Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope all of you out there are able to spend the day with loved ones.

Mystery Piano Found in Woods

Here's a story of a piano mysteriously appearing in the woods. Police are trying to figure out if it was stolen, or if it was put there by a prank. Random act of beauty? I'm not sure it would do well in the rain, though. Perhaps that's why they moved it to storage. Still, it reminds me of something out of a David Lynch movie or something.

Cheap But Awesome Entertainment

We were lucky enough to go see Riders in the Sky today. It was an awesome show. They're a cowboy singing group that's been around for 30 years singing at The White House, on Toy Story 2, even on Barney (ugh!). I'm not a country music fan by any means, but this was really fun. It was old fashioned cowboy music, even singing a Gene Autry song (granted, it was Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer).

Another huge plus is that it cost me and the kids $3 (total cost!) to go see them. This is thanks to an awesome program here that lets kids go to shows at Yavapai College (the local community college) for very cheap. They're daytime shows, and various schools around send their classes. Homeschoolers are welcome, too, so we get to enjoy all this entertainment for cheap! We've also seen things like kid plays of Winnie the Pooh and If You Give a Pig a Party, and also some Chinese acrobats. It took me a few years to learn about this, as it seems to be a "you have to know someone" kind of deal. Our next one isn't until February (Flat Stanley).

Ten Famous Homeschooled People

The mental_floss blog had an article yesterday about famous homeschooled people. I found it odd that they limited their list to 10, as before the conventional school system was established, most people were homeschooled. And many of them were famous. It's an interesting read nonetheless.

Star Wars: The Holiday Special

Here's a piece of history that I learned about a few years ago. Apparently I am one of the few of my generation that didn't see this horrid cinema when it originally aired. I was five years old, so that's my excuse. But apparently yesterday was its 30th anniversary. So here is a link to an article, a poem, and apparently the entire TV special. Enjoy!

First Ever Photo of the Earth From the Moon

Before Apollo 11, there were several lunar orbiter spacecraft. They took lots of photos. Some people are now working on restoring these photos from their original tape drives. They don't look as fancy schmancy as the photos you're used to seeing of the Earth from space, but these were the first. And they can show us what changes have happened on the moon over time.


I've actually found quite a few links recently that were interesting to me in one way or another, but I haven't found the time to post them all. We're moving in less than three weeks, and my life has been, shall we say, crazy.

Let's start with new news for today. One Laptop Per Child's XO laptop is now available on Amazon.com! In case you missed last year's opportunity to give these laptops to children around the world (and perhaps snag one for yourself!), you have another chance. They look so darned cute, and they're rugged. They are designed for small hands, though, so buy with caution. They're $199 to give one to a child in need, or you can pay $399 to give one and get one for yourself!

The other day someone took a photo of another planet in space. Finding another planet these days isn't big news, but detecting one optically, instead of in other ways, IS news. They've actually seen the planet (named Fomalhaut b) instead of observing how something affects something else. Go science (and photography)!

Want to see a neat car commercial from another country that involves cake?

Do you love alternate history, the Civil War, and dinosaurs? We've got you covered.

A very entertaining video tribute to composer John Williams.

Next time I'm in Switzerland, I'm going to be sure to make a stop here. A scale model of the solar system. Awesome. Though I learn from the article that there is a scale model in Flagstaff. Hmmm... 90 miles away, or thousands? Granted, Switzerland is wonderful, but it'll have to wait. Though the Flagstaff one doesn't look quite so cool.

Visit Ancient Rome with Google Earth!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Sorry About the Infrequent Posts!

I know my grand plan at first was to get at least one blog entry in per day, but, as usual, life gets in the way and inspiration doesn't always strike on a regular basis. I do have a bunch of cool articles and links that I've been saving up, though, and I will post them soon! Busy Saturday tomorrow, though, so hopefully a day or two after that.

Does Toy Packaging Make You Run Around Screaming?

Amazon.com has the solution. They are working with toy manufacturers to start offering toys with sensible packaging. They don't have too many products like this yet, but I'm really hoping they get quite a few soon. The packaging which makes toys look great on the shelf but makes it impossible to actually reach the toy is the silliest thing in quite a while. So check out Amazon's Frustration-Free(tm) products.

Chocolate Cake in a Mug!

Who knew, but microwave chocolate cake in a mug seems to be the biggest thing lately. You want chocolate cake, but just a little? It's a great solution. If you don't mind a slightly odd consistency and high egg content (per morsel unit). I hate eggs, but put it in anything chocolate-y, I have to consider it. Here's the recipe I've tried. I tend to decrease the sugar quite a bit, but it's still great that way. And you can add things like raisins, raspberries, or chocolate chips. I thought it was just an obscure thing. But now LifeHacker has even highlighted a different recipe! I haven't tried this new one yet, but with my love for cake, it's only a matter of time.

Mug Cakes are moving up in the world!

Local Woman Triumphs Over Rabid Fox (and becomes a little bit famous)

A local woman was out hiking, enjoying our wonderful scenery and weather, and she encounters a fox. She notices that the fox is acting a bit weird. It attacks her. Fortunately, she keeps her wits about her and triumphs over this poor creature. This interesting story makes the local paper, but it also made the mental_floss blog (scroll to mid-story)!

So for all you local hikers, keep on your toes as you enjoy the outdoors this fall. Where there is one rabid animal, there should be others.

Headlines From Around the World

If you are like me and live in a small town without a high circulation newspaper, you may not have felt the full force of the headlines Wednesday morning as newspapers were hitting doorsteps around the world. Fortunately, this is remedied here! Thanks to my dad for this great find.

Get out and Vote!

Today is election day. Our polls opened at 6am and I was out there when they opened. The scare of long lines got me up at 5am to get out there by 6am. Go me!

No matter what time you vote today, go vote! It's important! Our county is projecting 90-95% voter turnout. This is unprecedented. Almost half our registered voters voted early, too.

The one thing that irked me quite a bit, though (and I know I should have said something, but by the time I got up to where there were the right people, I forgot to complain), is the church that was my polling place had ads for a certain proposition on their bulletin board. Mere feet from the voting booths. Isn't that against the law?

A is for Ackbar

Two awesome Admiral Ackbar links today. The first might come in handy if you're not sure who to vote for on Tuesday. Vote Admiral Ackbar 2008!

The second one is fun if you have kids, or for your inner Star Wars child. These alphabet cards don't seem to be for sale, but are very very cool. Despite the over representation of Episodes I-III.