Monday, May 4, 2015

Star Wars Day MAY 4, 2015

DIANE'S CORNER ... Celebrate Star Wars Day

May 4th has become commonly known as Star Wars Day. And who could be surprised? The words, “May the 4th” seem to beg the rest of the catch phrase be uttered. Regardless of whether you prefer Star Wars or Star Trek, or if are even a sci-fi aficionado at all, the influence of George Lucas’ Star Wars on pop culture is undeniable.
The History of Star Wars Day
Star Wars, an epic space opera written and directed by George Lucas, premiered in 1977 and became an almost instant cult classic. Even today, almost 40 years later, Star Wars remains one of the most financially successful films of all time. The franchise it began remains the most successful one of all time, earning over 2.5 billion dollars since the release of the first film. However, the money it’s earned over the years is hardly the most impressive aspect of Star Wars. As famous film critic Roger Ebert put it: “Like The Birth of a Nation and Citizen Kane, Star Wars was a technical watershed that influenced many of the movies that came after.”
Star Wars was a real game-changer, beginning a new era of special effect-packed motion pictures bursting with excitement, adventure and imagination that appealed enormously to younger audiences as well as older ones. Many of today’s most acclaimed film directors, such as Peter Jackson, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan and James Cameron, cite Star Wars as a great influence on their careers. Star Wars has also had enormous cultural impact on other areas besides filmmaking, including politics–the Reagan Administration’s Startegic Defense Program was mockingly nicknamed “Star Wars”. As recently as 2013, President Barack Obama used the phrase “Jedi mind meld” to describe what some people were expecting him to do on his opposition to make them accept his ideas.
“May the Fourth be with you” was first used by Margaret Thatcher’s political party to congratulate her on her election on May 4th, 1979, and the saying quickly caught on. However, the first celebration of May 4th took place much later, at the Toronto Underground Cinema in 2001. This first official Star Wars Day’s festivities included a costume contest and a movie marathon. Fans’ favorite parodies of the franchise were also enjoyed, as were some of the most popular mash-ups and remixes. Since then, Star Wars Day has gained popularity and is celebrated by Star Wars Fans worldwide.

IMPORTANT .. we need your help

Prouty Garden, at the Boston Children's Hospital, has been an oasis with mature trees, flowers and fountains. It's been a sanctuary for stressed families, sick children and hospital staff since 1956. The decision to expand the hospital onto that space is not final. I am asking that you read the article following and sign the petition following that. Thanks, Diane

read about the ongoing issues here:

sign the petition here:

Word of the Day


Definition:(verb) To make soft, usually by steeping in liquid, and cause to disintegrate as a result.
Usage:The stale bread was left to macerate in a bowl of milk for a few hours.


Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655)

Scholars believe that though Cristofori was employed as the custodian of musical instruments at the court of Prince Ferdinand de' Medici, he was hired for the position largely because of his other talent—inventing instruments. His most successful creation was the pianoforte, which, unlike the harpsichord, varies the volume of its sound depending on the force with which its keys are struck. He is thus generally regarded as the inventor of the piano.

Greenery Day

This day formerly observed the birthday of Emperor Hirohito of Japan (1901-1989), who was the world's longest ruling monarch. Today this day is celebrated as Greenery Day (Midori-no-Hi) with parades featuring elaborate floats, paper lanterns, traditional Japanese costumes, and fireworks. People also mark the day by planting trees and with other activities centered around the appreciation of nature. 

This Beetle's Butt Is Basically a Machine Gun

Ever heard of the bombardier beetle? It's aptly named: When threatened, the beetle doesn't just excrete deadly chemicals. It actually mixes them up in an internal chamber, then fires the reaction off as a near-boiling, high-speed spray from its rear end.

1626 - Dutch explorer Peter Minuit landed on Manhattan Island. Native Americans later sold the island (20,000 acres) for $24 in cloth and buttons.
1715 - A French manufacturer debuted the first folding umbrella. 
1886 - Chichester Bell and Charles S. Tainter patented the gramophone. It was the first practical phonograph
1905 - Belmont Park opened in suburban Long Island. It opened as the largest race track in the world. 
1970 - The Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on students during an anti-Vietnam war protest at Kent State University. Four students were killed and nine others were wounded. 
2003 - Idaho Gem was born. He was the first member of the horse family to be cloned. 
2010 - Pablo Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" sold for $106.5 million.


If You Were Born Today, May 4

You are hard working, and somewhat of a perfectionist. Stability and security are especially important to you, and many of the choices you make in life are driven by the desire to achieve these things. As a people person, you tend to feel that life is much better when shared. You are excellent at promoting cooperation and creating harmony. Famous people born today: Audrey Hepburn, Randy Travis, Lance Bass, Will Arnett, Alexander Gould.

Picture of the day
Boulevard du Temple
The earliest reliably dated photograph of people, taken by Louis Daguerre one spring morning in 1838 from the window of the Diorama, where he lived and worked. It bears the caption huit heures du matin (8 a.m.). Though it shows the busyBoulevard du Temple, the long exposure time (about ten or twelve minutes) meant that moving traffic cannot be seen; however, the bootblack and his customer at lower left remained still long enough to be distinctly visible. The building signage at the upper left shows that the image is laterally (left-right) reversed, as were mostdaguerreotypes.

Picture of girls standing in front of a fan in Roswell, Georgia

Fan Girls

Photograph by Kate Parker, National Geographic 
“We all know that sound it makes when you yell into a fan,” writes Kate Parker. Parker had volunteered to take a friend’s children outside after an early dinner out. “This was shot in July in Georgia,” she writes. “Lots of restaurants have these huge fans outside in case anyone is looking to sweat while they eat. [As] soon as the girls saw the fan, they were drawn right to it.” Parker recalled doing this herself as a child. “It is universal. I knew I wanted to capture that moment ... yelling freely, with the wind blowing their hair, and just being kids.”


Mini Key Ring Purses pattern by Kathy Sasser
DESIGN 1: 1 Ball 3960 Spring Stripe
Preview by Yahoo
Blumenkissen - flower cushion pattern by Alexandra Wi...
Knitted version of Naalepuder by Liselotte Weller
Preview by Yahoo
Not boring bow ring pattern by Lily Leprovaux
Lambswool by Phildar Fingering / 4 ply 51% Wool, 49% Acrylic 146 yards / 50 grams average rating from 362 votes 2260 projects, stashed 1253 times
Preview by Yahoo





Daisy Flower Crochet Charity Square pattern by Krystal N...
Do you want to be part of one of the largest independent charity projects? Since 2006 thousands of squares have been made and donated from around the ...
Preview by Yahoo

Tofu Lettuce Wraps With Cashew Sauce

One of my favorite ways to present a salad — and get my fill of all this amazing summer produce — is in a lettuce wrap. I love that it’s a contained unit that doesn’t require a fork or knife — isn’t that how we should eat in summer? There are infinite possibilities on the flavor front: you can fill your lettuce wrap with a lovely falafel; thin slices of steak and bright cherry tomatoes; noodles, rice, chicken, tofu or seafood, and lots of veggies, of course. Here, I was inspired to try making a variation on a classic peanut dipping sauce with cashews — and it worked out marvelously.
Tofu Lettuce Wraps With Cashew Sauce
Yield: 8 Lettuce Wraps
1 block firm tofu
8 stalks romaine lettuce
1 large carrot, grated
2 avocados, halved and sliced lengthwise
Radish sprouts, for garnish
Mint leaves, for garnish
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Lime wedges, for serving
For the cashew sauce:
1 cup cashews
2 teaspoons neutral oil, such as canola oil
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoon red chili paste
First, squeeze the excess liquid from the tofu by placing it between two large dinner plates. You can weight the top plate by stacking a couple bowls on top. Let it drain for 1/2 hour. Discard excess liquid that has accumulated on the plate.
While the tofu drains, prepare the dipping sauce. In a food processor, combine the cashews, oil and water. Process until the cashews become cashew butter. This should take a couple minutes. Once the cashews are buttery, add the lime juice, vinegar, tamari, honey, and chili paste. You may need to scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing of the ingredients.
Next, dice the tofu into small cubes.
To build the wraps, line one lettuce leaf with about 8 cubes of tofu (this will vary depending on the size of your lettuce leaf.) Follow with two slices of avocado, a sprinkling of shredded carrot, and a couple spoonfuls of the cashew sauce. Finish with mint, cilantro and radish sprouts for garnish. Serve with more cashew sauce on the side for dipping.

stephanie o'dea

CrockPot Fried Rice Recipe

use your crockpot slow cooker to make fried rice

So lets just say that you've been using your crockpot every single day and your refrigerator has a million little plastic containers in it filled with meat and veggies and rice and quinoa

And your kids are a bit tired of eating "mommy's leftovers!" for breakfast and lunch so you need a way to disguise them. Because you can't throw away food due the starving children thing and the global food shortage thing and you're Scottish.

You can use your leftovers to make fried rice in the crockpotI know! It totally blew my mind, too.

The Ingredients.

2 cups leftover rice/quinoa (brown rice, etc. totally fine to use)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/8 tsp iodized)
1/2 diced yellow onion
1 cup of whatever frozen or fresh vegetables you have on hand. (I had a bit of asparagus, some carrots and peas)
leftover meat (I had leftover chicken and 3/4 of a cheeseburger patty from a restaurant--I told you I was Scottish!)
1 egg (no shell. DUH!)
sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

The Directions.

Plop everything on in there together.

Mix it around, and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or on low for 3-4. You are only heating everything up and cooking the egg.

The Verdict.

This tasted great! The kids were happy, and Adam happily ate 2 bowls.Now I have one tupperware in the fridge instead of seventy-eight gazillion, which makes me happy.





Diapered 2 Year Old DJ

By Sumitra 

Oratilwe Hlongwane, a.k.a. DJ AJ, has become a viral phenomenon in South Africa with a dedicated fan following of thousands. But here’s the twist – he’s actually a two-year-old kid! While he can barely speak, the incredibly talented toddler can work a DJ console like a pro.

AJ is so good at DJing that he has fans hankering after his heavy-bass house music. The record spinning toddler has made a few special appearances and also bagged sponsorship deals with various brands. His most recent performance was at a shopping mall in his hometown of Johannesburg, where a large crowd gathered to groove to his music.
AJ’s mother, Refiloe Marumo, attributes the boy’s astounding skills to his father Glen Hlongwane’s decision to buy him an iPad even before he was born. Glen, a gymnastics coach, wanted to use the iPad to download educational apps to speed up the kid’s education. Incidentally, he happens to be an aspiring DJ, so he also downloaded a DJ app for his own use.

Oratilwe Hlongwane


Do the Hair Wrap

photo of two girls with hairwrapsHave you done "The Wrap?" Try it. It's fun and fashionable too. All you need is a friend to help you and a favorite thread or yarn and the following instructions. Special thanks to Susan Bates, makers of Anchor Embroidery Floss and Pearl Cotton, for sharing these instructions and for reassuring us that wrapping also works beautifully with yarn.
The amount of thread or yarn you will need will depend on the type thread or yarn you use, the number of colors you select, the length of your hair and the number of wraps you create.
Before you start:
Cut the thread or yarn to the desired length. (If your hair is long, you may need three or more yards of each color.) If you are mixing colors, cut each color to the desired length and hold them together.
photo of cut yarn
Choose a wisp of hair at your temple or along the part and braid it halfway.
Hint: To avoid tangling and wrapping in other hair, cut a slit to the middle of a piece of cardboard and pull the wisp of hair through.
Step 1 - The Beginning
Using an overhand knot, tie the consolidated threads around the braided hair about 1/2"-3/4" from the hairline, leaving a long and a short end: plan the knot so that the short end is 6" longer than your hair.
For a fancier beginning, when making the knot, bring the threads through the loop five times instead of just once. Now bring the braided hair through this loop. Place the loop about 1/2"-3/4" from the hairline as above; pull the short end to tighten.
Step 2 - Do The Wrap
Hold the braid and the threads together as one. To start, pull out a long end of one color and wrap firmly around the entire group of braid and threads forming a solid band of color.
Tip: Wind the long wrapping thread into a loose bundle to wrap more quickly and avoid tangling with the other threads.
photo of knot in yarn
To change color, wrap the working thread end loosely around and bring the end of this thread through the loop from the top to the bottom. Pull it tight and hold it with the other wrapped threads.
photo of finish off knot
To create striped patterns, pull out a long end of two different colors and wrap with both at the same time, keeping them parallel. Finish each thread off by itself as described above.
To create a crossed pattern, pull out a long and a short end of the first color and hold away from work. Pull out the long end of the second color and wrap an inch or more of the braid as usual without wrapping over the first color, then finish off this thread. Now cross the long and the short end of the first color over the wrapped thread repeatedly for desired effect. Finish off each end.
photo of cross braid in yarn
To create a band of color, change the colors and the widths of the wrapping and make your own patterns. Wrap wide and narrow different color bands. Combine plain bands of color on either side of a striped band. Experiment!
Step 3 - To End
Wrap for 1"-1 1/2" beyond the length of your hair. Tie all ends in a knot and trim to the desired length.
Personalize your Wrap: Pearls, beads, buttons or other fun washable accessories can be added to the threads or yarn before the finishing knot.
You don't have to redo The Wrap every day. You can wear it as long as three weeks. Just wash and dry your hair as usual, but to keep the threads or yarn shiny limit use of spray and styling solutions.
To undo the Wrap, gently unwind the wraps and untie the finishing knots.


Why Lucille Ball Was More Revolutionary Than You Think

You probably love Lucy.

Since "I Love Lucy" premiered in 1951, star Lucille Ball has been one of America's most worshiped performers. Long after the show went off the air, new generations continue to discover her hilarity in syndicated "I Love Lucy" episodes.
But while most know Ball paved the way for future women in comedy, they may not understand the exact magnitude of her influence on Hollywood. More than 60 years after "I Love Lucy" began, the ramifications of Ball's groundbreaking strides are still hugely present in the television industry.
To commemorate the star on the anniversary of her death on April 26, 1989, The Huffington Post compiled some of the ways Ball revolutionized American entertainment.

1. "I Love Lucy" broke barriers with its depiction of pregnancy 
Though "I Love Lucy" was not the very first TV show to feature a pregnancy, it was an early one, and broke barriers with the huge success of the storyline. In fact, the episode in which Lucy gives birth to Little Ricky aired the day before President Eisenhower's inauguration, and drew substantially more viewers than his swearing-in.
Though the American public was obviously ready for the pregnancy arc, it still existed in a time of very different moral standards for television. Lucy's character was pregnant, but the show couldn't actually say the word "pregnant" because, according to site The A.V. Club, "CBS deemed [it] too vulgar." Executives reportedly called for a priest, minister and rabbi to approve the scripts before they gave permission for the storyline to air.
2. Lucille Ball was not only a TV star. She had major power behind the scenes
lucy ricky
It's no secret that Ball was one of the first comic female leads on television. But the weight of her power in the industry may be lost on current viewers. Ball not only starred in "I Love Lucy," but co-owned its production company, Desilu, with her husband Desi Arnaz. The company -- which produced other hits during Ball and Arnaz's co-ownership, including "The Ann Sothern Show" and "The Untouchables" -- laid the groundwork for the invention of syndication, and was a catalyst for moving American television production from New York to LA.
Other indicators of Ball's iconic status? She appeared on the first-ever cover of TV Guide in 1953 and "I Love Lucy" finished its series run at No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings.
3. Lucille Ball was the first woman to run her own production company
lucille ball
After the "I Love Lucy" era of Desilu, and the divorce of Ball and Arnaz, Ball ended up buying Arnaz out of the company. With this move, she became the first female head of a major production company. While Ball was at the helm, the company produced hits like "Star Trek" and "Mission Impossible."
4. Ethel and Lucy's female friendship was way ahead of its time
ethel lucy i love lucy
Though we now live in a "Broad City" era, it was only in recent history that television began to increase its representation of realistic female friendships. But on "I Love Lucy," Ethel and Lucy were constantly getting up to their own adventures, without falling into Hollywood's ugliest tropes about women friend pairs. As Rookie magazine writes:
But even though it was sometimes Lucy and Ethel versus the world (or just Ricky and Fred), they always cooperated with each other. They were around the same age, from similar economic backgrounds, and were both happily married. Their relationship existed on an essentially even playing field, so stereotypical female competitiveness plots -- over men or status -- never entered the picture. Whether they were snooping, spying, scheming, or going on wild adventures, their relationship was a source of constant mutual support. (In that respect, Lucy and Ethel’s escapades often passed the Bechdel Test before it even existed.)
5. Lucille Ball had to fight the network to portray Lucy and Ricky's multiethnic marriage 
lucy desi
While Lucy and Ricky's relationship on "I Love Lucy," played by the then-real life couple Ball and Arnaz, is arguably the most important relationship in the show, Ball had to fight the network to get Arnaz the role of her husband.
"CBS and its sponsor, Philip Morris cigarettes, were adamantly opposed to this," Kathleen Brady, author of Lucille: The Life of Lucille Ball, told NPR. "They said that the American public would not accept Desi as the husband of a red-blooded American girl."
According to Brady, Ball told CBS she wouldn't do the show without Arnaz, and they eventually gave in.
It feels inevitable that "Lucy" will remain an integral part of the American TV landscape. Hopefully, the depth of Ball's contributions to the medium can also be a part of that legacy.

All still images Getty unless otherwise noted.


  1. For great short video of the Prouty Garden:

  2. Lucille Ball truly a "treasure and inspiration" not to mention beautiful. :)