The Curious Autodidact

April 28, 2009

A Radio Segment Worth a Listen

Filed under: media related,social justice — Honilima @ 9:16 am
Surrender of Japanese Forces in S. Korea

Surrender of Japanese Forces in S. Korea

I know that National Public Radio has a podcast called “Driveway Moments” but I don’t think this story produced locally in Seattle will make it into that feed.

I sat in the garage unable to get out of the car when I got caught in the middle of this story when I got home. I was almost moved to tears and reminded me of the vast powers of audio production and the power of forgiveness. I would highly recommend you listen to it too. Bravo Dave Beck!

From KUOW in Seattle Morey Skaret’s story.


April 22, 2009

How to Spot ATM Scam

Filed under: helpful hints,money saving ideas — Honilima @ 9:45 pm

This short PDF presentation will keep you aware of what to look for when doing mechanized banking. We must all keep on out toes to avoid fraud in our fast paced electronic world.

April 18, 2009

Jurist Elaine Showalter

Filed under: book related — Honilima @ 7:27 am


While listening to a podcast of KQED’s Forum came Elaine Showalter talking about her newest book A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx. It is an interesting podcast worth listening to. She was also interviewed by Bob Edwards on his March 22nd “Weekend” show. A former professor from Princeton she has chaired the Man Booker International prize jury and judged the National Book Awards and the Orange Prize.

Here’s a link several articles about her book from The New York TimesSalon, the Los Angeles Times book review, The Nation, Washington Post. I have not read it yet but I think she has some worthwhile things to say about the history of American Women’s literature.

Here’s a glimpse at the book’s table of content.

April 14, 2009

How you Eat and What you Eat

Filed under: helpful hints,kitchen tips — Honilima @ 11:35 pm

This article about eating, from the Wall Street Journal, mirrors a conversation I had with a good friend just last week. Those who have been trying to watch their waist lines will find it of interest particularly those who have bought into the smaller meals and more protein theory.

April 12, 2009

Goggle— Behind the Curtain

Filed under: cool internet stuff,media related — Honilima @ 8:27 am

Google server design

This is an amazing article about Google’s servers from CNET that takes you behind the scenes to explore their infrastructure.

“Most people buy computers one at a time, but Google thinks on a very different scale. Jimmy Clidaras revealed that the core of the company’s data centers are composed of standard 1AAA shipping containers packed with 1,160 servers each, with many containers in each data center.”

April 6, 2009

Take a Moment to Stop the Phone Book Insanity

Filed under: environmental ideas,helpful hints — Honilima @ 9:11 pm
Hiker on a Hoh Rain Forest Trail in Washington State

Hiker on the Hoh Rain Forest Trail in Washington State

If, like me, you detest getting extra phone books delivered to the house, only to go into the recycle bin, without fanfare, here’s a great tip I wanted to share —here’s hoping fewer trees will fall as a result. Pass it on, your friends will be pleased you uncovered this little secret.

Stop getting unwanted phone directories delivered to your door:

Dex: Choose “Select Your Dex” at the bottom of the page. Enter your ZIP code, then click through screens until you see “Personalize Your Directory Order.” Under “Available directories in your area,” choose 0 from the pull-down menus. Or call 1(800) 422-8793 and press 2 to speak with a person.

* • Yellow Book: Call 1(800) 929-3556 and press 3 to speak with a person.

* • Idearc (formerly Verizon): Call 1(800) 888-8448 and remain on the line to speak to a person.

April 5, 2009

The Hierarchy of Healthy Food Choices: A Locavore View

Filed under: environmental ideas,helpful hints,kitchen tips — Honilima @ 8:35 pm

A locavore is someone who eats food grown or produced locally or within a certain radius such as 50, 100, or 150 miles. The locavore movement encourages consumers to buy from farmers’ markets or even to produce their own food, with the argument that fresh, local products are more nutritious and taste better. Locally grown food is an environmentally friendly means of obtaining food, since supermarkets that import their food use more fossil fuels and non-renewable resources.

The healthiest diets come from eating a variety of fresh foods, and living in a colder climate means less available options during certain times of the year. Although hydroponics make it possible to produce some vegetables (and perhaps some fruits) year-round, even that has its limitations. Considering both human and environmental health, here is a guideline to sourcing food (listed from most optimal to least favorable) if you are unable to get it locally:

• If you can’t get it locally, make sure it’s organic. Skipping the hormones and pesticides is best for you and the environment.

• If you can’t get it organically, try to get your food from a small family farm or farmers’ co-op. When it comes to policymaking and generating pollution, large-scale agribusiness easily out-competes the small-scale family farm. By supporting family owned farms and farmers’ co-ops, you help give farmers a voice in production and processing decisions, and prevent them from being left in the hands of profit-seeking special interest groups.

• If you can’t get your food directly from a family farm or farmers’ co-op, then get it from a local business. Let’s face it certain food items like coffee can’t be grown locally in most parts of the world. Keep your dollars local by focusing on supporting local roasters or coffee shops. Local business owners have a stake in your community and are vital to the health of your local economy. Local restaurant owners are also more likely to source some of their food stocks from local or regional producers.

• If you can’t support a local business, then support Terroir. French for ‘soil’, terroir is a term most often used by wine producers when referring to the specific type of regional geographic influences (soil composition, climate, etc.) that go into producing a wine’s unique finished flavor. In other words, support the specific region or farming practices that specialize in producing your favorite non-local foods (e.g. brie cheese from Brie, France, or coffee that is fair trade and shade-grown).
This list was adapted from

A Vegetarian for Just One Day?

Filed under: environmental ideas,helpful hints,kitchen tips — Honilima @ 12:28 am
Children at International Fountain at the Seattle Center

Children in the International Fountain at the Seattle Center

From the Huffington Post shocking data about the results of our carnivorous culture in the USA.

If you aren’t sure how to begin you can read this article for a sensible starting point.

April 2, 2009

Phrases from the Sea

Filed under: origin of phrases — Honilima @ 7:46 am


Meaning: One’s general appearance and demeanor.


cut of your jibThe jib of a sailing ship is a triangular sail set between the foretopmast head and the jib boom. Some ships had more than one jib sail. Each country had its own style of sail and so the nationality of a sailing ship, and a sailor’s consequent opinion of it, could be determined from the jib.

The phrase became used in an idiomatic way during the 19th century. Sir Walter Scott used to it in St. Ronan’s Well, 1824:

“If she disliked what the sailor calls the cut of their jib.”

There may be an allusion between the triangular shape of noses and jibs in the figurative use of this phrase, but this isn’t authenticated.


April 1, 2009

Artistic Portrait of Consuming American Style

Filed under: cool internet stuff,environmental ideas — Honilima @ 9:06 pm

Packing Peanuts, 2009

Depicts 166,000 packing peanuts, equal to the number of overnight packages shipped by air in the U.S. every hour.

From Seattle artist Chris Jordan’s website:

Running the Numbers
An American Self-Portrait

Running the Numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. every month.

This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. Employing themes such as the near versus the far, and the one versus the many, I hope to raise some questions about the roles and responsibilities we each play as individuals in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.

~chris jordan, Seattle, 2008

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