinburg, Smoky Mountain Nightmare. This show always profiles a city as well as a community-shaking crime.

In this episode, I found it interesting how Gaitlinburg is so tourist-oriented. To make peace with the influx of outsiders, locals view tourists as money-making opportunities. One favorite activity is tattooing. The Guinness World Records attraction has a mannequin of the tattooed lady.

One local church was next to a tattoo parlor, and the pastor said they were forced to move because of all the "riff-raff" who frequented the establishment. Of course, to the pastor, by definition those who go to the tattoo parlor are riff-raff. For him, I think the nightmare was not the crime but the presence of tattooed individuals.

 I beg to differ!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Vandana Shiva on GMOs

"A question we must ask ourselves everyday... where am I complicit in the war against the earth?"  - Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically-Modified Seeds from on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Quotation of the Day

"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late." 

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Now is the Time

Today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech. To commemorate the event, I listened to the full audio of the speech, which saddens and inspires me each time I hear it.

I also played the first few minutes of the speech to my students in Business Ethics, ending at the line "America has given the Negro people a bad deck, a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds.'" I asked them to think if the check had finally been cashed (no, of course not) and if other groups today are having the same type of discrimination as people of color in the 1960s (yes, of course). I also reminded them that businesses play a significant role and have a responsibility to work for fairness... of note, the march was called the "March for Jobs and Freedom."

Full text of speech
Full audio of speech

Monday, August 26, 2013

Women's Equality Day

On this day in 1920, women were given the right to vote when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution passed. Alas, there is work to be done regarding equal pay, sexual violence, and women's health.

National Women's History Project

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

iPhone Apps

Lifehacker published a list of their favorite apps for the iPhone. Since I am glued to my iPhone, I was interested in the recommendations and found some new apps I plan to download.

What are your favorite apps? Did they make Lifehacker's list? The apps I use daily are:
I play these games daily, but my taste in games changes over time.
If you play any of these, let me know so we can start a game!

When I think about our (my) addiction to smart phones, a quote from Dare Me by Megan Abbott comes to mind. Addy describes holding her phone as though she carried her heart in her hand. Less poetic, research about our changing brain structures due to the internet intrude and it reminds me how prophetic Marge Piercy in Woman on the Edge of Time appears in retrospect with characters who carry memories and information on external devices.

Lifehacker Pack iPhone Apps

Friday, July 5, 2013

Resist the Tide

George was watching John Hodgman's Ragnarok special, and I caught the ending when Hodgman covers "Resist the Tide" by Cynthia Hopkins. I loved the performance. This is Hodgman at another venue - he starts the song about 2:50 minutes in.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July

I snapped this photograph when I was in Portland a couple of weeks ago.

Monday, July 1, 2013

First Birthday

I received my first birthday card (for my July 10th birthday) today from my tribe, the Choctaw Nation. I appreciate receiving personal mail from the tribe. (We also get Christmas ornaments and calendars.) Often, I will get postcards about special events, and I'm almost always impressed with the designs!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Quotation of the Day: Beautiful People Do Not Just Happen

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."

~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Here I was at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle. Too bad none of the cardinal directions begin with an "A."

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Quotation of the Day: Go Play

"There's a huge part of the advertising industry which is designed to capture children. And it's destroying childhood. Anyone who has any experience with children can see this. It's literally destroying childhood. Kids don't know how to play. They can't go out and, you know, like when you were a kid or when I was a kid, you have a Saturday afternoon free. You go out to a field and you're finding a bunch of other kids and play ball or something. You can't do anything like that. It's got to be organized by adults, or else you're at home with your gadgets, your video games. But the idea of going out just to play with all the creative challenge, those insights: that's gone. And it's done consciously to trap children from infancy and then to turn them into consumer addicts. And that means you're out for yourself. You got the Ayn Rand kind of sociopathic behavior, which comes straight out of the consumer culture. Consumer culture means going out for myself; I don't give a damn about anyone else. I think it's really destroying society in a lot of ways. And education is part of it."

~Noam Chomsky

Click here for the full interview.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Blake Shelton has been on my mind lately because of his efforts to help following the devastating tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma on May 19. Which version do you prefer?


Friday, May 10, 2013

Quotation of the Day

"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."

~Kurt Vonegut

I value this sentiment, but sometimes have a hard time living it.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


George and I drove up to Syracuse Friday night to see John Gorka. This was one of my favorite songs of the night. The video clip is from another concert, though.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Future of Blogger

When Google announced the death of Google Reader, I heard some commentators remark that Blogger would go that way soon. Sometimes, I don't like the layout, but it is easy to use Blogger, and I've had this blog so long, everything is quite automatic. I do wonder if I should move to Wordpress. I know it has devoted users. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Equal Pay Day

To earn the same amount as men in 2012, women have to work to April 9, 2013. Learn more about Equal Pay Day and why the pay gap hurts women, families, and communities.

Spirit Airlines' Passenger Usage Fee
Via: NerdWallet

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Quotation of the Day: RIP Roger Ebert

"'Kindness' covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try."

~Roger Ebert, "I Do Not Fear Death"

Saturday, March 30, 2013

If Fast Food Could Talk...

I just donated $10 to help Mercy for Animals campaign to help promote advertising that shows the animal suffering that goes on daily in factory farms.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Quotation of the Day: The Please Don't Hurt Them Edition

"Aristotle's ladder of nature is not just being flattened; it is being transformed into a bush with many branches. This is no insult to human superiority. It is long-overdue recognition that intelligent life is not something for us to seek in the outer reaches of space but is abundant right here on earth, under our noses."

~Frans de Waal
The Wall Street Journal

Friday, March 22, 2013

World Water Day

Today is World Water Day. In the United States, we take for granted the automatic presence of water in our kitchens and bathrooms, and we abuse our privilege by buying bottled water that contributes to environmental destruction. But in some countries, access to clean drinking water is a struggle. Some women walk hours a day to retrieve drinking water. Many die from using contaminated water.

Visit to see inspiring photographs to honor our relationship with water.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Quotation of the Day

“As a civilized society, it is our moral obligation to protect all animals, including farmed animals, from needless suffering and abuse." 

 ~Mercy For Animals Executive Director, Nathan Runkle

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bring it on Down to Veganville

Justin Timberlake - Bring It On Down 2... by IdolxMuzic

I watched SNL last night, and I must admit that during the "Bring it on Down to Veganville" sketch, I was waiting for Justin Timberlake, wearing a tofu costume, to succumb to the pressures to eat sausage and then abandon his veg ways. With stories on NPR like, "Why Bacon is a Gateway Meat for Vegetarians" and vegans and vegetarians often the butt of jokes in popular culture, is is any surprise of my skepticism? Or any wonder that when I told George this morning that SNL had a vegan skit last night, he responded by saying, "how did they make fun of you?" To my delight and amazement, it was the Sausage Depot shill who had a change of heart, saying, "Oh god, what have I done. I've been eating Babe's grandchildren for years. I'm a monster" after Timberlake, with complete sincerity, said, "If you knew how meat was raised, you wouldn't eat it." Today, my Facebook newsfeed is dominated by shares of the skit among vegans who are beyond the moon to see a positive representation of vegans that is funny and without sanctimony. The skit also highlights the charisma of Timberlake, who makes even a tofu costume seem sexy.

Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day

March 8 commemorates International Women's Day, first observed in 1911. EQUALS views IWD as not just a day to celebrate women, but also a day to "to ask ourselves big, important questions about how a woman’s life really compares to that of a man’s." Sheryl Sandberg's TED talk discusses this phenomenon in the context of leadership. Some of her comments are based on an experiment conducted by Francis Flynn. Flynn gave some of his students a copy of the Harvard Business Review Case, "Heidi Roizen" about the silicon valley venture capitalist. Other students were given the same case, but Heidi was changed to Howard. Otherwise, the details were identical. Students who read about "Howard" found him likable while those who read the actual case about Heidi found her selfish. Women experience similar penalties when displaying emotions at work compared to male colleagues. Sometimes, my undergraduates claim that there isn't sexism or racism anymore, and I am glad that their experiences thus far have made them feel equal, but I also know that they will likely face obstacles just because of their gender or race. I can't imagine what it is like for women in countries where there are even fewer protections. That's why I value IWD.

Monday, March 4, 2013

NYC Vegetarian Fest Swag

Many well-known vegan vendors had booths at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival. The only thing I wanted but didn't find was a vegan donut. Otherwise, as you can see, I came home with many goodies (some of which I ate on the bus home). The festival was packed with speakers on three stages, but the people I was most interested in seeing were scheduled for Sunday. Because of a work commitment, I had to leave NYC early enough to be in Ithaca Sunday evening. I did hear Zoe Weil, of the Institute for Humane Education. I've done a few classes through the institute, and Zoe's presence is palpable, so it was nice to see her in person.

I was lucky to have purchased a VIP ticket in advance, which allowed me faster entry into the festival. I heard that some people in the general admission line waited up to two hours for admittance. It was nice to see so many people interested in being vegan!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

International Polar Bears Day

Climate change leading to melting ice threatens the very existence of polar bears. On this annual International Polar Bears Day, please visit Polar Bears International to learn what you can do to help these beautiful beings. See polar bears in action at the Tundra Cam.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fraud Alert

My debit card information was stolen and used for unauthorized activity, and not for the first time. The bank flagged the account for suspicious activity, reversed one charge, and then put a hold on the account. What amazes me is NOT that the information was stolen but that the bank's monitoring software is so accurate that it is able to tell what charges I legitimately make and which are suspicious. On the one hand, I am frightened that my purchasing behavior is the source of so much data. On the other, I am glad that the monitoring software is so effective that it is able to detect suspicious activity so quickly and accurately. In fact, I am fascinated by it. I'd love to know more about what types of variables go into the logarithm.

I should probably be more concerned about the stolen data that I am. This has happened before, and, undoubtedly, it will happen again. The biggest inconvenience is dealing with organizations and companies with whom I have recurring payments. However, I know that I need to be more careful and mindful of fraud and identity theft. If you want to know what you can do to protect yourself, read this article in the Wall Street Journal.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Meet Sunny

Sunny is the mascot for National Justice for Animals week, running today, February 18, through Friday, February 24. Sunny is a sweet, spirited dog who was rescued from a horrible abuse case. The abuser was successfully prosecuted with the help of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. They do wonderful work for animals. Please support them through a donation or spreading information about their message.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Just Say No

When we talked about individual differences in my OB class this semester, I tried to stress the importance of self-awareness to the self-management process, which in turn leads to better people management skills. Visiting the Harvard Business Review website, I noticed the article "Nine Practices to Help You Say No" which I thought would benefit the students in their self-management practice. I also have a tendency to avoid saying no, so this article seemed like something I might benefit from, too.

Most of the tips are familiar. Until today, I'd always thought of myself as someone who says yes because I like to "be nice." I'd never thought before how much of my over-commitment stems from not wanting to miss out. Being harried, of course, creates its own type of missing out in the form of burnout and distraction, but at the moment the request is conveyed, it's hard to say no to all the possibilities that can arise from the opportunity. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Forgotten Phone

Often, I run late. I miscalculate how long it will take to finish a task or to park or walk from A to B. Today was no different. Though I'd started the morning with plenty of time to make it to my afternoon meeting, when I needed to leave the house, I was rushing to get my material together, find a quick snack for the car, and secure a Diet Coke. 

Alas, once I got to campus, my phone wasn't in my purse, and I realized I'd left it on top of some boxes in the living room where I'd carefully placed it to remind me to put it in my purse. At first, I had a bit of panic. What if I needed to call someone? (Note: I call grandma every few weeks, and that is it.) More importantly, how would I take pictures? How would I check my email? What if something was required of me? Normally, I have my phone near me at all times. I remember a line from Dare Me, which you should read if you haven't, about the rivalries among the girls in a cheerleading squad, about the omnipresent cell phones, their hearts in their hands

I know that many of my students have a real addiction to their cell phones (and they should read this article in Psychology Today.) Maybe my relationship with my iPhone is a simple as that. Not having my phone today, though, relieved me of a burden. I know that the recommendation to turn off electronics is not new or revolutionary, but, after the initial anxiety, knowing that I absolutely could not check my email, at least for the afternoon, allowed me a nice respite from responsibility.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Hallway, Muller Faculty Center

Young Woman: Are you going to smoke?

Young Man: Uh, well, why?

Young Woman: You shouldn't smoke. You are going to be taking the LSATs. Your mind should be clear.

Young Man: I don't smoke that much.

And what exactly would he be smoking, then, that would fuzzy his mind? 

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I settled into bed last night, late as usual. Before I had even thought about trying to sleep, I heard a noise that sounded like a gunshot. Norman started barking madly, and I thought about getting out of bed to investigate. But, I would have to put on lots of clothes, I might find myself in danger, and it probably wasn't a gunshot anyway. I thought about the Kitty Genovese case, famously (and incorrectly, it turns out, used to illustrate the bystander effect). I wondered if some human or animal was bleeding out in my backyard, condemned to perish without me taking action. I decided very uncharitably that I didn't want to get involved, but I did note that the noise occurred at 2:15 a.m., with a second boom at 2:16. At 2:22, I heard what sounded like large pieces of wood being moved. Even if I wasn't going to get out of bed, I was prepared to answer questions from police if they showed up today (which they did not). Perhaps I watch too much Law and Order and shows on Investigation Discovery.

So far, it looks like the sounds were not associated with bodily harm to any persons or animals. If I learn more, I will update you.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Apple TV

I wanted to easily transfer my iPhone/uPad content to the television, so I invested in an Apple TV. So far, we've used it for watching Netflix and movies I rented via iTunes. Last week, though, I utilized it to view a Webinar I was streaming on my phone via the GoToMeeting app. More comfortable to sit on the couch than at my desk, though at times I did get a little distracted.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

National Bird Day

Today is National Bird Day! Please think of the beauty of the sights and sounds of the almost 10,000 species of birds that enrich our lives and provide a vital role in the ecosystem. In the next century, almost 12% of these species face extinction risk. Visit Born Free to learn more about what you can do to help birds!

Here's some information from the Humane Society of the United States about how to feed wild birds during the winter.

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