“Ooh, shiny!”

I got a shiny award; I’m so tickled.*

thinking blogger AWARD

I’ve been meme-tagged! Twice, no less. I shoulda’ said something after the first time, but I got busy with the end of the school spring term (and a few blogposts that grabbed me by the collar and demanded to be written), and then I got tagged the second time and that got delayed because of the beginning of the school summer term (ditto more demanding blogposts — my Muses are very assertive). Mea culpa.

The Thinking Blogger Award is a blogging meme meant to aid in the dissemination of thoughtful blogging (as opposed to the more mundane chit-chat kind of blogging, e.g. “Today I found a cute frock on sale”). Unlike some memes, this one is highly codified in that it has concrete rules, and requires ongoing documentation, which is guaranteed to make historians and literary pundits absolutely delighted. The rules read as follows:

  1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
  2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
  3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

The first award was nominated by Sally at Sally’s Life. Sally is a very eclectic blogger in the UK; she blogs on “Life in the countryside, joys, fears, battles, music, literature, art, venues, society, dis-ablism.” Her personal stories in “Just for the Record – my first 1st May BADD post” (BADD = Blogging Against Disablism Day) were very illuminating, in the sort of bang-head-here way. Sally deserves a set of Wacky Whackers for her forays against the bureaucrazy.

The second award was nominated by Bev at Asperger Square 8, who is a very artistic blogger in the US; she blogs “Talk about squares, Asperger syndrome and the number 8″. I get a real kick out of her satirical packages and such, like Chit Chat and “Transport Obsession“, and give her graphics full marks at 8 out of 8.

As a primary purpose of the meme is to share links to other good blogs with one’s readers, it runs the risk of getting a trifle inbred, and start sounding like a mutual-admiration society. Therefore I sought to broaden the range of my links from the predecessors. I would like to say that collectively, these people would make a helluva Think Tank, especially if powered by good drink and generous supplies of vegetarian food and chocolate.

:: drumroll ::

I would like to give the Thinking Blogger Award to the following people. These are in rough alphabetical order (gee I hope none of these are redundancies):

Bug Girl, blogger of the eponymous Bug Girl’s Blog. A girl after my own heart, she blogs on insects, gardening, feminism, skepticism and other fun topics, with an elegant and enlightening blend of scientific knowledge and tongue-in-cheek humor. She loves to stomp on pseudoscience bunk, but never cute little membracids (treehoppers). What’s not to like?! I can only hope that the students students at her American uni appreciate her as much as I do.

Dave Hingsburger, blogger of Chewing the Fat, “esse quam videri“. Dave manages to post daily, which amazes me in both his constancy and his high level of thoughtfulness. The guy keeps his Canadian passport ever at hand because he travels all the time, but the reason he can tell so many stories is not just because he gets around, but because Dave observes stuff. His post on “Simple Solutions” provided a five-star analysis of what makes for an effective behaviour improvement plan, “During the move this fellows family and support workers sat down to talk. To do an annual plan. They decided to rid themselves of the ‘he will go to the library’ type of goals. After much puzzling they came up with a goal. Simply stated they hoped it would radically change what needed to be radically changed. He will be happy and live harmoniously with himself.”

Jacq, blogger of ADHD & Me Blog. Don’t fall over in shock, but Jacq is a graduate student, and does something work-wise in the realm of education in Canada. I enjoy reading her posts for her interpretations and pointed comments of her experiences in the rôles of student, teacher, and parent. Her recent post, “Disability as Diversity in Education” stands out as an exception to her usual terse posts, it being a full scholarly article (it makes my usual posts seem short in comparison, becaused hers is highly referenced).

Blue/ Kay Olson, blogger of The Gimp Parade. Yet another disabled feminist who describes herself as “overeducated, underemployed”, she keeps a thoughtful and literate blog that’s a combined news service and erudite cultural commentary. She draws from many sources, and refuses to be limited by her US origin. (Then again, she refuses to be limited by a lot of things.) Oh, and she has a wicked sense of humor, too; check out her link for Things that crack me up (swallow beverage first). Her blog’s descriptor is a quote: “Not only do physically disabled people have experiences which are not available to the able-bodied, they are in a better position to transcend cultural mythologies about the body, because they cannot do things the able-bodied feel they must do in order to be happy, ‘normal,’ and sane….If disabled people were truly heard, an explosion of knowledge of the human body and psyche would take place.” — Susan Wendell, author of The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability

Ms PhD, blogger of YoungFemaleScientist, where “Nothing is sacred.” A biomedical postdoc working in a lab somewhere in the US, she naturally does a lot of ranting about the insanities peculiar to such cultural environments. I would award her some Wacky Whackers too, but as she does kickboxing and taiji, there would likely be too many casualties. Her post on “Is this a female thing?” was horrifyingly familiar from my graduate research assistant and clueless-Aspie perspectives, especially as she asks, “All of this makes me feel like I have no aptitude for the funding game whatsoever. It seems that every time I approach the grant issue, I find out a whole slew of unwritten rules, all of which, once revealed, make me feel stupid and none of which make me feel empowered and informed. How on earth was I supposed to know any of this?? Do they give out a handbook in the men’s bathroom? Somehow I doubt it.”

I hope you all enjoy these blogs as much as I have, especially those with which you were previously not familiar. Conceptual cross-pollination is a fabulous thing, especially when we can learn about ideas and subjects we’d never heard of or thought to explore before. Gaining new fields of thought and perspectives enriches us all.

Even when we don’t agree with people’s interpretations of events or concepts, we often find that we are better able to be aware of our own beliefs, and better able to examine, judge, and explain them. Sometimes this means we end up changing our minds, or refining our ideas. Sometimes it just means that we’ve thought in new ways. As I like to say, you can always tell you’ve learned new things or taken thoughts into new directions when your brain feels as stretched out of shape as socks you’ve worn for two days.

And that, O Best Beloved, is what thoughtful blogging is about.

* I’m trying to avoid saying, “I feel so shiny”, so as not to be confused with the “shiny Aspie”, that autistic person who is a socially-acceptable and successful geek and allowed to participate in Normal society because they don’t trigger too many weirdness-alarms or get too uppity. (Sometimes the term “shiny Aspie” is used in the derogatory “Uncle Tom” sense.)

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5 Comments

  1. Sally said,

    8 June 2007 at 22:26

    Thanks for the Wacky Whackers !

  2. Bev said,

    7 June 2007 at 1:55

    Hey Dave, Just click on the link in the rules, number 2, above. That will take you to a page where you can download the shiny logo. It’s easy, you can do it (I am a recovering technophobe myself).

    And thanks for the Kudos, Andrea. I look forward to reading your Thinking Blogger picks.

  3. Bug Girl said,

    7 June 2007 at 1:20

    Ooooh! Thanks! :)
    *blush*

  4. 7 June 2007 at 0:10

    Gosh, thanks, I admit to blog ineptitude however as I don’t know how to do links and how to put up the shiny award. So I’ll just say thanks. This summer I’m going to have tea with ‘blog princess’ and she said she’d tutor me on some of these skills. It’s an honour to get nominated for this and by a blog I consider spectacular … Thanks, Dave

  5. Jacq said,

    6 June 2007 at 23:14

    I’m really and truly touched that you would pick my blog. I was feeling a bit like I was running out of steam and talking to myself but I feel inspired again. Thanks!


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