Lisa's blog

Sasquash: When Gourds Attack

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"               

     --George Santayana, squash grower and part-time philosopher

         

I knew there would be consequences, but I went ahead and planted seven squash seeds in my backyard. Then, a perfect storm of hot weather and monsoon rains resulted in plants as fast-growing and unruly as a teenage boy. So read on, friends, family and colleagues, since there may be a squash or two in your future.

Making It To Management - Password Management, That Is

Wow, it looks like you're having a bad day.

First, you got a financial tip; pork bellies are out, beans are in. You'll have to access your managed futures portfolio right away or you're ruined. Also, your mother-in-law's birthday is coming up, and she wants a new Ikea milk frother. Worst of all, your library book, The World's Strongest Librarian, is overdue.

Looking for Money to Finance your Project? Check Out Foundation Grants to Individuals Online

Do you want to attend the ukulele festival, but lack funds?  Although foundations don't generally offer grant money to individuals, the Foundation Center can help you find those that do. 

Funding opportunities for students, professionals, researchers and artistic types are available through the FC's Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, a database of nearly 10,000 foundation and public charity programs including:

Don't Make a Major Mistake: How to Choose a College Degree

I was in college in the late 1970s, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and selecting a major was relatively simple - there were no exotic degrees available such as Casino Management, Biosystems Engineering, Culinary Science or Digital Arts.

The stakes weren't as high, either. The average cost of tuition alone in 1980 for a 4-year public institution was about $10,000 total, compared to today's price tag of $64,000. That, coupled with the challenge of finding a job, any job, in our current economy can make choosing a degree that is marketable yet intellectually stimulating a challenge.

When Cuteness Attacks: Scene-Stealing Movie Animals

Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

The warning "Never work with children or animals," is attributed to W.C. Fields, who was known to lace Baby LeRoy's bottle with gin to get him to stop crying on the set. Below are some films that feature animal actors who upstage their two-legged co-stars.

Although he never protested that he was young and he needed the money, one of the earliest animal stars, Rin Tin Tin, started out his acting career playing wolves. His movies eventually became so popular that he is credited with saving Warner Brothers, and he eventually earned his own paw print on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Meet Jennifer Kincheloe: Denver's Semi-Finalist for Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award

A well-crafted first line in a novel has a big job.  Whether it's mysterious, romantic, enigmatic, funny or atmospheric, it must grab and entice the reader.  

In the case of local writer Jennifer Kincheloe's debut novel, "The Secret Life of Anna Blanc," the opening words bring you into a very special world: "Anna Blanc wore a six-inch hairpiece made from the tresses of a yak."  

Duct Tape - It's Not Just For Repairing Broken Tail Lights

If you happen to attend a birthday party for a 'tween girl, don't be surprised if she receives a roll or two of duct tape as a gift.

Not the shiny, silver kind, but brightly colored or patterned with.paisley, leopard print, penguins, polka dots, plaid, skulls, camouflage, cupcakes, bacon and Hello Kitty. Inexpensive and easy to work with, crafters use it to fashion items such as wallets, tote bags, dresses, belts, flowers, book covers and phone cases.

ARBOR DAY TAKES ROOT

Look out any window, and you'll probably see a tree or two - each and every one of them planted by someone, since Denver is a high plains desert region and by definition has no native trees.

The Nebraska Territory was also treeless when pioneer J. Sterling Morton and his bride, Caroline, arrived there in 1854 from Detroit and staked a claim in Nebraska City. He became the editor of the town's newspaper and built a 52-room mansion based on the design of the White House.

CHANGING MOVIES IN THE MIDDLE OF A STREAM

David and Jackie Siegel

Feature films are supposed to be entertaining, while documentaries present us with grim reality. But the best documentaries often introduce us to extraordinary and intriguing people -- and sometimes go places even the filmmakers didn't anticipate. Here are some documentaries with a few unexpected twists.

Watching a movie doesn't usually make me want to fill up my car with items for the Goodwill, unless that movie is The Queen of Versailles. Filmmaker Lauren Greenfield started out wanting to tell the story of billionaire David Siegel and buxom third wife Jackie's quest to build the largest and most expensive house in the country. In the middle of filming, though, the housing crisis nearly wiped out Siegel and his predatory timeshare business.

GLOSSOPHOBIA, OR HOW I STOPPED WORRYING AND LEARNED TO LOVE PUBLIC SPEAKING

We've all seen the statistic: Most people rate their fear of public speaking higher than fear of death itself.

This commonly cited (and questionable) statement seems to have originated from The Book of Lists (1977), which got its information from an elusive 1973 study called the "Bruskin Report," a study consisting of a small sample of people who were asked to choose and rate their biggest fears from a list which also included heights, bugs, flying, and elevators.

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