Daily Archives: August 20, 2014

Everyone should have a good minestrone soup recipe

And this one from Food52 could be yours. Once you get in the habit of making minestrone, you can really adopt any set of vegetables and beans you have to make the soup you want. Don’t like cabbage? Don’t use it. Out of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)? Use something else. It may not strickly be minestrone if you do, but who cares: it will still be delicious. Needless to say, this is a great way to use up bits and pieces of vegetables in your crisper.

 

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Why Read the Classics? Italo Calvino has the reasons

It’s the weekend. You could use something to read. Instead of going to the latest books — which are no doubt very good — why not consider picking up a classic and reading it. If you are furrowing your brow at the thought, please take a moment and read Calvino’s argument for why you should in this NY Review of Books piece.

One thing that Calvino doesn’t mention is that the classics can be fun. Not all of them, of course, but many of them can be as delightful and engrossing as any book you might find.

Whatever your reasoning to select one, here’s hoping you start reading one this weekend. Enjoy!

(The image contains text from Calvino’s book, “If on a winter’s night a traveler” and it contains the best description of the process of reading. I don’t know if it’s a classic yet, but it will be and is also a great read.)

Teach your kids (and parents…and yourself) how to download software

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Why? Because they are going to do it regardless of whether or not you teach them, and if you don’t teach them properly, there is a good chance they will download malware or at least the wrong software.

To back up, my son was complaining last night he could not download some software for his computer. He had gone onto Google, entered “download software XYZ” and clicked on the first thing at the top of the page. Now often times the first thing is NOT what you want: it is some company that purchased the right to show up first. I told him to instead look at the URLs that are displayed, and look for the company name in the URL. I told him to be careful about what you click on. (The software he wanted was on the first page of the search results, but about 3 or 4 entries down.)

The safest thing is to always have them talk to you before they download something. Or you email them a safe link instead of them clicking on what shows up in Google.

Thought for the Day

Via Real Simple magazine.

A return to Twitter (not the service, but the community)

After the frustration with the Twitter service for changes like this, I thought I would give up Twitter. However, Twitter is the sum of a number of parts: there is the service that Twitter provides, from the backend servers to the APIs to the user interfaces and client software you use;  and then there are the people that contribute to Twitter. Among those contributors are people I really enjoy socializing with whom I cannot connect with any other way. To give up all of Twitter means tossing out the baby, the bathwater and even the tub itself. That’s dumb. (I do dumb things often, but typically correct most of them in time. :))

To get around that, I decided to use my limited software skills and the APIs that Twitter provides to write my own Twitter client, in a way. It is a hack, but it is a good hack (for me). I am able to control what I see this way. Not only do I not have promoted tweets, etc., in my feed, but I am able to get rid of things like RTs from everyone, rather than having to turn of RTs one at a time. I’m also able to save all the tweets in a spreadsheet or some other format, so I can look at them when I am less busy, or decide on other filters I want to apply, etc. Later on I can write more filters so if a trending topic gets to be too much, I can just delete it or save it to a different file for later.

Now my Twitter experience is gone from poor to great (for me).  I have thrown out the dirty bath water, but kept the tub and the baby. This makes more sense, obviously.

Last but not least, I appreciate all the people who expressed concern over my leaving Twitter. It was very kind of you, and why I want to stick around, if I can.