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Stanford Creative Writing Class produces a graphic novel

Adam Johnson and Tom Kealey, two instructors of Stanford Creative Writing Program, orchestrated the production of a graphic novel called Shake Girl with their students. Shake Girl is a massive collaborative project between fifteen students and the instructors over the course of Winter quarter(2008).

"The Stanford Graphic Novel Project independently published several hundred copies of Shake Girl that we are using to create awareness about the issues of violence against women, and more specifically, the phenomenon of acid attacks in Cambodia. For these same reasons, we are publishing Shake Girl for free on the web."

"In retrospect it seems a little miraculous that the fourteen students of the Stanford Graphic Novel Project wrote, illustrated, and designed Shake Girl in six weeks time. But here, we seem to hold the evidence in our hands.

We began without even a story. We had a mission that we wanted to tell a narrative from the real world and that the creating and publishing of it should make a positive difference in the lives of others. At one point we looked at the blogs of American soldiers in Iraq, and at another time we looked at the story of ISHI (look that one up). In the end though, it was Eric Pape, our visiting journalist, who told us the story in class that would ultimately be the foundation of Shake Girl. After tossing ideas back and forth for what seemed like ages, we settled on Shake Girl in about ten minutes."

International Year of the Potato 2008

2008 is designated by the United Nations (UN) as the International Year of the Potato. According to the UN, this is to raise awareness of the importance of the potato - and of agriculture in general - in addressing issues of global concern, including hunger, poverty and threats to the environment.

Why Potato?

"Global Food Crisis" - conversation with Raj Patel

Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and starved: markets, power and the hidden battle for the world food system (2007), will be in Palo Alto at the Community Media Center (900 San Antonio Rd.) on Tuesday, May 6th from 7:00-8:00 p.m. for a free conversation on the global food crisis. For details and information on rebroadcasting and streaming video see the Peninsula Peace and Justice Organization. See his website:

Happy RSS day!

Wow, today is a convergence day of holidays! Not only do we have May Day, International Workers' Day, and Loyalty Day, but now there's also RSS Day! RSS (aka "rich site summary") is the little XML file that could; that is, RSS can help librarians and readers in general collect and read the stuff in which they're interested. See the video below for a really good, straighforward description of RSS.

Here comes everybody

Clay Shirky gave a talk last month (click on the image to get to the video) at the Berkman Center for internet and Society covering some of the ideas from his incredible new book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. The focus of the talk is Shirky's notions about the enabling power of the Web and along the way he has a lot of interesting things to say about sharing, conversation, collaboration and collective action. There's a lot of power in sharing and Shirky points to several interesting examples of that power.

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (Event Video/Audio)

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