Happy Halloween!

Boo!

Halloween Costumes

Here is the laugh-out-loud of the day. Some hysterical and adorable costumes for infants and a couple for pets, too.

Why Don't They Make Cute Things for Grown-Ups?

Most of the time, whenever I find a really awesome pair of shoes or a great outfit, it's for kids. Why don't they make fun clothes for adults that don't cost a fortune? Today I found a great set of solar system pajamas that I want. Unfortunately, I'm still not a child. The good news is, I know how to sew. The bad news is that sewing won't help me make great shoes.

Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz

If you spend much time shopping on Amazon.com, once and a while you come across some interesting reviews for a product. Some products on there have been taken over by amusing writers, and this one is no exception. If you have several hours of time to waste, or even just a few minutes, please, take some time and laugh your pants off by Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz. Also, read the comments on the reviews. People are writing short stories, poems, jokes, complaints about jokes, everything under the sun. Here are just a couple of excerpts of the over 1000 reviews for this fine product.

One of my favorites by Catherine Swinford of North Carolina:
He always brought home milk on Friday.

After a long hard week full of days he would burst through the door, his fatigue hidden behind a smile. There was an icy jug of Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz in his right hand. With his left hand he would grip my waist - I was always cooking dinner - and press the cold frostiness of the jug against my arm as he kissed my cheek. I would jump, mostly to gratify him after a time, and smile lovingly at him. He was a good man, a wonderful husband who always brought the milk on Friday, Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz.

Then there was that Friday, the terrible Friday that would ruin every Friday for the rest of my life. The door opened, but there was no bouyant greeting - no cold jug against the back of my arm. There was no Tuscan Whole Milk in his right hand, nor his left. There came no kiss. I watched as he sat down in a kitchen chair to remove his shoes. He wore no fatigue, but also no smile. I didn't speak, but turned back to the beans I had been stirring. I stirred until most of their little shrivelled skins floated to the surface of the cloudy water. Something was wrong, but it was vague wrongness that no amount of hard thought could give shape to.

Over dinner that night I casually inserted,"What happened to the milk?"
"Oh,"he smiled sheepishly, glancing aside,"I guess I forgot today."

That was when I knew. He was tired of this life with me, tired of bringing home the Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz. He was probably shoveling funds into a secret bank account, looking at apartments in town, casting furtive glances at cashiers and secretaries and waitresses. That's when I knew it was over. Some time later he moved in with a cashier from the Food Mart down the street. And me? Well, I've gone soy.
One from a reader in Wisconsin:
Has anyone else tried pouring this stuff over dry cereal? A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
By J. Reeve in Brooklyn:
It was the last day of summer, and the Tuscan wind played with their hair. They leaned against the railing of the balcony, looking up at the stars. "In Italiano, we call it the Via Lattea," he said, savoring the last syllables of the Italian word like they were slices of creamy tiramisu.
--"That's beautiful," she said, looking into his eyes with white thirst.
--"Si." His arm grazed gently against hers. "If only...if only we had a gallon, one hundred..."
--"...and twenty-eight fluid ounces?" she said, producing a gallon of Tuscan whole milk from the folds of her evening dress.
--"How did you know?"
--"Oh Amato," she said, "I've known all along."
It's neverending milky fun, folks.

Orionids... Yep, I missed them

I knew that they were happening in the last couple of days, but they didn't project anything cool happening. So, of course, I slept instead of waking up before dawn. Looks like I missed a good show. Those pictures were taken in Sedona, just an hour from where I am. Bummer.

Beauty of Nature

Here are some gorgeous drawings by Ernst Haeckel which were done in 1904. They are worth a perusal. I hope to print a few out one day and use them to decorate a bathroom, perhaps. Here's another link.

Quote of the Day

From somewhere out there in the ether:

"To have the life you want, start by writing your own obituary and work back from there on how to go about achieving it."

Get BarackRolled

If you live under a rock and don't know what it means to get RickRolled, go here first.

The Barack Obama version of the Internet delight is new to me, though it may have been around for a little while. Get BarackRolled! It made me laugh.

Leafcutter Designs

This one deserved its own post. I love finding people where I love everything they do. It doesn't happen often. I found out about this woman in my ReadyMade magazine (the only magazine I currently subscribe to, since my time is limited, though I'm seriously considering subscribing to Mental_Floss).

Anyway, this woman runs The World's Smallest Postal Service out of San Francisco's Curiosity Shoppe. You write a letter, send it to her (or bring it if you're nearby), she'll transcribe it in a teeny tiny letter, and send that letter, along with a magnifying glass, to the recipient. Very cool.

So I checked out her website, Leafcutter Designs, and found out that she's just ├╝bercool in general. She seems to do things just to spread joy all around. For example, you can send for a small box of crayons and a naming chart. Then name all the colors of the crayons using whatever criteria you wish (imagination is encouraged), send them back, and she'll label the crayons with your names and sell them in her store to fund the project. How cool is that? I sent away for one. We'll see what colors we get!

Or send her a drawing on a Rolodex card and she'll send you back copies of others' drawings. There is no possible way that this isn't fun.

About a Great Many Things...

Lots of great things lately, so rather than have a separate entry for each, I'm going to cram them all into one. So, in no particular order...

Awesome Wil Wheaton (AWW for short) passed along a version of Take On Me that'll make you giggle a bit, if you're old (or young) enough to remember the original.

Ten Great Geek Characters in movies. I'd have to agree that they're all great (except I'm not sure about number 9 as I've never seen the movie). Favorites on the list are hard to narrow down, because I like each for their own reasons! Of course, any list with both Wil Wheaton and John Cusack has to be good.

New Yankee Workshop, anyone? Out of Legos? Apparently this guy makes a whole lot of other great things out of Legos, too.

Firefox Cross-stitch Pattern

I don't do cross-stitch, but I love it when my craft world and my geek world collide. Here's a link to a blog that (a while back, apparently) had a Firefox cross-stitch pattern, so you can adorn all of your homey items with your love for Firefox (or hatred for IE?).

It's Blog Action Day 2008

And this year's theme is Poverty. I'm not sure what to write about poverty (I'm still in the "I just got up" mindset), so I'll just link to the Blog Action Day website. They have some great ideas of things everyone can do to help.

Plimoth Plantation, and The First Thanksgiving

During our schooling today, we did the neatest activity on the Plimoth Plantation website. It had to do with Investigating the First Thanksgiving, or as they call it, the 1621 Harvest Celebration. I learned quite a bit, such as the Wampanoags probably weren't actually invited to the feast. The Plimoth Plantation site is filled with other interesting information. Take a look!

Trift Store

My husband got a photo posted to Wordsplosion today. We're pretty sure they misspelled the thing on purpose, but still. WHY?

What is Your Superpower?

I haven't quite figured out what my superpower is yet. I can't seem to pin down one or two things that stand out as great abilities that other people don't usually have.

My daughter's super alter ego is Super Memory Girl. She remembers things well. My husband's is Anonymous Man. People never remember him. Phil Plait's superpower is that cats love him.

What is your superpower? And if you know me, what is mine? =)

I Love Playing Board Games

Always have, always will. I drove my mom and sister crazy when I was a kid saying, "Who wants to play a game?" My mom would frequently play card games with me, but didn't have a love of board games like I did. Fortunately, as I've gotten older, I've found others in my life who love them. Unfortunately, most of them don't live around here.

But some do, namely my husband and kids. We played TransEuropa last night (me, my husband, and my 7 year old daughter). It's just like TransAmerica, but, well, in Europe! We have both versions of the game. It was fun to play with my daughter, who is now old enough to play just about everything we have. She won the first round. I lost horribly. I lost the second round, too! But the third round, I came from behind to win it all! (Go me.) It was great fun.

Enceladus Up Close!

Yet another space image of something I haven't ever seen. One of Saturn's moons, Enceladus, is covered in ice (with neato patterns) and very few craters. This means the surface is newish, otherwise there would be more craters from stuff hitting it all the time. Check it out.

We're Number Ten!

Here is yet another reason why I love where I live. Prescott's downtown Courthouse Square has made the American Planning Association's top 10 list of public spaces. It appears to be number ten (though they don't seem to be ranked), but still. Not bad for a small town.

Geek Love Song

I know I'm a few years late on this one, but I do try to have some semblance of a life. =)

Can You Write Your Memoir in Six Words?

There is a Very Cool Book out there that would be a fun read. Famous people (and not so famous, I'm guessing, as they'll run out of famous people eventually) summing up their lives in six words. If I gave it enough thought, I might be able to come up with a good one. I'd love to read any of your Six-Word Memoirs.

Ferrous Wheel

Thanks, once again, to Wil Wheaton for this fun link. It's the haha funny of the day.

I Have Good People

Sometimes it takes until your 30s for this, like it has me, but I've come to realize over the last year or so that I really have some great people in my life. All my life I've had some great family members, but not very many people unrelated to me. That has really started to change in the past 3ish years. I have a bunch of friends, both near and far, that I truly cherish. You should know who you are, out there!

Take some time today and think of all the people who you care about, and those who care about you. Your list may just be a very long one.

Some Close-Up Shots of Mercury

Super duper astronomer Phil Plait's blog has some great photos of Mercury, taken by MESSENGER. It resembles our moon a bit, but it does look a bit different. Check it out!

Non-Refrigerated Lunch Items

All you brown baggers out there, I need some ideas. I've always been a "bring lunch with you" kind of person, as my mom always made out lunches for us. I was 13 before I ever went to a school that had actual school lunches. It was such a foreign concept to me and the food looked disgusting (not to mention not healthy).

My kids don't go to school since we homeschool, but we often have to leave the house and are gone over the lunch hour. I prefer to bring our lunch with us, as that saves a great deal of money. And we're getting awfully sick of peanut butter and jelly.

Does anyone have any great ideas for other protein options that don't require refrigeration? Beef jerky isn't good because my kids are usually not interested.

To make things more interesting, I've been bringing cheese and crackers, but you've got to keep the cheese cold enough. Sometimes that is a problem, especially in the warmer months. So I was just wondering if any of you out there in the ether had some good tips to share.

Do you love Star Trek AND Barbershop Quartets?

Then have I got the video for you.

Strange Maps

If you love maps and history as much as I do, you might enjoy this site. It's called Strange Maps, and is filled with the most interesting maps I've probably ever seen. They range from U.S. maps showing how many people say "soda", how many people say "pop", and how many people say something else, to maps of imaginary places, to maps you can wear on your wrist. Check it out, it's a fascinating place.

The 2008 Ig Nobel Awards

Last night they announced the winners of this year's Ig Nobel Awards. Horribly funny stuff, if you've never partaken. They broadcast the ceremony last night, but they'll have an archive of it available for viewing in the next few days. I heard the audio of a ceremony a year or two ago on NPR and it was one of the funniest things I'd ever heard.

Okay, I'll back up. What are the Ig Nobel Awards, you ask? From their site:

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative -- and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology.

Also available on the site are past years' award ceremonies, winners lists, and if you're lucky enough to be at MIT tomorrow, you can sit in on free informal lectures by the winners!

Happy Birthday, Gandhi!

Apparently it is Gandhi's 139th birthday today! So for all of you out there who, like me, wonder why people can't just get along, today is for you.

Happy 50th Birthday, NASA!

Today is NASA's 50th birthday! On their Astronomy Picture of the Day today, they have a great rocket launch that seems so minor and easy when compared with the Space Shuttle launches. But it was all new to them back then, and I'm sure exciting beyond belief.

So wish NASA a happy birthday in your own way today. I'll probably be listening to more cool science songs for kids. Zoom zoom!

Also, if you're a science geek and you're already excited for Christmas (as I am), check out this page for science songs sung to the tune of various Christmas carols.

Go science!