Free Logic

Pleasantly confused, infinitely curious, politely insulting, casually concerned, intrinsically intrigued, quietly outspoken and always, always interested.

Is handwriting irrelevant?

A couple of months ago, I was shocked to discover my niece’s school had eliminated hand-writing entirely from its curriculum. Cue outrage. I believe this is a major mistake both cognitively and socially.
This article from the New York Times (Link included above) sheds a little light on the psychological ramifications of this shift.
According to Stanislas Dehaene, a psychologist with the College de France in Paris “When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated. There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain. And it seems that this circuit is contributing in unique ways we didn’t realize, Learning is made easier.”
As a writer who grew up in the midst of the digital shift, I can vouch for the difference in stimuli. After penning my thoughts and ideas on paper most of my life, I struggled to learn to type a story from scratch. For years at the Examiner I hand-wrote my stories in a notebook before transcribing them to my computer. Eventually, out of necessity I learned to file via computer or as was often the case, my Blackberry while on scene. I thought my need to handwrite might be a crutch, a holdout from my youth but I’m sure now it’s the stimulation I experience cognitively that spurs my desire to create first by hand.
- A

A before and after of Jennifer Lawrence’s Flare magazine cover.

They thinned her, enhanced her facial structure and smoothed her skin, added symmetry to her natural chest and elongated her neck.

This is why little girls grow up but never feel like they measure up.

Because even the women who are supposed to be the most beautiful women in the world, aren’t pretty enough to go untouched on a magazine cover.

Advice of the day: Don’t let the media’s portrayal of true beauty skew your reflection in the mirror.

-A

(Source: , via redefiningbodyimage)

The enthusiasm for writers here is because we’re a legend-minded nation. Iranians think that words have magical powers. Writers produce words. Nowadays, when soccer players or TV actors are the new legends, the presence of a writer somewhere produces a sudden hush and an atmosphere of sanctity.

—Iranian writer Amir Hassan Cheheltan, interviewing with Guernica magazine “on the tension between artists and intellectuals, the power of mysticism, and the long-lasting effects of the 1979 revolution.”
(via arabious)

(Source: arabious, via thepoliticalnotebook)

The Neighbourhood Book Exchange
This is one of the most heartening initiatives I’ve stumbled across in a long time.
I’m frequently disappointed by teens and kids I meet who have no problem spitting out such incomprehensible statements as ‘Reading is dumb’ or ’ Nobody reads anymore’.
In North America, kids are managing to graduate high school without basic language skills.
They enjoy a good story, but they’d rather wait for the movie.
It’s frustrating for someone like me: an avid reader and advocate of literature as a learning tool.
I owe my comprehension level and conversational skills to the art of reading.
Frankly, I don’t believe I would be the same person if I had read even one less book in my lifetime.
-A
alexabboud:

A Neighbourhood Book Exchange in Vancouver, via the Edmonton Community Foundation’s Facebook page.
The link to their facebook post has some examples of similar initiatives happening in other cities too.

The Neighbourhood Book Exchange

This is one of the most heartening initiatives I’ve stumbled across in a long time.

I’m frequently disappointed by teens and kids I meet who have no problem spitting out such incomprehensible statements as ‘Reading is dumb’ or ’ Nobody reads anymore’.

In North America, kids are managing to graduate high school without basic language skills.

They enjoy a good story, but they’d rather wait for the movie.

It’s frustrating for someone like me: an avid reader and advocate of literature as a learning tool.

I owe my comprehension level and conversational skills to the art of reading.

Frankly, I don’t believe I would be the same person if I had read even one less book in my lifetime.

-A

alexabboud:

A Neighbourhood Book Exchange in Vancouver, via the Edmonton Community Foundation’s Facebook page.

The link to their facebook post has some examples of similar initiatives happening in other cities too.

(via northsidechad)

(Long overdue) Tumblr Tune of the Day

King by Weezer

I’m a big fan of Weezer, but this is by far my favourite song they have ever recorded.

It was a bonus track on the red album and really stood out to me.

It’s got a different sound – the guitar is far more laid back and the vocals are actually sung by Scott Shriner.

Shriner apparently fought the rest of the band to get the song on the album.

Glad he won.

Enjoy!

-A

Tumblr Tune of the Day - Little Green Bag by George Baker.

Couldn’t believe it when I heard this song playing in the background of America’s Got Talent last night.

It’s a classic - my Dad and I would rock out to the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack for hours and this was my personal favourite track.

Love that reality television is exposing today’s generation to music they normally wouldn’t get to hear!

Enjoy!

-A

I recently came across a series of double-exposure images that struck a chord in me.

They are beautifully serene and each ghostly photo emits a different emotion.

Then I discovered they were taken by a 17-year-old English photography student named Ben Warner.

After checking out more of his work, I’m impressed. While he’s still learning, this is clearly an artist to watch.

To view Ben’s photography portfolio visit http://cargocollective.com/benjaminwarner/BENJAMIN-WARNER .

-A

Came across this photo by Gary Felton, and it instantly made me think of one of my favourite quotes from Moby Dick.
When I feel like knocking people’s hats off, I long to take to the sea as well.
If only I didn’t currently live in the prairies.
- A
NB: Gary Felton is a professional sailing photographer working in the Caribbean. See more of his beautiful work here!

Came across this photo by Gary Felton, and it instantly made me think of one of my favourite quotes from Moby Dick.

When I feel like knocking people’s hats off, I long to take to the sea as well.

If only I didn’t currently live in the prairies.

- A

NB: Gary Felton is a professional sailing photographer working in the Caribbean. See more of his beautiful work here!


SEA TO SHINING SEA - A beach in Maldives is alight with the glow of thousands of Bioluminescent phytoplankton.

According to National Geographic, scientists now believe they know how some of these tiny sea creatures create the unearthly light captured in these photographs.

They’ve allegedly identified a special channel in the dinoflagellate cell membrane thatis stimulated by electrical signals— which may be how the animals set the tides a-glowing.

This world is absolutely fascinating.

To read more click here

NB: Photos by by Doug Perrine and Travelart

-A

According to National Geographic, recent flooding in Australia has forced the ground-dwelling spiders to seek higher ground, and they have begun to blanket the trees and fields left untouched by flood waters. 

Basically, it’s my worst nightmare.

A week of devastating rain has displaced almost 13,000 people in eastern Australia, and while I am concerned for those suffering in the aftermath of the flood, I can’t help but be fascinated by this phenomenon.

Robert Matthews, an entomologist at the University of Georgia told reporters it’s a clever defence mechanism. The spiders are spinning ‘trampoline’ like webs that help them escape the water.

So, basically, what he’s saying is that spiders are far more intelligent than we have been led to believe.

Scary.

Apparently, it’s not the first time the world has witnessed this strange Arachnid tactic.

After a massive flood in Pakistan, the spiders took to the trees, encasing them in a cocoon of webs.

I can barely stand to look at these photos, and I thank the Gods we don’t have the spider population some countries boast.

But I had to share it.

Because this is a crazy world we live in, and it’s so much fun to learn about it.

Even if sometimes what you learn keeps you up at night. ;)

Check out the full story here .

-A

Nb: Photos by Daniel Munoz, Reuters; Lukas Coch, European Pressphoto Agency and Russell Watkins, U.K. Department for International Development