Showing posts from November, 2013

WNW—Sandy Hook and the "They" Conspiracy

Today's Word Nerd Wednesday has a more somber topic than I usually take here, but I think it's a relevant one in light of how news is covered in the US and how we interpret evidence presented to us by various sources.

This post has been on my mind for almost a year, when I first heard conspiracy theories after the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012. With the report of the shooting released this week, concluding that Adam Lanza acted alone, and with almost a full year passing since the tragic events of that day, I'm taking a stab at the issue the conspiracy theorists brought up in hope of shedding some light on the situation and, I hope, on not jumping to conclusions in relation to the language used in news reports and other situations.

Shortly after the shooting, I listened to several tapes online where people discussed how, in their strong opinions, there had to have been multiple gunmen in Sandy Hook, and that the federal government was hiding that fact.

One video we…

Barbara Park & a Little Girl's Wish

Last week I heard the news that Barbara Park, author of dozens of kids' books and best known for the Junie B. Jones series, had died from ovarian cancer. She was only 66, younger than both of my parents. She lost her battle with the same killer that took my maternal grandmother.

Whether you like Junie B. Jones or couldn't stand her improper grammar, the character became a cultural phenom and influenced millions of children, including my own. We have a shelf full of Barbara Park's books, and they are all well read. Even though my kids have outgrown Junie, I have no intention of getting rid of the books. They are a reminder of great times spent with my kids, laughing at Junie B.'s antics, and teaching my kids to read.

Recently, my youngest and one of her friends decided to make a Junie B. movie, and they began adapting the book into a screenplay first. I think Barbara Park would be pleased.

Park was more than an influential writer, something I bet that most writers would…