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November 20,2012- Thanksgiving Vacation...
We know that, like us, many of you are looking forward to a Thanksgiving feast with turkey as the main course. We know turkeys are tasty, but we also want to remind folks that wild turkeys are also beautiful, sleek, and intelligent birds. We caught up with a flock of them at the Boston Nature Center.
Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the turkey the national bird instead of the bald eagle, whom he considered "a Bird of bad moral Character." Some people would rather make the Thanksgiving meal meatless, since the general agreement is that birds raised for this one particular meal have nothing, really, to the thankful for. And, it is generally understood that turkeys were not actually served at the first Thanksgiving, the one with the Pilgrims and the Indians. If you would like to modify your holiday meal to meatless status, here are three options, two of which are companies, one of iwhich is a terrific recipe:
Tofurkey - Don't bust it till you've tried it (and don't skimp on the orange juice for the basting
Field Roast - Robust and flavorful, made with stuff that you'd find in your side dishes
The RainyDayMagazine office will be closed for the rest of the month for Thanksgiving. We will be back in December with the first installment of the 2012 RainyDayMagazine Holiday Gift Guide. Look for the first of the 2012 series on December 3rd!!!
Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!!! [Permalink] - Happy Thanksgiving!
November 19,2012- 100 digits of Pi...
Using some of the techniques in The Memory Bible and Mind Hacks, we started on our goal to memorize the first 50 digits of Pi. We tried a few different techniques, but the one which worked the best for us was the "Memory Palace (MP)." In fact, the technique worked so well that we ended up memorizing the first 100 digits of Pi in no time.
The invention of this memory technique has been attributed to the Greeks and Romans and is pretty easy to learn. It is based on linking chunks of images together into a kind of nonsensical story. Like the name of the technique suggests, you... [more] -First 100 Digits
November 16,2012- Super memory...
The world record for memorizing the greatest number of digits of Pi belongs to Chao Lu of China, who memorized 67,890 digits. He set this record on November 20, 2005. He actually memorized about 100,000 digits, but made a mistake on digit #67891...bummer. While this feat is certainly extraordinary, the amazing fact is that this "extreme" memorization ability is within the capabilities of the average person! How? By using methods and techniques which have been known for centuries. The skill is so simple that even a two-year old can do it.
We have all heard that the reason why telephone numbers are seven digits is because that is what the average person can easily remember. However, that is true only for short-term memory. What most people can store in long-term memory is almost LIMITLESS. The trick to remembering a long sequence of numbers is to... [more] -Super Memory
November 15,2012- Spaced-repetition learning...
Every once in a while, we read something that sticks with us. In 2008, we came upon an article by Gary Wolf in Wired magazine which did exactly that. It was coincidental that the subject of the article was on remembering things. The piece, about a Polish scientist named Piotr Wozniak, piqued our curiosity because of our interest in "brain hacks."
The brain is obviously highly programmable. The "flaw" is it doesn't come with an instruction manual. We know it works, but most of us do not really how or why. Over the last few thousand years, those interested (monks, magicians, scientists, etc.) have gained some insight into... [more] -Spaced-Repetition Learning
November 14,2012- Speed Reading...
Is it really possible to read 3,000 to 5,000 words-a-minute? This question had been at the back of our minds for some time. Four years ago we came across a book by Stanley Frank called Remember Everything You Read: The Evelyn Wood 7-Day Speed Reading and Learning Program. We had heard of the Evelyn Wood program, but knew nothing of its techniques. Intrigued, we decided that the $3.00 investment for this used book seem like a small amount to risk to find out more.
We purchased the book, did a quick read, and then shelved it in the RainyDay library. Fortunately the book was recently rediscovered and this time we read it in its entirety. We not only read it from cover to cover, we also did the exercises and practiced the techniques as recommended.
Almost everyone reads by sounding out the words and going from left to right. This is referred to as "subvocal linear" reading. There is a physical limit to this reading technique and it tops out at... [more] -Speed Reading
November 13,2012- Sea Crest, Falmouth MA...
Lots of people know that the Cape is a great place to visit in the Summer...which is why we usually avoid it until the off-season. We like the off-season for a lot of reasons, the main one being the peace and quiet. However, getting the weather to cooperate can be tricky after Labor Day. We visited Falmouth over a year ago, but that was just a quick day trip. We had always planned to return for a longer stay and we did just that this past weekend.
The Nor'easter had passed earlier in the week and the weekend weather was in the low 60s. Unusual for November, but we were not complaining. Especially since we had reservations at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth for Veteran's Day weekend. The Sea Crest was only about an hour from... [more] -Sea Crest Beach Hotel, Falmouth MA
November 9,2012- A concert in the parlor...
Even though we live in a 24x7, connected-all-the-time, let-me-Google-that kind of world, there’s something to be said for the still-mysterious incident of the coming upon something unexpected; something you weren’t looking for, weren’t expecting, or even knew existed. Why that thing, why your life, why right then? But then the thing happens, and the mystery turns into happiness, because you no longer care about the why of it, you only care about the it of it.
And that’s what happened to me the other day, when (and I’m not sure this is how it happened) I saw a little thing in a little post on a little calendar online, about a concert at a historical house less than three miles from the house. On a Wednesday night. Two fellas from PEI (Prince Edward Island) (up in Canada), playing the fiddle and the guitar.
I can’t really put my finger on it, the thing that made me say, “Hey, let’s go to that,” but serendipity answers to no wo/man. It’s nice to know that sometimes “I dunno” is actually the truth and not some lame, lazy shrug meant to wiggle out of having to put the energy into explaining yourself.
Anyhoo, we went to hear/see/watch this fantastic, acoustic performance of Richard Wood (fiddler) and Gordon Belsher (guitar, etc.) and we didn’t even know we were going to! Talk about awesome happenstance.
Like a kitchen party back in PEI
That’s what Richard and Gordon said, not me. The Loring-Greenough House, in whose parlor we were listening to these two, fit about 20, although there were 30. There was so much excitement in this audience, that they were here and they were here, all in this parlor that originally belonged to (gasp!) a Tory family. It was just so exciting to be part of this excitement, and we weren’t even expecting it!
So this is what I know, now: where you play is not who you are. I was four rows from guys that played for both Queen Elizabeth AND Gene Simmons, and played with Shania Twain AND The Chieftains. And you know what? They were... [more] -notloB Parlour Concerts by Carolyn Donovan
November 8,2012- Firestone WinterForce...
The Nor'easter heading our way brought 40º temperatures with it. This meant more rain than snow. Still, we were glad we stopped by Town Fair Tires on Tuesday for four new snow tires.
Snow tires are not just for driving around in the snow. They are formulated to be flexible when the temperature dips below 45º. If we had left on the Hankook Ventus V12 summer tires, they would be as hard as rocks at those lower temperatures. The summer tires would soften up a little after a while, but handling, cornering, and stopping characteristics would be... [more] -Firestone WinterForce
November 7,2012- Yay!!! Four More Years...
The 2012 election concluded yesterday with a decisive Electoral College win (303 to 206) for President Obama. We went as early to our local voting place, but there was already quite the line at 7:30 AM. It was great to see the diversity of faces waiting to vote. Many even brought their kids!
We were enthusiastic supporters of President Obama in 2008 and we are still so after four years. Thus, we were heartened to see that there will be another four years of going forward nationally... [more] -Yay!!! Four More Years!
November 6,2012- Boxster Winter Prep...
The Winter prep for the Boxster is a ritual we have been performing for over ten years. Prep consists of: swapping the summer tires for winter one; checking the brake pads; and installing the hard top. We have been putting off the changeover because the Fall has been so warm. However, now that we are into November, and with a Nor'ester predicted for Wednesday, we knew it would not be wise to put things off any longer.
This year's prep was a little more involved as we had a few additional maintenances to complete before the car would be winter-ready: rotor replacement; changing air/cabin filters; purchasing new snow tires. Our go-to source for Boxster project parts is Pelican Parts. They usually have what we need in stock, have great prices, and ship quickly. As with all Boxster projects, our reference sources are... [more] -Boxster Winter Prep
November 5,2012- Edge 80 at World's End...
After our successful FirstUse outing with the Lensbaby Composer Pro and Edge 80 optic, we went looking for other locations to further "exercise" the lens. We packed up the Lensbaby gear and took a drive out to World's End in Hingham. As it was late October, foliage colors were on full display. The last time we were at World's End was the dead of Winter. We had a lovely visit then and thought we should definitely revisit it again during the Fall. Good thing we went when we did, because after the recent hurricane, there probably isn't much foliage left on the trees.
The ability to direct the viewer's eye by is, of course, the reason for using a Lensbaby. The bonus of shooting Fall foliage with this lens is that the Lensbaby's impressionistic effect works well with the colors. Landscape and scenic shots take on an entirely different quality through the Lensbaby. We especially liked... [more] -Lensbaby Edge 80 InTheWild at World's End
November 2,2012- More Cutting Boards...
Yesterday we posted a FirstLook of the John Boos Newton Prep Master III. In the article we mentioned the other cutting boards in the RainyDayKitchen. A few readers asked us what they were. We thought about it and agreed that it would be helpful to talk about what they are, why we have them, and how we have found them useful.
The samples in the photo are representative of the variety of boards we use daily. They range from boards on mobile carts (wooden, stainless steel), synthetic ones made from various non-porous material (stiff, flexible), to small slabs made from hardwoods and bamboo. The larger boards are better suited for tasks such as deboning a chicken, slicing and dicing up lots of vegetables, or... [more] -More Cutting Boards
November 1,2012- John Boos Cutting Board...
We have about a dozen cutting boards in the RainyDayKitchen. The boards come in handy because sometimes we need all hands on deck at prep time. We have a lot of types of boards: some are made of hard wood, others synthetic, and one was even custom-made to size. While we use them everyday, we have never reviewed one for the magazine. Judging by the requests for recommendations and product review suggestions, this oversight was not lost on our loyal readers. With Thanksgiving coming up, we thought now was an appropriate time to take a closer look at this essential piece of kitchen gear.
When looking over reader suggestions, the name John Boos & Company kept coming up. They are a maker of premium butcher block and stainless steel food service products. John Boos offers a variety of cutting boards for lots of different applications. We chose one which we thought would be... [more] -John Boos Cutting Board FirstLook