Happy Halloween! ;-)
Kids Domain Halloween (costume ideas, safety tips, crafts, clip art, history, video games, printable paper fun)
Halloween & Los Dias de los Muertos (links & info)
Ben & Jerry’s Halloween fun (games, history, flavors, crafts, coloring, "scream saver")
Halloween Online (magazine, pumpkin carving, fog machine info, costumes, safety, cookbook, fonts and much more)
Posted October 31, 2005 by Mariva in fun, holidays, social
Frappr (Friends Mapper) is a new tool (currently in beta) that allows you to place everyone in a particular group (work, friends, specific communities) on a map, complete with markers, photos and "shoutouts" (messages to the entire group). If the idea seems fuzzy, you can browse the public Frappr groups to see what Frapprs are mapping: quilters, rock band fans, outdoors clubs and so on.
RisingConcepts, the startup behind Frappr, is also developing two other collaborative projects: CareerJive, a social networking tool for friends, colleagues, associates and job-seekers, and Planzo, a shareable calendar tool. The examples of Presidents George W. Bush’s and Bill Clinton’s Planzo calendars are hilarious.
Posted October 28, 2005 by Mariva in business, community, social
Oh, the things I could eat. I stopped by my local chocolatier to purchase some goodies for the Blogger Meetup. On the counter sat a gorgeous box of ice cream sundae truffles, almost too beautiful to eat. Eventually, of course, I couldn’t resist — and, oh, the chocolate! The richness, the darkness, the creaminess — it was simply sublime. Moonstruck’s confections are works of art.
Meanwhile, the bloggers had to content themselves with some individually wrapped French chocolates that were — I must admit — also pretty good. (But I kept the Moonstruck sundae truffles for myself.)
Posted October 27, 2005 by Mariva in edibles, gifts
[17:35] mariva: Look at this great hairdo. I wish I could figure out how to do that sort of thing with my hair.
[17:35] alisa: I think they put a sponge under her hair and pin pieces of hair over it.
[17:36] mariva: But, according to the instructions, you’re supposed to “comb the crown section back and secure with a seamless elastic, leaving bangs or shorter front layers around the face,” which seems kind of impossible.
[17:37] alisa: No, that is all wrong. They are lying.
[17:37] mariva: This in particular seems impossible: “Brush the side and back sections; twist, tuck ends under and pin, like a French Twist.” And then this: “Fan the ponytail, tuck the ends under and secure with bob pins, creating a bouffant crown.” But how does that work? How can you accomplish this if you can’t see the top of your head?
[17:37] alisa: OK, here’s how you do it:
[17:37] alisa: …
[17:37] alisa: …
[17:37] mariva: Nu?
[17:37] alisa: …
[17:37] alisa: Go to a salon,
[17:37] alisa: and have somebody do it
[17:37] mariva: LOL!!
[17:37] mariva: Pay $$$, in other words.
[17:37] mariva: You’re hilarious.
[17:37] alisa: It’s hard to do yourself — unless you’re good at that type of thing.
[17:37] mariva: Nah, I suck at that type of thing.
[17:38] mariva: I only just recently figured out how to blow-dry my hair, and I had to get a special device to do it.
[17:38] alisa: A diffuser?
[17:38] mariva: No, it’s a wand that looks like a curling brush and sends hot air through holes in between the bristles.
[17:38] alisa: Huh. It works? Easy to do?
[17:39] mariva: Yeah, for the most part. I wouldn’t say it’s that easy, but it’s not impossible, as it is with a regular blow dryer. I basically brush my hair with this round brush, and the hair dries while I’m brushing. I have to use those salon clips to hold various sections of my hair, and I dry only one section at a time, starting at the bottom of the back. I have to brush slowly, but, if I do it right, it does “flip up” the bottom in that cute way that’s all the rage right now.
[17:39] alisa: I never have enough energy to blow dry my hair; my arm gets tired.
[17:39] mariva: Mine, too. It’s definitely a 20-minute intensive project.
[17:40] alisa: Huh.
[17:40] mariva: You know what I used to do? Turn my head upside down, fry all my hair with a regular blow dryer, and then curl it into place with a curling iron. It took forever.
[17:40] alisa: Oh god, I used to dry & curl, too! In seventh grade. And sometimes, when I was late for school, only one side was curled under.
[17:41] mariva: Oh, jeez.
[17:41] alisa: The left would be curled; the right would be straight.
[17:41] mariva: I hated those days. A full 40 minutes with the curling iron. What a godawful waste of time.
[17:41] alisa: Where did we get the patience?
[17:41] mariva: I think the desire to fit in overshadowed our impatience.
[17:41] alisa: Yeah.
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Posted October 26, 2005 by Mariva in beauty, fashion
It’s hard to imagine anyone burning $39.99 on something this useless, but I suppose the same could be said for a fattening restaurant meal. Apparently it’s not a gag.
But is this thing for real? I don’t remember "the Book of Jobs" in the Bible:
“But now bring me a man who plays music. And when the man played music, the groove came upon them.”
— 2 Jobs 3:15
Posted October 26, 2005 by Mariva in fun, gadgets, music
The San Francisco Chronicle has a potentially useful story about finding street freebies — both treasures and junk — in the urban floating flea market.
Along those lines:
craigslist free stuff classifieds
craigslist barter classifieds
Posted October 26, 2005 by Mariva in community, decor, resources
HistoryShots offers a number of gorgeous, high-quality history-related prints on subjects like American history (the political parties, the Confederate Army), human feats (the race to the moon, the conquest of Mount Everest) and the chronology of western civilization. Some of the prints are reproductions of original antique artifacts; others are technological creations of graphic precision. Just the background information on the prints makes for fascinating reading. There’s even a print titled Cycles of Greatness on the PGA Tour.
I hope HistoryShots produces more of these prints in the future. In the meantime, one of these prints makes an impressive gift for your favorite wonk.
Posted October 25, 2005 by Mariva in arts, decor, education
Broadstreet is Salon.com’s new blog about women. Highbrow gossip about famous females, framed in pink. What more could you ask for? Me-ow!
Posted October 24, 2005 by Mariva in news
Watching reruns of M*A*S*H inspired me to send some love to medics and soldiers serving overseas. At Books For Soldiers (BFS), you can send reading material, snacks, toiletries, entertainment media and games to those who are — sadly — sometimes forgotten. Even simple postcards are appreciated. In order to participate, for security purposes, you must first register as an official BFS volunteer, which involves submitting a notarized application along with a $12 application fee. (It’s worth it.)
Once you have your ID and password, you’ll be allowed to enter the BFS discussion forums, which is where you’ll find lists of names and addresses and instructions on how to assemble and ship care packages. (Update: The U.S. Postal Service provides tips for mailing packages to military personnel serving overseas.) There are specific forums for each branch of the military, medical personnel, female soldiers, U.K. soldiers and those serving in Afghanistan and other countries. I usually head straight for the forum for soldiers who have not received any mail at all. I choose the most interesting name on the list, go shopping for sales on candy and toiletries and load up prepaid airmail boxes. I always enclose a personal card and a photo of my home town.
BFS volunteers comprise liberals and conservatives alike. In fact, political discussions are strictly forbidden on the BFS forums in order to focus on the task at hand — getting the addresses of military personnel and sending care packages to them.
When I put together my first care package, I was advised by veteran BFS volunteers not to expect a quick reply — or even any reply at all. The soldiers, after all, are mobile, not to mention a little busy. So, after shipping the package and hoping for the best, I was absolutely thrilled to receive an email message from a young man serving overseas who wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to send me a care package. It’s good to hear from home. We all appreciate the support we’re getting from people like you back home; it makes us feel better about being here. All your gifts are very thoughtful and useful. We’re having a good time with the games you sent, keeping up morale. It’s good to serve Americans like yourself.
Tears welled up in my eyes and I started planning my next care package.
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Posted October 21, 2005 by Mariva in community
Salon.com offers a compendium of wonderful articles about the future: innovative developments, useful inventions, creations for improving life and society. You can find them all in the Big Idea directory. My favorite topics include the public transit of the future (a monorail-style system that uses individual electric taxicabs), stylish affordable housing and various photo-sharing communities.
The most recent Big Idea article covers six developments in environmental innovations, including cheap and durable solar panels, high-performance hybrid vehicles, a new form of tourism that protects both domesticated livestock and natural predators, methane plants powered by cow manure, vegetable garden lawns and accelerated bioremediation, the use of genetically engineered bacteria that eat toxic waste.
Got a big idea of your own? Submit it to email@example.com.
Posted October 21, 2005 by Mariva in innovations