Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Part II – Science and Blather!

My last post was all about some gifts you could get for the beer and/or food geeks in your life. This list is my other passion, science, and then a bunch of other things that have made my life better over the past year in some way or another. Or, like the last post, a few things I might pick up in the future (holidays make it hard to buy for oneself).

In any case, these are usually things that have made me or someone I love happy, with an occasional thing I’m just dying to buy (for me or someone else).

Science:

First and foremost, let me reiterate “the single best suggestion/idea I can give you is to go shop for your entire list at your favorite local museum, aquarium, planetarium, or zoo.” (This is a direct quote from me from last year, it’s true.) Memberships are great and, yes, some of these places will be doing discounts (the Portland, OR aquarium is, for example) and their main shops are always full of cool and unusual stuff.… Continue reading →

Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Part I – Food and Beer

Last year I did my first ever “gift guide,” and was surprised at how much folks liked the post. I admit, I hadn’t been sure people would be interested in my suggestions, but I decided to put them out there in case it was useful. This year, knowing it was well-liked last year, I’ve been paying a bit more attention to possible suggestions.

It helped, frankly, that Bill and I moved across the country and had to decide both what to get rid of entirely and what to put into storage for the next nine months. The toaster oven made the moving cut, but not the storage cut, for example. The electric kettle in that post, however, remains a part of my day to day living.… Continue reading →

Mostly History Links

I’ve never been inclined toward historical activities. For example, Society for Creative Anacronism was a huge hobby of a number of my friends in college, but it never appealed to me. I never took history electives in school. I thought I understood the proverbs “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” and “history is written by the winners,” but over the years, I have come to understand how much I did not and do not fully grasp them. I’ve also learned that school history is some watered-down, whitewashed bullshit and history is way more interesting (if also more traumatic at times) than what I learned in school. So, with that in mind, I present today’s “blather” links. Including, for good measure, one interesting present-day link that might be relevant to how today will be “history” in thirty years.… Continue reading →

Thanksgiving Suggestions and Other Links.

Just a quick post today; I’m dealing with household chaos. But I wanted to recommend icing your turkey breast down if you’re going to roast a whole turkey this year.

If you haven’t already made pumpkin pie for the holiday, consider this deep dish deliciousness with a hint of rum! I used to make it or a variant on it every year.

You got my dream holiday beers, but did you go over to Kitchenista Diaries to see the things I recommend? There’s a lot move variety there, and more things that are easy to get.

Do you want to go to a castle to write your NaNoWriMo novel next year? Well, maybe you should go enter to win! My friend Deb told me about this, and I am charmed as hell.… Continue reading →

Your Monday Science Reading!

Sexism in science isn’t new in the slightest. I was strongly reminded of this recently at The Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley, where I was at the DevOps Days Silicon Valley conference. The rarity of women in highly-paid positions documented in the museum, for example. Or learning from a new friend that an image they showed, one that’s used often for printing tests, is a scan of a photo from Playboy. Every time sexism in science comes up, it’s a lot to take in. But maybe 2015 is the start of something new? Sarah Zang argues so in WIRED. “[T]aken together, so many and in succession, they suggest something bigger. A conversation about sexism in science broke open this year.” So many sexist battles fought and, for once, won.… Continue reading →