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28 November 2012

Book Review & Giveaway: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel

Thanks to Ella the Kid for helping me with this review of the latest Wimpy Kid book! This review is based on a book report she wrote for class, but I added to it. Mama-daughter collaboration!


The plot revolves around Gregory, aka the Wimpy Kid, looking for a date for the big Valentine's Day dance. Meantime, his dad's brother, Uncle Gary, moves in after losing all his money after buying a zillion shirts that are misspelled. Uncle Gary is full of dating advice...bad dating advice. After Gregory is turned down by every girl in school, he asks Abigail, after her date cancels, to join him on a group date with Rowley, his BFF. Gregory's mom is also freaking out because it's time for baby brother, Manny, to head to kindergarten! Alas, Manny prefers to play with his invisible friends and not flesh and blood kids.

Will Uncle Gary ever move off Rodrick's favorite sofa? Will Manny make a real friend? What does the Valentine's Day dance hold for BFFs Gregory and Rowley? Read Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney and find out! OK, get your kid a copy and they'll tell you!


Ella the Kid recommends this book! She says that the story is creative and funny. Get a copy at Powells or Indiebooks

Or enter my GIVEAWAY!!!!

One lucky reader will receive one copy of any Wimpy Kid book of their choice:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Rodrick Rules, The Last Straw, Dog Days, The Ugly Truth, Cabin Fever, and The Third Wheel

To enter just leave your name and email in the comments by 10 pm (Chicago time) on Saturday, December 1st. I will select a winner at random.

GIVEAWAY offer is only for residents of the USA. Sorry, international readers!

EDITED TO ADD: Congrats to Ayesha! She was selected by Random.org as the winner of a copy of the Wimpy Kid Diary of her choice. 

Disclaimer:  I received this book via a publicist, which is also how to able to offer a free copy.

* Book links are affiliate links. If you buy your book here I could make a very small amount of money that goes towards this blog by helping me purchase books for school. Thanks! 

27 November 2012

16 Days: Giving Tuesday

In the spirit of 16 Days merged with "Giving Tuesday," I present a list of 16 organizations that work on behalf of eliminating violence against women, as well as one handgun control organization, that you where you can give, give, give! Some also have shops, so if you still need a gift....

If I have missed your favorite, please let me know in the comments.
* They don't work on VAW issues directly, but many of the women who call requesting assistance are survivors of violence.

25 November 2012

16 Days: Las Mariposas & other 16 Days Actions

Day One

November 25th is the day that the Mirabal sisters were assassinated in 1960. Most people are familiar with their story thanks to the novelization of their fight for democracy in "In the Time of the Butterflies" by Julia Alvarez or the movie by the same name. Their surviving sister wrote a memoir a few years ago. In 1999, the UN declared today International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in their honor.

The Nobel Women's Initiative is marking "16 Days" by highlighting 16 activists. Visit their "16 Days" blog or sign up to get all 16 profiles sent to you via email.   

Take Back The Tech! is a collaborative campaign that takes place during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence (25 Nov - 10 Dec). It is a call to everyone - especially women and girls - to take control of technology to end violence against women. Check them out!

Remember, if you have something to share, please do so!

24 November 2012

CFP: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

Yes, it's that time of the year! Time to rally for 16 days of activism against gender violence. Although this year feels like 16 days is hardly enough time to address all the acts of gender violence happening in the USA and around the world.
The 16 Days Campaign begins on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) and ends on International Human Rights Day (December 10), to emphasize that such violence is a human rights violation. This year’s Campaign theme, From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!, highlights the role that militarism plays in perpetuating violence against women and girls.

Against the backdrop of several recent mass shootings in the United States, the Campaign will seek in part to illuminate the relationship between domestic violence and small arms. With nearly 700 million small arms in the hands of private actors today, research shows that having a small arm in the home increases the overall risk of someone being murdered by 41%; for women in particular this risk nearly triples. In addition, a 2005 study by the World Health Organization estimates that at least one in every three women globally will be beaten, raped, or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Violence kills and disables as many women between the ages of 15 and 44 as cancer, and its toll on women's health surpasses that of traffic accidents and malaria combined.

“The pervasiveness of small arms and the violence militarism perpetuates in our communities the world over, challenges all of us to think critically about militarism in our everyday lives, governments’ actions undertaken in the name of security, and how we can promote a truly peaceful world,” says Dr. Radhika Balakrishnan, Executive Director of CWGL, global coordinator of the 16 Days Campaign.

The 16 Days Campaign, in its 22nd year, is a testament to the commitment and struggle of women and men worldwide to cast the spotlight on gender-based violence in all its forms and demand that all of society and government bring an end to this human rights violation. Since 1991, the annual 16 Days Campaign has mobilized more than 4,100 organizations in 172 countries to raise awareness about the pervasiveness of the multiple forms of violence women face. From Angola to Japan, the 16 Days Campaign has grown into a powerful platform to educate the public and governments about violence against women and human rights.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign from the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University. For more information, visit  http://16dayscwgl.rutgers.edu
Due to the 16 days coming up at the end of the semester and a particularly difficult semester for me, I am turning this announcement into a call for posts!

Call for Posts: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

Do you have something to say about gender violence in your community? Still furious about the shooting of Malala Yousufzai? Fed up with the killing of our sons by gang violence? If you have something to say, I would love for you to join in on 16 Days at Viva la Feminista this year. I made a nifty submit form to make it easier!

23 November 2012

Blog Carnival: Clean Air and Environmental Justice

Environmental justice is an important issue to many Latino communities. Our communities are often located near smoke stacks, polluted land, undrinkable water, on and on. In Chicago, the Tribune ran a story today about our polluted communities*: 
Federal and state officials have known for more than six years about hazardous levels of brain-damaging lead in a vacant lot near Walsh Elementary School in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.

Yet even after field investigators raised alarms about children possibly inhaling or ingesting contaminated soil, the half-acre lot hasn't been fenced off or cleaned up. Nor have government officials posted signs warning residents in the low-income, largely Latino neighborhood that the lot is tainted with toxic lead dust.
How are we expecting our children to grow up strong and learn all they can in school if they can't even breath clean air? If you ponder this question too, why not join in on a blog carnival that is happening?

MomsRising, NAACP, Presente, American Lung Association and Consumers Union invite everyone interested in Clean Air for All to participate in a blog carnival. This online event aims to raise a chorus of voices to elevate clean air as a public health and civil rights issue – among and for all communities – and to get the message to President Obama soon after the election: Make clean air your administration’s priority!

We invite all participants to think broadly, since clean air is connected to everything. Want to write about Hurricane Sandy, climate change and fairness? Go ahead!

Here are some blog post ideas:
• Clean air in communities
• Clean air in schools
• Clean air in playgrounds
• Asthma disparities
• Asthma healthcare and health costs
• Economic impact of pollution on community businesses
• Clean air as a civil rights issue
• Response to Hurricane Sandy in different New York neighborhoods
• Climate change and communities of color
• Obama’s environmental legacy
• Personal stories about asthma, mercury poisoning or other air-related illness, with fairness angle
• Mothers as community organizers for clean air
• The daily burden on parents in protecting their kids from air pollution
• Economic impact of pollution on families
• African-American women, gender and asthma mortality
• Any idea you may come up with related to clean air and environmental justice!

How the Blog Carnival Works

When many voices talk about the same issue at the same time, it helps the issue break through all the “noise” in the information landscape and register in the public consciousness. This blog carnival organizes many voices to talk about clean air and environmental justice at the same time.

We are accepting blog post submissions from now through Monday, November 26, 2012. The blog carnival “goes live” on Thursday, November 29.

All the links to all the contributed pieces will be gathered into one umbrella blog post, with an introduction written by Vernice Miller-Travis, Vice Chair of the Maryland State Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities and Co-founder West Harlem Environmental Action. The umbrella blog post will be published across all co-organizer websites.

TWITTER CHAT: Also on November 29, co-organizers will hold a Twitter chat at hashtag #cleanair4kids to further amplify the message of clean air and environmental justice by sharing information and highlighting individual pieces in the blog carnival.

How to Submit a Post

CHOOSE YOUR MEDIUM: For this blog carnival, in addition to text posts, we welcome video, art and photography – whatever your preferred medium – to be displayed in a blog post.

Please email the following to anita@momsrising.org by Monday, 5:00 PM EST, November 26, 2012, copying gloria@momsrising.org:

• Author name and email address
• Author head shot
• Author or organization Twitter handle as appropriate
• Post title
• Post content
• If a text post, if possible, include an accompanying photo or image, with photo or image credit. Photos and images are extremely effective in encouraging people to share blog shared around the Internet.
• We do welcome previously published pieces, but ask that authors include a few new sentences about why they are submitting it for this particular blog carnival. Please include the original blog post URL to receive credit.

The more blog posts, the merrier (and the bigger the impact we’ll have overall). So in addition to submitting your own blog post, if you know anyone else who may like to participate, feel free to share this invitation with them.
If you do not have a blog or think this issue won't fit at your current blog, Viva la Feminista is happy to host your guest post here. Just email me at veronica-dot-arreola-at-gmail-dot-com.

* You have to register to read this story. No fee should be attached.

13 November 2012

Earthtalk Tuesday: Protecting Maine's Northern Forest

De los Redactores de E/La Revista Ecológica

Querido DiálogoEcológico: ¿Qué está pasando con la propuesta de convertir parte del Gran Bosque Boreal en Maine en un gran parque nacional? -- Peter Griswold, Jaffrey, NH

La idea de tornar una porción grande de las forestas en Maine central en un parque nacional se remonta por lo menos 150 años cuando él mismo Henry David Thoreau sugirió convertir a la región en "una reserva ecológica nacional" en ensayos acerca de sus viajes por el área a pie y en canoa en los años 1850. Hasta la fecha la mayor parte de las áreas en Maine central que Thoreau visitó son todavía principalmente subdesarrolladas excepto por la extracción intermitente de madera.

Pero cambios recientes en la propiedad de la tierra allí preocupan a los ecólogos. La organización sin fines lucrativos RESTAURA: Los Bosques Boreales [RESTORE: The North Woods] ha estado liderando la creación de un Parque Nacional y Reserva de los Bosques de Maine por 20 años y reporta que, entre 1994 y 2005, la porción de tierras forestales en el Territorio no Organizado de Maine de 9,3 de millones de acres poseído por compañías madereras bajó del 59,2 al 15,5 por ciento, mientras que la parte poseída por inversionistas creció de 3,2 al 32,6 por ciento. RESTAURA se preocupa que este cambio dramático posiciona a la región para una fiebre del oro en desarrollo urbano. Un proyecto inmenso ya planeado para las costas del Lago Moosehead en la región es sólo un ejemplo de las clases de cambios en marcha que podrían diezmar la calidad prístina de la región.

La proposición de RESTAURA, primero ventilada en 1994, urge apartar 3.2-milliones de acres que rodean el Parque Estatal Baxter (que tiene el pico más alto de Maine, el Monte Katahdin, y la punta norte de los Senderos de los Apalaches) como parque nacional. Más grande que Yellowstone y Yosemite juntos, el parque sugerido salvaguardaría miles de millas de ríos y corrientes al proporcionar un hábitat no perturbado para la fauna.

Según RESTAURA, no hay pedazos importantes prístinos en el noreste de EEUU y se necesita un parque tan grande "para proteger el hábitat de la fauna a una escala de paisaje que pueda incorporar la adaptación ante el cambio inaudito del clima". También, el parque propuesto aseguraría permanente acceso para la recreación al aire libre y apoyaría una economía diversificada y sostenible. Aunque la campaña de RESTAURA goza del apoyo de la mayoría de los residentes de Maine, no ha podido ganar suficiente tracción para hacerlo en el Congreso. Algunos culpan la oposición local, como la Coalición de Bosque de Maine, por convencer a la delegación Congresional del estado a no empujar el plan.

Una nueva propuesta por parte de Roxanne Quimby, fundadora de Burt’s bees reavivó luego el asunto: En mayo de 2011 ella ofreció donar hasta 70.000 acres que posee adyacente al Parque Estatal Baxter para un nuevo parque nacional, junto con una donación de $40 millones para operaciones de parque. Y para apaciguar los que estuvieran opuestos a la propuesta de RESTAURA, ella también ofreció una cantidad semejante de tierra para uso múltiple, inclusive la caza. La propuesta de Quimby incluye sólo tierras que ella posee, y crearía un parque mucho más pequeño que lo que RESTAURA visualiza.

Unos meses después de que Quimby hiciera su oferta, el Secretario del Interior de EEUU Ken Salazar y el Director del Servicio Nacional de Parques Jon Jarvis dieron una audiencia pública en Millinocket, Maine. Pero a continuación en febrero de 2012, la delegación Congresional de Maine convenció al Secretario Salazar a posponer la nueva propuesta por el momento. De modo que por el momento, el destino de millones de árboles—los pulmones verdaderos del noreste de EEUU —y cientos de especies de fauna podría estar sólo pendiente de un hilo.

CONTACTOS: RESTORE’s Maine Woods National Park: A Vision of What Could Be, www.mainewoods.org; Maine Woods Coalition, www.mainewoodscoalition.org.

EarthTalk® (DiálogoEcológico) es escrito y editado por Roddy Scheer y Doug Moss y es una marca registrada de E - La Revista Ecológica (www.emagazine.com). Traducción española de Patrice Greanville. Sírvase enviar sus preguntas a: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Suscripción: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Pida un número gratis: www.emagazine.com/trial.

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What’s the latest on the proposal to turn parts of the Northern Forest in Maine into a big national park? -- Peter Griswold, Jaffrey, NH

The idea of turning a large chunk of forest in central Maine into a national park dates back at least 150 years when Henry David Thoreau himself called for making the region “a national preserve” in essays about his travels through the area via foot and canoe in the 1850s. To this day most of the areas in central Maine that Thoreau visited are still primarily undeveloped save for intermittent timber extraction.

But recent changes in land ownership there are worrying ecologists. The non-profit RESTORE: The North Woods has been carrying the torch for creating a Maine Woods National Park and Preserve for 20 years and reports that, between 1994 and 2005, the share of forest land in Maine’s 9.3 million acre Unorganized Territory owned by timber companies dropped from 59.2 to 15.5 percent while that owned by investors grew from 3.2 to 32.6 percent. RESTORE is concerned that this dramatic change positions the region for a real estate gold rush. A huge development already planned for the shores of Moosehead Lake in the region is just one example of the kinds of changes afoot that could decimate the region’s wilderness qualities.

RESTORE’s proposal, first aired in 1994, calls for setting aside 3.2-million acres surrounding Baxter State Park (home of Maine’s tallest peak, Mt. Katahdin, and the northern tip of the Appalachian Trail) as a national park. Bigger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined, the proposed park would safeguard thousands of miles of rivers and streams while providing unfragmented habitat for wildlife.

According to RESTORE, there are no significant chunks of undeveloped wilderness anywhere in the Northeastern United States and that such a large park “is needed to protect wildlife habitat on a landscape scale to allow for adaptation in the face of unprecedented climate change.” Also, the proposed park would ensure permanent access for outdoor recreation and support a diversified and sustainable economy. Although RESTORE’s campaign has the backing of a majority of Maine residents, it has failed to gain enough traction to make it before Congress. Some blame local opposition, allied as the Maine Woods Coalition, for convincing the state’s Congressional delegation not to push for the proposal.

A new proposal from Burt’s bees founder Roxanne Quimby later rekindled the issue: In May 2011 she offered to donate up to 70,000 acres she owns adjacent to Baxter State Park for a new national park, along with a $40 million endowment for park operations. And to appease those opposed to RESTORE’s proposal, she offered a similar amount of land for multiple-use, including hunting. Quimby’s proposal includes only lands she owns, and would create a much smaller park than what RESTORE envisioned.

A few months after Quimby made her offer known U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis held a public listening session in Millinocket, Maine. But then in February 2012, Maine’s Congressional delegation convinced Secretary Salazar to table the new proposal for the time being. So for now, the fate of millions of trees—the veritable lungs of the Northeastern U.S.—and hundreds of wildlife species may just hang in the balance.

CONTACTS: RESTORE’s Maine Woods National Park: A Vision of What Could Be, www.mainewoods.org; Maine Woods Coalition, www.mainewoodscoalition.org.

EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.

05 November 2012

CFP: Interdisciplinary conference on motherhood in London, UK


Motherhood in post-1968 European Women's Writing:
'Cross-cultural and Interdisciplinary Dialogues'

Thursday-Saturday 24-26 October 2013

Venue: Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women's Writing, Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, U.K.

This conference is the culmination of the AHRC-funded Motherhood in post-1968 European Literature Network, and follows five thematic workshops held between May 2012 and June 2013. The main aim of the Network is to raise the profile of contemporary literature as a field of study of motherhood in an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural forum, and to explore how insights from literary studies might contribute to studies of motherhood in other disciplines.

The conference aims to continue the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary dialogue of the workshops around representations and narratives of motherhood in women's writing from across Europe, and to open it up to a larger group of participants. It is expected that each panel will be interdisciplinary. Individual 20-minute papers, ready-made panels and round-table sessions may be proposed. An author-reading event will be held, and an exhibition will run alongside the conference.

Topic fields could include, but are not restricted to:

Changing Models of Motherhood; Motherhood and Death; Motherhood and Disability; Motherhood and the Economy; Motherhood and Europe; Motherhood and Exile; Motherhood and Fertility; Motherhood and the Law; Motherhood and Loss; Motherhood and the Media; Motherhood and Memory; Motherhood and Mental Health; Motherhood and Migration; Motherhood and Place; Motherhood and Religions; Motherhood and Sexuality; Motherhood and Technology; Motherhood and Violence; Motherhood and the Visual Arts; Motherhood and War; Motherhood and Work; Motherhood and Writing; Non-mothers; and Other-mothers

Round-table sessions may also be proposed on methodological issues relative to interdisciplinary dialogue, focusing on case studies relative to motherhood.

Proposals are welcomed from scholars of any European literatures and researchers of motherhood from any discipline (which could include anthropology, demography, education, history, law, media studies, philosophy, politics, psychoanalysis, psychology, social policy, sociology, visual arts, etc.). Proposals for contributions are also welcomed from practitioners (e.g. therapists, social and health workers), activists, community groups, policy-makers, charities, or reading groups.

There may a small amount of funding available to contribute to the attendance of scholars from European countries outside the UK. If you wish to be considered, please specify cheapest travel costs when submitting your proposal.

Please send your proposal for individual papers, panels, round-tables or other ideas for participation, in English, to Network Co-ordinator, Victoria Browne
(victoria.browne@sas.ac.uk) by the deadline of 1 December 2012. Please include a short bio-bibliography.

A publication drawn from the conference is planned.

For further information on the Network, http://www.igrs.sas.ac.uk/research-fellowships/ahrc-post-1968-motherhood-european-literature-network

Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women's Writing, http://www.igrs.sas.ac.uk/centre-study-contemporary-womens-writing

Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, http://www.igrs.sas.ac.uk/
Disclosure: I am getting a complementary membership to MIRCI and subscription to the journal in return for posting these updates. It is, however, something I would have agreed to do for free because I think their work is so wonderful.

01 November 2012

It's Back! Chicago Toy & Game Fair 2012 (GIVEAWAY)

It's the 10th anniversary of the Chicago Toy & Game Fair and just like last year, I'm giving away a free weekend pass!!

We went last year and while we could only stay a short time, we had a ton of fun. This year we'll definitely be staying for a longer period of time.

ChiTAG happens the weekend of November 17 & 18 and will be held at Navy Pier. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids, but free admission for teachers, librarians, members of the military, Boy/Girl Scouts in uniform, children under 3 years of age. On Sunday, grandparents accompanied by kids admitted free of charge.

The kid playing a HUGE Perplexus
So how do you get my free weekend pass? Just comment. I'll draw a random winner on Tuesday. It's that simple. No need to tweet or send me cupcakes.

The games at ChiTAG and not just for the kids. I'm sure some adult-sized kids would have a great time.

So hurry and comment! Deadline is Tuesday at noon!!


This blog is my personal blog and is not reflective of my employer or what I do for them.

What I'm Currently Reading

I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame
The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

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