Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creative, space-efficient toy storage

Great idea!

via Unclutterer

"How we paid off our mortgage on a $29,000/yr salary"

A fascinating essay about how a family of six lives completely debt free and even manages to tithe and give to the poor on a less than $30K salary.

via Sandy

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

How much of your mortgage is going toward clutter storage?

A great perspective on clutter.

This crane operator obviously has NO fear of heights

I feel a little queasy even looking at this picture of the new skyscraper in Dubai. Notice the crane balanced up at the top. [Updated to add: look to the right to see the construction elevator on the outside. I hope they pay those guys well.]

Some thoughts on one issue voting

This pastor's post one of the most strongly-worded posts I've seen on this issue. It has a lot of great points. An excerpt:

So, is the candidate’s stand on the issue of shedding innocent blood important enough to disqualify him as a candidate? Yes. While a single issue can’t qualify a candidate, it can disqualify him...I don’t think someone is a good candidate just because he is prolife. But he cannot be a good candidate unless he is prolife.

Read the rest here.

via Amy's Humble Musings

An interview with a mom of 20

A mother of 20 children talks about life and love in a huuuuge family.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Free gourmet chocolate? What? Can this be real?

Check it out.

via Amy's Humble Musings

"We live in exponential times"

This is a fascinating video about how quickly the world is changing. It's full of great stats, like the fact that if MySpace were a country it would be the 5th largest in the world. (A little bit of background about it here).

That link takes you to directly to a video that takes a minute to start playing, but it's worth the effort to see it. Sorry, I couldn't find a YouTube version to embed.

Is this legal?

Bacon apple pie.

via Faith & Family Live

"We'd rather stay home."

Kim writes one of the best blog posts I've read in a while, in which she talks about an exchanged with a grocery store checker who couldn't believe she actually liked the idea of having 10 kids.

via Joyful Chaos

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

When smart nerds pull pranks

A history of MIT pranks. Very clever. Very nerdy. (Think: turning the dome into R2D2 and turning a statue of John Harvard into a Halo 3 character.)

via Geekpress

People who grew up with black and white TVs more likely to dream in black and white


via Geekpress

A list of companies that donate to Planned Parenthood

Wow. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the list. It looks like it might have been shorter to just list the companies that don't give money to PP.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The story of a dictionary

An interesting article about Noah Webster and his passion for creating a dictionary (scroll down for the article):

Webster had no help with his dictionary, and ultimately defined more than 70,000 words. In order to understand the roots from which words blossomed, he acquired a working knowledge of at least 20 languages, including Sanskrit...Ferreting out 20,000 more words for inclusion in his masterwork was a daunting task. Webster’s passion for investigating the origins of words slowed the process even more.

Webster was a born-again Christian who often displayed his deep religious convictions not on his sleeve, but in his definitions of words. For example, in showing how the word "fear" might be used in a sentence, he wrote, "We have reason to fear the punishment of our sins."

Read the rest here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Printer problems

I got an email with this video attached and the following forwarded message:

Dear Geek Squad,

I recently purchased an HP Printer, and when I am in the room watching it, it works perfectly. However, nearly every time I leave it unattended, the papers come out wrinkled, sometimes even shredded, with blurred ink. If I re-start the print job and baby sit it, there are no problems. You can imagine that this has been very frustrating, and I would appreciate one of your technicians coming out to fix whatever the problem is.

Thank you,

A picture of Martha Stewart's office

Not what you'd expect.

via Twitter

Friday, October 17, 2008

Patients of abortion providers get almost half price discount at Clarion Inn

No word on discounts for pregnant women in need who keep their babies:

An abortion clinic that performs abortions up to the sixth month of pregnancy has worked out an arrangement with two area hotels to provide substantially discounted room rates for women seeking abortions. [...]

Right to Life has confirmed that the Clarion Hotel in Cherry Hill offers a reduced rate of $59 for a room originally priced at $109 to those women who provide a receipt from the clinic that says they have to stay overnight.

Emphasis mine.

What an incredibly touching story

Nathan of Confessions of a Cystic Fibrosis husband did a post recapping his family's story. Wow.

CNN analyst caught checking Facebook profile on-air

This would be me.

via Twitter


Religious advice for Muslims via telephone.

via Twitter

Who are the most popular people in Twitter?

A list of the top 100 Twitterers.

Amazing, money-saving battery hack

Now this is cool:

12 Volt Battery Hack! You'll Be Surprised... - video powered by Metacafe

via Making Home

Beautiful pictures of small stuff

Sorry I couldn't think of a better title, but the pictures are lovely.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The haiku generator

Click New Haiku to generate more. (As they say in the About page, this is not necessarily a good haiku generator.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10 tips for creating secure passwords


One I didn't see listed but is excellent in terms of security and memorability is: combine the letters of two names. So, for example, if your husband's name is Paul and your son's name is Henry, you could do use the cryptic but easy-to-remember hpeanurly as a password (hpeanurly). [Obviously, you might want to choose names harder to guess than that, but you get the idea.]

Flying cars!

Here's a video. Here's the story.

via Grapevine

Aversion to TV is common ground for the very liberal and the very conservative

An article about life without television.

via Making Home

Iranian actress causes uproar by appearing at Hollywood premier without headcovering

An interesting article about the heated mixed opinions in Iran about this actress appearing in the U.S. without hijab.

via Those Headcoverings

Teenager with Down Syndrome elected prom queen

What a beautiful story:
Kristin Pass, an 18-year-old senior with Down syndrome, became Aledo High School's homecoming queen Friday to a joyous standing ovation and the flutter of a thousand tissues on a remarkable night for an amazing young woman. [...]

"It's just something you can't even imagine," [her mother] said. "And afterward, everyone was just running down to her, congratulating her.
Read the rest here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Depression-era cooking tips

What a great little cooking show! Very useful considering the current state of the economy. See more videos on this subject here.

via Morning Coffee and Veiled Glory

Turning The Other Cheek?: A Real-Life Dilemma

Elizabeth Esther shares a recent experience where her son was bullied, and asks readers how she should handle both the bullying and the frustrating response from administrators at his school. Both the post and the comments have a lot of food for thought.

A revolutionary way to avoid debt

Amusing skit from Saturday Night Live.


Waiting for the promised land...patiently

Rachelle Gardner has an excellent post about when we feel called by God to do something, yet it seems our efforts are not paying off. (Though this post is targeted at writers, I think her words are true for anyone in that situation.)

The story of The Shack

The story of the surprise hit Christian novel The Shack. After being rejected by both Christian and secular publishers alike, the author and a pastor friend self-published it, spent $300 in marketing and started selling copies of of their garages. It caught on like wildfire and has now sold an estimated million copies!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Democracy unmoored from Christianity

Matteo has a powerful excerpt from Mark Shea about what happens when American democracy loses its Christian roots:

[Democracy] is not sacred and it's not eternal. It works just so long as you have a Christian or post-Christian culture that still holds by custom and convention what it no longer holds by creed: namely, things like the doctrine of original sin, natural law and the fear of God. As long as a culture has such things, even in lingering form, democracy functions as a restraining valve on original sin by keeping power from being concentrated in the hands of too few.

It's a thought-provoking post. Read the rest here.

From childless by choice to open to life

A touching post by Karen Edmisten.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Spanx vs. cheaper alternatives: a comparison

Extremely important and fascinating information for some of us. (For those of you who don't know, "Spanx" are body-shaping undergarments.)

Big family needs new car, buys stretch limo

I just re-discovered this post from last year and had to link to it: blogger Suzanne of Raising Saints posted a picture of the used stretch limo that she and her husband bought to haul their family of eight around. How cool is that?

New database of Catholic Saints

Wow, quite an accomplishment! Click on "view" to see details about each one. More info here.

via Mary's Aggies

AmEx rates credit risk by where you live, shop

I'm not sure what I think of this, but it's interesting that they've found it to be effective in predicting credit risks.

The people airbag

A Japanese invention to help elderly people prevent injuries if they fall:

via Presurfer

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A guide to proper use of the word "y'all"

Important information.

10 Commandments for Christian Bloggers

If only we all followed these all (or even most) of the time!

via a comment at CBA Ramblings

Can a computer convince people it's human?

We'll see:

Next Sunday, six computer programs will answer questions posed by human volunteers at the University of Reading in a bid to become the first recognised "thinking" machine. If any program succeeds, it is likely to be hailed as the most significant breakthrough in artificial intelligence since the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. It could also raise profound questions about whether a computer has the potential to be "conscious" - and if humans should have the 'right' to switch it off. [...]

The test will be carried out by human "interrogators", each sitting at a computer with a split screen: one half will be operated by an unseen human, the other by a program. The interrogators will then begin separate, simultaneous text-based conversations with both of them on any subjects they choose. After five minutes they will be asked to judge which is which. If they get it wrong, or are not sure, the program will have fooled them.

via Presurfer

Structure and anxiety

An interesting excerpt from a book about anxiety:

Structured living is often lost when anxiety hits because your feelings of panic are so overwhelming...This feeling-based reaction to life is terribly harmful. It leads to instability and to being able to count on nothing, not your feelings, not your actions, not your schedule. Everything in your life is chaotic. All people, but especially people with anxiety problems, need structure to their living. The chaos that is caused by impulsive, feeling-driven planning undermines all structure and exacerbates the feeling of being out of control that characterizes anxiety disorders.

There's more here.

9 weird ingredients in your toiletries bag


via Presurfer

The quietest place on earth

A glimpse inside the quietest place on earth. If the Guinness Book of World Records ever does a Noisiest Place on Earth, I'm entering my living room.

via Presurfer

Monday, October 6, 2008

Amazing Etch a Sketch art

These are amazing, and can be yours for only a few thousand dollars!

via Grapevine

Deep fried Twinkies?!

I think I gained a few pounds by just watching this.

Here's the recipe (please click on that link only out of morbid curiosity, not out of any kind of intention to actually try it).

A note for Bloglines users

A little public service announcement: it seems that Bloglines has stopped updating most of the feeds of Blogger blogs that have custom domains, as well as a few others. This blog's feed seems to be working OK, so I thought I'd mention it for any Bloglines users -- if it doesn't seem like some of your favorite bloggers are updating, you may want to click through to their sites to check.

(Some of my favorites that have been affected by this are Rocks in my Dryer, Betty Beguiles, Creative Minority Report, Holy Experience, Leave the Lights On, Testosterhome and Toddler Dredge...oh, and my other site.) Just FYI!

A timeline of wars throughout history

An amazing collection of information.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

An atheist's thoughts on meaning

Dr. Bob has this extremely thought-provoking excerpt from an atheist:

In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things -- if they are where you tap real meaning in life -- then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough...Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you....Worship power -- you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart -- you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on. [...]

It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in the head. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.

By writer David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide in September.

The richest and poorest cities in America


Length of a minute based on time of day

This is so true.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How to make a flashy wardrobe modest

Some helpful tips for those of us with some pieces in our wardrobes from, umm, a different phase of life.

A drawing about height


via Geekpress

Red wine protects you from radiation

More reasons to drink wine.

via Geekpress

A college student tries to make sense of casual sex

I hesitated to post this op-ed in the Smith College paper because of some graphic comments, but it's worth reading to see just how lost this generation is. (WARNING: skip it if you don't want to read a few graphic references of sexual nature).

Print your own coloring books

This is a great site with drawings to print and color of pretty much every variety. There's also an online coloring page where kids can color online.

via Presurfer