Libraries

EB_White_and_his_dog_Minnie

E.B. White in Maine with his dog, Minnie

 

I’m featuring E.B. White again this week. Known to 20th century readers of the New Yorker magazine, he is best known for his three beloved, classic children’s books: Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, and The Trumpet of the Swan. He also co-authored  a classic book for writers, The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White.

In case you need some peace and quiet in the midst of your summer, here is another of White’s quotes:

“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company in sad times and happy times, for books are people —people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”

Pioneers Develop Jewelry to Stop Rapists

 

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Pandora Beads Silver Bracelet courtesy Wikimedia Commons

 

How well do tools like rape whistles and pepper spray actually help prevent sexual assault? If you look at the statistics — like how nearly one in five women and one in 71 men have reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention — you might not think so much.

 

 

Recent Harvard Business School graduates Quinn Fitzgerald and Sara de Zarraga are co-founders of Flare Jewelry, an early stage startup that’s developing technologically enhanced jewelry meant to help prevent sexual assault. They plan to make a product that will leave antiquated and ineffective tools in the dust and also empower women without making them compromise their personal styles, reports Harvard Business School staff writer Olivia Vanni.

“We asked each other, ‘what problems do we really care about?’ and sexual assault became an apparent answer,” de Zarraga told us of Flare Jewelry founding. Working with survivors, the Flare Jewelry team was able to zero in on specific features that would best serve people in compromising situations.

“It will be a modular piece that can be put in bracelets or necklaces,” Fitzgerald shared. It is meant to be discreet so it doesn’t impact the look of a piece of jewelry. “The modular component keeps it versatile and discreet, so no two styles look alike,” de Zagarra said.

Flare Jewelry is first designed with college-aged women and young professionals in mind. However, the duo sees other potential user demographics—people with disabilities, children, travelers, and grandparents. They also anticipate parents and partners of target users to purchase safety-equipped jewelry for their loved ones.

Flare Jewelry intends to take a socially conscious approach while handling it’s revenue. “We want to create a culture against sexual assault, so we’re donating part of our proceeds to fund education prevention programs. We want to be part of the solution every way we can be.”

Harvard Business School staff writer Olivia Vanni

http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2016/07/19/flare-jewelry-harvard-ilab-startup-preventing-sexual-assault/

World War II and The Shanghai American School

U.Mich Peony Garden

Mysterious Builder of Seattle Landmarks at the University of Michigan Peony Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Mike and I traveled  to the impressive University of Michigan in early May to join a reunion of the Shanghai American School (SAS) —  part of the conference, “China Between Two Worlds.”

Hans Pederson died when I was one month old. My mother remarried when I was two. We left Seattle, and so the mystery of the noted builder who was my father grew for the next 70 years. My new “Dad” took us to China where he was an agent for the Standard Oil Company.  As well as Seattle history, the “Mysterious Builder” describes my Far Eastern early childhood in Shanghai, Honolulu, and Manila, along with Dad’s attempts to do business there during the turmoil of the pre and post-war World War II years.

The Michigan conference described “China Between Two Worlds” partly through the memories and photographs of American expatriate families —the missionaries, doctors, and businessmen in China between 1927 and 1949; years that bridged the Chiang Kai Sheck and  Mao Tse Tung regimes withWorld War II in between.  We, the children of these families, had all lived in China. We had lived those photos. We had felt that sense of straddling two cultures.

Such freedom we had. Missionaries upcountry had put their children on the train for Shanghai to board at the Shanghai American School sometimes at the tender age of nine. My husband, a day student at seven, roamed freely around Shanghai with his older brother, jumping over sampans on the Whangpo River. I, however, a five-year old girl, stayed with my amah. Conscious of her bound feet, I never ran away from her, because she never could have caught me.

Most business families were evacuated from Shanghai as we were in 1939, and most expatriates as well by the time the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on  December 7, 1941. The Shanghai American School closed from 1941 to 1946. It was another story for the missionary families in smaller cities upcountry. Some of them were interred in Japanese Prison Camps.

Japanese cruelty towards the Chinese was legendary. Brutality, in fact, was a part of Japanese military training. But one or two people at our reunion had filtered out the cruelty and remembered basically happy childhoods in prison camp, even though they were always hungry.

European and American prisoners organized their camps into rotating teams with specific jobs. With plenty of teachers around, the children had good schooling. They fielded sports teams and put on plays. They always invited their captors to sit in the front row. A few western camps run by Japanese consular officials, were seemingly able to maintain discipline without excessive cruelty.

And so we learned, sometimes there is light within the darkness.

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