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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 book clubs and reading resources

book clubs and reading resources

A couple of years ago, I co-founded a major book club in my city. Because I was the facilitator, I felt it was my duty to read not only the chosen books but the study guides as well. It was like taking a literature class, without the term papers and oppressive overhead lighting.

Ah, those were the days. Now I’m in the middle of seven different books and can’t seem to finish any of them. Seriously. (I hope at least to finish Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix — yes, that’s Book 5, not even Book 6! — before the movie is released.)

Posted March 17, 2006 by Mariva in books, community, education, innovations, resources, social

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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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Tell a friend live long and Prosper

Prosper

I hear all sorts of business ideas at the monthly Entrepreneurship Meetup — some OK but need further development, some not so good, some downright ill-conceived. At the last month’s Meetup, I met the CTO of Prosper.com, an innovative financial startup that facilitates person-to-person lending — for example, a blogger in California lending $500 to a cafe owner in Maine — via a system that CEO and E-Loan co-founder Chris Larsen hopes to become "the eBay of loans."

Prosper seemed to be in the "OK but needs further development" category of startups until I heard more about it. My first thought was, "How safe is this thing? Could I just be throwing money away to strangers asking for a ‘loan’?" Other Meetup attendees voiced similar concerns. "Are these loans in any way guaranteed?" asked the hotshot from OngoBongo (which, tangentially, may have bigger problems with the advent of Lala — or maybe not: see the update below).

Posted March 7, 2006 by Mariva in business, community, finance, innovations, news, resources

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Tell a friend Vectorpark “Levers”

Vectorpark "Levels" balance Flash game

This is driving me nuts. What do you do with the hat once the snowman melts and his face mysteriously appears on the spinning thingamabob at the top that used to be the timer? (You have to play the game for that to make sense.) Or, without realizing it, did I actually win?

Gee, if I can’t even tear myself away from this thing, can you imagine me with Katamari?

Posted February 24, 2006 by Mariva in fun, games, innovations

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Tell a friend BBC World Service: “Mobile Phones”

BBC World Service: "Mobile Phones" The BBC World Service produces fascinating radio documentaries on various topics:
  • "Building Beijing": Construction within this Chinese city — the site of the 2008 Olympic Games — is happening at such a mind-boggling rate that a new map is issued every three months.
  • "Memory": How does memory work, and how does it fail?
  • "All in a Day’s Work": Exploring the ways in which people around the world earn their living. Profiles include domestic workers, soldiers, judges and clerics.

Posted February 23, 2006 by Mariva in education, gadgets, innovations, news, resources, social

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Tell a friend Solutions products that make life easier

Solutions catalog

The Solutions catalog offers all sorts of, well, solutions — or, as the company puts it, “products that make life easier.” Lest you think that Solutions products are akin to Kenji Kawakami’s 101, 99 More and The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions: The Art of Chindogu, check out this sampling of potentially useful items:

Posted February 22, 2006 by Mariva in decor, entertaining, gadgets, gifts, home, innovations, kitchen, resources, travel

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Tell a friend found and overheard

found & overheard

Sometimes what strangers say and write, taken out of context — especially when taken out of context — is fascinating. Overheard in New York publishes transcripts of random conversations overheard in the Big Apple. FOUND Magazine is a repository of personal ephemera — such as love letters, school notes, birthday cards, kids’ homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, business plans, telephone bills, doodles and so on — that are lost by some and found by others.

Posted February 17, 2006 by Mariva in arts, community, fun, innovations, social

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