Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oh My God, like Totally....

Subconsciously I've been noticing what I thought sounded like a pronounced 'nasality' in young women's voices for awhile. All I know is that I was 'wicked' annoyed by the way some young women spoke. Now a study has been published in the "Journal of Voice," finding that many young women use 'vocal fry' at the end of their utterances. To the listener it's like a drop in the voice at the end of sentences, that sounds gravelly and gutteral. To me it's a subconscious way of saying: "I've got nothing important to say, cause I'm a girl, but I'm going to do something weird with my voice to get your attention." Like, wow. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

1940 Federal Census

On April 2, 2012, the 1940 Federal Census of the United States will be released. For amateur genealogists like me, this is exciting news. I was very interested when the 1930 census was released ten years ago. My parents and grandparents will be on the 1940 census, living in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts. Actually my mom might have still been living in Chelsea at the time. We will see. The census is released after 72 years.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Several of My Friends Are in This Video

Charlotte Bronte's Juvenilia

I am gratified and interested when I hear about literary treasures selling for millions. In an e-book infested, computer dominated world, it reinforces that perhaps printed books are still valuable and worthwhile. A while back I wrote about a first edition Edgar Allen Poe selling for a whopping 662,500. Poor Edgar didn't have a penny when he died, and would be shocked.             

The book in question is a work written by Charlotte Bronte when she was just 14 in 1830, entitled "The Young Men's Magazine, Number Two." When I read and studied English literature in college,including "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights," I remember discussing juvenilia. Juvenilia is a work written by a subsequently famous author, while still a child or teenager. Charlotte and her sisters Emily and Anne wrote many such works.

A museum in Paris ended up outbidding the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth, Yorkshire England for 1.07 million. Too bad, it seems the little book certainly does belong in a dark parsonage on the windy moors, but at least it is well preserved in Paris. The book contains some precursors to Bronte's later "Jane Eyre."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Three Women of Color Receive the Nobel Peace Prize- 2011

Tawakkul Karman; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Laymah Gbowee
I require a little uplifting, so this news is nothing but good. Three women of color have received the Nobel Peace Prize this year--- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, Leymah Gbowee, a social worker and peace campaigner from Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman, a journalist and activist from Yemen, are the recipients.

Here's what the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize committee said about the three women:
"You give concrete meaning to the Chinese proverb which says that 'women hold up half the sky.. We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women acquire the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society. We thank you for the hope you awaken in us all."

Johnson Sirleaf, a graduate of Harvard, is called the 'Iron Lady' because of her strong leadership in Liberia. She has been president since 2006, and is the first democratically elected woman in Africa. 

Leymah Gbowee, age 39, organized Liberian women to protest in 2003 for the end to the Liberia civil war, and the use of rape and child soldiers. At one point she suggested a 'sex strike," in order to get the treaty signed. She said to men: "You can't go and kill mothers and daughters and then come home to expect sex." Unfortunately her idea was never carried out. 

I've often thought of this tactic as a method to change the world overnight. I've never heard of any feminist actually suggesting it or doing it. 

Tawakkul Karman is the first Arab woman, and one of the youngest women ever, to receive the Nobel Prize. She founded the organization "Women Journalists Without Chains."