Archive for October, 2006

57 Things You Can Get by Monthly Subscription

October 30th, 2006

You’ve heard of the Book-of-the-Month Club, no doubt, a handy way for bibliophiles to feed their obsession without leaving the house. I’ve personally been a member of a fruit-of-the-month club and a chocolate-of-the-month club too. But the range of items you can receive by mail, once a month by subscription, is truly staggering. This list […]

12 Things Thomas Jefferson Invented

October 27th, 2006

When he wasn’t busy drafting the Declaration of Independence, founding the University of Virginia, or serving as President, Thomas Jefferson liked to invent things (and, frequently, improve upon other people’s inventions). He never took out a patent, owing to his belief that every invention should benefit all of society. Just a few of his numerous […]

13 Online Sources for Fair Trade Products

October 24th, 2006

October is Fair Trade Month, a time to raise awareness about the benefits of buying Fair Trade products such as coffee, tea, and chocolate, among others. The Fair Trade movement is based on the principle that farmers and small producers around the world should receive equitable pay for their work. As part of this effort, […]

16 Anise-Flavored Liquors

October 20th, 2006

Anise is a common flavoring for everything from soup to cookies, and is popular in many parts of the world. One of the most prominent uses of anise is its inclusion in various liqueurs (sweetened spirits distilled with natural ingredients such as fruits and herbs) and unsweetened liquors such as absinthe, arak, and raki. Although […]

Four Web Sites For People Who Dislike Salsa Ingredients

October 19th, 2006

Although I haven’t been able to find a Web site for people who dislike hot peppers, I think it’s pretty interesting that there are groups of people organized around their dislike of the other main ingredients of salsa. If you are among their number, here are the Web sites for you. Tomatoes: Cilantro: […]

11 Unique Pumpkin Carving Ideas

October 16th, 2006

Halloween is just around the corner, and for those of you already making plans to carve a jack-o-lantern, I’ve got some suggestions for you. Sure, you could make a traditionally spooky pumpkin, or you could create a pumpkin that expresses your political views, your love of George Lucas films, or your weakness for southern-born country […]

The Castles of King Ludwig II

October 13th, 2006

King Ludwig II, ruler of Bavaria from 1864 until 1886, is one of Germany’s more colorful characters. His reign coincided with huge political changes in Germany, including the push for unification of the German territories led by Prussia. However, Ludwig preferred designing and building elaborate castles to political maneuvering, and had a special fondness for […]

29 Phobias Associated with the 10 Highest Grossing Films of October 6–October 8, 2006

October 11th, 2006

As moviemaking technology gets more and more sophisticated, filmmakers are better able to create works that can scare viewers out of their seats. I provide the following list as a warning to those of you who may have specific fears likely to be triggered by these current blockbusters. I recommend that you find an alternate […]

Six rarely blooming plants

October 9th, 2006

As I mention in my article on this topic at Interesting Thing of the Day, there are some plants that bloom so rarely that the appearance of their flowers is heralded as a major event. One such plant, the Titan Arum lily, draws huge crowds to botanical gardens whenever one is about ready to bloom; […]

23 Interesting Towers to Visit

October 6th, 2006

Humans have been fascinated with creating tall structures for most of their history; from the Tower of Babel to the Pyramids of Egypt, these grand scale building projects are symbols of power and achievement. It is no different today, as builders around the world vie to construct the tallest structures possible. But towers are not […]

12 lessons I learned by responding to spam

October 4th, 2006

Like most people, I always assume people are telling the truth and have my best interests at heart. So naturally, I have been delighted at the large number of highly enticing offers that appear in my inbox every day. People sometimes call these spam, which must mean they enjoy them as much as that delicious, […]

13 ways to find north if you’re lost in the woods

October 2nd, 2006

To the best of my recollection, I’ve never been lost in the woods (or elsewhere away from civilization)—or at least not sufficiently lost that I didn’t have a general sense of which direction I needed to go. But if I were, I’d have many options for getting my bearings. I recall learning, as a kid, […]