Friends of mine have created a new game called Bring Your Own Book, the game of borrowed phrases. They debuted the game at PAX South this past weekend and currently have a Kickstarter up (and they’ve already made the goal, yaaaay!). I was lucky enough to get to play the game in a beta version and it was really fun. Go have a look!
Scent sucker revisited | dooce®. “It kind of smells beachy? Like you spent all day at a beach, but not a lame touristy beach, maybe like some secret cove where Daniel Craig would take Rachel Weisz and then later he’d shower before dinner and put on a crinkly button-down shirt and this is how he would smell.” By Sarah Brown.
The Renovated Cinerama Deserves the Hype | Slog. (Ed note: the Cinerama is a movie theater in Seattle worth treating as something to check out if you’re visiting the city. They have chocolate popcorn. No, really.) “The huge space is now fitted with a 160 speakers, and each speaker is dedicated to a particular sound in a movie. All of this sonic richness is mixed and intensified by Dolby Atmos, a surround sound monster conjured by Dolby Laboratories. The goal of these improvements is of course to stun our senses in a way that no home theater system ever can.” Sold.
Winter Punch Recipe – 101 Cookbooks. Citrus, fresh ginger, gin and rosemary. Yum.
How candy canes are made by hand. at Kottke.
Gluing a gingersnap cottage (like a nerd), at Instructables. Directions on how to make your own sugar glue gun inserts.
Watch the Building of the Most Complicated Gingerbread House Ever | FWx. From the people behind Modernist Cuisine.
Why Tory MP is the father of all Bernards – Telegraph. Screenwriter Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Three Weddings and a Funeral, etc) nearly always has a character named Bernard in his films, a character who is treated quite badly, this is why. I’m delighted to know that Bernard and the Genie is also named for this reason.
The Stars Are Right | Neat Hobby. Possibly the truth behind what the series Cosmos with Neil Degrasse Tyson is getting to. Maybe. Dunno. But I’ll be ready.
Coming Soon – Butter Up. A knife that allows you to take refrigerator cold butter and get it spreadable with very little fuss. I know somebody for whom this will be the perfect gift.
Karl Stefanovic’s sexism experiment: Today presenter wears same suit for a year. Not one viewer noticed and all the while his female counterparts were being heavily judged on their outfits.
“That’s right, my little spider-egg-carriers, we are already on Take Level Meta and the podcast’s season hasn’t even finished. Life is truly a miracle.” Today In Tabs sums up how I feel about Serial.
I Tried a Bunch of Those Viral “Life Hacks” So You Don’t Have To— off the (meat)hook. I’m linking to this for one reason, which is to dispute the review of “Doritos as kindling”. At lady camp one of the tips we were given was that a small bag of Fritos was good for many things: 1. gluten-free food source, 2. kindling (oil in the chips is very flammable), 3. bag for reflecting sun (if needed for signaling to aircraft, and good luck). This past summer at a cookout in a public park we managed to prove #2 true, Fritos work as kindling in an otherwise damp-ish environment. Many hot dogs and veggie burgers were enjoyed.
How to fold the world’s best paper airplane, at Kottke.
Behind the Scenes at America’s Largest Contiguous Hop Farm | Serious Eats. I had this same learning experience when I attended Hop Academy two years ago.
The Amazing, Original Green Building Is Soon to Be Vacated by the Original Timber Company | Slog. You can see this building while driving on I-5 and it’s amazing even from a distance.
The Heron and the Snake | BirdNote. This was a very unusual Bird Note, and basically the audio version of that Never Give Up frog vs. heron poster.
Part 1: I cheated on my girlfriend of 8 months. At Do You Think You’re Pretty? the blog of Emily V. Gordon who I hereby nominate as the best councilor for us all. Between telling this guy what he needs to hear I also love this: “No love, no matter how great or small, benefits from being overly romanticized. It makes us forget that we’re actually just two people who decided they dug each other.”
Everyone In Hollywood Has This Hairstyle at Refinery 29. Next time I head to get my haircut I’m just going to pull a bunch of these images as examples for what I want.
“What would happen if a whale suddenly appeared in the sky and then plunged down into a South American town.” at the Ninth Letter Arts & Literary Journal. Via The Morning News. No mention of a bowl of petunias.
Bone Records – Mighty Girl. Oh wow, people in the Soviet Union listened to banned music made using records created from repurposed the vinyl in old x-rays.
Damn, Gina, It’s never not a good time to read Wikipedia’s Bog Bodies at Damn, Gina. We saw a few of these at National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. Go and read about how they were found and try not to think about it next time you are enjoying your Scotch.
Harvesting Free Food at Seattle’s Beacon Food Forest | Garlic Gulch. This is in my neighborhood!
Recasting Gilmore Girls for the Highly Anticipated, Hypothetical Movie, at Gawker. I was pretty worried about what recasting choices people might expect but this article makes some solid points. Via Making It Lovely.
Cool Tools – Hugo’s Amazing Tape. It only sticks to itself.
Five Things You Didn’t Know About The Red Carpet – A Practical Wedding. Meg’s writeup about what it’s really like on the red carpet is a whole lot of fun.
nateswinehart: Being good to each other is so important, guys. This is so true, and so funny, and true again.
Death Star Gown | MAKE: Craft. That Star Destroyer handbag!
Feel the Burn: Mailbag! Posture! Desk Jobs!. Exercises good for those who slouch. You can’t see me right now but know that I’m pointing at myself.
5 Details They Cut from My Season of ‘The Biggest Loser’ | Cracked.com. “That is the mighty power of the television editor: With enough time and a copy of Adobe Premiere, you can make Mr. Rogers look like a blood-drinking psychopath.”
Flexible Light Helps People Find Keys And Wallet In Their Giant Bags – PSFK. A flat, rechargeable purse light with 24 LEDs. Want! via Girls of a Certain Age.
Cool Tools – What’s in My Bag? Christopher Michel. A frequent world traveler shows which items he keeps with him at his seat in the plane. I do something similar, it’s so calming knowing I have everything I need to block out noise or charge up without digging through a bag at my feet.
Infinite Trees – The Colossal Shop. So simple and so lovely. Should this actually be a Christmas link?
Wonder Woman Costume Designs We’d Love To See On The Big Screen, at i09. Some of these are great, recognizably Wonder Woman but a bit more badass.
Engineer Prints from Photojojo. Huge 3′ by 4′ black and white prints for your home, shipping is included in the $25 price. I have a plan.
Douglas Adams’ Guide To Interspecies Sex Getting Published At Last, at i09. These will be the unpublished works that were on paper, whereas The Salmon of Doubt was what was left behind on hard drives. As somebody who found the tapes of the original radio series at my library and listened to them obsessively when I was in high school I’m stupidly excited.
Recently King Arthur Flour gathered a group of PNW bloggers and we all made dinner for a shelter here in Seattle. It was part of their Bake for Good initiative to encourage and help people reach out to their communities in various ways. In addition to getting food to those in need, baking for community events and bake sales to raise money they also have a Bake for Good Kids traveling tour that helps kids learn to bake and work with their communities. In addition to all this King Arthur Flour is an employee owned company where each employee donates time each year to volunteering and helping the community. You know what? There’s been a lot of gloomy stuff going on in the news lately and being a part of the Bake for Good tour reminded me that there is plenty of goodness out there and sometimes you have to create it.
(The image above is from the King Arthur Flour website. The pictures below are all from my aging iPhone, the days were so packed with flour and butter and dishwashing that I didn’t pull out my camera.)
(My bread was a little lopsided but bascially worked. The one here looked so pretty I took a picture of it instead.)
We spent some time in commercial kitchens which was a thrill for me. On the first day we made braided white loaves, dinner rolls and apple pies.
We braided white bread dough, you start from the center and braid down, then flip it over and braid down again. Not as easy as it sounds, at least the first time.
It rose! And got brown and pretty!
I’ve never been able to get a handle on pie dough. I’d seen plenty of demonstrations on cooking shows, I’d done the vodka thing, the food processor thing but I never had any success and basically gave up on it. Turns out some hands on learning with a cheerfully helpful teacher is what I needed.
What I learned? Half of the butter bits need to be way larger than I suspected. And one of these large plastic scrapers is oh so handy. Seriously, I won’t ever make pie dough without one of these again. It’s particularly great if you don’t have cold hands because it can mix and fold with minimal contact from your hands. It’s also great for scooping up chopped vegetables, even easier to use than a metal bench scraper. There you, my new favorite kitchen multitasker.
In my notes I have VB, which stands for Visible Butter, something you want during the last stages of putting your pie dough together. When you are gathering it to chill before rolling out you want the dough to be both shaggy and crumbly, not too dry but just wet enough to hold together. Right, I’m not going to do any good telling you about it, go find a pie person and practice!
The next day we made salad, macaroni and cheese, chicken and a few other vegetable side options. I appreciated the oversized tools.
We had a tour of the shelter and it was pretty sobering. Everybody there was a good soul caught in a difficult situation. It made me feel very grateful for what I have and like I could be doing a lot more to help out in my community. I’ll be seeking out as many opportunities to volunteer as I can.
If you like to cook I do have a suggestion for helping out in your area, look up your local VA hospital and see if they are seeking volunteers to cook dinner for the caretakers of patients who are living there are on a short or long term basis. Here in Seattle the Fisher House is one of those spots, this is something my friend Fresh Picked Seattle organizes from time to time so all credit goes to her. In addition to cooking they have room for people to come and hold craft nights, garden, organize outings or teach a class.
Alright, let’s go out and do some good.
How To Clean Tarnished Silver Jewelry — Jewelry Making Journal. Getting rid of the tarnish on silver jewelry using stuff you have in the house already and without (much) polishing, nice.
NPR’s April Fool’s Day Prank Was An Absolute Masterpiece, at Filmdrunk. Very clever!
Cool Tools – Kitebuilder. A site all about building kites, with tips and plans.
A Goose That Lays Golden Eggs by Geraint Krumpe of Y Line Product Design — Kickstarter. This product scrambles eggs inside the shell without piercing the shell at all. Nicely thought out and I kindasorta want one, but I also really like an egg with a runny yolk.
Campfire Boyfriend Sweater | Mighty Girl. Need-want all of these things. We are without fire in my house and I miss it.
Hot Male Cellists’ ‘Thunderstruck’ Cover Will Blow You Away (VIDEO) | The Stir. I had never heard of these two who do covers of modern songs. For this one in particular they really get into it near the middle of the video.
So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery… | Serious Eats. From my summer spent with Spinnaker Bay Brewing I can tell you everything he says here is spot on.
Lammily, a doll based on the average size of actual human girls. From what started as an idea to find out what the Barbie doll might look like if it were scaled to an average human comes this doll ready to be produced. The arms and legs articulate so she can were flats or heels, play sports and sit. It’s already 400% funded with 23 days to go. I might buy one for my office to remind myself that people are good.
Tagalongs vs. Peanut Butter Patties: The Great Girl Scout Cookie Regional Naming Rift | The Hairpin. See also: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Girl Scout Cookies at Baking Bites. “One of the two bakeries, ABC Bakers, produces four completely vegan cookie varieties: Lemonades, Thanks-A-Lot, Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Patties. These same cookie varieties are not vegan when they come from Little Brownie Bakers.”
How to make a fake bag, at Kottke. The CEO of Saddleback Leather giving a crash course in leatherwork and how you can make a cheap ripoff of one of his bags.
Cool Tools – Waterpik Water Flosser. It’s not really for flossing, it’s designed to work on “the bacterial biofilm that perpetually forms on the surface of teeth and that never quite gets cleaned away by toothbrushes, dental floss, and various gum-recess cleaning gizmos.” Good to know.
From Hummingbird Heads to Poison Rings: Indulging Our Antique Jewelry Obsession | Collectors Weekly. An interview with Monica McLaughlin who writes the fascinating column on estate jewelry over at The Hairpin. One of the things shown are coach covers, hollow hinged spheres women used to cover the diamond in a drop earring to hide it from view during the day, so clever. Also, taxidermy jewelry! Via Girls of a Certain Age.
The Story Behind The Gilmore Girls Music tol by Sam Phillips. At Refinery 29. Amy Sherman-Palladino is a former professional dancer? That makes Bunheads a bit clearer.
Er Wang Dong cave in China so huge it has its own weather system | Mail Online. I love caves, it’s been far too long since I’ve been in one.
Three Panel Soul » On Discovery. Yup, that’d be me too.
What things cannot be made by machine? | Ask MetaFilter. “For example knitting can be duplicated by machine, but crocheted items can only be made by hand.” As a knitter who has avoided learning crochet because it seems to involve too much counting and too much paying attention at all times, this comparison is riveting. Will we eventually foil the robot takeover by communicating via crochet and macrame?
Family Outfitted in Awesome ‘Labyrinth’ Costume Ensemble. Via Laughing Squid. This is amazing all around.
Dopp Kit Essentials. “Dopp kits gained their namesake from a German immigrant leatherworker named Charles Doppelt.” Tell me more.
Art of the Shim. Shims are serious, low-alcohol cocktails that are fun and delicious but won’t knock you out with booze. My friend Dinah just happens to be the author of this book and I know for certain that she has great taste in cocktails.
Damn, Gina, dramaticstart: Vacation rentals for viewing The Northern Lights. What?! I am doing this.
Testing 30 Life Hacks We Found on the Internet | Mental Floss. (Video.) I adore how delighted he is when something actually works.
How Has “Bust” Magazine Survived? – The Awl. I’m glad it has.
Essex Eating: My guide to eating and drinking in Bristol. Link sent my way by Wai Yee Hong, in Bristol!
Secret Fore-Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa | Colossal. Via The Stranger. This is amazing, hidden paintings on the edge of pages in a book that can only be seen when the pages are fanned out.
PAX Controversy | Mighty Girl. I’ve read the timeline and the piece in Wired, and this reflection by Maggie, who took the time to try to know the PAX guys better, is very well considered. See also, this long insider view from MC Frontalot.
The Books You Always Recommend Open Thread | CaptainAwkward.com. I need new books to read, this thread is perfect.
Things you might not realize about being in a coma until you’re in one., by Emily V. Gordon.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a sequel to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. Produced by Seth MacFarlane and hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson! at Kottke.
Why I’ll Miss Bunheads: Because I’m a Mess, Too | The Hairpin. What she said. I’m going to miss that show a lot, maybe even more than Gilmore Girls.
Luxe by MOO | Premium Business Cards. These look really nice, and really affordable. The example cards they show off are funny!
Make my own deodorant? Check. | FreeTime, Ltd. A maker approved, DIY totally irritant-free deodorant. I’ve been having strange reactions to antiperspirants and the most basic and natural of deodorants lately (lucky me) so I’m going to try this. Via Mighty Girl’s round up of You Made This on Go Mighty.
The Maze. A mysterious choose your own adventure puzzle thingy.
Text to Morse code convertor. You never know when you’ll need it.
Sir Realism – Soul Searchin’. An indie game I really must finish someday soon, very clever idea. From a previous year’s Ludlum Dare.
Conjuring – Futility Closet. This card trick isn’t an illusion, but it’s really neat to do over and over to prove it true.
Checklist | Get Your Shit Together. A straightforward and very helpful guide to how to prepare your shit (wills, passwords, bank accounts, life insurance) just in case.
The Technium: The Clock in the Mountain. All about the Long Now foundation’s clock.
Amazon.com: PocketToolX Mako Titanium Bike Tool. This looks useful, and tiny.
Robbed! by Megan Seling – The Stranger. How bands and individuals can insure their instruments, and plenty of devastating examples as to why you should do this right away.
Giant Colin Firth Terrorizes London – The Atlantic Wire. I must see this for myself.