Mighty Life List
Jul 13 2015

Auto-Filling, Self-Tie Water Balloons Are Epic

This changes everything. Everything, I tell you!

These are the genius Bunch O Balloons Self Tie Auto Fill Water Balloons.

Last year on Independence Day we spent several tedious hours filling and tying water balloons much more slowly than the kids went through them. That meant hovering kids fighting over the next balloon, hurt fingers, and no chance to actually participate in balloon throwing. This year, filling 100 balloons literally took a few minutes. Here’s the video I took:

Can you believe it? Amaaaazing. I immediately tried to figure out how to make my own, and the answer is “not worth it.” The balloons auto-seal with one of those little rubber bands that come with mouth braces. Each balloon works out to about 17 cents, which I’ve decided is a small price to pay to get back to my frozen beverage.

Jul 10 2015

Excerpts from I, Racist 

Brad and I were talking the other day about why some white people freak out when you talk about racism. My theory was defensiveness. This piece I, Racist outlines it perfectly:

What [white people] are affected by are attacks on their own character. To my [white] aunt, the suggestion that ‘people in The North are racist’ is an attack on her as a racist. She is unable to differentiate her participation within a racist system (upwardly mobile, not racially profiled, able to move to White suburbs, etc.) from an accusation that she, individually, is a racist. Without being able to make that differentiation, White people in general decide to vigorously defend their own personal non-racism, or point out that it doesn’t exist because they don’t see it.

I also like this simple bit about the way violent crime is perceived:

There’s a headline from The Independent that sums this up quite nicely: “Charleston shooting: Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”

Jul 9 2015

Los Punkitos

I remember when the whole web was mostly stuff like this. I love you, Internet.

Thanks, Paul.

Jul 8 2015

Toys that are Good for Baby Brains, 0-6 Months

I’ve been doing research on toys that are good for Ozzy’s brain, so we have them around when he hits new stages. These are some pretty versions of classic toys that get baby synapses dancing, whether you’re looking for your kiddo or just want to win a baby shower.

1. Manhattan Toy Classic Baby Beads Wood Rattle, Teether, and Clutching Toy, $10 This is one of my favorite baby shower gifts. The balls move around in a mezmerizing way, and it’s so pretty. Also supportive of LGBT friends, which is always nice.

2. Melissa & Doug Color-Flap Mirror, $10 It’s good to have lots of mirrors. I also like this simple Wimmer-Ferguson crib mirror with black and white shapes on the reverse, and these Edushape geometric mirrors for the bath. The downside being mirrors in the bath.

3. Nuby Click Links, $5 These are more useful than I’d ever have thought. The baby plays with them and chews them, but you can also use them to hang toys from carseats, strollers, and cribs. Bam, insta play gym wherever you are.

4. Green Tones Polar Bear Shaker, $9 Good for chewing, shaking, and reminding your newborn that the Earth is a precious resource.

5. Plan Toys Play Gym, $66 Looks boring, I know, but Oslo finds it borderline overstimulating. He loses his mind kicking and cooing, and then konks out. He’s way into spare modernist design.

6. Infantino Textured Multi-Ball Set, $9 I was going to keep these in a glass bowl on the living room table, until I realized how overtly stupid that would be. I haven’t slept in a while.

7. FAO Schwarz Mini Plush Elephant, $12 FAO Schwarz makes the best small softies, which babies can grab and shake without smacking themselves in the face. I also love the unicorn.

Babies at this age apparently also benefit from hearing simple songs and nursery rhymes, and seeing photos of faces. I’ll do a few more of these toy roundups for different stages. If you’re interested, here are some great toy recommendation guidelines from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Grow baby brains, grow!

Jul 2 2015

Walking Tall

I love this video of a man trying out heels. What he had to say beforehand:

“Every wedding or fancy event I’ve ever been to has involved at least one girl complaining about how much pain they’re in because of their footwear. Blah blah blah. I get it, your feet hurt… let’s get back to some grinding.”

What he said after:

“People love to talk about how girls are kind of, like, pissy sometimes, and like in bitchy moods. And I completely get it right now. Like, I want to kill everybody.”


via boing boing

Jul 1 2015

Puddle Preschool

This preschool is designed to collect puddles for the kids to play in when it rains. So good.

(via Spoon and Tomago)

Jun 30 2015

The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion

I finished a grownup book! As far as new-mom milestones go, I’ve decided this is more significant than fitting into my pre-baby jeans. Also, this only took me two and a half months. I’ll get back to you on the jeans.

The best parts of Joan Didion’s The Last Thing He Wanted:

“She had set aside the seductive familiarity of the celebrity fund-raiser.
The smell of jasmine.
The pool of blue jacaranda petals on the sidewalk where she sat.
The sense that under that tent nothing bad was going to happen and its corollary, the sense that under that tent nothing at all was going to happen.”

“If you knew [its] name, you might recall the days or nights spent on this island en route to or in lieu of more desirable islands, the metallic taste of tinned juice in rum punches, the mosquitoes under the net at night, the rented villa where the septic tank backed up, the unpleasantness over the Jet Ski misunderstanding, the hours spent waiting in the jammed airport when the scheduled Windward Air or BIWI flights failed to materialize, the piece of needlepoint you meant to finish and instead spotted with coconut oil, the book you meant to read and distractedly set aside, the tedium of all forlorn tropical places.”

“‘A lot of people get some big mystical kick out of chewing over things that happened forty, forty-five years ago,'” he said then. “‘Little sad stories about being misunderstood by their mother or getting snubbed at school or whatever. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with this, I’m not saying it’s self-indulgent or self-pitying or any other damn thing. I’m just saying I can’t afford it. So I don’t do it.'”


specific gravity – the ratio of the density of a substance to the density of a standard, usually water for a liquid or solid, and air for a gas.

Merck Manual – A health information reference.

proconsular – A provincial governor of consular rank in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. 2. A high administrator in one of the modern colonial empires.

facile – appearing neat and comprehensive only by ignoring the true complexities of an issue; superficial.

Alcestis – a princess in Greek mythology, known for her love of her husband.

agitprop – political propaganda promulgated chiefly in literature, drama, music, or art