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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Why the Rapture Doesn’t Have to Get in the Way of Your Plans

by Kristen

According to a lunatic, tomorrow is the official end of days. I can’t pretend this is going to be pleasant for everyone, as only the good will be sucked into heaven, but don’t let that get you down! It looks like the rest of us are going to have five months after tomorrow’s devastating earthquakes until the official end of the world in October. These are the most common New Year’s Resolutions, and I think this is the perfect opportunity to get them all done.

Get a Better Career
Everyone will be starting over, so now you can establish yourself in any job that you want. Always wanted to lead your own rebel group? Now is your chance. Not into upper management? Go rogue, be your own boss. Just want to bum around and read? As long as you blockade yourself in a stronghold, I don’t see why you can’t do that. Assuming you are left behind, you can now be whatever you want to be.

Try New Things
Were you resolved to branch out this year? Your options may be limited, but just change your attitude. I have always said that one person’s steak tartare is another’s apocalypse raccoon meat. Perhaps this isn’t the year that you learn a new language, but you could spend more time in museums. Plus, there are bathrooms and thick walls in those places.

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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Kristen, Pop Culture

 

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A history of Food Blogs (and my 2 local favorites)

by Kristy

Great article on Saveur.com about the history of food blogging.  Did you know the term weblog was coined in 1997?  Me neither.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen/A-Brief-Food-Blog-Timeline

Two of my favorite local (Boston) food bloggers who were missing from the list:

1. Cheap Beets – a mostly vegetarian guide to eating well in the recession

2. The Food Monkey – Eat No Evil!

10 more great foodie sites:

1. Local Dirt

2. One Big Table

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My 3 favorite old fashioned typewriters

by Kristy

There is something about the sleek black metal, the over-sized upright frame, the click of the keys, and ding when you reach the end of a line….old fashioned typewriters may have been functionally superseded by computers, but their ergonomic and aesthetic functions will never be replaced.

My 3 favorite old fashioned typewriters

1. Underwood

upright and fabulous


The Underwood typewriter was first produced in 1895 by John Underwood, who was the son of a typewriter ribbon manufacturer These typewriters, including one my grandmother used to type up news stories for her local newspaper, dominated the market for decades, and are nearly worthless today, even as an antique.  But regardless of value, these typewriters are certainly handsome.

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Things we believe, despite mountains of data disproving them

by Kristy

Birthers believe that Obama wasn’t born in the US, Creationists believe in a divine story of why humans walk the Earth, conspiracy theorists conspire, psuedoscientific claims abound, alien watchers scope the skies, and people spend fortunes on psychic chat lines.  Why do we want to believe so badly, that we ignore the convincing evidence to the contrary?  Sure, this is a controversial topic, and my list could be a top 500 instead of a top 5, but here we go…

Top things we believe, despite mountains of data disproving them:

1. Psychics, Aura readers, Reiki practitioners and the like.  The most troubling aspect of these beliefs is the money they cost.  All these treatments are expensive (as are any “medical” treatments that may accompany them – see #5 below), and despite centuries trying to prove that the supernatural is super natural, there is not an inch of data to support it.  The most outrageous claim?  Psychic water, of course.  One interesting aspect of these examples is the phenomenon where people cling even tighter to beliefs when they are challenged, or when their doubts are raised.

2. Where are we in the solar system?  As the film “A Private Universe” uniquely displays, many intelligent children can’t wrap their minds around the solar system, how seasons occur, and what causes an eclipse. Is it a failure of the educational system?  A short-circuit in our cognition?  Or is it exemplary of our willingness to believe what is comfortable and easy, instead of what is real?

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Latin phrases I use in the lab, but could throw-around more in common conversation to sound like an Ass

by Kristy

Science and medicine are full of Latin phraseology.  Sure, I have to say these words on a day-to-day basis to communicate with my peers.  But to sound like a real Ass, I could also start throwing these around in general conversation:

1. A priori/a Posteriori/ad hoc

You think that shirt will look nice with those pants?  That is a priori knowledge, you better try it on first.

2. bona fide

That taxi driver was a bona fide jerk.

3. ad infinitum

I am going to listen to this album ad infinitum.

(see also: ad nauseum)

4. de facto

It may look like yellow syrup, but it is de facto cheese.


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5 Criteria for Play

by Kristy

All just fun and games.

We’ve all heard about dolphins romping in the wake of a boat, we’ve seen squirrels seem to chase each other in a game of tag – but when is animal play really playing?

Biopsychologist Gordon Burghardt has decided on these 5 criteria:

BURGHARDT’S FIVE CRITERIA FOR PLAY

1- Play is not fully functional in the form or context in which it is expressed.
2- Play is spontaneous, voluntary, and/or pleasurable, and is likely done for its own sake.
3- Play is incomplete, exaggerated, or precocious.
4- Play is repeated but not in exactly the same way every time, as are more serious behaviors.
5- Play is initiated when animals are well fed, healthy, and free from acute or chronic stressors.

 

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Things We’re Tyrannical About – May 2011

by Kristy and Kristen

Kristy is Tyrannical About:

1. Pig-themed pub nights: Whether drinking Sow’s Ear wine from Brooksville, ME or Porkslap beer, the best pub game has to be Pass the Pigs.  The dice are 2 pigs, and the goal is to get your roll just right so the pigs land in compromising positions (each with different point values).  Endless fun.

Go ahead, put a BIRD on it, Portland!

2. Portlandia.  There are far too few of these hilarious shows on IFC right now. I want more.  And everywhere I go, I just want to PUT A BIRD ON IT. (This is also a great replacement for those sorely missing Flight of the Concords, like I am.)

3. The Three Cups of Tea controversy.  It started with a 60-minutes expose (and yes, I DVR this show, can’t get enough Andy Rooney – Kristen does the best impression of him, BTW), followed by Krakauer’s ‘brochure’ on the new byliner website, and Mortenson’s friend Kristof’s NYTimes opinion piece defending him.  As someone who relished this book, supported the cause, and spread the word on both, I must get to the bottom of this – what are the accusations and are they worth getting so upset that I donate my book to charity and ignore Pennies for Peace?

Update: the lawsuit

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