February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

[Thanks to Peg Bowen]...

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December 16, 2013

WOW -- World of Words

How appropriate that at our event, The Wonderful World of Words, we played WOW -- World of Words. The fourth and final of the four word games we played has the simplest of rules. If you see this video, you'll...

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December 04, 2013

Oddly Obvious

Imagine the clue to a crossword entry is: "A cow with no legs." Or another clue is: "A turtle without a shell." Any answers come to mind? Would you be confident? When you are solving a crossword, you usually have...

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October 31, 2013

Dabble

Every November, a group of word fanatics congregate at Mohonk Mountain House for Will Shortzís Wonderful World of Words weekend. On Saturday afternoons, we play word games, and the group that selects what we play tries to find newish word-oriented...

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December 12, 2012

Penguins Are Awesome

Make sure your sound is on....

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May 07, 2012

How Have I Lived So Long Without a Monkey

[Thanks to Andrew Sullivan]...

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March 30, 2012

Bad Day, Good Day

At least it was a happy ending....

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February 23, 2012

The Myth of the Eight-Hour Sleep

For centuries, folks went to sleep soon after dusk, slept for about four hours, and then woke up for a couple of hours, and then go back to sleep for another four. Today, we would call this insomnia. Maybe they...

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January 12, 2012

Jeff Harris: Self-Portraits Extraordinaire

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January 10, 2012

The Pathway of an Amazon Order

Thanks to My Name Is Not Matt...

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November 07, 2011

Even If I Weren't a Penguin Fanatic...

I could still not resist: [Thanks to Michael Feldman]...

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October 10, 2011

14 [More] Wonderful Words with No English Equivalents

From Mental Floss...

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August 21, 2011

Google Gravity

Good clean fun. [Thanks to Gin Petty]...

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August 08, 2011

Want a Free Starbucks Coffee?

Or perhaps a better question is: Want to participate in a social experiment?...

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August 01, 2011

REAL Monopoly

What's a new cause worth supporting? World Hunger? The environment? No? How about following the darn rules of Monopoly?...

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July 05, 2011

What the Fireworks Saw

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May 29, 2011

Advice for Young Journalists

Good advice from Nate Silver, creator of FiveThirtyEight....

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April 16, 2011

Penguins Prevail!

[Thanks to Michael Feldman]...

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February 10, 2011

Chow Daddy!

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January 24, 2011

A Unique Selling Proposition

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December 23, 2010

Merry Digital Christmas!

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December 05, 2010

Life

[Thanks to Leon Lively]...

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October 11, 2010

Man Vs. Dog

[Thanks to Michael Feldman]...

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September 12, 2010

Pennies

I don't care that much about whether pennies and nickels should be banned. This guy does: [Thanks to Freakonomics]...

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May 11, 2010

Sioux City Rocks

Sort of. [Thanks to Michael Feldman]...

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May 02, 2010

Timm Gunn Critiques Superhero Costumes

Is Batman Fashion Forward?...

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April 29, 2010

Maybe I Shouldn't Have Bought a Macbook...

...and invested my money directly in Apple?...

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April 18, 2010

Edible Flags

Courtesy of Flavorwire: [Thanks to Jeremy Osner]...

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April 12, 2010

A Passionate Defense of the Hyena

Someone besides us has to do it....

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March 13, 2010

Penguin Couple Pose for Photograph

Penguins Prevail! [Thanks to John Di Bartolo]...

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March 10, 2010

Who Drives Better, Men or Women?

It's complicated....

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February 25, 2010

Why Won't Anyone Clean Me?

Hear the desperate cry of your refrigerator....

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February 15, 2010

The Symphony of Science

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February 14, 2010

The Top 43 Sexiest Presidents

According to the editors of Nerve: Who knew Zachary Taylor was such a hunk?...

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February 11, 2010

Jim Parsons for a Good Cause

With Zach Selwyn singing....

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February 02, 2010

Can't We All Just Get Along?

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December 31, 2009

5 Cats That Look Like Wilford Brimley

There weren't ten?...

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October 30, 2009

Is This Cute Or What?

Introducing the nudibranch, courtesy of FU Penguin....

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September 02, 2009

Eyewitness Clothes

Who needs Brooks Brothers or Ann Taylor?...

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August 16, 2009

Rat Musicians

Blow, rodents, blow. [Thanks to Mark Evanier]...

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Rat Musicians

Blow, rodents, blow. [Thanks to Mark Evanier]...

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June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Well, maybe not for everyone. I wish everyone had a cool father, like Mark Evanier's....

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Why Do Doctors Wear White Coats?

And Are they unsafe?...

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June 07, 2009

Why Are More Females Elected in Male-Dominated Districts?

Nate Silver doesn't know, but he lays out the stats, which are fascinating....

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February 06, 2009

A Charitable Note

With the recession, many charities are facing a pinch. That's why we urge you, if the heart prompts, not to neglect the recipients of the good work of the Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation....

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December 24, 2008

Hobbymasters

We don't usually run ads on this site, but exceptions must be made:...

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December 06, 2008

Art in the Eye of a Needle

Micro-art extraordinaire. [Thanks to Peg Bowen]...

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December 05, 2008

How Can You Tell a Male Polar Bear from a Female Polar Bear?

With great difficulty, evidently....

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November 26, 2008

A Penguin Thanksgiving

[Thanks to Andrew Sullivan]...

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November 23, 2008

What Is the Value of a Big Bonus?

According to economist Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, not much. Keep that in mind the next time executives requesting a bailout assert that huge bonuses are required to attract top talent....

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November 13, 2008

Does Anyone Ever Respond To Spam?

Very, very few. Like one in every 12-1/2 million. So why do spamsters bother? Money. Money. Money....

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November 08, 2008

Puppies!

The latest in live streams. [Thanks to Newton Caldwell]...

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November 06, 2008

You Can't Keep a Good Shrimp Down

[Thanks to John DiBartolo]...

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October 13, 2008

Awwwww Alert

It's from Gawker, so it's not without snark, but take a look at the photos right here: [Thanks to Jeremy Osner]...

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September 19, 2008

The Ninja Cat

No one is safe....

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June 29, 2008

How Much Is a Handful?

Some folks, including this amateur cook, are mystified by how vague some cookbooks are about quantities of ingredients to put into recipes. In his most recent blog post, cookbook writer extraordinaire David Lebovitz explains the dilemmas from the other side....

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June 20, 2008

Cursive Buildings

Dave Friedman writes: This guy takes old stereogram photos and combines them into a single image that quickly goes back and forth between them......

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June 10, 2008

FREE! FREE! FREE!

No, we're not giving anything away for free, but if you hate paying exorbitant fees for directory assistance, and aren't familiar with GOOG411, how does free sound to you? And if you aren't near your Imponderables collection and want a...

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June 07, 2008

The Evolution of Tech Logos

Neatorama strikes again....

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June 05, 2008

Presidential Facial Hair

One website that is probably happy that Hillary Clinton didn't win the nomination. [Thanks to The Daily Dish]...

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May 25, 2008

Optical Illusions

If you like them, as I do, may I commend Illusion Sciences?...

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May 05, 2008

Fun with Google Maps

What with the price of gas and all, perhaps a nice long drive isn't the greatest idea. That hasn't stopped one intrepid blogger from finding the longest routes on Google Maps (be sure and read the comments from readers, too)....

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April 29, 2008

My Favorite Feline

I'm a dog person, but this is my kind of cat. [Thanks to Terry Joseph]...

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April 21, 2008

Rube Goldberg Would Be Proud

[Thanks to Joel Derfner]...

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April 15, 2008

How Many Cannibals Could Your Body Feed?

I can feed 17. [Thanks to Michael Feldman]...

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March 18, 2008

The Shorty Complex

Are short people truly more insecure about their height? Researchers in Spain and the Netherlands weigh in....

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March 16, 2008

Starlings on Otmoor

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February 24, 2008

I'm Alive...

and on vacation. I haven't spent so little time online in a long time. I've taken a bit of a break on the blog, but thought I'd share this story from the New York Times about the reaction of Japan...

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February 06, 2008

Six Degrees?

Does the theory of "Six Degrees of Separation" work in practice?...

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November 20, 2007

What's Your Walk Score?

One of the things I love about my apartment's location in New York is despite the massive population density, for me it's a little like living in a small town in Europe. Almost everything I need is within easy walking...

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October 18, 2007

Book Autopsies

Actually, there's a lot of cool stuff on Centripetal Nation, but Brian Dettmer's work takes the cake. Depending on where you live, you might be able to see Dettmer's work in person. [Thanks to Ruth Bavetta]...

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October 15, 2007

Catalog Choice

It's that time of year -- our mailboxes are clogged with mail-order catalogs: wanted and unwanted. How do you get rid of the unwanted catalogs? Along comes a new website to the rescue, attempting to do for catalogs what the...

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August 11, 2007

Jessica the Pet Hippo

This hippo has a dog's life. [Thanks to Ruth Bavetta]...

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June 05, 2007

Dancing with the Nag

Give this horse a reality show....

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May 24, 2007

Is This the Cutest Cow in the World?

Ree thinks so. [Thanks to Monkling]...

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March 27, 2007

My Latest Addiction

Glide Cool Mint Floss tastes just like the stuff my dental hygienist used to apply to my teeth after bruising and poking my gums into a bloody pulp. Honestly, I think I would use Cool Mint even if flossing weren't...

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March 24, 2007

Theater Brings Out the Best in Everyone

Smackdown, arty-style!...

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March 17, 2007

Vern Fonk

When I think of insurance, Vern is on my mind. Here's why....

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March 10, 2007

Quote of the Day

"I'm down to a little more than a billion. You can get by on that if you really economize and don't buy a lot of planes and yachts and stuff." - Ted Turner on CNBC's "High Net Worth"...

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March 05, 2007

Great Customer Service

Joel Spolsky, major domo at Fog Creek Software, tells it like it is....

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February 19, 2007

What's Become of Me?

First, I laughed at this YouTube video, which I couldn't defend in Aesthetics Court. And then I went and opened up a MySpace page. I get a kick out of YouTube, but I haven't warmed up to MySpace. My sole...

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February 06, 2007

Sitting Pretty

The ultimate in modular seating....

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January 18, 2007

Bird Formations

You don't have to be an ornithologist to enjoy these birds. [Thanks to Joanne Pavia]...

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January 17, 2007

Say It Isn't So!

Woodsy Owl's extreme makeover...

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January 08, 2007

How Small Are We?

Very, very small....

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January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

May all your Imponderables in 2007 be minuscule ones....

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December 29, 2006

100 Things We Didn't Know Last Year

And in some cases, didn't know even in 2006. [Thanks to Uday Ivatury]...

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December 09, 2006

Cats Got Your Computer?

Relief is on the way....

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December 07, 2006

My Christmas Gift To You

The Holiday Party Excuse Generator. [Thanks to Joanne Pavia]...

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December 05, 2006

The Toothpick Trick

Do try this at home....

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November 22, 2006

One-Page Wonders

Very cool artwork....

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November 20, 2006

It's Magic

What's more fun than deftly executed close-up magic? Not much. Mark Evanier links to a great video of the master card manipulator, Whit Haydn....

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November 12, 2006

When do we lose our taste for the new?

Adults: Do you find yourself listening to the same music you did when you were a teenager. Or in your 20s? Do you find yourself resistant to trying new foods? If so, you are not alone. Neurobiologist Robert M. Sapolsky...

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November 10, 2006

Dull Men's Club

These are my soulmates. This site revels in National Fig Month (you do know that this is National Fig Month, don't you?). It studies the direction in which carousels around the world rotate. And it includes a book review section...

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November 06, 2006

Two Burning Questions

Will the Democrats take over the U.S. Senate? And more importantly, Will It Blend? [thanks to Michael Feldman]...

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August 17, 2006

Latte Art

What you don't get at Starbucks......

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August 15, 2006

The Age Gauge

Wanna feel old? Then here you go....

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August 10, 2006

Hair Makes the Woman

Imagine taking a photo of your face in the same position every day for three years, and then assembling a video of each photo in quick succession. That's what Ahree Lee has done in less than one minute's worth of...

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July 05, 2006

Ice Chewers of the World, Unite!

Here's your place on the Web....

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July 04, 2006

Be a Phil

On this July Fourth, please, please, please don't be a Mr. Bungle. [Thanks to Mark Evanier]...

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July 03, 2006

The Best Way To Celebrate Independence Day

With cats that look like Hitler, of course. [thanks to Mary Yelenick]...

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June 26, 2006

Bugs on Parade

Stunning photography, although perhaps not for the phobic. [Thanks to Gin Petty]...

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June 22, 2006

The Hitler vs. Coulter Quiz

Harder than you'd think. [Thanks to Jerilyn Dufresne]...

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June 14, 2006

The Lyrebird

Why Do Pirates Love Parrots? is going to have a chapter about why birds mimic sounds. Sometimes, guys just want to hook up. [Thanks to Debbie Puente]...

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June 13, 2006

How Will You Die?

In my case, it's natural causes, and I'm pretty happy about it. How about you? [Thanks to Jerilyn Dufresne]...

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June 12, 2006

The Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments

Science at its best. [Thanks to Steve "Wookie" Houle]...

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June 11, 2006

Chef Boyardee

In the City section of the New York Times, the F.Y.I. column answers questions with a New York slant. Today, an anonymous reader asks if it is true that Chef Boyardee once worked at the Plaza Hotel in New York....

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April 19, 2006

One Top 100 List I'm Proud Not To Be On

The 100 Unsexiest Men in the World....

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April 06, 2006

Don't Try This at Home

Or even in Paris....

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April 01, 2006

One Down, One To Go

I'm proud and mostly relieved to say that I won't be going to Phantom of the Opera. The prospect of interacting with the music and pageantry of Andrew Lloyd Weber was enough to inspire me to lose 15 pounds in...

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March 19, 2006

Think It's Easy Being a Baby Octopus?

Au contraire!...

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Juggling

This guy is good. For a few shorter movies, go here. [Thanks to Paul Fryd]...

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March 10, 2006

Animal Love

There's more going on in Florida than Spring Break. Here's the feel-good story of the week....

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March 04, 2006

Gardens in a Petri

Science meets art. [Thanks to Gin Petty]...

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February 01, 2006

Hikikomori

Because of my slavish work on the next book (I whimper in martyr-like mewling), I missed this fascinating article by Maggie Jones in the New York Times Magazine about a peculiar phenomenon: Hundreds of thousands of Japanese teenagers and young...

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January 22, 2006

Role Models of the Week

The snake and the hamster....

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January 03, 2006

My New Year's Resolution

In How To Win At Just About Everything, I wrote a chapter entitled "How To Win at Losing Weight," which detailed a system that had helped me lose weight. Twice, I used what I called the "Penalty Diet" to motivate...

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December 20, 2005

Facts On Farts

The Fart FAQ...

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November 06, 2005

Where I've Been

Here's where I spent my weekend: and here's why I was there: The Wonderful World of Words (you can view the PDF file of the program). Next year will be the twenty-fifth and final WWoW weekends, created by the illustrious...

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October 13, 2005

Find a Human!

You're the customer. Talk to a homo sapien. [Thanks to Brian Rose]...

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July 29, 2005

Mark Evanier on Hold

The hell that is "on hold" with customer support is chronicled in real time in yesteday's entry at Mark's wonderful site, News from Me. (Be sure and read from the bottom up, as Mark's entries are time-stamped). Yesterday, the villain...

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July 27, 2005

Multitasking of the Highest Magnitude

Combining two of my favorite things. It's not too early to prepare for April, 2006. [Thanks to Michael Feldman}...

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July 01, 2005

The Slingbox

Please, someone, stop me!...

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June 14, 2005

I'm Alive

Honest. But I'm on vacation, from my home and blogging. Be patient. I'll be back in a few days and will have some Imponderables-related news to report....

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April 09, 2005

Think You've Outwitted the Snooze Alarm?

Clocky has your number....

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March 20, 2005

Off To Parts West

I'm going to be on the road for the next two weeks. I might not be able to update the blog quite as much as usual. Later this week, I'm going to be on three panels at the national Popular...

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February 19, 2005

The Crackers

Ooooh. Food and art....

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The Somerville Gates

Christo hogs all the publicity. By an astonishing coincidence, while the mainstream media is all atwitter about the installation in Central Park in Manhattan, another worthy artistic endeavor is being unjustly ignored....

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February 07, 2005

Need an Effective Monitor Cleaning?

I don't usually endorse products, but... Thanks to Mudge for the tip....

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January 28, 2005

Weight-Loss Breakthrough!

I knew I fidgeted for a good reason....

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January 14, 2005

Off to Boston...

this weekend for the semiannual meeting of the American Library Association. I'll be signing copies of my new book for librarians. Behave while I'm away....

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December 31, 2004

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And may all your Imponderables in 2005 be little ones....

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October 01, 2004

Dave's Tip o' the Day

Don't spill hundreds of loose coins on a hardwood floor. Just a little, uh, theoretical suggestion....

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