I attended the Student Climate Strike on September 20 in Pittsburgh. So did my 14-year-old son, who is actually a student. I went to show my support of the students but also because climate change is affecting me, too, and all of us. A lot of other gray-haired people had the same idea. In fact, … Continue reading Two Things About the Climate Strikes
Tonight I attended a meeting at my son's school (grades K-8) about the decision to hire a full-time security guard and get a metal detector. I meant to do some research before the meeting on the extent to which schools with metal detectors have experienced shooting rampages, compared to schools without. I ended up not … Continue reading Do metal detectors prevent school shootings?
In photographs of last Saturday's women's marches in Washington, D.C., and around the United States, many pink hats are visible, most of them with ears, indicating solidarity with the Pussyhat Project that was so popular it caused shortages of pink yarn in some parts of the country. It's obvious that many thousands of pink pussyhats … Continue reading Is Your Pussyhat Keeping Someone Warm?
I was devastated by last Tuesday's election results. There are many reasons I object to Donald Trump (like his racist lies about crime) and many reasons I hoped for a Democratic majority in Congress, but what I'm writing about here is our environment. Even if you voted Republican, you may not want to live in … Continue reading How to Save the Earth from Donald Trump and the Republican Congressional Majority
I worked with crime data for 17 years, and occasionally someone would say, "Gosh, that must make you so worried about your safety!" No. It didn't. It had exactly the opposite effect. There are four patterns I saw, over and over again, that made me feel safer: Crime rates in Pittsburgh and in the United … Continue reading America is SAFER now than it used to be.
This is a guest post by Maria Ramos. Maria is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a minor in Communication. She blogs about environmentally friendly tips, technological advancements, and healthy active lifestyles. Without positive human intervention, global … Continue reading 5 Must-See Environmental Documentaries
This photograph, which was in Sunday's newspaper, is the image I'm keeping in my mind this Good Friday. That is a place on this very same planet where I am sitting comfortably in my office. That is a boy who is growing up in the very same time as my son Nicholas, who is visiting … Continue reading Elsewhere on Earth
This article from The New York Times was reprinted in my local newspaper. In Afghanistan, a mullah who raped a 10-year-old girl in the mosque was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Most Americans would agree that anybody who rapes a child is a horrific criminal for whom 20 years is a light sentence, would … Continue reading One Brave Girl
Last week, the United States Supreme Court decided that federal laws that apply to married people apply to same-sex couples who are married in a state where same-sex marriage is legal. As a liberal person who supports equal rights, I'm supposed to rejoice in this great victory for equality and diversity. In a way, I … Continue reading But why should your tax status be based on your sex life?
In her Ash Wednesday sermon, my pastor mentioned someone's suggestion to fast for Lent by eating only what you can purchase with the amount of money allocated by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ("food stamps") to needy families--approximately $4 per person per day. The suggestion had been to do this for just one week, not … Continue reading Could you feed your family on a food-stamp budget?
The sky is so blue today. The sun is so bright, the leaves are still green, and the birds are singing. It's a beautiful day, just like the eleventh of this month eleven years ago. I remember walking home after my office closed early on September 11, 2001, thinking how impossibly wrong it felt that … Continue reading Living on the Flip Side
Let me begin by saying that, although I do not own a smartphone or any kind of cellphone, I do own an iPad, and I know it contains many of the same components as an iPhone. Let me say also that I am not attacking Apple Computer in particular; the article to which I'm linking … Continue reading What’s inside your smartphone?
If you haven't heard this question from your child yet, you're likely to hear it any day now. As the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks approaches, I'm seeing and hearing more commemoration than in the past eight years. My son asked about September 11 two years ago when the newspaper vending box showed a … Continue reading Mama, what happened on September 11?
Today is my son's last day of kindergarten! This has been his first year in public school, and we are very pleased with our neighborhood public school, Pittsburgh Colfax. It's a great example of how an urban school can thrive when faculty encourage parent involvement. On "Take Your Special Person to School Day" last month, … Continue reading Our Neighborhood Public School Works for Us!
Sometimes a fact that's been right in front of me all my life nonetheless fails to penetrate my consciousness. This particular fact may be one of which all my readers are already aware. In fact, you may think it's quite unremarkable. But it just now came to my attention, and I am flabbergasted, so I … Continue reading An Eagle Landing on the MOON!!!
Today is the entertaining tips edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, but I don't feel very well equipped to give advice on entertaining since we don't have guests nearly as often as I'd like; I'm one of the people who needs to read the host's article "Entertaining Even When You're Reluctant" and possibly the book she mentioned, … Continue reading This Crowded World
Three years ago, Daniel and I were interviewed by Redbook magazine for an article called "The Changing Shape of the American Family" which profiled several different family structures. The Alternatives to Marriage Project referred the reporter to us as an example of a stable couple raising a child without being married. The final article [which, … Continue reading Why aren’t we married?
It's been one week since Pittsburgh hosted the G-20 economic summit. The demonstrations against it and the police reactions to those demonstrations were a lot milder than they have been at previous summits in other cities, but there was some violent conflict and questionable conduct on both sides--check out the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette or Pittsburgh City … Continue reading Explaining the G-20 Protests to a Preschooler
This is originally a tip from Daniel, but it works for me, too! We still subscribe to our local newspaper, the actual paper kind, because I like to read it while eating and I don't like to eat at the computer at home (since my lunch at work, and in fact my whole day at … Continue reading Vending Box News
My Girl Scouts and I recently learned a new method for assessing group opinions so we can work toward consensus. It looked useful in the book (it's included in the Agent of Change Journey program) but it wasn't until we tried it that I learned how amazingly well it works for me! Fist to Five … Continue reading Fist to Five: A way to reach agreement