Last Week’s Links

The Bullet Journal, Minus the Hype, Is Actually a Really Good Planner

I keep finding articles on use of the bullet journal. This one contains good advice for how to create and adapt a bullet journal for your own needs. There are lots of links here to give you many variations to explore.

Every time I read about the bullet journal, I think of how inconvenient it must be to try to keep all this information in a bound notebook. If I were to try this system out, I’d want to use a disc notebook rather than a bound one. A disc notebook allows for easy removal and rearrangement of pages.

I’ve used Levenger’s Circa notebooks for several years now, and I love them (Disclaimer: I have no affiliate or other relationship with Levenger; I’m just a satisfied customer.) If you do an internet search for a term like discbound notebooks, you’ll find oodles of entries. Here are a few links to check out if you think a discbound notebook would be a good start for a bullet journal:

Anti-Intellectualism and the “Dumbing Down” of America

I first became aware of the lack of critical thinking skills of high school graduates back in 1971, my first year of teaching college composition. I began my first semester with the goal of teaching students how to structure and write convincing essays, but I soon discovered that I needed to take a giant step back and start with teaching students how to evaluate and choose source material for use in their essays. In the 45 years since then I’ve seen this trend grow alarmingly. In this article business leader Ray Williams discusses this :disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture”:

There has been a long tradition of anti-intellectualism in America, unlike most other Western countries. Richard Hofstadter, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his book, Anti-Intellectualism In American Life, describes how the vast underlying foundations of anti-elite, anti-reason and anti-science have been infused into America’s political and social fabric. Famous science fiction writer Isaac Asimov once said: “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Memory: The Weirdest Ever Fact is Actually True, Study Reveals

Scientists have long known that recalling a particular memory strengthens it. But recent research suggests that “Recalling one memory actually leads to the forgetting of other competing memories.”

As Seattle grows up, views can go away — and take real value with them

Views give us a reference point and connect us to where we are, and to nature, and to each other. They inspire us to get up, get out, get involved. They make that tiny in-city studio, or whatever space we’re currently sharing with 10 similarly rent-challenged roommates, feel bigger, lighter, better.

Sandy Deneau Dunham looks at how the rise of nearby buildings that change our view can have unexpected impact on all aspects of life.


© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

November is Native American Heritage Month

Since moving to the Pacific Northwest I’ve become more aware of Native American history and culture.

November is Native American Heritage Month. Native Americans began working toward recognition of American Indian Day as a national holiday in the U.S. as early as 1915. Although a few individual states sporadically pass resolutions to establish American Indian Day, the movement did not receive national recognition until President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution naming November 1990 as National American Indian Heritage Month.

Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.

The following institutions and organizations sponsor Native American Heritage Month and contribute to the web site:

The Native American Heritage Month’s main web site offers links to a large amount of related material presented by the several sponsoring institutions and organizations. There are links to exhibits and collections, images, and audio/video material.

There’s also a link from the main page to a page of resource links for teachers. But don’t let the designation “for teachers” keep you away. There’s a lot of information here appropriate for anyone looking to learn more about Native American contributions to the history and culture of the U. S.

Another important web site for information is the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), which describes Native American Heritage Month as follows:

November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

Other areas of this web site focus on policy issues, news, native youth, and partnerships and initiatives.

World Osteoporosis Day

Today is World Osteoporosis Day, sponsored by the International Osteoporosis Foundation. This global event has been observed on October 20th since 1997.

Osteoporosis is the loss of bone strength over time. The process is usually gradual. Eventually the condition may become so severe that the stress on bones of normal activities such as sitting, standing, or coughing can cause a fracture. Often, a person’s first sign of osteoporosis is a broken bone. Other signs of advancing osteoporosis can be a loss of height or a dowager’s hump (rounded spine between the shoulders). The risk of osteoporosis increases with age.

We usually associate osteoporosis with women, particularly post-menopausal women. In fact, women over age 50 are the group at highest risk of developing osteoporosis. However, men also develop the condition. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis affects one in five men over age 50; men are more likely to have a bone fracture related to osteoporosis than they are to develop prostate cancer. Although men do not experience the same rapid bone loss that women do after menopause, by age 70 both men and women lose bone mass at about the same rate.

Bones are made of living tissue and require the right nutrients to stay strong and healthy. One key to preventing osteoporosis is to eat a healthy diet. On the International Osteoporosis Foundation web site you can download a patient brochure that outlines the proper diet for building and maintaining bone strength throughout life. You can also learn which nutrients and macronutrients support bone health.

A second key to maintaining strong bones is regular exercise. Weight-bearing exercises, the kind that make your muscles work against gravity, are best for maintaining strong bones when done three to four times a week. In addition, strength and balance exercises strengthen muscles and may help prevent falls that can lead to bone fractures.

Every year World Osteoporosis Day reminds us to do all we can to build and maintain strong bones. Eating right and exercising regularly are important steps. Your doctor can order a bone density test to determine if you are developing osteoporosis and prescribe medication to help maintain bone health.

Today Is World Arthritis Day

First observed in 1996, World Arthritis Day aims to raise awareness of the condition and make both patients and caregivers aware of available help and support. On the web site you can find a World Arthritis Day event in your area or publicize your own event. The site also provides tips and support for managing rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease (RMD).

While rheumatoid arthritis is the most well known arthritic condition, the broad category of arthritis includes other conditions as well. Rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) are divided into inflammatory and non-inflammatory types:

  • Common non-inflammatory RMDs consist of degenerative spine diseases, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia
  • Common inflammatory RMDs consist of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, connective tissue diseases, and polymyalgia rheumatica

In the industrialized world, RMDs affect more individuals than any other disease group. In the European Union they affect a quarter of all people—more than 120 million individuals. In the United States, more than 50 million adults—one in five people over age 18—have doctor-diagnosed arthritis; about 300,000 babies and children—one in every 250 children—have arthritis or a rheumatic condition. Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the U.S. and accounts for $156 billion annually in lost wages and medical expenses.

The theme for this year’s observance of World Arthritis Day is “It’s in your hands, take action!” The campaign focuses on giving High 5s. Participate on social media with the hashtag #WADHigh5.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 35.6% of women and 28.5% of men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by in intimate partner in their lifetime. Moreover, nearly half of all women and men in the U.S. have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Such intimate partner violence (IPV) had led to the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). This observance, begun in 1995, is sponsored by the Domestic Violence Awareness Project, a division of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence:

Do you think you’re being abused? Do you often feel ashamed or scared? Has being with this person lowered your self-esteem? Do they try to stop you seeing family or friends? All of these signs and more suggest that you’re being unfairly abused by your partner.

An abuser’s manipulation may be so subtle at first that you don’t even realize it’s happening until you’re deeply into a potentially dangerous situation. Learn the red flags of abuse from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Review these safety tips if you think you might be in danger. There is a lot of advice here, including how to use technology to try to get help. Remember that your home computer is probably not a good tool to use when searching for help, since your abuser may be able to see what you’ve been doing. There are also phone numbers here for contacting a local domestic violence help line.

You can find more information about DVAM here.