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I read in the Boston Globe today about these wonderful cookies called Thumbprint Cookies. I actually always liked them, but never actually knew what they were called. So, after reading the recipe, I decided to just go for it.

The recipe is simple enough, but somewhere along the line, it went horribly wrong. I took one bit out of one cookie, and B took another bite out of another one, and I made a horrible looking face. The entire batch ended up in the trash can. I feel defeated. The stuff just had no flavor whatsoever! It was just awful.

I really really would like to learn how to make them, but what happened with mine was that they totally fell apart. I couldn't even make the indentation in the middle to put the jam in! It's so sad.

My SIL's SIL apparently has a good recipe for some decent thumbprint cookies that she's going to inquire about. Hopefully, I will try them, and they will be good.

(PS: Image from Simply Recipes)

My thoughts on the Nook

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first book I read on the nook since I got it about 4 months ago. Now ready for some thoughts on the gadget.

Overall, I like it for fiction books. Non-fiction books that require heavy margin-writing and underlining is just non-existent here.

Pluses so far: It's convenient for purchasing/archiving, and it's easy on the eyes, and you can have thousands of books on there without needing bookshelves. Also, long battery life, you can (awkwardly) browse the web with it, you can listen to music on it, and read .pdfs. No heavy books to try to balance while reading. And, you can adjust the font size. Access to an enormous library.

Negatives: Can't really write in the margins but you can annotate with the virtual keyboard, can't photocopy/scan sections, access to an enormous library in which it's easy to get lost/overwhelmed, you don't get the tactile feeling of turning pages (and seeing how far you still have left or have read so far), can't really lend the book or sell it afterward, and most importantly, no satisfaction of putting a book away on the shelf after reading the whole thing (or no satisfaction of throwing a book across the room in frustration/anger). Also, it's too easy to get carried away with downloading samples of books and whole books, which means that it's harder to limit oneself to one book at a time.

The negatives are not negatives with the gadget, but are more emotional/cognitive.

In summary, I like the nook, but for light fiction readings and not for books that I need to "work" with to any extent.


A nagging dilemma is how to to get child categories in Wordpress to selectively inherit their parent's theme, which is in category-x.php.

This is probably not the most elegant solution, but going off on what someone said in a WP forum , and some code from Lorelle, here's what I came up with. Since I only have four categories to check, I'm not too concerned about the server load.

Put this in the category.php page, which will now serve as a template switcher.

< ?php $this_category = get_category($cat); ?>
< !-- If category is parent, list it -->
< ?php if ($this_category->category_parent == 0) { ?>

< ?php $this_category->category_parent = $cat; ?>
< ?php } else { ?>
< !-- If category is not parent, list parent category -->
< ?php $parent_category = get_category($this_category->category_parent); ?>

< ?php
if ($pid=='7')
    include (TEMPLATEPATH . '/category-7.php');
elseif ($pid=='6')
include (TEMPLATEPATH . '/category-6.php');



< ?php } ?>
UPDATE: There's also a good plugin that seems to do similar things: WP Extra Template Tags 0.3


Template tags is a really good thing i Wordpress. Unfortunately there are some tags missing. I created a plugin to provide Wordpress users with extra template tags. It can be used in themes or plugins.

One of the most brilliant songs ever written... so not very hopeful, and it's just... well, brilliant with some great lines in there.


Leonard Cohen
Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room, my secret life
it's lonely here,
there's no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
that's an order!
Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I've seen the future, brother:
it is murder.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant

You don't know me from the wind
you never will, you never did
I'm the little jew
who wrote the Bible
I've seen the nations rise and fall
I've heard their stories, heard them all
but love's the only engine of survival
Your servant here, he has been told
to say it clear, to say it cold:
It's over, it ain't going
any further
And now the wheels of heaven stop
you feel the devil's riding crop
Get ready for the future:
it is murder

Things are going to slide ...

There'll be the breaking of the ancient
western code
Your private life will suddenly explode
There'll be phantoms
There'll be fires on the road
and the white man dancing
You'll see a woman
hanging upside down
her features covered by her fallen gown
and all the lousy little poets
coming round
tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson
and the white man dancin'

Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St Paul
Give me Christ
or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby:
it is murder

Things are going to slide ...

When they said REPENT REPENT ...

Made-to-Order Babies - Motherlode Blog -

The idea of the "designer babies" is not that far fetched....

The question has roared back into the headlines this month, first with the birth of the octuplets — which to so many of us seems like Exhibit A of IVF-run-amok — and now by a story in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal about the potential use of something called preimplantation genetic diagnosis to choose physical traits in a baby, like hair color and eye color.

P.G.D. was created so that parents who carried genes for life-threatening disease could be assured of having healthy children. Embryos created by IVF are tested at the three-day stage, and only those that are free of disease are transferred to the uterus. Theoretically, one could look for any gene in those embryos. And the reporter Gautam Naik quotes Fertility Institutes, a Los Angeles Clinic, as saying they will begin to offer exactly that service, allowing couples “a pre-selected choice of gender, eye color, hair color and complexion,” whether or not they were also screening for serious illness at the same time.

Gave up on PSPP

R seems to be the best free statistical software out there. So, I'm going to give it a try. I've used SAS, SPSS, and Stata.. I don't know how it compares to them. But, the problem is that it's been a while since I've done any stats, and I'm VERY rusty.

Oh boy.. This is going to be fun.

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