Friday, February 28, 2014

What can we learn from galaxy clusters?

From TED-Ed

Henry Lin, the teenage winner of the Intel Science Fair, discusses galaxy clusters and what can we learn about our own galaxy from understanding these clusters. Go HERE for the entire lesson.

When listening to a student like Henry, it really does give you hope for the future. It's nice to see such a poised and intelligent youngman instead of the Hollywood "drug, and slut" culture that seems to permeate so much of our world.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why good hackers make good citizens


Catherine Bracy challenges our media driven image of hackers, "who they are and what they really do." She says that Benjamin Franklin could be viewed as the original American hacker.

What society thinks of as a hacker is really, in techno speak, called a "cracker."

A cracker is someone who breaks into someone else's computer system, often on a network; bypasses passwords or licenses in computer programs; or in other ways intentionally breaches computer security. A cracker can be doing this for profit, maliciously, for some altruistic purpose or cause, or because the challenge is there. Some breaking-and-entering has been done ostensibly to point out weaknesses in a site's security system. 

For a technical definition of hacker go HERE.


Friday, February 21, 2014

My Venti Mocha Latte adds to my Beauty Routine, While I deal with the Scourge of Perimenopause

I treat myself once or twice a month.

I go to the Starbucks across from the nail salon. Buy a venti mocha latte (soy, no whipped cream....lactose intolerant) and then go have a pedicure. It's my secret little vice. I don't usually go to Starbucks. I honestly find it obscene to spend over 5 dollars on a cup of coffee, and yes this from the woman who covets a $12,000 Hermes Birkin bag. But there is coffee and then there is my handbag obsession.

FYI- I also get a manicure and have my eyebrows, upperlip and chin
waxed. I do the entire beauty routine every three weeks or so depending on if there is a special occasion coming around the bend. Or whether I start really looking like I am growing a soul patch. No, I don't have a bikini wax, only because there really are some things a little too intimate for a total stranger to go near with hot wax. But hey that's just me.

Ostrich Birkin well over the $12,000 mark
Oh and if you think its odd to wax your lip and chin, just wait until you are perimenopausal and those estrogen hormones start to wane. (Never mind the hairs that grow out of your nose. It's not only men that have that problem.) Right now my body can't tell exactly whether its coming or going in the hormone department. For almost one year my periods were sprinkly little nothings, if my body happened to remember to have a period at all. Then this last month, holy hell, it was like Noah's flood from my uterus. Lets just say that Tampax isn't all that its cracked up to be and there are pajama pants in a garbage dump somewhere that look like they were part of a murder scene. And don't say I could have saved the PJs. Those that were salvageable were salvaged. Clorox 2 cannot solve every clothing mishap stain.

Meanwhile, My favorite part of the pedicure is that reflexology massage. Yes it costs a little extra, but hey I'm worth it. Of course, it also becomes addictive. Better that than pain pills. I could have that massage for hours and never leave the chair. But eventually I do have to return to reality and go about my business.

There is always someone to help and another chore that needs to get done.

But in the meantime, I sip my mocha latte, enjoy my massage, head to the lingerie store for new PJs  and pray pray pray for full menopause. Seriously, enough really is enough. At 53 its not like I'm going to want anymore babies and I can always take a calcium pill if I need to.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Channeling Haight Ashbury for the Spring...Thanks But No Thanks

Gucci's spring line brings back the long long long fringes reminiscent of 1960s hippie culture.

Watch those things get caught everywhere. Yes, I know this will happen from personal experience.....

By the way, been there wore that....

I was only a little tadpole, but the fashions willowed down to us tweens. It's great fun to wear fringes, tie-dye and ripped jeans when you're a kid, but it's really not the style of a grown-up.

However, last year's flowery pants '60s redux, on the other hand, were very very very cool and very adult. HERE

For the most part when you want to buy an expensive handbag its always best to go for the classics. (Unless of course you are one of those lucky someone's with money to burn, then wasting money on fads is no biggie.) These Gucci handbags are so much more elegant than those fringe endowed purses and will also be fashionable for decades.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple RIP

Today an icon of American heritage has passed away. Shirley Temple, best known for her childhood stardom during the depression, died today at the age of 85. Her smile, impish grin and general joyful demeanor helped this nation through one of its most darkest hours.

She left the film industry as an adult,  only to reemerge as an active member of the Republican party. She was elected to Congress, was appointed an Ambassador for the United States and Chief of Protocol for the White House.

Read her extensive biography HERE.

Shirley Temple represented sweetness and the goodness that America had felt that it lost during those awful years of the depression. Personally I think our society could do with a little more innocence and a lot less of the vulgar porn-parade that passes for entertainment today.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

NIKE Fuel Bands

I decided that we needed a little bit of a kick in the pants when it came to our exercise routine, so I bought me and the boys these Nike electronic devices. I am not truly sure that they will eventually accomplish anything, especially since the oldest refuses to open the box and even though my college-guy has opened his, plus installed the app, he still hasn't put the fuel band on.

But I am working on getting them interested. I even bought them the Fuel Bands in their favorite colors: black for the oldest (only because there was no deep- or navy- blue, guess he is still in that adolescent, self-reflection deep tonal stage); Kelly green for the collegeman (it has always been his favorite); pink for me (and yes it's a girl thing).

I really just wanted them to be aware of how inactive they really are and to try to spur them on to move a little more during the day. Yep they do workout, but other than that they generally sit on their tushies all day. Granted the boys are students and do spend time studying at a desk, but when they are done with their work they typically just sit and play video games, only minutely interspersed with some chores.

Honestly, I truly think that in times gone by, we were a little more active than this generation happens to be. Of course that could just be me. In truth, we always do look back on our lives and think we did it better than the new generation.

Meanwhile, I put my band on yesterday and was sad to see that since I did not work out during the day and really didn't do any chores, I actually burned maybe 48 calories in the afternoon. Afterall I really was just sitting at my desk playing on the computer all day. In other words, the only food I should have eaten was some celery, not the turkey sandwich with beef-barley soup that I had for lunch.

Now granted we have had some flu, and now strep, in the house, so it makes us all a little under the weather and loathe to over-move ourselves. But in the end the exercise-less-question we are dealing with is the real level of familial sickness and whether we are simply using recuperating from illness as an excuse to just be lazy. Maybe, perhaps.....oh heck probably,....all right, I admit it, we are being lazy for certain.

Anyway if you are interested in you can read about the bands HERE.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Welcome the Year of the Horse.....Gong hei fat choi

The Chinese lunar new year has begun. This year is the Year of the Horse.

Read HERE for its meaning.



H/t Examiner

Inspiration quotes and sayings HERE

Happy New Year.....Gong Hei Fat Choi