covered in water

The signs as of lately

Aries: sadness is something you are not accustomed to. Its been clouding your vision and you’re struggling hard to find a bright enough light to lift the fog. You’re searching for that fire within you. You’ve always counted on it to get you through. It’s not gone, it hasn’t abandoned you. It’s just soft enough to guide you through this. Reminding you that it’s ok to feel heart ache and that there is still beauty here. Take this stillness as a blessing. The fog will lift.

Taurus: grounded and tall. You’ve come through hell and back with flowers of peace in your hands. The marks of ash are still on your body but you hold these bright flowers effortlessly. You feel the weight of the past year roll off your back as you look out into endless mountains. You feel as powerful as those high peaks. It’s time to create, its time to be part of the divine.

Gemini: this is for you. You may not see it but you create waves in people. Heaviness may be constant visitor. And I know there’s a strange comfort to it. Trust when you feel it lifted and chase after it with all that you’ve got. You’re going to do great things. Anyone who sees you knows that.

Cancer: god sees your softness. There’s not much to say. You feel with every fiber in your body. I know you’ve grown up scared. I know you hold so much sadness. But I see your softness. I know you only mean well.

Leo: persistence is your greatest gift. I know you’re exhausted by the constant demands of this earth. Your eyes show it with each line. You’re constantly tired. However it’s your strength and will that keeps you moving. You are loved beyond anything you could comprehend. This is worth it. I promise you.

Virgo: vulnerability and truth. Growing up you have learned to stay quite and polite. You’ve learned that emotions cause more harm than good. You’ve gravitated towards anything that offers great logic. However now is the time to leave that behind. It’s done its job. It’s time to sit with your emotions and to listen to your inner truth. Vulnerability will be your greatest strength.

Libra: we are so proud of you. You have covered treacherous waters. Your lungs are sore from coughing up the waters that weighed you down. You can catch your breath and look onward. You now have the power of the ocean within your blood. Carry on and do great things. We’re all counting on you.

Scorpio: let it dissolve. Let it sit on you tongue and truly taste it. Patience and kindness is what you most need. That may not make the most sense at this point because all you’ve been doing lately is waiting. You’ve been searching for answers and searching for kindness. Those have always been with in you. Listen to your divine self. Let go of the fear that has been paralyzing you. Find your breath and step into this new chapter with everything you’ve got. Golden days are ahead.

Sagittarius: these are things you have not experienced. Loneliness feels like a guest who’s over stayed their welcome. I know you’re running from it. I know you’ve always been running. Always been looking for the better thing. This is the universe reminding you to find peace within your self.

Capricorn: lack of stability. This is your greatest fear. You’re so accustomed to these strict guidelines that rule your life. However you’ve been building these with materials that are going to break easily. This is something you turn your head away from. You’re not ready to sit with your old wounds. To be broken is a way of growth. Let it fall.

Aquarius: cutting off your leaves. You feel this will give you a fresh start. However you’re confusing your leaves with your roots leaving you uprooted. You confuse this with joy. Child you have to stop playing hide and seek. It’s time to sit and sort through all that you’ve been avoiding. It’s time to come home.

Pisces: searching for heaven. You keep pricking yourself on rose thrones. I’m not sure why your confused with the blood dripping off your fingers. Nothing has been making much sense to you lately. Come lay down and rest. The answers will not show them self to you right now. All you can do is rest. Change is on the horizon. Have faith.

Do not support the Red Cross

As someone who’s been in the middle of Harvey, Ike, Gustav, Katrina, Rita and probably any hurricane that’s hit Louisiana in my life, I urge you to not support the Red Cross. Every time they’ve come to “help” they’ve made it worse on the locals and the people they’re trying to give aid to.

For this I’ll use the most recent and most appalling, Harvey. As you probably know Houston was devastated by this storm. Where I live opened up our two biggest centers for the people that the Cajun Navy and other rescuers brought in. Of course the Red Cross took over these centers and within a few days everything crumbled. 

People were I live are incredibly generous and helpful during events like this because we’ve all been through it many times. Every time there’s been a disaster in Louisiana is when you’ll see the community helping each other with anything they might need.

So during Harvey, people here were treading flood waters and gathering all of the clothes, food, and hygiene products they could find. They took all of this to the centers and they started being turned away. They didn’t want to accept clothes donations unless they were brand new, which is appalling. These people left their homes only wearing the clothes on their backs which were covered in flood water, which contains many harmful bacteria. They weren’t going to care if there’s a mustard stain on a shirt, not as long as it was clean and dry. There were people who had been there for days and didn’t have shoes. Both centers have industrial wash rooms for clothes, they could have washed them if need be. Having something is better than nothing.

The most atrocious of it all is that they wouldn’t accept food people made. People here love to cook, we’re raised doing it. Being cooped up in a house for days on end with no work and the kids missing school meant many gumbo pots were being used. These people decided to donate it to the Red Cross, and it was thrown away. Even though they didn’t have enough food to feed the people there. Popeyes, a very popular franchise, had their employees go to work early and prepare food for the people at the shelter. The Red Cross threw it all away. Other restaurants donated hot food, and it was all put in the dumpster. I understand them being skeptical about homemade food because they don’t know people’s intentions, but to turn away restaurant food is wrong. Especially for them to accept the food and then throw it in a dumpster instead of telling the business they couldn’t take the food and the business would have been able to bring it to people that needed it.

Through all of this they just wanted people to donate money. They had the news broadcasting about “families don’t want to be seen digging through clothes on a table to find new ones.” BULLSHIT, we’ve been through this before and clothes are clothes. Giving these people a voucher to Walmart isn’t going to help them when the closest Walmart is 15 minutes away and they don’t have a vehicle or a way to get there. 

I’ve heard from so many places that the Red Cross shouldn’t be trusted, but now that they’ve pulled this shit in my hometown I know better. The local sheriff’s department got the go to chase off the Red Cross, and people from all over the city brought in hot fresh food for the people there. They got them all clothes and shoes and went and bought things for these people to make sure they were at least comfortable. The state then took over and transported the willing ones and all of the pets to Alexandria to a mega shelter where they’ll have more long term care as these other two storms come to be.

If you want to help with the effects of this storm, please find better places to donate! The Red Cross is the most popular and they’re not putting that money to good use. I don’t have links of places so if any of you do please add them here for people to see. It makes me sick to see this happening and I want to do what I can to inform people.

Can’t find water bottles/gallons?

By me in Orlando all the water is already gone. When Costco got a shipment today it was gone before they even finished unloading.
So what do you do if you can’t find water bottles?
This is what we did when we couldn’t find anything for Matthew

*Get gallon Ziplock bags and fill those up about ¾ of the way. Get the ones that zip closed really tight. Then stack them up in a box. Weird squishy water bottles.
Also good for making ice blocks for freezer that can be melted later if needed. For that only fill ½ way or the bag will explode.

*Fill every cup you have with water. Cover tops with saran wrap to keep little bits of dust and whatnot from getting in the water since it’ll be sitting before you use it. Don’t have many cups? Buy a thing of disposable ones from the store. 

*Go to the dollar store and get buckets, Fill and cover those. We bought 3 1-gallon buckets and those are for the animals but they’d be fine for people too.

*For someone like me there are old gatorade bottles hiding around my house. Gather up water bottles, fill them.

*Rinse and reuse other containers. Your milk won’t last if the power goes out. Finish it up, rinse the container and fill it. 

*Tupperware. Fill and close it. Can also be frozen to make ice blocks. The more ice in the freezer, the longer things will stay cold if you lose power.

No one is stocking up on ziplocs, cups, saran wrap, or buckets that I noticed. Plenty of all those still left on the shelves while the water section was empty.

Good luck with the storm friends.

I never understood the “Don’t judge a book by its cover” sentiment.  As a kid, I remember thinking to myself, I thought that’s what book covers were for? They’re the first thing potential readers see when they’re browsing and they’re the subject of many an *intellectual* Instagram shot. But most importantly, artists work hard to make sure book covers reflect  what’s inside of them.

As the NPR Books intern, my hands end up on a lot of brand new titles, which also have brand new covers. So this summer, I’m going to be tumbling about book cover art and artists in a series I’m calling #bookcovercrush.

First up: Luiza Sauma’s Flesh and Bone and Water, which was designed by cover artist Lauren Peters-Collaer. The novel follows a wealthy Brazilian teenager who finds himself drawn to the family maid’s beautiful daughter after travelling to the mouth of the Amazon.

Peters-Collaer says, “First, I explored mixing painted patterns with natural elements of the Brazilian landscape to convey the tropical setting and lush, layered feeling of the narrative.”

“At the same time, I was interested in incorporating an obscured female visual to reference the woman who is a catalyst for the story, and who is increasingly illuminated throughout the course of the text.”

“These two ideas came together in the final cover”:

Be sure to watch out for next installment of #bookcovercrush!

-Intern Sydnee

Images courtesy of  Lauren Peters-Collaer and Scribner

SOLAR ECLIPSE!

We are so ready(!!!!!)

During a total solar eclipse, the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun. When this happens, the disc of the Moon appears to perfectly cover the disc of the Sun even though the Sun is much larger than the Moon. But how is this possible? 

The Sun is 400 times bigger than the Moon, but by sheer coincidence, the Moon is 390 times closer to Earth. Size and distance cancel each other out so that the Moon and Sun appear to be almost the exactly same size. Every time the Moon orbits the Earth, once every 27.3 days, it has to pass between the Earth and the Sun, a stage called the new moon phase. And every time it passes, the New Moon has a chance to block out the Sun. Most of the time, the Moon passes a little above or a little below the Sun, but if they align perfectly, the shadow of the Moon will make a narrow path across Earth and those in the shadows will see a total solar eclipse.

But while the moon perfectly covers the surface of the Sun, it doesn’t block out the Sun’s outer atmosphere, its corona, which appears as a fiery ring around the dark disc of the moon. Solar eclipses occur several times a year, but most often they are partial eclipses where the Moon doesn’t quite line up with the Sun. And, when the Moon and Sun are perfectly aligned, the Moon is usually too far from Earth in its orbit to completely cover the Sun, creating an annular eclipse. During an annular or partial eclipse, the sky remains bright. Even on those rare occasions of a total eclipse, the Moon’s shadow is most likely to fall on the 70% of Earth that is covered by water, and few people, if any, will see it.

TODAY’S eclipse will be remarkable on a larger scale because the Moon is slowly moving away from Earth. If a furry ancestor of ours had bothered to look up during a solar eclipse a hundred million years ago, it wouldn’t have seen the fiery corona of the Sun. It would have just been dark. Eventually, the Moon will have moved too far from Earth to completely cover the disc of the Sun. It is only during our little wink of Earth’s history that the Moon is at just the right distance to cause a total solar eclipse yet not block the Sun’s corona. So today, on August 21, 2017,when the Moon exactly lines up with the Sun and the Moon is close enough to the Earth, its shadow will cross the U.S. and, if you happen to be in its narrow path, you will witness one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the universe. BUT - remember - you can’t look directly at the sun, so….

Don’t forget your (hopefully legit) protective eclipse glasses!

From the TED-Ed Lesson A rare, spectacular total eclipse of the sun - Andy Cohen

Animation by Bevan Lynch

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Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) 

American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Dust jacket front and back from Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie. The Poetry of Maya Angelou. New York: Random House, 1971.