Links & Updates 3-18-14

I’ve been emerging from my hermit world a bit more lately. I blame it on birdsong, extra sunlight, and roads that are no longer chronically icy. Already, the first crocus!

Lately I’ve been giving a series of author talks through the Cleveland-area Cuyahoga County library system. Everyone who has attended so far has been full of questions, ideas, and anecdotes about their own family’s learning journey. I say “everyone” as if crowds have shown up. That’s not the case. Just a few people, six in the last session. That may be due to library systems’ cut-backs, leaving no money for fliers and publicity for such programs. Or it may be that this particular metropolitan area does not want to talk about learning of the free ranging sort. That’s fine too.

I was honored to discover that one woman, a fellow writer and a homeschooling parent, wrote a post about what she took away from my talk on her site Raising Lifelong Learners. Colleen, you made my day. No, my week!

There are three more talks scheduled. I’d love it if you’d spread the news.

Brecksville, Tuesday March 25th at 7 pm

Parma Snow, Wednesday April 23rd at 7 pm

North Royalton, Wednesday May 21st at 7 pm

Poetry-wise, a few extra joys. One of my poems appeared as the mindfulness poem of the day on A Year of Being Here.

I also wrote a guest post for BoneSpark about a writing prompt I recently learned (with the poem that prompt prompted).


100% Renewable Energy Is Feasible and Affordable, According to Stanford Proposal. Researchers have developed detailed plans for each state in the union to move to 100 percent wind, water, and solar power by 2050 using only technology that’s already available. The plan doesn’t rely, like many others, on dramatic energy efficiency regimes. Nor does it include biofuels or nuclear power, whose green credentials are the source of much debate.

I got to interview Andrea Crosta, the founder of WildLeaks. This non-profit organization provides a secure, anonymous platform so whistleblowers can report wildlife and forest crimes happening anywhere in the world. They’re already at work facilitating investigations and prosecutions made possible by tipsters. Bookmark the link to WildLeaks, because you never know when you’ll have the chance to make a difference.


Here’s a peek inside the intelligently witty site The Man Who Is Not My Mother. It’s basically observations from a baby’s point of view, if that baby spoke in the droll manner of a seething aristocrat.

A perfect depiction of complex carbs, by artist Gemma Correll.

Okay, I may be teetering over the rudeness cliff, but I find delightful inspiration in the obituary Walter George Bruhl Jr. wrote for himself. Maybe we should jot down a few lines for our own obituaries? Here’s a sample of his:

Walt was preceded in death by his tonsils and adenoids in 1935; a spinal disc in 1974; a large piece of his thyroid gland in 1988; and his prostate on March 27, 2000.


Ever since I read The Secret Life of Plants I’ve been fascinated with plant intelligence. Some of that book’s assertions have been denounced, but evidence keeps showing up that provide a glimpse into a world far more complex than we might imagine. Like this study. published in The American Naturalist, which found evidence of decision-making by European Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) plants.  The authors write, “Ecological evidence for complex decision making in plants thus includes a structural memory (the second seed), simple reasoning (integration of inner and outer conditions), conditional behavior (abortion), and anticipation of future risks (seed predation).”

If you want to delve deeper into this obsession there are some great books available, from the science-y to the mystical.

Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

The Secret Garden: Dawn to Dusk in the Astonishing Hidden World of the Garden

The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature

Oh, and we’re all cousins. Check out the charts on Wait But Why. I think we should plan a planetary-wide reunion weekend….

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