99-Year-Old’s Final Quilt Finished By Volunteers: #RitasQuilt


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A short story and request for stitching help. You know my love of estate sales and the fact that I cannot handle stumbling upon unfinished projects. I just know that the person who passed can’t possibly rest easy with an unfinished project out there. I buy them and finish them as tribute. Well yesterday, fate brought me to Mount Prospect Illinois to the home of Rita Smith. Rita was clearly an astounding stitcher with a love for the US and state flowers. She was 99 when she passed according to my online research. I bought this AMAZING completed embroidery map with state flowers. It’s breathtaking. I went upstairs and came across a box full of fabric. What I discovered is that Rita had just begun an epic quilting project (I mentioned she was 99 right?!). Well I went through the box and Rita had prepped, cut, all the squares and started transferring the designs onto the squares. She started stitching New Jersey. Obviously I bought the whole box. I cannot possibly stitch all this myself with all the rest of my stuff but I’m wondering if we can crowd stitch/ crowd finish this project for Rita?! Like if I mail you a square will you stitch it and send it back to me and then I will host a quilting bee to finish the thing? Anyone interested in helping me help Rita rest in craft peace?! —————————- #badasscrossstitch #craftivism #craftivist #feminism #feminist #crafting #quilting #quilt #usa #fiberart #womenhelpingwomen #communityquilt #estatesalefinds #handbroidery #RitasQuilt

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Thread by @ShannonDowney: “A story… (in proper thread form) I go estate sale shopping regularly and whenever I find an unfinished embroider it bc there?s no way that soul is resting with an unfinished project left behind. One day I foun [?]” #RitasQuilt


North Dakota’s Historic Public Bank

The Bank of North Dakota, or BND, is the nation’s only public bank: a government-owned and -operated entity that prioritizes public access over profit, and offers fair banking services to North Dakotans when private banks can’t or won’t. “It is potentially insulating you from loans, lenders, from out-of-state interests who won’t or don’t listen to the concerns of the local economy,” Flynn said.

At the time of its creation, BND’s purpose was to protect the state’s farmer class by offering low-interest agriculture loans. A century later, the bank is still an active force in the state, although its function has shifted, Flynn said, “from an insulator to more of an incubator.”

With $8 billion in assets, BND now offers business and student loans along with commercial services. Its purpose, however, continues to distinguish it from modern private banks. “When a US bank isn’t interested in going into that type of loan or startup, or thinks it’s too risky, BND would get engaged,” Flynn said. “They could point to this mission and say, ‘We’re helping growth, the growth helps the state.’”


School Buses Retooled For Use By Homeless


Julie Akins, a freelance journalist based in Ashland, Oregon, began a life-changing road trip in August 2016. Off and on over the course of the next two years, she pitched her tent and lived among homeless people from Portland to Denver.

Fascinated by the working homeless, Akins asked what they needed to get off the streets as she chronicled their stories for the book she’s writing, One Paycheck Away.

Then Akins noticed families living in school buses. Curious, she knocked on the door of an old blue school bus and met a family with seven children living inside. They had ripped out the seats and put down floors. There were mattresses on the floor, tubs full of clothes and a stacked bookcase.

“It was in disarray,” says Akins, 58. “There was no toilet, shower or kitchen.”

After meeting other families who found homes in the buses, she came up with the idea to take retired school buses and convert them into nice, livable spaces with kitchens and bathrooms for working homeless families.


Dragonfly Drone To Fly Skies of Saturn’s Moon Titan

NASA?s Dragonfly Mission Will Soar the Skies of Titan in Search of Life?s Origins
NASA chose a drone-like design for Dragonfly. It will be able to fly to different locations and take samples of the organic-rich sands to analyze them. Since Titan’s atmosphere is four times denser than Earth’s, it is actually easier to fly on Titan than on Earth. Dragonfly will be the first such rotorcraft sent to explore another world.


3.5% for Change


The '3.5% rule': How a small minority can change the world
Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts, and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change.

There are, of course, many ethical reasons to use nonviolent strategies. But compelling research by Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard University, confirms that civil disobedience is not only the moral choice; it is also the most powerful way of shaping world politics – by a long way.

Looking at hundreds of campaigns over the last century, Chenoweth found that nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns. And although the exact dynamics will depend on many factors, she has shown it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.


Rethinking ‘economics’

This ferment is beginning to solidify into a movement. The New Economy Organisers Network (Neon), a NEF spin-off based in London, runs workshops for leftwing activists, to learn how “to build support for a new economy” – for example, by telling effective “stories” about it in the mainstream media. Stir to Action, an activist organisation based in Bridport in Dorset, publishes a quarterly “magazine for the new economy”, and organises advice sessions in left-leaning cities such as Bristol and Oxford: Worker Co-ops: How to Get Started, Community Ownership: What If We Ran It Ourselves?

“There’s a totally new impulse to activism about the economy now,” says the magazine’s editor, Jonny Gordon-Farleigh, who was previously involved in anticapitalist and environmental protests. “The movement has gone from oppose to propose.”


One Woman, 100 Marathons, 200 Food Banks

I set a goal to road-trip across the country, running a marathon in all 50 states (I’d later up it to 100 marathons), volunteering at each of the 200 Feeding America food banks, and visiting friends and family as I went.

I set out in July 2014. I ran my 100th marathon last month and volunteered at my 200th food bank on April 11. Am I done? Not even close. Not while there are millions of hungry Americans. Not when there is more that I — that we all — can do.