Hopefully today finds many of you recuperating from your Thanksgiving feasts, and I certainly hope you were able to have just the sort of day you wanted to have.
I have to admit that one of the many things I am thankful for is a bit of a negative positive: I am glad that I retired from retail before so many companies decided stockholders' portfolios and profit margins were more important than the emotional and physical well being of the people who play such a large part in creating those profits. Of course I'm talking about retail employees being forced to work on Thanksgiving Day.
I occasionally read both sides of the debate that rages this time of year over this topic. A lot (but not all) of the opposing side's argument shows that they've never worked retail a day in their lives.
It's not my intention to wade into this argument. All I want to do is say that, if you don't like it, don't encourage these companies by shopping on Thanksgiving Day. If you're really up in arms about it, say so-- and I don't mean going into a store and bending the ear of some poor salesperson or cashier or even manager that you find. All those folks can do is follow company policy. (Ask me how I know.) Google the companies. Get the addresses of their corporate offices. Only those folks at the top can make the changes you want to see. Are you on Twitter and Facebook? So are those companies. Tell 'em what you think. Use hashtags. Work together with like-minded people. Be the change that you want to see.
Don't think it works? Pre-social media, I took part in making sure customers let my employers know that Christmas was not to be celebrated before Labor Day. And now with all the social media at our disposal? Have you heard what happened to Longmire? For so long, we Americans have been treated as though the only things of value that we possess are our bank accounts. Let's start working to change that.
Be the change that you want to see. And be very thankful if-- like me-- you live in a country where you can do these things without fear of reprisal.
Okay... someone help me off this soapbox before I fall and hurt myself! Time for some links!
Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits
- English soulmates die just ten minutes apart.
- I really like the look of the new "Normal Barbie." This one isn't under constant threat of falling on her face. I didn't have much use for Barbie when I was little... until her knees bent and she could sit astraddle a steed from my horse collection. Of course that meant that Barbie and all her friends and family were bow-legged. At least at my house.
- If I collected typewriters, I wouldn't mind owning the one that typed the screenplay to "Psycho." Who wouldn't want a Psycho Typewriter?
- It would appear that Amazon and Hachette have resolved their dispute.
- Do men read books written by females?
- Not to put too fine a point on it, but... if any of your villages are missing their idiots, I think I might know where they moved. And they all seem to hate Winnie the Pooh.
- Fantastic news from the Tucson Festival of Books: within the past five years, it's donated $1 million to local literacy programs!
- Two wonderful men who did the right thing when they really didn't have to.
- This World War I-themed Christmas ad is blowing up the internet. I can see why.
- A UK publisher is dropping the gender-labeling of books for children.
- How paperbacks helped the U.S. win World War II. (My review of this book will be up next Tuesday.)
- HarperCollins has signed on to provide exclusive book content for JetBlue's new inflight wi-fi program, Fly-Fi.
- What do you look for in an eReader?
- I love the reaction of the children in Fairfax, Virginia, to Little Free Libraries coming their way.
- I know what I'm going to be doing next June: Watching Jurassic World!
- Dictionary.com has chosen "exposure" as 2014 Word of the Year.
Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones
- This Cornell professor is a digital art detective. (Now why did I immediately think he'd make a good detective for a mystery series?)
- Who built this 1,300-year-old Siberian palace in the middle of a lake... and why?
- This stunning mosaic was just uncovered in Greece.
- A laser from a plane has discovered Roman goldmines in Spain.
- An electron beam has pointed to the origins of the Teotihuacan stone faces.
- Experts have found a gold necklace buried within the world's largest hoard of Celtic coins.
- An ancient settlement has been discovered off the Greek island of Delos.
- Sea organisms found on a shipwreck may be more valuable than the gold that's been recovered.
- An ancient Egyptian codex has finally been deciphered.
- A 3,500-year-old Bronze Age dagger, used as a doorstop for years, has been rescued and is now on display at the Norwich Castle Museum. (Why am I hearing John Wayne asking "Is this a dagger I see before me?"-- and why can't I ever have cool doorstops like that???)
- Remember the 1,280 artworks found by tax collectors in Munich after a German man had died? Evidently the Bern Art Museum in Switzerland is supposed to inherit them all.
- Our forgotten first president... and no, I'm not talking about George Washington.
- A 1,700-year-old cemetery on the legendary Silk Road contains mythical carvings.
- Archaeologists have discovered a female mummy buried wearing her jewelry.
- Did this sword really belong to Ivan the Terrible?
- A pressed flower links the Civil War, natural history, and "the blood of heroes."
- Recreating clothes from the Iron Age.
The Happy Wanderer
- 40 stunning places you should visit this winter-- unless you're like me, who's visited a few of them in winter and would much prefer to just look at photographs!
- Palawan, the most beautiful island in the world.
- The hidden antiques village of the Marais in Paris.
- Geologists have cracked the secrets of Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park.
I ♥ Lists
- The top ten words invented by writers.
- 12 authors with recognizable faces.
- 32 books guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.
- 20 of the greatest opening lines from our favorite Christmas and winter-themed books.
- Watch 9 children talk about why books are the best.
- How Thanksgiving dinner might go down for these 5 literary families.
- Hollywood's 25 most powerful authors. (Just click on the author's photo for more details about that person.)
That's all for now. Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Have a great weekend!