31 August 2015

My Favorite Things, August 2015

Back to school, back to school! That’s all I can say about this August. Mr. P is back to teaching, the students are back on my campus, and Baby P is even going to his school daycare child development center every day. We haven’t quite gotten the back-to-school routine down to well-oiled machine, but Team P is getting close.


So basically now that school’s in session, no one anywhere has free time anymore. But I have some favorites to share with you anyway! This month I loved...

Good reads

We all read this article (exposé?) about the inner workings of Amazon, yes? I wonder just how guilty I should be every time I hit “Buy with 1-click” and get my Prime delivery.

As long as we’re looking inside our favorite companies, here’s one about Trader Joe’s. It’s several years old, but I just found it, and I feel like I learned so much!

A year out from the death of Michael Brown, there’s a New Yorker article about Darren Wilson. To be honest with you, I didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t read all the news about Michael Brown as it happened, because it felt impossible to separate facts from someone else’s agenda or speculation. I can’t say this article is totally neutral, but I finally felt like I learned about the people in this story, rather than the issues.


Remember a while back, I shared a story about a case of a father convicted of arson (and put to death) when science now shows it was accidental fire? Here’s another, similar story. Try not to let your faith in our justice system completely fall apart.

I’ll try to keep the blog relatively light on politics as election year approaches, but I think I can state to no one’s surprise that Trump is not my candidate of choice. So it’s fascinating to read about people for whom he unironically is.

Speaking of understanding others, here’s a pretty good summation of what it’s like to get a Ph.D. in science. I don’t agree with every point, but it does help to explain to my relatives what I was doing for those last four years after my two years of coursework were completed. (The bit about keeping a diary because it’s important to be used to writing and communicating? HELLO THERE, DIARY-READERS.)

And now for something completely different: an article devoted to the tallest roller coasters. I didn’t think it’d interest me until I watched the videos. Holy moly!


As a daily bath-taker, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share this controversial manifesto that baths are better than showers.

How young can I start using the phrase “I’m too old for this”, as this author does? I’d like to adopt her attitude right now.

And finally, let us take a moment to mourn one of the greater writers, thinkers, and communicators, Oliver Sacks. We knew it was coming, but it still hurts.

Good design

I very well might write an entire post about fonts eventually, but in the meantime, here are some that caught my fancy this month.

Centsational Girl Kate revealed her kitchen remodel, and I have never felt more envious. You might say I am GREEN GREEN GREEN with kitchen envy. Sigh.


Was I the only kid who tried to draw floorplans of the houses in my favorite shows? Those of you who were equally obsessed will appreciate this slideshow calling out the real life vs. set design quirks of famous TV show houses.

But the best design I saw this month was a shoe that grows for kids. I’m not kidding when I say I’d want a pair of my own, too!

This month’s maps

This incredible animated map shows how religion spread around the world. Fascinating to watch, and it stuck with me for days.

It’s possible (probable?) that I’ve already shown you this map of the United States redrawn with equal population, but it’s so good that I’m showing it again anyway.


And while we’re on the subject of unequal population distribution, check out these maps highlighting population density differences. It’s nuts!

The United States of Emoji. I get why Missouri would use a baseball more than any other state (CARDS FANS BE CRAY) but Tennessee has a surprising lack of music emojis.

And finally, this month’s honorary map is a travel bucket list. If we’re counting actual sites, I only get to count ten (yikes), and even if I make a few reasonable substitutions within the same country – small Swiss towns are similar, kinda – I’m only up to fifteen. Lists like this just show me how small my own world is.

TV, music, & books

Who’s excited for Colbert to return to late night?!?! Oh gosh, me me me. This month’s GQ story on Colbert made me wish more than ever that I could have him over for dinner. And let’s not forget this oldie but goodie about Stephen Colbert and faith.

Just a reminder that Arrested Development is still one of the greatest comedies ever.


Following up from last month’s love for Foo Fighters, here’s a thousand people in Italy performing a cover of Learn to Fly. (And don’t miss the link to Dave Grohl’s response – in Italian, no less.)

Last month was J. K. Rowling’s birthday (hope it was happy!), but she gave us the gifts. First, she’s handed out some tidbits of plot that aren’t in the books. Then, she announced out we could go to Hogwarts for free. And best of all: she says we all got to go to Hogwarts together. I don’t care how cheesy that is, I AM CRYING ANYWAY.

Fun stuff

I think we all heard about the fake Target facebook account responding to customers upset (inexplicably, cough) about its gender-neutral toy section. And yes, trolling is rude and fighting fire with fire and yet... Target’s response was EVERYTHING.


Here’s a breakdown of Yelp app usage by phone brand. Correlation does not equal causation, and yet, I am fascinated. Plus there’s a quiz! (I got 15/16, booyah.)

Speaking of phones, here’s a list of things that will happen if I don’t take my phone out right now.

Have you ever left a Chipotle and thought, gosh, that burrito wasn’t big enough, I wish I had MORE BURRITO? Probably not. But if you have, here’s a way to get 86% more for free.

There is a man who creates tiny dioramas out of every day objects and posts a new one daily. I have so many questions.


Suri's Burn Book announced that George W. Bush has a new granddaughter, which is lovely enough I suppose, but in the process she pointed out this astounding list of nicknames used by W. The best part? All those citations.

Mighty Girl Maggie went to Mexico, and her son created a photographic review of Mexican candies. Traveling south of the border? There’s a handy guide for you now.

Finally, for the few local readers who eat with farks and drive on Highway Farty, there’s this from the religion teacher at Mr. P’s school:



Back to school for us all, now! Let’s optimize those routines!

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