Thursday, December 10, 2015

A little linky grading break

My eyes are blurry from squinting at every possible variety of student handwriting, from big swoopy swirls to tiny, faint block letters to chicken-scratchy blotches, but I'm stuck in a classroom for the next two hours while proctoring my final final exam. So let's give the old eyeballs a break and look at pretty things:

If you haven't visited the Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar, now is the time to repair that oversight (here). My favorite is number 8, but we still have half of December to go!

Speaking of space exploration, published four poems in which G.L. Grey addresses various heavenly bodies (here); my favorite offers advice to the Voyager II space probe:

                          .... I won't tell you
to embrace the space between destinations,
call someplace empty endurable, worthy.

But when you hit that unknowable edge,
Earth's message tucked inside your metal heart,
resist despair.
And speaking of embracing empty spaces, I recently watched the movie Mr. Turner on DVD, a beautiful and terrible and slow and not particularly pleasant glimpse into the life of the artist JMW Turner. I found the silent interactions between artist and landscape intensely moving, and I had to go take a new look at some of his art (here). They're like a vacation for tired eyes.   
I'm already tired of seeing these Harry & David Christmas sweater cookies pop up in my newsfeed (here). They're so cute that I want to give them a big hug, which would be a mistake and inevitably result in a shower of cookie crumbs all over my sweater, which might inspire me to go out and buy one like this. Then again maybe not.

I wouldn't call it pretty, but if you still need some great holiday gift ideas, head on over to Dave Barry's annual holiday gift guide (here). I don't know about you, but I definitely know someone who needs a camouflage kilt. If any of you are tempted to send me the wearable hummingbird feeder, I would much prefer that you go visit the Nature Conservancy website (here) and support the migratory bird resting area. I don't need any more plushed stuffed animals, no matter how adorable they might be, but it would make me happy at Christmas to know that some sandhill cranes might find a hospitable place to rest their wings.

Now that we're done resting our eyeballs, let's go grade those exams!

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