Zen and Pi Weekend Reading Round-up

Happy Saturday everyone! If you’re looking for some interesting reads to check out while you kick back and relax, look no further, here is the best of the web this week, according to me.


My thoughts are with the people of Nice, France, where a truck plowed into a crowd and killed 80.

My thoughts are also with the people of Turkey, where a military coup is being attempted.

Pokémon Go is everywhere, but should it be?

Are you racist? (Hint: The answer is yes.)

A good existential crisis builds character. Consider going through one today.

I am determined to start an art journal, one I have made myself. You should too.

The end of summer is near.

I want to receive pretty things in the mail too! :(

A powerful and heartbreaking poem about things that have happened to many of us in the dark.

For every artist, there is room to tell the same story, again and again, only different.

I want this shirt so badly.

And that’s it for this week. Have you read, watched, heard, or written an interesting thing this week? Has something on the internet made you think or feel strongly? If so, drop a link in the comments :)


P.S. If you’ve been reading these every week you might notice I have made a few changes. I’ll be playing around with presentation for a while but every week I will still deliver the same list of items I feel are worth your time. 

If you would like to receive this list in your inbox (plus some extras), you can visit my newsletter sign up page and enter your email :)

Featured image via Pexels


The Week’s End // All Sorts of Interesting Stuff

Happy Saturday everyone! If you’re looking for some interesting reads to check out while you kick back and relax, look no further, I’ve got you covered! Every weekend I like to share with you the most interesting things I found across the great, wide web. Enjoy!


Trump Supporters Aren’t Stupid // Emma Lindsay

America incentivizes racism in working class white people, and if we fail to understand this, we will fail to fix it.

I think we can all agree this election has become quite the circus. Anger is being felt on all sides and if you have seen any of the last few Republican debates you have seen the mud slinging getting out of hand. While I may not agree with the people who are voting differently from us, and while we may find their words and their actions deplorable at times, if we wish to be our opponents, and maybe even bring them over to our side, we have to start really trying to understand them.


Presidential Penis Politics: A Micro-History // Notches

Donald J. Trump’s penis, size unknown, has reared its head as a political issue.

Speaking of the mud-slinging, if you saw the last Republican debate you might have caught the moment when penis size entered the conversation. The secondhand embarrassment and humiliation was almost unbearable.


How to Read More // Austin Kleon

Yesterday everybody was tweeting about #WorldBookDay, so I updated my list of tips for how to read more. Here’s a printer-friendly PDF file for your office, classroom, etc. Send me a picture if you decide to hang it!

Sometimes we need a little motivation and encouragement to read books the way we should. Austin Kleon, when not motivating people to become the best creatives they can be, is teaching people to become great readers too. Check out the poster he made and hang it up wherever you feel most comfortable doing your reading.

Bonus: Check out his list of 33 Thoughts on Reading and if you have trouble putting down your phone to make time for books I recommend his lock screen wallpaper Read a Book Instead to remind you.



Pride, Prejudice & Zombies and The Benefits of FanFiction // Growing Up Millennial

Whilst these stories borrow characters and story lines many have original story lines, explore the characters in new ways and are well written and entertaining.

Speaking of reading I admit I have been quietly intrigued by the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I saw the book on a Barnes & Noble shelf maybe a year or two ago and I laughed it off, but I also wondered if it was a book that I might find interesting. I feel the same about the movie.

Maybe this will be another one of the books I tackle this year too.


Trans Kids Not Necessarily Crazy // Gendermom

And as grateful as I am for this amazing study, I’m also kind of pissed off that it has to exist at all.

Trans kids aren’t crazy and it shouldn’t have taken a study for us to find that out. I’m glad times are a’changing and that people are recognizing trans and queer kids without hate and pity but God do we still have a long way to go.


House of Cards // Netflix

There are two kinds of pain. The sort of pain that makes you strong, or useless pain. The sort of pain that’s only suffering. I have no patience for useless things.

// Frank Underwood

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are amazing together. They play the perfect Machiavellian duo, Frank and Claire Underwood, a political power couple. The lengths these two will go to get what they want will keep you glued to your seat. Season 4 was just released so if you haven’t watched before now would be a good time to start binging.



Why you’re not quitting Twitter // Idiot Joy Showland

You can’t quit Twitter: you, writer; you, comedian; you, journalist; you, early adopter; you, self-confessed nerd and unapologetic brunch snob.

I love Twitter but I do not know how to use it right. I tweet, I retweet, and I lurk, but I am not good at engaging. Twitter moves too fast for me I think but that does not stop me from loving it anyway.


A new normal that isn’t normal yet. // Another Chapter in the Book

“What the f*ck is wrong with me?” I cried as I laid in bed in excruciating pain at 4 in the morning. I wanted to call someone, anyone. The tears rolled down my face as my legs stiffened.

This was night number five.

When I was young my little sister was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. We all got tested and my first test indicated high blood sugar levels and the doctors took more blood and did another test that would take a little longer. Turns out I was fine but in those moments between those two tests were some of the scariest in my life.


On the Day I Die // John Pavlolvitz

On the die I day a lot will happen.

A lot will change.

The world will be busy.

I think about my own death every single day. I fret over it and I let it get to me until I feel nauseous with anxiety over all the things I have left to do, all the people I’ll be leaving behind, and how they will grieve over me. I am trying to remember that when I do die none of this will actually matter at all.


How E.E. Cummings Writes A Poem // Nerdwriter

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)

I had never heard this poem all at once like that and I don’t know what it is but i was almost brought to tears by it. I think I will add a collection of his poems to my list of books to read this year.


And that’s it for this week. Have you read, watched, heard, or written an interesting thing this week? Has something on the internet made you think or feel strongly? If so, drop a link in the comments :)

The Week’s End // All Sorts of Interesting Stuff

Happy Saturday everyone! If you’re looking for some interesting reads to check out while you kick back and relax, look no further, I’ve got you covered! Every weekend I like to share with you the most interesting things I found across the great, wide web. Enjoy!


Fear and loathing at a Trump rally // Vox

Islamophobia in America goes much deeper than Donald Trump.

Honestly, these racists coming out of the woodwork to support Trump and in turn be emboldened be him are truly terrifying to me. Please do not let this man become our next president!


Dear Black Body // Black and Wordy

I never expressed this outwardly (or inwardly), but I have been fearful of your destruction my entire life. I also have neglected to tell you how much I love you.

You might not be your body, but your body certainly shapes the kind of person you are. Do not forget what your body has been through and what it has done for you. Love your body, whether the rest of the world does or not.


How to find your voice // Austin Kleon

Young artists are always being told to “find your voice.”

Whatever that means!

Finding your voice is not some mysterious or magical thing. There is no need to agonize or stress over finding it. It’s out there, in experimentation and imitation. Go forth and find it.


Do Numbers Really Matter? // Jenny in Neverland

Stats, page views, followers, Twitter followers, Facebook likes, whether you like them or not, in the blogging world, numbers are everywhere.

How much do you care about stats and followers? I think bloggers who say the don’t care at all are lying. There is a thrill and a satisfaction when those numbers go up, and when they go down you can help taking it personally. We all care a little and that’s ok.


The Best Science Books of 2015 // SciFri

Was there a science, technology, or environmental book from 2015 that made you think, laugh, or gape in amazement? Now’s the time to celebrate it.

I failed my reading challenge this year but the most disappointing part is I didn’t read anything science-y. Next year I will definitely be including some of these titles. If you just want the list you can find it here.


Made // Girl in the Hat

A woman is not born, she’s made.

I don’t have kids but one day I might and I’ve often wondered and worried about how I would protect my daughter from the little hurts and shames that come with being female, and the bigger ones that wait around every dark corner and deceptive smile.


30-day minimalism challenge // Into Mind

I’ve compiled 30 one-day assignments to help you dip your toes into minimalist living, discover lots of new things about yourself and get a big head start. If you want to live a simpler, more intentional life with less stuff but more time and energy for the people and things you love, make January your month of change!

I came across this on Tumblr this past week and even though it was made for last January I think it can be used going into 2016 as well.



Ten minutes from a phone // Butterfly Mind

Krista Stevens has written before that the best camera is the one you have with you. We are moving into an era where I think we can say the same thing about blogging tools.

A couple of weeks ago I shared another post from Andrea Badgley on publishing posts to your blog in just 10 minutes a day. I like to think I’m doing ok here posting nearly daily but I do stress and scramble everyday to accomplish it. Maybe I should give posting from my phone another shot?


The Three R’s: Religion, Racism, and Republicans // Sky Dancing

What can we do to break the stranglehold of right wing religious extremism and intolerance on the Republican Party?

It’s not so much that the Republican party is bad, it’s just that they have been taken over by people who are hell bent on making this country into their own image.


Transference // The School of Life

Transference is a very useful word from psychoanalysis which describes the process whereby we react to situations in the present according to a pattern laid down in the past, usually in childhood. Getting to know our own particular transferences is part of becoming a sane adult.

What if I told you that a lot of the difficulty you might be having in your personal relationships as an adult can probably be traced back to you childhood and your family?


And that’s it for this week. Have you read, watched, heard, or written an interesting thing this week? Has something made you think or feel strongly? If so drop a link in the comments :)

The Week’s End // All Sorts of Interesting Stuff

Happy Saturday everyone! If you’re looking for some interesting reads to check out while you kick back and relax, look no further, I’ve got you covered! Every weekend I like to share with you the most interesting things I found across the great, wide web. Enjoy!


Being Poor // Whatever

Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.

This reminds me of moments in my childhood and some moments in my adulthood. More than anything though it makes me think of my mother, and how she must have felt all those years of my childhood.


X-Men: Apocalypse Official Trailer // 20th Century Fox

Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible.

This looks so dope!


Motivated by Motifs // Daily Post

As inspiration this week, explore the use of motifs and symbols in your writing.

Never thought about exploring repetition, signs, or symbols in my own life but it is a good idea for the blog. Definitely something to think about for future posts.


If I Had a Dollar (Why I Am a Feminist) // The Girl in the Hat

Because I was born in 1966, the year Betty Friedan and others started the National Organization of Women and challenged an industry which required flight attendants to quit if they got married, pregnant, or reached the age of 32.

Every woman should have a list like this. I’d be interested to see how much of our lists are similar and which parts would be different and why.


I heard a Fly buzz – when I died – // zen and π

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –

I only just recently became a Dickinson fan after watching a Crash Course literature video on her. I fell in love right away and found a playlist on Spotify with a bunch of her poems. Her poem I heard a Fly buzz – when I died – is my favorite so far.


The Trump Effect, and How It Spreads // The New York Times

The things he says are outrageous, by design, but they were not spawned, nor have they flourished, in isolation.

Ok, ok, Donald Trump is no longer a laughing matter! I never thought he was but it’s time my fellow democrats, liberals, and progressives start thinking seriously about how we are not only going to deal with Trump in this coming election, but also all the damage that he’s caused….and all the damage that caused him.


Affirmative Inaction // Just Above Sunset

Donald Trump figured it out. Americans are not a nice people, and they’re proud of that.

Sometimes the data coming out about Trump supporters makes it seem as though this country has, deep down, made very little progress since the days of the Japanese internment camps. Maybe not even since the days of slavery. Maybe this country isn’t really about what it says it is about?


How to Respond to a Ridiculous Climate Change Argument // GOOD

Climate change deniers often say, “The Earth has always been warming and cooling, this isn’t any different!” Well, this is different. See why.

Earlier this week a friend of mine implied that he believed that climate change might not be real because the Earth has gone through many periods of heating and cooling over the ages. I have to admit I am a little disappointed in this friend.


Of The Luxury of Depression // Of Opinions

It is time we buried this notion that mental illness is a disease of the privileged, for that would not account for the alarming statistics that come up everyday, which must include the impoverished in a world where the latter are easily the greater number of the global population.

I’ve never thought that people with more money are more depressed, I just knew that poor people don’t have the time or the money to face or treat their depression. Poor kids learn at a young age that depression is always going to be there but that they just have to “suck it up”.


Serial Podcast

Serial tells one story—a true story—over the course of a season.

I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about Serial for a long time but, somehow, I never got around to listening to it. This week Season 2 was released and I thought I better catch up before I fall to far behind on what could be a very interesting podcast.


And that’s it for this week. Have you read, watched, heard, or written an interesting thing this week? If so, share with the class by leaving a link in the comments :)

A Few Words on the Daniel Holtzclaw Case and Verdict

I just really can’t believe it because it’s the police. And I thought stuff like that only just really happened on movies. I couldn’t believe what was going on was really going on.

– S.H.

I don’t blame you if you’ve never heard of Daniel Holtzclaw. You would think a story about an ex-cop being charged with sexually assaulting 13 women, aged 17 to 58, would be big national news but it was hard to find mention of it on any national news networks. Until yesterday that is, when he was found guilty on 18 of the 36 counts.  The jury recommended a total of 263 years of prison time for Holtzclaw’s crimes.

Holtzclaw targeted his victims for their skin color and their criminal histories. Most were battling drug or prostitution charges and all were black so he figured no one would listen or believe them. Why wouldn’t he think he’d get away with it? All women have trouble getting authorities to listen and believe their stories of rape and assault, it’s even worse for black women.

I know that like I’ve been in trouble before, so I mean like, who am I to a police officer?

– T.M.

During the trial the defense argued the usual for these kinds of charges. The sex acts we consensual, Holtclaw is an upstanding, ethical citizen and servant of the public, the victims had a history of criminal activity and lying, and finally, the entire community hated him so of course they would try to hurt him with false rape accusations. Holtzclaw did not take the stand in his defense.

I admit I did not expect a conviction. The jury was all white and mostly male and we all know how that goes. They deliberated for almost two days, which didn’t feel like a good sign. I would’ve bet against a conviction and I tell you today I have never been happier to be wrong. I wish he could have been found guilty on all of the charges and I hope the women who’s assaults he was found not guilty of can still find some closure in knowing this man will (hopefully) go to prison for the rest of his shitty life.

But then I thought, then again, you know, who are they going to believe? It’s my word against his because I’m a woman and, you know, like I said, he’s a police officer. So I just left it alone and just prayed that I never saw this man again, run into him again, you know.

– C.J.

When I saw the video of him rocking back and forth and sobbing as the judge read the verdict I couldn’t help feeling a little joy in his suffering. I could tell he never thought that this would happen. He never believed he would actually be caught, let alone charged and convicted. He never thought there would be real consequences. He thought he could do whatever he wanted because of that damn badge. I imagine the whole thing feels surreal to him. I hope his whole world is crumbling and I hope he cries for a very long time. I wish him all the misery possibly and I refuse to feel bad for it. This man deserves far worse than he will get.

I saw many wishing that he suffers the same treatment as his victims did. I draw the line there. As someone who fights to end rape culture I have to advise against this sort of talk. We cannot pick and choose when rape is and isn’t okay. Instead I hope he never finds peace or happiness the rest of his days. I hope he suffers in his own guilt and the knowledge that he has been the worst kind of human being possible. I hope he knows he can never be redeemed.

I am happy about this conviction but I do wish that more victims could find the justice they deserve. According to RAINN only about 2% of rapists will ever serve a day in prison. It’s next to zero if you only include the assaults of Black Women. I hope that the other officers out there abusing their power in this way (we know they are out there) see that this is not okay. I hope they see that things are changing and People of Color are not going to stay silent.

I hope that Holzclaw’s victims, and all victims of sexual assault and rape, continue to move toward a place of peace and healing.

My thoughts are with you all, always.


Quotes from the victims via Buzzfeed

The Week’s End // All Sorts of Interesting Stuff

Happy Saturday everyone! If you’re looking for some interesting reads to check out while you kick back and relax, look no further, I’ve got you covered! Every weekend I like to share with you the most interesting things I found across the great, wide web. Enjoy!


The Racially Charged San Francisco Police Shooting You Don’t Know About But Should // Mother Jones

Warning: Graphic video.

This guy, surrounded by San Francisco Police Department officers, holding nothing but a knife, and clearly already injured, was deemed a threat and executed. I don’t understand why they shot him….Seems to me that batons would have subdued him easily.


Bisexualitease // Bound to be Lost and Delirious

I am greedy. I have trouble with commitment. I am confused. I am experimenting. I want attention. I have had bad experiences with men. This might just be a stepping stone to coming out as gay. I am going through a phase. I want to fuck everyone I see.

I never really thought about how life must be for bisexual people, particularly women. I am aware of the stereotypes, and the ongoing war between bisexual women and lesbians, I just never paid much attention, not until Tumblr anyway. I do imagine it must be hard to be assumed greedy, untrustworthy, and slutty just because you are attracted to both sexes. Maybe I should pay better attention.


Review: Erykah Badu’s phone-obsessed mixtape explores intimacy and connection // The Verge

There’s no pretension or delusions of grandeur about its 11 tracks, many of which live in a liminal space between covers, interpolations, and original compositions; they’re tossed-off and proud of it.

I cannot tell you how geeked I am about this. I am, and have for a long time been, a huge Erykah Badu fan. This is the most music she has released since 2010 and but “Caint Use My Phone” doesn’t come off as “old school”. It feels firmly planted in 2015 while still remaining full of soul. Christmas has come early. You can listen to it on Spotify or Apple Music.



Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence // The Belle Jar

I am six. My babysitter’s son, who is five but a whole head taller than me, likes to show me his penis.

Every woman can recall little incidents like these in her life, ones where she was objectified and abused for the pleasure of men. Every women. (Found via Part-time Monster)


‘Star Wars’ Strikes Back: Behind the Scenes of the Biggest Movie of the Year // Rolling Stone

Han Solo and Princess Leia join with a new generation to bring the epic saga to 2015-


Just 12 days left guys! I’ve been staying away from rumors and speculation because I want to see this movie with a fresh perspective but this write up on the “behind the scenes stuff” is worth a read.



What Happened There? // Rarasaur

Life happened.

Scars, birthmarks, wrinkles, stories of our lives told on our skin. I love every one of mine.


The Life and Times of Strider Wolf // The Boston Globe

He has traveled so far, from near-fatal abuse to here, invisible among Maine’s poorest, in the care of grandparents who have little left to give but love — and just enough of that. Yet somehow Strider is climbing. How high? How far?

Incredible story! So heartbreaking and full of hope that I bawled while reading it.



Publish in 10 Minutes Per Day // Butterfly mind

You’re an awesome blogger, right? You never run out of ideas, you work your full time job, exercise daily, manage your household, and still publish regularly on your blog. You post exciting content every day and can sustain your level of blogging forever and ever, amiright?

Yeah. Me neither.

Great tip for posting daily. I don’t always post daily the way I’d like to but not because I don’t have ideas but mainly because I “don’t have time”. If I’m honest with myself I do have time, I just have to adjust what kind of posts I will write. On the days I “don’t have time” I’m going to try writing smaller posts from my own store of prompts.


Are You An Anthropocentrist? // Laura Grace Weldon

When I was growing up we were taught humans were at the top of every chart, far superior to all other living beings.

I’ve long said that humans aren’t exactly the best evolution has to offer. There are many was that other animals can be judged superior but what if we stopped thinking about which was “the best” and started viewing the entire animal kingdom, including humans, as interconnected, with no one species at the top?


Fast-Forward Girls 2015 // GoldieBlox

In 2015, these ten women in politics, entertainment, sport, and STEM are the leading ladies that we all hope to grow up to be, proving that anything – and we mean anything – is possible.

Each superstar is played by a mini-superstar in the making, including Sophia Grace, Heaven King, Jillian from EvanTube, Sam Gordon, RadioJH Audrey, Annie & Hayley from Bratayley, and Flippin’ Katie.

And now for a little pick me up :)


And that’s it for this week. Have you read, watched, heard, or written an interesting thing this week? If so, share with the class by leaving a link in the comments :)

The Week’s End // A Round-up of All Sorts of Interesting Stuff

Happy Saturday everyone! If you’re looking for some interesting reads to check out while you kick back and relax, or maybe before you go do something fun and exciting, look no further, I’ve got you covered! Every weekend I like to share with you the most interesting things I found across the great, wide web. Enjoy!


Paris attacks: Eight terror suspects named so far are not refugees and have EU passports // Independent

“Refugees should not be turned into scapegoats and must not become the secondary victims of these most tragic events.”

So it turns out the the Paris attacks were not carried out by Syrian refugees. Interesting how little affect that has had on the narrative or opinions of people on whether or not to accept Syrian refugees.


The Giver by Lois Lowry // Imperfect Happiness

It’s interesting to consider both the good and bad things we might give up for safety, especially with all of the opinions right now about whether to take in Syrian refugees or not in the wake of the Paris attacks last week.

One of my very favorite books and a must read for all young children, in my opinion anyway. It is interesting to hear their views on the story.


100 Novels All Kids Should Read Before Leaving High School // Open Culture

The grown-ups reading teen books do so, Graham writes, because “today’s YA, we are constantly reminded, is worldly and adult-worthy.”

Speaking of books all children should read, here is a very long list of the types of books I am talking about. I am sharing for the adults too because all good children’s books have very important lessons to teach, lessons which all adults often need reminding of.


NASA is hiring astronauts. Do you qualify? // Vox

You don’t actually need 20/20 vision to become one of NASA’s astronauts.

I’m so close! All I need is a bachelor’s degree and three years of experience flying jets and I am in!


Introducing: Our New, High-Speed Editor // WordPress

We’re excited to unveil a faster, more streamlined way to create, share, and manage your content.

Have you used this new editor? I am not a fan! They took away they word count and they got rid of the spelling/grammar check thing-y. The put back the word count but the spelling/grammar check is still missing. I desperately need that!


In which I tell you how your religion works // infinitefreetime

There are reasons to oppose bringing Syrian refugees to America. None of them are good reasons. Most of them are sickeningly racist. And all of them are deeply, obviously, blatantly and clearly unChristian.

All I can say is THANK YOU! The response to the Syrian refugee crisis has been sickening to me and this post lays out all the reasons why.


Ray Bradbury Reads His Poem “If Only We Had Taller Been” in a Rare 1971 Recording // Brain Pickings

“Short man. Large dream. I send my rockets forth / between my ears, / Hoping an inch of Will is worth a pound of years.”

Ray Bradbury was an amazing writer, his Fahrenheit 451 is among my favorite books. Here is a recording of him reciting one of his unpublished poems. I encourage you to visit Brain Pickings to learn more about the recording and where it came from.


Misunderstanding the Problem // Just Above Sunset

There is disagreement about what to do about ISIS, and everyone has an opinion, from bombing them out of existence to… bombing them out of existence. Everyone seems to have settled on that, with the Republicans screaming at Obama to bomb them more, like the French and Russians are now doing, and screaming at his pointing out that he really is bombing them more, and their saying no you’re not, and him saying yes I am, and so on and so forth. It’s exhausting.

The situation with ISIS is a very complicated one. I don’t fully understand it but I have been trying to learn as much as I can. (Here is a very, very, simplified video explaining how this all started) One thing I do know is that the solutions I am hearing about give me pause. Killing and bombing don’t sound like solutions at all and I think the general public has no idea what the situation actually is in order to support any other “solution”. Let’s learn more about the situation, if you do you will see that violence won’t stop this. Bombs do not wipe out ideas.


The Art Of Wabi-Sabi (or Things You Will Learn Later in Your Life) // Black Coffee an Cigarettes

Slowly, very slowly, you are coming home.

I love these types of posts. Snap shots of life that are raw and heart-wrenching. So beautiful.


Adam Gopnik — Darwin’s Pathos // On Being

The wise and lyrical writer Adam Gopnik muses on the ironies of spiritual life in a secular age through the lens of his many fascinations — from parenting, to the arts, to Darwin.

In this clip Gopnik explains why accepting evolution as a fact does not diminish the beauty or mystery of what it means to be a human being. Perfect!

Hear the rest of the talk at: www.onbeing.org/program/adam-gopn…rawing-faith/8087


And that’s it for this week. Have you read, watched, heard, or written an interesting thing this week? If so, share with the class by leaving a link in the comments :)