Archive for November, 2006

Five Forms of Light Pollution

November 29th, 2006

Having trouble sleeping at night? It could be the light from a streetlight (or a neighbor’s floodlights) streaming through your bedroom window and interrupting your circadian rhythms. Intrusive artificial light at night can take several forms, and each causes its own set of problems. Here are five examples, taken from Interesting Thing of the Day […]

Top 10 Countries with the Lowest and Highest Population Densities

November 27th, 2006

Lowest (People per square kilometer) Mongolia (2) Namibia (2) Australia (3) Botswana (3) Iceland (3) Surinam (3) Libya (3) Mauritania (3) Canada (3) Guyana (4) Highest (People per square kilometer) Monaco (16,205) Singapore (6,386) Malta (1,261) Maldives (1,164) Bahrain (1,035) Bangladesh (1,002) Vatican City (920) Barbados (648) Nauru (621) Mauritius (603) Source:

20 Non-Pie Pumpkin Desserts

November 22nd, 2006

Pumpkin pie is the traditional Thanksgiving dessert, but there are many other ways to incorporate pumpkin into a tasty dessert. If you are not a fan of pie, or if you just want to do something different this year, here are some other pumpkin recipes you might want to try. Baked Alaska Bread Pudding Brownies […]

14 Odd Deep-Fried Foods

November 20th, 2006

This Thanksgiving, I’m sure there will be a significant number of people who will deep fry their turkeys instead of roasting them, a process that in my opinion produces a tasty end result, but does require a lot of preparation. According to a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor, Martha Stewart started the whole […]

21 Geographically Confused Names for the Turkey

November 17th, 2006

I’ve always thought it was strange that the English word for the bird commonly eaten on Thanksgiving is “turkey,” since it did not originate from the Mediterranean country of the same name, but is native to North America. Upon further research, I’ve found that the early European settlers came up with the name because of […]

Eight Ways People Can Help the Chef on Thanksgiving

November 15th, 2006

As Thanksgiving draws ever closer, I’d like to offer another list excerpted from Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner. You know the old saying about too many cooks in the kitchen. As long as you have just one willing assistant and my book, you’ve got all the help you need to prepare a complete Thanksgiving meal, […]

Five Things You Can Ask Guests to Bring on Thanksgiving

November 13th, 2006

You’ve carefully planned a full Thanksgiving menu, bought your ingredients, and arranged a lovely feast—and then, inevitably, someone asks, “What can I bring?” You have everything under control, but you also don’t want to turn away help or hurt anyone’s feelings. What do you say? Here are a few suggestions, excerpted from my book Take […]

U.S. Towns Named after Planets

November 10th, 2006

During the recent U.S. mid-term election, the town of Jupiter, Florida was mentioned in the news because it experienced some problems with its voting process. Hearing the town’s name made me wonder if there were other towns similarly named after planets. I found out that there are many, and I’ve listed the states that have […]

41 Bookstores in Hay-on-Wye, Wales

November 6th, 2006

The Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye (or Y Gelli in Welsh) was the starting point for the international “book towns” movement, now made up of about 20 towns around the world. Boasting 41 bookstores for only 1500 inhabitants (that’s about one bookstore for every 37 residents), Hay-on-Wye also plays host to the annual Hay Festival, a […]

17 Ways to Organize Your CD Collection

November 3rd, 2006

Of course most of us store our music digitally on a computer or iPod these days, but some people still think having physical CDs (or even—gasp—vinyl) is a pretty neat idea. If I learned anything from reading/watching High Fidelity (book | DVD), it’s that there’s more than one way to organize one’s albums, and an […]

23 Food-Related “World’s Largest” Structures

November 1st, 2006

When I was a kid, I remember passing through the town of Vegreville, Alberta on a family trip and seeing the giant “Pysanka” that is the town’s claim to fame. I found this enormous replica of the highly decorated eggs that are a Ukrainian Easter tradition impressive not only for its size, but also for […]