A different kind of ghost

Chicagoist recently posted a fun gallery of “ghost signs” – signs which once vibrantly advertised some local business or product which was never quite painted over. Sometimes they were just ignored, and others were buried by newer buildings. Some of those have been knocked down to make way for new developments and now you can see a lot more of these signs as you drive around town.

Second hand tab dump

Mom’s emailed me some interesting articles lately:

Food expiration dates: What do they really mean? – I’m a little cautious with food expirations but here’s a good explanation about what you should really worry about. That said, I don’t often encounter milk that’s anything remotely resembling tasty after its sell-by date.

4 Things You Should and Shouldn’t Buy at Target – Some may say not to buy anything at Target, though I find it’s pretty good for baby and preschool stuff. I don’t think I’ll buy a Kindle from them anytime soon.

7 Things You Should Always Buy Generic – Pain killers are one thing, but I’m not sure if I want to settle for generic spices. Salt is NaCL no matter who packages it, but I’m pretty sure there are better and worse curry powders, for example. And I guess I’ll save a lot for items I never buy at all, like bleach.


Books are enlightening, but blogs are funny

So I was reading an Amalah post the other day (because she is funny) about how she tried to give her dog an IQ test which was only more or less (well, less) successful. Apparently, one of her readers mistakenly thought that she might also write another blog, Hyperbole and a Half (who gave her dog the same test, but it was even less successful). I figured I should check out the other blog–recommendations from Amalah are often good enough for me.

Who knew a blog which pretty much consists of random Microsoft Paint-style cartoons would be totally hysterical? My favorite story so far is How a Fish Almost Destroyed by Childhood (with extra added goodness from her own mom).

If you’re tempted to try the doggies smarts test, you’ll find it here. I don’t have a dog, just cats, and I’m pretty sure they’d completely ignore any IQ test I tried to give them. That, or eviscerate me for being presumptuous.


August Tab Dump – Part 2: Eating with Ebert

Got a rice cooker (otherwise known as “the pot”)? Then you have pretty much all you need for cooking just about any meal you want. Just follow Roger Ebert’s simple instructions. Man knows a lot about movies and, apparently, small kitchen appliances.

Well, maybe not any meal, but man, those things are versatile.


Tab Dump August, Part 1: Books that Change Kids Worlds

Looks like I have a lot of tabs open in Chrome. First up: books!

Another list of 100 books, but this time the books are those that influenced us as kids. I’ve read a lot of books on the list, but not all changed my world. These did, to one extent or another:

  • “The Phantom Tollbooth,” by Norton Juster
  • “Charlotte’s Web,” by E. B. White
  • “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” by Judy Blume
  • “A Wrinkle in Time,” by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The “Nancy Drew” books, by Carolyn Keene
  • “Jacob Have I Loved,” by Katherine Paterson
  • “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak
  • Aesop’s Fables
  • “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” by Roald Dahl
  • “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” by Shel Silverstein
  • “Ramona Quimby, Age 8,” by Beverly Cleary
  • The dictionary

Most of these books I loved, but actually, I hated the dictionary. I never was able to convince my parents that it is awfully hard to look up a word when you don’t know how to spell it. My kids are lucky – they can just ask Google.

Other books on the list influenced me as an adult (e.g. the U.S. Constitution) while others I liked, even loved, but they didn’t “change my world.” And there are many important books missing from this list – The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, for example. And there are no comic books, either, like Chris Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men.


Random Link Day

Found some fun things in my Google Reader:


Colorblind is not enough

Kathleen Parker continues to be annoying, insisting she doesn’t see race (of course she does – but only within her own narrowly-defined terms). Increasingly we are seeing that racial colorblindness does not lead to racial equality – particularly when it comes to teaching children about race.

Learn more about teaching children to be anti-racist at Love Isn’t Enough.