Friday READ: Twisted Tech Tales

I rolled my eyes at this Apartment Therapy article: For a More Peaceful Home: Minimize Your Tech. The article’s major recommendations were to hide or get rid of the TV, upgrade to smaller personal tech devices, and hide the wires. Really? That’s it?

I think THIS VIDEO is more on the mark, AND it’s funny:


And someone at Apartment Therapy wants us to get rid of our TVs? Hell, I think I’ll ask Santa for a 72-incher just to protest. A 72-inch TV, that is. (Just thought I should clarify.)

So is it EVER okay to photograph your food?

When it’s a work of art, of course. OR when it mimics a work of art. Well.

Check out the Instagram feed of food artist Samantha Lee and see how this Malaysian mom slices and dices for her two daughters.

Seems like a great way to teach your kids about art or pop culture or even food waste. I would buy reprints to decorate my kitchen, though; wouldn’t you?

And to mothers everywhere, this is my gift to you of just what you needed for Christmas: another reason to feel guilty.

And when are shoe pics okay?

When you’re wearing these. Shiftwear. Like having a chameleon in your socks! So by all means, take a video.

Wi-Fi goes Die-Fi in Moscow

NPR reports that Moscow is bragging about expanding citizen access to free Wi-Fi. Muscovites can already access the Internet for free on the subway, on buses, and in many public parks. So starting next year, the city’s three main cemeteries will also be wired—a move that was quick to earn the sobriquet “Die-Fi.”

We can only imagine that any photos similar to this one, taken same time next year, will include mourners paying more attention to their cell phones than where they’re walking: just like in the grocery store.

Officials, however, say the service will attract more visitors to historic burial grounds, where, presumably, they will then be able to look up biographical info about the deceased. I can see it now: Everyone gathered ‘round Uncle Ivan’s grave, reviewing his Facebook feed (an account which no one can close because they don’t have the password), chuckling over the fart jokes and kitten photos he posted.

This extension of free public access comes in spite of the Russian government’s recent tightening of content reins by banning contents considered “extremist,” requiring bloggers to register with media organizations, and blocking of opposition websites.

So maybe you won’t get to retell Uncle Ivan’s fart jokes after all, but you WILL be able to share instantaneously the shoe pics you snap at the cemetery.

By all means, though, hide the wires at home, okay?

Man vs. dog BUNS: You choose

Take the Popsugar poll and side with either #TeamDogBun or #TeamManBun. Thirty-four photos pair man-bun hunks with their doggy counterparts, and you get to weigh in on EACH photo comparison.

My take: A #TeamDogBun sweep. The guys would be great looking IF they got haircuts and shaved.

Word of advice from someone who’s been around the block: Girls, never date a guy who obsesses over his hair more than you do, and particularly not one who needs to borrow your scrunchies. It’s hard enough to find those when you need it. Besides, who wants to share the mirror?

Dogs, on the other hand, seem to look adorable no matter how we visually humiliate them. I am concerned, though, that some doggie ears might have been pinched in staging some of these photos.

Get your sweet on

All you holiday bakers out there surely won’t want to miss this useful guide on distinguishing between the 11 (?!!) different kinds of sugar. You’ll learn which is which, as well as which is used for what and why.

Did you follow that?

While sugar does sweeten baked goods, savory dishes, and drinks, it can also add flavor, texture and decoration. It even works to tenderize dough, stabilize egg whites, and give baked goods more color. Who knew?

For example, “sanding sugar” (the grainy one, second from top row, left) is used for decoration because the larger crystals are more resistant to heat and add crunch. “Turbinado” (grainy brown crystals, next to last row, right) is mainly used in beverages, like at my favorite tea shop. For meringues, cocktails, and icing you need something complete other. If you already know what, move on; otherwise, get the full “scoop” here.

Which do I prefer? Honestly? Never met a sugar yet I didn’t love.

 Another thing I love: BOOKS!

You can never go wrong with a gift of books (if the giftee is me, anyway). If you’re looking for a good read or a great gift, check out the 2015 edition of NPR’s Book Concierge. Use the website or download the app to do topical searches on the best books published this year—or any other year back to 2008.

Easy holiday stuff for tired and lazy folks like me

1. How to make a paper snowflake, via Apartment Therapy

This is for those of you who either flunked kindergarten or, like me, are so old you couldn’t possibly remember what you learned there.

2. Popsicle stick snowflakes, via Sugar Bee Crafts
So Scandinavian!


3. Popsicle stick (tongue depressor?) snowmen, via Joel’s Journey
Cute ornaments or even door hangers. More fun and less mess with paint pens.


4. Yarn-bombed branches, via Fresh American Style
These have a great boho vibe and would be nifty in a vase year-round.


5. For my Jewish readers: Links to 7 menorahs you can make yourself, via Popsugar

I’m probably too late for this year, since Hanukah started Dec. 6 and ends Dec. 14, but it’s something to bookmark or pin for 2016. This one was my favorite of the seven—so simple and elegant yet so easy!

A clip from Meet me in St. Louis

Not sure which I like better: hearing Judy’s song or seeing Margaret O’Brien’s tears. Aw, it’s a draw!

Either way, have yourself a merry little
last-FULL-week-before Christmas


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