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The Weekend Links

Many would argue the penny is useless. And maybe it is, as far as currency is concerned. But pennies can still be used for other amusing exploits. Dollar bills can also make for some intriguing art thanks to a laser and what I would imagine is a lot of time.
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20 Amazing Examples of Art from Obsolete Technology

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With color, there's always more than meets the eye. Exposure and response to certain colors have been know to alter behavior.
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Nostradamus may have gotten a prediction or two right, but he's got nothin' on Back to the Future Part II, and here are eleven reasons why.
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Consumers fight back! Customer Beats Robber with Ladder. First there was Superman, then Spiderman and now ... Caveman!
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I have two addictions, TV and chocolate (see what I did there?). But in all seriousness, regarding the latter, I'm not sure how I feel about this "Cocoa Pipe" that lets you literally inhale chocolate. Is it friend or foe?
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I am Guilty Citizen Number One when it comes to leaving computers on overnight, but as Jan has brought to our attention, there are 2.8 billion reasons not to.
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Conspiracy Corner: Was There A Curse Surrounding President Lincoln's Assassination? It seems those around him met similarly strange fates ....

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Yes Easter has come and gone and candy is cheap, but if you love Peeps you might enjoy learning how to make them from scratch. (Thanks Erin!)
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I don't know the who, what, when, where, why or how about this ... but I like it.

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Bohemian 8-bit Rhapsody will either amuse you or irritate you for infinity. Apparently there's a cult following for 8-bit songs, some of which they play in the middle of the night on 91.1 here in Atlanta when I'm too tired to fight back.
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Just because you're a genius doesn't mean you're a nice guy (or gal ... but in this case, guy). Here are five examples of smart guys who you might not have wanted to be friends with.
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Ok, bear with me. I'm including this link beyond the purpose of minor amusement and rather for the fact that it has its own website. I mean there is a URL devoted entirely to describing this one picture. What a world!
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Curious about that yogurt? Looking sideways at that jar of tomato sauce? Not sure if that fruit is supposed to be that color? Check out the handy Shelf Life Guide.
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I hope it's ok for me to post this, because it's amazing in so many ways ... full length Nick nostalgia shows to occupy hours of your time.
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For anyone curious, this comic pretty much sums up part of the behind-the-scenes action of me doing the Weekend Links.
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Casts don't have to be ugly. In fact, they can be beautiful and informative. And here I thought just having a colored cast was hip.

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I hope everyone has a resplendent weekend, and that wherever you are Spring has finally reached you! Keep sending in great links, blogs and pics to FlossyLinks@gmail.com.

[Last Weekend's Links]

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9 Things You Should Keep in Mind Around Someone Observing Ramadan
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To mark the ninth (and most holy) month in the Islamic calendar, Muslims around the world observe Ramadan. Often compared to Lent in Christianity and Yom Kippur in Judaism, Ramadan is all about restraint. For one month, Muslims observing Ramadan fast during the day and then feast at night.

By abstaining from food and water (as well as sex, smoking, fighting, etc.) during daylight, Muslims strive to practice discipline, instill gratitude for what they have, and draw closer to Allah. To be respectful and not annoy observers, here are nine things you should never say or do to someone observing Ramadan.

1. DON'T JOKE ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS.

A traditional iftar meal.
A traditional iftar meal.
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Although it might be tempting to joke about Ramadan being a good excuse to lose weight, it is a time for spiritual reflection and is a serious matter. Observers undertake the challenge of fasting for religious and spiritual reasons rather than aesthetic ones. And, once the sun sets each night, many Muslims prepare a hearty iftar (the meal that breaks the fast) of dates, curries, rice dishes, and other delicious foods. The suhoor (the pre-dawn meal) is often fresh fruit, bread, cheese, and dishes that are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. So the idea of a cleanse is pretty far from their minds.

2. DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.

An Indian Muslim student recites from the Quran in a classroom during the holy month of Ramadan.
NOAH SEELAM, AFP/Getty Images

There are approximately 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, but not all of them observe Ramadan the same way. Although most observant Muslims fast for Ramadan, don't assume that every Muslim you meet has the same methods, traditions, and attitudes towards fasting. For some, Ramadan is more about prayer, reading the Qur'an, and performing acts of charity than merely about forgoing food and drink. And for those who may be exempted from the daily fasting, such as pregnant or nursing women, the elderly, or those with various health conditions, they might not appreciate the reminder from nosey busy-bodies that they aren't participating in the traditional way.

3. SAY "RAMADAN MUBARAK" INSTEAD OF "HAPPY RAMADAN."

A sign which reads
A sign which reads "Ramadan Kareem" in Arabic is seen pictured in front of the Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai.
GIUSEPPE CACACE, AFP/Getty Images

Rather than wishing someone a happy Ramadan, being more thoughtful with your choice of words can show that you understand and respect the sanctity of their holy month. Saying "Ramadan Mubarak" or "Ramadan Kareem" are the traditional ways to impart warm wishes—they both convey the generosity and blessings associated with the month. The actual party comes after Ramadan, when Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, an up to three-day festival that involves plenty of food, time with family, and gifts.

4. DON'T BE A FOOD PUSHER.

Muslim woman saying no to an apple.
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Even if the idea of not eating or drinking all day might be unfathomable to you, don't push food onto anyone observing Ramadan. While fasting all day for a month can cause mild fatigue, dehydration, and dizziness, don't try to convince participating Muslims to eat or drink something—they are fully aware of any side effects they may feel throughout the day. Instead, be respectful of their decision to fast and offer to lend a hand with something like chores, errands, or anything unrelated to food.

5. ACCEPT THAT WATER ISN'T ON THE MENU.

Dates and a glass of water.
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Muslims who observe Ramadan don't sip any liquids during daytime. No water, coffee, tea, or juice. Zilch. Going without water is even harder than going without food, so be aware of the struggle and accept it. It's all part of the sacrifice and self-discipline inherent in Ramadan.

6. RESPECT PEOPLE'S PRIVACY.

Pregnant woman doing yoga.
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Some Muslims choose not to fast during Ramadan for medical or other personal reasons, and they may not appreciate being badgered with questions about why they may be eating or drinking rather than fasting. Children and the elderly generally don't fast all day, and people who are sick are exempt from fasting. Other conditions that preclude fasting during Ramadan are pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menstruation (although, if possible, people generally make up the days later).

7. BE MINDFUL OF ENERGY LEVELS.

Woman running on the beach.
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Eschewing food and drink for hours at a time can cause lethargy, so be aware that Muslims observing Ramadan may be more tired than usual. Your Muslim friends and coworkers don't stop working for an entire month, but they may tweak their schedules to allow for more rest. They may also stay indoors more (to prevent overheating) and avoid unnecessary physical activity to conserve energy. So, don't be offended if they aren't down for a pick-up game of basketball or soccer. We can't all be elite athletes.

8. DON'T OBSESS OVER FOOD AND HUNGER.

Family playing in the park.
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One of the worst things you can do to someone on a new diet is to obsess over all the cheeseburgers, pizza, and cupcakes they can't have. Similarly, most Muslims observing Ramadan don't want to have in-depth conversations about all the food and beverages they're avoiding. So, be mindful that you don't become the constant reminder of how many hours are left until sundown—just as you shouldn't joke about weight loss, you shouldn't call attention to any hunger pangs.

9. DON'T BE AFRAID TO EAT YOUR OWN FOOD.

Coworkers discussing a project on couches.
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Although it's nice to avoid talking about food in front of a fasting Muslim, don't be afraid to eat your own food as you normally would. Seeing other people eating and drinking isn't offensive—Muslims believe that Ramadan is all about sacrifice and self-discipline, and they're aware that not everyone participates. However, perhaps try to avoid scheduling lunch meetings or afternoon barbecues with your Muslim colleagues and friends. Any of those can surely wait until after Ramadan ends.

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