1. fightingforanimals:

    Veronika Scott was a fashion student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit when her teacher, Stephen Schock, challenged her class to create a product that filled a need, rather than satisfying or creating a fad. Veronika’s design was a coat for homeless people that could transform into a sleeping bag, since in her city, she says, “you are constantly faced with the homeless epidemic.” 

    Not only did her design win a International Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America, it’s become the core of Veronika’s nonprofit organization, The Empowerment Plan, which hires people from homeless shelters and transition homes to help her make the coats. Now, three years later, the 24-year-old social entrepreneur expects that her team of 15 seamstresses will produce over 6,000 coats in 2014 — all of which will be distributed free of charge to people living on the streets. 

    Veronika originally designed the coats seeking input from people at a homeless shelter. After receiving feedback from people who used the prototype over a Detroit winter, she refined the design to create her final version which, in addition to being a waterproof and windproof coat and sleeping bag, also transforms into an over-the-shoulder bag with storage in the arm sockets. 

    When she started out, Veronika states,

    “Everybody told me that my business was going to fail — not because of who I was giving my product to but because of who I was hiring. They said that these homeless women will never make more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — you cannot rely on them for anything. And I know my ladies enjoy proving everybody wrong.” 

    And, their impact is growing — according to CNN, which recently honored Veronika as one of their 10 Visionary Women of 2014, “The Empowerment Plan expects to launch a ‘buy one, give one’ program that will make it sustainable beyond the donations and sponsorships that keep it running now. Hunters and backpackers who’ve asked to buy the coat will be able to do so, and the Empowerment Plan will still create coats for homeless people who need them.”

    Veronika is also excited to show other clothing producers that local manufacturing is possible: “I think we’re going to show a lot of people: you think it’s outdated to do manufacturing in your neighborhood, but I think it’s something that we have to do in the future, where it’s sustainable, where you invest in people, where they’re not interchangeable parts.”

    You can read more about Veronika’s organization on CNN, or watch a short video about her work here.

    To learn more about The Empowerment Plan or how you can support their work, visit http://www.empowermentplan.org/

    For a wonderful book about women’s great inventions throughout history, check out “Girls Think of Everything” for readers 8 to 13.

    For those in the US who would like to support efforts to end homelessness and help the over 600,000 people who experience homelessness on any given night, visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness athttp://www.naeh.org/ or to find a local homeless shelter to support in your area, visit http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/

    (via accidentalyoga)

  2. karamazove:

    1.Wall of books —  Amsterdam

    2.Bookstore Mural — Pittsboro

    3.Inside a Bookshelf —  Sweden

    4.Library Mural — Poland

    5.Flying Books — San Francisco

    6.Heart, Culture and Pedagogy — Canada

    7.La Bibliotèque De La Cité — France

    8.Larchmere Mural — Ohio

    9.Duluth Public Library - Minnesota

    10.Transformer Books —  Russia

    (via theehokeypokey)

  5. pointeblanck:

    Think big, tiny dreamer.

    (Source: tastefullyoffensive, via theehokeypokey)


  6. Umba Umba a Rickey Tickey Tumba

    I was reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone” to my little cousin Ella tonight and Firenze had just told Harry what drinking a unicorn’s blood would do when Ella exclaimed, “OH MY GOODNESS IT HAS TO BE SNAPE! HE IS THE ONLY ONE THAT WOULD DO SOMETHING BAD SO THAT HE COULD GAIN SOMETHING FOR HIMSELF! HE IS THE ONLY ONE! PLEASE TELL ME IT’S SNAPE!”  

    I will forever love the way these books make children feel.  Always. 


  7. Project For Awesome: Girl Rising!

    Hey everyone!

    It’s that wonderful time of year where everyone who is anyone on the internet decides to get together and raise money for charities! Julia and I decided to do a video on the charity Girl Rising!  Girl Rising tries to get all girls around the world education.  What could be bad about that?

    It would be great if you voted on it, or at least voted on other Project For Awesome videos that you think are super cool!  All of the charities are awesome so even if you think ours is the worst video you’ve ever seen, help decrease the suckiness in the world by voting on another one!




  8. The Immaturity of College Students

    So yesterday was one of those days in college where everyone goes off to watch our modern day gladiators fight it out on the football field.  I wasn’t there because, well, I really don’t care about football even a little bit, but I feel like I really could’ve been there the whole time after all the talk and news.  Apparently, Mary Sue Coleman, the current president of the University of Michigan, spoke at the game during the halftime show.  Now everyone (including Michigan students) is obsessed with the idea that her speech was drunkenly given and that this, somehow, makes her a horrible person that should be made fun of, and by association, the school a horrible school that should be made fun of as well.  Now I’m not one to be all up in that “Go Blue!” business, heck, I usually put on a yellow shirt to pretend I’m patriotic or spirited or whatever just so people don’t bug me about it, but I find there to be a lot of problems to this ridiculous argument.

    First, it does not matter even the slightest if Mary Sue was drunk.  She is over 21 and she can therefore legally drink alcohol at practically anytime.  The majority of the Big House is drunk on game day, so why should she be any different?  Does this really give means to make her a joke?

    Second, I listened to the video.  To me, it sounds more like someone who is a nervous public speaker, sick, or recovering from a stroke.  All of these things are serious and require zero need for rude comments.  I don’t know if any of these things are the case, and they could very well likely not be, but they are certainly things to consider.  After this year, Mary Sue is retiring from her position as president.  Did anyone consider that maybe this poor woman is just sick or tired.  She was just trying to make some encouraging statements at a game that wasn’t happening to go very well for the school she works at.  Is there any need to punish her in her final year, or ever for that matter?

    Third, just because people have created these silly rivalries between schools, doesn’t mean they have to use humans to fuel these rivalries.  That is a manipulation that removes people from other people in a way that just doesn’t make any sense. Why should anyone be mean to her, or anyone else?  People get all excited when their team beats the other team at a game of football.  They scream and shout that they are the best, but they actually didn’t do anything.  They didn’t play for hours and hours against a bunch of big hulking men, so they didn’t do anything at all.  And how does one define best, anyways?  Best at what?  Certainly not being genuine human beings if you feel the need to be mean to others for the pure joy of it. 

    Basically, I’m writing this post to ask everyone to stop being so cruel.  Think deeper about the situation.  Maybe President Coleman was drunk.  Maybe she wasn’t.  Does it really matter?  I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the answer is no.  

    Also, I would say this about anyone, not just the president of my school, so I don’t need any annoying comments about that. However, if you would like to leave a comment about humanity or anything of the sort, I’d love to read them.  

  9. I have a friend who always gets the film posters for her favorite books turned into movies. She wanted the one for Divergent but she wasn’t a huge fan of the semi scary picture of Tris in the shadows. She was kinda sad so I told her I’d make her my own version instead. This is the end result!

  10. I have a friend who always gets the film posters for her favorite books turned into movies. She wanted the one for Divergent but she wasn’t a huge fan of the semi scary picture of Tris in the shadows. She was kinda sad so I told her I’d make her my own version instead. This is the end result!