Once you have kids, you no longer have the luxury of spending hours playing video games. That is, unless you get them to play with you...but not really.
Once you have kids, you no longer have the luxury of spending hours playing video games. That is, unless you get them to play with you...but not really.
As we do every Friday, we’ve collected our most-shared Twitter links for your weekend reading pleasure.
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Now that it’s nearly a decade in our rearview, we’ve begun to get a glimpse of what’s got longevity; namely, what songs are really good at encapsulating the weird time that was the mid-2000s.
Below is a collection of songs that seek to, in great celebratory fashion, sum up the aural fabric of the mid-aughts. All songs were released between the years of 2003-2007, and with the exception of Nelly, there are no repeat featured artists. The intention here wasn’t to take the best songs, but rather incorporate some of the finer tunes and artists into a cohesive playlist. With that, take a ride back to secondary school:
1. Suga Suga – Baby Bash, Frankie J: 2003 or 2013, always a party starter.
9. Superman – Lazlo Bane: Superman was technically released in 2002, but it powered Zach Braff and co. through many seasons of Scrubs, one of the more resonant series’ of the mid-2000s 2000s.
18. Memory – Sugarcult: In a decade full of emo jams, does this reign supreme?
26. Stacy’s Mom – Fountains Of Wayne: I definitely didn’t get through Middle School Cross Country races by signing this song in my head.
35. Too Little, Too Late – JoJo: Pairing this with her song Get Out, Leave, JoJo was really the master of being very unforgiving of former lovers trying to rekindle the magic.
43. Beep – The Pussycat Dolls: The great thing about the Pussy Cat Dolls is that there songs always had some really profound messages.
44. Photograph – Nickelback: You know you love it.
52. High School Never Ends – Bowling For Soup The message in this song is very, very true.
60. Badger Badger Badger – Weebl’s Stuff Probably the crowning jewel of the ebaumsworld age.
69. Ignition (Remix) – R. Kelly I used to go to this karaoke place a lot, and people would always go for “Ignition” as opposed to the remix. Gotta break ‘em off with a little preview of the remix.
75. Wait For You – Elliott Yamin: Dude was a gem on American Idol.
83. Turn Me On – Kevin Lyttle: Started out hating this song. But like the persistent and oddly romantic dude, stuck around enough to win me over.
91. Im N Luv (Wit a Stripper) – T-Pain, Mike Jones: Can’t say influential musicians without Mike Jones.
Hi friends! I'm so happy to invite you in for a little tour of my laundry room! I've spent the last few months obsessing over this teeny tiny space. Weird, I know. I've never really put this much effort into making a laundry room a pleasant place to be. Everywhere I've lived, it's always been a sort of cramped and uncomfortable room. I wanted to create a space that felt organized and just, well, nice. I mean, it's a laundry room, so there are only truly two things that happen in this room: washing clothes and grabbing a tool or supply that is stored there. With that said, there is an open doorway into our dining room from the mudroom. Every person who uses our downstairs bathroom or goes into the backyard sees this room along the way, so I wanted to make it cute... you know, for a laundry room! ;)Before: ha! Ok, so before I started working on this room there wasn't much going on. I had a place to do laundry, a bunch of piles of stuff and that was it. What shocks me the most looking back on this before photo is how much space I had in that room that was completely wasted. The shelves were filled with things, but not organized. There was a ton of wall space and a little floor space that wasn't being used at all. We painted it white and switched out the light fixture when we moved in. But beyond that, zero effort had been made. Its time was coming!
Now to show you how we fixed all that: First, let's talk about color. It's kinda funny because we decorated most of the rooms in our home really quickly, but not this one. I changed my mind on the color in this tiny room so. many. times. We painted, re-painted and re-painted again. I have four colors that are my comfort zone for my own home. They are teal, yellow, green and pumpkin orange. I have used the first three a ton so our house kinda matches. I love that, because I can swap couches, rugs, tables and pillows with no problems. But for this room I promised myself I'd try a new color since it's kind of a wild card. That was harder than I thought it would be, but I'm so glad I committed to it. I love the peachy color that we chose. Instead of using it on the walls we used it in three accent spots: the shelves and homemade countertop on the machines, the front of the shelves you can see above, and on the inside of the shelves on the opposite wall, which you'll see below. We used just enough so that it feels like a lot of color, but it's still white and bright! As a bonus, if I ever wanted to change colors it would only take an afternoon to repaint rather than a day or two!
We mixed a strong dose of black and white pattern and print into the design as well. We used electrical tape to add pattern to our washer and dryer. This technique is water-resistant, easy to clean and removable. I'm so happy that we tried it, because it turned out to be the perfect solution for us. Fun fact, more than thirty thousand of you guys pinned that little project in the past few weeks! Crazy, right?! I've been getting lots of photos of readers trying it and it looks adorable every single time. I've even seen some experimenting with other patterns, which is really cool!
Yesterday Emma shared the laundry basket shelf that she built for me. This is SO helpful. Adding that little shelf beside the machines gives us a spot to store two baskets of clean clothing and a surface to throw a clean towel on and do a little ironing when we need to. I love that the space is no longer wasted, storage is added, and it's visually more pleasing as well. So I posted a few sneak peeks of this laundry room makeover on instagram and I got approximately 8 million comments about how it looks like the swan is pooping. A bit of a facepalm moment for me, but I left it anyway. Oh Instagram!
Anyway, the jar of laundry pods has been a helpful solution already. Before, in our messy laundry room, we would have been digging through piles trying to find the laundry soap. Now it's just there, lookin' pretty! Our other frequently used cleaning supplies are in arms reach as well.On the opposite wall my dad helped us install peg board. Now that entire space that used to be wasted is used to store cleaning supplies and tools. I used a metal box from a flea market to create a little first aid kit, since I always forget where our band-aids are.
Something that isn't pictured that I still want to mention is a second pegboard just outside our laundry room in the mudroom that is now being used to store pots and pans. It looks just like Emma's, but painted white. We needed some more cabinet space in our kitchen, and our pots and pans were always super hard to find, because they were stuffed into two lower cabinets. That solution has been really helpful for our situation. I wish I would have done it sooner. Thanks, dad!! Here are a few more photos of the room. There is a designated spot for dog bones, spray paint, paint brushes and board games. Any shelf space that wasn't being used is now holding extra paper towels and toilet paper.
As a naturally messy person, I'm proud of our new tidy space! Our new laundry room isn't perfect, but it makes me smile when I walk in now, so I think it's reached it's full potential. A+ for you, laundry room!
I'd love to hear about your laundry room trials and joys, hopes and dreams! I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a little bit geeky for laundry rooms now. I even started a pin board for them. xo. Elsie
Etsy Art Sources// If you want to be happy/Maridee Studio, Oh Darling banner and Yes, Yes, Yes/Fifi Due Vie, Rain drops/Ashley G. Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman, Emma Chapman (and our dad too- thanks dad!), Photography: Janae Hardy.
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I guess I should’ve made everyone click through and pay something before divulging the secret huh? Oh well. Cat’s out of the bag.
Cover the middle seam with your finger, marvel as the contrast effect changes EVERYTHING. Jason Kottke thinks the creator is a witch. When I showed it to my daughter, she said, "Well, your finger is covering up the light that's making it brighter," which is true in a weird sorta way.
How Twin Peaks made modern art of the soap opera -and saved network TV in the process.
David Lynch and Mark Frost seemed an unlikely pair when they met for lunch one day in 1988. Lynch was an auteur who'd burnished his reputation directing the bizarro films Eraserhead and Blue Velvet; Frost was best known as a writer for the network police drama Hill Street Blues. But the two had hit it off a few years earlier when they met working on Goddess, a Marilyn Monroe biopic that never made it to production. Now they were looking to get their hands dirty again.
As the duo sat in Du-par's, the kitschy L.A. restaurant near the corner of Laurel Canyon and Ventura boulevards, inspiration struck. "All of a sudden," Lynch is quoted as saying in Lynch on Lynch, "Mark and I had this image of a body washing up on the shore of a lake." From that stray spark, Lynch and Frost sketched the idea for what would become Twin Peaks, an enigmatic murder mystery that surrounded its plot twists with art-house motifs. Though it would run for only two seasons on ABC, the show revolutionized television and laid the groundwork for the golden age of prime-time dramas. But before Twin Peaks could storm the small screen, Lynch and Frost had to convince someone to roll the dice.
Lynch was a shaky choice for prime time. His name was synonymous with eerily beautiful cult films, and his one dip into the mainstream, an adaptation of Frank Herbert's beloved sci-fi novel Dune, was a critical and commercial disaster. To the industry observer, it seemed that Lynch was just too niche -or maybe just too weird- for network television.
The move didn't seem to make any sense from a career perspective: TV was a giant step backward for an auteur of Lynch's caliber. Today, in an era where shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad enjoy all the glitz and prestige of the big screen, it's easy to forget that television used to be the stepping stone to film. An Oscar-nominated director like Lynch working on TV was like an all-star demoting himself to the minor leagues.
But Lynch's agent was keen to see what his client could do with the medium. And Lynch and Frost were starting to develop a killer storyline. Set in a fictional Washington hamlet, Twin Peaks revolves around the grisly slaying of blonde homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). The protagonist is a quixotic FBI agent named Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan) with an obsessive attention to detail and an affinity for diner coffee, which he takes "black as midnight on a moonless night." Together, Laura's killing and the big-city detective's arrival upend the small town, pulling back the curtain on its underbelly -gambling, prostitution, and backdoor dealings that turn local power brokers into villains- before uncovering the even more sinister forces that lurk in the woods.
The mystery is riveting, but it's the heavy injection of trademark Lynchism, the juxtaposition of the familiar and the surreal, that makes the show so special. For Lynch, it wasn't enough to have straightforward heroes and villains, so some of the show's rogues haunt an alternate dimension accessible only in nightmares and, when conditions are right, through a pit of bubbling tar among the pines. The result is a crime procedural filtered through an off-kilter lens. But the elements that make the show so original also made it risky. Prime time was the province of Murphy Brown and Sam Malone, not one-armed shoe salesmen and dancing dwarves.
When the time came to pitch the show, Lynch received a good omen. Even when he wasn't directing, he was always searching for symbols and oracles. One of his superstitions was that if you saw a license plate with your initials in it in any order, and the numbers on the license plate added up to what you'd consider to be a good number, and it was a really nice car, it would bring you good luck. Driving down Melrose on the day he and Frost were headed to present their creation to ABC brass, Lynch spotted a brand-new Mercedes with a lucky number and his initials. He told Frost, "Mark, this is going to be very good!"
Fortunately for the duo, ABC was in a gambling mood. As the new decade dawned, all the major networks were pushing for more originality in their lineups. The big three were anxiously watching Fox and cable channels eat into their ratings, and ABC was struggling. The network had a reputation as a stodgy, corporate outfit that micromanaged its productions to mediocre results. NBC, on the other hand, was enjoying some success with a laissez faire approach to working with Hollywood talent, so ABC did what all TV networks do: It replicated the formula. "We had a strategy to turn the network around by taking shots and being patient," an ABC executive, Chad Hoffman, said at the time. Hoffman spent just 45 minutes with the Twin Peaks pilot script before deciding, "We've got to do this."
As part of the Twin Peaks deal, ABC gave Frost and Lynch unprecedented creative control over the final product, and the duo took advantage of the freedom. As Lynch, who was 44 when the show debuted, and Frost, who was 36, looked for inspiration, they benefitted from the same serendipity that initially spawned their masterpiece. While scouting locations at a sawmill, they encountered a woman whose job it was to touch each log as it made its way down the conveyor belt. This chance meeting presumably inspired the Log Lady, one of the show's quirkiest characters.
Later, while shooting a scene in Laura Palmer's bedroom, a set dresser named Frank Silva was moving some furniture when someone warned him not to lock himself in the room. A lightbulb went off above Lynch's head. Silva was lanky and wild-eyed, with a long face and stringy gray hair -someone so completely out of place in a frilly pink bedroom that seeing him there was unsettling. "Frank, are you an actor?" Lynch recalls asking. He'd found the man who would end up playing Twin Peaks' spectral bad guy, Bob, described by the The Awl as "one of the scariest, most terrifying, most nightmare-inducing-est characters ever."
While some of the series' highlights came from off-the-cuff moments like these, the ultimate charm of Twin Peaks lies in just how meticulously Frost and Lynch developed their sordid little town. Even the minor supporting characters were fully fleshed out. And Lynch coaxed his actors into bringing their idiosyncrasies to life in his own offbeat way. "Think of how gently a deer has to move in the snow," he whispered to Lara Flynn Boyle, who played Laura Palmer's best friend. After nearly 40 takes, that was the odd direction she needed to get the scene just right.
Lynch was also literally hands-on. At the very beginning of the pilot, Jack Nance's character, Pete Martell, discovers Laura's plastic-wrapped body on the shore of the lake. "David hand-placed those granules of sand on my face and played with the plastic as if it were a bouquet of flowers," Sheryl Lee told The Guardian in 2010. When inspiration struck Lynch, he would call Frost to share his latest breakthrough. "Mark, I think there's a giant in Agent Cooper's room," Lynch once theorized into the phone. (It worked; there is!)
It was as if Lynch was an all-knowing mystic who'd endeared himself to a congregation of believers. "There's a scene where Kyle has to throw a rock and hit a glass bottle. He sat us down and told us Kyle was going to hit [it] -and that bottle was freaking far away," recalls Kimmy Robertson, who played the loyal secretary of the sheriff's department in that same Guardian feature. "Kyle hit it, and everyone freaked out. It was like David used the power of the universe to make Twin Peaks."
Within a month of the show's April 8, 1990, premiere, America had caught Twin Peaks fever. "Everyone at parties is talking about it," a 29-year-old George Stephanopoulos told Newsweek, while a New York magazine writer put it this way: "In Cambridge, Massachusetts, in Madison, Wisconsin, and in Berkeley, California, there are Twin Peaks watching parties every Thursday night, after which …Deconstruction."
Menacing promos that promised something new and "90s" lured viewers who couldn't get enough of this avant-garde cinema masquerading as prime-time soap opera. Twin Peaks was scary enough to rival any horror flick, but would also turn funny, beautiful, and heart-wrenching. The ratings were gangbusters. By May, Twin Peaks had been renewed for a second season. The show was a critical coup as well, collecting nearly 20 Emmy nominations between 1990 and 1991. Not even Lynch expected Twin Peaks to resonate with viewers the way it did. "We had zero thought that this thing would travel so well around the world," he said in 2008. "It was a magical thing."
But it wasn't long before the bottom fell out. Busy making his next film, Wild at Heart, Lynch became less involved with the second season, leaving his writer's bench to hash out the plot. Then ABC shot itself in the foot by bumping Twin Peaks from Thursday's prime time real estate to Saturday's wasteland, which killed the Friday-morning break room buzz that had made it a smash.
The fatal blow, though, was the network's demand for the show to answer the central question the plot and the marketing buzz orbited around -Who Killed Laura Palmer? Midway through season 2, the killer was revealed and the writers found themselves in a bind. The series devolved into an unsustainable hodgepodge of silly side plots and the writers struggled to keep the story's larger mythology alive for 14 more episodes. Lynch himself took control of the series finale, which bridges the gap between Palmer's murder and the supernatural mysteries of Twin Peaks. The stunning two-hour episode brought the curtain down on June 10, 1991. Just a little over a year after it had first rocked TV, Twin Peaks had disappeared.
Despite its brief run, Twin Peaks' immense influence was visible almost immediately. Lynch and Frost had proved that viewers would tune in for big screen-quality production in a weekly format, and in the process they ushered in a new age of televised drama. Two years later Fox would debut The X-Files, which relied on a similarly elaborate mythology to sustain its nine-season run. When ABC's Lost premiered in 2004 -constructed around an ever-unfolding course of otherworldly (and largely forest-based) mysteries- it drew immediate Twin Peaks comparisons. "Twin Peaks was a huge impact on me," the show's co-creator Damon Lindelof told an audience in Manhattan as few days before the Lost series finale in May 2010. One of the lessons he learned? That a show doesn't have to solve every mystery it sets up.
More importantly, Twin Peaks proved to fans, critics, industry gatekeepers, and film creators alike that television would no longer live in the shadow of film -it could actually be good. Little by little, TV shows were becoming every bit as worthy of close attention and deconstruction as films -a shift that wouldn't just make for better water cooler chatter, but would also open up a new venue to which writers and bloggers could devote entire careers. And none of that might have happened, if one daring network hadn't gambled on Frost and Lynch.
The above article was written by Joe Pompeo. It is reprinted with permission from the November 2013 issue of mental_floss magazine.
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Sumerian star map from Ninive
This discount code source really works. Whenever you are about to make a purchase online, you should go to RetailMeNot to check to see if it has discount coupons for your merchant. There’s a good chance you’ll find current codes, and you’ll also see the likelihood that they’ll work based on previous user’s experience. It’s a clean interface telling you what the discount is, when it expires and what percent chance it will work. In my experience, the probabilty is good if the codes are rated high. They also seem to have codes for pretty obscure and specialized stores I would not have expected. I’ve saved a lot of money this way and wish I knew about it long ago.
There are a lot of discount coupon sources on the web but most of these are subscription types: you are bombarded with sales offers on an ongoing basis. RetailMeNot is different: You solicit the exact discounts you need only when you need them. Instead of bombardment, you get discounts on demand. My kind of shopping.
And if you really want to browse for hot deals, they have current bargain discounts on their front page. But their real asset is discount codes on demand.
Chrome: It's ridiculous that you have to open multiple Chrome profiles or incognito windows just to sign into different accounts on the same web site. To quickly log in with two or more profiles for one service, it doesn't get easier than Multi-Account Login.
[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.
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Special equipment: medium cast iron or stainless steel skillet
serves Makes 2 sandwiches, active time 40 minutes, total time 40 minutes
Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium cast iron pan or skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out skillet.
Return skillet to high heat and add remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Heat until lightly smoking. Add brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally, until wilted and lightly charred, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl and wipe out skillet.
Spread onions and sprouts over one side of two slices of bread. Top with cheddar cheese and remaining two slices of bread. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-low heat. Swirl to coat pan. Add sandwiches. Place a skillet on top of them and press down gently. Cook, turning pan and moving sandwiches occasionally until well browned on first side, about 4 minutes. Remove from skillet with a flexible metal spatula. Melt remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter. Return sandwiches to skillet uncooked-side-down and continue cooking, turning pan and moving sandwiches occasionally until well browned and cheese is melted, about 4 minutes longer. Serve immediately.