Category: useful tools

A Girdle by Any Other Name

The girdle
Source: Flickr

I cannot repress my smirk as I read in The Wall Street Journal that, “Shapewear has Women Bent Out of Shape.” First, that I’m actually reading about foundation garments in the WSJ, and second because it only recently came to my attention that Spanx, Yummie Tummie  and the like are being worn constantly by people I know. It never even crossed my 45-year-old mind that I could avoid a dreaded “muffin top” by investing in something that looks like my grandmother’s old girdle, albeit in a sleek, “sexy” black.

The darn things really work, and whilst I am basically telling the world that all my time in the gym and at fitness classes can’t seem to get rid of that lovely baby pooch I earned 15 years ago, the foundation garment biz is booming and no matter how uncomfortable or awkward — thank God I’m married and my husband finds my Spanx application and removal a source of extreme hysteria — there’s a simple bottom line (no pun intended). They work, and they’re likely to improve in comfort and ability to squoosh everything into the proper position, as we women keep snapping them up.


The Brain May Like E-Books, but my Heart is Still in Print

Books are good
Books are good

There was a great — and very lengthy — story in the “Room for Debate” commentary in the New York Times titled, “Does the Brain Like E-Books?”  . I have to admit that I am warily curious about the Kindle and all the other e-vehicles for the written word, and right now I can simply say that the price makes it out of my budget for the moment. But even if the Kindle dropped below $100, would I buy one? I don’t think so. I am attached to the page, the shape and feel of the books, the anticipation of turning the page, even the cover art (which can be seriously embarrassing when I’m on one of my “vamp, were, alternate universe” kicks).  I grew up with a book in my hand or tucked under my arm, and I have a book in my handbags every time I leave the house — there are drawbridges, long red lights, and diner meals that require I have reading material. My partner loves the idea of the Kindle — not because se he’d use it, but because I could potentially clear valuable bookshelf space for his stuff.

I’m hardly a Luddite — what blogger is? — but I am going to hang on to my books for the forseeable future. At least until someone else buys me a Kindle.

Wikipedia’s New Editorial Utility Sparks Debate

Source: Flickr
Source: Flickr

I read Jimmy Wales column today in Huffington Post about Wikipedia reducing some controls whilst  strengthening othersm asking, “Will the new, more gentle tool, be more widely used than protection was? I certainly hope so. We are always looking for ways to help responsible people join the Wikipedia movement and contribute constructively, while gently asking those who want to cause trouble to please go somewhere else.

“Faced with the choice of preventing you from editing at all, versus allowing you to edit even though you might have bad intentions, we have erred consistently for the latter — openness. The new tool, by making it a lot easier to keep bad stuff from appearing to the general public, is going to allow for a much more responsible Wikipedia that is, at the same time, a much more open Wikipedia.”

As a huge fan of Wikipedia, and someone who ecourages her teenager to augment research using Wikipedia, I think Wales is right in downplaying the changes and believing this is positive evolution. Wikipedia is a fantastic source, a challenging and gigantic job for its admin, and I have no plans to start thiking that what I’m reading there needs to be corroborated by another independent news source.  Good on them.