Just 5 More Things

because things come in groups

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Last week we said goodbye to Nicole and Cara, our awesome summer interns. But before she left, intern Nicole conducted a literary survey: She asked NPR staffers to share some of their favorite books from when they were kids that still speak to them as grown-ups. Here’s what they sent back:

Arts editor Tom Cole says his favorite book, “being the slightly melancholic person that I am,” is The Big Little Book of Happy Sadness by Colin Thompson: 

It’s about an orphaned boy who finds love and a sense of purpose in a three-legged dog at the shelter. The drawings are wonderful.

Lynette Clemetson says she absolutely loves Zen Shorts by Jon Muth:

It’s a story about three siblings and their individual interactions with a wise Panda named Stillwater. A general theme through the tales in the book is keeping things in perspective and letting go of things you cannot change. I find it particularly soothing during major transitions at work and in life, and I often read it to my children as much for my own benefit as for theirs.

Arts reporter Neda Ulaby says Frederick by Leo Lionni is “an early lesson about the value of creative capital.” The book is about a mouse named who, instead of collecting food and supplies to store away for the winter, collects rays of sun, the colors of the rainbow and words. 

Code Switch’s Shereen Meraji had a lot to learn from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery:

Anne (with an E) is a smart, outspoken orphan with a bit of a temper. I saw a lot of myself in her and she made me feel like it was just fine to be the quirky girl (now woman) I am. Whenever I’m at a crossroads in my adult life, I pick up Anne of Green Gables for a little inspiration. She reminds me that there ain’t nothin’ wrong with having an over-active imagination, speaking your mind and being a bit dramatic, in the process – despite what your bosses may say!

And finally (for today), fellow tumblrer Petra Mayer says the original Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs taught her"that as AWESOME as it is when hot dogs fall from the sky, it does kind of make a mess."

Stay tuned for more tomorrow! 

The Big Little Book of Happy Sadness is one of my top 10 most favorite books of all time. A sympathetic book agent gave me her only copy after I shed tears on her display copy at ALA annual one year. She also offered me her only chair.

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alternate names for black boys
by Danez Smith

1. smoke above the burning bush
2. archnemesis of summer night
3. first son of soil
4. coal awaiting spark & wind
5. guilty until proven dead
6. oil heavy starlight
7. monster until proven ghost
8. gone
9. phoenix who forgets to un-ash
10. going, going, gone
11. gods of shovels & black veils
12. what once passed for kindling
13. fireworks at dawn
14. brilliant, shadow hued coral
15. (I thought to leave this blank
but who am I to name us nothing?)
16. prayer who learned to bite & sprint
17. a mother’s joy & clutched breath

As the world watched the tumultuous events in Ferguson, Mo., over the last week, a new hashtag was born: #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. The meme was photographic: what images would the media use if I died? But the question, at its heart, was one of naming.

Kid or criminal? Victim or threat? Brother, son, friend — or thug? One of us, or other?

Danez Smith grapples with the power of naming, and the powerlessness of being named, in this poem. Poetry Magazine tweeted it out earlier today, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

— Camila

(via nprbooks)

(via nprbooks)

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I present, a microbiologist magical girl! Or a microbe magical girl, whichever you prefer i guess, with guest stars from Moyashimon Microbes!

This was a commission from a really cool MCB grad student, and i was more than happy to work on it because it combines so many many many of my favorite things :D I was basically given more or less free reign with some input on the science side of things, so cookies to people who see all the little references in the picture to microbiology and lab work :3 I may do a rework of this with generic microbes and not moyashimon ones to bring to otakon and awa as a print, but we’ll see in a week or two. 

I wanted to post this earlier but a giant headache basically pooped on the last 8 hours of my life v_v

Her staff is an inoculation loop. Too cute!

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Fun Fact: Hyperion is the world’s tallest living tree with a height of 115.61 meters (379.3 ft). Hyperion is the name of a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) in Northern Californian and was discovered in August 25, 2006 by naturalists: Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor.
Location: Redwoods, Redwood Creek inflow, California, USA
Height: 115.61 metres