The MCB Christmas Sale!
We appreciate our readers. In a world with so many choices, we're grateful when you pick up an MCB book to read. As a thank you to our readers, we've decided now is the perfect time for...
Stuff We Like - #50
Welcome to another week of SWL brought to you by Freddy.
This week we talk dressing warm, and what we wear when it's cold out. Cold as in Chicago cold (because there are a lot of different colds out there.)
Chicago is fun when it comes to weather. We have three different weather fronts to contend with - the lake effect is no joke. The summers can get to 100F with 90% humidity whereas the winters can get -40F (or more) with windchill. (Can I say I hate it when they use windchill. If it feels that cold then it's that fucking cold.) There are some very good reasons we have cooling and heating centers in Chicago. The summer where over 100 people died because of the heat? The winter where people were freezing to death and we had tons of house fires?
To say we have all sorts of extreme weather would be an accurate deacription.
We have to know how to cool down and bundle up. We have to be able to modify and make changes.
People may mock our winter coats, but when you're being blasted by the lake winds - it's no joke. You want to be cover from heat to mid thigh at the very least. Most people have some kind of heavy beanie, scarf, gloves/mittens, snow pants, and a heavy down jacket.
We need those.
I have gotten frostbite despite bundling up, and it fucking sucks. But you do what you can.
We all have things we prefer to wear in the cold. Me? Mittens.
One of my favorite presents happen to be a pair of warm mittens a friend sent to me for last Christmas. *points up* Aren't they adorable? They keep my fingers nice and warm, and if the weather happens to get really bad, I can slip on a pair of thermal gloves and stick my hands in the mittens.
Nice and toasty.
What about you? What's your favorite weather gear?
Stuff We Like #49 Home sweet Home
Hi everyone, Toni here for another episode of Stuff we like.
Sorry, but this week is going to be short and sweet. Last time I was here I was looking forward to heading away on holidays. Now I want to talk about home. There really is no place like it. The thought of a home-cooked meal and crawling under the sheets of my very own bed sounds like heaven to me. No longer having to live out of a suitcase and being surrounded by all my own things... I can't wait.
My trip to the US has been amazing. I really didn't expect anything less. Even though my child seemed to succumb to the cold weather and picked up a cold and a cough and has now passed it to me, we've still managed to enjoy ourselves.
Catching up with good friends was a massive highlight. Seeing Andi Anderson and her wonderful hubby, along with Freddy MacKay and her family makes me want to stay so badly.
But home is calling (and my bank account is crying).
So tomorrow my child and I start our journey back. First with a 15 hour flight to Sydney, then on Saturday with another 4 hour flight to Darwin...
So, Thank You America for having me, but I'm looking forward to going home, even if I'm not looking forward to the trip.
Stuff We Like #48 - Kiva
Scott's turn for this week's Stuff We Like - something for the holiday season.
Does Christmas sometimes seem like an excuse to go out and enrich the big retailers? Would you rather give someone a gift that would make a meaningful difference in someone's life?
My favorite thing for the month is Kiva.org. Kiva is a really cool Micro Lending site where you can choose the person who will get your loan. Loans are aggregated - the suggested loan amount is just $25 - and then paid back (no interest, but you get the satisfaction of helping someone else for the holiday season). Then you can re-loan the money, or cash it out.
We currently have about 16 loans running on the site, and as the money comes back each month, I re-loan it to new folks.
Plus there's even an LGBT lending group you can join.
You can give Kiva gift certificates to friends and family - it's also a really cool way for kids to learn about lending and personal responsibility.
Check it out at http://www.kiva.org.
Stuff We Like #47 - Nightscape
Angel's turn for this week's Stuff We Like and she's brought us something a little unusual...
Hi all! None of our regular readers will be shocked to hear that I love gardens. I've posted a couple of times about them, after all. Probably also not a shock that I like unusual art installations. So this week's SWL is an ingenious melding of the two.
Longwood Gardens, about half an hour from our house, is the former estate of Pierre S. DuPont, a man of vast wealth and power who was nevertheless one of the good guys. He rescued a beautiful arboretum from the lumber companies, bought it and the surrounding lands, and created an amazing country retreat with formal gardens, conservatory, greenhouses, and wild spaces. In his waning years, he gave the gardens to the public, for everyone to enjoy.
Longwood is an art installation itself with it's ever-changing colors, it's wonderful celebration of the seasons. But to provide an additional bit of amazement, for the past couple of years artist groups have been setting up large-scale installations with light and sound, using the plants as a backdrop.
This year's installation was called "Nightscape" in which several areas in the gardens, both indoor and outdoor, were transformed after dark into these astounding giant art pieces using projected light and music. It's a bit difficult to explain, so I thought it best to show you:
These videos only show a portion of the installation. It was bloody brilliant, the whole thing and I can't wait to see what they do next year. :)