Hillary: The Coloring Book

Yep, Hillary Clinton is running for the Democratic nomination to be candidate for President of the United States. I’m in New York so I had her as a first lady, then a senator, then primary candidate, then Secretary of State, and now this. For as polarizing as a public figure as Clinton may be on the national and international stage, you can turn that dial up to 11 in New York State. Maybe it’s different down in the city, but upstate where I am, she’s loved, she’s hated, she’s put up, even people that love her have hang ups with her, and oddly, even people that hate her, no, they pretty much just hate her. Yet all of those people can unite behind one thing, “Hillary: The Coloring Book” by Valentin Ramon and Kelly Glover.

This is a fun activity/coloring book that profiles Hillary Clinton’s life and career. It starts with her birth and childhood. Yes, you can color a little Hillary Clinton in her Girl Scout uniform. The book was published before everyone 100% knew she was going to make a go of running for President again so it ends with you helping to design her potential 2016 campaign poster. An example of what you’ll do is this:

A Run at the White House

I have a limited supply of colors to draw from so my choices for skin tone were alabaster vampire or a weird orange/George Hamilton hybrid. I opted for vampire. Insert vampire politician joke here. Also, in looking at the choices I made for the jacket and blouse for what we all know is a pant suit, I realized I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Clinton in that soft of tones. We’ll call this my idealized Hillary. To be honest, my idealized Hillary is Bernie Sanders. And my idealized Bernie Sanders is Dennis Kucinich. I’m going to be one sad young lady on November 5, 2016. Where the hell was I?

Ah ha! The text that goes with my idealized Clinton coloring is:

As early as 2002, Hillary had hinted that she might soon run for president. Speculation grew over the years and came to a head on January 20, 2007, when Hillary formed an “exploratory committee.” She made the announcement in no uncertain terms on her official website with the simple statement, “I’m in. And I’m in to win.” Her story was irresistible; Hillary was the 25th woman to run for president and the first former First Lady make a run at returning to the White House as the president herself.

She received more media attention than any other candidate in the 2008 Democratic primaries, which included a host of male candidates, including Barack Obama, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, and Bill Richardson. As the primary election went on, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, a young senator from Illinois, quickly became the clear front-runners, with many of the other candidates withdrawing within the first few weeks.

“Hillary” is a fun, kitschy, and informative and perfectly priced at a suggested retail of $10.00. Give it to a big Hillary fan for them to have fun with. Give it to children, especially girls, as an educational gift. Give it to your favorite Hillary hater for them to deface! I told you at the beginning, “Hillary: The Coloring Book” is perfect for everyone!

Star Magic

Sandra Kynes is a magical woman of many interests as her book catalog reflects. She’s the author of “Your Altar”, “Sea Magic”, “Whispers from the Woods”, and “Change at Hand” to name a few. Now Kynes has written into new territory again with “Star Magic: The Wisdom of the Constellations for Pagans & Wiccans”.

She starts with some historical background about astronomy and astrology, getting started with stargazing, and using star energy for magic and ritual. Using star energy for magic was inspired. Somehow for all the books I’ve read on using nature energies, until “Star Magic” I had never encountered a book suggesting using star energies. The moon? All the time. The stars? Not until now. She discusses using the stars for astral travel, dream work, and ritual.

From there it becomes an incredible reference guide. To make it helpful to Pagans the chapters are divided seasonally. It focuses on the northern hemisphere, but she makes sure to flip it around for the southern for some of the southern hemisphere constellations that we catch up north as well. What do you get once looking at a single entry? A whole lot.

Obviously there is the name of the constellation, along with a pronunciation. To help you locate it she provides visible latitudes (In Appendix A Kynes explains latitude and how you can find yours.), a description of the constellation, what constellations border it, and some good ol’ directions on how to find it in the sky. From there Kynes fills you in on history and folklore involving the constellation and also a few of the prominent stars within the constellation. If that’s not enough for you, and it’s not because we were promised some magic, you’re given magical interpretations and uses for the constellation.

In the appendices Kynes has an interesting section about the fixed stars of medieval magic. She discusses how we take for granted that now we know the difference between a planet and a star in the sky. More importantly, Kynes covers in detail Agrippa’s fifteen powerful stars which throughout time have been used medicinally, magically, and for astrology.

Sandra Kynes has done it again! “Star Magic” is a wonderful reference that is accessible to anyone. It would certainly be a welcome addition on not only any Pagan or Wiccan’s bookshelf, but in any magic user or astrologer’s collection too.

CONTEST SURPRISE!

Did you know that Sandra Kynes wrote just as detailed of a resource about essential oils? Oh yes she did! “Mixing Essential Oils for Magic: Aromatic Alchemy for Personal Blends”.

Choose the best essential oils for your creative and magical mixing with this straightforward, hands-on guide. Through step-by-step instruction on how to measure, mix, and assess blends, you’ll move beyond following others’ recipes and into creating your own oil combinations.

“Mixing Essential Oils for Magic” offers everything you need to understand not only how to blend but also why specific blends work together. Learn how to mix oils by botanical family, scent group, and perfume note. Discover an encyclopedic listing of essential and carrier oil profiles, as well as thorough cross-references for the oils and their magical associations. With guidance on the historical and present-day uses of essential oils, you’ll make personal blending an integral part of your spiritual and magical practices.

Guess who has a copy to give away? Yup. May I direct your attention to the Rafflecopter entry form below?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Geek Month in Review: May 2015

By JB Sanders

May flowers!

We Are Truly in the Future
Let Pancake Bot draw whatever shape you want your pancakes in, then cook them for you.

What Do Tree Rings Sounds Like?
Oddly ethereal. See scientists take tree rings and treat them like they’re special long-playing vinyl.

The Forgotten Pyramids of Meroe
Along the Nile, in the Sudan, there are some 200 pyramids left — not by the Egyptians — but by the Meroitic Kingdom. They’re not as big but they are very cool looking. In fact, I suspect some of the artists drawing tombs in various fantasy games over the years saw these.

Cube inside a Cube inside a Cube
Which is not not the remarkable part — no, because any idiot with a 3D printer and the right file can make one of those. This guy did it with a block of aluminum, some hot glue, and a lathe. Not a CNC reduction machine. No! An honest-to-Pete lathe — spinning in circles, crank-controlled, and computer-free.

Artificial Lava
Want to experiment with lava flows, but live in upstate New York? Melt some basalt and make your own!

The Quiet Zone
Imagine a place with no cell phones, no radio broadcasts, not even any microwave ovens (unless they’re in a Faraday cage). That place is the Quiet Zone, an area of 13,000 square miles that is forbidden by law from having any radio interference.

3D Interactive Map of the Universe
Yup, time to break out your holoprojectors. It’s a full 3D map of the known universe and you can monkey around with the view.

Hyperloop Test Track in the Works
The Hyperloop is a train, set in a near-vacuum tube, which — if the theory proves correct — could travel faster than an airplane. Yes, Elon Musk, super-villain in training (or a hero using the villain playbook, which one is unclear) is making another of his wacky ideas a reality. Giant pneumatic tubes could some day criss-cross the country, or even under the oceans. If you’re wondering why anyone would want to use or build something like that, let’s lay down the travel times: Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes. Yeah. Anyway, they’re actually building a test track now.

How to Make Stackable Edible LEGOs
Want to build amazing structures or spaceships (spaceships!)? LEGOs. Want to be able to eat them after the inevitable fiery comet of doom? Look no farther.

Micro-Living Pod
It’s a super-tiny house that can accommodate up to 2 people, runs off wind and solar, and even collects its own rain water in a cistern below the living space. Looks like a futuristic egg, but the interior is actually kinda cool. Coming in 2016.

Wait, the thing has its own website:

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog:http://www.glenandtyler.com/

Happiness A-Z

We all know that a book can’t guarantee happiness, however Louise Baxter Harmon’s new book “Happiness A-Z: The Gleeful Guide to Finding and Following Your Bliss” does a great job reminding you of reasons to be happy.

Just as the title implies, “Happiness A-Z” is comprised of alphabetical chapters and each letter begins a word associated with happiness. For example “B” is represented with the chapter “Bliss” and “O” is “Open-Minded”. Then the chapter begins with an introduction by the author about why the word is significant with happiness, what it means to her, and other associations. What follows after that is a great variety of quotes from different sources that play off that theme to inspire. Not to get picky, but “R” doesn’t stand for Rebecca OR rum, so I’m not entirely sure we can call this a “definitive” list. For those of you playing along at home, “R” is represented with “Relax”. Relax? Without rum? I suppose anything is possible.

I was given permission to excerpt a portion of the book that I enjoyed. I choose the introduction to “Joy”. The amusing part is that a large portion of her intro features some writing by Mark Nepo (who you may remember was featured on the site back in 2013). So this is kind of an excerpt, featuring an excerpt. I just loved Harmon’s description of joy and then the Nepo just sealed the deal.

Joy: This Lovely Lightness of Being

Joy is an emotion that bubbles up inside you, an irresistible sensation of happiness that comes upon you unawares. When you hear people talk about this blissful experience, they frequently speak of being filled with joy. I really love the idea of us all being vessels for this feeling of felicity. May our cups runneth over with this lovely lightness of being. Mark Nepo, who happens to be Oprah Winfrey’s favorite inspirational writer, has a unique perspective on joy that is utterly fascinating:

Often, what keeps us from joy is the menacing assumption that life is happening other than where we are. So we are always leaving, running from or running to.
What keeps us from joy, then, is often not being where we are and not valuing what is before us.
While happiness is a fleeting mood, joy is larger and more lasting than any one feeling. If each feeling is a wave of emotion, then joy is the ocean that holds all feelings.

40 Years of Inner Traditions

June is a pretty exciting month. For starters 11 different friends have birthdays this month, there’s Father’s Day, and there is my wedding anniversary. So one thing I’m telling you is that I am totally broke at the end of June, but also that there is a lot of stuff happening in June for me. However, there is a reason that you should be excited that it’s June, and that is because June 2015 marks 40 years of independent publishing for Inner Traditions!

Inner Traditions is a wonderful company that was one of the first to offer The Magical Buffet review copies. Obviously, that makes them tops in my book! It could also be their founder, Ehud Sperling’s, commitment to preserving and discovering new age and spiritual traditions of the world that date back to his days as an employee at the bookstore Samuel Weiser’s Inc. in 1970. Their books are published using sustainable forestry that is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The company generates power from solar panels on the roof of its office and its solar farm, both in Vermont. Lastly, Inner Traditions supports and administers the Hacienda Rio Coté. The project has acquired land in Costa Rica adjacent to the Rio Coté National Forest along the Rio Coté, which flows from Lake Coté, once an active volcano. They planted more than 56 different species of trees to help restore the watershed and reforest the farms that were acquired for this project. What I’m saying is, they’re definitely one of the good guys.

Inner Traditions in Vermont

They are so good that when I emailed them and told them that I was going to be doing a giveaway to celebrate their 40th anniversary they sent me some of the nicest tote bags I have ever seen. Seriously, so nice. I don’t want to be shown up though, so I have pulled from my own library 10 different books that have been published by Inner Traditions (or one of their imprints) to give away!

Let’s lay it all out here. To celebrate Inner Traditions’ 40th anniversary I went through my personal library and pulled 10 different books that have been published by Inner Traditions (or one of their imprints) to give away to ONE winner along with a super snazzy Inner Traditions tote bag, which you will need to haul ALL of these books around! What books? Here we go:

“Shamanic Awakening: My Journey Between the Dark and the Daylight” by Sandra Corcoran

“The Heart-Mind Matrix: How the Heart Can Teach the Mind New Ways to Think” by Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Spiritual Growth with Entheogens: Psychoactive Sacramentals and Human Transformation” edited by Thomas B. Roberts

“Mysteries of the Ancient Past: A Graham Hancock Reader” edited by Glenn Kreisberg

“The Sense of Being Stared At: And Other Unexplained Powers of Human Minds” by Rupert Sheldrake

“Discover Your Soul Template: 14 Steps for Awakening Integrated Intelligence” by Marcus T. Anthony, Ph.D.

“The Akashic Experience: Science and the Cosmic Memory Field” edited by Ervin Laszlo

“Energy Medicine Technologies: Ozone Healing, Microcrystals, Frequency Therapy, and the Future of Health” edited by Finley Eversole, Ph.D.

“The Temples of Light: An Initiatory Journey into the Heart Teachings of the Egyptian Mystery Schools” (comes with a guided meditation cd!) by Danielle Rama Hoffman

“Entering the Mind of the Tracker: Native Practices for Developing Intuitive Consciousness and Discovering Hidden Nature” by Tamarack Song

And you’ll also win……

The kick ass Inner Tradition tote bag.

But wait! Inner Traditions was cool and sent more than one sweet tote bag so there is going to be a second winner who will win….

An Inner Traditions tote bag. Haven’t you been paying attention?

Due to what I can only assume will be hernia inducing shipping costs, this contest is only open to residents of the United States. Sorry. Next contest will be wide open again, promise. Contest is open to individuals 18 years of age and older. Contest runs 06/06/15 and end at midnight on 06/13/15.

We’re going Rafflecopter again for this contest, so if I may direct your attention to the Rafflecopter box below to get you started on entering. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway