smazzle a day

you must be the change you wish to see in the world  -ghandi

Feb 25: Finally. I'm moving off of this site and to a blog format. I love this page... but it's just not practical. Not for proper monkey-displaying, anyway. Visit Smazzle a Day a la Blog from now on.

Feb 21:  One of the most hilarious sites I have visited recently (which is saying a lot): Learn how easy it is to change your light bulbs and save the world. Very quirky. Very funny. Very me. Did you know that Australia has banned incandescent bulbs?

Feb 20: Barack Obama fortune cookie. Kind of. Odd. Funny.  Explanation.

Feb 19: The OYFP Volunteer Boston blog has a new look and feel! Come check it out and let me know what you think. That's right, yours truly redesigned it... with the help of Blogger.

Feb 4: I hadn't made up my mind as to which democratic candidate to vote for, but this video gave me hope and inspiration.. and as corny as it is, helped me decide. I will be voting for a leader - not just on his stances on policy - but on my belief in his/her ability to lead.

Jan 29:  The Traveler IQ challenge - addictive! And interesting. And fun. Test your geography knowledge. I was just 1,500 points of reaching the seventh level (on my first try, anyway).

Jan 24: Google eliminating all information in can't index. Or not.

Jan 23: It's been a busy few weeks. Between work and OYFP, I don't have much time (or desire) to look at any websites.

Jan 17: Whole Foods is banning plastic bags! The ban will begin in its Austin, TX stores, but they plan on applying it to all stores nation-wide. They will still offer their 100% recycled (and recyclable) paper bags, but would prefer it if you brought along your cloth bags. 

The Whole Foods near me has signs in the parking lot that say, "Did you remember your cloth grocery bags?" The signs catch me before I actually get into the store, and make me much more likely to trot back to the car to grab the bags. The mind is a weak, weak thing... and needs many reminders. 

Jan 16: Venture Capitalism is shrouded in secrecy no longer. Enter, a new site exposing the good and the bad about invidual VC firms.

Jan 14: Why don't we ask why? Interesting article and reminder that you should stop to ask the obvious, basic questions, at least once in awhile. It's all along the lines of Occam's Razor: What is simple is probably true.

Jan 9: It's a UNICORN SHEEP!!! AHHH!!! I want one. Ok, it's not really a unicorn sheep, it just looks like that due to the angle of the photo and the fact that everyone knows unicorns love sandy beaches. It's really from a article on "where your yarn comes from."

Jan 2: This is meant for children, but I sure had a blast making my own fairy. Meet Robin Purpleplume.

Jan 1: Celebrate the new year by checking out OYFP's new blog: Get on your feet!

Dec 4: Verizon announces it will support Android, Google's open source software. Yay! This means I can stay with Verizon when my contract's up, but get a cool Google phone. Maybe they'll figure out a way to make SIM cards compatible too...

Nov 27: I spent 5 days in this tropical paradise just before Thanksgiving... go, go NOW, before it gets all developed and touristy. The travel channel is featuring it as one of the 10 undiscovered beautiful places of the world in December.

Nov 26: Play this word game to test your vocab, and earn rice grains for the hungry. I'm not sure why playing the game earns rice, but I assume it has something to do with ads. Or brand exposure. Or something. Anyway, it's interesting. My max score thus far is 41. Can you beat me?

Nov 21: Five perfect wines to sip with pumpkin pie. Yay turkey day!

Nov 20: Are you a fan of iGoogle's personalized homepage? Add my gadget!! I made a Google widget! You can personalize your Google homepage. This OYFP widget will tell you about volunteering, non-profits, and of course, On Your Feet Project.. So fun. :-)

Nov 14 - 18: Vieques, Puerto Rico. Amazing. Stay tuned for photos.

Nov 7c: Create your own cookbook! Called a Tastebook. It's professional looking, and it's easy to add recipes from, my favorite recipe site. VERY interesting idea. 

Nov 7b: Why Mommy is a Democrat, a children's book. Start edumacating them when they're young.

Nov 7a: Facebook is trying to prove that it's actually worth $15 billion with a new advertising platform. Will social networks actually, GASP, make MONEY??

Nov 6: I.Am.Your.New.Phone.Software.I.Am.Android.Let.Me.In! Oh and I will, how I will. I love Google, I'm sure I'll love whatever software platform they come up with. Coincidentally, my cell phone contract with stodgy ole Verizon is up in Q3 of 2008... perfect timing!

Nov 1:  A follow up to the Spinning Dancer. As you might have guessed, right and left brain determinations are not as simple as looking at a graphic on the computer.

Oct 30:  I Love To Laugh  from Mary Poppins
I love to laugh
Loud and long and clear
I love to laugh
It's getting worse ev'ry year

The more I laugh
The more I fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more I'm a merrier me
It's embarrassing!
The more I'm a merrier me!

Oct 23: Simple amazing photos of Africa, from my friend Peter's safari honeymoon. He went all National Geographic.

Oct 22: Making everyone, on all income levels, care about global warming. As Bruce Campbell says, it's all about speaking to your audience. What benefits does preventing warming have for you? We're talking immediate micro-benefits, not "the world will not be ruined" macro benefits.

Oct 17: The demographics of my new neighborhood. Look up yours too!

Oct 16: Beer Tasting, a la "NovemberFest," November 14 at the Pourhouse. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, look at this dancer. She spins counter-clockwise for me!! Does that mean i'm an uncreative dofus? Somehow I doubt it.. 

Oct 11: Enernet. That's right: Clean, cheap energy. Coined by Bob Metcalfe. Very interesante.

I think I should have a blog. It would make these lists of links way easier to browse. And maintain.

Oct 9: Stuck on a problem? Use these fun visual strategies to inspire you...

Oct 5: I. Want. Sim. City. Societies. Sigh. I'm such a dork.  It's so cool, though! You can make a corrupt city, or a good-as-gold city, or a polluted city... so fun. Well, I think it would be so fun. 

Oct 4: I used to believe XXXX when I was a kid.. Like, I used to think Phil Donahue could see me from TV, and that he was watching me pick my nose. HA!

Oct 3: Join OYFProgram at a Ghost Tour of Boston on October 11!  yeahhh, all proceeds benefit the Italian Home for Children.

Sept 5: The changing face of the mobile industry... trading ad views for free minutes... Google wants to revolutionize the current mobile industry. I'm so in. 

Sept 4 again:  I'm such a dork, I TOTALLY want the rumored "GPhone." Sigh. Google, I love you.

Sept 4: Now that the health risks of high-fructose corn syrup are well known, manufacturers have begun to distill the sugar out of it, selling the result as "crystalline fructose." What baloney!!!

Aug 31: My dad has his own website!!! Need a reliable Massachusetts Home Repair guy? Try me pappy!!

Aug 27:  I'm a grown up!!!! Not only do I have health insurance, a 401K, and my own place, I'm about to be the proud owner of the king of all appliances

Aug 21: Talent... like intelligence, may be different than you expect it. From the Freakonomics blog:

The gist of the column was that “raw talent,” as it’s often called, is vastly overrated, and that people who become very good at something, whether it’s sports, music, or medicine, generally do so through a great deal of “deliberate practice,” a phrase used by the Florida State psychologist Anders Ericsson and his merry band of fellow scholars who study expert performers in many fields.

As we wrote, there are at least three key elements to deliberate practice:

1. Setting specific goals.
2. Obtaining immediate feedback.
3. Concentrating as much on technique as on outcome.

Aug 20: The meaning of intelligence:

1390, "faculty of understanding," from O.Fr. intelligence (12c.), from L. intelligentia "understanding," from intelligentem (nom. intelligens) "discerning," prp. of intelligere "to understand, comprehend," from inter- "between" + legere "choose, pick out, read" (see lecture).

Aug 15: Are you wondering just who is doing the editing slash vandalizing on Wikipedia? An interesting article from Wired explored the topic: 

  • MySpace: Someone from an IP address belonging to MySpace edits the “censorship” section for MySpace’s Wikipedia entry
  • MSN Search is major competitor to Google:  That addition to the MSN Search Wikipedia page was added by an IP address belonging to Microsoft’s PR firm, Waggener Edstrom
  • Exxon Mobil: “Glass half full or half empty? Someone using an ExxonMobil IP address changed the discussion of the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster and subsequent cleanup from one focusing on the company’s failure to pay $5 billion it purportedly owed to Alaska fisherman to one touting in detail the money it had already spent”
  • Diebold: You’ve heard of Diebold, the e-voting machine, right? 15 “critical” paragraphs were removed from the Diebold page by an IP address for the Diebold corporate offices
  • President Bush: A change to George W. Bush’s page says “IS TAINTED BY POLITICAL BIAS THAT HAS NO PLACE IN WIKIPEDIA.” This came from an IP address from the Justice Department in Washington D.C.

Aug 13:  Oh Mondays. "The Science of Insulting Women" is addressed in the Freakonomics blog. From the comments:

"I expect that what is really going on is that people have a notion about how much effort is needed to keep a relationship (or even just a conversation) going, and if one partner seems uninterested in carrying very much of that effort (as by making diminishing comments), the other partner will often willingly take up the extra burden. And then, because we reliably confuse what we spend time and effort on with what is important and with what we like, the weight-bearing partner ends up being hooked.

"A confident and healthy person generally won’t put up with such nonsense for too long, and in the here-now, probably fewer women than men have managed to reach adulthood confident and healthy."

I have probably been in that position before, and/or witnessed friends there. Ug, the messiness of emotions and relationships. 

Aug 9:  I'm in the midst of social networks every day. A different take on how and why they exist: "object-centered sociality," from an article on WorldChanging:

"Yuri Zengstrom says that 'the term 'social networking' makes little sense if we leave out the objects that mediate the ties between people.'

"Think about the object as the reason why people affiliate with each specific other and not just anyone. For instance, if the object is a job, it will connect me to one set of people whereas a date will link me to a radically different group. This is common sense but unfortunately it's not included in the image of the network diagram that most people imagine when they hear the term 'social network.' The fallacy is to think that social networks are just made up of people. They're not; social networks consist of people who are connected by a shared object."

 Aug 8: Someone left a little stuffed bunny wearing a dress on the sideview mirror of my car, parked in Brighton. It's about 4 inches long (not including the ears). T swears it wasn't him. However, the bunny is so adorable that I'm keeping her on my desk... mostly because she reminds me of Bilunny (aka T).

MYSTERY SOLVED: It was a tipsy Danielle! Yeahhhh!

Aug 7: It's a Unicorn Museum. No, really. Seriously.  I know. I don't believe it either.

Aug 6: - Saving energy one search at a time (with a Black screen). Is it a myth? Is it using Google's custom search feature to direct traffic to its subscribers' pages? Something's fishy... Hmm. A quote from a blog that proposed Blackle: Only CRT displays use more energy to display brighter things. For everything else, it is completely false that a black display uses less energy than a white page. The backlight on an LCD is on for the entire LCD regardless of what is being shown. The black pixels are only black because the LCD blocks out light. Same with projectors, etc.

Aug 5: Just back from camping. Yay nature! Photos will be up on Picasa shortly.

Aug 3: How many ads a day do YOU think you see? Hundreds? Thousands? None?

Aug 1:  Dang, the OYFP wine tasting is proving popular. We have more requests than tickets. What does that mean? Have more wine tastings!! :-)

July 28: The Food Should Taste Good people actually wrote back!


Thanks for writing! We are thrilled to hear that you like our multigrain and olive chips and appreciate you letting us know. We love to hear when our chips have made it into someone's healthy eating lifestyle.  We hope you enjoy the jalapeño and chocolate chips as well - let me know if you have  trouble finding them (check your local Shaw's or Market Basket).

Keep enjoying!  We sincerely appreciate your support.

FoodShouldTasteGood TM
It's our company. It's our brand. It's our motto. TM

July 27: Hahahhahahahahahha! Songs for Ice Cream Trucks, a new album, is in stores now. Apparently it's actually kind of tasty, I mean, good.

July 26: I'm always in search for a good wine. Just choosing a bottle because it has a dog on its label doesn't mean it's going to taste good (though that particular bottle did).  Now, I look for the text Denominacion de Origen Calificada (DOC) on all my bottles. It looks roughly the same in Italian and French.  Hoowwweeevverrr.... I'm sure I'm leaving a healthy population of wine out, so I'm doing three things:

1. Going to the OYFP wine tasting on June 2

2. Using this new wine website called Snooth

3. Drinking random bottles that don't have DOC

July 24: Food Should Taste Good, and it certainly does! If you buy their chips, that is. This is the feedback I sent them: 

I can't remember the last time I went to a website that I saw on my food's packaging, but your chips are inspirational. What a simple concept - food SHOULD taste good, and be good for you! I am a fiber fan, and love your chips for helping both satisfy my craving for crunch and helping keep my body healthy. (A little fat never hurt anyone.) I've only tried the Olive chips and the Multigrain chips. Jalapeno chips are up next. I haven't seen the chocolate ones anywhere... but you can bet that I'm now on a quest for them. :-)

Keep up the good work! I can hardly wait to see what comes out of the test kitchens next...

And boy am I jealous that they came out with this product before I did. I LOVE them, and think everyone else will too!

July 13: On Your Feet Project (OYFP) is holding a wine tasting on Thursday, August 2 from 7 - 9 PM. For only $20, sample 6 wines, eat some cheeses, and look at some loverly art. Yeahhhh!  Buy your tickets for the wine tasting online.

July 6:  Liking broccoli is not the same as eating it.

A boy goes to dinner at a friend's house, and the mother asks if he likes broccoli.

"Sure," says the boy. "I like broccoli fine."

During dinner, however, the mother sees the boy hasn't touched the broccoli.

"I thought you said you likes broccoli," says the mother.

"Oh, I like it," replies the boy. "I just don't eat it." 

Sam's point, "watch what people do rather than just ask for their opinions. What they tell you often belies their behavior." 

July 3: John Stewart Quote of the day: "I mean, 300 camera crews outside a courthouse to see what Kobe Bryant is wearing while false information used to send our country to war goes unchecked? What the ____ happened?"

July 2: Shift in jobs in the US

June 29: Labels are for Jars: Help feed the hungry in Lawrence, MA, and look cool doing it.

June 28: Women in Art over the years (on YouTube). Very cool.

June 22: The best New England Beach Map compilation EVER!

June 21: Trying to figure out where to take that vacation? Try these nifty travel tools. 

June 20: Photos from the romantic getaway to Martha's Vineyard have been posted. Awwwww!

June 11: Baseball two weeks ago. I bought my first ever Red Sox hat. Yeahhhh!!

May 31: "[Search Engine Optimization] is not doing one big thing right; it's doing two hundred little things right." -- Dan Perry,

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