Monday, February 06, 2012

Link Mondays

Happy Monday everyone! Did you have a good weekend? We had a few friends over for a fun night of board games on Saturday. We played Smart Ass and Apples to Apples (which has to be the most fun board game ever), and guess who was the Smart Ass? Mr. Sunshine of course. It is amazing how much useless stuff he has crammed in the adorable bald head of his. I really need to stop playing any kind of trivia games against him! We (Mr. Sunshine) made some really yummy carnitas, and a cheesecake flan. The one good thing, among many others, about not having a lot of cheap ethnic food around where we live is that we have been experimenting and cooking a lot of dishes that we would never had bothered about making at home. Also, I have started cooking more often, which is a big deal around our household because, as anyone who knows me will know that I am not a big fan of being in the kitchen. Both grandma Sunshines, and mommy Sunshine would be so proud of all that I can whip up in the kitchen now. Moral of the story? If you want to learn how to cook, move to Norway. I am already dreaming about making my own jams and jellies, and I just bought this book on homemade dairy products last week. Home made butter and sour cream here I come!

Here are a few things that intrigued me and made me smile this past week.

Picture from Broken Dimanche's website
Wordpharmacy, an installation, and publication by Danish artist and writer Morten S√łndergaardS√łndergaard   imagines words as medicines that one can get off the counter at a pharmacy - so clever! Great medicine for curing the terrible writer's block I keep getting. You can buy a box of the "word medicines" here. Via Notcot via crapisgood

Picture from Umihotaru

This amazing sculpture by Japanese paper artist Wataru Ito. Can you believe that it is made entirely of paper? Called the Castle on the Ocean, the sculpture is handmade and took about 4 years to make! I couldn't find the artist's website, but here is a video of him showing some of his work.

This amazing website, called newspapermap, that allows you to search, and translate newspapers from all over the world. The newspapers are visualized on a google map, so you could search for newspapers by region. I can already think of a billion academic uses of this website.

This absolutely cute video rant by a very smart toddler on gender bias in toys. I wish I was as articulate as she is. I hate shopping for toys as gifts for this very reason. We are not parents, and have never been around a lot of children, so we never know how to shop for age appropriate toys. Every time we are in a toy store, I have to solicit someone's help to pick out a toy, and every time I am asked the same question - "is it for a boy or a girl?". My response generally is (after I have mentally counted up to 10, and calmed myself down), "how does it matter? I just want something a five/ten/three year old would enjoy playing with." I have nothing against dolls, and princesses. What I have a hard time with is that such toys are almost exclusively meant for girls, while other kinds of toys - legos, trucks, science kits, building toys are exclusively marketed as toys for boys. This makes it seem like girls couldn't possibly enjoy playing with legos, and boys couldn't play with princess toys. In fact, it has always bothered me that most building toys I have seen almost always have pictures of boys on the packaging, never a girl, and vice-versa. So until the day comes when all toys for children are gender neutral, I am going to stick to buying books for the kids in our life.

This book by Lisa Congdon is part of a year
long project where she photographed or drew
a collection a day for a year.
You can buy the book here, or see a digital copy here.
She also has a blog that showcases her work.
 I need to have this book on my shelf now.
On Saturday, at our party, we were talking about cross continental moves (most of us were expats) and the conversation moved to collecting things. Some of us (not me) were of the opinion that collecting things is silly because they tie you down. I like collecting cookbooks, saris, and I have just started collecting vintage ceramics, and they are like my babies - I wouldn't go anywhere without my books, and now my collection of plates and bowls, but I can see how they can become cumbersome, especially as an expat who moves frequently. I also worry that because I don't use a lot of things that I collect (I certainly don't wear saris as much as I would like to), I could turn into a pack rat - just collecting things for the sake of collecting. I have realized that being able to edit, and throw away/ give away things is a good skill to have when you are a collector. What do you think? Do you collect anything? I also really want to start collecting vintage maps and needle point work.  

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