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Cream of the Cool

This is for all you DIY enthusiasts out there.

Back in the days when I was working as a Landscaper I occasionally dug garden ponds for people. Of course, if you dig a hole in the ground and try to fill it with water, the water quickly soaks away. The solution is to line the hole with some kind of impermeable liner; the best ones are made of Butyl rubber. The size of the liner needed is simple to calculate- max width plus twice the max depth, max length plus twice the depth,…

The Finkbeiner test is a way of determining sex bias in journalism. It is somewhat akin to the Bechdel test. While the Bechdel test looks at women's roles in fictional narratives (particularly movies), the Finkbeiner test looks at journalistic articles reporting on female subjects. In order to pass the test, a piece must not mention:

  1. The fact that the subject is a woman;
  2. Her husband's job;
  3. Her child care arrangements;
  4. How she nurtures her

The Sexy Lamp test is a complement to the Bechdel test -- most would say an easier test, although it is possible to pass the Bechdel test and fail the Lamp test. It was originally put forth by Kelly Sue DeConnick, a popular American comic book writer/editor.

"I actually think the Bechdel Test is a little advanced for us sometimes. I have one called the Sexy Lamp Test, which is, if you can remove a female character from your plot and replace her with a sexy lamp and your

Scoff has long been an English slang term meaning to gobble down one's food. In the late 1950s those crazy Americans modified this, apparently without cause, to 'scarf'.

In current usage scarf is most often used in the phrases 'scarf down' and 'scarf up', both meaning to eat quickly, hungrily, and/or greedily. The phrase 'scarf up' has been generalized to also mean 'grab greedily', although this is less common. And finally, 'scarf out' is sometimes used…