26 November 2008


I recently installed Foxmarks on my laptop and on my school computer. It is a free little application that sync's up your bookmarks, so you always have up to date bookmarks/favorites where ever you go. I do a lot of sending a link to a page or a website to myself so I can pull it up at school and use it in class. Now, I just bookmark it and it is there waiting for me when I boot up at school. Slick!

25 November 2008

Blenders & Mason Jars

I was looking around online for ideas on how to customize your paint job on your blender (I didn't find anything) and I happened across an article about using a mason jar to screw into your blender's base instead of your pitcher (or carafe as most sites called it). I am pretty excited about this because I think it would be very easy (and no dishes) to throw a few things into a jar, blend it, rinse off the chopping blades and walk out the door in the morning with a nice smoothie. Can't wait to try it.

24 November 2008

National Day of Listening

I saw this post on Fischbowl and followed their link to NPR's StoryCorps site. They have designated the day after Thanksgiving as the National Day of Listening and are encouraging everyone to seek out relatives and friends and listen to their stories. And a bonus would be to capture that story and share it. I've discussed doing something like this with homebase before. I think it would be an incredibly cool thing to record some conversations with Doc or Uncle Ed, etc. Maybe everyone (kids too!) can come to Thanksgiving with a story to share and I'll think about how to record them.

23 November 2008

What Happy People Don't Do

"Although people who describe themselves as happy enjoy watching television, it turns out to be the single activity they engage in less often than unhappy people"

Now, one needs to keep the causation/correlation difference in mind when reading the article, but this NY Times article is pretty interesting. It seems to make sense to me. One more reason to turn off the telly and go do something.

Blender Make-over

My blender which I've had for probably close to a decade had developed a sad, and rather unappetizing, case of yellowing on its white plastic case. Yesterday, as I was washing it, the idea of painting it popped into my head. A couple of hours later...voila! Good as new. I might try out adding some flair to it, polka-dots or stripes or flames (like Alton Brown's mixer) or something. For now, it looks like a shiny red fire hydrant, and I love it.

21 November 2008

Social Networking

We had the best discussion we've had this year in my first block class this morning. A topic that never fails to get kids talking...myspace & facebook. The NY Times ran this article about a study about the time kids spend on these sites. It talks about the techonological and literacy benefits they gain. There were a lot of students sharing opinions, agreeing and disagreeing with parts of the article. And we had one student who didn't use either site, so it was good to hear him share his view. I had them read the first 5 reader's comments also to hear some differing opinions. I wanted to offer extra credit if they would submit their own comment, but unfortunately, they had ceased accepting comments. Otherwise, it was a great way to start the day!

20 November 2008

Everyone's a Critic

This NY Times story about a 12-year old food critic and his solo visit to a nearby newly-opened restaurant in his neighborhood is very enjoyable. The scene sounded pretty entertaining as I pictured it in my head. I loved the people at the next table buying his a mousse and the kitchen sending out a soup. I thought of all the stress involved in a visit by a critic (like in Ratatouille) coupled with that critic being twelve. Good stuff.

18 November 2008

Onion Headlines

I was feeling a little sapped of energy after school today so i clicked on the Onion before i left school. I haven't read it for weeks and it didn't fail to provide some levity to my day. There was a headline that made me laugh out loud so i had to share it and some others....

History Doomed To Repeat Itself, Reports Man Who Just Dropped Food On Pants

Supreme Court Upholds Bill Of Rights In 5-4 Decision

A Question of Judgement

This article about an email sent by a school board member was in the Des Moines Register today. I will refrain from making any public comments about it on this blog, but thought it was definitely worthy of sharing.

17 November 2008

Wireless Power?

A few years ago stoppable and I were talking on the phone and after discussing and laying out some now forgotten, but at the time ingeniously wonderful idea, stoppable stated that all he needed to do know was to figure out how to deliver electricity wirelessly. At the time (and still currently) that seemed like a pretty hard to fathom idea. Then today I saw this passage in a story on an education blog I read...
"The smart phone could send power to the camera wirelessly and relay the camera's video feed by cell phone network to another person, a TV studio or a computer."

Wiki provides further info.

Math Musing?

[ed. note - I had to change the title because I felt it gave too big of a hint]
I was looking up information on Sin-é, the now-defunct, Irish-owned, music venue in NYC when I ran across this mnemonic device that bought back a flood of memories. Not enough memories to recall what it was used for or meant. I'll throw it out there and see if anyone remembers what it stands for.

14 November 2008


I was browsing for some good quotes to add to my quote wall, which I will have to take a picture of to share) and came across this one. It made me smile.
"Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names."
Anyone know or what to take a guess as to who said it?
[I'll post the answer in comments tomorrow.]

12 November 2008

Dr. Google

Google's power and applicability never seems to end! This article about Google using their search results (how many people are searching for the term "flu") to come up with data on flu outbreaks. They are working with the CDC to validate their findings. Super cool.

Pick Your Cabinet

Fun little interactive page on the NY Times today. You can pick your cabinet, or learn more about the front-runners as well as see who readers are liking the most for each position.

Veteran's Day

Even though I'm a day late, I read this article about John McCain on Jay Leno last night and I thought it was nice that Leno, at the end of the show, asked if McCain had a good story for Veteran's Day. I thought the story was worth sharing. You can read it here.

10 November 2008

I didn't get the memo...

"Why didn't you tell me you were going to wear your blue tie with your navy blazer?!!?"

09 November 2008


And you thought the Obama posts would be done after the election! Ha. The website of the President-elect is change.gov. How cool is that?? I love it. It's not a bad website and there are some neat things on their. The Obama Administration's (how cool does that sound!) hopes for Service and Education both caught my eye. You can learn what areas are included in an Administration. He encourages people to 'be the change' and submit their ideas! They are also looking for people to share their stories of the campaign and election in their American Moments section. And, finally, you can apply for a (non-career) job!

07 November 2008


Perfectly reflecting the volatility of Iowa weather, four days after having some incredible weather, we now have snow. The high for tomorrow is 38 degrees. Hello winter, I wasn't expecting you so soon. Tailgating for the Iowa vs Penn State game should be fun and frigid! At least it is an 2:30 kickoff!

05 November 2008

04 November 2008

Vote for Hope

Probably too late to catch anyone who hasn't voted yet, but this video was too good not to share. Got to MC Yogi's website and watch the video and download the track for free if you like it. I can't tell you how excited I am for the returns tonight.

03 November 2008

Speak with your ballot

Shock and awe/ful thing to make somebody think
That they have to choose pushing for peace or supporting the troops
And either you’re weak or you’ll use brute force/feed the truth
The truth is we say not as we do

But who needs to see what we’ve done?
Who needs please when we’ve got guns?
Who needs keys when we’ve got clubs?
Who needs peace when we’ve gone above
But beyond where we should have gone?
- Jack Johnson
"Sleep Through the Static"

This song came up on shuffle tonight as I was checking papers. It made me think for a minute and also made me happy I've voted. I'd be remiss if I did not take a second to remind everyone to get out and vote tomorrow. The weather is gonna be beautiful so go cast your ballot and celebrate our democracy.

Indian Summer (part 2)

Yeah, that run around Gray's Lake? Awesome. It was packed. All the parking lots were full and I had to park on the street but the weather, scenery, people watching and relaxation were worth it.

02 November 2008

Indian Summer

I am loving this weather. I sat outside on the patio at Palmer's and enjoyed a sun-soaked lunch with Sarah on Saturday...on November 1! Today it is 74 and I'm leaving to go for a run around Gray's Lake. If there is anything that can cheer me up after all three of my teams (Iowa, Notre Dame, Texas) losing in heartbreakers yesterday and now with it getting dark earlier cuz of Daylight Savings time, it might be this amazing weather! Forget the papers to be graded, Get out and enjoy it!

01 November 2008


I stayed in for Halloween last night. Didn't get any trick or treaters, but I didn't expect any either. I was really looking forward to a relaxing night of cooking something new and maybe a movie. I found a recipe for a risotto which sounded great with the two steaks I had. It is the Roasted Beet Risotto from The Amazing World of Rice cookbook. It took a couple stops to get all the necessary ingredients but putting it all together was a lot of fun. The risotto has red wine and beets (obviously) in it and the finished product was an wonderful deep red color. Very visually pleasing and the flavor didn't disappoint either. I'll have to make it sometime when the family all gets together.