February 25, 2015

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Stories From the Streets of Nashville

A 5 year-old kid wandered in our office today. By himself. Saying he was hungry. We fed him from all the things we had brought for our own lunches.

Our office is in the projects off Lafayette and yesterday I took a woman grocery shopping. She had fifteen dollars to spend for the next 7 days.

The only “grocery store” w/in walking distance is a disgrace. It had a foul smell, very little fresh food, poor selection and the prices were outrageous. The measly amount of food she was able to purchase made me really, really angry.

Please. Let us make a better kind of city. Forgo Starbucks for a month and let’s help feed our neighbors and demand a reduction in food deserts.

1 in 5 Metro students goes to bed hungry. This is not acceptable.

The anger, the heartbreak, the seeming endless line of hurting people…this is why this work is so hard for me. And then I think how hard it must be to live that. Year after year.

Surely we can do better.

Even without money or status, we can at least keep our eyes, ears, hearts and hands open. We can fight to keep each other fully human.

I remain convinced, that the most powerful act you can do with your time is to regard another person wholly in their wretchedness, to wince when they get a kick in the kidneys, to brighten when there is cause to celebrate, be a critic without being critical, hold eye contact and be present.

These are not convenient things. This is a conscious redirection to the moment, time, location, climate and to the conversation you’re in–even when the words hide from you. And it requires a vigilant self-analysis — without a retreat from the world or into excess. Being human to other humans seems simple enough.

But.

I am frequently terrible about it. And so are you.

Yet.

Refusing to try again is its own kind of death.

I want to live it all. Don’t you?

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February 25, 2015

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This Guy Paints Random Characters Into Old Thrift Store Paintings

Originally posted on TwistedSifter:

David Irvine is the talented artist behind the Gnarled Branch. The self-professed illustrator and crafter is known for his whimsical furniture, his Gothic sculptures and what he describes as ‘Re-Directed Paintings’.

Featured below is his ongoing series of re-directed paintings where Irvine finds old and/or discarded thrift store paintings and revives them by adding a recognizable character or two. The artist sells the paintings along with prints of the pieces on Etsy, Society 6 and Red Bubble.

The artist is also always available for commissions and you can see much more of his artwork on his Facebook page. To keep up with the latest, be sure to check out David at the online links below.

DAVID IRVINE / THE GNARLED BRANCH
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Etsy | Prints | More prints

1.

adding characters to thrift store paintings by david irvine gnarled branch (32)

Artwork by DAVID IRVINE / THE GNARLED BRANCH
Website |

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February 13, 2015

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Beckyonce: Single Loser

Is this ok Kanye?

star trek mind blown

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February 9, 2015

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Raised Online – Self-Efficacy in the 5th Grade

This is not a post about the evils of children being online too much, or how dangerous it can be or even a post lamenting shorter attention spans and a lack of real-world adventure. This is a post about how my oldest son Riley has benefited from the internet in ways that were unthinkable when I was growing up in the 1970’s.

Of course there are the easy advantages, like a global reach, instant research and limitless data. But, I’m seeing a whole other set of rewards that may not be evident on the surface. An eleven year old kid can discover their own voice, find their natural constituencies and realize self-efficacy — boosting psychological sturdiness in a fairly radical way.

Just a week ago, he found out that his two best friends were going to a Star Wars camp together in June. One of them is coming down from Maine (where he moved last year) specifically for the camp. Riley asked to go. It was SEVEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS for one week of camp. My reaction was similar to this:

horrified brave gif

I had to tell him no. In fact, I thought he ought to know you can buy a car with $725. A crappy car, but still a car. The look on his face broke my heart though. He asked me if he could do a Kickstarter. I explained a bit more about how it worked and that it wasn’t a good fit for a campaign. I suggested he take a look at Go Fund Me. He said he’d go research it. He came back an hour and said, “Mom, I’m Live. Can you start tweeting my link out now?”

I couldn’t believe he had set the whole thing up on his own. This was on a Monday evening. By Wednesday at noon, he had raised $800.

rugrats

Of course, elation was all around and we felt very loved and blown away. Now he doesn’t have to be the son of poor parents who cannot afford to send him to summer camp. He can be the kid that raised $800 from family and friends and strangers in less than 36 hours.

Riley was stunned and humbled. If you know my son, you know that I (nor likely anyone else) have never described him as humble. He is many things, but modest isn’t one of them.

Of course there are lots of good lessons in there for a young boy…ask for what you want, find a way to make it happen, problem solve around obstacles, be gracious, etc. He has learned these things intuitively…and not from us, his school or his friends. Without hesitation, he knows he can use words, creativity and the Internet to create solutions where there were none. How cool is that.

I started to notice the impact of the Internet on his development when he began his blog almost two years ago. He picked his areas of interest (Star Wars, origami, Doctor Who, Minecraft and his own character DumCheese) and now he has over 150 followers. He found his audience. They found him. He has an identity online (and a YouTube channel) that is entirely his own.

I have often wondered how differently my life would have turned out had there been a direct outlet to the world. It took me well into by twenties (ok, maybe thirties) before I found “my voice.” It was college before I really found my tribe. And the agency to seek a fix to a problem with the confidence that I could actually solve them? I’m not sure I have that in my forties!

The Internet gave him himself early in life. He is assured in the idea that he can say who he is, what he likes and that other people will accept him as he is and hear him out. This isn’t something I remember feeling until I was an adult. I wonder what this will mean for him in the future. My guess is that he will likely be a millionaire before he graduates high school. This will not displease me.

sherlock

Yes, you should monitor your kids online. Yes, be cautious about personal information and do lots of talking about dangerous people and how they operate. But for goodness sake, don’t say no too quickly to your kid’s ideas for how to express him or herself digitally. Keep the conversation going as your kid ventures out. There will need to be more talks about trolls, chats, spamming, appropriate online etiquette, etc. All of this is now part of education. I have no doubt that the blog (and now this successful crowdfunding effort) has given Riley a distinctiveness that he has defined, that has been redefined by how he interacts with his community online.

It is scary to unleash your child onto the internet. Just don’t let your fear keep your kid from bravely navigating this new world. It really can become an excellent teacher for lessons that are extremely difficult to teach.

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February 6, 2015

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Tweet of the Week: Vaccinate Your Damn Kids Edition

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February 6, 2015

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Help Me Raise Money Cheeses!

Kristen Chapman Gibbons:

I am very proud of my son Riley. We found out Monday morning from his best friend, that their other best friend (who moved to Maine last summer) was coming to Nashville for one week in June. The problem is…the one week he will be here, the two friends will be attending Star Wars camp at Camp Widjiwagan. I told my son I would check into it. I did and the cost was $725.

I’ve been unemployed and freelancing for almost seven months and just recently started a job. There was no way I could come up with that kind of money. So, Riley and I started brainstorming solutions. We came up with a Go Fund Me campaign. He created it Monday night — attempting to raise $800, that would also cover supplies, as he’s never been to camp before.

I am thrilled to report that as of yesterday afternoon, he has met his goal! With the generous support of family, friends and strangers…he is going to camp with his besties. How awesome is that!

Originally posted on Rileys Backpack:

I know no one is going to get the Cheesy amount, but I can try!

All the info is on this website

Link To Fundraiser

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January 29, 2015

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Can’t go out to the pub? How about bringing the pub to you! THE INFLATABLE PUB

Kristen Chapman Gibbons:

Leave it to the Irish.

Originally posted on #LoveBelfast:

inflatable_pub

Can’t go out to the pub?  How about bringing the pub to you!  This inflatable pub has room for a full bar and can be put up on any level surface.

Measurements are 33ft Length, 16ft Width and 18ft Height. Its the First of its kind in the whole of Ireland. Hire price is £300 a night and comes with lights and heaters.

gfdhgfhjtfh

With excellent attention to detail, this pub includes an artistic tiled roof, brick stone wall, two chimney pots and even a welcoming fire place feature. Ideal for private parties or even large events, this pub will hold up to 60 persons.

It’s the closest thing to relaxing in a real country pub in the middle of a field! Just no dart board!

 It’s also available for sale.  Visit website

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Inflatable pub

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January 27, 2015

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Tunes for Tuesday: Björk’s Stonemilker

Kristen Chapman Gibbons:

She is a Goddess. I will accept no other point of view.

Originally posted on Anibundel: Pop Culturess:

Björk released Vulnicura last week to rave reviews. A break up album from a relationship ten years in the collapsing, the opening track “Stonermilker” (11 months before) is a haunting opening to the slow demise of the safety of a known world.

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January 27, 2015

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Creating a Space Where There Was None

Tenx9 Nashville hosts monthly storytelling events in Nashville and around the world. I am deeply honored to be a part of this community of people. Our motto is an Irish saying, “It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” The joy, insight and beauty of true stories leaves my heart larger […]

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January 2, 2015

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19 Reasons You Should Hire Me

The cover letter/resume combo pack is a tedious relic, providing only the factual framework of a person’s accomplishments and features. Of course, most of the time, this is no indication of whether or not the person will be a good fit for your team. Some of this “fit” is really about identifiable characteristics like “outgoing” […]

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November 7, 2014

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Your Brain Said It Was Ok To Stretch It

I spoke with your brain privately, and one message was unmistakable: Feed Your Noggin. Hacks for Start-ups: https://twitter.com/GrowthHackers/status/530512536974921728?s=09 Help with navigating grammar: https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/530443200834830336?s=09 Go to college or graduate school…for free: https://twitter.com/Awkward_Duck/status/530432044388872193?s=09 And if knowledge fails, at least smell good. https://twitter.com/DangerMindsBlog/status/530442397004886016?s=09

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October 20, 2014

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Strategy. Story. Social.

What Matters: Doing Digital Right Telling a good story Sharing it smartly Retelling it interestingly Resharing it differently Recognizing the audience you have Getting them to be ambassadors Growing your audience Deepening online connections Finding natural allies Collaborating effectively so that everyone wins Whether it is a project, an event, a campaign or an idea, […]

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October 19, 2014

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Damon Albarn says new Gorillaz album coming in 2016

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Originally posted on Consequence of Sound:
Photo by Amanda Koellner In the run up to his show at Melbourne, Australia’s Palas Theatre, Damon Albarn sat down for an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald. While talking up his debut solo album, Everyday Robots, Albarn revealed that his next record could come from one of his most beloved group projects:…

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October 17, 2014

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LA MEDIA NARANJA

Originally posted on Margaret Ellis :
There is an expression in Mexico, “La Media Naranja.” Literally this means half the orange, but like most things in español, it isn’t a literal translation. It simply means, the better half, or soul- mate. It sometimes seems that the world is full of people who are looking for the…

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October 17, 2014

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Kate Bush’s Top 10 Songs

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Originally posted on Consequence of Sound:
“Before the Dawn”, Kate Bush’s recent run of shows at London’s Eventim Apollo, saw the unique singer/songwriter/performer return to the stage after a 35-year break. Her 25-song set featured two expansive song cycles, The Ninth Wave (from Hounds of Love) and A Sky of Honey (from Aerial), with a…

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October 15, 2014

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BE WARNED: This is a Process Blog Post.

Here is your all-important BACKSTORY:  In July, poof! There was no more job that I love (coordinating ongoing content for small businesses). My position and department were eliminated. And I have three wonderful kids that expect to eat regularly. You wouldn’t believe how often they are hungry. In August, my beloved Papa passed away after […]

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October 8, 2014

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The War on Drugs has got to end: Ethan Nadelmann speaks at TEDGlobal 2014

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Originally posted on TED Blog:
Ethan Nadelmann speaking at TEDGlobal 2014. Photo: James Duncan Davidson/TED “What has the War on Drugs done in the world?” asks Ethan Nadelmann, the founder of the Drug Policy Alliance. He namechecks just a few of its results: cartel violence in Central America, a ballooning global black market, packed prisons throughout the…

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October 2, 2014

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Call It A Gift — Wandering Off Is Not So Terrible

Wandering off isn't so terrible.

I’m prone to inevitable flights of fancy. Call it what you want. I get carried away. It cannot be helped. Neither psychotherapy nor medication have quelled my intermittent love affair with being alive. And my willful experience of being entirely human. Each time someone dies, we are brought to our knees with awareness of the […]

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October 1, 2014

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October is EVERYTHING

Why yes, it is my birthday month. And the Nashville AIDS walk, the Nashville Zombie Walk, Halloween (!!!!!) — complete with pumpkin spiced anything and everything. It is also Artober. I am a fan of all of these things. The weather is perfect. PERFECT. Here are some handy dandy guides to help you maximize THE […]

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October 1, 2014

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Kate Savage – Nashville

Originally posted on Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling:
Here is the lively story on Occupy Nashville from Tenx9 newcomer Kate Savage. ?

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October 1, 2014

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#Nightshift: Excerpts from an Instagram Essay

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:
Jeff Sharlet | September 2014 | 12 minutes (2,802 words) 1. Snapshots Dunkin Donuts, West Lebanon, New Hampshire The night shift, for me, is a luxury, the freedom to indulge my insomnia by writing at a Dunkin Donuts, one of the only places up here open at midnight. But lately…

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October 1, 2014

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Eddie Vedder releases cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” — listen

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Originally posted on Consequence of Sound:
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder has released a cover of John Lennon‘s “Imagine” to benefit Heartbeat.fm, an organization that uses music to foster peace between Israel and Palestine. The song is now available for purchase via iTunes. Calling it “the most powerful song ever written,” Vedder covered “Imagine” for the…

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September 29, 2014

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The Good Things

I’ve been on the hunt for some relief, some silliness, some funky reframing of what otherwise is…here are some of The Good Things. This is probably the most amazing Tolkien book cover of all time. pic.twitter.com/MRGBhHtzMr — Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) September 29, 2014 WOMEN LAUGJING WHILE EATIG SALAD COSPLAY pic.twitter.com/GPdLodm00X — a real dinosaur (@SparkyROAR) […]

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September 27, 2014

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Omagh’s ‘Shawshank Husband’ Dug Tunnel From Bedroom To Pub Over 15 Years

Originally posted on Tyrone Tribulations:
Kerr re-enacts tunnel movement An Omagh plumber tunnelled a hole from under his bed to the local pub 800 feet from his house over the course of 15 years, a court heard today. Patsy Kerr had been summonsed to Omagh County Court after it emerged he had been the cause…

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September 25, 2014

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Lord I Love This Song

  “you blow a fuse zing boom the devil cuts loose zing boom so what’s the use wow bam of falling in love…” Bonus: check out a young and goth Norman Reedus in this Bjork video:

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September 24, 2014

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Listen to Hurray for the Riff Raff’s New Song “Everybody Knows”: Premiere

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Originally posted on TIME:
In the tradition of protest songs like Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” and Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” comes “Everybody Knows,” from Hurray for the Riff Raff. “I wrote this song last year, on February 26th, one year after Trayvon Martin was shot…

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September 24, 2014

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Tenx9 Nashville: “Nashville” Summary

Originally posted on Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling:
Here is the summary of Tenx9’s September theme “Nashville,” written by the brilliant Cary Gibson. This is the story we all told of our city.  ? This is Nashville. It’s a place where saving face is an art form. And, according to the late Miss Addie, it’s where a…

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September 24, 2014

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9/25 at EXIT/IN: Turn Up for Turnout —-> Gun Sense Votes Get Your Groove On #Nashville

Turn Up for Turnout! is an event dedicated to gun violence prevention and voting with gun sense. Join us for a night out with live performances by Grace Weber and other Nashville artists. Admission is free for all Gun Sense Voters — all you have to do is click here to RSVP! What: Turn Up for Turnout! A Night […]

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September 24, 2014

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Tenx9 — Stories About Nashville

The theme from last Monday’s Tenx9 storytelling event was “Nashville.” My humble entry is about my on-again, off-again love affair with the city, that began in 1986. This video misses the first and last sentence of my story. But, that’s ok, because I’m pretty confident you can read. “When I was a Junior in high […]

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September 24, 2014

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Tweets Worthy of Display and Fawning

Recent savory nibbles from Twitterverse. This sawfish is judging you. http://t.co/n81hHG6Hnl pic.twitter.com/olPWcFcNYZ — Meredith Frost (@MeredithFrost) September 24, 2014 Halloween is coming. Don’t subject us to this kind of hell. Circus peanuts are some of the weakest candies ever — Misogynique (@MissZindzi) September 24, 2014 In the “Mostly True Department”   Kids wanna be adults, […]

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September 23, 2014

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Tuesday Tunes: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Polica — Courtesy of KEXP in Seattle (and plenty of love for other independent, community-supported radio)

Three bands that have become instant staples and a salute to the independent and community-supported radio stations. Find the one you love. Shower that sucker with love. It’s the right thing to do. A few of my favorites: WDVX WNCW WFMU Wrecking Ball Radio KEXP Who have I missed? What radio stations do you love? […]

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September 23, 2014

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Bracing For A Punch: Or Why I’ve Been a Bad Blogger Lately

Never Not Losing, Never Not Gaining My body is sore from bracing punches. The near-constant rush of dark waves has left me shrill, wordless and unsure. It seems this year has reduced me to a perpetual defensive position, making any agency seem out of reach. It isn’t just me, although losing my grandfather and my […]

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September 19, 2014

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The Gift of Petty Grievances

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Originally posted on Knight Stivender's life in full:
Thursday night I was the second to last parent to pick up my daughter from the middle school football game because I went first to the wrong school and sat there in the crowded parking lot while I talked to her on her friend’s cellphone, wondering…

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September 18, 2014

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In Which I Spill My Secret History With Rivergate Mall

“Tenx9 Nashville‘s next night of true personal stories is September 22. Our theme is “Nashville.” We are looking for 9 true stories of our city. What have you experienced in Music City USA, Davidson County TN that you want to share with us? What strange stories of Nashville will you tell to a room full […]

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September 17, 2014

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Tweet of the Day: Hump Day Ha ha’s

Twitter is almost always good for a laugh, but these next few tweets have really broken through the noise…enjoy! Breaks my heart that pirates spend their whole lives following a map, when the real treasure is the friendships they build along the way. — Jason Lastname (@JasonLastname) February 16, 2013 Those who do not learn […]

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September 17, 2014

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Bob Clark – “Jimmyitis”

Originally posted on Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling:
Here is a great story from Bob Clark. He shared this at August’s Tenx9 “I Was Never the Same Again.”   Jimmyitis On September 10, 2007, a Chicago court extended my emergency guardianship powers over my eighteen year old, autistic nephew, Jimmy, allowing me to take him home to…

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September 17, 2014

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Your celebrity-like employees: Gauging happiness and anger before they quit

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Originally posted on psychologistmimi:
Your celebrity-like employees: Gauging happiness and anger before they quit ? As a manager you have to be attuned to the emotional ups and downs of staff. At least the good managers are. Recently, I noted to another manager colleague that I believed certain people were unhappy and would quit. That…

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September 17, 2014

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This Post is Not Safe for Work.

Enjoyed this so very much.

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September 5, 2014

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Watch “Three Minute Philosophy – John Locke” on YouTube

Three Minute Philosophy – John Locke:

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September 4, 2014

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Why Giving Jes “The Militant” Baker $2 Is So Worth Your Time

Originally posted on amanda trusty says:
If you are reading this right now, you are probably aware of my stance on body love, on emotional eating awareness, on stripping away negative labels – you know, all the THINGS. And if you know how strongly I feel about these things, I want you to take that…

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September 4, 2014

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Music and Books: An Interview with Lightning 100’s Wells Adams

Originally posted on musing:
(pictured here: music books on the store piano) It hit me as I was driving down Hillsboro Pike the other day, listening to WRLT Lightning 100 on the radio, when a song from Will Hoge‘s Blackbird on a Lonely Wire album came on. It was a music-and-lyrics-lover’s song from about a decade ago. Not…

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September 4, 2014

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“I’m Not a Feminist, But . . .”: Marxist and Socialist Feminism

Originally posted on The Bookshelf of Emily J.:
We hear people say this all of the time, and yet they often go on to express “feminist” ideas and could identify as a feminist. There are many reasons why people distance themselves from the feminist movement. I can’t possibly explain or guess them all. But I…

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September 4, 2014

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Nude Selfies, Rape Nail Polish, and the Dumb Idea That Women Don’t Deserve Fun

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Originally posted on Flavorwire:
Don’t want people to post your nude selfies on the Internet? Then don’t take ‘em, ladies! For once, that isn’t the prevailing response to the revealing celebrity photos circulating on the Internet, but it’s still one that’s well represented this week, from your irritating acquaintance on Twitter to the Times‘ irritating…

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September 4, 2014

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Watch “Baby Elephant Plays Hula Hoop With A Ribbon.” on YouTube

Baby Elephant Plays Hula Hoop With A Ribbon

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August 26, 2014

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Michael McRay – I Was Never the Same Again

Originally posted on Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling:
Here is Michael McRay’s story from Tenx9’s August theme “I Was Never the Same Again.” He tells of standing with his father in a place of death and hearing one sentence that changed his life. ?

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August 26, 2014

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Making Your Own Ice Bucket Challenge and a Tweet to Put It In Perspective

I know there are haters. And sure, one can always find ways to criticize the ALS ice bucket challenge. But, what you cannot do is deny it. Having raised north of 50 million, I’m sure that the various organizations helping ALS research and sufferers are just fine being the target of some criticism. One article […]

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August 25, 2014

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The Creed of the Anti-Materialist

Originally posted on bargainpirate:
Having grownup both poor and Christian, (of the “give what you have to the poor or at least more poor than you” variety) materialism never appealed to me. My mother used to joke that we loved the designer “Clear-ance” (*said in faux French accent). This never really bothered me, as none…

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August 25, 2014

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Finding My So-Called Queer Identity in My So-Called Life

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Originally posted on TIME:
When I was 8, my favorite thing to do after school would be to visit the set of My So-Called Life. My mom, who created the show, had to be there all the time, so I’d visit her on days when a babysitter could drive me or when my dad was…

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March 2, 2015

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Listen To Your Mother: Audition Story — Watch That Mouth

Want a sneak peek into my Listen To Your Mother audition story? Go here. And thanks!    

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March 2, 2015

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Mumford and Sons go electric on new album, Wilder Mind

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Originally posted on Consequence of Sound:
Mumford and Sons have announced their new album. The follow-up to 2012’s Babel is titled Wilder Mind and due to hit shelves on May 4th via Glassnote Records. Details of the highly-anticipated LP — including the tracklist and cover art — were prematurely posted on iTunes earlier today, and have…

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March 2, 2015

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Tweet of the Day: Unlimited Waffle Toppings Edition

Kanye West, Justin Bieber and a Waffle are falling into a volcano… You can ONLY save ONE… What toppings would you like on your Waffle? — Will Rodgers (@WilliamRodgers) January 22, 2015

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February 13, 2015

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David Carr: 1956-2015

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Originally posted on Longreads Blog:
David Carr, the acclaimed journalist, media columnist for The New York Times, and author of the bestselling Night of the Gun, died Thursday in New York at the age of 58. Here is a brief reading list of stories by and about Carr, his life and work. It doesn’t even…

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