Not Martha

Mobile Games To Keep You Happily Distracted

Here are some mobile/tablet games that I recommend for keeping you distracted during long stretches of travel or just during the dark winter nights. (I played all of these on iOS but I’ve linked to the developers websites for each game and noted what platforms they are available on.) They aren’t new but these are the ones that I found memorable and keep around for replaying in the future. At the bottom of this post is a list of little puzzle games that keep me happily distracted while waiting in lines at the airport. Happy travels everybody!

Long Mobile Puzzle and Adventure Games

Tetrobot and Co
I am very, very obsessed with this game. This is a cute and stylish puzzle game that hits all the right spots – the controls are easy to pick up, there aren’t any Running Against The Clock levels, there is a rewind button that will take you back one step at a time, and the puzzles are just difficult enough to make you feel like a GENIUS when you solve them but never quite get frustrating. There are plenty of elements to make completionists happy including some play-it-again challenges that make early levels that much more challenging. In Tetrobo and Co. you pilot a tiny robot through each level moving and arranging blocks to make your way to the exit. The blocks have different properties (magnetic, reflective, impervious to fire, stick to the walls). These are all very familiar game concepts but the levels here are especially clever, often requiring a bit of extra discovery on your part to solve. As you go along new physics are introduced so the puzzles never get repetitive. I found the clicky/whirry/buzzy sounds in this game particularly appealing and the soundtrack changes for each set of levels. There is a sweet little background story that is revealed as you solve things that is safe to ignore if that’s not your thing, it’s a continuation of story behind Swing Swing Submarine’s previous game, Blocks That Matter.

What else? The main protagonist in this game, the one who built the tiny robot, is a girl. The game is completely safe for kids (but please don’t tell me if your seven year old found the whole game really easy, my ego will be crushed). It was originally built for PC and is available on Steam, but it was clearly designed with touch screen in mind. I’ve played the predecessor to this game, Blocks That Matter, on my laptop and found the levels just as clever but occasionally more dependent on frustrating time elements (for example, a series of crates catching on fire, a constantly oncoming boss monster). I was able to get through all of the main levels without rage quitting and can definitely recommend playing it.

I’ve been trying to describe to friends why I like Tetrobot and Co so much and I’ve been comparing it to the Portal games because of how smart it makes me feel when I solve a level. I’m currently giving this game a rest in the hopes that I forget all the tricks and solutions so I can play it all over again. Save for kids? Yes. App Store/Steam/Google Play/Humble Store/GOG.

Oceanhorn
Reviewers compare this to a Zelda game (Wind Walker era) and they aren’t wrong. In this game you play a young boy who explores islands, swings a sword, shoots arrows at monsters, finds hidden caves and, yes, defeats a few boss monsters all in the effort to save the world and find his long lost father. I’m not partial to console-like games on the iPad but this one won me over in a big way and I’ve played all the way through it twice. The monsters that you encounter as you explore the world aren’t difficult to defeat (though they do respawn the moment you leave each area) and I had less trouble with the boss monsters than I feared (with a little help from some walkthroughs, I admit, because ugh boss monsters ugh). While you do encounter plenty of monsters the game is well balanced with lots of time for exploration on each new island, and a few towns where you can stock up. There are lots of hidden areas, completionist elements and reasons to revisit old areas (like magic boots that allow you to cross gaps). Despite the usual meters for health/money/arrows/bombs I never found myself stuck. There has been a nice update to the game this year so I’m ready to play through it again. Safe for kids? Yes. App Store/Steam/GOG/Humble Store.

Broken Age
Disclosure: I played this on PC because I was a Kickstarter backer and that was the option available. Having played it and carefully scoured reviews for the touch screen version of the game I’m pretty sure that you won’t miss having a mouse and keyboard when playing this game.

Broken Age is a brand new retro style point and click adventure game of the sort I grew up playing. It’s more about the story and a bit less about the puzzles and I absolutely loved it. The graphics looks like watercolors, the characters are all voiced incredibly well (and by lots of names you’ll recognize) and I absolutely fell in love with all the characters. There is humor and heart and randomness and a little bit of “I have a bucket, a skirt and a mirror and I need to convince a sentient vine to let me jump into the pit” that you’ll recognize if you’ve played these sorts of games before.

The world of the game is split between two characters/worlds that you can switch between if you are feeling stuck with one storyline or the other and I bet you’ve already guessed that at some point the storylines cross. For as much as I love the world that Doublefine has created and I love this sort of game, there isn’t a lot of puzzling or defeating going on here and after a while it becomes clear that no matter how many amusing conversation threads there are you’ll eventually be lead towards the only one that counts. This didn’t make me love the game any less, but if you’re not a fan of the King’s Quest era games this isn’t one that will change your mind. Safe for kids? Yes. App Store/Steam/PS4/PS Vita/Google Play.

Murder Files
Everything about this game seems geared towards a younger version of me but it managed to completely delight my old self. It’s a little bit cartoonish and it’s interspersed with the style of logic puzzles that I remember being given to pass the time during long car trips. (Kids, this was before we had iPads or even, shudder, portable DVD players. Car trips were boring, grim and probably account for 95% of my lateral thinking ability.) The real star here is the narrator who manages a humorously dramatic tone and does all the character voices. Half of the game are the aforementioned logic puzzles and half is listening intently to the answers that possible suspects give which I found surprisingly tricky since my brain is so likely to tune out at the wrong moments. This whodunnit/logic puzzle combination is something I’ve seen in a few games but it’s executed perfectly here and I recall the story as fondly as the puzzles. Safe for kids? Yes. Except, you know, it’s about murder. Kid safe? Yes, but murder is a thing. App Store/PS3/Steam/Kindle Fire/Google Chrome.

The Trace
This is a murder scene investigation game with controls similar to The Room. You can move around, zoom in, make observations and collect clues, find codes and open drawers and uncover some hidden areas. At the end of each case you answer a series of questions and uncover the guilty party. Safe for kids? No, there are some dead bodies lying around. Not gruesome but definitely grim. App Store/Google Play/Kindle Fire.

Agent A
A stylish point and click adventure where you play a secret agent who needs to work her way through the hideout of a villain, Ruby LaRouge. The game is full of tropes – keys and locks and passcodes, hidden panels, getting a clue out of a fish tank that contains sharks, trying to get the cat to move. The game play felt slow at times (go all the way outside to get that thing, now come all the way back, now go outside again) but the puzzles and storyline kept me entertained the whole way through. Bonus points for both the secret agent and the villain being female. Safe for kids: yes but violence is implied. App Store only.

Tiny Bang
I’ve been a little hesitant to recommend this game here. The game has beautiful Samorset-like hand drawn visuals, a relaxing soundtrack, and a charming story. The elements of the gameplay involve hidden object hunting, logic puzzles, jigsaw assembly, some Simon Says (ugh), a couple of constantly moving 8-bit style mini games (which I find frustrating and overly long) and a few puzzles that just require that you put the things in the right place that are somehow simple and difficult at the same time. I don’t find any of these elements particularly swoon worthy on their own but they’ve all been brought together into a game that is (most of the time) relaxing despite all my protestations. Kid friendly? Yes. App Store/Steam/Google Play.

Quick Puzzle Games

These are easy to learn, quick to play games that are perfect for when you need something you can pick up and put down just to fill the time spent waiting in a long line. Or, you know, while on your couch watching reruns of Scandal.

Patchmania – App Store
Logic Dots – App Store/Android
1010! – App Store/Google Play/Amazon Apps
Hex FRVR – App Store/Android Apps
Infinite Loop – App Store/Android
Quetzalcoatl – App Store

Games I’ve got to carve some time for but love so far: The Wolf Among Us, Seek (swivel chair is helpful, go try it out), Lifeline, Walking Mars, Heroki and The Room 3. What have you been playing? Let us know if you have any gems!

· comments [8] · 12-22-2015 · categories:dailyphoto · uncategorized ·

Buy Handmade in Seattle This Weekend

There are lots of chances to buy delightful handmade gifts in and around the Seattle area this December but there are three going on this weekend that are of particular interest to me, and maybe you. These events are run by or feature people who I have worked with and dearly love because they make Seattle a more amazing city.

Urban Craft Uprising
Dec. 5th 10am – 6pm & Dec. 6th 10am – 5pm, Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. This is bustling and packed full of options for everybody on your list. (Seriously, I always leave here with a perfect gift or seven.)

King Street Makers Market
Dec. 3rd – 5th, 11am to 7pm, 666 King St. “A 4-day gift-centric pop-up shop featuring the handcrafted work of PNW makers.” Lovely curated collection filled with things to eat, bake with, wear and display.

The Handmade Showroom Pop-up Shops at Pacific Place
Open every day through Dec. 31st, in Pacific Place Mall. Ok, so this one isn’t exclusive to this weekend but check it out while you’re downtown (and before they go back to a weekend only schedule). The shop features goods from artists and makers in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Idaho).

· comments [0] · 12-4-2015 · categories:seattle ·

links: misc

Don’t freak out, but scientists think octopuses ‘might be aliens’ after DNA study | Irish Examiner.

A 3D-Printed Chess Set Made of Pieces That Are Individual Mini Planters, at Laughing Squid. This is pretty darn charming.

Alison Bechdel Would Like You to Call It the “Bechdel-Wallace Test,” | The Mary Sue. This comes from an interview with Alison Bechdel on Fresh Air.

Emily V. Gordon’s book Super You is available for preorder! She is a hero of mine and I’m so looking forward to her book.

Disney’s Artemis Fowl adaptation moving forward with Kenneth Branagh · Newswire · The A.V. Club. The Artemis Fowl books are great because of the secret code running along the pages, but I listened to the audiobooks and was impressed with how cinematic they were. I like the names attached to this movie so here is to hoping it’s great.

The 100 TV Dramas Everyone Should Watch — Vulture. I love that all the Bryan Fuller shows are high on this list. On Dead Like Me: “it’s one of very few coming-of-age stories about a girl that isn’t a story about falling in love.” Yes.

Here’s what one year in space does to your body | The Verge. “Your feces will not be shooting stars.”

The Problem With Trillian: Hitchhiker’s Guide and Me – The Toast.

Jerry the Bear – Off Topic – Cooking For Engineers. A plush bear that teaches kids how to manage their own chronic health conditions by caring for Jerry the Bear. This looks pretty amazing.

Remove Odors from Your Entire Home by Simmering Vinegar, at Life Hacker.

The One Podcast to Start With, Across 24 Topics — Vulture.

VR Interface Design Pre-Visualisation Methods on Vimeo on Vimeo.

Music to Sleep By – The New Yorker. “The composer Max Richter has written an eight-hour-long piece that he hopes listeners will sleep through.” I lived in a noisy apartment in college and would put on an album by The October Project. Training myself that way was incredibly effective, I still get heavily drowsy at the second song on that record.

Ermahgerddon: The Untold Story of the Ermahgerd Girl | Vanity Fair. I dig meme origin stories.

SunsetWx. A sunset quality predictor, via Kottke.

· comments [8] · 11-30-2015 · categories:links · misc ·

links: technology

The next game from the creators of Monument Valley is going to be a virtual reality experience, at Kotaku. I’m getting excited about VR.

Sorry Ello, the Real Anti-Facebook Is Good Old Email | WIRED. They call out the old fashioned newsletter, specifically Tiny Letter, here and I have to agree — I’ve signed up for a few newsletters in the past months and it’s like getting my journal-blog days back.

TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Dust: An Elysian Tail’ | TouchArcade.

Little Inferno creator’s new game is about programming people | Polygon. Tablet version coming soon. Yes!

The 50 Best Free Games On PC | Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Knytt is in the top ten!

Cool Tools – The Best Factual Podcasts.

At last, a handy storage solution for your phone! | Sugru. Easy, cheap, removable DIY for an iPhone holder, awesome. Via Swissmiss.

· comments [0] · 11-3-2015 · categories:links · technology ·

Coffin Surprise Cookies

A few years ago I made Trick Or Treat Cookies for Halloween and back then I noted that I’d love to do an all-coffin version. And look! It only took me three years!

I decided to imprint the tops with wood grain using a mat meant to imprint on clay, something I first spotted on Martha Stewart (video, there with Jeff Daniels on an April Fools episode). Doing a little research I found Haniela’s (video) has also created these, and her instructions are wonderful. She’s got a lot of great videos for Halloween baked goods, check out this Monster Eye Cake.

I bought my wood grain mat from a local pottery supply store, it’s the wood grain mat sold by Chinese Clay Art. There is a larger wood grain impression mat for fondant on Amazon. (I would have bought that one if I’d had time, also note: affiliate links.)

When you’re cutting out the cookies roll to 1/4″ thick. Roll the dough between two layers of parchment paper, this will keep the chocolate cookies nice and dark. I have a tiny kitchen so I roll dough on my dining room table using a medium sized Roul’pat. It’s pricey but I adore it, it grips the table and the parchment nicely so things don’t slide around, it gives me plenty of space to work on and I can roll it up to store away.

You’ll need one woodgrain top, one flat bottom and two layers of hollow sides for each cookie. I made these with two hollow layers in the middle, instead of the single layer from my original Trick or Treat Cookies, to allow for more room for candy. I used round cutters to cut out the insides because it was far easier than trying to trim out the middles and laziness ruled that day.

I used dark chocolate candy melts to use as glue because it sets faster, but if you have the time real chocolate would taste better. Use a plastic bag with a very small corner snipped off, no need to get out piping tips or a decorating pen for this one.

Gathering candies to go inside was a lot of fun, I wandered around a particularly well stocked candy shop long enough for the employees to get curious and start suggesting spooky candy for me. Here I have:

I wish I had bought the salted licorice black cats because it would make for an interesting good/bad surprise depending on who gets it inside their cookie. I’m pro licorice myself. The wrapped chocolate eyeballs shown here didn’t actually fit in the cookies so let’s all just ignore them. La la la. (Note: affiliate links above.)

Here is the best thing I learned from doing this project: clay art or pottery supply stores are excellent places to get interesting baking supplies. Wandering around Seattle Pottery Supply I saw a whole bunch of tools meant for fondant or baking and I was stunned by the amount of plunger cutters
that allow you to make teeny tiny cookies. Next time I have some creating baking in mind I’m planning to head to the pottery supply store first.

Click more for the recipe: [Read more →]

· comments [11] · 10-23-2015 · categories:halloween · holidays ·

Halloween things to make, listen to, play and decorate your nails with

Here are the things that have caught my eye this Halloween:

FOOD

Eyeball on a brownie created by Christine McConnell. She’s made a candy eye look so much more threatening than simple sugar. Also take a look a the other treats she created. And the house she decorated. And basically everything else she’s done, it’s stunning.

Prosciutto Wands at Martha Stewart. I first encountered these back in the summer but they instantly made me think of Halloween. Very simple and easy to interpret as ghastly when set on a darkly decorated table.

Bleeding Heart Cake (video) by Ann Reardon at How To Cook That. This is a recreation of a cake in a Taylor Swift video but this entirely edible construction for holding hidden goo until you cut into it deserves to be used for Halloween.

Halloween Witch Hat Surprise Cookies at It’s Always Autumn. Easy to make and very cute, bonus points for mixing some candy eyes in with the other treats inside.

NAILS

Creepy 3D Ghost Face tutorial from PiggieLuv (video). This uses gel polish built up in layers, creepy. Via this Halloween nail art round up at Brit+Co.

Halloween DIY Googly Eye Manicure at Design*Sponge. Silly and simple. If you’d like something even simpler take a look at the VandalEyes nail stickers at Espionage Cosmetics, both types glow in the dark!

GAMES

Dark Echo. You can’t see the monsters but you can hear them. I played a demo of this at PAX this year and even standing in a large room filled with people I was frightened when I would finally encounter something that was stalking me. (Mobile on the App Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps and on Steam.)

Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon. This is the second Spider game and this one is larger and tells a much darker story. You maneuver a spider around an estate and it’s grounds and find clues as you explore. If spiders freak you out you can play as a tiny walrus instead, which is hilarious. (Available in the App Store, Google Play, Humble Store and Steam, later for Vita and PS4.)

LISTEN TO

All In Your Head at the 99% Invisible podcast. They detail how the sound designer behind the television show Hannibal made sounds that make us uneasy.

Caitlin Doughty of Ask A Mortician on the Explain Things To Me podcast. A great interview on how she got started in the death business, how embalming became common and what she wants done with her body when she dies. Also listen: Another interview on the Nerdette podcast.

Charles Manson’s Hollywood, a twelve part series on the You Must Remember This podcast. Karina Longworth follows the series of events and the who, how and what sort of society of the time led to the Manson murders. There is meticulous research and in depth stories of the people surrounding Manson’s time in LA. It’s worth looking at the webpage for each episode to see photographs from the time.

Two Halloween playlists for your party needs: at Oh Happy Day and the Marloween 2015 at The Amber Show.

QUESTION FOR YOU

Has anybody tried those lace temporary tattoo masks? Do they stay on for the duration of an evening? I want to try out the various temporary tattoos that are out for Halloween (zombie bites, spiders, masks) but I’m afraid they would flake away after only an hour or so.

· comments [7] · 10-20-2015 · categories:halloween ·

links: food

Ovenly’s Gluten-Free Salted Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe | MUNCHIES. There is no flour of any kind in these and I must try them.

maple-candied bacon – The Clever Carrot. It’s so beautiful. Via The Wirecutter.

DIY Gelatin Confetti Sprinkles | Sprinkle Bakes.

A Chocoholic’s Dream – Seven Different Kinds of Chocolate in One Wonderous Bar | Nerdist. They are only making 50 of these. I think it’s time for a DIY right here.

Geeky cake pan will turn you into a Mother of Dragons – CNET.

How to Make Rainbow Unicorn Piñata Cookies That Poop Star Sprinkles at Laughing Squid. This is a very smart mashing together of geeky/crafty worlds.

Adorable and Edible Panda Tapioca Milk Tea | Nerdist.

How to Line a Baking Pan with Aluminum Foil | David Lebovitz. Clever!

Easter Eggs! | Flickr – Jen Cooper. Chocolate Faberge! These are fantastic.

Orangette: June 26. Delicious watermelon popsicles.

A Quick Way to Make an Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich, at Laughing Squid. Simple and smart.

IDEAS IN FOOD: Rice Krispy Treat Lace Cookies.

HOW TO MAKE CRUFFIN WITH PASTA MACHINE | Lady and Pups – an angry food blog. I’ve made a few attempts at this an my results have been varied, it’s fun to eat the failures though.

This Waffle Recipe Will Change Brunch Forever – Eater.

Roasted Cabbage Wedges Recipe | Martha Stewart.

Yogurt Worth Waiting For – Edible Seattle. On how the best yogurt in Seattle came to be.

· comments [2] · 09-22-2015 · categories:food · links ·

links: technology

A primer and FAQ for Ingress, Google’s odd/awesome mobile game | ITworld. Via How Ingress, Google’s Real-World Smartphone Game, Got Me Out of My Shell, at Lifehacker.

A brief history of yarn in video games – Boing Boing.

Portal Stories: Mel Released Free On Steam | Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

The first episode of King’s Quest, A Knight to Remember, arrives July 28 | Polygon.

Royal with cheese: A King’s Quest primer | Polygon. We weren’t allowed to have a console as kids (I had to sneak in Mario time at a friend’s house) but we did have a PC so I grew up playing King’s Quest and Space Quest games. Me and Sierra were besties.

‘Blossom Tales’ is “A delightful mix of ‘Zelda’ and Princess Bride,” Coming this Winter | TouchArcade.

Fantastic Contraption for the Vive. 3D in VR. Wowzers. Via belong.io.

Whispering Willows Review: Riddles in the Dark – Gamezebo.

Gamasutra – Game Design Essentials: 20 Open World Games.

Your Super Mario Maker level has no chill – Offworld.

games « Indie Fund. This is a note to myself to check out more of the games that Indie Fund has supported.

· comments [0] · 09-15-2015 · categories:links · technology ·

links: drink

Manhattan Drink Recipe – How to Make a Manhattan, at Esquire. Lately I’ve been loving the drink histories and variations offered by Esquire. See also: the Old Fashioned, Daquari, and the Martini.

How to Have Your Drink and Drink It, Too | A Cup of Jo. On session beers and session cocktails for lazy summer afternoons.

Hazy Whiskey Cocktail – Gather Journal. Using smoke created by lighting cinnamon and cloves.

Cocktail IN an Ice Sphere | Molecular Recipes.

Meet the Flower That Naturally Colors Drinks Blue – Eater.

Ginger Beer Business Is Booming in Seattle | Seattle Bars | Seattle Met.

A Menu of Gin Tonics & A Feast For Juniper at Cask Strength. This is how other countries do gin and tonics right.

Make Perfectly Clear Ice Balls Using Insulated Mugs – Alcademics.com. I found this on Facebook somewhere, if it was you let me know!

Welcome to Booze Science, Our Drunkest Video Series Ever | WIRED. The first video is about ice and dilution with Jennifer Colliau of the Interval at The Long Now who shows off some ice with less surface area than an ice sphere. Yup.

Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur Cocktails | Chilled magazine. The first cocktail here looks great, it includes Lillet Rouge and Hendricks.

We Experimented With Powdered Alcohol So You Don’t Have To | WIRED.

Jim Meehan’s Cocktail Primer: Terminology, Essential Equipment and Recommended Reading | Food & Wine. I added one kind of shaker and two types of ice after reading this, a concise breakdown of the how/why of cocktailing.

The Only Reason Why Your Scotch Doesn’t Taste Like Meat And Bad Eggs, at io9.

Spiked Watermelon Popsicles – Lulus.com Fashion Blog. Clever and easy.

Ardbeg’s space whisky tastes “noticeably different” from Earth-matured whisky | Ars Technica. It spent three years ageing on the ISS.

Club-Mate: The Favorite Drink of German Hackers and Club Kids Is Here – Eater.

The Delicious Secret Behind Your Favorite Whiskey: The Best Spirits from MGP | Serious Eats. Your small batch artisanal spirit might come from a huge warehouse, but that doesn’t mean it tastes bad. While I’d love to say that small batch is always better there is a growing distillery business in Seattle and I’ve had plenty of bad whiskeys from them.

· comments [1] · 09-8-2015 · categories:drink · food · links ·

links: food

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk Is Probably the Best Chicken Recipe of All Time — Recipe Review | The Kitchn. I will be trying this soon.

How to Make a Pizza Decorated to Look Like Captain America’s Shield at Laughing Squid.

Compact Charcoal Grills — Shoebox Dwelling.

crunchy cabbage salad with spicy peanut dressing | Scaling Back. Yum, via Whoorl.

How to Cook Spanish-Style Pimientos de Padrón | Serious Eats. I’m excited for Padron pepper season to return.

Genius Kale Salad Recipe – 101 Cookbooks.

Heirloom Seeds – Vegetable Seeds and Plants, Melon, Charentais. This is a note to myself to plant these in our garden next year. We had one of these melons from a local market and it was absolutely delicious. Wait, maybe it was the Vedrantais. In any case, it’s worth seeking out.

Roasted Broccoli Rabe with Lemon Vinaigrette and Grilled Chicken – Not Without Salt. After a trip to Vegas we had a few weeks of dinners with lots of deep greens, this option looks delicious.

10 Easy Molecular Gastronomy Recipes :: Paste.

19 Easy, Travel-Friendly Bean and Grain Salad Recipes We Love | Serious Eats.

Discovering The Small Miracle Of The Soup Dumpling | KUNC. I think the first time I heard about soup dumplings it was from Megnut and since then I moved to Seattle and Din Tai Fung has two (always packed) restaurants here. My favorite, though are at Long’s in Vancouver, BC. More tasting needs to be done!

The Food Lab: The Best Way To Grill Sausages | Serious Eats.

Chopped Asian Zucchini Salad – iFOODreal | Delicious Clean Eating Recipes.

French Mushroom Lentil Paté – Vegetarian Foie Gras, at David Lebovitz.

15 Homemade Fast Food and Takeout Favorites (That Are at Least as Good as the Originals) | Serious Eats. Shamrock Shake! Also, beef and broccoli and a Double Double Animal Style.

takeout-style sesame noodles with cucumber | smitten kitchen.

· comments [6] · 08-18-2015 · categories:food · links ·

links: misc

A Common Nomenclature for Lego Families – The Morning News. What to call the various Lego bricks.

The Essential Cyberpunk Reading List at io9.

Aladdin: When Chaos Comes Calling Episode Trivia – TV.com. Under “allusions” here they describe a scene with a whale and a bowl of petunias which is a reference to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The moment lasts seconds and it’s over and when I saw it as a kid I nearly thought I’d imagined it. Glad to finally have confirmation that it was real.

Inner Vision for the weekend of July 10, 2015 | The Wirecutter. I enjoy their weekly collection of links but for whatever reasons all of the links in this set were worthy of sharing.

How To Clean Silver Jewelry Without Buying Silver Cleaner | Apartment Therapy.

The Enduring Paint-on-the-Face Mystery | Best Of MetaFilter. A while back somebody posed a question to Ask Metafilter which was essentially: do you remember the opening credits of an 80s/90s sitcom where Person A ends up accidentally rollering paint over Person B’s face? And yes, everybody remembers that. I remember that. But collectively we cannot find any proof of this actually existing. It’s fascinating!

Check Out This Steel Maze at a Belgian Coal Mine — Design News | Apartment Therapy. Incredible!

Spaghetti in a cone: a miracle of physics, a genius food delivery system | The Guardian.

The Donald Trump Republican Presidential Debate Drinking Game | The Everywhereist. I went to a local bar that had it’s own drinking game going on but I’m sure I’d have been a lot drunker if I’d brought these rules with me.

Podcast: Mystery Show: Case #6 Kotter | FanFare. Metafilter user maxsparber gives us a history of knotting the arms of shirts as a prank.

Why You Should Wear the Same Outfit to Every Meeting – Racked. Solid advice. Via The Working Closet.

· comments [5] · 08-13-2015 · categories:links · misc ·

links: the home

Soapbox, pretty and simple furniture. Via Swissmiss.

Ceiling Hook — Shoebox Dwelling. A clean way to reposition that pendant light that hangs in the wrong spot, I need this for my own dining room.

Easy Houseplants – Easy To Care For Indoor Plants, at House Beautiful. Via The Wirecutter.

28 DIYs You Need for Your First Apartment | Brit + Co. I love the suggestions for cheap, giant art treatments here.

14 Ways to Decorate With Air Plants (aka the New Succulent!) | Brit + Co. Having killed a few non-air plants I might be reconsidering my choice of interior plants.

A Box-Like House is Full of Surprises on the Inside – Design Milk. This is gorgeous.

Upgrade Your Headboard with Peel-and-Stick Wood Boards | Man Made DIY | Crafts for Men.

· comments [1] · 07-9-2015 · categories:links · the home ·

links: misc

My daughter and I almost escaped from a sealed cavern before running out of air – Boing Boing. I’ve done one of these real life room escape games and it was super fun. See also: Let Me Out of Here! Inside Seattle’s Real-Life-Room-Escape Boom.

I’m wondering if anyone knows where the title for “The Breakfast Club” film came from. | Ask MetaFilter.

Seven Of The Most Beautiful Botanical Mazes On Earth at io9.

Flexible, Fluid ‘Revision’ Bounces From Rom-Com To Sci-Fi : NPR. Huge congratulations to Andrea on the great reviews in her first book, I cannot wait to read it!

The Price of Nice Nails – NYTimes.com. I recently found a nail place whose owner is the sole employee as well. It’s popular and can be hard to get a same day appointment there but it makes me feel good knowing that I’m not unknowingly participating in any unfair trade.

7 Pre-Vacation Life Hacks, and The One Thing You Should Never Do | The Everywhereist.

Popular Exercises To Avoid At All Costs—Unless You Do Them Right at io9.

Volunteer work for loners | Ask MetaFilter. Lots and lots of options for making the world a better place while not, you know, dealing with other humans. I will say that I worked as a page in my local library system when I was in high school and it was both a decently paying job and one with minimal social contact. I find myself cringing at the idea that somebody who can work for free could have taken away that job from me, while at the same time my high school self was a listed volunteer with the local parks department. I’m kind of conflicted right now – ?

WIRED Binge-Watching Guide: Scrubs | WIRED. Last winter I watched all eight seasons of Scrubs (I fear that season 9 will throw all my happy fuzzy memories off so I avoided it). It was the perfect comfort watching for when you feel nostalgic for not that long ago.

The Frisky Recommends: Podcasts For Everyone! – The Frisky.

How to Make an Awesome Death Star Piñata | Make:.

Watch these plants explode – Boing Boing. Touch me nots grew along my daily route to school and getting to make them pop open was one of my favorite things.

In Space, Even A Single Grain Can Lead To Catastrophe, at io9. I just finished reading Seveneves which deals a lot with collisions like this in space.

The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Tiara Thursday: The Ocean Tiara. This video briefly (around 2:35) shows how tiaras can be detached from their frames to become necklaces. Thanks go to phix for finding the video after I wondered out loud!

Game of Thrones Finale Recap: Death Is a Gift | WIRED. This is all spoilers, you’ve been warned. This is a great summary of what happens at the end of Season Five of the Game of Thrones television show compared with the where the story lines are at the end of the fifth book. It’s great if you consume one but not the other and are curious about how they are diverging.

Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves: five thousand years of apocalypse and rebirth – Boing Boing. I absolutely loved this book and spent a few very late nights reading because I couldn’t not know the fate of, well, all of humanity. A lot of reviewers don’t like the amount of technical explanations but I like those here as I liked those in Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon and in Andy Weir’s The Martian. Of all the reviews of Seveneves that I’ve read Cory Doctorow’s here sums up a lot of what I think. Added I also love the perspective of Laura Miller at Salon who wrote of one aspect of surviving in space: “I enjoyed it as the aerospace version of all those how-to passages about maple sugar boiling in “The Little House on the Prairie” books.”

The Internet is looking for who designed this cup. What does Springfield have to do with it?. Tracking down the designer of the Jazz pattern shown on disposable Solo cups and plates and the fanbase around the design.

· comments [1] · 06-25-2015 · categories:links · misc ·

two things from Ikea that I like

#1: Sexy tumblers. There is a restaurant near us, Bar del Corso, that serves wine in low, wide tumblers. I’ve always found them very pleasing so I was happy to find similarly shaped glasses at Ikea recently and they’ve become my default vessel for sipping rose wine out of. Two things: at $3 for a set of six glasses they are ridiculously affordable, and if you buy them pay attention to how the packaging they come in unfolds into a single rectangle of cardboard, it’s a remarkable feat of engineering.

We’ve also been using these for cocktails but they aren’t necessarily ideal as lowball/Old Fashioned glasses, especially if you’re really into your ice and are using ice spheres. The average ice ball is taller than these glasses which makes for some awkward sipping. We’ve been using the ice sphere molds from Tovolo recently which are 2.5″ in diameter and they are definitely too large in this particular glass, but the ice from the King Ice Cube Tray fit nicely.

These also work great as little serving dishes and are shown here with a few of my current favorite snacks from Trader Joe’s: Crunchy Curls and Dark Chocolate Almonds with sea salt which aren’t pretty but they are unstoppably delicious. I can’t stop eating them send help. Back to the tumblers, I recently spotted the same size/shape of glasses at West Elm that had thinner walls, they were definitely finer glassware. Looks like CB2 carries some of the same style as well.

#2: Big bowls. We live in a part of town with lots of pho restaurants, it’s far easier to find great pho than a burger. Pho is best eaten out of nice big bowls but we didn’t have those so we were using two different sized glass mixing bowls, it looked kinda silly. I somehow convinced myself that the healing powers of this soup were diminished by lack of proper bowls so I set out to find ones that would work. It’s summer now but hey look, I finally found the perfect bowls! They are also great for nights when you need a Really Big Salad for dinner. Or a Really Big Bowl Of Pasta. You know.

These are 9″ serving bowls that are almost half spheres, a very pleasing size and shape. According to the description these are made from a porcelain that is lightweight, strong and will hopefully stand up to my clumsy handling. If the price on these seems a little high to you the Skack serving bowl at Ikea is the exact same size and shape but it’s made from stoneware that is a little thicker and heavier.

I’ve shown the bowls here filled with popcorn because it was 84 degrees the day I took this photo and hot soup just didn’t seem that appealing. I added the chopsticks for scale and also because I’m really terrible at using chopsticks and I’ve been using popcorn to train myself. Someday I will be able to get through an entire meal without needing to ask for a fork.

update: We use these bowls so often I went back to buy two more and discovered that they aren’t quite the same as the ones we originally purchased. The new batch it’s quite as bright white, they are a significant bit heavier and they lack the incredible glossy smooth finish. Subtle differences but somehow all the charm has been sucked out of the final product. Still, a nice big bowl has become an important part of making a big salad into a particularly fine dinner option.

· comments [10] · 06-17-2015 · categories:shopping ·

links: technology

What in the Hell Is a Tefifon? – The Stranger. If you’re into music technology this is pretty darn cool.

Shades Review | Touch Arcade. A Tetris-like game for the iPhone, with a free trial version of the game in case you’d like to test it out.

GLaDOS and The Sniper: A Voice Acting Love Story | Motherboard. Via Gamefilter.

What Happens When There Are No Boys in the Room: A Report from Robyn’s Tekla Conference | The Pitch | Pitchfork. Via the Two Bossy Dames newsletter.

Get ready to blindfold your friends in this neat local multiplayer game – Boing Boing. I’m not a huge fan of their earlier game Spaceteam but this looks like it could be a lot of fun.

25 Best Puzzle Games Ever Made For PC | Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Doxxing defense: Remove your personal info from data brokers | Computerworld. Via The Wirecutter.

Could this beautiful game signal the end of our dystopia fetish? – Offworld.

· comments [0] · 06-2-2015 · categories:links · technology ·