Zine scene

Oakland's original Hip Mama is back. Founding editor and mom Ariel Gore has returned to relaunch the print version of her award-winning alternative parenting magazine, Hip Mama, bursting with political commentary and mother-in-the-trenches talk on everything from weaning to home schooling.

Gore describes herself as "a one-time teen mom, welfare mom, single mom and always queer mom," and started the zine as her senior project at Mills College 20 years ago. She edited it for 15 years, then left for family caregiving duties. Now, after a successful crowdfunded rebirth of the print version, she's back in the editor's seat, and her daughter is the art director. Relaunch parties will be held at Bay Area spots in early February. Check www.hipmamazine.com for details.

Helping Haiti

In the category of making the rest of us look bad, three young Portola Valley girls are working to help save orphans in Haiti, raising thousands of dollars performing their own music on their very own record label designed to inspire kids around the world to support worthy causes.

In recognition of the fourth anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 100,000 people in that island country, Kylie, Devon and Piper Holland, ages 14, 13 and 11 respectively, collected $10,000 from friends and family during the winter break and started www.paintedwolfrecords.com with a goal of raising $250,000 to support the U.S. Green Building Council's Project Haiti for a Haitian children's center and the world's first LEED-certified orphanage.


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The girls' first CD, "Invitation to Dream," is a collection of ballads and lullabies sung by Devon and involving A-listers like Grammy Award-winning recording and mixing engineer, Leslie Ann Jones, and her team at Skywalker Sound.

Feeling like a slacker? Go help an old lady cross the street!

Who moved my cheese?

Quelle fromage! First it was the Polar Vortex, then last week another crisis slammed America to its core: Kraft Foods reported a Velveeta shortage. A meltdown ensued on social media with distraught football fans unable to prepare their artery choking snacks for playoff games. This catastrophe was cleverly dubbed #Cheesepocalypse on Twitter, because apparently #PasturizedRecipeCheeseProductopocalypse was too long.

A Kraft spokeswoman said snackers should not be alarmed by this "seasonal shortage." What? There aren't enough petroleum byproducts to make fake cheese? The whole crisis smelled a bit manufactured, so to speak. As one astute tweeter put it, "Let's save #Cheesepocalypse for when we run out of brie."

Contact Angela at ahill@bayareanewsgroup.com.or follow her on Twitter @GiveEmHill.