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Tell a friend index card philosophy


I spotted Indexed, another blog-turned-book success story, in the Chronicle Books store the other day. Indexed represents two great ideas: first, it’s a novel use for index cards (other than, say, Getting Things Done with a Hipster PDA or other office applications), and it’s also an inspired concept for a blog. is one of those brilliant ideas, like the Million Dollar Homepage — simple, clever, and enviably unique (which translates into lucrative).

Every weekday, author Jessica Hagy — copywriter, doodler, and philosophical statistician — publishes a diagram or an equation that succinctly captures an insight into modern life. The index card doodles range from the trivial to the thought-provoking, most often amusing and challenging in terms of how fast you can "get it." Hagy covers topics as diverse as shelter-versus-purebred canines, drifter cuisine, the boggling math of emotion, and undergoing water torture (both voluntary and involuntary). Hagy includes larger, more complex figures in the 5×7 section.

Kindred spirit Hugh MacLeod, author of gapingvoid, also admires Indexed. Chronicle Books published a couple of companion products, the Indexed book of postcards — (because, go figure, index cards are the perfect size for postcards!) — as well as the Indexed notebook.

Posted August 13, 2009 by Mariva in arts, blog-turned-book, books, business, entertainment, fun, gifts, humor, innovations, media

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Tell a friend cute kittens

kitten photo by Dereck Bradley

Sometimes animal lovers are in the mood to see kittens — lots and lots of kittens. Still photos of kittens may offer only partial satisfaction for your desire for cuteness. Fortunately, there’s plenty of video footage available, showing all the wobbling, bouncing, chasing, batting, squealing, head-tilting, cat-napping silliness you can stand.

For your viewing pleasure, I compiled this kittens YouTube playlist:

The videos play in this general order:

  • newborn kittens
  • wobbly, vulnerable first steps and mewing of early kittenhood
  • kittens playing with toys, boxes, a roll of toilet paper, and each other
  • white kittens (I’m partial to white cats, especially fluffy ones)
  • drinking milk, mostly from bottles — but, in one video, from a dog!
  • nodding off and falling asleep

If you find a kitten video that you think belongs in this YouTube playlist, please let me know. You can also find myriad kitten videos and slideshows on Kyte TV, and chat (text, audio, or video) live about them.

Posted August 17, 2008 by Mariva in animals, fun, games

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Tell a friend Crocs

Cayman Crocs

You know you’re wearing something distinctive when strangers — men, women and children — approach you on the street and say, "Cool shoes! Where’d you get those?"

Crocs makes a variety of slip-on active footwear, each model available in a rainbow of colors. I wear my Cayman Crocs (an updated version of the original Beach model) everywhere: at home, at the beach, in the river, on the street, at casual restaurants, in the shower. They’re cheap, waterproof, colorful, low-maintenance, appropriate for many types of weather and downright futuristic-looking.

The only downside is that one’s feet tend to sweat in them, and while socks mitigate the sweatiness, they make the footwear look not quite as cool as sans socks. Still, though, I plan to pick up spare pairs in pink, purple and turquoise.

Posted April 4, 2006 by Mariva in fashion, recreation, travel

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Tell a friend 1980 nostalgia

Rubik's Cube: 1980 nostalgia

VH1 used to be the second-rate music video channel, targeting an audience about a decade older than MTV’s. But now VH1’s programming generally comprises time-wasting, guilty-pleasure filler shows, like I Love Toys. The show’s pointless exercise in conjuring nostalgia inspired me to dredge up my own memories of the not-too-distant past.


Posted April 3, 2006 by Mariva in fashion, fun, gadgets, games, innovations

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Tell a friend April 1

April Fool's Day

In the mood for romance? Or various other tomfoolery?

Oh, by the way: don’t forget to spring forward tonight. No foolin’.


Posted April 1, 2006 by Mariva in fun, holidays, news

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Tell a friend baby safety

Safe Baby Handling Tips, by David and Kelly Sopp

It’s hard to imagine a better — or funnier — gift for the parents-to-be who already have everything than Safe Baby Handling Tips by David and Kelly Sopp.

This novelty picture book is basically a series of contrasting dos and don’ts with regard to taking care of an infant. For example, the correct way to "bond with baby" is to hold and coo at the baby, not attempt to engage him or her in a timed game of chess! And when you’re putting the baby down to play, put him or her in, say, a playpen, not a cage. When taking baby for a walk, put him or her in a baby backpack, not in an old potato sack.

I mean, sheesh, people — take care of the baby! Get this book.

Posted March 23, 2006 by Mariva in books, education, entertaining, entertainment, fun, gifts, home

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Tell a friend do it yourself

Make magazine

Remember "The Future"? When our environment was supposed to have become so technologically advanced that machines would do virtually everything for us, leaving us with many hours of free time to pursue various leisure activities? It turns out that the exact opposite happened, and so we’re left with less time for accomplishing the basic tasks of maintaining our lives, let alone for leisure.

Paradoxically, those with free time often use it to cram more work into their lives, inspired by the growing Do-It-Yourself (DIY) movement. (Granted, it’s work that’s taken on by choice — as opposed to the DIY work we’ll supposedly be doing after the post-peak oil crash — but still work nevertheless.)

Posted March 21, 2006 by Mariva in arts, crafts, education, fun, gadgets, innovations, resources, social

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Tell a friend gravity-defying boots

gravity-defying boots

Whoo-hoo! Happy spring.

Posted March 20, 2006 by Mariva in fashion, fun, gadgets, gifts, health, holidays, innovations

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Tell a friend cutting straight lines

Fiskars rotary paper trimmer

So many paper crafts, so little time. If you’re cutting paper (or even cloth!), you can — safely — get clean, straight lines with a Fiskars rotary paper trimmer (available with a 12-inch or a 24-inch cutting board), which is surprisingly affordable for quality home office/crafting equipment.

Perhaps the best part is the available assortment of rotary blades, including blades for scoring paper (for easy bending without cutting), perforation (for easy ripping along predetermined lines) and decorative edges (pinking, scallop, wave, tiara, Victorian, deckle, squiggle).

Posted March 16, 2006 by Mariva in arts, crafts, fun, gifts, innovations, resources

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Tell a friend quote gifts

Lunch Mail

Sometimes the perfect thing to say has already been said by someone else. Lunch Mail has encapsulated this concept in an attractive product designed to uplift and inspire. Each Lunch Mail pack contains a set of thirty colorful business-card-size "surprise" messages. (Think fortune cookies or Cracker Jack prizes without the calories.) Created by the National Education Association, Lunch Mail was conceived as a special treat to include with children’s lunches, but I’ve seen them used for various grownup purposes, such as ice-breakers for cocktail parties, classes and business networking mixers.

Posted March 15, 2006 by Mariva in arts, books, crafts, education, fun, gifts, innovations, social

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