Thursday, August 31, 2006

Katie Couric Loses 20 Pounds in 20 Seconds!

A lot of people are talking about this altered photo of Katie Couric (above).

From an MSNBC article:

The incoming “CBS Evening News” anchor appears significantly thinner in a network promotional magazine photo thanks to digital airbrushing. The touched-up photo of Couric dressed in a striped business suit appears on the inside of the September issue of Watch! which is distributed at CBS stations and on American Airlines flights.

So, why are so many people talking? Why isn't the same attention brought to all the models and actors that get airbrushed all the time? Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that someone got caught. But why has it taken so long for them to get caught?

We want to hear from YOU!
Why are so many people talking about this?
Are you glad people are talking about airbrushing, or
do you think the media is making a big deal out of nothing?
Now that airbrushing is "the norm," do you think it's OK? Why or why not?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Voice Box: Pluto

Scientists have recently decided that Pluto is not a planet. They say that due to its size and strange orbit, it is actually more likely a resident of the Kuiper Belt. In order to determine what a planet is, the IAU (the International Astronomical Union) came up with guidelines. The first is that in order to be a planet, the candidate had to be a sphere. Unfortunately, this also included moons and some asteroids. The second condition is that the planet has to orbit around the sun. These two criteria led to solar system with far too many planets, including Pluto, UB313, Ceres (an asteroid located in between Mars and Jupiter), Pluto’s own moon Charon, and numerous celestial bodies in the Kuiper Belt. So they IAU added a third. In order to qualify as a planet, these bodies would have to dominate their own orbit. This limited the number of planets to eight. Now textbooks, films, books, papers, and even gift shop items must be changed to eliminate Pluto’s claim to planet-hood. What is your opinion, should Pluto be a planet or not? Tell us what you think!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

55802--The Office. Part One

Welcome to New Moon® Publishing, Inc. located in the Duluth's wonderful zip code, 55802. This is where New Moonies make all the magazine magic happen! What is a "New Moonie" exactly? A New Moonie is what New Moon employees like to call themselves and each other.

Let’s get started with the tour!

Your tour guides Jen and Melanie!

When you walk into our office you will be greeted by Jen's friendly face. If she's not here, just ring the bell for service.
A New Moonie will rush from her office to assist you. If you have to wait for a few minutes (because sometimes we don’t hear the bell) you can admire the beautiful millennium quilt hanging on our wall.

In 1999, New Moon sent out a call for girls to send in their home-made quilt squares that portrayed girls and women of the past, present, and future. We received over 3,000 squares! The squares were sewn into 50 different quilts, which toured in various universities, libraries, museums, and community centers throughout the U.S. The tour closed in 2003 and the quilts are on permanant display around the U.S. We are proud to display this one in our office!

The best room in the office is the conference room because we have large windows facing one of the busiest intersections in Duluth: Lake Ave and 1st Street.We have seen many interesting and scary things during lunches and meetings. One of the scariest things happened on a Sunday when no one was here. A car came down Lake Ave and tried to turn on to 1st Street and didn’t make it. The car hit our building and left a mark. This happened last winter and we can still see the evidence of the accident. As far as we know, no one was hurt.

The wall was caving in, so now we have a temporary plywood wall in the conference room.

All of the beautiful tiles on the outside of the building need to be replaced.

All of New Moon Publishing’s awards are displayed on the walls of the conference room. (Except the Golden Lamp award because we just won that) We spent many grueling days hanging our awards. It was worth it, because the conference room looks awesome!

This is only a small sample of our many achievements! To see them all, come visit us!

Next time...55802--The Office. Part Two
We'll explore bathrooms, birthdays and bins!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Should kids vote?

Hey, girls. Our September/October 2006 issue, "Politics and Leaders" is just about to hit the news-stands. Our Voice Box question asks whether kids should be allowed to vote. We'd love to get lots of responses to this question so that we can include the answers in our January/February "Letter to Congress" issue. But in order to do that, we need your responses by September 6th! So let us know what you think. Send your opinions to and include your complete name, age, and address. See below for a copy of the full Voice Box, written by Emily C.

Not long ago, several groups in the U.S. fought for the right to vote. Women couldn’t vote until 1920. Native Americans couldn’t vote until 1924, and then only in some states. And until Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, many African Americans couldn’t vote because they couldn’t pass the required literacy tests (which were often rigged) or pay poll taxes. During the Vietnam War, 18-year-olds claimed they were old enough to vote if they were old enough to fight. Congress agreed, and in 1971, they changed the legal voting age from 21 to 18. Some people think the voting age should be lowered again. They argue that letting young people vote will decrease voter apathy.

California Senator John Vasconcellos recently proposed an amendment that would give 16-year-olds a half vote and 14-year-olds a quarter vote in California elections. Iowa, Washington, Maine, Texas, and Minnesota also have considered lowering the voting age.

Opponents of the change say 16-year-olds aren’t mature enough to vote. They point out that teenagers’ judgment hasn’t fully developed yet and they might be too easily persuaded by political candidates, parents, and teachers. But those in favor of lowering the voting age say that because teenagers study current events, politics, and government in school, they know just as much as most adults.

Some people also say that since teenagers often hold part-time jobs and pay taxes, they should be allowed to vote.

What do YOU think?
1. At what age should people be allowed to vote? Why?
2. Should kids’ votes count as full votes or partial votes?
3. Would you vote in national elections if you could? Why or why not?
4. Do you think politicians would treat young people differently if teenagers could vote?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Get Into Giving

There are a lot of kids whose parents can't afford to buy them school supplies. Today one of our local radio stations collected school supply donations for the Boys and Girls Club of Duluth. Their goal was to fill a school bus with bookbags, notebooks, crayons, pencils, pens, etc. I thought, "You know, I can help out with this!" So, this morning I went to Target and bought a donation. It made me feel good to contribute to something. It didn't take a lot of time out of my day (I was late for work, however) and it didn't cost a lot of money, but I know that some little girl or boy out there will be grateful that they have a Superman backpack with notebooks to write in and pens and pencils to write with. These are the types of things that leave an impression on the world and a good feeling in your heart.

We want to hear from you!
What charitable work, community service or causes are you working for or donating to? What causes are you passionate about? Tell us about it!

A Wonderful Surprise

Two unexpected guests made our day today!

Sarah Vokes and Alison Pflepsen stopped by the New Moon office late this morning. Sarah was one of New Moon's founding Girls Editorial Board members in 1992 and the first GEB member to retire-that's her to the right of Nancy Gruver in this photo. On the left is Alison, who interned with New Moon in 1997. Both Alison and Sarah traveled to the International Girls Summit in Beijing, China, with New Moon in 1995.

These two young women are both in graduate school right now, and it was so fun to see them and hear a few stories from their high school days--as many of our readers probably know, life for a high-school feminist can be challenging sometimes. ;)

If you're a past GEB member or a past New Moon reader, please write to us with an update. Or, stop by and see us!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


The GEB girls (and Catherine) talk about the Sept/October 2006 "Politics and Leaders" issue of New Moon Magazine.

Women and Girl leaders came together to speak out about politics and leadership at a community forum in downtown Duluth on August 22, 2006! Community leaders, including Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson, St. Louis County Commissioner Peg Sweeney, and Duluth City Councilor Laurie Johnson, joined New Moon girl editors, girls from the community, and other women leaders for a night of great discussion!

New Moon and the YWCA collaborated on this event because of the need for girls and women's voices to be heard in the area of politics. We started off the evening with an introduction to the event by the YWCA's executive director Ellen O'Neill, who explained the importance of "Women's Equality Day" on August 26, the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Ammendment, which allowed women the right to vote.

Some girls who attended the event to encourage people to vote for their mom.

Next, we heard from New Moon's girl editors who talked about their new September/October issue "Politics and Leaders". The GEB girls also talked about things you can do in your community before you can vote. Examples were, writing a letter to your representatives, and newspaper editors, starting a petition, or protesting.

After the New Moon girls Q &A, Peg Sweeney, St. Louis County Commissioner, spoke about how she got involved in politics ,and why she feels it's important for more girls and women to get involved.

Then we broke into small groups for more in depth discussion. We came back at the end of the evening to talk as a large group about the next steps we can take to keep our voices out there in the world!

I was in a small group with Duluth's only female city councilor, Laurie Johnson, and we were very interested in learning more about her role on the council. She was very excited to share her thoughts and ideas with us and invited the New Moon girl editors to sit in with her on a city council meeting. She's an inspiration for women in the community who would like to one day run for office and it was so valuable that we got to hear her story.

Here's some reactions from other New Moonies who attended:

"My group talked about the barriers that keep girls from becoming politically-active--the lack of female role models was cited by all, as well as the need for better hands-on, nuts-and-bolts education in schools." -Catherine Conover, Assistant Managing Editor.

"I felt empowered and energized after the event." -Melanie McDowell, Administrative Assistant

Overall, the night was a great success! We had a chance to speak or minds, and we are ready and willing to stay involved and keep our voices heard in the world of politics. Stay tuned for our January/February 2007 issue "Letters to Congress."

What do you want Congress to know? What issues are important to you right now? Post a comment, or write to us!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Politics: "Not just for old dudes"

Photo at right: Crystal works on a poster for the "Girls & Women Speak Out" event.

One of our girl editors shared her thoughts on politics in the Duluth News Tribune on Saturday:

Sonja Peterson is five years away from being able to legally vote.

But the Two Harbors resident still thinks it's important for girls her age to start digging into politics.

"Women don't make up enough of our government," said Peterson, who has been an editorial board member of New Moon magazine for about a year. "This is important for (girls) to know about now. A lot of girls think politics is just a bunch of old dudes sitting around in a room."

Here at New Moon, we've been thinking about and working on the "Politics & Leaders" issue (September/October 2006) for a looong time, so we're very excited to actually have the issue in our hands! When I told Janna--the Duluth News Tribune reporter who called for more information about our "Girls and Women Speak Out" event--that our Girls Editorial Board chose the "Politics & Leaders" theme two years ago, she was surprised. Janna said she often only has two or three hours to do all the reporting and writing for a newspaper story!

I can't wait to get feedback on our September issue and hear what other girls and young women have to say about politics tomorrow evening at our "Girls and Women Speak Out" event. If you can't make it to the event, come back to the blog later this week to read our recap. Plus, send us YOUR thoughts on politics!

Friday, August 18, 2006

"Teen hopes to reach out to other teen girls"

Check out this nice article in the Sherwood Park News about Joanne Cave, author of the "Go, Girl!" article in our July/August issue. We love it when our fabulous writers get noticed!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Wonders of the Universe

When I was a little girl, my dad and I would go outside at night and look toward the sky. We were fortunate because we lived in the country so the night was always dark and the stars were bright. He taught me how to look for satellites moving across the sky and to appreciate the beauty and vastness of the universe. As an adult, I enjoy turning my eyes skyward to see what I can discover. I don’t do it as often as I’d like, because I live in the city, but as soon as my feet enter the country setting my eyes go up. It is so relaxing and peaceful.

I’m hoping that some of you out there are already looking toward the sky. If you’re not, you should try it!

Here is a list of August sky highlights from I encourage you to view these events with some friends and family and have a star gazing party!

August 18th, 5:30am looking East
The Moon will be in the center of a group made up of the constellations Orion, Gemini and Taurus this morning.

August 21st, 5:30am looking East
There is a very special show in the sky this morning as you will be able to see Mercury, Venus, Sautrn and the Moon at the same time!

August 30th, 10:00pm looking South
Look for giant Jupiter and the Moon tonight.

There are a lot of sky watching and astronomy websites out there to help people get started with star gazing. These are the two that I thought were the best!

After your party or your first star gazing experience, tell us about it by sending an email to!

Good luck, have fun, and happy star gazing!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Summer Daycamp 2006!

Summer Daycamp 2006 was a smashing success! Between flying through the air on the zipline, zipping down park water slides, and sliding into our cozy tents at night, it’s a wonder we didn’t stay at daycamp forever!

A big thank you goes out to Sage and her family who welcomed the GEB to their farm near Red Wing, MN. Spilling out of cars, the GEB got a tour of Firefly Farms and its baby calves, apple orchard, fairy patio, giant quonset, firepit, field trails, zipline, and trampoline. There was no shortage of things to do, but the girls got right down to business and held a GEB meeting under the open sky. After tacos and ice cream sundaes, we hit the hay, eager for the morning and our trip to Colvill Park.
Waking with the birds for a breakfast of warm toast and eggs, we were energized and ready to get creative! The GEB spent the morning planning issue themes for 2008. We’re really excited about the themes we chose and can’t wait to see our ideas set in motion!

With perfect weather and the afternoon stretching out in front of us, it was time to grab our swimsuits, towels, and a picnic lunch and head to the pool. We got a little lost on the way there, but that didn’t stop us from having loads of fun once the waterslides were in sight!

Refreshed, we headed back to the farm, took a few quick turns on the zipline, and settled in a circle for some serious workshop time. We got an overview on New Moon’s editing style and worked hard to create a hate speech policy for the magazine. Everyone had great ideas and before we knew it, it was time to get silly and work on our skits to perform around the campfire.

We roasted hotdogs (and soy dogs—with some disastrous results!) ate gooey s’mores with peanut butter, and conferred with our teams one last time before “taking the stage.” The skits turned out so well, we laughed all night long over Tori’s perfect “grandma accent,” Sage’s Black Eyed Peas dance, and Madeline’s crazy vampire antics. In pajamas, we sat up for hours playing truth or dare before falling asleep.

The next morning, we packed, cleaned, fed apples to the calves one last time, gave thanks and hugs to Sage’s family, and settled in cars for the long trip home. Daycamp may be over, but the memories will stay with us forever!

Monday, August 14, 2006

New Moon girls talk politics in the Minnesota Women's Press!

Check out a Q&A on politics with four members of New Moon's Girls Editorial Board in the August 9, 2006 issue of the Minnesota Women's Press!

Then, send us YOUR answers to the interview questions:

Q: What are the most important reasons girls and young women should get involved and interested in politics?

Q: When you and your friends talk about politics, what are the most important things or the biggest "hot button" issues you're talking about?

Q: Among the voting-age population, there's a lot of talk about a red/blue divide in the U.S. Do you see any evidence of a red/blue divide among your friends?

Q: If you could change the political system, what three things do you think would make it better?

For more on politics, stay tuned for New Moon's September/October 2006 issue, "Politics & Leaders"!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Join our Campaign for Girls' Voices!

New Moon Publishing is launching a new program called the Campaign for Girls' Voices. One of the goals of the campaign is to get New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams into at least half of all the libraries in the United States. We feel it's important for girls everywhere to have access to New Moon. Here's how you can help!!

Click here to download the form to give a subscription of New Moon Magazine to your favorite library.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen by Mitali Perkins (Originally released under The Sunita Experiment)

In The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen, Sunita (affectionately known as Sunni or Bontu) wonders if there is a “correct word” for someone like her.* She doesn’t dwell on her East Indian background until her grandparents arrive from India and her mother gives up teaching, starts wearing saris, and (gasp!) cooking from scratch. Sunita is embarrassed by her “weird” family and doesn’t want anyone to visit her house – especially Michael. Her mother wants to impress Sunita's grandparents, even as they are becoming more and more “American.” Little by little, Sunita begins to embrace the wonderful confusion in her life and family — not because of a single event, but because of a growing awareness of where she comes from and where she’s going. Older sister Geetie drew chuckles from me for being a radical eco-feminist who chastises Sunita for using a razor. However, Didu and Dadu (Sunita's grandparents) are the characters to watch. Their humor and wisdom make this book sparkle. Lots of Indian poetry sprinkled within.

Mitali Perkins is also the author of Monsoon Summer, which was featured in the New Moon book club. She maintains a wonderful blog called The Fire Escape, which she calls a “safe place to think, chat, and read about life between cultures. She also maintains a fantastic book list of books by, for, and about young immigrants.

*Hopefully, I will be posting a review of Born Confused soon, a book which deals with, well, that sort of confusion.

-- review by Theodora Ranelli
(You can find my intoduction post here)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

New Moon Blog Submissions

Welcome to the New Moon Blog! This is a place for us to talk about the things we see around us--from a girl’s perspective! We’ll post movie and book reviews, news about girls, opportunities for girls, information about what’s happening inside New Moon, and more!

If you’re interested in submitting a post to the blog, read a couple of our posts first to see the type of things we publish here. We’re most likely to use your post if it fits with one of our discussion topics (see list on the right). Make sure to ask a parents’ permission first, then email your submission to Include your complete name, age, and address so we can contact you. (We won’t post your complete name OR address in the blog.) If we post your entry, we’ll email you to let you know.

In the meantime, please read and comment a lot--we want to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

the space between

Maya Ying Lin, who has the last word in the July/August issue of New Moon, says she “feels like [she] exists on the boundaries.” In fact, she wrote a book called Boundaries and people wanted it to fit only one category. She described a lot of her projects and detailed her philosophy about her work through words and pictures. It was partly because of the categories and the dividing that she faces in her life that she titled the book Boundaries. This fascination carries over to her work. She writes that boundaries “[are] opposites. [They are] contradictions. Everyone looks at boundaries as a division and what I’m after is the boundary line — the space between two things.”

Maya Lin is saying that people and ideas are forced to divide and she is interested in the line that does the dividing. Because she often feels like she is a walking electric fence, she uses that line to start shaping her work. My name is Theodora Ranelli. I am an editorial intern for New Moon this summer, Maya Lin is one of my heroes, and I do a lot of work with boundary lines. I can echo Maya Lin because I often feel like I am a boundary line. Much of my work is about dealing with lines and fences and I am with New Moon because I think I can help this magazine reach across established divisions.

I moved to Duluth, Minnesota from Laramie, Wyoming in August 2003. I found out about the magazine after attending a Turn Beauty Inside Out event and running into the assistant managing editor on the bus. I interned here the summer of 2004 and am back for one more stint before I leave for COLLEGE! I am headed to The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.

I am with New Moon for many reasons, but here are a few of them:

1. I am a writer and always playing with words. I have started to experiment with self-publishing and zine-making (I must be crazy, but I am trying to get the second issue of my zine out before I leave for Olympia). Because of this, I am always excited to support independent media. I’m also happy because New Moon was a big idea that turned into an even bigger reality, and I am hoping to do the same with my work.

2. I am an avid reader. Although my book list is varied, I enjoy reading and recommending Young Adult literature that “blips my radar screen.” I think it’s often hard for people to wade through Young Adult books and find ones that they enjoy, so I will be posting book reviews on this very blog. Keep checking back for more book reviews.

3. A high priority for me is making sure that New Moon Magazine is a safe environment for anyone who feels like they should belong. I understand how it feels to have people not listen to me or assume they know what I think. I hope New Moon can be a place where people can really listen and speak, even if they do not think someone will understand.

Well, I’ll probably be in and out to post book reviews and such. It's a fine, fine, line, so keep loving to the best of your abilities. Thanks for reading. We do appreciate it.