Editors’ Picks of the Year: Notable Reads on WordPress.com

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Our editors dove into the archives to resurface top posts published on WordPress.com this year, from personal essays to comics, and photography to fiction. Here’s a glimpse of what you published — and what the community especially loved — in 2014.

“Ever Wished That Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Would Return to the Comics Page? Well, He Just Did,” Stephan Pastis, Pearls Before Swine

“Bill Watterson is the Bigfoot of cartooning,” writes comic artist Stephan Pastis of the legendary Calvin and Hobbes creator. This summer, Pastis collaborated — in secret — with Watterson. Their awesome idea: Watterson would silently step in and draw Pastis’ comic strip, Pearls Before Swine, for a few days, pretending to be a second grader. Pastis recounts the experience, offering a rare glimpse of Bigfoot.

Pearls Before Swine; Stephan Pastis; June 4, 2014.Pearls Before Swine; Stephan Pastis; June 4, 2014.

“No Apology,” Mehreen Kasana

I will apologize for ISIS when every…

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Just One More Reason To Shop Local

I am not nieve about the games many big retailers play with pricing. Having been a manager or owner in the retail market for the last fifteen years, I’ve seen a lot of “pricing theories” come and go. Still, I found myself feeling a little shocked when I read an article in the Casper Star Tribune this morning which described a new trend. Evidently, retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Sears and others are using computer programs that constantly change the prices of certain items on their online stores throughout the day. The article gave an example of one product varying in price by $70 in one day.


To be honest, I felt a little angry. What happened to just pricing a product at a fair price and putting it on sale when it didn’t sell after a reasonable amount of time? The article admitted that the average consumer is unaware of these schemes. And that is just exactly what it is… a game.

As our world moves more and more to a digital marketplace and mega retailers like Amazon gain more and more market share, I feel afraid for the consumer. Your local retailer could never get away with something like this. Most that I know don’t play games. They offer a fair price that stays the same until the item goes on sale. You see to us, our customer is not just a nameless, faceless buying machine. You are our customer. We know you. We know your family. We know what you like. If we want to keep you as a customer, we must be honest and act with integrity in our business dealings and in our pricing.

So this holiday season, visit your brick and mortar stores. You can be sure the item you are buying wasn’t $70 cheaper an hour ago.

Who Are You?

December’s Glamour magazine featured many women of the year but gave Sylvia Earle the Lifetime Achievement award for her efforts to protect the planet and oceans.  At age 79, she is still actively working in her field of Oceanography.  Even more amazing is that she achieved her status as the “Joan of Arc of the Oceans” while raising 3 children.  Her “words to live by” are these: “I suggest to everyone: Look in the mirror.  Ask yourself: Who are you? What are your talents?  Use them and do what you love.” (Glamour, December, 2014, 248-249).

Who you are has to be about what makes you passionate.  Your values and what you think is important will ultimately define you.  Do you know what makes you tick and what makes your blood boil?  If the answer is no, spend some time right now thinking about those two very important questions.  At the end of your life, how will you define a life well lived?  Sylvia Earle is passionate about marine life and that love has driven her to log over 7,000 hours of diving time in her life.  Being a diver myself, I am awed by her accomplishments and applaud her effort to protect our beautiful oceans and marine life.

That's me with the yllow fins in Cozumel, Mexico.

That’s me with the yellow fins in Cozumel, Mexico.

Maybe you feel trapped by life.  You know what you would love to do, but your reality is something different.  Perhaps you didn’t get an education or the opportunities to do what you love.  Perhaps you gave that up to raise your children or promote your husband’s career.  Sylvia inspires me that it is never too late to discover a new love and pursue it or finally get around to following that dream you gave up on a long time ago.  She isn’t letting her age keep her from doing what she loves and advocating for what she cares about.  Neither should we.

So here’s to taking that first step toward doing what we love, and then another, and another…