Sunday, December 23, 2007

Have you played FreeRice?

I was interested to hear about FreeRice on NPR (why on earth did I never listen to NPR before moving to Boston? Of course, I didn't own a car previously so listened to the radio much less often). For each word you guess right, they will donate 20 grains of rice through the UN to alleviate world hunger. Today I wasn't sure about "helicoid" but it sounded like helicopter, so I went with "spiral" and was equally dubious about "larboard" but it was "glacis" that broke my streak. . .

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Have you been wondering about Figgy Pudding?

My dear friend Marlene and her family invited me to accompany them to Boston's Christmas Revels on Sunday, which I enjoyed very much (as did the Boston Globe).

I noticed Marlene and I were both amused by the lyrics of We Wish You a Merry Christmas which went:

Now bring us some figgy pudding,
Now bring us some figgy pudding.
Now bring us some figgy pudding
And bring it right here!

We won't go until we get some,
We won't go until we get some,
We won't go until we get some,
So bring it right here!

Today, NPR officially answered all our questions by asking baking expert and cookbook author Dorie Greenspan and All Things Considered host Michele Norris to prepare figgy pudding, and this article even includes a recipe (it looks good and they swear it doesn't taste like fruitcake but maybe it is better to sing about than to eat).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Save Molly Pitcher!

There is a proposal to sell the naming rights to the rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike, although anyone who has ever traveled through the Garden State knows these rest areas are already named after New Jersey luminaries (this is not an oxymoron) like Vince Lombardi, Joyce Kilmer, Clara Barton, and Molly Pitcher. The last two, at least, were featured in the beloved series Childhoods of Famous Americans, which I eagerly ploughed through in my elementary school library. Author Megan Marshall recently told me her favorite, like mine, was the one on Amelia Earhart (it has been updated since our day). You can protest this shocking situation to NJ State Senator Raymond Lesniak through his website.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

Hail to the real victors!

The buzz since Saturday has been all about Harvard's amazing victory over Big Ten opponent Michigan in basketball but the inimitable Paul McNeeley just sent an email with this amusing thought:

Why Harvard should get a shot at this year's college football national championship title . . .

Ohio State lost to Illinois
Who lost to Michigan
Who lost to Appalachian State
Who lost to Wofford
Who lost to Elon
Who lost to Furman
Who lost to Hofstra
Who lost to Northeastern
Who lost to URI
Who lost to Fordham
Who lost to Bucknell
Who lost to Cornell
Who Harvard beat handily 32-15

Simple transitive property!

(but shouldn't it be which instead of who?)

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Bill Clinton's new book is about giving and how individuals can change the world, and in that spirit Random House is sponsoring a sweepstakes for a book group to win 10 autographed copies of his new book:

Rules for Bill Clinton's Giving Sweepstakes
2. This sweepstakes runs from November 29, 2007 through February 1, 2008. To be eligible to win, you must provide your name, email address, complete mailing address and age in your email entry to Entries must be received by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on February 1, 2008. Limited to one entry per person per email account.
3. One (1) entrant chosen at random from all eligible entries will receive a prize consisting of 10 signed hardcover copies of Bill Clinton's Giving (approximate retail value: $249.50 US). Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

Ugh, I was just reminded of the Giving Tree, a book I dislike. Perhaps that is why I never became a fan of Shel Silverstein's other books.