Books You Should Read – The Definitive List

A great way to organize your “must-read” list, from Nicholas C. Rossis

Nicholas C. Rossis

stack_of_booksI’ve seen hundreds of book lists: Books you should read before you die; Books that should be on your book shelves (hopefully you’re still allowed to take them out and read them); The best books of the 20th centuryBooks that your children should read … you can see where this is going.

I have to admit that in terms of lists, I am not doing that well.  In the “how many of the books you should have read by now. Yes, you!” quizzes popping daily on the Internet, I probably reach a score around 50%.  I always imagine my highschool librarian scowling at me, as I’ve read a lot, but apparently not the ‘must-read’ types of books.  And I have to confess, I have forgotten quite a lot from my earlier reading.

To be fair, school can do that to you: you read so much…

View original post 1,249 more words

Why posting about fruit is insulting to women: DO NOT PARTICIPATE in this year’s “Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign”

A feminist’s analysis of this year’s “BREAST CANCER AWARENESS campaign”: the reasons that I’m not participating and I’m telling all.

Call me a “spoilsport,” if it makes you feel better. I am frustrated and unwilling to “go along” with this year’s “Breast Cancer Awareness” Facebook “campaign” (and anywhere else it’s trying to occur) for these reasons:

1) Men also get breast cancer. They usually die from it sooner and more often precisely because there is very little “awareness” about males’ getting breast cancer;

male breast cancer

image from

2) A “cuteness” factor of a zillion does NOTHING to help fence-sitters, if there even are any: how could there be, when 1 in 4 women gets breast cancer? Who could be “unaware” of it mystifies me;

incidences of all cancers 2013

from, “Estimated New Cancer Cases* in the US in 2013. Estimated New Cancer Cases* in the US in 2013. Cancer Incidence Rates* by Sex, US, 1975-2009”

3) Waste of time, networking, and energy. I see nothing in any of these “campaign” solicitations that has a call to action, a place to donate for cure research, or ANYTHING but cuteness and “don’t tell the men.”

All this, for what?

BC colors facebook-win2

image from

4) BREAST CANCER IS NOT SEXY, just because it afflicts one’s breasts. This year, it’s fruits. Each fruit is supposed to signify the poster’s MARITAL or RELATIONSHIP status. As if the entire campaign weren’t insulting enough to the intelligence of adult women, THIS is the type of device it uses every year. One year, it was some lame statement that was supposed to indicate unusual places that we like to have sex, but really was about where we put our PURSES (I don’t even carry a purse 90% of the time; bad for my back and shoulder). Another year (see above), our bra color or underwear color or other such nonsense.

It’s all supposed to be pseudo-titillating and sexual, which is another gripe I have.

So, I’m blowing its cover, here. Tough rocks, cutesy women.

I’ve had too many friends and relatives DIE of this horrible disease to find it at all cute or funny, anyway.

Here is what “feminism” actually means.


With this information in front of you, how could you NOT be a feminist? You can have fun; some things can be cute. I have an excellent sense of humor. But some situations require serious ACTION.

Here is the disclosure/invitation post:

“Hi Ladies , so here it is that time of year again when we try to raise awareness of breast cancer through a game. It’s very easy and I would like all of you to participate. Two years ago we had to write the color of our underwear on our wall. Men wondered for days what was going on with the random colors on our walls. This year we make references to our love life status as a flavor. Do not answer this message, just post your word on your wall AND send this message privately to all the girls on your friends list. Blueberry is for single, Pineapple is for it’s complicated, Raspberry is for I don’t want to commit, Apple is engaged, Cherry is in a relationship, Banana is married, Avocado is I’m the better half, Strawberry is can’t find Mr.Right, Lemon is I want to be single, Raisin is I want to get married to my partner. Last time the underwear game was mentioned on TV, let’s see if we can get there with this one. Copy and paste this message into a new message and send it to your friends, then update your status with your answer. DON’T TELL THE GUYS.”
[I couldn’t stand all the misspelled “it’s,” so those I fixed. The rest I left “as is.” Pathetic, for a piece of writing; another gripe.]

HORRIBLE. Don’t do this inane “campaign.”

SPREAD THE WORD about breast cancer and give to fund the cures:

BCRF logo

Missing Mouse

Thank you, again, Thich Nhat Hanh, and for posting this poem about #impermanence, #rebirth, #death, #life.

The Search For Enlightenment

The Wheel Of LifeThe passing of my pet rat Mouse led me to think about a Buddhist poem about death, from the Buddhist viewpoint.

Though we may relinquish our body in this lifetime, we are not gone, nor will we ever be. Animals are no exception to this, they are simply closer to the start of their path than are humans.

We are all animals after all …

This body is not me.
I am not limited by this body.
I am life without boundaries.
I have never been born, and I have never died.
Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars, manifestations from my wondrous true mind.
Since before time, I have been free.
Birth and death are only doors through which we pass, sacred thresholds on our journey.
Birth and death are a game of hide-and seek.
So laugh with me, hold my hand, let us say good-bye…

View original post 36 more words

My first meeting with Oscar Wilde was an astonishment (W.B. Yeats)

Fascinating record of a meeting between WB Yeats and Oscar Wilde, from Yeats’ perspective.


My first meeting with Oscar Wilde was an astonishment. I never before heard a man talking with perfect sentences, as if he had written them all over night with labour and yet all spontaneous. There was present that night at Henley’s, by right of propinquity or of accident, a man full of the secret spite of dulness, who interrupted from time to time, and always to check or disorder thought; and I noticed with what mastery he was foiled and thrown. I noticed, too, that the impression of artificiality that I think all Wilde’s listeners have recorded came from the perfect rounding of the sentences and from the deliberation that made it possible. That very impression helped him, as the effect of metre, or of the antithetical prose of the seventeenth century, which is itself a true metre, helped its writers, for he could pass without incongruity from some unforeseen…

View original post 537 more words