Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Archive for the category “Friday Finds”

Friday Finds January 2019

I like this idea- the magic of book fairies. Basically, folks that leave special books all around in public for people to discover.

Speaking of books, I have never heard much about the search for missing books stolen by Nazis during World War II, but apparently, the hunt for stolen books is very much alive. In the museum world, there is a lot of work about artwork, especially paintings, silver, and European decorative arts that were taken by Nazis during World War II, but I had never even considered books.

A job I would have loved- tea tasting! The FDA used to have a Board of Tea Experts, though I don’t think my palette is as developed as you’d probably need to have to taste good versus bad quality.

In light of the Marie Kondo craze hitting everyone, courtesy of her Netflix series ( which I still haven’t watched), a tiny history of how Americans have been “taught” to tidy and clean up.

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Friday Finds December 2018

Q is OBSESSED with paper towels. If I didn’t buy napkins and Kleenex, he would use paper towels for every single thing. Apparently, he and a bunch of other Americans are also obsessed with them.

Our family started no-gift Christmas a few years ago and it really has made the holiday season so much more enjoyable and stress-free. It’s not for everyone, but it works for us ( and apparently many other people too!)

Speaking of Christmas, did you know that the majority of letters written and send to Santa via USPS are actually answered by them?

I don’t know about where you are in the world, but here in the US, a lot of the suburban malls are dying quickly. The local mall where I spent many a day of my youth has only a few national chain stores left and has quickly become home to non-retail spots like a gym and indoor mini golf to make up for the empty storefronts. I do think it’s interesting how some malls are being creative in adapting the spaces for other uses- there is a mall in my area that now is home to a satellite branch of a local community college in the former JcPenny store space. Got to get creative!

How recycling works in the United States & how the whole system needs a rethink in order to stay in business.

A pickle a day may help anxiety!

 

Friday Finds November 2018

I love old newsreels, home movies, and so– very happy to learn that so many are available for free via The Library of Congress.

I’m on the waitlist at the library for Michelle Obama’s memoir on audio CD, but this article on the history of first ladies’ memoirs makes me want to listen to a few others while I’m waiting.

The Japanese take splintered wooden baseball bats and make them into chopsticks! Talk about a great way to recycle!

I didn’t know green bean casserole was a thing until I was in college, so this was an interesting read about the woman who invented the dish.

Speaking of Thanksgiving food traditions, jellied canned cranberry sauce is Q’s requirement for Thanksgiving- I didn’t know a man invented it!

Art therapy works wonders, so it’s great to see that doctors are now prescribing visits to museums, concerts, and other art/cultural opportunities.

Do you have a Little Free Library in your neighborhood? There is one near our public library and I’ve left a few books there over the past few months, but never taken anything.

 

Friday Finds September 2018

As a museum professional, a fire in a museum is truly my worst nightmare ( and I’ve had it a few times). Seeing the images from the fire at Brazil’s National Museum have broken my heart and reading this story about the staff going in to try to save items both inspires & saddens me.

Rhode Island’s Ida Lewis remembered at Arlington Cemetery with street name– the first woman to have a street named after her in the national memorial. She saved dozens of mariners from her post at a lighthouse in the waters off of Newport, RI.

Have you ever wondered who decides the names for each year’s hurricane season?

The homebody economy. I definitely fall into this category, but don’t subscribe or purchase to most of these things.

The exciting and exhausting world of cruise ship entertainers I can’t imagine this type of schedule!

This is just ridiculous and incredibly wasteful- Burberry is only just now ending its practice of burning unsold stock and fabric.  I have never worn nor bought this brand and even if I had the money to, I certainly wouldn’t now!

 

Friday Finds August 2018

Cemeteries like Mount Auburn in Massachusetts and Swan Point in Rhode Island were originally designed to be public memorial parks. If you live near a historic cemetery, they likely do walking tours and programs about the history of the place, famous folks who are interned there, the iconography of tombstones, and so on. I promise it isn’t creepy or morbid!

Are you a book re-reader? As a general rule, I am not because there are so many titles I want to read, but I have over the years re-read or listened to a number of childhood favorites. Some hold up and make me appreciate them and what they brought to my life- apparently others feel the same way.

This isn’t a push for you to donate (I did send a few things their way via their Amazon Wish List), but just a reminder in this increasingly cynical world that kind people are still all around doing good things. I found out about the Linden Library in rural Iowa via the Twitter of one of my favorite authors, J. Courtney Sullivan. After she tweeted about the place and their need for funds and books, a huge fundraising campaign took off.

20 women inventors you should know.

I work in a fairly conservative town and organization so our dress code might be more business-like than apparently the rest of the world which is increasingly becoming more casually dressed.  For example, we only really wear jeans on Fridays or days when we’re doing physical work, we dress nicer on days when there are public programs or meetings, and so on.

Friday Finds July 2018

People who read live longer– scientifically proven!

Anne Frank’s family tried to immigrate to the US before they went into hiding.

World War I “Hello Girls” to receive Congressional Gold Medal honors. It still amazes me every time a story like this comes out how many forgotten people and stories of history are out there.

The global history of ketchup. Personal note: I only really like ketchup on the rare burger I eat. I prefer French fries with mayo.

Telling the stories and history of women on America’s Route 66.

Is there anything better than losing yourself in a good book? I say no! I’ll only disagree with the writer of the article on one point- while I don’t have as many days to spend entirely reading ( though I did that a few weekends ago and it was glorious), I read just as veraciously as I did when I was a kid.

Speaking of books, let’s all praise libraries and librarians. If I got a do-over on life, I think I’d become a librarian. Could still happen.

 

Friday Finds June 2018

Nostalgic growing up in the 90s memes. #9 made me laugh as I recently found tons of “mix CDs” I made during high school and college in my attic.

I loved cauliflower long before it became trendy and a crucial part of a gluten-free lifestyle. That said, cauliflower crust pizza just is not for me.

I haven’t seen Ocean’s 8 yet, but they made a whole fake exhibition at a Met replica just for the movie. Fun fact: I met Hamish Bowles a few years ago when he was doing research for his Balenciaga exhibitions.

How recliners became a part of the American living room. Ours is currently in Little Man’s room and is my favorite reading chair since it swivels and rocks too!

Two Anne Frank related items: researchers find and decipher 2 hidden pages in Anne Frank’s diary and you can “visit” the Anne Frank Museum and see what it was like when she was in hiding, thanks to virtual reality.

Another job I didn’t know existed: art forgery detective.

When does hungry become hangry?

We use paper towels for many things (Q uses them a lot more than me)– it’s essential for sopping up grease on bacon, using when cleaning, etc. Even the best chefs agree with me!

An illustrated history of the picnic table.

 

Friday Finds May 2018

In 1938 Los Angeles, a woman went to jail for wearing pants in a courtroom. Amazing the things we take for granted today that were considered taboo or radical not that long ago.

Why cashmere can cost $2000 or $30– interesting.

This is terrifying- what happens to plastic that’s thrown away and not recycled.

The curious history of mother/daughter matching fashion. My mom and I never did the 80s thing of wearing the same dress, but we frequently wear the same color schemes. We even bought the same exact pair of sneakers independently of each other!

The changing history and silhouette of high school prom dresses since the 1940s.

The Chinese survivors of the Titanic. I definitely never heard about this!

Friday Finds April 2018

Betty Reid Soskin is 96 years old and works at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II National Park that memorializes the experiences of women workers during World War 2. In this article, she speaks about how Rosie the Riveter didn’t speak to all women’s experiences in WW2. LOVE this quote: “What gets remembered is determined by who is in the room doing the remembering.”

How Girl Scout cookies are made.

Women in Hollywood’s past who were leaders– many names I’ve never heard before.

Saving the history of cosmetics, beauty products, and fragrances at the Smithsonian.

The afterlife of movie wardrobes after production is done.

Funny movie quotes from the past 40 years that have become part of our everyday conversations/language.

What a compassionate, open-minded judge: teens who graffitied a historic building with racist symbols and words were ordered to read a book related to racism, Holocaust, etc.

Friday Finds March 2017

Dolly Parton’s charity that provides free books to kids gave out is 100 millionth free book! Amazing.

Another phenomenal female- a 101 year old female runner in India.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the NY Times is writing obituaries for women who were overlooked. This particular link takes you to Ruth Wakefield, who invented the chocolate chip cookie recipe we all love so much. Here’s the link for the whole series, Overlooked.

Did you know a woman invented the paper bag? Me either.

How certain foods became associated with certain meal times in America. Related: I hate cereal.

The odd and weird platypus.

Geek alert- plastics and museums. I spend a lot of time thinking about how 20th century materials break down in the museum collection I manage (especially plastics, polyester, and vinyl!) so this is interesting to me.

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