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Of braineries, schools of life, pie labs, and other learning places

I’m becoming more and more interested in informal models of education — specifically, in the kinds of informal education that take place outside of educational institutions, and that aim at teaching people skills that aren’t always taught in schools, and providing spaces for community and conversation as well. And, ideally, food. For instance: Someday I […]

The stacked books meme

Thanks to this post by Susan at Crunchy Granola, I’ve discovered that there are lots of people stacking books so that their spines tell a story or form a poem, much like Nina Katchadourian’s very cool Sorted Books project. (And do check out all of those examples. Many of them made me sporfle.) So naturally, I […]

On mobility and the non-interchangeability of places: a rant

It’s been a while since I read anything that pushed as many of my buttons — and made me scratch my head as much — as this New York Times op-ed piece by Todd G. Buchholz and Victoria Buchholz did. They begin with the claim that “Americans are supposed to be mobile and even pushy,” and […]

On walkability, part 5: Aesthetics revisited

[This is the fifth in a series of posts on walkability and city form. If you’d like to read them in sequence, here are part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.] Via The Atlantic Cities, I’ve been checking out OpenPlans‘ Beautiful Streets project, an experiment to determine what makes a street beautiful. When […]

Stranding is hard: a quick, cranky knitting post

As part of my “learn something new every month” New Year’s resolution, I’ve been trying to teach myself to be more adept at stranded knitting. (For those of you who don’t knit, stranded knitting is when you work with two colors of yarn at once, alternating small groups of stitches in each color, and you […]

A cairn of small stones

Inspired by friends in the blogosphere, I’ve been participating in the January 2012 River of Stones project. The idea is that every day you write a short burst of prose, some sort of observation of the world, and then either blog it or tweet it. I’ve been confining mine to less than 140 characters so […]

A week in the life of a librarian

Somewhat tardily, seeing as it started yesterday, I’m posting to announce my participation in Round 8 of the Library Day in the Life project, which runs all this week. The idea is for librarians of all stripes to post on various channels about what they do all day, which is the kind of information that […]

On not knowing code*

It’s kind of ridiculous that I’ve made it this far without learning any programming languages. I mean, sure, that wasn’t part of the “Computer Applications” class I took in high school, and I was the kind of undergrad English major who took the required math courses and plunged with relief back into the humanities. And […]

A couple of New Year’s resolutions

1. If I find myself dithering excessively over a decision, I will ask myself, “Really, why the hell not?” And if the only answer is “Um…I don’t know but I’m sure there’s a very good reason! Because of…um…stuff that might go wrong!”, I resolve to go ahead and do whatever it is, even if it […]

2011 in review

It’s New Year’s Eve and, I have to say, I’m not sorry to see the last of 2011. It has not been the greatest year. My grandmother passed away in the middle of it; the neverending recession spread its malaise everywhere; and I spent the entire year conducting a job search that, so far, hasn’t […]