families separated by war–why? why? why? why?

The Maine National Guard is offering military families life-size cardboard cut-out photos of their loved ones stationed in the Middle East.  These cut-outs, know as "Flat Daddies," (or, presumably, mommies) are supposed to help families connect with their loved ones thousands of miles away.  According to the article, these cardboard cut-outs are "toted everywhere from soccer practice to coffee shops to weddings."

My first response was to the picture was, "This is creepy."  My second response was, "It's not the cardboard cut-out that's creepy."

bonding at the co-op house retreat

With so many new people, we felt that we needed something that would establish a feeling of community rather quickly, and that’s where we came up with the idea of a retreat. It’s easy to get caught up in one’s own day-to-day life even in a co-op house, but we felt that if we could create a place where people could step away, connect, and openly put out on the table what they hope to get out of their co-op experience, we could have a much stronger community than we otherwise would.