Sunday, November 12, 2017

Darcy Lockman

Ideals are no substitute for behavior.

From "Where do kids learn to undervalue women? From their parents." Washington Post, 11/10/17

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Kalyanee Mam

When you really love what you’re doing—when you really care about what you’re doing—you don’t even have to exert confidence, it’s just who you are. It’s just being. But when you’re not sure of who you are and where you belong and what your path is, sometimes you impose confidence on yourself which becomes very artificial and I see it in people and it’s not confidence, but arrogance.

I think when you’re really truly at ease with yourself, there’s a lot of comfort and humility and compassion for others who may not be as comfortable as you are.

Kalyanee Mam, documentary film maker, as interviewed on She Does podcast, 9/9/2015.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Gabrielle Zevin

I wake up in the morning and I look at Hans and think, I love you. I choose you above any other person. I chose you 21 years ago and I choose you today. I believe you to be a constant in my life, and I, a constant in yours. Loving you is the closest thing I have to faith.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Jill Suttie

Researchers have found that people report being happy and energized when they are engaged in everyday creative endeavors, and that being in a positive mood goes hand in hand with creative thinking.

From mindful (

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Leonardo Izquierdo

“Unfortunately, when these natural disasters threaten and you’re locked indoors, all of a sudden you get an appetite,” said Izquierdo, 56, as he ordered bread, meat pastelitos and cheese-filled tequenos at Karla Bakery in the Flagami neighborhood in Miami. “I don’t know what it is about the combination of water and flour, but it hits the spot.”

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Geena Davis

The more media a girl consumes, the fewer options she thinks she has in life.

- from NYT If Wonder Woman Can Do It, She Can Too June 5, 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Marlo Morgan

Everything has a purpose. There are no freaks, misfits, or accidents. There are only misunderstandings and mysteries not yet revealed to mortal man.

from Mutant Message Down Under

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Michael Blumenthal

April is National Poetry Month! This is a new one for me and I already love it. 

Be Kind
   by Michael Blumenthal

Not merely because Henry James said
there were but four rules of life—
be kind be kind be kind be kind—but
because it’s good for the soul, and,
what’s more, for others...

Read the rest:

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ron Finley

“I saw a kid walking down the street listening to music when he came face to face with one of my giant Russian Mammoth sunflowers,” Mr. Finley said. “He said, ‘Yo, is that real?’ ”

“He thought it was a prop or something. That’s what I want on my streets. Flowers so big and magnificent, they’ll blow a kid’s mind.”

from Urban Gardening: An Appleseed With Attitude NYTimes May 3, 2013

Thursday, April 6, 2017

James Dewey Watson

To succeed in science, you have to avoid dumb people [...] you must always turn to people who are brighter than yourself.

(Good advice for any pursuit! --Ed.)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Jeremy Clarkson

Let me introduce you to a car we hate very much: the Volkswagen Beetle. It appeals to both Nazis and hippies and we are neither.

--The Grand Tour (2016)

Saturday, April 1, 2017


"Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling."

"Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day."

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Marie Kondo

It is not our memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure. This is the lesson these keepsakes teach us when we sort them. The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.

-from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (p118)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Victoria Sweet

My goal was fixed: I would walk to Compostela ─no matter what. And with my goal fixed, without self-doubt and the minute-by-minute attention to frustrations and disappointments, I discovered something. Underneath the surface actions, events, and partying of the path was silence. Even when it was noisy, that silence was underneath activity. That quiet was solid and always accessible. I could depend on it; I could return to it at any time, in any emergency. It was the quiet of pilgrimage, and it was worth the meseta.*

. . . .

Except for us, the cathedral was empty. The monk took us through another side door into the dark cloister. A charcoal brazier was on the stones, and the monk gestured for us to sit down around it. Then he handed out black cards and told us they would symbolize the sins we wanted to get rid of. Is worry a sin? I asked myself. I sure would like to get rid of it. I decided that it was. Worry about the future seemed uncharitable somehow, toward God, after everything I'd experienced on the pilgrimage─so many days I'd worried would be bad had turned out so well! And so many days when my good anticipations had turned out so bad! I didn't know whether worry was a sin, but I threw it in the brazier.

*high plateau in Northern Spain

-from God's Hotel, p332-333

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Yuval Noah Harari

Ignorance by itself is not too dangerous. If you combine it with power, this is a toxic mix. 

Friday, February 10, 2017


D: I came across an article* from Rutgers Today published in 2014. Apparently, researchers concluded that the overall success rate of a marriage is higher if the wife is happy. If the husband is happy, it doesn't contribute much to the marriage, but if the wife is happy it could mean everything. When she's happy, she does more to make everyone happy. Her happiness overflows. If he's happy or unhappy, it doesn't really matter because men tend to think about themselves first anyway, so their mood doesn't have an outward pouring and affect everyone in the same way.
N: Um, I hope they didn't waste money paying those researchers.
D: What do you mean?
N: This is not news. There's a reason for the saying, "Happy wife, happy life."
D: Is this really something everyone already knows?
N: And its companion phrase, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."
D: That's true.
N: I know.

*I was cataloging a newly arrived book (Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu) at the library last night and flipped through so I could give it the appropriate call number. The article was referenced in the end notes of the book.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Malene Rydahl

According to Professor Bjornskov, there are a number of basic universal factors that contribute to a nation's happiness: a democratic political system, a certain level of national prosperity, a functioning judicial system, and the absence of war. He estimates that thirty to forty countries meet these criteria. Once this foundation is in place, other factors influence the level of happiness, in particular trust in others and the freedom (or possibility) to choose one's own way in life.

--Happy as a Dane (2017)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Dalai Lama XIV and Desmond Tutu

It helps no one if you sacrifice your joy because others are suffering. We people who care must be attractive, must be filled with joy, so that others recognize that caring, that helping and being generous are not a burden, they are a joy. Give the world your love, your service, your healing, but you can also give it your joy. This, too, is a gift.

--from The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV and Desmond Tutu

Edith Wharton

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that receives it.

Rebecca Solnit

Joy doesn't betray but sustains activism. When you face a politics that aspires to make you fearful, alienated, and isolated, joy is a fine initial act of insurrection.

--from Hope in the Dark

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Joe Biden

"The president and I have concluded that there's no value in making that ad hominem argument," he told me of Obama. "It gets you nowhere."

 "Question a man's judgment, not his motives," Mansfield instructed.

"It's one thing to say: 'I think the proposal on the following is a serious mistake. I think it's gonna do the following damage.' It's another thing to say, 'The guy's a fucking idiot, and he is an egomaniac who's a whatever.' "

 "It's like a Rubik's cube trying to figure this guy out," Biden sighed. "We have no freakin' idea what he's gonna do."

"Family has been central for us — that's our baseline," Obama told me. "We both feel freer to do what we think is right because if it doesn't work out, our families will still love us."

He has little patience with Democrats who want to move either left or right. " 'We gotta move to the center,' 'We gotta move to those white guys,' 'We gotta move to those working-class people' or 'We gotta double down on the social agenda.' " It's a false choice, he said: "They are totally compatible. I have never said anything to the A.C.L.U. that I wouldn't say to the Chamber of Commerce."