Kirsten Anderberg: Journalism, Health & History


Every now and then I go out on the internet to see what is happening with my articles, etc. and I see there are some new places citing my work out there...I have a webpage which lists some of the places my work is cited, in professional journals, etc. at I see that recently I was cited in a University of Oregon paper entitled "Denial of Universal Human Material Needs and Aversion to the Homeless," by Naomi Zack, and my book about homelessness is also recommended by Seattle University's "Faith and Family Homelessness Project". I wrote a book review a decade ago, of "The No-Nonsense Guide to Islam," a book sent to me by a magazine to read and review, which I did, but that review is currently posted on "Islam Daily". It amazes me how long the lifespan is of things I write. I see I am also listed on the "Seattle Radical Timeline" website, for being part of the "Morningtown Pizza Collective," (scroll down to the date 4-1-1969, April Fool's Day). Morningtown Pizza was the most anarchist thing I have ever experienced and it shaped the heights of my dreams to date. Here is an article from the now defunct "Seattle Sun" about Morningtown. That place will forever be in my blood. This article is from 1977, which is when I first stumbled upon Morningtown, before I worked there. I was a homeless teen, and wandered into Morningtown one rainy night somehow...and met a guy who was a manager of an apt. building in the U District nearby and he let me and my high school runaway friend with me live rent free in one of the apts that was not rented out...I began to sing and play guitar in exchange for free food at Morningtown in approx. 1978 at the behest of Stan Iverson, whom I remained friends with until his passing.

Stan Ivarson at Morningtown, 1977
I sang at Morningtown for food for many years, then in approximately 1983, I began to work at M'town was a life experience in communal living I am not soon to forget.


100 Year Old Homemade Candy Recipes!

I have a Master's Degree in History and Archiving and have spent some time researching 100 year old (and older) recipes. One of my books is full of 100 year old CANDY recipes. It is really fun to make your own candy from wholesome ingredients around Halloween and the Day of the Dead. You can find my book of 100 Year old candy recipes for sale on Amazon at or just click on the book cover above. This book contains home-made candy recipes which are 100 or more years old, but can still be made today. The recipes date from 1885-1908, and include recipes from the author's great-grandmother in addition to archival recipes from books and newspapers. Includes candy history, trivia and cooking tips with regards to candy throughout the book. Unusual recipe details include things like the recommendations of melting grated chocolate for dipping over a teakettle, dipping nuts into chocolate with a thin knitting needle and testing candy on snow. Discussion of the lack of modern refrigeration during this time period is also included. These recipes hark of an older day, but read like a health food cookbook nowadays, due to the lack of artificial ingredients and use of wholesome, pure foods to make old-fashioned candy. “For homemade candies, use pure materials and good fruit. Enough of earths and starch and decayed fruits are bought in the cheap candies of the stores.” – The Housewife’s Library, 1885. This book includes 85 candy recipes, including Butterscotch Candies, Lemon Drops, Horehound Candy, Everton Taffy, Christmas Bonbons, Fondant, Cream Candies, Coconut Creams, Maple Creams, Chocolate Creams, Fruit Creams, Maple Fudge, Chocolate Fudge, Brown Sugar Fudge aka Pinoche, Vanilla Caramels, Maple Caramels, Coffee Caramels, Chocolate Caramels, Ginger Candy, Honey Candy, Molasses Candy, Peppermints, Candy Canes, Lemon Taffy, Butter Taffy, Peanut Brittle, Almond Candy, Candied Nuts, Southern Pralines, Popcorn Balls, Candied Fruits, Orange Sticks, Orange Caramels, Crystalized Fruits, Stuffed Dates, Date/Fig Candy, Orange Chips and Crystalized Grapes.


PERSONAL EARTHQUAKE EXPERIENCES: Sylmar 1971, Santa Cruz 1989, Northridge 1994

On October 17, 1989, I was one of many who experienced the "Loma Prieta" Earthquake, which tore through Santa Cruz and San Francisco in the middle of the day, at 5:04 pm. It was pretty amazing. It was a Magnitude: 7.1 on the Richter Scale, with its epicenter in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA. It had 0.64 G Force (near epicenter) and its Focal Depth was 11 miles. I interviewed people I know who were in some of the earthquakes I have been in, and put their responses in an ebook which you can get on Amazon (you can click on the book cover above to get it also). The red tag on the book cover above was the actual red tag from our building in Northridge, CA which was red-tagged after the 1994 quake there!


Fairness Study with Monkeys Shows A Lot...

Frans de Waal's TED Talk about an experiment using Capuchin monkeys is one of great importance, I believe. The experiment was later done with other animals, such as dogs, birds, etc. and the result is always the same. The idea is they put two monkeys in adjoining cages and usually feed the monkeys, as a reward for a task, cucumbers, which they like and are happy to be fed. But the experiment mixes things up by letting one monkey SEE the other monkey get a food they prefer, grapes, to the everyday cucumbers...and it is not only hilarious, but quite moving, to see the monkey's quick reaction to this "unfairness." For me, this immediately reflected the frustrations I feel, personally, over class divisions in the U.S. as I experience them. When I was on Facebook (which I am clean and sober of for months now, you should try it), it also showed me the huge class differences that exist in society and part of what made me laugh was there is a class distinction in reaction to this experiment. I found that most middle class people I knew took this experiment to be about JEALOUSY and said the monkey that was pissed was showing a lowly emotion of jealousy but most people I know who are poor interpretted it as being about FAIRNESS and said it represented the concept that poor people are not dumb, they KNOW they are getting the unfair end of the stick! It is all about POWER.


I have been looking for a way to use sewing to help poor people, especially women. I like the goals of this organization and think it is a good idea. provides cloth menstrual pads for women in poor countries. I can only imagine how much something like that would help, especially in countries with menstruation taboos. I also am interested in the Dress a Girl Around the World Organization, though I am a little more hesitant to work with them due to their heavy emphasis on Christianity. I do not like the idea of forcing theology on people in return for "giving" them things they need. I feel it taints the "giving" if you force them to listen to your religious beliefs in that way. But I am interested in volunteerism, and I am low-income...perhaps sewing is a way I can help others...


Disney's 1929 "Silly Symphony" cartoon, "The Dancing Skeletons," is perfect for the Halloween season!


Virginia Davis played "Alice" in the 1920's Disney short films...

In 1922, Walt Disney formed "Laugh-O-Gram Films." That company had troubles, and in 1923, Disney was able to sell his Alice series of 6 short films for $1,500 each, getting Walt back on his feet. The Alice movies feature a little girl, Virginia Davis, and her exploits, such as the 1924 "Alice's Wild West Show." Disney made several cartoons before Mickey Mouse found popularity, but they were there right as films began to have sound and thus Disney's use of sound began to revolutionize the before silent cartoon world. The "Silent Era" lasted from 1894-1929, approximately. Learn more about the history of animation by following my Animation Blog!


If you want to watch a crazy, scary early silent movie from 1908, which is perfect for the Halloween season, check out Spanish director Segundo de Chomon's "The Haunted House." It is truly bizarre! For more old-fashioned animation fun for Halloween, check out "Koko the Clown and the Ouija Board," which was released in 1920 by the Fleischer Brothers.


Ladislaw Starewicz is one of my favorite animation pioneers. He wired bugs to make them into bug puppets and made stop motion films with them in the early 1900's...Check out my new Animation Blog! I have become interested in animation for several reasons. This art form has an amazing history and I am blogging about it now...


I have created a Day of the Dead/Halloween webpage full of resources to make your own Halloween/Day of the Dead arts and crafts, foods, etc. Check it out at


"Norman in the Clouds," my newest book is now on sale!

Aug. 22, 2014: My newest book, "Norman in the Clouds," is now available on Amazon!! I wrote and illustrated it myself, and it is my first children's fiction book and also the first book I have illustrated! You can now purchase this fun, new book at!


Making homemade fruit leather from blackberries! (Photo: K.Anderberg)

Aug. 18, 2014: Wondering what to do with all those blackberries that are ripe now? Visit my webpage about Blackberries for recipes and information about blackberries!


A page from my newest book, "Norman in the Clouds."

Aug. 13, 2014: I have written a new children's book entitled, "Norman in the Clouds." I illustrated it myself using Photoshop and it is my first fiction, my first children's book and my first attempt at illustration, so this is a lot of firsts! I am waiting for the proof now to see if it is ready to go or needs something else. I have a few more children's books I have written and need to still illustrate. I like the idea of writing fiction, I just have not really done that before so that is something new I am learning about and enjoying.


Abby the Spoon Lady

Women Buskers Project Interviews #4: A Woman Saw Player and Woman Spoon Player!
Read interviews with NYC's Natalia "Saw Lady" Paruz and also Abby the Spoon Lady, from the US...(Read More...)


Mariide Widman, busking the Pike Place Market in Seattle, 1975

Women Buskers Project Interviews #3: More Seattle Women Buskers!!
Read interviews with Seattle women buskers Kathleen Winters and Mariide Widman...(Read More...)


Yva Las Vegass

Women Buskers Project Interviews #2: Seattle Women Buskers!!
Read interviews with Seattle women buskers Yva Las Vegass, Pamela Suzanne Burdwell and Christine Gunn...(Read More...)


WATER FOOTPRINTS: Hidden Water Costs for Products

"Water footprint" is a term used to define all the hidden water consumption required to produce a product. According to the National Geographic Magazine/April 2010 (, it takes 1,857 gallons of fresh water to serve one pound of beef as food, when you add up the water the animal drinks, the water used to grow its food and the water used to clean its waste. Coffee takes 37 gallons of water to produce every cup of coffee. Although our planet is covered with water, 97% of the water is salty and 2% of our fresh water is locked up as snow and ice, which leaves 1% of our planet's fresh water for all our current water uses, which range from crop irrigation and industrial production to cooling nuclear reactors, sewers and drinking/bathing/recreational uses ( Referred to as "blue gold" or "the next oil," competition for fresh water is growing all over the world as we pollute and use more fresh water than is replenished, overdrawing our environmental bank account...(Read More...)

Woods on Vashon Island, WA (Photo: K. Anderberg 2004)

"Do yourself a favor, educate your mind..." - Stevie Wonder


I have been involved with activism to help stop homelessness for decades. The following is an article I wrote on the topic a few years back...

(Photo taken by K. Anderberg, Downtown Seattle, WA., 2007)

Homelessness and the Privilege of Privacy
When I've been homeless, the hardest part has been the lack of privacy. The *privilege of privacy* is something many take for granted, but for those of us who have experienced homelessness firsthand, privacy becomes a mindset, rather than a physical reality. And that fortress of privacy within one's *mind* adds to the wide chasm between the housed and the homeless, often making homeless people seem "crazy" to housed folks. And when one has been forced to make *mental* doors that shut, since physical doors to shut for safety are nonexistent, it is as if there is a change to one's soul. (Read More...)


Discipline and Punishment in Prisons, Schools, and Labor
Foucault details how torture was previously based on physical fear and "collective horror," with images branded upon the psyches of all the spectators to torture. The progression Foucault describes in punishment was a move to punishment now being based on a "lesson," and legally prescribed punishments for crimes with elemental standards. Foucault then also says this "gentler" punishment would then make possible "in society an inversion of the traditional discourse of crime," meaning there needed to be a proactive move to "extinguish the dubious glory of the criminal." (It is interesting to look at modern society's current glorification of "thug life," and "gangsta rap," as well as old school classics such as Ice-T's "Cop Killer" in this context.) Foucault says the discipline movement wanted to "silence the adventures of the great criminals celebrated in the almanacs, broadsheets, and popular tales," and that these then must be replaced in the public conscience by the recording and publicity of the punishment of these criminals so "the crime can no longer appear as anything but misfortune and the criminal as an enemy who must be re-educated into social life." (Read More...)


Miriamma Carson, Amazing Midwife

Rogue Midwifery
Women helping other women deliver babies is as old as humanity. It makes sense. So why do mainstream doctors and hospitals act like midwifery is some radical, dangerous, medically-irresponsible quackery? In Scandanavia, the UK, and the Netherlands, female midwifery is a thriving occupation. Yet in America, it has been constructively outlawed as a profession, for 100 years. While I was in labor, during my home birth, I actually asked the midwives, "Are you sure this is okay to do at home, and not in a hospital?" They said, "Kirsten, think about it. THIS is the way women birthed for thousands of years before doctors and hospitals." That made sense, but I had to ask, due to my years of American medical brainwashing. (Read More...)


Nettles have many medicinal uses...

Nettles, Nettles, Everywhere!
Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) grow like weeds in the woods where I live in the Pacific Northwest (Washington State, USA). Spring is the time to collect the top 6-8 inches of stinging nettles before they flower. You can dry them for later use, or make fresh oil or vinegar infusions, tinctures, hair tonics, herbal drinks, etc. Nettles have been used for centuries in medicines, cosmetics, dyes, teas, and also as an edible, calcium-rich green, like spinach. (Read More...)


Women Street Performers and Sexual Safety
Everyone agrees street performing, or "busking," is hard work. Someone once said about acting, that they do not pay you for the acting, they pay you for the waiting around. That is true in busking, too. Performing talent is about 30% of a good street act. The ability to persevere under harsh conditions, to battle police and merchants over air space, to assert free speech rights at every corner as they are questioned, to spontaneously gather and hold a crowd, and to keep up with hecklers, makes the profession a die-hard one, at best. You spend little time on musical rehearsal, as compared to holding your place in line for a good spot, or "pitch," and then defending that pitch from police when they show up to shut you down. Street performing is not for the weak. And being a solo woman street performer has extra unseen entanglements, due to societal gender stereotypes. (Read More...)

To learn something - you must seek it out.
To know something - you must write it.
To master something - you must teach it.

This sculpture of adult and child whales at Seattle Center artfully uses the lawn as the sea...

"I don't know what weapons will be used in WWIII, but I do know WWIV will be fought with spears and clubs!" - Albert Einstein

American "Insane Asylum" History: Giving Names To Numbered Graves
In 1997, an ex-mental hospital patient and activist, Pat Deegan, was walking her dog on the property of the then closed Danvers State Mental Hospital, located 30 minutes north of Boston. (Danvers State Hospital opened in 1878, and has been closed since the early 1990's). She came upon an overgrown, abandoned cemetery, with only numbers on small round markers. Soon she found a second overgrown cemetery of numbered markers. (It was estimated there was about 40 years of overgrowth covering the cemeteries). Pat soon began facilitating slide shows of what she had seen, as well as organizing ex-patients for field trips and action. (Read More...)

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"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein