Call the police!!!

The Lifestyle Space was broken in to lastnight & someone one took pics of this disturbing images:

TSJS promo vid

its awesome!!!!


I waited for so long to get my hands on these Watson X Watson leather pants, and finally (when in Sydney) the opportunity came where I was able to get my hands on them. They are without a doubt the softest and most comfortable leather item I own and unlike other pants I have tried in the past, I don't find myself constant pulling up of them in attempt to avoid an unwanted boyfriend style drop crotch. Am I the only one who has this problem with pants? Could potentially just be my lack of hips that is to blame. Whilst not a huge fan of neon (talk about trend over kill) I am loving my new Shakuhachi singlet. It's a nice pop of colour into a what I feel is still a very sleek look.

Leather pants by Watson X Watson (Similar here & here), 
Neon Singlet by Shakuhachi (Similar here)
Blazer by Zac Posen (Similar here & here)
Heels by RMK Shoes (similar here)
Mistress Glasses by Sportsgirl available here
Necklace by 8 Other Reasons, available here

Images by Starring Nobody
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Once upon an August

It's been a bit of a whirlwind around here the last week or so! I've had a lot of etsy orders to fill, as well as writing my very first guest post (details to come this week!), and both became much more of a challenge considering we lost power the last two nights.  The most notable of events of late, however, would be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary last Thursday, August 23rd. 

We had an amazing date which I will recap soon, but for now, I thought I'd share a few glimpses into that very special day 4 years ago. As an aside, we had an absolutely terrible photographer experience and therefore I'm not even close to being thrilled with our wedding photos, but it's what we have, so it's what we will cherish.

We are going away for Labor Day long weekend, but I've got some fun and crafty posts coming up next week, so don't stray too far!

If my husband looks pained in the ceremony photos, it's because he was balling like a baby as I walked down the aisle, not because he's completely depressed to be getting married!

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo J

Free baby-- 1 1/2 yr old little girl-- any takers? and other tales from Arise

We've started monitoring DHCD at the Liberty St.welfare office in Springfield (and as the word is spreading, we're also hearing from families in Holyoke) and let me tell you-- if I had to put up with what many of these families are dealing with, I'd either be homicidal or suicidal.

We've been trying to help a single dad with eleven year old twins.  They've been living in a pop-up camper in a friend's back yard-- no running water, no electricity.  The first time the father went to DHCD, he was not given an application for shelter; he was told he was keeping his children in unsafe conditions and they were going to call the Dept. of Children and Families  and report him.  Of course he left, furious and terrified.  We told him to go back to DHCD the next day and insist on filling out an application.  I also called DCF in Boston to ask if they thought it was appropriate to be used as a threat against homeless families.  The father now has an appointment for Friday, but DHCD still had to include another threat, telling him he was just a heartbeat away from having a 51A (abuse and neglect) filed on him.

We finally got a mom and her three grandkids into shelter today, on the very day the sheriff was to physically remove them from their apartment. (I wrote about her in "The only thing we can do for you is walk you to the door." She and her grandkids, aged 2, 4 and 12, had gone back and forth between DHCD and the School Department four times, with DHCD insisting on a particular form they said the School Department had, and the School Dept. insisting they had no such form.  Finally, a call to the homeless liaison at the school dept. generated a screenshot of the child's enrollment which DHCD was willing to accept-- temporarily, until the grandmother proves she has legal custody. (Her daughter is incarcerated, and the notarized letter she'd given her mother had been good enough for the family to receive TAFDC benefits.)  When I asked my DHCD contact why the runaround, she said that without such strictness, anybody could walk into the welfare office and claim children as theirs when they really weren't.

"Yeah," I said, "but how often does that actually happen? Sounds like the kind of reasons used for tightening voter eligibility-- voter fraud-- when it scarcely exists."  She didn't disagree and gave me no examples that this kind of welfare fraud really happens..

Yesterday and today we've been hearing about-- and acting on behalf of-- a 26 year old mother and her four year old daughter who were found wandering in the middle of the night by the Holyoke Police.  The police were kind enough to let them stay at the station until morning, when they could drop her off at the Holyoke welfare office, where she was told by a worker,  "There are no shelters anymore."  She found her way to an ally (who shall remain nameless) and from there to the Mass Justice Dept.  They told her to go back to the office and ask for an application for shelter; she did, but DHCD refused to give her one.  So she was going to be sent back to the office once again, but now it was too late in the day and none of the advocates knew how to help her in time for tonight, so they suggested she spend the night in the Holyoke Hospital emergency room, and come back in the morning.  It was at that point that I put out a plea on our Facebook page, asking for mattresses and bedding.

I must say that everyone of these advocacies  has involved intense collaboration with the Mass Law Reform Institute, Mass Coalition for the Homeless and the Mass Justice Project.

Now to the free baby: yesterday was a long day but I was full of energy again after a meeting of our newest, two-month old committee, VOCAL-- Voicing Our Community Awareness Level.  We're dealing with criminal justice issues and the core group is fervent and strong.  However, I was definitely ready to go home when a friend of Arise, we'll call her Dorothy, stopped into the office.

Dorothy is not quite a member of Arise, because she is too busy completing her education in Early Childhood Education to take on the work, but we see her frequently during the school year, when she stops in to visit until it's time for her bus.

Dorothy is one of the sweetest, kindest people I know.  Two months ago, she and her high school aged daughter  opened their home to an elderly man who became homeless after his apartment building was condemned.  It was going to be a temporary arrangement, but he fits in well, and contributes to the rent (which the landlord raised because there was an extra adult living in the apartment), so there's now a tinge of permanency in Dorothy's voice when she talks about him.

"I've got some new people at my house," she said.

"Really?  Who are they?"

"This 26 year old girl and her year and a half old baby-- a girl."

"Where did you find them?"

"I was in the bathroom at the bus station and the girl was in there-- she was crying hard-- and the baby was balanced on the edge of the sink, and I was worried about her, because her mother was crying so hard, and not paying attention, so we got talking, and she had nowhere to go, so I took them home."

"Wow, Dorothy, can I help?-- try to get her into shelter?"

"I don't know," she said.  "The girl may not stay-- she has a boyfriend in Alabama and she texts him all day.  But she might leave the baby behind with me...but I don't know how to take him and still finish school..." Her voice trails off.

"How did that come about?"

"The girl just said to me, 'Please take my baby.  Please.  I just can't take care of her anymore.'  We went down to court last week for me to get temporary custody and we have a court date in September....My school has daycare but she's too young."

"Maybe you can be his foster mother, get some financial help, pay for daycare; they do exist for chilrden that young."

"I took her-- the baby-- to church last week, just to see how she'd be, and she was good, quiet, and she waved at the other people and she waved at me....she's a sweet daughter says she'd like to have a sister..."

"You've fallen in love with the baby," I said.

"Yes.  I've fallen in love."

She told me more about the girl-- the mother-- which I won't write here, except to say that the girl has a dream that she will marry her boyfriend, and they will get a little house, and everything will be all right, and then she can come back for her baby.  (Want to count the broken hearts in this dream?) What I heard of her story answers at least part of this question: What could possibly make a woman so desperate that she would plead, to a person she scarcely knows, "Please take my baby.  I can't take care of her anymore?"

I haven't been able to get them out of my mind all day.  I left a message on Dorothy's phone tonight.

"Listen, I really want to talk to you about the girl and her baby.  Let me help.  Maybe we can all meet together.  Maybe there's something we can figure out.  Call me."


We had a training today for people willing to put in some time to monitor the DHCD offices.  We have another one scheduled for this Thursday at 5 pm. at our office, and will be scheduling more for next week.  We need more help if we and our communities are not to allow men, women and children to wander the streets.  Please call Arise at 413-734-4948 if you can give even an hour a week.  Thanks.

 Photo of Gari Melchers' Mother and Child from Who Wants to Know's photostream at Flickr.

"Truth Has Fallen" - help make this documentary happen.

  "Truth Has Fallen" trailer: Innocence Does Not Guarantee Freedom from Sheila Sofian on Vimeo.

Sometimes people write to us and ask us to promote their site or issue on our blog.  Many of these requests are so far from our work, it's easy to to say no.  But we have to say YES to this request.  People who think that innocent people don't go to jail are kidding themselves-- and innocent people are still being murdered by the state.  Watch the trailer and check out the film's website: Truth Has Fallen.

From IndieWire: TRUTH HAS FALLEN is a live action/animated documentary about three innocent people who were wrongfully convicted for murders they did not commit. The film examines their cases and sheds light on weaknesses in our justice system. Employing a combination of abstract, surreal animation and live action images, TRUTH HAS FALLEN asks how innocent people could be convicted of murder- what could be done to prevent such injustices in the future- and what happens to these innocent people when they are released from prison after years of incarceration?

Director/Animator/Producer Sheila Soflan and  Executive Producer David Fain still have funds to raise for a soundtrack and post-production costs.  You can find out more about their fundraising drive here.

winter/spring to summer

stay tuned...

TSJS spring/summer edition

With the success of our last event, we are not planning to stop giving you the best South Africa has to offer. Spring is with us for this date and we not dunking down to make this session a memorable one to start your sunshine diaries. This time around we have the well-travelled Zaki Ibrahim gracing our stage. Zaki has been around for a while now with two albums down. She is here to showcase her latest album that has seen her perform at the “5fm Live” show. Her song with the legendary house producer Nick Holder was also shot in our background, its good to see her come full circle. Joining her on the stage to complete the Motif Records take over at Thesis will be fellow stable mates, Reason and Tumi from Tumi and the Volume. Together Reason and Tumi have the SA Hip-Hop game on lock…. On the decks with have resident DJ Wireless G being accompanied by Housecatzz who will be giving us an official “Kwaito set”, the ever eclectic DJ 1D from Analogue Nights and DJ Symatics from Music @ Last. These selectors will be covering music from the 70s till today with genres including jazz, broken beat, hip hop, soul, bossa nova, trip-hop, kwaito and a bit of dance. Event details: Live Acts: Zaki Ibrahim // @zakiibrahim Reason // @Reason4audio3D Tumi // @TumiVolume DJ’s line up: Wireless g// @wirRelesS_g DJ 1D // @Dj1D Housecatz // @HouseCatzz Symatics// @Symatics Entrance: R40 Date: 2.09.2011 Time: 14h00 till late

Zaki Ibrahim

feed your eyes & ears on this, cos she's coming on the next jam on 2nd of September! enjoy!

Living with our heads in the Cloud

Hadeel Al-Alosi

Technology has led to rapid advancements in our society.  While reading this, many of us will probably be scrolling through a Facebook page or flicking through an iPhone.  Much of the data we are accessing may well be stored in the Cloud.

At its broadest level, cloud computing is the provision of computing resources as a service over a network, usually, the Internet. Cloud computing services have been made available for a number of years, including by well-known organisations such as Google, Microsoft and Hotmail.  These services allow consumers to access data and applications without having to install or store these on their personal computers.

The personal cloud promises many benefits. It allows you to manage all of your PC and mobile devices, and to have every piece of data you need at your fingertips, so that you can share your information with friends, family and colleagues in an instant.

But before becoming over-excited by all the benefits that cloud computing promises to deliver, there are important issues to consider.

Theft and loss of data: should cloud service providers be bound by some minimum security standards that ensure personal information is not lost or stolen? Should service providers be able to limit their liability contractually for lost or stolen data? What if the service provider is forced to close down due to financial or legal problems, which causes customers to lose their data? Who should be responsible in having back-up and recovery processes in place?

Data location: the fact that data is stored by a cloud provider, which may be located overseas, means that individuals and businesses have less control over their data. Users should be questioning who is actually holding their data and where it is being located. With the growth in reliance by Australians on cloud computing services, it may be worth choosing a provider based in Australia. This would reduce risks in storing data with overseas providers, which may be in countries that have inadequate privacy laws or are prone to natural disasters.

Privacy issues: there are endless privacy issues raised by cloud computing, such as who will have access to your data and whether (and which) privacy laws will apply. Are there circumstances that justify the disclosure of data (for example, to aid law enforcement)? Also, what happens to data once a contract with a cloud service provider is terminated? For example, Google Docs states that it “permanently deletes” data from its system. However, it also warns that “residual copies of your files and other information may remain in our services for three weeks”.

Most individuals and some businesses overlook these important issues. As is often the case with e-commerce transactions, many people blindly click on the “I agree” button when signing up for services without reading the terms and conditions provided. We tend to think more about these issues when something goes wrong. For example, when someone's Facebook account has been hacked into by a revengeful ex-partner, or when precious data has been lost.

As to the future of cloud computing services, I think it is timely that we generate some solutions to these problems. Perhaps, somewhere over the rainbow, we can find solutions that allow us to reap the benefits of the cloud, while ensuring we are protected from all external threats.

So, what do you think? – is cloud computing a threat or an opportunity?

More Promiscuity Data.

Back in 2010 Anthony Paik published a study which received widespread media attention at the time. The findings were "spun" in such a way to show that casual hookups could lead to successful long term relationships. Susan Walsh had a look at it and found that the media reporting was quite biased, but this is to be expected, as selective reading of the findings were supportive of the liberal social script.

He did manage to get another study published in 2011, however, the findings in this one could not be spun so easily and hence the media gave it only a nominal amount of  coverage.

Titled, Adolescent Sexuality and The Risk of Marital Dissolution, the study attempted to find out whether adolescent sex was a risk factor working against long term marital stability, and if it was, whether the effect was causal or selective. The paper is available from here. (You can get the .pdf at the site)

The science of Slutology is still in its infant stages and Paik acknowledges that there have been very few studies done.  He lists the previous work in the area and some of the mentioned papers have been presented on this blog previously.
Only four nationally representative studies have examined whether premarital sexual experiences are linked to divorce (Heaton, 2002; Kahn & London, 1991; Laumann et al., 1994; Teachman, 2003). Nevertheless, the core finding—the association between premarital sex and increased risks of divorce—is robust[Ed]. Teachman (2003) found that women who had sex only with their future husbands did not have higher risks of marital dissolution, which suggests that the premarital-sex effect on divorce is related primarily to having sex with multiple partners
Now the question that Paik wanted to answer is whether premarital sex made a good woman risk or whether risky women engaged in premarital sex.
Despite the many contributions of prior research, there is a need for an approach that distinguishes between selection and causation explanations and that focuses attention on whether the timing and unwantedness of adolescent sexuality are linked to divorce.
He looked at the sexual histories of approximately 3,800 women taken from the 2002 U.S. National Survey of Family Growth and crunched the numbers. You can read about the methodology in the paper but the important findings are as follows:
  • Women who had unwanted first sex were at increased risk of divorce.
  • Women who had sex prior to 16 years of age were at increased risk of divorce, regardless of whether the sex was wanted or not.
  • Women who had sex after 16 were not at greater risk of divorce if they had only ever slept with one man. Once they had slept with more than one they were at increased risk of divorce.
  • He was able to pretty much replicate Teachman's findings that the increased rate of divorce amongst co-habitors is due to their multiple partner count. Note: He also replicated guest commentator Intrepid's finding that virgin brides are the safest bet of all.
  • Finally, his findings support the hypothesis that having multiple partners exerts some sort of effect on a woman that increases her risk of divorce.  Women who are prone to divorce are not born but are made that way:
My results support the argument that observed linkages between adolescent sexual debut and marital disruption is one not of selectivity but of changes in beliefs and attitudes about marriage and relationships that result directly and indirectly from these [Ed: Multiple Sexual]experiences.
I have argued that these formative sexual experiences directly change attitudes toward marriage and sex or lead to these changes indirectly through later life-course transitions, such as the accumulation of sexual histories or
experiencing premarital fertility.
Now Paik cautiously advocates that this is only a tentative conclusion and that more work needs to be done. I personally think that Paik wasn't too happy with the findings either. Throughout the work there appears to be a grudging acknowledgment of the effect of multiple sexual partners on divorce risk. Most sociology professors are liberal but he is to be commended on letting the chips fall where they may.

No one, of course, has yet been able to explain the rock solid association between premarital virginity and decreased risk of divorce.  These women, either through partner choice or personal quality have "something" which protects them against life's vicissitudes. No "scientific" explanation is yet forthcoming. Yet for the non-virginal, the bulk of data available seems to indicate a positive correlation between partner count and divorce. I can't but help but think of GBFM, and wonder if promiscuity is a mechanism of desoulment . It's a good an explanation as any.

Note. I can hear the bleating of Left already.

I know that correlation is not causation but the whole point of looking for correlations is that there is a likelihood of finding causation as well. For years the risk of smoking was only correlated to the risk of lung cancer. Tobacco companies for years denied the link and it was only in the late 1990's that a direct mechanism was demonstrated.  Feminists and Leftists will, with same logic of tobacco company lawyers, attempt to do the same. I am not attempting to convince them. Logic and empirical evidence are no use to people who practice cognitive dissonance as a voluntary habit.


Colour's can be so much fun sometimes, can't they!? I wouldn't call it an obsession (because I still love my black on white, black on black combo's) but I am really getting into the swing of things with this fun summertime trend. They key to wearing colour is keeping it simple! Can you believe these tropical colour ankle jeans are SUPRÉ? Neither could I when they first came my way, as they are so soft and comfortable and for a girl who struggles to find the perfect pant ... these provided me with some what of a solution. I love that the polka dots in my adorable linen ZARA t-shirt match the pants as well and the neutral base works so much better then a black or white. Finally, I'm so in love with my 8 Other Reasons rose gold accessories at the moment! I have received so many compliments on how 'interesting' my Only Half Truth necklace is.  Watch this space for my 8 Other Reasons - Give Away next week! So Exciting! 

Pants: Colour ankle Jean SUPRÉ in Cherry Pop
Top: Zara Basics
Jacket: Vintage
Ring & Necklace: 8 Other Reasons available here & here
Shoes: ZU (old)
Mistress Glasses by Sportsgirl available here

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Inside your Pantry | The Paper Society

Every time I get an order on etsy for The Paper Society, one of the first things I do is check out the invoice and see where on earth my labels are going to end up. I am BEYOND fascinated that in this crazy world, I can have my label designs in pantries from Australia, to the UK, to Texas. It. Blows. My. Mind. I know it shouldn't, because that is the nature of the international web marketplace, but still, I am amazed.

Even my husband (who gets the paypal notifications to his email) comments when he sees an order and says something along the lines of "Hey hunny, your labels are going to Germany! You're my idol! Want me to make you some schnitzel?"...Ok, I made up that bit.

I also love hearing and seeing what people do with my labels and how they organize their pantries. There are some very talented and organized people out there and I have seen a fair share of magazine worthy pantry makeovers. Melanie's has got to be one of my faves.

Melanie lives in NYC, and if that isn't enough to make you a wee bit jealous, she's also a very driven entrepreneur. Her company Elizabeth and Clarke is little bit genius, a lot bit functional. I don't live in the city but I do get the hassle of running around from shop to shop trying to find staples. Elizabeth and Clarke takes all the hassel and guess work out of stocking your wardrobe with the essentials. Ease and affordablity- I like that.

Back to pantries! Melanie has used the OXO pop up containers that I absolutely adore. They seal perfectly airtight, and in a day and age where so many things are short lived and disposable, I do feel like these containers will stand the test of time. I only have a couple but hope to one day outfit my pantry with some more of them!

The jars for the vinegars are also genius! I have a handful of sparkling wine bottles with this type of lid that could so easily be repurposed. And, decanting keeps everything looking the same, so what's not to love!

Are you having pantry envy yet?

I sure am ;)

xo J