Saturday, November 25, 2017

In the News

Image result for kindness

Environmental and Science Education

Edward Hessler

The Hamline University Toilet Tribune, an 8.5" sheet of paper, black print on paper of varying color, is a single-side monthly which lists events and happenings, some local, others planetary. It is posted in toilets throughout the campus, at eye level for our reading convenience. I've not checked all the HU "facilities/restrooms" as they say, only a few so I might be wrong on where it can be read.

The November issue announced that November 13 was National Random Acts of Kindness Day.  How odd. Random on schedule!?

A random act of kindness is not premeditated or deliberate. It happens. My Whole Earth Catalogs have been recycled as have clippings from the Whole Earth Review (formerly CoEvolution Quarterly so I now longer have a library at the side of my desk to look up when and where I first saw it (See the previous link for infomation.). I miss those thick, often overstuffed manila folders where I kept "stuff." I became a great filer but retrieval was another matter.

But these days there is the Wiki, one of the first places I check after scanning what a search reveals. The original remembered phrase from the Whole Earth Review was longer. It became a Tee Shirt. My preference is the full phrase.

This is what Wiki has to say, The phrase "practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty" was written by Anne Herbert on a placemat in Sausalito, California in 1982 ... Herbert's book Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty was published in February 1993 speaking about true stories of acts of kindness."

Herbert also coined another phrase which also became a T-Shirt.  Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries. Isn't this wonderful?  I'm a book guy so this may not mean much to those much more digital than me (or everyone). When I was a graduate student I recall checking out University books that had been checked out by some famous scientists, including one Nobel Laureate, when they were graduate students. I'm glad I didn't nip the card still in its envelope, pasted in the back of the book listing those who had checked it out and when, in real ink with a real pen or pencil. I hope it is saved somewhere, even that it still can be found in the book but I'm doubtful.

There is a Random Acts of Kindness website which lists these dates: World Kindness Day, November 13 2017, Random Acts of Kindness Friday, November 24, 2017, and Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 11-17, 2018. And there you can also watch a short video on the science of kindness (with some citations). You would expect to see/hear the words oxytocin, the love hormone and serotonin, the feel good chemical and you will. Both of these have important physiological functions.

There is a lot more on the WWW including ideas for acts of kindness and random acts of kindness if you come up short for ideas but I'm doubtful this will happen. 

I might not have posted this were it not for this video about Denis Estiman which I watched this morning. My guess is that some of you have seen him before on an earlier report. What an idea, one that has morphed into something much larger.

And I can't leave without one entry on chance and randomness. Click on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It starts with the Common Place thesis: Something is random if it happens by chance. These ideas lead to one thought after another--a rabbit hole of sorts.

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