Tag Archives: blogs

My mundane Valentine

What do dirty dishes, Chris Rock and Valentine’s Day have in common?

It seems that the release this week of Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage & Dirty Dishes, is timed to answer the practical person’s—or couple’s—Valentine’s Day gift dilemma.

Does your mate have an allergy to chocolate or a drawer already bursting with red silk delicates? Have you spent so many Valentine’s Days together that there isn’t a creative gift idea left to be hatched? Do you wish Cupid would swoop down and deposit just one practical solution for life’s daily grit?

Then it could be that Spousonomics is the treament for your it’s-the-Friday-before-the-holiday-and-there’s-nothing-left-on-the-shelves-and-besides-I’m-not-in-the-mood-anyway blues. Co-written by journalists Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson and recommended by Freakonomics co-authors Stephen D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Spousonomics applies economic principles to addressing the mundane challenges of marriage. Division of labor, incentives, trade-offs, moral hazard and, ahem, supply and demand are a few examples of the analogies the authors apply to the common conflicts facing the common couple. Dirty dishes, shoveling snow, dealing with the kids, it’s all in there. Oh boy!

The authors have also set up a blog, which might suit you if you’d like your advice in bite-sized pieces. Be forewarned. It includes a disgusting clip of Chris Rock’s take on the differences between men and women, which the blog could have done without. As a woman of taste, I recommend not clicking.

I confess, I’ve only read a few excerpts. There might really be something substantive there. But trust me, if you decide to buy this for your Valentine, you might want to have a box of Godiva truffles handy as a back-up.

Maybe tomorrow, I’ll let you in on some more fanciful gift ideas.


Filed under Family and Friends, Hearth and Home, Holidays, Reading

Lest I stumble

My apologies for being late with the blog today. I got lost.

After hearing how much I’d been enjoying the Pandora app on my iPhone, my son suggested something else he thought I’d like: StumbleUpon.com.

For those who have not yet stumbled on it, this service takes subscribers to Web sites, blogs and videos based on what it knows about them. Like Pandora, what StumbleUpon knows about you is based on a little info you provide up front as well as the thumbs up or thumbs down rating you give each site. And, like Pandora, it’s free.

StumbleUpon is described as a discovery engine that uses collaborative filtering and smart recommendation technology. Okay, then.

When I signed up, I provided only some general information about my topics of interest but chose not to fill out a customized profile, detailing everything from my height (5’4”) and Myers Briggs personality type (ENFJ) to my astrological sign (Sagittarius) and political leaning (anarchist; just kidding but that was an option).

I decided I’d first put in only the general information and see where it took me.

The first place the service stumbled upon was a Flickr video of a kitten riding on a turtle.

After that, it directed me to:

  • A site called “belly bites” and specifically to a post on “29 healthiest foods on the planet” (Note to self: tell the system I don’t like titles appearing in lower case letters)
  • Naturopathyworks.com, and an article on food cravings, including a chart that tells you, “If you crave this…” then “What you really need is…” and “Healthy foods that have it”
  • A Flickr recipe for Warm Toasted Marshmallow S’more Bars
  • Another Flickr recipe for Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re green and look disgusting. Thumbs down.
  • An article in The Globe and Mail:  “Thinness—and female unhappiness—is big business”
  • A Wikipedia entry on the “Neuroscience of Free Will”
  • Quotes from Albert Einstein
  • 15 Palindromes
  • True Stories Told in One Sentence. Thumbs up; I shall return to this one.

Finally, while I discern what all these hits say about me, I will leave you with the last one. I had trouble figuring out where it came from. It simply told a story:

“Girls are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. The boys don’t want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples from the ground that aren’t as good, but easy. So the apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they’re amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along, the one who’s brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.”

If StumbleUpon makes me six hours late for posting my daily blog, some self discipline will be in order. Maybe Wikipedia has something on the Neuroscience of Will Power.

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Filed under All Things Wordish, Food, Health, Technology and Social Media