drowning, sleeping, hot Dr. Pepper, and other items of interest

I’m sleepy and headachey today, so rather than do a final Friday post, I’m going to do something different. Here are a bunch of links to articles that I like, from my folder of bookmarks, none of them related whatsoever to the stuff that we normally talk about here.

In return, I’d love it you shared your own links to stuff you like (not workplace-related!) in the comments. Add in why you like it, and that’s even better.

(This was inspired by a commenter who earlier shared a link to this post at the Happiness Project, which I really liked, and it made me want to know what else you could be sharing here.)

drowning doesn’t look like drowning
Read this. It’s the first thing I read this morning and it made a huge impression on me.

how to cuddle with an elephant seal
This makes me jealous.

how poetry became an essential part of American weddings, and why it’s hard to choose a poem of one’s own
I don’t know why this is so interesting, but it is.

fold the perfect fitted sheet
This is not an intuitive skill.

soldier being greeted by his dogs upon returning home
I dare you to watch this and not cry.

Alice, off the page
Speaking of crying, a love letter by the great Calvin Trillin to his recently deceased wife.

People drink hot Dr. Pepper? What the hell?

11 simple rules on what to do when a parent dies
I wish I’d had this when my dad died. Especially the part about smells.

advice to the young on their wedding day
As someone on the verge of matrimony, I’m devouring this stuff. Feel free to send more.

the myth of the 8-hour sleep
Rather than sleeping through the night, humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks. In the middle of the night between the two chunks, “people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed.” Fascinating.

{ 176 comments… read them below }

    1. Jessa*

      Hax is awesome.

      Alison I hope you feel better. I love the stuff you find interesting. Very cool pages.

  1. Mela*

    http://geoguessr.com — this is a game, but I’m in love. Basically, you get a picture from Google Streetview. You have to figure out where in the world you are by using the clues you can get from street signs or car makes and models. Of course, you could always google and get the exact answer, but I think it’s more fun when you don’t. It’s also huge fun at parties.

    1. Anonymous*

      That is THE most fun game on the Internet! I wasted soooo many hours playing it.

        1. Jessa*

          Thank you so very much for setting me up with a new thing I have to waste hours on. :-) I mean that in the nicest way.

    2. Anonymous*

      I love this game. I have fun when really far-flung places look similar to places I know well.

  2. jme*

    My mom used to drink hot Dr. Pepper with an orange slice in the winter. It’s tasty.

    1. RLS*

      Mmm, that could be quite yummy. I’ve heard about hot Dr. Pepper before…I just didn’t think anyone did it anymore.

    2. Ann O'Nemity*

      My grandma used to serve hot Dr. Pepper to the kids when the adults were having hot toddies.

      1. Kate*

        I used to drink hot Dr. Pepper if I had a sore throat and we were out of Jell-O (which I also used to drink hot, b/c the gelatin coats your throat). … you can really tell I grew up in the South, eh?

    3. BookWorm*

      My son likes to drink it at room temperature. Until today, I’ve not heard of anyone drinking it hot.

      1. Editor*

        There used to be a place in southern Ohio that served marshmallow floats made of cold Dr. Pepper or colas with marshmallow syrup floated on top. More sugar than you’d need in a month, but very popular locally.

  3. Kimberlee, Esq.*

    I love this blog, which is written by an MBA candidate in Montana who happens to be a competitive bodybuilder. She used to be Sauce, the Hooters Girl, but then corporate Hooters decided to make her shut down her blog, and now she works somewhere much cooler anyways. : )

    I love “behind the scenes” stuff like this!


  4. Zahra*

    On the fitted sheet thing… if you want to find your sheet set at once when you look for it in the closet, use a pillowcase as a “bag”. Put all the other parts of the sheet set in the pillowcase, fold the excess under the new “package” and store away. When you need your sheet set, grab the pillowcase and you’ve got everything all at once!

      1. PJ*

        Been doing this for years. WAY easier than folding sheets. I also color code the sheets — white for master bedroom, colored for guest room. I never grab the wrong size of sheets anymore.

            1. Kelly O*

              This is exactly how I do it. So much easier.

              Although I will add I kind of want to get our pillowcases monogrammed so I always know which ones are the master. But I am a monogramming freak, so please proceed with caution.

          1. PJ*

            I sorta semi-fold ’em, then just stuff ’em in. Doesn’t seem to matter. Very easy.

    1. PuppyKat*

      What a great idea! (And I vote for not folding them—just scrunching them in there and then going out on the patio to read my book.)

  5. RLS*

    RE: Drowning.

    (super TL;DR, but please read the last bit, at least! Especially for parents!)

    I like almost all of the lifeguard agencies in the US, but Ellis & Associates always takes the cake for summarizing and describing the drowning process, in 5 stages (Surprise, Involuntary Breath Holding, Unconsciousness, Hypoxic Convulsions, and Clinical Death). The writer of the article definitely described classic drowning. You cannot speak when it happens, except maybe make gasping sounds. That being said, had she actually made it to stage 3 (Unconsciousness), there would still be a very good chance of survival, as long as oxygen was restored within a couple of minutes. Most lifeguards have 20 seconds or less to reach their distressed swimmer (this varies for open water) for this very reason.

    Also, most drownings do not happen in the water itself. “Dry drowning” happens most often. The lifeguards recognized, responded, and removed the swimmer from the water, but were unable to restore adequate oxygen and circulation because they could not remove all the fluid from the swimmer, or they may end up drowning in their own bodily fluids rather than the water itself.

    Fun fact: you can’t choke on water. When you drink something and it “goes down the wrong tube,” you’re actually in stage 2 of drowning!

    Also, statistics have shown that while the physical number of drownings are stable, the number of overall swimmers is increasing, so the frequency of drowning and near-drownings is decreasing! Moreover, there is a shift from drownings occurring in public, guarded areas to private, non-guarded areas, like in-ground home pools. This suggests that lifeguards do more than stand around and get tan :)

    Also, for the love of your children, I have a PSA!

    1. Water wings are not safe! Many smart facilities do not allow them to be used in lieu of lifejackets. Here’s why: in the early stages of drowning, there is a lot of involuntary movement. This includes thrashing around. Another way to easily discern the difference between those first two stages is the position of the body: the more vertical they are, the more advanced their drowning is. Water wings force the child’s arms into a vertical position, above their heads. Their head will remain underwater and they will be vertical, making it all the easier for them to submerge, and is exactly how lifeguards are taught to surface dive for objects.

    Alternative: any flotation device that brings the chest up to the surface. They look odd, with nothing in the back, but that way the child would be forced to lay on their back should she lose consciousness. This keeps the airway open and buys time until the lifeguards can administer care and oxygen. Or, teach your child the elementary backstroke or to float on her back the second she realizes she’s in too deep or too tired, before she actually reaches distress in the water.

    2. Shallow Water Blackout. Don’t let your child swim underwater for the length of the pool, or have breath-holding contests, or play “shark” or “dolphin” or anything where she would be underwater for more than a few seconds. Even if she’s a competitive swimmer. CO2 levels increase, O2 decreases, and what happens is a slightly euphoric state and the swimmer passes out underwater. She’ll never know or panic or struggle. She’ll just stop moving. And that is really hard to spot. If your child (or anyone you’re with) hyperventilates in the water, get her out for a few minutes and breathe normally before letting her in the water. This is how children drown.

    Sorry about the super TL;DR!! I work in aquatics. I’m an instructor, and it terrifies me sometimes, that parents think swimming is a completely fail-safe activity because lifeguards are around. There’s only so much we can do. Please be careful.

    1. the gold digger*

      I hate floaties! I used to teach swimming and I tried to convince the parents not to let their kids use floaties. They give kids (and parents) a false sense of security, but a kid can slide out of those things in a second.

      And amen on swimming not being failsafe just because there are guards. I used to pray before my shift every day that nobody would drown. There were so many kids in the pool and you can’t see them all and you can’t watch them all and it only takes a second for a kid to go under and become invisible. Parents, you can’t just drop your kids off at the pool and go on your way. I am usually against helicopter parenting, but this is a case where it is important: you need to watch your kids at the pool. Don’t trust that the lifeguard can keep up with 3 dozen laughing, splashing kids.

      1. RLS*

        Agreed! I have seen red marks on some childrens’ arms because the parents would squeeze them on so tightly, so they wouldn’t slip off. That doesn’t signal to you that it might not be the best idea?!

        And absolutely about the drowning. It takes just one second, one time. That’s it. It doesn’t matter how busy or slow the pool is; the only difference is that you can see fewer patrons more clearly.

        Fortunately, my facility not only has a lifejacket policy (anyone under 48″ must wear one except in childrens’ splash areas, regardless of swimming ability) but we have an accompaniment policy–anyone under 12 must have an adult with them in the water. Period. We don’t know what your child knows about water safety, and can’t keep track of everyone on a case-by-case basis: watch your kids!

        1. Natalie*

          It really can happen fast, and for no obvious reason. Many years ago my friend and I were swimming in a pool and something happened and she was suddenly in distress. I think she stepped off of the stairs without realizing it. Both I and my stepdad luckily were within a foot or so of her, so it was apparent from her eyes that something bad was happening and my stepdad picked her up out of the pool quickly. But if we hadn’t been able to see her face it wouldn’t have been clear at all.

        2. Amy*

          As an oceanfront lifeguard, I was appalled by how many times parents would come up to me, point to a kid (or two) in the water and say “oh can you watch my kids for a couple minutes while I run to the snack shack/bathroom/car?”

          Its as if parents think that lifeguards are there so that they don’t have to watch the kids themselves! Meanwhile, we’re working 7 hour shifts without any allowed breaks, trying to pay attention to every person in the water.

          The no-breaks thing is an issue in and of itself. As a lifeguard, taking breaks increases safety because it helps us stay alert. The police once called in to complain that we were eating lunch. In the lifeguard stand (direct sunlight). While facing the water. Guess they felt that we should go the full 7 hour shift without lunch *or* breaks, because that’s a smart idea. No overtime, either, for us ‘seasonal employees’. Can you tell I’m bitter?

          1. Natalie*

            That’s exactly who I want rescuing me – some starving, light headed teenager who needs to pee.

            1. The gold digger*

              Don’t forget the part about “who has to clean the bathrooms” and “who has to clean the bathrooms even when the boys defecate on the floor and the city won’t let the guards keep the bathrooms locked and give the key to whomever needs to use them.”

              We did get breaks, though. Everyone out of the pool for 15 minutes every hour so the guards could have a break. Hated it as a swimmer, loved it as a guard.

          2. Lindsay J*

            Ugh. I was upset enough about hearing my friend say she worked 11 hours at a daycare without a break. I couldn’t help but think that I wouldn’t want to have my children in the care of somebody who was probably physically and mentally fatigued and hungry when emergencies can happen so quickly with a child.

            I just found something worse – I definitely don’t want lifeguards to be working straight through their shift without breaks. I would think Ellis & Associates or the other certifying agencies would make it part of their best practices or similar that lifeguards have to have a small break every few couple hours just to enable them to keep their focus sharp.

            1. RLS*

              A couple of days late, but:

              E&A does implement a few practices in their contracts. We have to make the best effort to rotate the guards every 30 minutes, and, depending on the type of facility or position of the guard, they have to exercise the five-minute strategy (aka no sitting for more than five minutes at a time). Unfortunately they are not governing bodies. State employment laws determine things like breaks from the water…yet the same state laws require that most aquatic facilities have a third-party licensing contract with a recognized agency (in the US, that largely falls under about six agencies), just to certify and audit the guards…they have no legal input on the actual employment part, which sucks a LOT.

    1. Anonymous*

      Re: H&1/2

      Allie’s last post was SO touching/personal/relatable/surprisingly funny and I think important reading for anyone who has ever suffered from depression or knows someone who has. It made me cry and laugh! I’m really glad she found her corn and is doing okay.

    2. GeekChic*

      Yay! I love Hyperbole and a Half. And not just because her cake post reminded me of me at that age.

    3. Lindsay J*

      Yay! I was honestly worried about her before this most recent post, since she’s posted about her depression before and there was no online response from her and no news on the book for a long time.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I used to make vegan mac and cheese using the recipe from the New Farm Cookbook but doubling the amount of nutritional yeast and adding brown mustard. Amazingly delicious.

      1. A Bug!*

        That reminds me, for those who are not vegan, Red Dragon cheese makes awesome mac ‘n’ cheese. And grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s a cheddar but it’s made with mustard seeds and ale. I’ve seen it at cheese shops but also at Costco.

      2. Anonymous*

        I will have to find this receipe! I went vegan a few months ago, but still have the worst cheese cravings and hate the fake cheese!

        1. Heather*

          As a vegan of 16 years, do not go anywhere near vegan cheese for a year. You may be able to deal with it after that, but don’t try it before that. One except: Dr. Cow cheeses. They are sooooo good, even my vegetarian and omnivorous friends like it (it’s a cracker cheese though, not a melty one). Also don’t expect anything to taste the same, but it might taste good. Also you may want to try eating things that are yummy, savory, and full of oil like Ethiopian food.

          1. Anonymous*

            I’ve tried Daiya a few times when I was just starting out. Won’t make that mistake twice. Yuck!

            1. Jen M.*

              Oh, wow. We LOVE Daiya. Use it all the time.

              I MUST try that vegan mac n cheese recipe Alison posted!

    2. Al Lo*

      I tried these chickpea peanut butter chocolate chip cookies the other day, and they were so tasty.

      I’ll take my desserts with extra fibre and protein, thank you very much! (I’m not gluten-free or vegan, but these are [if you replace the honey with agave syrup].) I also found a similar recipe for bars that replace the honey with bananas to make them more diabetic-friendly. My mother-in-law is diabetic, so I’m planning to make them for our belated Mother’s Day dinner on Monday.

    1. Natalie*

      I love the Mad Men fashion posts on Tom & Lorenzo. I always feel like I’m learning something.

  6. Athlum*

    On my mind lately…

    Soy sauce eggs: so delicious, so easy!

    SCOTUS oral arguments (and transcripts). A fascinating way to lose an hour or three.

    What it says on the tin. :D

    “Overly honest” [research] methods, the darker and yet painfully funnier side of science…

    A really great wrap-up of the Amy’s Baking Company fiasco. Probably best to avoid if (figurative) trainwrecks make you uncomfortable, though.

    1. Christine*

      Has anyone seen the Kitchen Nightmares episode with Amy’s Baking Company? I almost wonder if it was scripted, but based on what I’ve read, that was all real. That woman is totally cuckoobirds!

      1. Athlum*

        I just saw the Kitchen Nightmares episode last night, which is what prompted me to look up the whole sordid backstory. There’s some question about whether what’s happening on Facebook, Twitter, etc. is legit or a hack, but the on-camera behavior is definitely all them and all real. Somewhere between “delusional” and “downright terrifying!”

        1. Anonymous*

          IMO there’s no question what’s happening on their Twitter is legit. Claiming to have been “hacked” is a really common excuse when people regret what they posted but won’t just say so.

    2. jubileejones*

      OMG. I just lost an hour going through the whole Amy’s Baking Co. mess including the Kitchen Nightmares episode on Youtube. WOW…just Wow!

  7. Acidartha*

    The link below is a great place to get ideas on body type appropriate fashion; make up tips; DIY projects and other knick knacks – I spend way too much time on it, if only to figure out where my next paycheque is going…HAHA

    1. fposte*

      Oh, I was going to post this after the wonderful recommendation of Thatz Not Okay (which I didn’t know about)! They’re a combination of marvelous empathy and writerly beatdowns. Sort of Tomato Nation meets Dear Sugar.

  8. Angela*

    I frequent the following site:

    It has note-worthy short ‘indie’ films, like student film projects and such from around the internet. There’s an interesting variety and they’re all ~10 minutes long. Nice way to waste some time!

    1. Al Lo*

      Have you seen the shark cat on a Roomba chasing a duck?

      (My cat just ignores the Roomba. No cute footage there…)

      1. LPBB*

        That video cracks me up! The cat just sits on the Roomba when it crashes into the wall like nothing weird is going on. Not to mention that shark costume and the way the duckling is completely oblivious to the cat and the Roomba. I’ve watched it several times and still giggle.

      2. RLS*

        I squee’d when the shark-kitty-ducky Roomba video! Sometimes I love the internet :)

  9. A Bug!*

    I’ve sunk way more time than is reasonable into this indie game that’s available as a free download while it’s in beta. It’s been greenlit for Steam so it should be coming around there at some point, but in the meantime it’s a tiny download that doesn’t require an installer.


    It’s called “Papers, Please”, and you take the role of an immigrations agent at a border crossing into your grim, Soviet-esque country. You’re basically a paper-pusher and you really have to try it to understand how it works. It’s also kind of retro-graphics which suits the theme really well.

    1. Emma*

      Seems like a rip-off, to me, of Robert Llewellyn’s Carpool (tv show in 2010, then web series). He interviews comedians, actors and other public figures, like the epidemiologist Ben Goldacre, physicist Brian Cox and British national treasure, Stephen Fry.

  10. LPBB*


    I have been playing around with this website to finally(!!) learn Portuguese and refresh my German. You can also learn French, Spanish, and Italian and they are also working on Mandarin Chinese.

    So far, since I’m only in the early stages, the lessons are fairly short — I’ve been doing one or two in the morning before work. It’s fun and the relative shortness of the lessons means I can do this everyday and not have to set aside huge chunks of each day.

    One caveat, they use some kind automated voice to teach pronunciation and the Portuguese voice is *terrible,* like a really bad automated phone menu. The German voice isn’t too bad and according to commenters neither are the other voices. But that is something to keep in mind.

    1. Your Mileage May Vary*

      I love Duolingo! They have an iPhone app too that syncs with your progress on the website. I’m brushing up on my Spanish.

  11. Blinx*

    I’m fascinated by photos of people taken after a long period of time has elapsed. This photographer used old childhood photos and had the subjects pose in almost the same clothing and setting, replicating the “old photo” look. (My brother’s and I did something like this and had a blast!)

    This site does the same thing, using user-submitted photos:

    Similarly, here’s a group of friends that replicated the same pose every 5 years for 30 years:

    And a group of sisters who took group shots every year for 36 years (but never smiled):

    AAM: Great thread! Definitely bookmarking this one!!

  12. Eva*

    Startup founder and investor Paul Graham’s articles about startups and lots of other (usually geeky) things are absolutely fascinating:

    Here is one of his biggest hits: “Why Nerds are Unpopular.”

    And here is one where AAM’s commenters get to pat themselves on the back: “How to Disagree.”

    Anyone who has enjoyed Ayn Rand’s novels (as I have) might also appreciate this critical perspective by her associate Nathaniel Branden:

    Does everyone already know the awesome webcomic The Oatmeal? If not, here is a link to one of his many super-viral comics: “What It Means When You Say ‘Literally’:

  13. Liz in a Library*

    Oh man… I can’t look at this thread for a few hours or there will be no chance of productivity!

    Is this an appropriate place to ask what everyone’s fav podcasts are? Funny, or fascinating, or informative, whatever. You guys have introduced me to some fantastic things in the past and I was planning to ask on the next open thread.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Feel free to use this as an open thread on non-workplace things, which is a nice change!

      This American Life
      The Splendid Table
      Fresh Air (although if Terry Gross doesn’t stop interrupting her guests, I am going to pull out my hair)

      1. Chinook*

        Since Alison says we can use this as an open thread, here is the promised arguement on the importance of using pandas (courtesy of Lynne Truss – http://www.lynnetruss.com/pages/content/index.asp?PageID=8):

        Without commas: A panda walks into a bar eats shoots and leaves.
        With poorly places commas: A panda walks into a bar, eats, shoots, and leaves.
        With correctly uses commas: A panda walks into a bar, eats shoots and leaves.

        Moral: without the correct use of commas, pandas can be very dangerous!

        1. RLS*

          This reminded me of the “by zombies!” reference for passive voice, but I can’t remember where I found it. Hmmm…

    2. Susan*

      My favorite podcasts:

      The Moth
      Handel on the Law
      Jay and Silent Bob Get Old
      Len Tillem

      1. Sivy*

        Adding to the podcasts:
        Radio Lab
        Stuff You Missed in History Class
        99% Invisible
        NPR’s Ask Me Another

        1. Liz T*

          I’ll add:

          Judge John Hodgman
          The Thrilling Adventure Hour

          JJH: Hodgman brilliantly rules on listeners’ interpersonal disputes. It’s funny and usually light, but his judgments are always SPOT ON. Except once.

          TTAH: Live recordings of radio genre mash-ups. My favorite is Beyond Belief, which is basically a paranormal Nick and Nora.

          Superego: Gonzo sketch comedy. Listen to the gold standard here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOrA9-2xnGY

    3. Natalie*

      Practically every NPR show has a corresponding podcast, which is great. TED Talks has also made podcasts, although fair warning you may want to specifically look for the audio only.

      If you like Downton Abbey you might like Up Yours, Downstairs, which is a snarky recap + historical background podcast. They are on hiatus right now but there’s 3 years of archives.

      1. fposte*

        “If you like Downton Abbey you might like Up Yours, Downstairs, which is a snarky recap + historical background podcast.” HOW DID I NOT KNOW OF THIS???

        1. Natalie*

          You will love it, seriously. During the hiatuses between seasons they also do other Edwardian era media – Mary Poppins, Titanic, etc

      2. NatalieR*

        In addition to the TED Talks podcasts, there’s also an NPR TED Radio Hour, which discusses the background of the Talks and the Talk-ers.

        I also super love Planet Money.

    4. Liz in a Library*

      This place is the best! I just downloaded a few episodes of each of these (of the ones I wasn’t already listening to).

      I am completely podcast obsessed, so I listen to dozens regularly. A very few favs not yet mentioned:

      On NPR:
      Pop Culture Happy Hour
      Snap Judgment

      Stuff Mom Never Told You
      Freakonomics Radio
      Judge John Hodgman
      Savage Lovecast (obviously NSFW)
      PodQuiz (the best weekly short trivia quiz I’ve found)

      It’s kind of weird how happy I get about podcasts.

      1. Kelly O*

        I am a huge fan of NPR.

        Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me
        Says You
        Car Talk (I am so sad about it going away.)
        Prairie Home Companion

        We have a new program on KUHF here in Houston on Fridays called Houston Matters that I’m finding very interesting. They do it on Fridays during the lunch hour instead of World Have Your Say (which I do not mind sometimes because those callers are sometimes really hard to follow, especially when they start talking over each other.)

  14. Kara*

    Though I tend to entertain myself on the Internet by reading AAM and other management/HR related blogs/articles, here’s a few that I have saved for one reason or another:

    Because I like “window shopping” online:

    I love, love, LOVE to cook and bake. I made this for Valentine’s day this year and actually put it in champagne glasses: http://www.marthastewart.com/317890/triple-chocolate-mousse-cake?czone=food/chocolate-center/chocolate-recipes&center=874882&gallery=874542&slide=317890

    Just for fun: http://www.roomoffun.com/12-creative-ideas-that-will-change-your-life_1171.html

    Something I will try one day: http://www.milkandhoneyshoes.com/

    Something that makes me happy: http://blog.flickr.net/en/2013/04/19/dad-illustrates-kids-sandwich-bags-with-imaginative-drawings/

  15. IronMaiden*

    The myth of the 8 hour sleep is interesting. I do that; go to sleep for a few hours, then get up, smoke, listen to the radio, go online, read, whatever, then go back to sleep fo a few hours. I thought it was because my body clock was messed up from years of shift work. Maybe not. Thanks AAM, I’ll feel a lot better about the wakeful hours now.

    1. Editor*

      For years I slept like that, too, in two parts, until shift work messed up my natural sleeping habits.

      Apparently there’s a scene in Wuthering Heights where people do this — go to bed, get up in the middle of the night and resolve some emotional crisis, then go back to bed.

  16. Kou*

    Every single person ever needs to read about drowning. Most children drown with a parent nearby who has no idea they are having trouble because they are silent.

    I almost drown once, I had an asthma attack while swimming in the ocean. I had almost managed to pull myself back onto the beach but I was too weak to stand up at the break, and ten feet away in ankle deep water were three tourists who were looking at me funny but had no idea what was happening. I couldn’t call out to them. I remember thinking I was close to fainting, and if I did, the tide would pull me out and these people would watch me die and never know what they were seeing. Then I got lucky and managed to get pushed in by a wave just right and was able to crawl out on all fours.

      1. Anonymous*

        But Passive Agressive Notes isn’t being updated as often as it was, so you have to wait longer for new posts :(

        1. Natalie*

          And with Regretsy being retired, I find myself not checking PAN as much.

          I miss Regretsy.

      2. Editor*

        For snark about lame apologies and missing or passive-aggressive apologies, go to Sorry Watch:


        The latest post is about how Abercrombie & Fitch wants nothing to do with ugly overweight uncool clothes buyers.

  17. Kou*

    Oh and for some actually interesting links:

    “To Women, From A Man: You Are Not Crazy” article gives a good general explanation of gaslighting and the ways we subtly force women to second guess themselves http://thecurrentconscience.com/blog/2011/09/12/a-message-to-women-from-a-man-you-are-not-%E2%80%9Ccrazy%E2%80%9D/
    If there was one thing I wish I could make the whole world understand, it might be this phenomenon.

    Pee On A Stick
    If you EVER take a pregnancy test, go here first/during/after. Readers send in photos of positives/negatives from different tests, there are great explanations of how they all work and which have more or less false results.

  18. Kelly O*

    In no particular order:

    Girls of a Certain Age – http://www.girlofacertainage.com/
    Kim France was the original editor of Lucky, and worked at Sassy back in the day.

    Freekibble – http://www.freekibble.com/
    (trivia for a good cause! Help feed the furbabies.)

    Indexed – http://thisisindexed.com/
    Charts drawn on index cards – simple but fun

    Alton Brown – http://altonbrown.com/
    Because I may have an inappropriate level of crush here.

    Cake Wrecks – http://cakewrecks.com/
    Because Jen is awesome.

  19. Anonicorn*

    This one is semi-work related, but I’m obsessed with it. Lots of great design inspirations.

    Word Bubbles (actually found this on Hyperbole and a Half). It used to be free on Lumosity.com, but apparently you need to register now. You can still play it for free here:

    Love checking the “New Arrivals” section on Modcloth. And +1 for having longer-length dresses!

    TED talks are brilliant.

  20. Carrie in Scotland*

    I collect a series of children’s books and this publisher (UK based but ships to US/Canada) is invaluable as they re-publish them in the original text. As I collect The Chalet school series, when they were published in p/b from h/b many of them were cut so it’s amazing to read them as they were meant to be read.

    1. Anon*

      This is one website I can’t go to at work because I laugh so hard and uncontrollably that my coworkers think I’m nuts! Always good for a pick me up!

  21. Ellie H.*

    I am really glad to hear you enjoyed The Happiness Project links. I love that blog (the books more, but the blog is great too) so much. I am constantly talking about Gretchen Rubin and surprised people haven’t started telling me they have heard enough.

    Another few posts from there I like:

    http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2013/05/would-you-rather-be-10-minutes-late-or-10-minutes-early/#disqus_thread (I’m chronically late, and really struggle with it. To me it goes in waves – I’ll be always on time for a long period, and then fall back into chronic lateness.)

    http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2010/06/10-extremely-simple-tips-to-eliminate-stress-in-your-day/ (A lot of these tips may sound extremely facile, but everything I have ever taken from her actually works and makes my life much better.)

  22. Jen M.*

    Also, as someone entering the phase of life where I have to take care of my parents, I really appreciate the link on losing a parent. I’m sure I have some time before we will be facing this, but this was a really, really good article and touched on some things that a lot of people just wouldn’t have thought of. I know I learned a new thing or two.

    I’m very grateful that I am not doing this alone. I have a large, blended family, and we are all pitching in.

    1. Liz T*

      I have always fantasized about having them as my wedding band. Certainly this song will be played.

  23. Jamie*

    My daily must reads are few:

    http://blindgossip.com/ (I know, I know)

    Miss Manners via the Washington Post
    At least one Ricky Gervais podcast per day during my commute

    After hearing all about Carolyn Hax here I added hers and keep trying to get into her column but I just don’t feel the love. I’ll give it another week because I’m trying to get it.

    Invaluable IT stuff:
    http://serverfault.com/ (and associated sites)

  24. Anonymous*

    The 8-hour sleep myth so explains both me and my spouse.

    Since cute animals have already been mentioned here are my favorite cat comics or videos:
    Especially look at Cat Man Do if you have pets who have ever woken you up.

    For the more sarcastic minded people. The books are even funnier because they explain what’s behind every comic. Sadly the original 2 cats have passed away, but they have more cats to continue as inspiration.

    It’s a rescue group, mostly of big cat species, and they have vidoes such as “Do Big Cats Like Catnip” or “Big Cats Like Boxes Too” or “Meet Canyon the Sand Cat”.

  25. Natalie*

    I can’t believe I forgot about this earlier, especially since this is an advice column.

    I just found this fantastic tumblr called That Bad Advice, which is snarky replies to ridiculous advice column letters:


  26. nyxalinth*

    If you work in call centers like I do, or just want an idea of what it’s like on the other end of the phone:


    Unfortunately, he was fired for making that game. Fortunately, he’s been getting a lot of contact from interested game companies :D

  27. FD*

    Okay, here’s a weird one, but I *love* Excel. Like freaking’ love it. I have an insane number of spreadsheets on my computer, and sometimes I make them just because I’m bored.

    Can anyone tell I’m a bit of a neat freak?

    1. The Other Dawn*

      I don’t have tons of spreadsheets, but I can understand your love of Excel. I’m always using it to make forms at work. I love the clean lines and how everything lines up nicely. I use Word sometimes, but I get really pissed off when the formatting decides to go haywire and something doesn’t line up exactly. I can spend a LONG time trying to fix something like that.

    2. fposte*

      I’m not a neat freak, and I love Excel. I make projected retirement budgets for amusement as much as need. (What if I contributed *this* much a year? What if I bought a new car?) Put on some music, paste some values, good times.

  28. fposte*

    Maybe not for sheer readability, but for one person’s ability to make a difference in the world through shared and persistent kindness:

  29. Sarah G*

    This 8-minute short film is one of the most beautiful and moving things and funny things I’ve ever seen.
    “The Scared is Scared”: http://vimeo.com/58659769
    The filmmaker wrote: “I asked a six year old what my movie should be about, and this is what he told me.”

  30. The Other Dawn*

    The article on the myth of the 8 hr sleep was pretty interesting. I’m wondering if breaking up my sleep would help me with back pain. I find that an 8-hour stretch in bed leaves me with a backache in the morning. It’s always my lower back and sometimes my upper back or the pressure points. And it usually starts a couple hours before my alarm goes off. I don’t believe it’s my bed as it happens regardless of whether I’m home, at a hotel, or at a relative’s house. If I sleep a few hours, get up a move around for awhile, then go back to sleep, maybe it will help.

  31. Lily*

    I love Ask a Manager, but I was amazed at the timing of this. We’d planned to get married this fall, but moved it up (with 2 weeks notice!) in order to be wed as my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We literally were married on a Saturday, Mom passed that Sunday, and three weeks later, here I am.

    Both the wedding and the death articles? blogs? were really impactful for me as I figure out how to deal with this mixture of profound grief and incredible joy. And to think, I read this blog to gain insight on dealing with my crew at work. Thank you.

    1. Jen M.*

      Oh, wow. What a lot to deal with all at once! I am so sorry for your loss!

      Congrats on your new start in life, though!

    2. Dang*

      Your story brought tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry for your loss and wish you comfort and peace.

    3. fposte*

      Oh, Lily, what a complicated time for you. I’m so so sorry for your loss, and I hope you still can find much joy in this new step in your life.

    4. Editor*

      How wonderful you were able to have the wedding while your mother was still alive, but how bittersweet. I am so sorry that your mom died, but congratulations on the wedding.

      The business about writing down memories is right on target in the article about 11 things to know when a parent dies. I’d also second the recommendation for some help, even if it is just a grief support group. I have been in a specialized group (for people whose spouses have died) more than two years and it has been good for me, both with dealing with losing my husband and with the death of my dad a few months before that. The members of my group have found that different people need grief support at different times — a few people came to the group right after a death, didn’t come back for a while, and found that they got more from the group six months or a year later. Don’t feel bad if you want to concentrate on the joy of your new marriage for a while before you feel up to dealing with the other changes that result from a death in the family. You might find it helpful every couple of weeks or once a month to just take an hour or two to be by yourself — a long walk, listening to music while no one is home, lunch on your own outside the office, a quiet massage or a session on a park bench — just to let your mind do whatever it needs to do, whether it is to think of nothing emotional or to work through emotions. Best wishes.

  32. skh*

    If you want a different take on wedding blogs, Offbeat Bride is very cool. Want a red wedding gown? Or maybe help with fitting in your love of comic books, video games and all things Dr. Who? You can find tips, DIY instructions and tons of helpful advice . And they have Offbeat Home and Life and Offbeat Families. As a first time over 40 bride, it’s been very helpful!


  33. Anonymous*

    I think I shared almost all of these articles with friends because they felt so applicable. Thanks for sharing! I especially liked the article about losing a parent and fitted sheets. As for blogs, I always go to yours in the morning and http://whatshouldpcvscallme.tumblr.com/ as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

  34. Maura*

    I just wanted to say Congratulations Alison, on your upcoming wedding. I’m a newlywed myself, and I was amazed by how different it feels to be married. I mean it in the best possible way. Anyone who says it’s just a piece of paper doesn’t know what they’re talking about! All the best to you.

  35. Mia*

    Congrats on your upcoming wedding! The best advice I (try very hard to) follow (every time I need it) actually came from a professional mentor of mine. It goes like this: in times of disagreement or frustration, first decide which is more important to you – demonstrating how angry/frustrated/blindingly pissed you are or getting the outcome that you want. You can’t do both, so act accordingly. When I keep this advice in mind, I rarely choose the former.

    Also, I saw this recipe yesterday and can’t wait to make it this weekend: http://talesofambrosia.com/2013/03/04/how-to-make-spaghetti-cacio-e-pepe-like-a-roman/

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