October, the 10th month of the year, one of the seven months with 31 days, its entrance signals the crispness of fall, and its exit coincides with Halloween. It contains National Fire Prevention Week, Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, and Freethought, Columbus, Alaska, Spirit, Apple, Mole, and Navy Days. It's also a new month for PRI, which means new inspirations to share. Here we tell you about new depression-era posters available from the Library of Congress, giving new life to old furniture, a family's journey to Mordor, original poetry from our in-house versifier, a love of fantasy football, turning apps into desserts (if only!), Martha Stewart's battle with some shady characters (go Martha!), a band that will knock your socks off (and they have "Disco" in their name, awesome), and "swaying" to some good ol' Dean Martin crooning. Check it out.
|I’m planning to print and frame a bunch of these depression-era national park posters for my living room wall. Available for download from the Library of Congress, these posters were created by artists through the Work Projects Administration’s Federal Art Project. Between 1935 and 1943, over two million posters in 35,000 different designs were printed. Unfortunately, due to their fragile nature, only 2,000 posters have survived. But thanks to technology and digital printing, my home gets a little historical flair.|
|I’ve been really getting into the furniture painting craze, and though I’m a novice, I’ve already learned a few things: 1) there are recipes all over the Internet for making your own chalk paint; 2) paste wax is WONDERFUL and works on practically anything, painted or unpainted, wood, metals, tile, leather, concrete, marble . . . my favorite right now is Briwax in ebony, which turned my unpainted, vintage coffee table into a richly colored “antique” in about an hour; 3) you can experiment by layering all your paints, waxes, glazes, and washes; and, 4) there’s no need to throw away perfectly good furniture—like our (now beautiful) old wooden lawn chairs I saved from the burn pile!|
|Last summer, my family began walking to Mordor. We’re keeping a running tally of all our collective mileage: Here’s a breakdown in minute, geek-tastic detail, a spreadsheet that keeps a running total for you, and we’re also marking up a map to show our progress. So far, we’re at about 280 miles (or halfway to Rivendell). Recently my son Peter said, “But MOM! It’s going to take us more than a year!” Even though the answer is that Frodo and his companions took at least that long, walking to Mordor teaches patience, and that there's value in pursuing long-term goals. It's also a way to get deeper into a wonderful story. Oh, and it’s wonderfully nerdy and awesome. (Editor’s Note: Mordor is J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional universe of Middle-earth.)|
Five red roses in the sand
The tide engages.
|Every year my love of fantasy football grows more and more as I anticipate the new season . . . and I don’t stand alone. ESPN stated that one of it’s fantasy football podcasts averaged 593,000 downloads, per show, in August, up 118% from the same month in ’11. Mobile technology has played a huge role. ESPN’s new iPad application for fantasy football ranked No. 2 on September 6th among all free iTunes apps.|
|As Android users know, Google names their Android operating system versions after some sort of dessert item. With their latest one, they teamed up with Nestlé and called it their OS KitKat. Along with a cool new look for the Android mascot, the official KitKat website got a slick, new (and very funny) redesign out of the deal: http://kitkat.com￼|
|Every year I am inspired by the coming of the fall season. It begins with a melancholy tone at the end of summer, but it brings about a crispness in the air, a revitalization of the sounds and smells of a new season soon to include pie baking, holiday cooking, watching the leaves change, and some of the most beautiful sunsets. To me it represents a rejuvenation of sorts. “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” —Albert Camus|
|So, I love Martha Stewart for a number of reasons. I admire her crazy addiction to perfection, her entrepreneurship, her unashamedness to look neurotic in front of the whole world, and most of all her unwillingness to give up in the face of any adversity. Currently I love Martha because she is taking the time and money to fight back against LodSys, a patent troll, for her in app purchases. It would be easier to just pay the $5000, which I’m sure she has, but she is putting forth the effort to do the right thing, which might make shady companies like LodSys think twice before they engage in other legal threats like they have in the past.|
|Panic! at the Disco has gone through a lot of changes since their first album back in 2005. The only original member is frontman Brendon Urie. Each of their albums has explored a completely different set of sounds, and each has garnered a new set of fans (and maybe disappointed some of the old ones). This time, instead of making fans wait for the official release date of their new album (October 8), they leaked an album stream YouTube playlist of “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die.” It’s full of synthetic, digital, heavily produced music that is surprising and yet, somehow fits perfectly into their already atypical catalog. Their unusual marketing strategy was a success—I listened to the entire album more than once, and pre-ordered it on iTunes!|
|“Sway!” This song by Dean Martin is not leaving me these days. I end up humming it all the time. I never tire of his magical voice, the touching lyrics, and from listening to it again and again!!! And of course the more I listen, the more I sway.|