Friday, October 7, 2011

Odds & Ends

1. Today is Ada Lovelace Day. Remember, honor, and celebrate!

2. Declaring women's rights vital for world peace, the Nobel Committee awarded its annual Peace Prize on Friday to three indomitable campaigners against war and oppression -- a Yemeni and two Liberians, including that country's president. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa's first freely elected female head of state, shared the $1.5 million with compatriot Leymah Gbowee, who led a "sex strike" among her efforts against Liberia's civil war, and Arab activist Tawakul Karman, who hailed the award as a victory for democracy in Yemen. "We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society," Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland told reporters. [Read more of Reuters' report here.]

3. Liz Henry is here in Seattle for the weekend, and somehow, this afternoon, as we talked and talked and talked, I found myself opening a Facebook account today. You can visit me there at

4.I find the story about how when a bus driver ordered a woman with a crying baby off her bus, every single passenger left the bus in solidarity with her in protest, fascinating:
It's the story of two dozen passengers, more or less, a baby in a bad mood, and a bus that motored through its own terrible little Twilight Zone on the 16 miles from Beaverton to Forest Grove in the Portland suburbs.

The trip ended only when the bus came to a halt, the mother, Magdalena Rabadan, and baby were ordered off, passengers protested in her defense, the driver suggested they could leave, too, if they didn't like it, and everybody did.
I was especially taken by the added complication of the baby's mother not knowing much English. It made me wish I'd invented such a story for my own fiction. I'm sure that few readers would've found it "plausible," unless I'd also invented two dozen individual explanations for all those people inconveniencing themselves.

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