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Life Hack

From the Cheap R Us Files. You know how the pump on the lotion bottle coughs to a stop before the bottle is empty? You pump and pump and it slurps and slurps and nothing comes out, but you can feel by the weight of the bottle that it isn’t empty. It’s always irritated the…

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Zen Pencils: Cartoon Quotes from Inspirational FolksZen Pencils: Cartoon Quotes from Inspirational Folks by Gavin Aung Than

Delightful graphic novel with the artist illustrating inspirational quotes. Some quotes you'll recognize right away (Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will elude you.). Many are more obscure, but all are enhanced by imaginative, well-crafted illustrations, and if you don't puddle up a time or two, I wash my hands of you. Neil Gaiman and Phil Plait and The Two Wolves are marvelously here, as is Confucius, Vincent Van Gogh, and a Jack London quote which is one of my favorite quotes of all time. 'I would rather be ashes than dust.' Me, too, and Aung Than has created an unusual and imaginative graphic tale to accompany it.

I hate to jerk this knee here, but it has to be said: I wish there were more and better quotations from women. Just off the top of my head, where is Abigail Adams? Aung Than could have made one hell of a set of panels out of "Remember the ladies." I'd love to have seen what he could have done with John's expression when he was reading Abigail's letter.

Aung Than makes up for this somewhat by featuring many women characters in his illustrations, some of whom make repeat appearances from quotation to quotation. On the whole, a good gift, and a sneaky one for kids or friends who aren't necessarily into reading text only.

And you should definitely visit Zen Pencil's website.

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# Permanent link to ‘I would rather be ashes than dust’

Okay, venting now.

I got a call last night from Heifer International. As soon as I forced the speaker to identify her organization and just as she began to launch into her spiel, I spake thusly to her, in, shall we say, firm tones: Hold it right there. I write you people one check every year. It’s what…

Read more Okay, venting now.