Banned Children’s Books

The past year has seen a distinct increase in the number of books banned in our schools. Some of these bans focus on books promoting gender and sexual topics. Sometime these bans are instigated by government decree, as in Iowa.  Other times bans are coming from the far left inspired by zealous proponents of these issues. This is illustrated in this amazing article about policy in one of Canada’s largest school districts 

Obviously, Unitarian Universalists are just one of our valued social institutions afflicted  with the CRT virus.  And right wing governments are taking this opportunity to indoctrinate our children as well with  bans of their own.

We are in desperate need of a vaccine!  One that vanquishes the foes of Freedom, Reason and Tolerance from both the left and the right.


Mama Bear and AI

There is much uncertainty and uneasiness about what Artificial Intelligence will mean for our future but, for now, it’s already being employed by millions of people to save time researching, writing, creating art, and producing media. Not wishing to be left behind, I recently started dabbling with AI myself and have been overwhelmed by its creative possibilities.

My exploration began by taking a children’s story I’d written several years ago about a mama bear and her hungry cubs. I pasted its transcript into ElevenLabs AI, a text-to-speech program, chose a voice, and within seconds had a flawless voice-track telling the story. Then I asked ChatGPT to create a storyboard. The story was immediately broken down into scenes, complete with descriptions that I could then use as image prompts in Leonardo AI, a text-to-image program. After I had all the original AI generated royalty free pictures needed for the story, I animated and made them 3D in LeiaPix AI. Finally, I asked Tracksy AI to compose an original piece of music, lullaby-like, to play in the background (also royalty free). Then I edited it all together the old-fashioned way, using Adobe’s Premiere Pro.

The most time-consuming part of the process was the extra time it took to learn these various (mostly free) programs and how best to prompt them for my desired outcomes. (It’s a whole lot easier than learning the symbolic language necessary to code!) This only amounted to minutes, not hours or days. That’s it! Check out the accompanying link to see the outcome for yourself.

By NAUA President, Rev. Dr. Todd Eklof