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rebecca's pocket

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.: May 2009 --> May 2009

May 2009

» Well, I missed it of course, but April 27 was the 10th anniversary of Rebecca's Pocket. Can you believe it? Once I started, I couldn't imagine not having a weblog, but I honestly don't think I would have predicted I'd be doing it 10 years later. As always, thanks for reading. / (1) Comments / [ 05.01.09 ]

» Make or buy? How cost-effective is it to make homemade pantry staples?  [ 05.01.09 ]

» Librarians are trained to make recommendations based on patrons' favorite books and films. Why not use their taste in videogames as well? One librarian offers tips on how to do just that.

If a gamer came to you 30 years ago raving about Pong, you may have been hard pressed to find a corollary in literature. Today's video games, on the other hand, are multifaceted experiences that feature cinematic visuals, well-defined characters, challenging puzzles, and a plot that is easy to delineate. We already use these criteria to recommend books and movies to patrons. Video games are just another medium that we can utilize in the same way by identifying characters, plot, and genre. For example, you could recommend the book Storm Thief (Orchard, 2006) to fans of the role-playing game Fallout 3 as long as you know that the game is set in post-apocalyptic Washington, DC.

(via tra)  [ 05.04.09 ]

» How I Learned to Haggle

"Just say, 'Is that the best you can do?' And then be quiet," says Hayman. "Silence is a great tactic. Many people are uncomfortable with silence. And you can always walk away. In this economy, the market power is on your side." [...]
Fromm gives me one tip that really resonates: "Negotiate for yourself as if you are negotiating for others," she says, noting that women tend to negotiate most successfully -- better even than men -- when they are doing so on others' behalf. "Think about all the people that depend on you: your family, your children, whoever, who are going to benefit."

 [ 05.04.09 ]

» Malcolm Gladwell: How David Beats Goliath. In short, effort trumps ability - but of course you should read the whole piece for the fun of finding out how and why that's so. (via mamr)  [ 05.05.09 ]

» Medicine Chest: Creating a public record of traditional remedies. Need I encourage you to thoroughly research any treatment before trying?  [ 05.06.09 ]

» Rapt is a new book by Winifred Gallagher that draws on scientific and anecdotal evidence to argue that attention is a finite resource which modern technology encourages us to fritter away on unimportant distracters.

I've been positing this for as long as I've been writing here. But it's worth pointing out that even before this weblog existed, religion has encouraged adherents to quiet their minds through prayer, meditation, and mindfulness. The Buddhist concept of monkey brain existed long before the Internet.  [ 05.07.09 ]

» Do you have a personal canon? In response to the Modern Library's 1998 list of the best 100 English-language novels of the 20th century, NPR's Dick Meyer created his own list of the 100 best English-language novels.  [ 05.11.09 ]

» Literary tourism and the quest for authenticity.  [ 05.12.09 ]

» Bakers, start your engines: Here is a reflection on, and recipe for, the best baguette in Washington, DC - one that you can make at home. (via bittman)  [ 05.13.09 ]

» Psychiatrist Richard Restak, author of Think Smart: A Neuroscientist's Prescription for Improving Your Brain's Performance, says that by exercising three functions of our brain - long-term memory, sensory memory and working memory - we can improve our intelligence as we age.  [ 05.14.09 ]

» A Little Weekend Reading: A few years ago, I borrowed half a dozen books on personal finance from the library. I was surprised that one of my favorites was Suze Orman's The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, which I found to be practical and surprisingly compassionate. This week's NYT Magazine Orman profile reinforces my impression of her as a complex and contradictory character, and offers a new, unhappy ending to the story of her father's life.  [ 05.15.09 ]

» Drink your coffee! Believe it or not, studies now show that it may be good for you.  [ 05.18.09 ]

» Is imidacloprid, the world's best-selling insecticide, responsible for colony collapse disorder? You decide.  [ 05.19.09 ]

» Knitted Village for Sale. Knitted in amazing detail over the past 23 years by a 40-member women's club, it has become too cumbersome to transport. Don't miss the closeups. (via ast)  [ 05.20.09 ]

» These are all amazing: Fore-edge painting. "The magic transformation of a bright gilded book-edge into an intricate little painting, and then see it fade back into the gold again, never fails to delight." Scroll down the page for variations, and then click through the sidebar for galleries, and even pornographic examples. (via tra)  [ 05.21.09 ]

» Here is a beautiful and powerful story told in just a few images and in only 44 seconds. I hope you'll watch it and pass it on to your friends.  [ 05.22.09 ]

» What do other countries serve at school lunch? Some pretty darn good food.  [ 05.25.09 ]

» Anna the Red makes bentos. And lately she's been recreating scenes from her boyfriend's favorite games in her lunch creations. My favorite? The head crabs, of course.  [ 05.25.09 ]

» As many of you know, due to my arm injury I was unable to maintain a list of Summer reading suggestions last year . However, my arm is much better this summer, and so I present you with the first installment of this year's list of lists.

Update: Additions to this list will be posted in the weblog, and be archived on their own page. Just click the link in the righthand sidebar to see the latest entries.

Summer Reading for Adults:
Steven King: Seven Great Books for Summer
ALA: Best genre fiction titles named to 2009 Reading List
The Daily Beast: The 13 Hottest Summer Reads
NPR: Best Fiction For Every Kind Of Summer Day
NPR: On The Hunt For Fabulous Fiction
NPR: For Summer Sleuths: Best Mystery, Crime Novels
NPR: The 10 Best Summer Cookbooks Of 2009
Examiner: Summer reading blockbusters
Examiner: Summertime and the reading is easy: Top five summer reads
Examiner: Sustainable summer reading
Examiner: Summer reading list: Part 1
The Dallas Morning News: Summer Reading Suggestions
The Dallas Morning News: 4 thrillers for summer reading
Newsday: Ten books for summer reading
Central Florida Future: Staff Summer Reading List
STL Today: Summer reading list from SLU libraries
2009 CSAF Reading List (selected by the Air Force Chief of Staff for service personnel)
Bill O'Reilly's 2009 Summer Reading List
Jane Austen Today: My Top Ten Jane Austen Sequels
ID-ology: The books we love most right now (branding and business titles)
One-Read: 2009 List of Suggested Titles

Childrens and Young Adult Books:
List of Lists: Top 10 Summer Reading Lists For Kids and Teens: 2009

Bonus links:
10 Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen
15 Influential Early Works of Apocalyptic Fiction (ranging from 1805 - 1941)
 [ 05.26.09 ]

» At the end of a long entry on the new Star Trek movie and franchise, Greg Hatcher formulates a smart set of rules for remakes that work. For those of you who want to avoid wading through the Trek minutia, search the page (CTRL-F) for "story first". If you're a narrative artist of any kind, it's well worth reading. (thanks, jjg!)  [ 05.27.09 ]

» At the end of the Depression, the Federal Writer's Project began collecting recipes and cataloguing local food celebrations in order to capture the foodways of the United States. Editor Katharine Kellock enjoined her writers to "keep an eye out for food conflicts like New England arguments about chowder, and Carolina arguments about barbeque". Abandoned before publication, those manuscripts - documenting a pre-Interstate America whose cuisine was based on local, seasonal foods - have been languishing in dusty boxes in the Library of Congress ever since.

Now, Mark Kurlansky (author of Cod and Salt) has compiled a selection of these pieces into a new book: The Food of a Younger Land. Listen to the audio file to hear him talk about his struggle to balance racism and historical accuracy, and to hear him recite the spectacular poem "Nebraskans Eat The Wieners".

Update: Here's an excerpt and review.  [ 05.28.09 ]

» Is the amount of lead contained in your lipstick - ingested daily, possibly over a long period of time - safe?  [ 05.29.09 ]

» Drivers trained in mileage-maximizing techniques were able to get 131.5 km (about 82 miles) per gallon driving a non-modified 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. The article, unfortunately, fails to detail and explain the techniques that enabled such a fuel savings. (Shakes fist at press.)

Update: The awesome Ross Olson points me to the original press release that lists the 9 fuel-saving techniques used in the demonstration.  [ 05.29.09 ]



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