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March 2009

» Reader's Advisor has posted this year's nominees for the Agatha Award. If you're a "traditional mystery" lover, and have missed this award in the past, please see the Wikipedia, which lists nominees since its inception in 1988.  [ 03.02.09 ]

» Furoshiki is the name for a traditional wrapping cloth that can be used to transport goods or to wrap a gift. Various wrapping techniques have evolved over the years, all of them, to my eye, beautiful. Here is a page of the most common ones and Japan's Ministry of the Environment's page on furoshiki techniques.  [ 03.05.09 ]

» YouTube: Doug Patt's How to write like an architect and his follow-up, How to letter with lead.  [ 03.06.09 ]

» This looks handy:'s Calorie count recipe analysis. I have yet to find a cookbook software that provides nutritional analysis without a tedious struggle trying to match recipe ingredients with USDA nutritional charts. Using this page, I had to fiddle a bit with the ingredients, but it took me just a few minutes to discover that one serving of Martha Stewart's Perfect Macaroni and Cheese (recommended by Mark Bittman) contains 21 % of your Vitamin A, 65% of your calcium, 11% of your iron, and 48% of your total fat for the day.  [ 03.09.09 ]

» The New York Times has introduced 3 new booklists - of graphic novels: hardcover, softcover, and manga.

Comics have finally joined the mainstream. [...] And today The Times introduces three separate lists of the best-selling graphic books in the country: hardcover, softcover, and manga. We'll update those lists weekly in this space, and offer a few observations along the way.

I'm not a graphic novel reader, but this is probably overdue. (via ra)  [ 03.09.09 ]

» NYT: Monastic Doors Open for Travelers: To Save a Cloistered Life, Nuns and Monks Become Innkeepers. I would love to do this.  [ 03.10.09 ]

» Meryl Evans is compiling a list of Short, Fast Books Worth Reading, and she's wants your suggestions for powerful books that are 200 pages or less. I'm honored to find my book included. Think about the books that have influenced you the most and add them to her growing list.  [ 03.11.09 ]

» Top Tier gasoline meets standards that are higher than federal standards, to reduce buildup in car engines. The Car Talk guys think it helps, but is not critical - but if you'd like to keep your car in top shape, here is a list of retailers.  [ 03.12.09 ]

» I've never read anything by Dan Simmons, but I have read everything by Charles Dickens, and this interview with the first author makes me want to read his latest book Drood, and maybe some other of Simmon's work.  [ 03.13.09 ]

» Plan your garden online with The planner will show you how to properly place and space your plants, map out a planting schedule, and even email you reminders! (via shepherd susie)

If you need to do a little more research before you make your plans, WikiGardens is a new site devoted to just that purpose. I can also recommend my old favorite, Dave's Garden and his user-maintained Plantfiles.  [ 03.16.09 ]

» Yes, I am very excited about the new organic vegetable garden at the White House. If your kids want to plant a garden like the Obama's, here are 10 easy-to-grow vegetables for them to start with.  [ 03.20.09 ]

» Here's a literary genre I never expected to exist: Business and Financial Thrillers. Unless you count the entire last year of newspapers, I guess.  [ 03.23.09 ]

» An interesting and surprisingly wide-ranging interview with travel guru Rick Steves about the value of travel, the real story on Iran, marijuana, and the economic downturn.

A headline today said, "Americans lose 18 percent of their wealth." Well, no, it wasn't real wealth, it was a bubble. You're down 18 percent? You're not. It shouldn't have been up there in the first place. So get over it. Shut up. Go to work, produce stuff that has value. I really think the days are gone, I hope, when people can rearrange the furniture and get rich on it. You got to produce something.

 [ 03.24.09 ]

» In case you didn't see it, Harold McGee proposes a new method of cooking pasta that uses much less water, works on everything from dried whole wheat to fresh semolina pasta, and results in a thick, starchy water he says is good enough to use as a sauce.  [ 03.25.09 ]

» How to understand risk in 13 clicks. We all read the statistics, but what is the actual effect on your health of an extra piece of bacon, or an extra unit of alcohol? I really wish the media would get into the habit of describing risks as clearly as this slideshow does.  [ 03.26.09 ]

» John Hope Franklin, author of From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans and historian of race in America, has died at the age of 94.

John Hope Franklin, who died yesterday at 94, was one of the most remarkable Americans of the 20th century. He was the master of the great American story of that century, the story of race. John Hope wrote it, he taught it, and he lived it.
[...] He worked on a crucial brief for Brown v. Board of Education, he marched in Selma, he lectured all over the world and he taught all of America to see through his uncompromising eye. But it was not just what he did but how he did it that marked his greatness. He understood that the public good was not merely a set of substantive outcomes; it is also defined by how we go about reconciling our competing visions of that public good. It is about how we view one another when we peer across the great divides of policy, preference, political party and personhood. John Hope Franklin looked at those who opposed him and saw fellow human beings.

 [ 03.26.09 ]

» Apparently, you can develop film using instant coffee and vitamin C. Don't believe me? There's a Caffenol Pool at Flickr if you'd like to see the results. (via lh)  [ 03.27.09 ]

» I keep wishing there was a Ravelry for food. Here are two sites that might qualify: Bake Space (which covers all kinds of cooking) and The Fresh Loaf (which is baking-only). For reference only, take a look at Cook Think and of course the ancient Searchable Online Archive of Recipes.  [ 03.30.09 ]

» Dahlia Lithwick's report on the oral arguments before the Supreme Court regarding Hillary: The Movie includes a priceless account of Justice Kennedy valiantly trying to make sense of the ramifications of the Kindle for campaign finance law and book censorship. (I'm not making fun of Justice Kennedy, by the way. His assumption, though wrong, is not unreasonable, and his larger question is a good one.)  [ 03.31.09 ]



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