Author Archives: admin

About admin

I am a Midwestern lady who has taken "the scenic route" through life. The term "intellectually promiscuous" to describe those of us with wide and varied interests, archaeologists of the past and present, readers of all sorts of things, thinkers of deep thoughts, and open minded enough to look at many different view points, cultures, values and opinions. I will also marry for a green card and a full relocation package to a Democratic Socialist country with a strong safety net and great cultural opportunities. I am not kidding.

Small Kitchen Redecorating

Create a convenient and functional kitchen in even the smallest space. Make a wonderful kitchen space within your existing architecture through good interior design choices.

Start with selecting low profile and multifunction appliances and fixtures. Carefully source materials to invent the most inviting space.

Focus your efforts on the food storage, preparation and eating areas.

Storage and Eating

Choose open shelving if your dishware collection or personality can withstand it, or use opaque glass cabinet-fronts. Add double-duty drawers and cabinets to increase storage space throughout the room. Install a narrow rollout cabinet between the refrigerator and cupboards, or a drop-down sponge drawer along the front of the sink.

Create a bistro-style eating area using a drop-leaf table and a couple of tiny chairs tucked into a corner. If your floor plan allows it, install an island that combines storage and dining space. Embrace pot racks for overhead storage and use magnetized knife holders for cutlery.


Plentiful natural lighting helps increase the visual space in your small kitchen. Combine it with the right atmospheric and task lighting with plentiful natural light, and your small space will look much larger. Use low-heat LED lighting under cabinets for task lighting. Drop in colorful pendant lights over key work zones. They will help counteract the blue tint from overhead fluorescent lighting replacing inefficient conventional lights.

Appliances and Fixtures

Find appliances double duty appliances that mount in the wall or under cabinets.

Make a refrigerator alcove from an unused second doorway to the kitchen if you can. Use refrigerator with a moderate footprint and capacity, and look for one that includes not only water and ice dispensers but also a drop-down mini-bar.

Install a sink with an industrial multi-function tap and pull out combo for more countertop space-savings. Invest in a wall-mounted oven or double oven and even a dish drawer that fits into a wall mount space instead of a full-sized dishwasher.

Choose a sleek, frameless induction cook top to reduce space usage and for limiting the heat introduced into the kitchen. These modern wonders feature instant on/instant off technology. A slide-out range hood tucks in neatly overhead, ready to deploy when needed. Add an under-counter microwave or a multi-function wall-mounted microwave that includes convection-cooking technology.

Colors and Materials

Choose bright or deep colors for flooring, walls and countertops balanced by glass front cabinets and plenty of natural light.

In my opinion, it is better to avoid the dated pastel only color palette.

You can still choose the sleek white and black motif to streamline a tiny space. 

In a small kitchen, every bit of color changes the atmosphere of the kitchen. Install a glass-tile backsplash of interesting, soothing colors, or a granite-topped island in an intriguing hue. Splurge on luxury materials that might not be affordable in a mega-kitchen. Select eco-friendly sealed cork flooring or outdoorsy tumbled marble tiles. Go all-in for the Azul blue granite countertops that might cost a fortune elsewhere.



Teenagers IQs Damaged by Injuries from Fights

Teenagers IQs Damaged by Injuries from Fights

Research from Florida State University found that teen boys injured in just two physical fights suffered a drop in IQ approximately equivalent to missing an entire year of school. Adolescent girls suffered similar losses after sustaining just one fighting-related injury.

Teenage Injuries

Doctoral student Joseph A. Schwartz and Kevin Beaver, Ph.D. conducted the study at FSU’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Even they were surprised at the extent to which injuries affected intelligence. Decreases in IQ are associated with lower education and occupational achievement, behavioral problems, mental health disorders, and even lifespan. Nearly four percent of high school students sustain injuries each year during physical fights, according to the research.

Gang Of Youths Fighting

The researchers analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which was collected from 1994 to 2002. Over 20,000 middle and high school students were tracked into adulthood, with data collected at multiple points during that time. Students were asked about topics ranging from personality traits to social relationships and the frequency of certain behaviors.

Schwartz and Beaver examined whether significant fight-related injuries resulted in IQ decreases over a five to six year time frame. Boys experienced more injuries from fighting than girls, which was not surprising. The consequences of fighting for girls were much more severe. Researchers attributed this to physiological differences giving boys more ability to withstand physical traumas.  

Beat Up Teen Girl

For every fighting injury, boys saw an average 1.62 IQ point drop, and girls experienced an average 3.02 IQ point decrease. Missing one year of school has been associated with a loss of two to four IQ points in prior studies. Researchers cautioned that the impact on IQ may be even greater if only head injuries are considered. Their study included all physical fighting-related injuries.

Two Young Women Fighting

Schwartz stated the findings underline the importance of policies and interventions aimed at limiting adolescent injuries. These might occur from fighting, bullying, or contact sports. Effective interventions begin with correlating the problem and the underlying causes. Knowing that teenage injuries directly impact intelligence may be the first step in helping young people realize their full potential.

Source: Florida State University College of Criminology and Criminal Justice



Second Star to the Right, and Straight on Till Morning


Second Star to the Right and Straight on Till Morning

Simple Star Navigation in My Own Backyard

I’ve always wanted to be able to navigate by the stars, using them as a compass just as the ancestors did for thousands of years. I finally found some easy tricks to do this.

Northern Hemisphere Constellations

Northern Hemisphere Constellations

1. The Big Three

There are 58 stars useful for navigation, and 38 constellations encompass them all. Start with learning to spot Cassiopeia, Crux, and Orion (the Big Three) plus the Big and Little Dipper. 

2. Learn to Find the North Star

The North Star, or Polaris, indicates mostly-north rather than True North. The reason? True North changes as the polarity of the Earth shifts. For the present, though, Polaris is a pretty good guide at about one degree off True North. Find the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and follow the ladle or bowl of the dipper. The outside edge of the ladle points straight up to the North Star.

If you go too far past Polaris, you will see a constellation that looks a little like a “W.” That is the constellation Cassiopeia. Polaris is about midway between the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia. It is also the end star of the handle of the Little Dipper (Ursa Minor).

Finding the North Star

Finding the North Star

3. Find Your Way South

Find the constellation Orion, easily identifiable by the three stars in a row known as Orion’s Belt. Find Orion’s sword, and follow it’s point to South. Another way to navigate southward is to draw a line between the tips of a crescent moon. Follow that imaginary line to the horizon and towards the South Pole.


5. Know How Stars Move

Stars in the sky track from East to West. Look for Orion’s Belt. The far right-hand star, Mintaka, rises very close to true East and sets at due West.

6. Go Down Under

The North Star is not visible South of the Equator, of course. Down under, look for the constellation Crux, or the Southern Cross, which looks like a kite. Draw an imaginary line from the top of the kite to the bottom. This line points South.

Crux - the Southern Cross

Crux – the Southern Cross

7. Make a Land-Based Star Survey

Place two sticks in the ground one yard apart. Pick any star, and line it up with the tops of both sticks, much like looking down a rifle sight. As the Earth rotates, the star will appear to move. If the star tracks left, you are facing North. If it tracks right, you are facing South. If it rises, you are facing East, and if it sinks you are facing West.

Wheel of the Sky - the Northern Hemisphere Constellations

Wheel of the Sky – the Northern Hemisphere Constellations

Plan on seeing some new additions to my back yard experimental station. I already made a simple stone compass, but it is currently covered with cantaloupe vines.

Winter Constellations - Northern Hemisphere

Winter Constellations – Northern Hemisphere

Northern Hemisphere Summer Constellations

Northern Hemisphere Summer Constellations



Archaeologists Discover World’s Oldest Calendar in Scotland

Archaeologists Discover World’s Oldest

Calendar in Scotland

Roff Smith  for National Geographic   Published July 15, 2013

The discovery of a nearly 10,000-year-old lunar calendar in Scotland has archaeologists scrambling to rethink the beginnings of history. The implications are huge, too. It turns out that the men of the Stone Age were not as primitive as we had previously thought.

Scottish Lunar Calendar

The calendar itself is primitive to be sure. However, it is also the oldest calendar ever discovered, predating the bronze calendar in Mesopotamia that had held that title until now by several millennia. The array is made up of 12 pits, one for each month of the year, arranged in a 160-foot-long arc and topped with a series of stones thought to represent the phases of the moon.

The full moon stone, a round seven-foot-wide boulder, is prominently displayed in the middle, and on the far side is a notch to show where the sun would rise on the midwinter solstice 10,000 years ago.

Check out the entire – and entirely fascinating- article HERE

  A panorama near the Kylesku Bridge, Scotland.                                                                                Image by CollinHobbes at iStockphoto



Viking Stuff – Two New Updates in One Week!

The web nerd found TWO Viking-stuff updates in the news this week. Excerpts below, with links to the original awesomeness. Check ’em out!

Norsemen voyages

Territories and Voyages of the Norsemen
photo from Wikipedia Creative Commons

Heavener Runestone

One believer transformed a local curiosity into proof of Vikings on the Great Plains

 Not everyone, however, is convinced Norsemen sailed up the Arkansas River to the Great Plains nearly 500 years before Columbus came to America. Others speculate that the runestone was carved by someone on the French explorer La Salle’s expedition in the 17th century, or by a Swedish captain during a period of 18th-century French colonization. Still others believe the rock may be a hoax created by a 19th-century Scandinavian farmer. Skeptics point out that there are no other remaining artifacts of Vikings in Oklahoma, although similar runestones have been found in Poteau, Shawnee, and Tulsa.

Image by

Image by
Heavener Runestone Inscription

Old Arabic texts describe dirty Vikings

Arabs who encountered Scandinavians who had journeyed eastward depicted them as handsome people but filthy and barbaric.

They are the filthiest of all Allah’s creatures: they do not purify themselves after excreting or urinating or wash themselves when in a state of ritual impurity after coitus and do not even wash their hands after food.

The Arab writer Ahmad ibn Fadlan noted the above after meeting Viking travellers around a thousand years ago.

The Icelandic historian Thorir Jonsson Hraundal has studied comments about what we call Vikings in original texts by Arab historians and geographers. The texts described Arab encounters with Scandinavians in areas around the Caspian Sea and the Volga River.

Their depictions differ radically from images of fearsome Viking conquerors handed down from the British Isles and France in the same era.

Wikimedia Creative Commons

The Polish painter Henryk Siemiradzki painted the funeral ritual of Vikings in what is now Russia, in accordance with descriptions by Ahmad ibn Fadlan. New analyses show that his and other Arabs’ texts are excellent sources of cultural knowledge about the Vikings who ventured eastward. (Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons)


Bezos Expeditions

Apollo 11 Engines Found on Seafloor!

Bezos Expeditions – 7/19/2


When we stepped off the Seabed Worker four months ago in Port Canaveral, we had enough major components to fashion displays of two flown F-1 engines. We brought back thrust chambers, gas generators, injectors, heat exchangers, turbines, fuel manifolds and dozens of other artifacts – all simply gorgeous and a striking testament to the Apollo program. There was one secret that the ocean didn’t give up easily: mission identification. The components’ fiery end and heavy corrosion from 43 years underwater removed or covered up most of the original serial numbers. We left Florida knowing the conservation team had their work cut out for them, and we’ve kept our fingers crossed ever since.

Today, I’m thrilled to share some exciting news. One of the conservators who was scanning the objects with a black light and a special lens filter has made a breakthrough discovery – “2044” – stenciled in black paint on the side of one of the massive thrust chambers. 2044 is the Rocketdyne serial number that correlates to NASA number 6044, which is the serial number for F-1 Engine #5 from Apollo 11. The intrepid conservator kept digging for more evidence, and after removing more corrosion at the base of the same thrust chamber, he found it – “Unit No 2044″ – stamped into the metal surface.”  ~~~ from report

Check out the full article and lots more amazing photos here:

Bezos Expeditions

Apollo 11 Engine
Josh Bernstein and Evan Kovacs captured all of the amazing underwater high definition photographs

Fandango - Movie Tickets Online


Antarctica Without the IceThe British Antarctic Survey has produced the sharpest image yet of Antarctica’s rugged topography. And as you can clearly see, without its mile-thick layer of ice, the polar continent would be an incredibly mountainous terrain, indeed. In conjunction with NASA’s IceBridge mission, the BAS compiled this map by drawing upon millions of new measurements of the continent’s surface elevation, ice thickness, and bedrock topography.

The British Antarctic Survey has produced the sharpest image yet of Antarctica’s rugged topography. As you can clearly see, without its mile-thick layer of ice, the polar continent would be an incredibly mountainous terrain.

In conjunction with NASA’s IceBridge mission, the BAS compiled this map of Antarctica under the ice by drawing upon millions of new measurements of the continent’s surface elevation, ice thickness, and bedrock topography.


Antarctica Without the Ice – visualization by NASA ICEsat

Check out the whole article, photos and video stream here at io9

 Check out some highly rated new books about Antarctica and exploration here:



Buy flags from the largest flag inventory online


Color Photos From WW II

More of my favorite stuff – OLD PHOTOS, in color.

These gorgeous images, via Shorpy, remind us just how vivid that war was.

Originally shot by the War Department in gorgeous Kodachrome film, the saturated hues and crisp edges bring that era to life in a way that few other forms of media can. These photos document the trucks, planes, trains, and other various machines that were being prepared on the home front in anticipation of the conflagration sweeping the globe.

Check out the whole article at


Color Photos from WWI, courtesy of Jalopnik




amazing home decoration


9 Negative Social Habits to Quit Today – From Marc and Angel Hack Life

When it comes to bad, self-defeating habits, there’s no time like today to quit cold turkey.

Cutting out these negative habits makes it simpler to foster good relationships by getting to the heart of productive communication, so why not start today?

Marc and Angel Hack Life

Marc and Angel Hack Life – 9 Negative Social Habits to Stop NOW

Words we can all use. Check out Marc and Angel Hack Life, subscribe to their RSS. They bring daily doses of how to make your life better, and they are always spot on target.

Highly Recommended.