DIY, Dammit!

DIY, Dammit!

DIY, Dammit!

Sometimes in the life of surfing the internet, you come across really cool DIY (Do It Yourself) ideas for your home, your children’s toys, or to give away as presents. What these perfectly presented pictures with captions such as “super easy in three steps!” don’t tell you, is that when you try this at home, it will probably look really, really shitty. Somehow these creative crafty concoctions just don’t come out right – not even close. Super easy in three steps: a failed DIY project, a seriously dinted self-esteem and a rapidly dropping regard for yourself as a human being capable of simply anything. Does this sound like fun? No.

Comedian Joselyn Hughes didn’t think so either and started a videoblog called ‘DIY, Dammit!‘. In these instruction videos, Joselyn (with the help from her friends and her dog) shows you all the steps of different DIY projects – including her own crumbling hope that it will succeed, and with honest cluelessness from time to time (let this paint dry for… an hour? Two hours? Maybe a day? I’m just gonna slowly walk away…). Apart from taking the ‘plastic America’ out of DIY and ‘keeping it real’, there are some really cool, out of the ordinary ideas and she convinces us that we too, can do this at home.

If you’re into DIY and always wanted to try that one thing, you can also email her on her website and request her to show you how it’s done. Follow ‘DIY, Dammit!’ on Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or check out her personal website.

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Goldieblox – engineering toys for girls

GoldieBlox

GoldieBlo

One of the most talked about topics of last week was the law suit that the Beastie Boys started against GoldieBlox, for using a parody of their song “Girls” in an ad for their toys. The Beastie Boys have made clear that they don’t have a problem against the company or the product, but says they made a deal to never use their music for advertisement. The original video, which was viewed 8 million times, as now been replaced by one with an instrumental guide track, but the message of the ad is still the same. This is something we should not overlook.

In a time where the lines are blurred between the labels ‘men’ and ‘women’ – women are becoming more sexually liberal, androgyny is hot, and careers for everyone are highly expected – there is still evidence to find that we are, in fact, not the same, and we are not “there yet” when it comes to being equal. Fewer than 3 in 10 graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are women. And barely 1 in 10 actual engineers are women.

One of the great things about the feminist movement and what it has brought us over the last few decades is that women have a choice in what they want to do and become in life. To give the new generation a little hand in understanding the possibilities, the feminist movement has now taken a step into the creation of innovative toys, especially made for girls, to explore and discover their technical side in a playful manner.

Watch the (awesome!) video ad for GoldieBlox below.

The unsuspected sides of Tom Hiddleston

When we first get introduced to actors in a role they play very convincingly, it’s hard to picture them in a different way than the character itself.

How surprised was I, when I saw this video of Tom Hiddleston, the evil, conflicted Loki, brother of Thor, singing Stand by Me in a car in Germany after being on the German lifestyle magazine ‘Taff’. The Taff reporter drives the Hollywood star – who was by the way also nominated for “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine, but lost to great dissatisfaction of ‘the Internet’ to Adam Levine – around Berlin and convinces him to do a little karaoke.

Who knew that ‘Loki’ could look so good, be so charming, and sing so casually even though he doesn’t have the voice of an angel? After briefly surfing around after seeing this video, it turns out Hiddleston is also quite the juggler, dancer, gentleman, and comedian.
 
Watch and enjoy.

 

Movember

Sean Connery

Sean Connery

If at any point this upcoming autumn month you wonder what the f*** is up with all these moustaches, find yourself prepared right here. My second favourite month after October, is November, or, slowly starting to be known as ‘Movember’: the month where thousands of men shave off their facial hair in order to let it grow back in the upper lip area – sometimes wildly and unkempt – for an entire month, to raise money and awareness to combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.

Starting as a small movement in Melbourne, Australia, in 2003 Movember has turned into a cult event, inspiring more than 3 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to participate across 21 countries. The programs, directed by the Movember Foundation, are focused on awareness and education, living with and beyond cancer, staying mentally healthy, living with and beyond mental illness and research to achieve our vision of an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health.
The rules are simple:
1. Once registered at movember.com each Mo Bro must begin the 1st of November with a clean shaven face.
2. For the entire month of Movember each Mo Bro must grow and groom a moustache.
3. There is to be no joining of the Mo to your side burns. That’s considered a beard.
4. There is to be no joining of the handlebars to your chin. That’s considered a goatee.
5. A Mo Bro must conduct himself like a true gentleman.
Want to participate, donate or just check out this awesome cause? Check the website http://www.movember.com
Not sure if it would suit your baby faced features? Check out these fabulous celebrities who have totally pulled off a moustache at one point or another in their career.

Alec Baldwin’s ‘Here’s the Thing’

Alec Baldwin's 'Here's the Thing'

Alec Baldwin’s ‘Here’s the Thing’

As I’m sitting in my Hotel room in Chicago, the flatscreen on the wall at the end of the bed is winking at me invitingly. “Come on, switch me on,” it’s trying to say, “I’ll distract you with fun things to watch while you’re trying to work”. Luckily, I’ve been without a tv for many years so the temptation is not that great. But it makes me wonder whatever happened to the good old days of plugging in my headphones into my indestructible portable radio, after secretly curling up into my father’s big brown leather ‘smoke chair’, and listening to radio or mixed tapes. I’ve always loved radio, there’s something soothing about listening to good voices, and something challenging in closing your eyes and imagining the accompanying pictures to the story that’s being told, the conversation that’s being held, or the background information about artists and songs that’s given. I’ve recently found great joy in listening to audio books while knitting – damn, that sounds grannylike/nerdy but not cool enough to be hipster – and podcasts/talk radio.

Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin may be most famous for his role as ‘Jack Donaghy’ in the successful comedy show ’30 Rock’, but this attractive gentleman has many more talents. Just a few weeks ago his newest addition of skills premiered in the form of a weekly Late Night talk show on MSNBS called ‘Up Late with Alec Baldwin’. A much lesser known skill that Alec Baldwin has, is interviewing. For a while now, he has been hosting his very own hour-long podcasts on WNYC where he interviews different famous people about different topics.

Because Baldwin is a known person in showbizz, and just generally a very friendly and charismatic man, many people have opened their homes, offices, and dressing rooms to him and his recording equipment, giving the listener the feeling that you’re a fly on the wall, hearing two established people having a personal discussion. From Jerry Seinfeld, to Rosie O’Donnell, via Michael Douglas to Kris Kardashian Jenner, Baldwin shares ideas, opinions and let’s his guests open up in a calm and interesting manner. His deep inviting voice will keep your ears warm for an hour without you wanting to stop listening. Perfect entertainment for when your tv/laptop screen is giving you ‘square eyes’ and you just want to be entertained while you sip on a warm cup of tea while the weather outside rages.

And yes, Alec Baldwin is just awesome because he has the most natural ‘duck face’ of anybody in showbiz and can totally get away with it.

Find ‘Here’s the Thing’ on Facebook here and listen to the podcasts on the website.

 

Mythbusters interactive Twitter experiment

Mythbusters interactive Twitter experiment

Mythbusters interactive Twitter experiment

I live in a shared apartment on the top floor of an amazing place in Neukölln, Berlin. One of my previous flatmates was very much into plants and our house soon turned into an indoor jungle affair. I didn’t mind, I never mind green in the house – unless I have to take care of it that is. I used to get mini cactuses for my room because I simply forget to water them. Name my plants and talk to them? Yes, of course! Water them? I simply forget…
The girl who was taking care of our home grown forest really talked to our plants, and dusted them off with precision and care. It is said, that talking to plants and giving them love will help them grow. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is putting that popular idea to the test with a 21st-century experiment.

 

As part of ‘Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition‘, the museum created an interactive experiment which boils down to the simple idea: anyone can tweet to a plant in the museum, the message gets turned into robotic speech which the plant will hear through a speaker. To complete the experiment, another plant will sit in silence.
On the website you can keep track of the process of the experiment. The museum compares size, leaf colour, height, and how many words the loved plant has heard.

 

So confess your deepest darkest secret, declare your love, or simply scold the plant if you like (it’s not picky about what it will hear) in 140 characters to contribute to this awesome experiment. Go to the website http://www.talktoaplant.com/ to send you own message to participate!
Contribute to the Mythbusters' experiment #talktoaplant

Contribute to the Mythbusters’ experiment #talktoaplant

Shpock – flea market app

Flea Market, source: Wikipedia

When I first bought an iPhone last December I was SO stoked. Finally a real smartphone, not only pretty but an extension of my Apple collection (I’m hooked since my MacBook), and well regarded in the smartphone world. It did however take me forever to get used to the sheer comprehension of possibilities. Of course, Spotify, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook were no-brainers, but I’ve only added a handful of other Apps since then. Super-useful-can’t-live-without-them-Apps (Evernote <3) for sure, but only a few.

Exactly three weeks ago I was scrolling through Facebook, as you do, when a promoted post caught my eye. I generally really hate promoted posts and try my best to train my eye/brain coordination to skip and ignore, but this one somehow popped out. I clicked on it, downloaded it, and fell in love.

The app is called Shpock (as in Shop in your pocket) and is described as a ‘flea market app’. The app finds your location, you can choose a category (or not) and it shows you what people are selling within one kilometer from your house, the further your scroll down, the bigger the range. You can then see pictures of the offered products and offer a price. The seller sets a price, but it is always negotiable. The seller can then counter offer, or, if you’re lucky, immediately accept. After the acceptance of your offer, you enter a private chat screen to make arrangements for the exchange.
The beauty of this app is that it actually feels like a flea market minus the dodgy people and awful smells. Yes, you scroll through a lot of crap but the hunt for good/interesting cheap stuff and bargains gets you hooked in no time.

In the three weeks I’ve been a member, I have sold a dress and a pair of shoes, snatched an awesome coat for just €10,- (talked my way down from €12,-, see below), and will exchange another dress of mine for a blouse and a gilet tonight, only having to pay €9,50 at the exchange. Cleaning out your closet while making a few bucks, then using those freshly made coins for buying something from someone else who is not wearing it anymore but feels like a new addition to your own wardrobe, and the simple act of negotiating and coming out (as seller or buyer) on top and satisfied is a definite new, addictive hobby.

I’ve only used it for the category ‘fashion and accessories’ so far, but you can also find furniture, electronic devices, books/music, etc.