All I Want For Christmas




























Oh, yeah, and world peace. Don’t wanna come off as a completely selfish and materialistic doofus.

Although I’d probably take the pinball machine over world peace. More fun.

So, what useless crap would you like/would have liked for the holidays? I just tossed in some stuff from my image files, I’d actually prefer, to quote Sally Brown, “tens and twenties”. Adjusted for…
All I Want For Christmas

Weekend Links: Don’t Love Your Work, Gain Weight, and Stop Multi-Tasking…

Interesting links from around the web to help you through your weekend Study Hacks withdrawal…

A Stocking Full of Holiday Productivity


Weekend Links: Don’t Love Your Work, Gain Weight, and Stop Multi-Tasking…

The Gimble

The Gimble is a nifty tool. It’s not the most versatile book holder (it won’t work with larger books), but it’s small, modestly priced, and cleverly designed and named. I like using it to hold books open while I’m typing out passages.

Why gimble? The OED definition of gimbal helps out:

A contrivance by means of which articles for use at sea (esp. the compass and the chronometer) are suspended so as to keep a horizontal position. It usually consists of a pair of rings moving on pivots…

The Gimble

Against Happiness

Design by Jennifer Carrow

A few weeks ago it was David Drummond week, featuring posts here and here. This week (well, OK, a little more than a week) seems to belong to Jennifer Carrow, who designed The Best Intentions as well as this smart and funny jacket for this study of the benefits of melancholy.


I love how the heavier title type introduces the smallest bit of asymmetry and makes the frown a little more droopy. Someone’s got their Occam’s razor nicely sharpened :-)


Against Happiness

Use an Exclude Dictionary to Master Your Typos [Spell Check]

excludedic_cropped.jpg
Typos are bad enough when they result in gibberish like “procedurw,” but words that are close together and technically correct—like “manager” and “manger"—will easily slip by Word’s spell check. If you find yourself making those kind of situational typos often, the Productivity Portfolio blog can walk you through creating an "Exclude Dictionary” to have Word’s checker prompt you whenever it finds certain words. That way, you’re the one who decides whether you meant the guy who deploys…


Use an Exclude Dictionary to Master Your Typos [Spell Check]

A simple theory of liberal arts education

At the margin, that is.

Information in the modern world is virtually free, and well-defined tasks can be outsourced very cheaply, if need be.  Don’t specialize in those.

Bias is everywhere, and overcoming bias yields great gains.  Empirically, our biases stem strongly from our nationality, our language, and our cultural background.  (It is, by the way, remarkable how much libertarianism is an Anglo-American phenomenon.)

To overcome those biases we should travel, spend some time living…


A simple theory of liberal arts education

Dutch Advertising Graphics

Wilhelmina Cycle 1897-1898

Wilhelmina Cycle & Co. Ltd. Zeist-Holland. rijwielen 1897-1898



Viskwekerijen (Arnhem) 1950-1975
Bezoekt onze Viskwekerijen - Koninklijke Nederlandsche
Heidemaatschappij (Arnhem) - 1950-1975



Ranja en Rojo 1925-1950
Drinkt èchte Ranja en Rojo 1925-1950



Pope globes 1939-1940
“In 1889, the light bulb factory Goosens, Pope & Co. was founded in Venlo. The driving force behind the enterprise was the English engineer Frederic Pope. In 1920, Philips acquired a controlling interest in the share capital of the factory….
Dutch Advertising Graphics

Tiny Business Card Calendar [Calendars]

Thumb-Calendar.pngWeighting in at the size of a business card, the tiny Thumb Calendar makes it possible to keep a calendar on you at all times. The Thumb Calendar is two sided and in order to use it, you must cover the dates that are not directly below the month header with your thumbs. The designer only has a PDF version for 2007 on his homepage, but you can grab a 2008 version from Flickr (linked below). The Thumb Calendar is a free download and makes a great addition to any purse or wallet.


Tiny Business Card Calendar [Calendars]

Lay-It-Out

layitout.jpg

Last time I moved I threw out my back repositioning Grandma’s china cabinet for the 10th time. My latest (and hopefully last) moving experience was a dream because of the Lay-It-Out furniture templates. These unique life-sized paper furniture templates are the shape of your bed, sofa, tables, chairs, rugs, billiard table. After trimming them to the appropriate size (measurements are in inches and centimeters), we placed them on the floor and – as I was directed to the appropriate…


Lay-It-Out

Olive sizes

Mark Hurst at Good Experience wonders today about the words used to classify olive oil — pure, virgin, and extra virgin: “I mean, what’s the difference between ‘virgin’ and ‘extra virgin’ in any other context?” Mark’s conclusion: “Olive oil suffers from name inflation.”

Which reminded me of the strange array of words used to size olives, something I first learned about (and still vaguely recall) from a Marshall Efron skit on The Great American Dream Machine.

You can find the…


Olive sizes

Dick on Kipple

Quote:
There’s the First Law of Kipple… ‘Kipple drives out nonkipple.’

…Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday’s homeopape. When nobody’s around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you to go bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up there is twice as much of it. It always gets more and more.

No one can win against kipple, except temporarily and maybe in one spot.
- Do…


Dick on Kipple

The H.O.F. Holiday Gift Goad (Or, Pay Attention, You Cheap Bastards)

At a loss for a gift this holiday season? Screwing over friends and family and buying crap just for yourself? Bad with your money in general and need to splurge on something pointless to help bloat your credit card bills? Dirt poor and reckless?

We could care less what your situation is, really. We just want to point out that a lot of our comics-related junk is still available from SLG Publishing and you could still spend your goddam money on it if you had half a brain. And maybe you’d get…


The H.O.F. Holiday Gift Goad (Or, Pay Attention, You Cheap Bastards)

Is Led Zeppelin Still Going Strong? (Soundcheck: Monday, 10 December 2007)

The much-anticipated Led Zeppelin reunion concert takes place tonight in London. While it’s been a long time since they rock & rolled, they remain the backbone of classic-rock radio and influential on ever hard-rock band around. Today we debate how important their legacy is with music critic David Browne and take your calls.

Weigh in: What do you think of Led Zeppelin’s music, legacy and tonight’s reunion?


Is Led Zeppelin Still Going Strong? (Soundcheck: Monday, 10 December 2007)

End o' the semester cleanup

After the Spring 2007 semester, I asked Marilyn what she did with all of her notes, drafts of papers and presentations, and so on. She said that she used to keep everything, but now she kept only the final copies and threw the rest away.That struck me as a sensible way to go. When I was a reporter, one piece of advice I got was to destroy my reporter notebooks when I was done with them. If the story had been printed, it was part of the public record and that's where people should go for the information. So here's what I'm planning to do as I wrap up the end of a very busy Fall 2007:

  • Online: Delete all the Google Docs stuff that supported my papers.
  • PC: I keep separate subfolders for each class by its number. Go through each one, delete the drafts and supporting research material; keep the final version of papers I handed in. The papers have the citation references if I need to pull up the original articles again. Move this folder to my INLS folder, which sits in my Archives folder.
  • Zotero: I used this to capture pages for a paper and spit out the citations. Delete everything. Update: Well, maybe that was too hasty. I've read of heavy-duty Zotero users who use it to keep lots of stuff; some heavy RefWorks users do the same thing to track their citations and readings. Up to now, I really haven't needed that kind of tracking power, so I'll wait to deploy that weaponry at a later time.
  • Hard copy: I think I'll start a binder for papers that have my professors' handwritten comments. There actually haven't been that many papers in my school career so far; this was my writing semester, with about 12 one-page critiques, two 15-page papers, and lots of writing on a grant proposal. I like the idea of keeping them all in a binder, tab-separated. Update: What I actually did was label two manila envelopes with the class number, put my hardcopy papers in them, and file them under "I" for INLS. I fell back to asking myself, "What's the simplest thing that could possibly work?" Binders require just those few extra steps that I didn't want to go through; much easier to put everything in an envelope (including the syllabus and reading lists) and be done with it.
  • Printed articles: I really can't read journal articles on-screen--I need hard-copy. I've kept them all through the semester in separate pouches for each class. I'll look at each one and probably just recycle. Any articles that have to do with my work project I'll put aside and keep in a binder at work.

Now, keeping track of all this mess during the semester is another challenge I haven't conquered yet. I like the intellectual tidiness of keeping everything online, but it's not always practical. For one class, I kept my graded critiques in a binder; for the other, I stuffed the graded paper into a pouch that held all my readings for the semester.

Veganomicon

Designer name to come

I’m no vegan, but is using colors that remind one (or me, at least) of straw and mold the best way to spread the gospel of vegan deliciousness? I don’t think so.


Veganomicon

Coffee Better Than Napping for the Sleepy Driver [Driving]

coffee-v-nap.pngThe New York Times looks into which option is better to help sleepy drivers stay alert: a nap or a cup of joe. In a study conducted by French researches to determine which better helped drivers avoid crossing the center line, it looks like coffee wins out, but how well it works depends on your age.

For middle-aged drivers, aged 40 to 50, coffee was a far better choice. Caffeinated coffee lowered risk for these drivers by 89 percent, while the nap only reduced line crossings by 23…

Coffee Better Than Napping for the Sleepy Driver [Driving]