Although I haven't done graduate work in the social sciences, I've always been fascinated to learn about the different rituals with which people were raised. I'm weird: I love hearing people's dreams--no matter how seemingly mundane--and I love hearing the bedtime stories people's parents told them (or, I suppose, didn't).
My own father had a knack for always saying goodnight right after the first or second act of his long-running bedtime series, The Raccoons. It was kind of like Watership Down meets... READ ON
Even though I have a Brita in my home, I still find myself buying too much bottled water. Would this change if I committed to a reusable beverage container? Why not--I'm already Brita groupie. The LA Times has the story on the recent surge of bottled water manufacturers goading each other into going green:
The company that makes Brita water filters teamed up Monday with Nalgene, a manufacturer of reusable beverage containers, to launch the FilterForGood campaign, aimed at weaning people off throwaway... READ ON
Engineers at Stanford have been combing West Coast beaches to show how beach sand is just as capable of passing along harmful bacteria as ocean water.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found that sand at beaches all along the California coast contained some level of fecal indicator bacteria -- 91 percent of the beaches in the study had detectable levels of enterococci and that 62 percent of them had traces of E. coli.
Contaminated beach sands can act as bacteria... READ ON
Wallpapering one's place of business with headshots is not uncommon in LA. My acupuncturist does it, beloved coffee shops and dry cleaning places do it.Â And certainly it's not endemic to LA--not always headshots, but signed portraiture in general seems to lend a credibility and intrigue to, say, an Italian restaurant or donut shop competing with all the others down the strip. The Kermit-at-Sardi's scene in Muppets Take Manhattan proves the excellence and fun of this kind of wall display. I'm sure I've... READ ON
First of all, hooray for the new baby Israel! So wonderful. Also wanted to throw out that I wasn't named at first, either. My parents let me marinate for about three days before they decided on "Rebecca" (of course, never to call me it, and it has now become my "slave name" or a name I must respond to when formally rewarded or punished). Of course, "Becky" soon followed, and my mother stuck with it because she thought, though perhaps slightly campy (come on, other Beckys, you know you've felt the burn), it... READ ON
It's now official: Ridley Scott is doing the Monopoly movie. I'm thinking lots of smoke/dry ice with prodigal/murderous sons. Ridley muses here:
Monopoly is still the most popular board game -- I might be misquoting! -- in the world. So it's really finding the universe for that game. Because clearly it ought to be humorous and for the family -- the funny way it brings out, particularly when your uncle suddenly gets Park Lane and -- in England, we have Park Lane, Mayfair and Barclay Square, what's it in... READ ON
Perhaps redaction is just in the air. At work today, a girl brought her pet capuchin to her audition, a charming three year-old named Chanel who promptly attacked the Wite-Out tape; when she left, the office looked like we'd just held a ticker tape parade. It won't be pretty to clean up, but I do appreciate the monkey's joie de vivre in disassembling our instruments of it-never-happened. And then, driving home, NPR was talking about yard sales, and seller's remorse, and of course it was impossible then not... READ ON
There's a new book out that may make you feel better about your fierce attachment to that Petoskey stone, cocktail napkin, or bottle cap stowed away somewhere. It's called "Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance," brought to you by Joshua Glenn and Carol Hayes. The team has a fan in the LA Times, who breaks it down thusly:
They asked artists, designers, writers and thinkers to contribute photos of their precious belongings and explain their significance. The result is a... READ ON
Do blue-eyed men truly prefer blue-eyed women? And do brown-eyed men really have no preference? As you might expect, this alleged inclination has to do with securing visible proof of paternity: it's rare for two blue-eyed parents to produce a child with a phenotype of brown eyes (though it can happen). A study published in Norway in 2006 says men with blue-eyes do indeed unconsciously seek out women whose irises are lacking melanin, and explains:
A group of 443 young adults of both sexes and different eye... READ ON
The death of notable filmmakers this week had me restocking my Netflix, which got me thinking about films I'd never seen, and films I wish I'd never seen. I felt guilty for months about the first R-rated film I ever saw--Firestarter, viewed after vowing silence at a friend's house, and the imagery wended its way into my dreams for weeks after. Watcher in the Woods and The Shining are perhaps what I'd term the "scariest" movies I've seen, but there are some movies just so skewed--either by abject gore or... READ ON
There really was a Dr. Scholl. Podiatrist William Mathias Scholl was born in Indiana.