Friday Open Thread ~ "What are you reading?" edition ~ Literature and the Environment


As an over 65 resident of Jefferson County, I have the perk of being able take courses at University of Louisville .... for free. I do have the expense of having to purchase any required books. But there is no pressure to perform, beyond participating as fully as I can out of respect to the professor and tuition paying fellow students, and taking only one class allows me the luxury of time.

My next challenge will be LITERATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT. This distance learning class allows me to avoid crowded indoor rooms during Covid-19 times.


The texts for my latest class have arrived. I look forward to learning from them and writing about them.

Friday Open Thread ~ "What are you listening to?" edition ~ Krystal and Kyle


Krystal Kyle & Friend‪s‬

Krystal Ball, cohost of Rising on Hill TV, and Kyle Kulinski, host of Secular Talk, dive into politics, philosophy and random BS with people they like.


Introduction to Krystal Kyle and Friends

Friday Open Thread ~ "What are you reading?" edition ~ Terry Tempest Williams


Terry Tempest Williams has been called "a citizen writer" — one who speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. She has worked as the Naturalist-in-Residence at the Utah Museum of Natural History and remains a passionate advocate for the preservation of the American Western wilderness. In her essays and books, she shows us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice.

Williams, like her writing, cannot be categorized. She has served time in jail for acts of civil disobedience, testified before Congress on women's health issues, been a guest at the White House, has camped in the remote regions of Utah and Alaska wildernesses, and worked as "a barefoot artist" in Rwanda.

In 2006, Ms. Williams received the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, their highest honor given to an American citizen. She also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association and the Wallace Stegner Award given by The Center for the American West. She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in creative nonfiction. Utne Reader called her "a person who could change your life."

The Annie Clark Tanner Scholar in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah, she has published in the New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion Magazine, and numerous anthologies worldwide as a crucial voice for ecological consciousness and social change. In 2009, she was featured in Ken Burns' PBS series on the national parks. She divides her time between Castle Valley, Utah, and Moose, Wyoming.

Friday Open Thread ~ "What are you reading?" edition ~ POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT


Police Accountability Report, hosted by Taya Graham and Stephen Janis, is a weekly show that seeks to expose and hold to account one of the most powerful institutions in this country—the police.

The show shines a critical light on all facets of American policing, exploring the systemic and political imperatives that put law enforcement at odds with the communities they purport to serve.

Friday Open Thread ~ "Movie Music" edition ~ The Man With No Name


The Man with No Name (Italian: Uomo senza nome) is
the antihero character portrayed by Clint Eastwood in
Sergio Leone's "Dollars Trilogy" of Spaghetti Western
films: A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More
(1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). He is
recognizable by his poncho, brown hat, tan cowboy boots,
fondness for cigarillos, and the fact that he rarely talks.

While the character is universally known as "the Man with
No Name", he was called "Joe" by another character, and
listed in the credits as such, in the first film, and given
nicknames by other characters in the other two such as
"Blondie."Despite this, he never refers to himself with
any moniker, and, when asked for a name in the third
film, is reluctant to answer as the question is dismissed.

When Clint Eastwood was honored with the American
Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996, Jim
Carrey gave the introductory speech and said: "'The Man
with No Name' had no name, so we could fill in our
own."In 2008, Empire chose the Man with No Name as
the 43rd greatest movie character of all time.

Friday Open Thread ~ "What are your reading?" edition ~ Kent Nerburn


Kent Nerburn

  • Author of spiritual stories and essays
  • Educator involved in Native American issues
  • A sculptor who now crafts books
  • Featured in The Practicing Democracy Project

Kent Nerburn is an author, sculptor, and educator who has been deeply involved in Native American issues and education. He developed and directed an award-winning oral history project on the Red Lake Ojibwe reservation in Northern Minnesota. In addition to being a program evaluator for the Minnesota Humanities Commission and serving on their selection board, he has served as a consultant in curriculum development for the American Indian Institute in Norman, Oklahoma, and has been a presenter before various groups, including the National Indian Education Association, and the President's blue ribbon panel on Indian Education.

Nerburn has served as project director for two books of oral history — To Walk the Red Road and We Choose to Remember. He has also edited three highly acclaimed books on Native American subjects: Native American Wisdom, The Wisdom of the Great Chiefs, and The Soul of An Indian. He is the author of a series of sterling books of essays and personal stories that reveal the deep meaning to be found in family, art, nature, and everyday spirituality.

Kent Nerburn holds a Ph.D. in both Theology and Art, and lives with his family in northern Minnesota.

Friday Open Thread ~ "What are you listening to?" edition ~ American Coyote


… what it’s like to be America’s wildest coyote.

Coyotes are “people smugglers” who help immigrants like these cross the border from Mexico to the United States. (These immigrants are crossing the Rio Grande beneath the International Bridge, leaving Matamoros, Mexico, and entering Brownsville, Texas.)
Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic

Journalism Becomes Art

Brigham Young meets Breaking Bad

Between 1987 and 2001, one American crossed over 1000 migrants from Mexico into the United States, using a variety of wild, comical and harrowing schemes to outwit authorities on both sides of the border. This is the story of a legendary man and unlikely hero, Elden Kidd, who supported his family of five as a Coyoté and gave countless others a chance at a better life.

Friday Open Thread ~ "What are you reading?" edition ~ Jarvis Jay Masters


“We all live in a prison, and we all hold the key,” Chagdud Tulku wrote. More patronizing bullshit, Jarvis thought. You do not live in prison. I live in prison. You may have a key, but the keys to my cell are hanging off my jailers’ belts."

“Meditation is hardest when we're most afraid, because it forces us to face our fears when all we want to do is run from them. But it's the only way out of our misery."

Friday Open Thread ~ "What are you reading?" edition ~ Will Campbell


Rev. Campbell was reportedly the only white person present at the founding in 1957 of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights organization then led by Martin Luther King Jr. and other major figures in the movement. Initially, some of the black organizers argued against admitting him.

“Let this man in,” said Bayard Rustin, one of the leaders, according to an account published in the Nashville Tennessean. “We need him.”

When King was assassinated in 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Rev. Campbell rushed to the scene. Photos captured by a photographer for Life magazine show him standing, weary and seemingly dumbstruck, on the hotel balcony and grieving with the black leaders left to carry on.

Later, Rev. Campbell drew criticism from some in the civil rights movement when he visited James Earl Ray, King’s assassin, in prison, and when he ministered to a Ku Klux Klan grand dragon in jail.

Friday Open Thread ~ "What are you reading?" edition ~ THE SUN


⬛ An interview with Charles Raison on new treatments for depression
⬛ A short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer
⬛ Essays by Stephanie Austin, Hank Stephenson, and Steve Edwards
⬛ Poems by Kenneth Hart and Molly Bashaw
⬛ A photo essay on “Salt of the Earth
⬛ Readers Write on “Consequences

And more . . .

Gloria Baker Feinstein took this month's cover image in Hood River, Oregon, while Feinstein was hiking what locals call the Whoopsie Daisy Trail.