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On Hope, Kindness, and Going Gaga in the Library (Don’t Forget The Databases!)

March 29, 2023

Artwork above by Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo who is trained in the rare Buddhist art of silk applique thangkas. His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave his blessings to Leslie’s work and encouraged her to make images that speak to the spiritual aspirations of people across religions and cultures. Read Leslie’s blog here and learn more about her work.

Making the world a better place isn’t exactly easy. But as Aristotle says, we become builders by building. We change the world by doing. Naming and describing problems, finding solutions, and taking action takes time– and it takes guts, as well as kindness to yourself in the process. Finding the spark and figuring out how to solve a problem can seem hopeless– it can seem way too big, too overwhelming; be kind to yourself on the journey and take it “bird by bird” to paraphrase Anne Lamott from her famous text on writing of the same same. In an October 2018 issue of National Geographic, Lamott writes about having hope when addressing the challenges facing the world: Read more…


Plagiarism: When to Quote? Paraphrase?

March 22, 2023

see the pdf here (link below also)

There it was, on the front page of the Saturday March 18, 2023 edition of the LA Times– a problem with plagiarism in a respected author’s best selling books: “Over 120 passages in David Agus’ first three works found to closely mirror other’s writing,” says the sub-headline in the article by Corinne Purtill.

Dr. David Agus’ next book is already a best seller — even though it hasn’t yet been published. But sales have been suspended as he revises at least 95 plagiarized passages. His publisher says he will rewrite other problem passages in previous books for upcoming editions. 

Turns out the doctor has a co-writer: “All four of Agus’ books were produced in collaboration with Los Angeles writer Kristin Loberg. She acknowledged the “allegations of plagiarism” and said Agus was not to blame,” according to the article in the LA Times. 

“If your name is on the cover, you take full responsibility for what is on the inside,” said Debora Weber-Wulff, a professor of media and computer science at HTW Berlin’s University of Applied Sciences in Germany who specializes in detecting plagiarism, as cited by the LA Times article.

“If a student submitted academic work like this, it may be considered unduly derivative or referred for an investigation into academic misconduct,” said Thomas Lancaster, a computer scientist at Imperial College London who researches academic integrity and plagiarism, in the LA Times article. Read the full article here.

Knowing when, what, and how much to cite can challenge all writers, but even more so for writers of academic research papers. Dr Bron Taylor, an environmental studies professor in Florida Read more…

Tsoknyi Rinpoche: Be A Space That Welcomes Any Experience Without Judgement

March 15, 2023

Threads of Awakening

In this week’s “Threads of Awakening” email from Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo, she quotes Tsoknyi Rinpoche who advises we let ourselves “become that space that welcomes any experience without judgement.” 

Read more…

2022 Film Favorites? #Oscars95

March 12, 2023

Oscars 95

Tonight is Oscar Night! Our friend Ron Wells loves films and music, and he goes to see a lot of both. I always appreciate his recommendations and reviews and I publish them as often as possible here on Art Predator. Thank you, Ron, for your contributions.; scroll down to read his thoughts on this year’s flock of films. Read more about 95th edition of the Academy Awards aka the Oscars here; host is Jimmy Kimmel.

Read more…

How Will You #EmbraceEquity on International’s Women’s Day? #IWD2023

March 8, 2023

Today March 8 is International Women’s Day, “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.” While we have much to celebrate, we have a way to go to achieve parity and equity. To understand why this is important, the theme for this year’s  International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity: Read more…

Do you need……. NATURE?

February 15, 2023


California peonies in bloom Feb. 2023, Arroyo Verde Park, Ventura CA (photo by Gwendolyn Alley)

Are you lost in the world? Are you getting enough NATURE in your life?

Read more…

California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick Visits Ventura County

February 8, 2023
“Whitman revised … with a voice that is politically engaged and rooted in compassion” is how Brian Turner describes California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick’s poetry.
This Sunday and Monday February 12 and13, newly appointed California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick returns to Ventura County for two readings. On Sunday, February 12, Herrick reads at 11am at the Museum of Ventura County Agriculture Museum located at 926 Railroad Avenue, Santa Paula. Monday, February 13 at 1030am, Herrick reads at Cal State University Channel Islands in Room 1360 in the Broom Library; parking is $6.

Read more…

Creating Common Ground: Writers Anzaldua, Cofer, Mukerjee, Orange, Staples, Tan

February 6, 2023


In her essay “The Path of the Red and Black Ink” from Borderlands: La Frontera, Gloria Anzaldua explains, “I write the myths in me, the myths I am, the myths I want to become.” (Find that essay plus two more here). Her poem “Borderlands” goes deeper into these myths to understand what it means to live on the “Borderlands”:

To live in the Borderlands means you
are neither hispana india negra española
ni gabacha, eres mestiza, mulata
, half-breed
caught in the crossfire between camps
while carrying all five races on your back
not knowing which side to turn to, run from;

To live in the Borderlands means knowing Read more…

Aristotle: We Become Builders By Building

January 31, 2023

builders of houses of words…


We become builders by building, says Aristotle, just as harpists become harpists by playing the harp. “Similarly,” Aristotle says, “we become just by the practice of just actions, self-controlled by exercising self-control, and courageous by performing acts of courage.”

And we become writers by writing…

Read more…

What Sir Ken Robinson Says

January 24, 2023

There are some people I can listen to all day any day.

Dr Heather Cox Richardson is one of those people: in her weekly politics chats or history talks, she connects the dots between current politics, culture, and history. Listening to her helped me get through the previous administration during the pandemic years — and helped me keep me sane AND my kitchen clean. 

Sir Ken Robinson is another person I love to listen to: Read more…

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