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Human Library, Where You Not Only Read But Also Talk To Your Books

Human Library, Where You Not Only Read But Also Talk To Your Books

Professional Housewife. Aggressive Workaholic. Recovering Anorexic. These are all words we use to label certain people in society, slowly closing them in into a box in which they might not belong, or grow out of eventually.  In 2000, “The Human Library” originated in Denmark with the goal to fight prejudice and giving people the opportunity to hear the stories of people they would have probably never met otherwise. Well, how does it work? Library visitors can go to the “Book Shelf”, filled with volunteers ready to be “checked out.” Each volunteer gives themselves a title, such as, “Olympic Athlete”, “A Questioning Christian”, or “Fat Woman.” While you can’t take these books home, visitors get an invaluable half hour to listen to these amazing, personal stories.

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        The individuals who volunteer as human books are usually people with certain backgrounds, stories, or perspectives that give them a particular stereotype in society. Through honest and open conversation, the Human Library seeks to break through the social barriers that we have built and give people the opportunity to challenge their prejudices and thoughts towards any particular type of person.

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        In the 15 years since the first Human Library launched in Denmark, this idea has taken the world by a quiet storm. These libraries are a key to social understanding and cohesion, yet they are still not as known as they should be. I recently found out even my alma mater, Loyola Marymount has been hosting them while I was enrolled there – something I had no idea about even thought I spent most of my time in the library. You can search for the nearest Human Library near you here.

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        Go on now – go open your mind and shake your reality. No library card needed.

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        Featured photo credit: University of Sussex via flickr.com

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        Last Updated on March 24, 2021

        8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

        8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

        We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

        On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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        Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

        1. Smart Door Locks

        A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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        2. Smart Kitchen Tools

        Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

        3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

        If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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        4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

        These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

        5. Nest Thermostat

        This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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        6. Smart Lighting

        Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

        7. Google Chromecast Ultra

        Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

        8. Canary

        This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

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