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In this week’s Wednesday 5, heartwarming and funny New Year’s Resolutions; a breakdown of women’s most arduous political battles of 2012; fantastic literary heroines of 2012; Robin Chase, Zipcar founder, on the car-sharing business; and Nilanjana Roy’s reflection on “the girl without a name” who recently died after being raped in Delhi. (Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr.)





New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! How many of you are still loyally writing new year’s resolutions each year? The folks at Brain Pickings have uncovered a few famous handwritten resolutions lists by Jonathan Swift, Susan Sontag, Marilyn Monroe, Woody Guthrie. Our favorites include Swift’s “When I come to be old list,” in which he writes as No. 1,  “not to marry a young woman.” Then there’s Sontag, who commits to “tell[ing] people not to call in the morning.” And finally, Guthrie’s heartwarming goal: “Keep hoping machine running.”

Read more on “Famous Resolution Lists: Jonathan Swift, Susan Sontag, Marilyn Monroe, Woody Guthrie” at Brain Pickings.



2012’s War on Women

Many, as you’ve already read, have declared 2012 as the “Year of the Woman.” E.J. Graff of The American Prospect has taken on the challenge of reminding us “battle-by-battle” of the “attacks on women’s health, on contraception, on abortion, on the definition of rape.” Making the list in her month-by month-breakdown: the “rape is rape” debate, the “aspirin between your knees” recommendation, and the “binders of women” zinger we wish we could forget. Not to worry, there are plenty of positives sprinkled into the mix—the number of female Gold Medal winners at this year’s Olympic Games; the record-breaking number of women elected to Congress; and Hillary Clinton, enough said.

Read more on “2012’s War on Women” at The American Prospect.



Fantastic Literary Heroines

In our New & Notable Books series, we often choose books that feature heroines that we can and cannot relate to. Thankfully, the folks at Flavorwire have culled a list of their favorite literary heroines of 2012 (“The Best Literary Heroines of 2012: An Alternate List”), after they were left yearning for more in NPR’s similar attempt (“Courage And Curiosity: The Best Heroines of 2012“). Check out both lists for some familiar and unfamiliar names. Of course, we don’t think that characters are the only heroines; so, too, are the authors who created them.

Read more on “The Best Literary Heroines of 2012: Alternative List” at Flavorwire.
Read more on “Courage And Curiosity: The Best Heroines of 2012″ at NPR.



Excuse Me. May I Rent Your Car?

In this week’s dose of inspiration, we share with you Robin Chase, the founder of Zipcar, the largest car-sharing business in the world. Since starting Zipcar in 2000, Chase has moved to Paris and launched Buzzcar, where car owners share/rent their own cars and make money. Watch as Chase shares her blueprint for “peer-to-peer” car rentals and her vision for investing in communities to improve transportation-sharing and congested city streets.

Robin Chase on TED Talks



For Anonymous, by Nilanjana Roy

Earlier this week, the ashes of the young Indian woman who died after being gang-raped on a bus in Delhi, India, were scattered in the Ganges. Her story continues to reverberate across international lines and has sparked public outrage and protests across India. A lot has been said, and will be said, about this young woman, about the state and safety of women in this country, and about the culture of violence among this nation’s men. Amidst the flurry of editorials,  media reports and political commentaries, we found the blog by Delhi author Nilanjana Roy a poignant and powerful reflection on “that girl, the one without the name. The one just like us. The one whose battered body stood for all the anonymous women in this country whose rapes and deaths are a footnote in the left-hand column of the newspaper.”

Read more on “For Anonymous” at



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  • roz warren January 4, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Interesting video. Buzzcar is compelling. Not sure I’d want stranger in my car.