Category: Random

Love Letter To Wikipedia


Dear Wikipedia,

I think you are the greatest invention in the history of the world.

Sure, your critics complain about systemic bias, reliability, accuracy, blah blah blah. Students can’t even use you as a source for their research papers.

But I love you for your organic, democratic, instantly-gratifying, ever-informing ways.

What did I do before I could click on beast fable, then trickster, then Jungian archetypes, then back to trickster, then on to bricoleur, with the simple press of a button? The hours pass so quickly when spent with you.

You’ve been in my life for a number of years now. I just wanted to make sure you knew how much you mean to me. I don’t ever want to take you for granted.

Your most ardent fan,

My Favorite Inventions Of The Year

tweeting cap

Last week TIME magazine featured “The 50 Best Inventions of 2009”. TIME awarded the top spot to NASA’s new Ares rockets. Tough to top that. But I’m listing some of my favorites:

#5 Controller-Free Gaming – Microsoft’s “Project Natal” brings TRON to reality. And you thought your Wii was cool.

#6 Teleportation – OK, so really it’s just quantum information processing. University of Maryland’s Joint Quantum Institute successfully teleported data from one atom to another in a container a meter away by having one atom transform the other so it acts just like the original. Beam me up.

#9 Tweeting By Thinking – A University of Wisconsin doctoral student tweeted characters by focusing on each letter while wearing a specially-made electrode cap. (See picture above.) Top speed achieved so far: 8 characters per minute. What message did he send? “USING EEG TO SEND TWEET.”

#10 Electric Eyes – MIT researchers help blind people regain partial eyesight by implanting a microchip incased by titanium onto a patient’s eyeball. Way better than Geordi La Forge’s visor.

#34 The Human-Powered Vending Machine – A Barcelona man attached a stationary bike to a vending machine so a customer who wanted a product would have to pedal a certain distance to get it. Brilliant.

To read the full list, plus descriptions, click here.

Photo credit: David Nevala

What Makes A House A Home?


Two years ago our family of five moved into the house we currently live in. I was so excited about our new place, and anxious to get us settled in.

One afternoon while I was unpacking boxes, my kids asked me to join them in playing a game. I told them I was too busy working—they would have to play by themselves.

Five minutes later my daughter asked me again, “Please, Mom. Please come play with us!” Again I said “no”.

Five minutes later, same thing: “Pleeeeease, Mom!”

I impatiently snapped back something to this affect, “Kids! Stop asking me to play with you! Can’t you see I’m busy trying to make our house a home?!?!”