Sunday, October 21, 2012

5 fun, free DIY tricks & cultural tips

Will music soothe the savage beast?
  1. Want to hear songs from Grizzly Bear's new CD Shield before you plonk down a ten-spot? NPR's website has a recording of a show in which the band performs tunes from it. Bone up on their namesake with The Beast That Walks Like Man: The Story of the Grizzly Bear.
  2. I am jazzed by LifeHacks, an agglomeration of useful and ingenious household hints involving recycling/repurposing. They key ring/staple remover idea is boss, and I can't wait to tackle the scratches in my furniture with some walnuts. Can opener for blister packs? I'm there!
  3. Here's a DIY home decorating idea of my own. Save the variously colored round plastic screw tops from milk, juice, and detergent bottles (whatever), arrange in patterns to your liking, glue them onto any sized surface of your choice, and hang. Voila, instant Damien Hirst–style artwork for pennies. Kids would probably enjoy this too. Take that, art establishment! (Below, two Hirst originals.)
  4. Mentioned enthusiastically in our recent discussions of vampire tales, Sheridan LeFanu's Carmilla is currently being read in B.J. Harrison's The Classic Tales Podcast, free on I-tunes. Harrison does both novels and short stories; Kate Chopin's gripping Desiree's Baby is the perfect length for a power walk.
  5.  Natasha Trethewey’s tenure as U.S. Poet Laureate has just begun. She writes all different kinds of poems, and is reading one a week.


  1. "Put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle for a no-mess experience."

    ..except for the experience you'll have getting the pancake batter into the ketchup bottle.
    And how do you wash a ketchup bottle so the pancakes don't come out pink?

    1. good point... i think other bottles—like quart-sized milk bottles— would be better.

  2. Vinegar is to women as duct tape is to men.
    As for dunking those Oreos, chopsticks work a lot better. Cookies slide off the fork and by the time you scrape them out, they're disintegrated.
    Of course, you can always lick your fingers...

    1. Vinegar, the miracle elixir. I hear it's good for mold too.
      And yeah, chopstick are so much more fun & elegant!

    2. Haha, awesome analogy. I use vinegar to clean pretty much everything!

  3. I read the first comment and was going to suggest vinegar, but someone already beat me to it. I use vinegar for all sorts of things - it's wonderful and cheap!

  4. The milk cap pattern art is a pretty sweet idea!!!!