Friday, August 31, 2007

The World's 100 Most Powerful Women -

Take a look at Forbes new list. What does it tell us about the status of women in the world?

The World's 100 Most Powerful Women -
"The World's 100 Most Powerful Women By Elizabeth MacDonald and Chana R. Schoenberger 08.30.07, 6:00 PM ET -- For the second year in a row Angela Merkel, (photo left) the first woman to become chancellor of Germany, ranks No. 1 on our list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women. She continued to impress the world with her cool leadership at two back-to-back summits, and stuck to her principles, getting G-8 leaders to agree to significant cuts in carbon emissions, among other things."

Four of the top ten are in politics/government (only one, Condoleezza Rice, in the US). The others run mega-corporations.

Support the National Women's History Museum Act

Take Action!

The House has been dragging its feet in approving this bill which would pay fair market value to rent a building near the National Mall that is owned by the government and has been vacant for more than a decade. The Senate now has to pass it, again.

Read the background and Take Action!

Although women constitute a majority of the population, their lives, achievements, and contributions are often underrepresented in museums in the U.S. Recognition of the achievements made by American women will promote a better understanding of our history and culture for all. The National Women's History Museum is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the diverse historic contributions of women, and integrating this rich heritage fully into our nation's history. In 1999, the President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History called for a women's history museum in Washington, D.C. and cited the efforts of the NWHM toward that goal.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Discoveries - US National Science Foundation (NSF)

The web has done more for lifetime learning than the printing press. Okay, that may be debatable. But, it has certainly expanded my range of interests. Take this website, for example. The National Science Foundation offers fascinating, easy to understand snippits about the cutting edge discoveries our tax money supports. It makes for great browsing. Take a look. - Discoveries - US National Science Foundation (NSF): "Discoveries NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support."

The Big Read

The National Endowment for the Arts sponsors The Big Read - similar to One Book, One Community that ViVi organized last spring. The NEA provides a vast array of resources including grant money, discussion guides, and audio resources to support communities. Here's the list of books for 2008.

The Big Read: "Nine new books will be added to the Big Read library for 2008. Four titles will be available for the first grant cycle, from January to June 2008: A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick, and for a cross-cultural Big Read, The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy.

Five additional titles will be added for the second grant cycle of 2008, from September to December 2008: Washington Square by Henry James, The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin, Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and Old School by Tobias Wolff."
It's a nice reading list, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Literary Group

The group is open to all AAUW members who enjoy reading and discussing books. New members are always welcome.

The meetings are usually held year round on the third Tuesday of each month, from 1-3 pm, in the Community Room of the Kingston Library.

Fall 2007 Books

September 18: Paradise Alley by Kevin Baker -- The story of the draft riots in 1863 New York City

October 16: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson -- a Kansas family history of the fight between abolitionists and slave holders.

November 13th: Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi -- the fictional account of a dwarf living in Germany between the World Wars

Summer 2007 Books

June: Nana by Emile Zola, the story of Nana, a prostitute, and how family alcoholism can turn into a propensity for vice.

July: Last Man Out by Melissa Fay Greene, author of Praying for Sheetrock. A true story of a coal mining disaster in Nova Scotia.

August: Slaughterhouse Five the late Kurt Vonnegut's anti-war novel

Friday, August 17, 2007

Pay Equity for Some Young Women

From the AAUW Public Policy & Government Relations Dept.
A recently released analysis of U.S. census data shows that young women in certain major American cities are actually earning as much as 117 percent what their young male counterparts earn. The new data shows that women age 21-30 out-earn men in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, and Dallas, according to the New York Times. However, the trend does not hold past the age of 30, and the study does not compare women and men in similar jobs. Possible explanations for the trend point to the fact that more women are graduating college than men and are often flocking to urban areas. Others claim that women are more likely to be ambitious and career-driven earlier in their career in order to position themselves to have children later on.

The AAUW Educational Foundation’s report, Behind the Pay Gap, examines the wage gap between men and women nationwide and shows that just one year out of college, women working full time already earn less than their male colleagues, even when they work in the same field. Ten years after graduation, the pay gap widens.

ACTION: AAUW strongly supports legislation that seek to end wage discrimination and close the persistent and sizable wage gaps between men and women, and minorities as well. If you haven’t yet done so, please use AAUW’s Two-Minute Activist online to urge your members of Congress to support the Fair Pay Restoration Act (S. 1843) - the companion to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 2831) - as well as the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1338/S. 766) in the House and in the Senate. To learn more about pay equity, read AAUW’s position paper.

Photo by beckytekkie

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Summer Whimsey with Shakespearean Laughs

From Andrea Newman-Winston, Branch Co-President:

Greetings and salutations fellow puddles of summer heat.

Let me offer you entertainment that can only occur in the summer, the outdoor theatre. In the middle of July, a stage comes to life right here in lovely Woodstock on the “front” lawn of the old Comeau property. You’ll find manicured lawn, the shade of one (but only one) rather large tree, and, this year, a whimsical piece of Shakespeare entitled “The Merry Wives of Windsor.”

First, pack a picnic for you and your family and friends before leaving the house so there is no doubt that the food will be wonderful and to your taste.

Then, find a lively romp through the streets of Windsor as only Shakespeare can deliver. The characters weave a tale to laugh at – applaud one husband for his level-headed approach to the problem. Enjoy the other, almost the buffoon for the machinations through which he finds himself.

You will find yourself rolling on the grass, or, at least, chuckling, at the entertainment.

Bring chairs, blankets, food, friends and your sense of humor. The admission can’t be beat, it is free. (They do pass a basket around in the style of Elizabethan theatre.)

“The Merry Wives of Windsor plays at the Comeau property every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 5:00 PM, from now until Labor Day. The show lasts about two to two and a half hours, assuming the weather is with us.

Please join us and rediscover your fine sense of the ridiculous with Shakespeare this summer.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Take Action: Support Paid Family Leave

The US is one of only five countries out of 173 that still don't guarantee some form of paid maternity leave. The other four countries? Lesotho, Liberia, Swaziland, and Papua New Guinea.

Every day, families across the United States are forced to choose between taking care of a seriously ill child or working for the paycheck that covers that child's medication.

Sens. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Ted Stevens (R-AK) have introduced legislation to provide up to eight weeks of paid leave to workers needing time off due to birth or adoption, or to care for a child, spouse or parent with a serious illness, or for their own serious illness.

The AAUW Action Network Two Minute Activist posted a request this morning that we take action -- urge our senators to co-sponsor and support the Family Leave Insurance Act (S. 1681).

To read more and take action (It only takes two minutes to act!)
Photo by Bob Reck

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What is RSS?

Jane Riley asked what the RSS and Atom codes in the sidebar to the right are for. I didn't answer because it's complicated to explain in writing. But I just found this video from CommonCraft that explains it quite well.

Take a look. See whether RSS is something you'd like.