Posted on February 9, 2018

#Let’sThinkAbout: Media Bias Chart

As you may recall, my blog theme for this year is #Let’sThinkAbout. (See the first post at http://lynnlovegreen.com/letsthinkabout-critical-thinking/.)

A friend recently shared this chart online, and I asked Vanessa Otero for permission to share it here. She spent time looking at all these sources and made her determinations based on the average quality of sources, bias, and interpretations of news. (Average in this case means most of the stories or articles would fall in that category. See her analysis for more definitions.) I highly recommend you read the whole explanation at http://www.allgeneralizationsarefalse.com but I’ll give you my suggestions below.

Media-Bias-Chart_Version 3.1_Standard_License-min

Look for the news sources you use most often. Avoid the ones in the orange and red rectangles! Do you need to read/view less biased or more factual sources to get the whole picture? Then look at the green and yellow rectangles to find more objective sources to add to your routine.

If we choose our news sources carefully, we’ll practice critical thinking and be closer to an accurate view of what’s really happening in our world. That’s worth thinking about…. 

Posted on February 2, 2018

Those period dramas!

I love PBS’s TV show Masterpiece. Whether it’s a classic book I know well or a story that’s new to me, I know there will be a brilliant script and great actors. But my favorites are the period dramas.

Like many of us, I was hooked on Downton Abbey and Poldark, and I’m now an avid Victoria fan. (See my Pinterest boards if you need proof.) I enjoy learning about the history in a painless way and gaining insight into people of the time. And the clothes! I confess the clothes are a huge part of why I love these shows.

You wouldn’t get me into a corset for a thousand dollars, but I can look at old-fashioned clothes for hours. I love to see the elegant dresses and other outfits. And some of the men’s waistcoats and cravats are just as nice. Silks and satins and velvets, oh my!  Maybe they had more style back then, or maybe it’s just fun to see it all now when we don’t have to wear it or wash it by hand. I’m glad the actors do it for our entertainment.

Check out pbs.org to get your fix or find out how to become a member and help pay for these shows. And maybe we’ll think of each other while we’re watching next Sunday night!

Photos courtesy of PBS

 

Downton Abbey source PBSPoldark source PBS

Posted on January 26, 2018

Earthquakes in Alaska

Tuesday’s 7.9 quake (on 1/23/18) got a lot of attention, so it’s a good time to talk about earthquakes in Alaska. Thanks to our position on the Pacific Rim, we have several faults and earthquakes are quite common here. Our biggest and most famous earthquake is the ’64 or Good Friday quake (on March 27, 1964), which registered 9.2 on the Richter scale and did a lot of damage in Southcentral and the Gulf of Alaska. (See my previous post at http://lynnlovegreen.com/the-1964-earthquake/.) It helped prove the theory of tectonics was correct, and we’ve become more sophisticated in our science concerning earthquakes since then.

Government agencies monitor earthquakes and provide information as needed, depending on the situation. The National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, AK was created as a result of the ’64 earthquake, and is currently under the National Weather Service. It is responsible for gathering information and issuing tsunami warnings for the U.S. and parts of Canada. The Alaska Earthquake Center at University of Alaska Fairbanks operates monitoring stations throughout the state, and provides information to the public. Unfortunately, its power was knocked out by heavy snow on power lines Tuesday, and they can’t afford a backup power system, so their response was delayed this time around, but they do have accurate information. The USGS (United States Geological Survey) Earthquakes Program researches earthquakes and has been developing an early warning system. More seismic stations and telecommunications are planned.  

In the case of Tuesday’s earthquake, tsunami alerts were sent based on the information the Center had at the time, and cancelled once they realized the strike-slip earthquake did not generate any tsunamis. Maybe it was valuable practice for a real emergency—now we are an idea of how the alerts and evacuations would go. Perhaps it’s good for us to get a bit shaken up (pun intended) if it makes us take the risks seriously and get prepared for The Big One. I have my emergency supplies ready—do you?

Static Earthquake Map via UAF

Static Earthquake Map via UAF

Thanks to the scientists who study these earthquakes and provide valuable information to keep us safe. Another example how how important science is in our lives—let’s support it!

Sources:

Alaska Earthquake Center https://earthquake.alaska.edu

Anchorage Daily News https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2018/01/23/8-0-earthquake-in-gulf-of-alaska-tsunami-alert-for-coast/

U.S.G.S. https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/

National Tsunami Warning System http://www.tsunami.gov/?page=history

Posted on January 19, 2018

Bob Bartlett and Alaska Statehood

This is a reprise of a 2016 post.

One of the main advocates of Alaska statehood was Edward Lewis “Bob” Bartlett. He represented Alaska through many years of statesmanship, and guided the statehood act through Congress, where it passed in 1958. We became the 49th state in January of 1959.

Bartlett’s father came to Alaska to work in the Klondike, and Bartlett was raised in Fairbanks. He returned to the territory after college, wrote for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, and married his wife Vide. The Bartletts helped run her family’s mine for a while but found their calling in politics. Bartlett was appointed secretary of Alaska in 1938 and started pushing for Alaska to become a state. He later became our delegate in Congress, then a Senator.

Throughout his time in public service, Bartlett always conducted himself with grace, and made allies which helped Alaska in many causes, including statehood. According to Sam Bisshop’s article run in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Aug. 13, 2003:

“He was of course responsible for statehood—there is no question about it in my mind,” said Fairbanks attorney Mary Nordale. It was Bartlett who finally reeled in House Speaker Sam Rayburn and Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, she said.

Many people in Alaska still have personal memories of Bartlett, and everyone I’ve heard speaks highly of him.

“He was just very interested in everybody. He had an enormous number of friends,” his daughter recalled.

I am proud to have gone to school at one of his namesakes, Bartlett High School in Anchorage.

Here’s my main source for this post and a good place to get more details about Bob Bartlett: University of Alaska’s UA Journey website:

https://www.alaska.edu/uajourney/notable-people/fairbanks/bob-bartlett/

Posted on January 12, 2018

#Let’sThinkAbout Critical Thinking

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I usually have a theme of the year that I discuss in some of my blog posts. I’ve spent some time lately thinking about what I want to explore in 2018. There’s certainly a lot going on out there, and several worthy ideas to pursue. Right now, I’m curious about critical thinking, how we learn to use it and how we find the truth when it’s not obvious. It keeps popping up in my writing, and in conversations with others. My husband came up with “fake fake news,” and while that’s good, it may sound kind of flippant in some situations. So I am using “Let’s think about….” or #Let’sThinkAbout for a theme title this year.

Depending on the post, we might think about critical thinking itself. Or we could discuss a resource to help us with our critical thinking. Or we might find an example of something that we can examine with critical thinking to arrive at a conclusion. Or I might find other related ideas—we’ll see where this goes over the course of the year. I’m hoping we’ll find interesting ways to think about this concept and play with it a bit.

To start us out, let’s consider critical thinking. The Cambridge English Dictionary defines it as “the process of thinking carefully about a subject or idea, without allowing feelings or opinions to affect you.” Oxford Living Dictionaries defines it as “The objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.” I notice both imply some sifting through information in an objective way to arrive at a conclusion. So I would expect we would need to gather information from more than one source, and try to look at things without letting our fears or other feelings get in the way. We’ll start with that, and use our critical thinking skills as we go forward into 2018.  Let’s think about it! 🙂

Posted on January 5, 2018

My Wishes for 2018

Like many of us, I’ve done some thinking lately about what I want to do in 2018, and what I want for all of us in the year ahead. 

 

Here are my wishes for 2018:

May we all give ourselves unconditional love and receive love from others as well.

May we all find joy in our lives this year, in everyday life and big events. 

May we all discover things we have in common with our neighbors far and near.

May we all achieve our dreams, or get a few steps closer than we were.

May we all work together to make the world a better place.

 

 

Portage Lake

 

Happy New Year! May 2018 be a wonderful year for you!!!

Posted on December 26, 2017

#FellowshipofWords Wrap Up: Book Lists

As you may know, I declared 2017 the #FellowshipofWords year and wrote several blog posts exploring how words and books can bring us together. One of the things I enjoyed most was finding books for this theme. Some of these have been mentioned in prior blog posts, and others I have come across throughout the year. The books, alphabetical by author, are from many different genres but all give insight into other people, or show how words can bring us together.

 

Books I’ve Read and Recommend:

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (autobiography)

Cowboys and East Indians by Nina McConigley

1984 by George Orwell

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Fellowship of the Ring series by J. R. R. Tolkien

 

Books on my To-Be-Read List: 

The Fire Next Time and Just Above My Head by James Baldwin 

Grant Park by Leonard Pitts, Jr. 

Louisiana Girls Trilogy by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Flashes of War by Katey Schultz

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance

I encourage you to pick one (or more) and either check it out at your library or support a local bookstore by buying a copy for yourself or a loved one. May the new year bring us closer to our fellow human beings!

Posted on December 15, 2017

Holiday Gingerbread Village

In Anchorage, Alaska, the Captain Cook Hotel displays a gingerbread village during the holidays. Chef Joe Hickel makes it from scratch every year, and it is an amazing thing to see. It’s part of our family’s holiday tradition; we used to take our daughter there before going to Grandma’s on Christmas Eve, and now that she’s grown and out of the house, my husband and I see it as part of our New Year’s Eve celebration. Here are a few photos from last year:

Captain Cook gingerbread 1Captain Cook gingerbread 2Captain Cook gingerbread 3Captain Cook gingerbread 4

Enjoy the holiday season, however you like to celebrate!

Posted on December 8, 2017

Winter Wonderland, Alaska

Alaska is beautiful all year long, but the winter provides great scenery. 

The low sunlight is lovely against the snow and blue sky.

And if you get up north, you have a good chance to see the Northern Lights in the dark sky, too!

 

Here are some shots I’ve taken this winter. Enjoy!

Winter 1, Lynn Lovegreen

Winter 2, Lynn LovegreenWinter 3, Lynn LovegreenWinter 4, Lynn Lovegreen

Posted on December 1, 2017

My NaNoWriMo 2017 Experience

As you may recall, I entered NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. (See my post from gearing up last month at http://lynnlovegreen.com/nanowrimo-2017/ .) Here’s how it worked out for me:

I wrote most days of the month and finished a rough draft of the third book in my WWII series, set in Fairbanks in 1945. I had fun with it, and completed the draft enough to know what happens and how my main characters end up. There are some places where I left blanks to fill in later, and I closed at 27,466 words. So I didn’t win, in the conventional sense, by getting to 50,000 words. But I met my own goal by finishing a first draft, so I’m satisfied.

For the teen group at the library, the teen librarian wrote thousands of words for his project, and we had three teens who attended throughout the month. They all came up with a concept and main characters and made some progress in their books. So they’re all awesome! And I had a blast writing with them. I hope they’ll come back for our regular teen writing club, and we’ll continue to play around with writing together. That would be wonderful!

Wishing you good reading and writing,

Lynn