BtC: August Edition!

It’s August! Today is overcast, humid, and intermittently pouring. So here’s a list of happy things to close out the week.

About a week ago, I had the niggling memory that I used to listen to this song? In grad school? By funny Australians? But it was all hazy. And then a lyric came back to me: “it helps me feel like I’m in a spaceship!” Ladies and Gentlemen, TRIPOD!

I know that I’m way behind the curve on this one. A’s been trying to get me to watch The Flog for weeks and finally, I did. And it’s so fantastic! I want do all those things!

I also rediscovered my tumblr! Active for about two weeks two years ago, it was the brief precursor to this column. And ohhh my gosh, I found my college xanga. Now if only I could find my old OpenDiary from high school…

There’s going to be a giant rideable spider in a town close to me very soon. And this is awesome.

This hospital project is putting all the cat photos on the internet to good use!

Last but not least, I have a feeling I’m going to be reading and re-reading this APW post a lot in the coming months. You know, to maintain perspective. Because Lucy is about to embark on the making of a marriage. I think this will be my greatest adventure yet!


BtC: June 22: Summer Reading

Well.  All that USOC/Ravelympic stuff was interesting, wasn’t it?  So they apologized and stirred up more furor, and then apologized AGAIN.  And then our Yarn Harlot updated her blog with a “Hey knitters, chill out and think clearly about this” sort of message.  And I’ve thought about things and taken some deep breaths and while the original language stings, it is Not A Big Deal and therefore, time to move on.  So last night, I left work, drove home in the hot hot heat, and discovered that my apartment was roughly 112°.  And then I decided that yes, it was logical to have ice cream for dinner and not think about anything beyond how hot it was and how nice the fan felt.

Behind the Curve is a links roundup I post on occasional Fridays. Or something. As a kid, summers were about voraciously devouring books. Thus, this weeks BtC has a rather literary bent.

When I was in middle school, my friends on my block and I pooled our books and made a little lending library for the neighborhood kids. Since then, I’ve loved the idea of book swapping. I’ve been a member of PaperBackSwap since college and I’ve sent and received over 300 books. I love getting mail and the service is free except for the cost of postage. For me, that’s a good deal!

Another book swapping idea is the Little Free Library, a box full of books you post in your front yard (or I suppose, place of business).

There’s even an indie Little Free Library in Cambridge called Pooh’s House!

There’s a trailer for Monsters University out! As excited as I am about Brave, Monsters, Inc. might be my favorite Pixar movie. Or in the top two.  You know, because I waffle on these kinds of things.  Anyway, Vulture also has a ranking of the first 12 Pixar movies.  I’d have rated Ratatouille lower, Monsters Inc. way higher, but I like their commentary.

Way Behind the Curve: Jun 8

These last two weeks have been a slalom straight-shot through traveling, visiting friends, and wedding mayhem with little time left for thought, reflection, or my poor forgotten sewing machine, Daphne.

Giraffe at the Philly Zoo

Matching Bridesmaid Shoes

Hopefully that will change soon; I have big plans:

Stripey Socks (1 1/3 socks done)
Bird Pillow for Mom (front mostly done)
Llama Quilt of Awesomeness (~12ish blocks done?)

Future Projects:
Teal and Salmon On a Whim

In any case, today’s links have nothing to do with any of that. But a lot to do with octopuses! And not much else!

On the pretty and arty side, the blanket octopus!

On the funny and pseudoscience side, octopus gesture to speech interpretation!

The weather is finally beautiful in Boston. Hope you all have a lovely and octopus-filled weekend!

Behind the Curve: May 18

Behind the Curve is the links roundup I post on occasional Fridays. Or something.

A Softer World was one of my favorite webcomics in college. I had several of the more darkly funny ones printed in black and white and sticky-tacked to my wardrobe. I like this one.

THXTHXTHX is a daily exercise in gratitude. Really. She’s grateful for everything.

I may have been geeking out over the pic of Loki and the Small Captain that’s been circulating the internet lately, but that was NOTHING compared to the hyperventalive shrieking that happened when I read the account of how that picture happened.

Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite springtime reads. It’s quick, nostalgic, and lovely. On a rabbit trail started by an introvert-centric blog post, I found a series on Life Lessons from Green Gables at Modern Mrs. Darcy.

I love my Ikea Expedit bookshelf (which in my life, has become a hallway catchall) and I love this Expedit-to-bench tutorial from I Heart Organizing – sweet!

This zombies app would possibly get me to run. We’ll see!

Pics are from last night’s visit to the Carnival.  Whee!

Behind the Curve: May the Fourth

Today is May4th, which in some circles is Geek Pride day.  As a self-identified geek, today is a day to let one’s geek flag fly.

May the fourth be with you .   Alternatively: NOOO!

See also: Star Wars Manamana.

Also also: the best Star Wars party ever.

Many of my grad school friends recently defended or will soon defend.  I am very grateful that wrestling a snake will not be part of their defenses (and wasn’t part of mine – the experience was stressful/exhilarating enough!)

One of the things I geek out about is science, specifically because there’s crazy beauty everywhere, which is why this is my favorite xkcd.

Jon Acuff writes on this very thought in a recent Stuff Christians Like, and I agree with him.  When my family lived in Kenya, we’d often remark to each other that God must have a fantastic sense of humor because Figure 1: warthog.

Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) in Tarangire National Park, by Ikiwaner/Wikimedia Commons, used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License v1.2.

Lastly, geek pride has a new anthem in the form of the Guild video I’m the One That’s Cool.  Yes.  This will be stuck in your head.

Behind the Curve: 27 April

When I started this most-recent iteration of a blog thing in the twilight days of 2011, I made no promises about content, schedule, timeliness, or really, anything other than “stuff I make and/or find amusing.” Really, I think that’s the best format for me, because while I find a lot of things amusing or crafty, I’m not the speediest of crafters. And between having the hurls last week and working on other stuff this week, I have nothing to show.

But enough navel gazing! I do have some stuff I want to show you! This week’s theme: Stuff That’s Been Around For So Long You’ve Forgotten It and Thus It is New Again.

Case in point: the We Love xkcd video from Olga Nunes.  I’ve been humming this to myself ALL WEEK.

I referenced The Engineer’s Guide to Cats at a dinner party last weekend in the offhand “have you seen/do you remember this?” and my date was all “that’s OLD!  I FORGOT that EXISTED.”  Well, date!  Forget no more!  These engineers want to tell you about cats!  Also, I showed it to my (60+ year old) parents and they both laughed.

When we were done watching the above vid on my phone, my mom insisted we find the Xylopholks on YouTube because she had seen them last time she was in NYC.  They are strange but they do not disappoint.

A little bird told me that Dîner en Blanc was coming to Boston this summer.  Here’s a review of the NYC Diner and needless to say, I’m excited.

From the sublime to the slightly-differently sublime.  Chickens of Fire!

Have a happy weekend, everybody!

BtC: Spontaneous Joy and Contra Dancing

Behind the Curve is a quasi-weekly feature of happy/interesting things I’ve found on the internet. 

The printer at my office has been down for the last week and a half for a number of sad reasons.  My whole department needs some printer grace.

I watched a lot of Mister Rogers with my mother when I was little.  What would have been his 84th birthday was this past week and we could all use a bit more of his brand of kindness, neighborliness, and fierce belief in the value and dignity of life.  Do watch the YouTube clips, perhaps with a tissue if you are prone to verklemptness, as I am.

Improv Anywhere, one of my favorite societies for spontaneous joy, recently visited TED.  Their talk went as one might assume.

I really enjoy Kyle Eschen’s brand of dry, dry comedy.  And bonus! Neil Patrick Harris!

I’m going to a contra dance tonight, and I am very excited.  This is an unusual example of a dance in that it includes didgeridoo, the song “Dancing in the Streets,” and ends with crowd surfing.  And man does it look fun.  (Note: see here for a more “usual” dance)

Hope you have a great weekend!

Behind the Curve: 2 March

Behind the Curve: 1.  a weekly links roundup that is possibly a little stale.  2.  things found while trawling through the internet.

New Year’s Day, 2009. My friend B and I, in our PJs, last night’s champagne bottle still on the table. We blearily flip on the TV and were greeted with this. We sat in stunned silence before turning to each other and asking the question that generations have posed before us.

“…whiskey tango foxtrot?”  I was reminded of this one morning earlier earlier this week when I was clattering around the kitchen, putting the kettle on and suddenly it popped into my muzzy mind.

I like to dream of living in a city where I can have a beehive on my roof.  Here are some other ideas for urban homesteading.

Still eating my way though Smitten Kitchen’s amazing French onion soup.

Also, I’ve eaten a lot of cookie dough in my life and can conclusively say that this recipe makes the best dough I’ve ever eaten.

To add to the discussions on intellectual property of one’s photographs and blog content, here is an interesting article about the legality, ethics, and liability of Pinterest.

Here is an interesting article about the DIY movement, Pinterest, and the redomestication of the American woman.  I make things because I enjoy the process of making things, and being crafty has always been a part of my life.  At the same time, I have a career that I love, that I find rewarding and fulfilling.  I don’t want to have to give up the one for some notion of domestic life, since clearly I’m good at and enjoy both things.

Next time I need a head of garlic, I’m totally trying this nifty peeling trick.

Behind the Curve: 23 Feb

Behind the Curve: 1.  a weekly links roundup that is possibly a little stale.  2.  things found while trawling through the internet.

Drexel University is building ROBOT DINOSAURS. with a 3d scanner and printer.  I’m calling it now.  In 20 years, I’m going to be driving a Ford Stegosaurus LX.

Move over dogs.  Penguins are the new therapy animals.  Or at least, one named Roast Beef is.

The universe contains things that are very big and very small.  This website illustrates the scale in an amusing manner.

Of Monsters and Men is an Icelandic band.  Their video for Little Talks is crazy – adventurers, zeppelins, monsters (of course), tentacles, and icebergs.  Crazy in a cool way.

Here’s a thought-provoking article about Christians in science – the joys, the trials, and how the Church can come along side of and better minister to scientists and the scientific community.  As a scientist, I resonated with several of Crouch’s points.

I’m excited about Pixar’s new film, Brave.  I know the market is saturated with princess movies, but a fiery-redheaded, deadpan snarker, archer princess?  In a movie by Pixar, a company long overdue for a movie featuring a female main character but that also crafts clever and beautiful films?  Yes, please.

You can Call Me Al, especially if we’re wearing foulies and sitting on boatramp.