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Living to 100I’m about to have a birthday. Interestingly, it’s the birthday that marks the halfway point of my life. How do I know? A little calculator called Living to 100 told me so.

The calculator measures factors such as social interactions, medical condition, family history, diet and exercise…all the things your doctor says you need to take care of…and tells you how long you’re expected to live. Ouch.

Turns out that if I want to live to 105, I need to get my backside onto a treadmill. Who knew?

Slate Explainer

Slate Explainer

Elections, war, religion, bailouts, the Middle East…Whenever the news, it’s more interesting when I understand something more about the background. Slate Explainer goes in-depth to explain the story behind today’s headlines, with such fascinating articles as “Is a $1 Salary Paid in Installments?“, “How To Prosecute a Shoe-Thrower “, and “How exactly will Obama get all his stuff into the White House?

Readers can submit questions on other newsworthy topics…Just as you can submit comments on this blog entry by clicking the comments link below.

OptOutPreescreenI may have been amongst the first three people to put myself onto the Do Not Call registry. Before the registry, I had nearly stopped answering my phone altogether. Just couldn’t bear the relentless solicitations for life insurance, time shares and credit cards. Since the registry, blissful silence from the commercial sector. These days the only people who call me are friends and clients.

So now I’ve added my name to the junk-mail version of the DNCR. OptOutPrescreen is operated by the four credit-reporting agencies. Signing up stops credit card issuers and insurance agents from checking your credit to mail out those obnoxious You’re Pre-Approved! offers, thereby discouraging — but not quite eliminating — the daily overstuffing of the mailbox. Reducing clutter is just my tiny contribution to the sustainabilification of the planet.

See how I just totally coined a new word?

How I Plan FHE

Family Home Evening

Family Home Evening

Hope your holidays were lovely and memorable.

It’s Monday, and we try to make all of our Mondays lovely and memorable by observing a tradition of our own: Family Home Evening.

Oh, yes, our family nights are often messy and disorganized, and all too often they devolve into a morass of movies and munchies, but we’re all in the same room, and that has to count for something, right?

Here’s the planner I use to try to impose at least a modicum of organization on our family nights: fhe.lds.org. The site suggests activities and lesson topics, artwork and an actual fill-in-the-blanks planner for organizing family home evenings.

Share some FHE tips of your own by clicking the Comments link, and I promise not to put you in charge of conducting the opening song.

How I Testify

Brick Testament

We’re having a bit of a blizzard here, so Church got snowed out today. And a glorious Shabbat to you, too.

Perhaps I shall compensate for the lack of fellowship and community worship by studying my favorite translation of the scriptures: The Brick Testament, a Lego-ized pictorial representation of Biblical stories. Sometimes serious, sometimes satirical, it’s difficult to discern what motivates the maker of this site. But it’s all good fun.

In the spirit of the holidays, and demonstrating that a picture actually is worth a thousand words, I present the Brick Testament version of “The Birth of Jesus”:

Birth of Christ

To be ecumenical, I should probably also give kudos to Assembling the Temple and Brick of Mormon, two other efforts to bring scriptural stories to life — or, at least, to Legos.

Play on.

Hassle MeI operate many mailing lists; sometimes a week or so can go by without my remembering to moderate the messages — and then all sorts of chaos ensues.

I’ve found the solution: Hassle Me, a helpful little resource that sends me abusive emails every few days reminding me to go moderate my lists.

Use it to remind yourself to go to the gym (“Get off your fat backside, you lazy twit”), eat fruit (“Lay off the burgers, you massive carnivore!”), or to think positive thoughts about yourself (“You’re really quite lovely, and not at all obese.”)

Sometimes, you just need to be nagged.

Stock.XCHNGIt’s time for the biennial — okay, bi-decadal — update of our primary website, so I’ve been out hunting for artwork. Lo and behold: I stumbled into a third of a million images, all legit, and all free, at Stock.xchng, a free stock photo gallery.

Just goes to show: People are pretty darned cool. Oh, and generous. This is just a great time to be alive. Merry Christmas, fellow web builders!