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4 tips on using an X-Acto knife without it ending in bloodshed

I remember when I took my first class at college, the first thing the professor did was show us how to use an X-Acto properly and how to cut a mat board. She went over every detail, told us to be extra careful because they are sharp little bastards. And what happens? Not five minutes later, a girl cuts open her hand and, as I later found out, had to get stitches and couldn't work with that hand for a while. So here are a few little tips for other DIYers. I'm mostly just wanted to address common things I've seen done that end in injury.

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Making the choice to believe in people, or: Why I choose to be "naïve"

When someone cuts me off in traffic, I imagine that they're in a terrible hurry and didn't see me. When a young man asks to use my cell phone in a bad part of town, I hand it over and ask if he needs anything else. When I'm taking a Greyhound bus ride and the bus is half full of freshly released prisoners, I always happen to end up right in the middle of their group of seats. I am often called naïve. But I won't let that change my world.

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Creating a safe and happy home in a dangerous space

We very intentionally moved to our current home after a series of not-quite-right trials elsewhere in the country. In such a site, we saw our lives unfolding with love, adventure, and fresh air. And then, we lived in the home for a year, and realized things were not the way they had first seemed. The less pleasant characteristics of our neighborhood began to creep in, and their severity ranged from small to glaring.