News you can use: Infographic walks you through 10 questions to detect fake news | The Seattle Times

Can this infographic help students spot a phony news article? Test it out with your students, kids or friends and let us know in the comments.

Source: News you can use: Infographic walks you through 10 questions to detect fake news | The Seattle Times

Check out the PDF in this article. This exercise isn’t just for students.

Carrie Fisher, a Princess, a Rebel and a Brave Comic Voice – The New York Times

She entered popular culture as a princess in peril and endures as something much more complicated and interesting. Many things, really: a rebel commander; a witty internal critic of the celebrity machine; a teller of comic tales, true and embellished; an inspiring and cautionary avatar of excess and resilience; an emblem of the honesty we crave (and so rarely receive) from beloved purveyors of make-believe.

Source: Carrie Fisher, a Princess, a Rebel and a Brave Comic Voice – The New York Times

Hackers are spoofing text messages to steal two-factor authentication codes – Business Insider

Earlier this week, Alex MacCaw, cofounder of data API company Clearbit, shared a screenshot of a text attempting to trick its way past two-factor authentication (2FA) on a Google account.

Source: Hackers are spoofing text messages to steal two-factor authentication codes – Business Insider

Please read this short article. It could save you from a big headache.

Books That I Finished in February

In an effort to reach my reading goal of 40 books this year, I’m going to start keeping track here of the books I finish each month. Although I keep this information in a database program, it will be easier for me to see if I make each month’s quota.

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

lucy bartonMany years later, first-person narrator Lucy Barton recalls the time her mother visited her in the hospital. Lucy spent nine weeks hospitalized after an appendectomy because of a fever the doctor couldn’t figure out and couldn’t eliminate. Up until that time Lucy had had little contact with her mother since leaving home as a young woman.

Her mother stays for five days, during which the two women gossip about the lives of several people in Lucy’s small, rural hometown. These stories provide a round-about way of discussing what life is all about and how people treat each other. Lucy never does confront her mother with the question she most needs an answer to—why her mother allowed some unspecified “thing” (suggestions of physical and/or sexual abuse)—happen. Yet before her mother unceremoniously leaves to return home, Lucy has come to terms with the insatiable desire for a mother’s love and the fragile nature of memory.

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Highly Recommended

house-of-mirthThis was the February selection of my in-person classics book club. Published in 1905, it was Wharton’s first novel. It portrays New York high-society life at the turn of the twentieth century.

The novel tells the story of beautiful Lily Bart. At age 29, 11 years after she made her debut into society, Lily is well past the time when she should have found a suitable, meaning rich, husband. Born into society but forced to its margins by her father’s financial ruin, Lily must find a husband to provide the dresses, jewels, houses, prestige, and power she needs to maintain her place in society.

A life outside of the social circuit is something Lily cannot even consider. As her finances dwindle, so do her opportunities and her reputation. This novel deftly portrays the lives of people for whom appearance is everything, and the fate of people, like Lily, who are unable to play the game successfully.

Writing Down Your Soul by Janet Connor

writing down your soulAnyone interested in journal writing will appreciate Janet Connor’s story of how, at the darkest point of her life, she discovered a way to tap into her own inner strength through writing.

Although her practice involves writing in a journal, she insists that it differs from standard journal writing because of these four characteristics: intention, purpose, process, and commitment. Connor mines the scientific literature of mind-body medicine to explain how writing that combines these four elements can put us in touch with our own inner wisdom by shifting our consciousness and realigning the brain’s neural pathways. She then lays out a four-step approach for accessing that wisdom.

I felt that the book contained much repetition and padding. Nonetheless, it does offer detailed instructions—even though perhaps, in places, too detailed—for anyone interested in giving Connor’s system a try.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Highly Recommended

a-little-lifeThis big-hearted book contains so much humanity that I’m going to be thinking about it for a while before attempting to write a review. It’s one of the most affecting books I’ve ever read. As much as I love literature, I can’t remember the last time a book actually brought me to tears.

If you’re going to read only one novel this year, make it this one. It’s long at 800+ pages, but spend the time to read it slowly and savor it.

Slow Reading by John Miedema

slow readingMiedema put this book together from research for a graduate course in library and information science. He defines slow reading as a voluntary practice done to increase enjoyment and comprehension of a text, a process that some people describe as “getting lost in a book.”

Miedema is discussing the reading of fiction here. Here are a few quotations:

“A fictional work provides a sand box for imagining other identities and choices”(p. 56).

“Children can use fiction as a testing ground for their future selves. Is there any reason to stop this process when we reach adulthood? It is sad and a bit creepy to watch those adults who cease to imagine. It is as if their inner landscape is withering” (p. 57).

”Slow readers have a particular capacity to open up to new ideas, and allow the sense of self to be transformed” (p. 62).


Year-to date total of books read: 7

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

The things that are saving my life right now

Anne over at Modern Mrs. Darcy recently suggested listing The things that are saving my life right now. Here’s her explanation of this idea:

The idea comes from author Barbara Brown Taylor. In her memoir Leaving Church, Taylor tells about a time she was invited to speak, and her host assigned her this topic: “Tell us what is saving your life right now.”

It’s easy and often tempting to rattle off a bunch of things that are killing us: “My sore feet are killing me.” “All this snow is killing me.” “I have a couple of clients right now who are trying to kill me.”

Yes, we complain a lot when things are going badly. But what we may fail to notice is all the things that are going well. It’s easy to pull our hair, look skyward, and yell, “Why me?” when we feel overwhelmed. But we almost never ask “Why me?” when things go well. We accept the good things as our due without acknowledging them.

So Modern Mrs. Darcy’s challenge is a chance to set things right, to appreciate the good things as well as the bad. She has invited us to put together our list and post a link to it over at her blog.

Here are some things that are saving me right now.

A little bit of sunshine

Winter can get pretty dreary here in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. But last week we had a few periods when the sun actually broke through. A little bit of sun doesn’t mean that the day won’t also include some rain, but just those fleeting periods of sunshine improved my mood and reminded me of the promise of spring and summer, which are truly glorious here.

Still crazy after all these years

My husband is one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever known. And he loves me. ME! Out of the whole big wide world, he chose me to spend life with. I still marvel at this miracle every single day.

Getting to know our daughter

Our daughter was born and grew up in St. Louis, MO. She left there for college in Tacoma, WA (University of Puget Sound), fell in love with the area, and never came back. We visited enough to know that we, too, loved the area and decided to retire here. And here we are! We have enjoyed immensely seeing our daughter more than once a year and being able to spend holidays together. Since she left home right after high school, we never really spent much time with her as an adult. Getting to know the woman she has become continues to be extremely gratifying.

A brighter world

I had cataract surgery on both my eyes last fall, and since then the world has been a much brighter place. Cataracts smothered my vision so gradually that I didn’t notice it for a long time. But when I realized that I could no longer appreciate subtle differences in colors, I knew it was time for me to do something about it. After I had the first eye done, I would frequently cover one eye and look through the other one. I could not believe the vast difference between the eye with the new lens and the one without. And now that both eyes have new lenses, my reading glasses require a much milder prescription than before. I am so looking forward to seeing all the flowers this spring and summer.


What a luxury it is to be able to choose what I want to do and when I want to do it (and to choose to not do many things I don’t want to do). Having relocated to a different part of the country for our retirement has given us a whole new world of stuff to learn about it. Sometimes I feel like a kid in a candy store.

Travel planning

We didn’t take much time to travel when we were younger. Life was just always too busy. To make up for that, we have committed to traveling frequently in our early retirement years, while we can still move around fairly easily. There are just so many interesting places to visit, so many peoples and countries to learn about, so much glorious nature to see.


There are so many good books out there that I haven’t read yet. Finishing one and picking up another is one of the true joys of my life.

Silver and gold

Make new friends but keep the old.
One is silver and the other’s gold.


I’m sure I’m leaving out a lot, but all of these things remind me how good my life is. I look forward to checking out other peoples’ lists on the Modern Mrs. Darcy website.

What about you? What things are saving your life right now?

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

17 Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes You Never Hear

While best known for his “I Have a Dream” speech, King’s legacy included much more than that.

Memorable words here.


Here are my answers to the questions for SHARE YOUR WORLD – 2015 WEEK #49.


What would be your ideal birthday present, and why?

A gift card to my local independent book store, because you can never have too many books. And I’d also need a certificate for housekeeping service so that I could spend all my time reading.

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

Since deep purple is my favorite color, that’s the color I’d like my bedroom to be. However, I have to share the bedroom, and my husband, who lets me dress however I wish, does not want purple walls.

I also used to worry that painting the walls purple would affect our ability to resell the house, but now that we live in a rental unit, that concern no longer applied.

Nevertheless, to keep peace in the family, we have beige walls and carpets throughout. It’s pretty, well, plain beige, but an area rug with a purple design in the living room helps a bit. In the meantime, I continue to buy purple clothes whenever that color rotates back into favorability.

Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why?

When we lived in St. Louis, we often had extended periods of temperatures below freezing and at least two or three good snowstorms in the course of a winter. One of the reasons we were happy to move to Tacoma, WA, is that, despite the gloomy winter rainy season, there’s very little snow and deep cold here.

As my husband always says, “You don’t have to shovel rain.”

Would you rather go a week without bathing, but be able to change your clothes, or a week without a change of clothes, but be able to bathe?

Much of the point of bathing is lost if you have to put dirty clothes back on, so I guess I’d prefer the daily clean clothes over the daily bathing. I’m glad, though, that this is only a hypothetical question.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

This past week was our daughter’s birthday. Since she was born, we’ve always waited until after her birthday to start preparing for Christmas so that her birthday wouldn’t be eclipsed by Christmas. Now we can start getting ready for Christmas, although, since moving to a small retirement cottage, we don’t do much decorating. “Getting ready for Christmas” comprises getting my Christmas sweater out of storage and finding the 1 1/2 ft. Christmas tree that stands on an end table. After all the years of heavy decorating, I’m content to go with this reduced decking of the halls in retirement.

I hope everyone has a good week. Best wishes for whatever winter holiday you celebrate.

Success! Change of Perspective Redux

Related Post:

The process of deleting the old blog and beginning the new one didn’t go exactly as I had expected, but the opportunity to start over did turn out all right nevertheless.

I had wanted to install the new version of WordPress in the same directory as the old one so that the blog’s URL would remain unchanged. However, I discovered that to do that, I would have to delete the original blog’s subdirectory, which would also delete the old URL. Instead of doing that, I created a new subdirectory for the new blog, then set the old blog’s subdirectory to redirect to the new one.

What This Means for Readers

(1) Since the old blog URL redirects to the new one, you will still be able to land here by using any old links to Change of Perspective. If you would like to use a direct link to the new blog, this is it:

(2) However, although I have the content of lots of previous posts to republish, I did lose all comments and “likes.” If, as you read through posts here, you find anything worth commenting on, please do so. Please!

It’s lonely having a blog with no comments.

(3) If you had subscribed for email updates for the old blog, you’ll have to resubscribe for the new one by using the form in the sidebar on the left.

(Oops, the sidebar is now on the right. That’s what happens when you change WordPress themes.)


After setting up the new blog and making sure that it works, I republished posts from October and November 2015. I still have to redo all the material that I have (back to mid 2014), which will take some time. I hope to do that gradually over the next two or three months.

Despite all the hassle, I’m feeling triumphant at my accomplishment. I was apprehensive about working with files and subdirectories at the server level, but figuring out what to do and how to do it taught me a lot. I’m still not ready for a job in tech support, but I do now have a basic understanding of how that stuff works.

I still have to do a bit more tweaking here—for example, I want to change the listings of categories and archives to dropdown menus—but just having a working blog again is a relief.

Thank you for sticking with me through this process of allowing the sun to set on the old blog and to rise on the new one.