Category Archives: fun

Gardening as a form of mental wellness

Gardening is a tricky hobby. I’ve always associated it with older people. Which makes some sense: if you go to a gardening center in spring, it will be packed mainly with old folks. This is a bad prejudice to have. As this article by Samin Nosrat showed me, gardening can be a great activity to help with one’s mental wellness.

She starts:

Last winter I suffered a devastating bout of depression. Unable to do much else, I took to the neglected beds of the vegetable garden I share with my neighbors. Weeding and composting for hours a day, I was regenerating both the soil and something deep in myself. It felt so crucial to my well-being that sometimes I wore a headlamp to extend my work time past the waning daylight.

It’s worthwhile reading the entire article. She makes a great case for the goodness that gardening can do for you. After you finish it, you may want to rush out to a garden center and get started on your own garden and improved mental health.

(Photo by Benjamin Combs on Unsplash)

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The Best Websites to Get Your Retro Gaming Fix

For a generation of oldesters like me, arcade games were what we grew up on. They seem quaint next to games on XBOX of PS3 or 4, but compared to games like Animal Crossings or other Nintendo games, they still seem relevant. Anyway, whatever your take, if you are into old games, check this post out: The Best Websites to Get Your Retro Gaming Fix.

I was over at archive.org playing my old favorite, Berzerk! Still fun! And hard! 🙂

Note to Mac users: I had a problem with the Fire button on my Mac. So I followed the advice on this page to map my SPACE bar to the fire button. Then I was fine.

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Glitch yourself

If you for whatever reason what to turn an image into a glitched out version of itself, you can do that easily, here.

Have fun!

 

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Do you want an old rez image of yourself?

marcus eating sausage

In this day of increasing good cameras, of course you do. So grab a photo you want to convert and go here. Satisfaction guaranteed, and very fast turnaround. 🙂

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Everyone should have a hobby. Einstein’s was different than most

When it comes to Einstein, what comes to mind? This?

How about this?


Yep, his hobby was making a better fridge. Read about it here:  Einstein’s Little-Known Passion Project? A Refrigerator | WIRED.

It’s odd but fun to read.

Silent Night is supposed to be performed on Christmas Eve, and other interesting things about the 200 year old carol

As Silent Night turns 200 this year, the CBC has come up with a great piece on the history of this famous carol, which you can read here:
www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4950242

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A gift idea for older geeks in your life: Vintage Computer Punch Cards

Yep. You can get them here:  Vintage Computer Punch Cards for Sale — Online Store & Gift Shop

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Gift idea: How to Make a Simple Chapbook


If you are looking to give someone a gift that is hand made, this might be an idea for you: How to Make a Simple Chapbook | Indie Press | Philadelphia | Lady Blue Publishing.

I had one made for my 40th birthday and I still treasure it. No doubt someone you make one for will too.

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My favorite tutorial on setting up a Raspberry Pi


Is this Setting up Raspbian (and DOOM!) – learn.sparkfun.com

Not only will you be up and running with a working Raspberry Pi, but you can also play a limited version of the original Doom!

Very fun for old Doom afficianatos like myself.

And now for something fun: the 2017 comedy wildlife photography awards

This is an actual set of awards given out, and The Guardian has the goods, here:
The 2017 comedy wildlife photography awards.

Low and No Alcohol Cocktails

Cocktails can be a pleasure to drink. To get that enjoyment without the inebriation, consider these options, from Bon Appetit:

How to be a better conversationalist, starting with 100 questions


When you meet someone at an event or at a party, the inevitable questions come up: What do you do for a living? Where do you live? Whom do you know? These are safe questions, and they lead to tepid conversation most of the time. If such conversations had a colour, it would be beige.

For a list of colourful questions, try some of these (unless beige is your favorite colour)” 100 questions to spark conversation & connection. | Alexandra Franzen

Some of them would still be pretty safe at a work function, such as: What’s your most urgent priority for the rest of the year? Others could lead to some pretty funny stories, such as: What’s something you’ve tried, that you’ll never, ever try again? or What’s the strangest date you’ve ever been on? (These may result in the same story!) Some are fairly personal, such as: What’s one mistake you keep repeating (and repeating)? (You may want to have your own example in case you stump someone). Finally, the last question is one most people should have an answer for, and is likely one that will tell you lots about the person: What are you most grateful for, right now, in this moment?

A great list. Throw some of them in a list on your phone and use them at the next get togther you attend. Better conversations await.

Best way to host a dinner party? Like a Parisian

Paris food
The wise David Lebovitz has great tips on how to host a dinner party in the manner that  Parisians do. If that sounds daunting to you, it shouldn’t. It’s filled with such smart advice such as “Keep it Simple” and “Finish with chocolates”. If you have a dinner party hosting coming up, drop everything  and read and follow this: How to Entertain Like a Parisian Tips – David Lebovitz. . From the good people at Food52.com.

(Photo from here)

It’s Friday. Have a martini!

Martini

Of course you can go out and order one. But if you feel like staying home and making one, then the good folks at Bon Appetit have two version on the classic martini you might be interested in trying:

  1. The Modern Martini
  2. Fifty-Fifty Martini Recipe | Bon Appetit

Don’t have martini glasses? Consider Crate and Barrel: they have a selection here.

(Image from Crate and Barrel)

Here are 20 common misused English words. See if you misuse any of them.

Image from link to http://maristpoll.marist.edu/1221-whatever-most-annoying-word-or-phrase-except-among-young-americans/

When I first saw this: 20 misused English words that make smart people look silly in Quartz, I was confident that I would not be someone who misused any of them. Turns out there were a few that I did. Not many! But a few. 🙂

See if the same applies to you. If none, congrats!

 

Why aren’t people responding to your email?!

The New Yorker has the answer: Sorry for the Delayed Response – The New Yorker. (I think it is meant to be humourous, but it’s a little too close to reality to make me wonder. :))

Some links to support your new year’s resolutions

If you’ve decided to become more fit, work better, or be better generally, then consider these resources to support you as advance towards achieving your goals:

Good luck!

A guide for millennials who bought the new Adele CD and don’t know how to play it.

Funny.

Adulting: a funny self help book, not just for young people

For anyone starting out on the road to being an independent adult, the book Adulting (from Hachette) is a good guide to have. It is packed with tips – 468 to be exact – on pretty much any experience you are going to go through in your early 20s. If this is you or someone you love, this book will have an obvious appeal.

It’s not just for young people though. I think all adults could benefit from parts of the book, especially if you are having to start out on some adult experience that is either new to you or something you haven’t done for some time. It’s good advice, and good advice never goes out of date.

Even if you don’t need good advice, read it just for the humour. It’s a very funny book. (Note, there is a fair amount of profanity and references to sex, but if that doesn’t bother you, then you’ll be fine.)

Finally, if you want to have a better understanding of what life is like for that young person you know, this book can help you achieve that.

By the way, if you want a preview of it, you can check out the Adulting blog. Also very good.

I was killing time in a bookstore last night and I thought it looked good. I ended up reading it from cover to cover.

 

You’ve been at your desk all day. Time for a stretch (or six)

And here over at A Cup of Jo are Six Stretches for People Who Sit at Desks

These are good stretches….even non-flexible people like myself can do them. 🙂

BBQ 101: three good tips from Bon AppĂ©tit

I find it easy to forget to how to barbeque, since months go by without doing any of it. I am trying to get back into it and get better. If you are in the same position, Bon Appétit has some good advice for both of us, including

 

8-bit popup cards: the perfect project for gamers/nerds/etc.

Not only are these cards cool, but if you go to this link, 8-bit popup cards | Mini-eco, you can learn how to make them yourself!

THE wall sticker decoration for computer geeks

I am not sure if wall stickers are passe or not, but this one, from Retro Basic Custom Wall Sticker – Spin Collective UK, appeals to the computer geek that I am. If you know one or are one, and you want to get this, the link has all the details you need.

How to build an igloo, 21st century style

There’s a nice story here about how some University of Alberta students build an igloo in their backyard over at canada.com.

You want to check it out just for the video on that page. The video is a little over 4 minutes, but the time it takes to build the igloo is many hours. Now if the builders didn’t stop to take so many selfies, it might have gone a little faster. 🙂

Fun!

Are you a couch potato? Do you want to get in better shape? Then read what former couch potatoes did

I don’t think highly of lists that supposedly help you to get in shape. I am happy to make an exception for this one: 15 Former Couch Potatoes Share Their Best Tips For Getting In Shape.

It’s not so much a list as it is 15 different stories. Each person has a different approach to getting in shape. What worked for one person may not work for you, but there is a good chance that out of the 15 stories, there will be more than a few new ideas that you can steal and use.

I also liked that it is not a list of advice from people who were athletes or people who were in good shape already. The people on this list were out of shape, and they lost weight and became fit using the sensible approaches they took.

I don’t usually recommend Buzzfeed articles, but this one is a very good exception.

If getting in shape was one of your resolutions for the New Year, this is a good thing for you to read now.

Do you know someone (maybe you) who wants to make comics or cartoons?

Then send them over to this really smart post by Sarah McIntyre: i want to make cartoons & comics but i have no idea where to start!. It’s packed with great advice and plenty of links for anyone who would love to do this but is stuck on how to start.

Superb. (Image is a link to her post.)

If you need an early winter pick me up, here’s a 1 minute video of a crow snowboarding

It’s no fluke: if you watch the whole thing, you can see he is into it!

Crows are remarkable. Via YouTube and  someone on twitter….I can’t remember who though. Thanks, whomever you are!

It’s Monday. You need a 1 minute video of cats trying to walk on a treadmill, yes?

Yes!

The video Treadmill Kittens  via @hchamp on twitter.

If you have time this weekend, here’s some project ideas: art, food, ukelele, storage

Looking to do something different this weekend? Consider these projects:

Making Pop Art – Apartment Therapy.
In the zone: Organized home storage solutions

The Food Lab: Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles (and Make Your Coworkers Jealous)

Basic Ukulele Lessons

 

And now, something unmotivational (but funny)

I unashamedly post alot of motivational things here. I hope this link to these funny unmotivational coffee mugs by Emily McDowell over at Boing Boing balances that out for people who feel they could use a break from such things. Boing Boing has lots of McDowell’s mugs and a link to more information. I want to get a collection of them. I would also be happy to get one as a present. Ahem. 🙂

P.S. She has an etsy page if you want to buy her things.

It’s Wednesday. You are feeling cranky. Here’s babies laughing at ripping paper.

Yes. That’s all it is. Still great: Babies Cracking Up at Ripping Paper Compilation

P.S. It’s also good, even if you aren’t cranky.

It’s Thursday: you can use some puns. Including some from a master.

Last night I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. No, actually, last night a friend of mine sent me this very punny version of “That’s amore” (see below) and it reminded me of the very funny (and punny) Groucho Marx. Here’s both: such a bargain!

When the moon hits your eye
like a big pizza pie
that’s amore.

When an eel bites your hand
with a pain you can’t stand
that’s a moray.

When our habits are strange
and our customs deranged
that’s our mores.

When your horse munches straw
and the bales total four
that’s some more hay.

When a beam from the sun
lights the heath where we run
that’s a moor ray.

When a sand-coated board
buffs your nails, yes milord,
that’s emory.

And our friend Mitch Albom
every Tuesday would come
to hear Morrie.

A New Zealander lad
sports tatoos by his dad.
That’s a Maori.

When a glacier’s retreat
piles up stones at its feet
that’s a moraine.

When two patterns of lines
cross to form new designs,
that’s a moirĂ©.

The briefest of pauses
in poetic clauses,
they are morae.

What the palest young man
needs to get a good tan,
that’s some more rays.

When Othello’s poor wife,
she gets stabbed with a knife
that’s a Moor, eh?

A great whale in the sea
chases Raymond and me.
That’s Shamu, Ray.

When a Japanese knight
used a sword in a fight
that’s Samurai.

P.S. Here’s a link to the Groucho Marx video on YouTube.

A fantastic story: how Andrew Hyde Hosted 138 Dinners in a Year

I love this. Andrew Hyde made a decision. He decided

to cook dinner for people. A year later I’ve hosted 138 dinners. The average dinner had 14 guests which means I’ve made 1932 dinners for friends and strangers.

I highly recommend this post of his describing it:  Dinner At My House (How I Hosted 138 Dinners in a Year) by Andrew Hyde. It makes me want to try and do something similar.

2007’s 101 Dumbest Moment in Business from Fortune: Sad, true, and often VERY funny


Alot of year end reviews are boring or lame. Not the 101 Dumbest Moments in Business from FORTUNE. It’s sad but true and also VERY funny. One of my favourites is #70: Circuit City (70). Here’s the details:

In a cost-cutting move, Circuit City lays off all sales associates paid 51 cents or more per hour above an “established pay range” – essentially firing 3,400 of its top performers in one fell swoop. Over the next eight months Circuit City’s share price drops by almost 70%.

Pure genius.

Want to know the Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun? Of course you do!

So go here and learn the Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun!

And if you don’t agree, then at least the site itself is alot of …well, you know.

BTW, it has lovely music from Tchaikovsky in the background, which may be NSFW.