Red Pandas in Snow

This video of red pandas playing in the snow may be my favorite video of all time, on any subject. I mean, seriously. Red pandas playing in snow. I dare you to find something cuter or more happy-making than this. (via The Mary Sue)

Influential Authors

There’s a meme going around: “List the first fifteen authors you can think of who’ve influenced you and will always stick with you. Don’t think too long about it; list the first fifteen you can recall in 15 minutes.” I’m adding another condition: Authors I’d read before I turned 15. In alphabetical order: Piers Anthony: …

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Coyote Magic

It was beautiful in Los Angeles today, and the park was packed. Runners, walkers, rollerbladers, bikers, dogs, babies, you name it. I set up my podcast and started out, prepared to enjoy a crowded but gorgeous run. About 10 minutes in, two unexpected things happened at once: I found myself alone on a wooded stretch …

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Symphony of Science

My friend Rick just introduced me to this website: Symphony of Science. According to the website, their mission is “to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form.” In reality, I found many of their songs inspiring, beautiful, thought-provoking, and profound in ways I can’t explain. But who knows? Maybe you’ll find them cheesy. That’s …

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Old Spice FTW*

I’ve been watching a lot of Olympics, which means I’ve been seeing a lot of commercials. My favorite by far is this Old Spice commercial called “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”: Old Spice is not just harnessing gender stereotypes, it’s mocking them in a delightful way. Check out the Old Spice website for …

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The World is Just Awesome

All the hubbub over Super Bowl commercials has reminded me of one of my favorite commercials ever, Discovery Channel’s “The World is Just Awesome.” Imagine my happy surprise to find there’s also a sequel! So, if you haven’t seen these before (and even if you have) please watch. Your sense of wonder will thank you.

2009: MG Reads

I didn’t read widely in 2009, but I did read well. Here are some of my absolute favorite middle grade reads of the year. 2009: GREAT MIDDLE GRADE READS The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex I gushed about this book back in September, and my opinion hasn’t changed. It’s like an Earth-based Hitchhiker’s …

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Where Books Come to Life

You must — must — watch this amazing ad for the New Zealand Book Council: Despite the fact that the ad features a book, this is not a book trailer and the words aren’t actually important. It’s all about the mood and the magic, the feelings that books inspire.