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28 Jun 12:39

Original art up for grabs!

by DaveKellett

Original art fans! I put a piece up on eBay, starting at one penny -- go snag it, [ H E R E ]!

It's a delightful message from the most delightful porcupine!

08 May 12:24

A Goal Mostly Hit

by John Scalzi

Back in October I groused about my weight and how it was making me feel physically, and proposed that I should lose twenty pounds by my birthday, which is, as it happens, this Friday. Today I’m happy to announce that indeed, I have lost twenty pounds from my top weight! So that’s good.

The slightly less great news is that it’s twenty pounds off from a top weight that I reached in December, which was nearly five pounds more than what I was in October, because, you know, holidays. So I’m still five pounds off from my ultimate weight goal of 170 pounds, and it seems unlikely I’ll drop five pounds by Friday, save by dysentery, which I am not inclined to contract.

I propose to solve this dilemma by a) celebrating hitting the goal of losing twenty pounds anyway (yay!), and b) setting a new target date to hit 170 pounds, which will be June 17, which as it happens is my anniversary date with Krissy. That’s about five weeks away, and as I’ve been losing roughly a pound a week — which seemed both a sensible and achievable goal in a general sense — getting to 170 by then seems doable. See you in June, target weight.

I have to say that dropping this weight has done me good aside from the simple physical side of it — although that side of it is not insubstantial. When I started in December I was winded after walking a mile on the treadmill, and now I can run two miles on the same treadmill without feeling like I want to die, and beyond that I’m feeling other physical benefits in terms of endurance and health. But there’s also a psychological benefit as well, which comes down to the ability to look in the mirror and see someone there who matches my own self-image of who I am.

As I’ve noted before, I’m not a proponent of the idea that “thin” is necessarily the body ideal for everyone, either for their physical or mental well-being. But I also know that for me personally, the weight gain was not positive, as much for what it represented in terms of what I was doing to my own body as for itself. Making it a goal to get myself back to what I see as “myself,” and having that be an act of my own will, has been a good thing for my mental health, I think.

When I hit 170 my plan is to pause there and try to maintain at that point for a bit, and see how I feel. I’ve weighed less than that before (in my 30s I was around 160 – 165), but I think at that point I’ll have to see what works for a 50-year-old version of me, not the version that has been around for over a decade. I suspect regardless I’m stuck with exercising regularly now, which is a thing I don’t love for itself, even if I like what it does for me. But, again: 50, as of Friday. I need to be exercising regardless.

So: Hooray! 20 pounds down! Five more to go! A reminder we are all works in progress, and the good news being sometimes that progress is a positive.

27 Jun 17:52


by Lar

01 Jun 18:10

garlic lime steak and noodle salad

by deb

For most of the last decade or two, my dad was on a perennial low-carb diet, eschewing bread and often sugar, save for carefully chosen exceptions. When family would come over for dinner, he’d always tell me I didn’t need to make anything special for him, but I enjoyed the challenge of coming up with a menu that would work for everyone. The results became some of my favorite meals to this day. Previously, dinner parties usually had a carb-assault at the center — lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs or mussels and fries — but in these, protein (and a great heap of vegetables) get the spotlight: chicken gyro salad, street cart chicken (one of my favorites in Smitten Kitchen Every Day), piri piri chicken, and many steak salads. As should be clear, these aren’t bread- or carb-free, but they’re set up in an assemble-your-own style that allows the carb-rejecting to eat as they wish, and the carb-demanding (or not) children to get into the meal too. Everybody wins.

Read more »

13 Dec 20:50

Things you notice when you quit the news

by Jason Kottke

David Cain quit following the news many years ago — “I’m mostly talking about following TV and internet newscasts here” — and noticed several benefits.

A common symptom of quitting the news is an improvement in mood. News junkies will say it’s because you’ve stuck your head in the sand.

But that assumes the news is the equivalent of having your head out in the fresh, clear air. They don’t realize that what you can glean about the world from the news isn’t even close to a representative sample of what is happening in the world.

The news isn’t interested in creating an accurate sample. They select for what’s 1) unusual, 2) awful, and 3) probably going to be popular. So the idea that you can get a meaningful sense of the “state of the world” by watching the news is absurd.

Their selections exploit our negativity bias. We’ve evolved to pay more attention to what’s scary and infuriating, but that doesn’t mean every instance of fear or anger is useful. Once you’ve quit watching, it becomes obvious that it is a primary aim of news reports-not an incidental side-effect-to agitate and dismay the viewer.

What appears on the news is not “The conscientious person’s portfolio of concerns”. What appears is whatever sells, and what sells is fear, and contempt for other groups of people.

Curate your own portfolio. You can get better information about the world from deeper sources, who took more than a half-day to put it together.

I watch and read plenty about current events, but the last time I “followed the news” was probably in high school. 95% of it is gossip & soap opera and the 5% that isn’t, you can get elsewhere, better.

Tags: David Cain   journalism
26 Sep 20:00

A beginner’s guide to meditation

by Jason Kottke

Contemporary culture has a way of making everything seem daunting, even something as simple as meditation. This 2-minute video presents a very straightforward way to start meditating: sit up straight and concentrate on your breathing for five minutes.

Your brain’s gonna go nuts, and that’s fine. The whole game is to notice when you’ve gotten lost, and then to start over. And then start over again. And again. And again. Every time you do that, it’s like a bicep curl for your brain. […] Meditation is unlike anything you do in the rest of your life. Failure is actually success.

The video is narrated by Dan Harris, the author of 10% Happier, which has a subtitle many of you might be able to relate to: “How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works”.

Tags: 10% Happier   books   Dan Harris   video
04 Mar 20:15

unstoppablyplushjuggernaut:KIRK THIS WHY YOU GOTTA FILL OUT THE...



classic Kirk

26 Nov 13:38

Jurassic World


Aw yiss

Hey guys! What's eating you? Ha ha ha it's me! Oh, what fun we have.
13 Jun 13:30


30 May 14:46

Catch Up On BBC America’s Orphan Black And Watch The Finale This Weekend [VIDEO]

by Jill Pantozzi

Have you been watching BBC America’s original series Orphan Black (finale teaser above)? I started watching it because the premise sounded interesting but I’m usually skeptical about new shows. Luckily, there was no reason to be. Orphan Black is fantastic, highly addicting, and one of my new favorite series. Star Tatiana Maslany has the incredible task of playing several different parts and does so deftly (Check out our interview with her here.) and the supporting cast are a joy to watch. If you’ve never seen Orphan Black, missed an episode, or just want to relive the fun, catch a Season 1 replay this Saturday, culminating with the final at 9/8c on BBC America. And yes, it’s already been renewed for a second season so don’t wait!

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29 May 12:37

Bike maniac Tim Knoll

by Aaron Cohen

"Be careful, Tim Knoll!"

Here's an unfortunately short bit of circus riding by Tim Knoll. You often see a lot of the same tricks in bike videos, so Knoll's style mix of flatland, street, and circus riding is refreshing. I do get nervous when he stands on his handlebars or plays limbo with a row for semi-trucks. Be careful, Tim Knoll!

(thx, alex)

Tags: cycling   Tim Knoll   video
22 May 13:07

okay okay but let's see if your 20 questions computer can guess "a puppy version of batman"


This is awesome and you are too

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← previous May 21st, 2013 next

May 21st, 2013: If you want the amazing T-Rex's Summer Vacation design on a tote bag or a hoodie, now is your last chance! TIME IS RUNNING OUT, Y'ALL:

One year ago today: well i for one am giving up boo-berry muffins

– Ryan

07 May 19:39

I Guess This Charming Leonard Nimoy/Zachary Quinto Sketch is a Car Commercial Or Something

by Susana Polo


Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy shill for Audi, but you’ll forgive them after you watch this video full of fake coughing, nerve pinches, and even everybody’s furry footed hero.

(via io9.)

06 May 13:10

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 20 things I wish I'd known

by Jason Kottke

Basketball Hall of Famer and "secret nerd" Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shares a list of 20 things he wish he'd know when he was 30 years old.

18. Watch more TV. Yeah, you heard right, Little Kareem. It's great that you always have your nose in history books. That's made you more knowledgeable about your past and it has put the present in context. But pop culture is history in the making and watching some of the popular shows of each era reveals a lot about the average person, while history books often dwell on the powerful people.

Tags: basketball   Kareem Abdul-Jabbar   lists   sports
06 May 12:56

Two Super-Cute Animations

by David Malki !

“Two Chips” by Adam Patch. [Video link]

“My wife drank a bottle of wine, then wanted to tell me a joke.”

“Omelette” by Madeline Sharafian. [Video link]

“Finally my 2nd Calarts film is completed! I wanted to make something that focuses on how meaningful it is to make food for someone you love.”


06 May 12:44

Mom Tries To Explain The Matrix, Goes On Some Surprising Tangents

by Jill Pantozzi

awesome retelling of the Matrix by a mom

After watching this video of a mom trying to explain The Matrix, I’m convinced I must make my mom do the same. She’s well-known for getting character names wrong when trying to describe a piece of media to me and I’m certain she’d be a YouTube hit. But I digress, Joe Nicolosi got there before me and his mom is a riot.

(via HyperVocal)

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24 Apr 12:20

Dental Training

by Jen

Hi, I'm here to pick up a cake? It's the "Happy Birthday Brittany" one.

Ah, no, see, that second "Birthday" should be "Brittany."


 No no, this has Brittany twice. I need "Happy Birthday" on it.

Ok, now you've just combined them into one word. There should be three.


 You don't mind if I bang my head on this counter here, do you?


 Look, forget the name. Could you just give me a cake that says "Happy Birthday," with sprinkles on it? Yes? Great. Thanks.





Thanks to Anony M., Bethany C., Angela A., Margo R., Brian R., & Kasha D.  for the dental training. (Because it's like pulling teeth? Eh?)

10 Apr 13:04

Forever All The Time Always

by (Wil Wheaton)

This guest post comes from Will Hindmarch (@wordwill), a writer, designer, and occasional guest blogger at WWdN.

Twitter is kind of a big deal to me. I (over)use it to stay connected with people that I am not near geographically. I use it to eke out little clarifying thoughts about my day and the way I work. I use it for jokes, for serious contemplative bits of text, for exchanges with people both known and unknown to me so I don’t feel quite so lonely at my desk all day. It helps me refine ideas down to morsels that can be terse, poetic, witty. I’ve been using it like a short-form diary for years. I love Twitter.

So when I finally got my Twitter archive feature activated, I was delighted. I wanted to go back in time and see how I’d changed, see what I’d forgotten, see if I could detect a difference in my writing from 2007 to now. I opened up my archive and dove in, expecting to see myself. In those tens of thousands of tweets, I discovered two things.

First, despite the migration of various comedic bits through my timeline, I haven’t changed that much as a writer.

Second, I needed help.

That’s not sass. I’m not being flip. I got a look at myself in a weird mirror and found lots of my tweeted messages came with tiny memories. Aspects of myself came into alarming focus. Much to my surprise, part of the secret was hidden in my hashtags.

I’m proud of my hashtags. Silly, maybe, but they’ve brought some amusement and some benefit to people I like, so I like my hashtags.

You might’ve seen #icmf, an acronym involving adult language, which serves as a space-saving intensifier. That’s probably the most popular model of hashtag to come out of this factory:

“Be safe and joyous where you are. See you in the future. #icmf” —Tweet from Dec 31, 2012

We also have #honkahonka, which is meant to represent the sad honking of a sad clown’s sad horn, indicating that a tweet which seems maybe sad is also funny, also a joke (except… maybe not a joke at all):

“Tomorrow’s an experiment in traveling light. (Except something something emotional baggage.) #honkahonka Tweet from Oct 5, 2012

“There are no dues. There’s just the popularity of your current project. That’s all you are. #honkahonka —Tweet from Oct 19, 2012

And then there’s #hyperb, my hashtag for hyperbole, whether it’s blatant or insidious or serious or jokey. It’s good for those grandiose conclusions you draw from everyday little cues:

“It’s been a while since we used #hyperb. It’s been forever. All the days have passed since we used it last. We’ve never used it. Not ever.” —Tweet from July 2, 2012

“No one has ever understood how you feel. Not really. #hyperb —Tweet from Mar 13, 2012

When you want to post about how everything is the worst, that’s when you use #hyperb. When Twitter’s character count forces you to generalize comically, and you regret it, that’s when you use #hyperb. When you’re reminded, in the middle of the day, that you’ve ruined everything you’ve ever tried to improve because your touch is poison, that’s when you use #hyperb. When the dog starts barking and you realize that you’ll never get 10 solid minutes of writing time ever again or when you break a glass and panic because you’ll never be able to handle glass again without breaking it or when you realize that you have never and will never accomplish what you wanted to do to be the person you wanted to be or or or… that’s when I use #hyperb.

Except… not a lot of people use #hyperb. Why is that? Maybe your brain doesn’t make the leap so quickly from “I made a bad play” to “I lose every game” to “I am a total loser all that time at all things.”

Mine does, sometimes.

When I can’t sleep, I say to my wife, “I have never slept. I have never been asleep and may never sleep again.” It really irks her, I think. It irks me, too. For all that I like a good mantra or pithy quote, I’m not a big fan of generalizations. I love nuance and variety and plurality — I disappoint myself the most when I fail to embrace or uphold those ideals. My brain feeds me disappointments, though, with some frequency. One way it does it is through overgeneralization.

I’m not a doctor. As I understand it this kind of overgeneralization, this explosion of little ideas into big, desperate conclusions is symptomatic of the kind of depressive episodes I experience. If you experience depression, see an expert. I am not a doctor.

The awful certainty of things in the mind is what gets me. My brain’s got negativity down to something like muscle memory, intuitive and instinctive. I don’t always get worked up about these ideas; why would I? They’re simple as facts: water’s wet and I am a failure. Sky’s blue; I am not entitled to pride. Coffee’s great; I suck. I know better most of the time but there they are, frank as can be.

We know that depression lies. This is just one way that depression lies. I know these are lies, but there they are, in my head.

Depression tells me that everyone else knows things I don’t know about how to be happy. Depression tells me that I alone know the truth about my nature as an arrogant jerk. Depression tells me that everyone else is always able to detect what’s wrong with me and — individually and together — don’t tell me I’m not one of them because they don’t think I can handle it. Everyone, no one, always. #hyperb, #hyperb, #hyperb.

“No one has ever felt any of the things I have felt because I am uniquely and especially awful and you are not. #hyperb #honkahonka #icmf“ —Tweet from Jul 12, 2012

I don’t know if these thoughts ever go away for good. I’m on medication, I’ve done therapy, they’re still around. It’s not resolve or practice that keeps depression from getting to me. It does get to me. It probably always will. This isn’t something I expect to get past, really. It’s something I manage. It’s something I work through. It’s something I expect to wrestle with for the whole trip. That’s just the way it is. This is me.

Some people have chronic back pain. Some people have arthritis. My brain hurts. That’s just the way it is. It is okay to seek help and talk about our pain. We shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

My first instinct, seeing my tweets, was to hide. “Everyone can see you,” I thought, “so you’d better do better at faking normalcy and quick.” What a shit notion that is — normalcy. I can get behind the idea of being healthy, though, and I’m unconvinced that hiding my pain is going to make me, or anyone else, healthier. This is me.

I’m not changing the way I write on Twitter. Sometimes — sometimes —  I find that writing helps soften the pain. Even if it doesn’t, I try. I used to do it because I wanted to talk about my pain more than I felt comfortable doing it. I do it from here on out because I want it to be okay to talk and write about this stuff, for me, for you, for anyone who’s in pain. I want you to know that you’re not alone.

So, yes, sometimes my tweeter feed is a glum bummer. We’ve known that for a long time. So it goes. This is me.

09 Apr 17:58

Reader Request Week 2013 #3: Guilty Pleasures

by John Scalzi

John Glaenzer asks:

What guilty pleasures do you have? Belting out CW McCall songs on Friday night? Watching reruns of “Mythbusters” in your bathrobe, because dressing on Saturday is too much of a hassle? Writing mildly amusing comments on a semi-famous science fiction writers blo….

Oh dear.

Anyway, what are your guilty pleasures?

I don’t have any, because I don’t feel guilty about my pleasures.

Which is not to say that I don’t have a lot of silly or simple or even stupid pleasures. Among them, the joy of blowing the heads off zombies in the Left 4 Dead video games, listening to Journey after the age of twenty one, eating an astounding array of junk food mitigated only by a daily multivitamin, or making up songs about my pets and singing them when one enters the room (Yes, my pets have theme songs? Don’t yours? Hmmm). I do all of these things — and more! Really, a large percentage of my pleasures are, shall we say, uncomplicated.

I don’t feel guilty about them, however, because, eh, why should I? My pleasures make me happier to a greater or lesser degree, they don’t hurt anyone else, and in any event one of the great advantages to being a grown up is being able to do what the hell you want and not have to apologize for it or run it past anyone else. The reason we call things “guilty pleasures” is usually because we substitute someone else’s judgment for their value over our own.

I’m not inclined to do that. One, because I feel comfortable with my own judgment on what gives me pleasure and don’t need validation from anyone else. Two, because even if I did need validation from everyone else, everyone else would be a hypocrite on this score, since everyone (or at least everyone I’ve ever met in my life) has their own set of pleasures that someone else would look askance upon — and because every pleasure in life has almost certainly been looked askance upon. Every pleasure is a guilty pleasure to someone. Eventually you just have to stop caring if your pleasure has the approval of the majority, or of a critically-minded minority, or of, you know, your mom.

The flip side of this is that it makes it easier for you to not care what gives other people pleasure. Like Nickelback? I’m not a fan at all and I don’t mind cracking the occasional joke at their expense, but you know what? If you like them and listening to them gives you happiness, then listen to them and be happy. A huge fan of basketball? I’m not much for it outside of a highlight reel, but that shouldn’t stop you. Enjoy your bouncy ball heaved about by tall persons. Enjoy you some sparkly vampires? I am painfully aware that sparkly vampires give me no pleasure whatsoever. But if they give you pleasure, then please to enjoy you some shiny bloodsuckers. I don’t need to care about what you like, and more to the point, you don’t need to care what I think about what you like.

(There’s also the fact that, to be blunt about it, what I do professionally is likely seen as a “guilty pleasure” by some, because there are people who look down at genre fiction and/or science fiction and/or me as a writer. And, well. I don’t want people to feel like they have to make an excuse or feel guilty for reading what I write to anyone; I just want them to enjoy it.)

So, yeah: No guilty pleasures. I like what I like, and I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it. Wheee!

(It’s not too late to get in a topic for Reader Request Week: Go here for the details and to leave your request!)