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  • need more brains…

    November 23rd, 2008 she Posted in Learning & Education, Reading Begets Enlightenment, Those Who Volunteered 1 Comment »

    Back in the dungeon working on Enviro Chem papers. At this rate I’ll soon be able to bore my enemies to death with facts and figures. For the moment I am busy reading “The National Defence Sustainable Development Strategy: 4th Iteration – Environmentally Sustainable Defence Activities” and can feel my eyeballs burning. Someone hook up the caffeine IV. I’m going to need it STAT!

    On the home front we’re still in hurry up and wait mode.  Just don’t tell me that “no news is good news”.  We’ve been on stand-by for close to a year now and of late the waiting is far harder than the knowing.

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    Christie Blatchford Wins Governor-General’s Prize

    November 18th, 2008 she Posted in Reading Begets Enlightenment 4 Comments »

    I’ve written about Christie Blatchford’s book Fifteen Days before [here].  She has recently been awarded the Governor General’s literary award for non-fiction for her book about Afghanistan, “Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death From Inside the New Canadian Army.”  If you haven’t already done so pick it up and read it.  I’d lend you my copy but I have to pry it back from W first.  That may take a while.

    When you’re done don’t forget to buy and read Three Cups of Tea!

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    Inspiration

    November 15th, 2008 she Posted in Reading Begets Enlightenment No Comments »

    I spent most of Thursday night reading Greg Mortenson’s journey in “Three Cups of Tea”. I often write of charity and the need for social change and open access to education. Mr. Mortenson has lived in a manner that we should all aspire to. He has managed to bridge cultural gaps and helped to educate hundreds, if not thousands, of children. With the assistance of locals who understood and valued his vision he has helped bring literacy and change to remote villages.

    I like to think I have a positive (albeit) impact on the world around me. Perhaps that is just the insulating aspects of ego. Mr. Mortenson is proof of the maxim that one man can make a difference. Certainly he has had help along the way. Financial and emotional support has been provided. Without his vision and dedication to a promise made in his past the support would never have been solicitated.

    Our society throws the word hero around so frequently that its meaning has become diluted. That’s not to say that some who has been given the title don’t deserve it. Certainly many have done little or anything to earn it. Celebrity worship has become the norm in many western countries.

    Greg Mortenson’s schools prove that actions speak far louder than words and that we need to look further outside ourselves to discover how I make positive impacts on the world around us.

    Read “Three Cups of Tea”. I can’t imagine how one could not be inspired to try and become a better person. I suspect we will all be inspired to become better people living up to Greg’s example.

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    it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

    November 2nd, 2008 she Posted in Flan-dom, Random Burbling, Reading Begets Enlightenment 2 Comments »

    Minus the snow of course *knock wood*

    I know it’s early – but then again, it’s never to early to put your Christmas wish list out there for friends and family to view.

    As we get closer to Christmas and the economy seems to be balanced on a knife’s edge, I’d like to suggest that people consider downsizing their own collection of Christmas presents under the tree and consider donating some of the money they would spend on gifts to charity. While charity is a great idea all year long, it is at times like these where we need to do more for those less fortunate.

    With so many worthy causes out there it can be difficult to choose who to donate to. If you want to make an immediate impact to those in your own community, consider donating food or $$ to your local food banks, the Salvation Army (or it’s local equivalent in your area), local homeless shelters, or soup kitchens.

    If you’d like to make a wider impact on the world, consider donating to one of the many charities I have listed on my left sidebar under the title Wearing a Coat of Brown. For those of you not of the Browncoat persuasion (can it be possible?), Browncoats are a dedicated group of worldwide Firefly/Serenity fans who’s main distinction in the world of TV fandom is that they fund-raise and donate money to a number of different charities. Two of the most popular charities for Browncoats are Kids Need To Read (Nathan Fillion and PJ Haarsma are co-founders) and Equality Now.

    Kids Need To Read purchases books to donate to libraries so children have access to books to spark their interest in reading a continue the development of their imaginations.

    Equality Now works to end violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world through the mobilization of public pressure.

    Looking for something different?  World Vision and Heifer International both offer alternate gift giving.  Purchase school supplies, chickens, goats, etc. for families in developing countries. These gifts offer meaningful ways to make a difference in the daily lives of others.

    Interested in Supporting Canadian Troops, both current serving members and our veterans?  Visit your local Legion and make a donation or consider donating to the Sapper Mike McTeague Wounded Warrior Fund or Boomer’s Legacy.

    Have an ill family member?  Consider donating to a charity that supports research or services provided to those sharing the same disease.  Having lost my father to cancer in 2006 the Canadian Cancer Society is a pretty popular choice in my family.

    Want to kill two birds with one stone?  Need something under your tree but want to do good?  Consider purchasing something from the Kids Need to Read Christmas Store on eBay.  Goodies for you and books for children.  What an awesome combination.

    Don’t forget many charities allow you to make your donation in someone else’s name.  Your gift to them could be a tax receipt for your charitable donation.  So many people can benefit from small acts on your part. Do something different this year.  Place fewer gifts under your own trees and add gifts to the lives of others.

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    shameless post thief

    June 17th, 2008 she Posted in Reading Begets Enlightenment 2 Comments »

    Last year I signed up for the 52 books in 52 weeks reading challenge and found myself passing the 100 book mark half way through the year.  Needless to say I gave up counting and listing the books I had read and just kept reading.

    Today I dropped by Mare‘s place and found her reference to 2000 1001 books to read before you die.  I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll end up having read a number of them – and many more that never made the list – long before I’m 50.  I’d say 30 but that bus left long ago. I have no life and few shiny pieces of university granted papers (just one so far) but I’d challenge anyone who’d suggest I wasn’t well read.  We’ll just pretend that my current fixation with Military History and my on-going love affair with SciFi/Fantasy are equally valuable ways to spend my reading time.

    I think I’m with Mare on the concept of creating my own list.  There were a number of books I would have included that are missing from this list.  Perhaps I’ve just spent too much time reading Canadian and Indian literature lately…or maybe I just have bad taste…

    If you’re interested in the list it’s below the fold…  * represents the books I’ve already read.  I did have to refer to the books on my bookshelves to make sure I selected the correct ones.  There’s a number of books with similar (or the same titles) that I’ve read.  The double-check was to ensure I had the right books.  The joys of “author matching”.

    Upperdate for the curious: I’ve ready 374 of the 1001 books on this list (37%)

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