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Cranking Widgets Blog

By Brett Kelly

Talking About Money with Family and Friends

What does a blogger’s spouse do while the blogger is out of town? Hang out with other bloggers and their spouses, of course! While Chris Guillebeau was off playing with the tigers in Thailand, his wife Jolie spent some time with Kris and me. Last Friday morning, we picked peaches (and then Kris and Jolie canned them).

Assorted links for August 19, 2010

Interesting articles on the subject of simple living: Kevin Rose gives advice for how to manage your e-mail account when you receive more than 1,000 messages a day. “Is Consumerism Killing Our Creativity?” from The 99 Percent The New York Times blogs about Comedian Lewis Black’s protest of Eat, Pray, Love merchandising. Want more time in your day?

"I'm Much Happier If I Can Achive a Flow State for Part of Each Day. But This Requires Shutting Off My Email."

Happiness interview: Paul Bloom. I recently read Paul Bloom's new book, How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like. It's an absolutely fascinating look at pleasure and why we feel it. The relationship between pleasure and happiness -- what it ought to be, and what it actually is -- is one of the most complex issues within the larger subject of happiness.

Silver laptop stand

Materials: Some elements of an old computer desk from IKEA, 2 screws, 2 nuts, 1 drill and some bits, 1 cutter, 1 saw and some necklaces wiring Description: I made this laptop stand with some elements of a computer desk which is sold over the past few years (picture is not mine).

Why Innovation Thrives at the Mayo Clinic

Can hospitals offer the best models in innovation? In the case of the Mayo Clinic, yes.

How to Rebuild Your Attention Span and Focus

Neuroplasticity, and why we need to focus on managing attention, not information.

Beyond the 10,000 Hour Rule: Richard Hamming and the Messy Art of Becoming Great

Revisiting the question, "what makes great scientists great?"

Reader Mailbag: Grandparents’ Week

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Switching to joint checking 2. Transferring a Roth IRA 3. Accounts and goals 4. Which debt goes first? 5. Using HELOC to repay debts 6. Gift card arbitrage 7. Debts or further property buying 8.

Simplifying packed lunches

Reader Jon wrote to us asking if we had any tips for preparing lunches at home that he can take to eat at work. He has been spending $100 a week on eating out at restaurants, and is hoping to become someone who brings his lunches to work.

What to Do When a Client Kills a Project

So, there you are, working away on a project, and oh, is it a good one.

KVARTA clock art

Materials: KVARTA clock, scrapbooking paper, scissors, pencil Description: I just painted the walls of my bedroom a Tiffany's blue, and I wanted some art for my naked -- and now bright blue -- walls. So I ventured off to IKEA and found the KVARTA clock. The clock is surprisingly simple to take apart. If you press the two tabs in the back of the clock, and the plastic face comes off.

Money CAN Buy You Happiness!

This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Childwild.com. In today’s article, she tackles a topic I’ve been meaning to write about, but haven’t made the time. Contrary to popular belief, money can buy you happiness — if you spend it on the right things.

Why Optimists Prosper

Photo credit: ‘La Vie En Rose’ – Jacqueline Coates Have you ever wondered why some people are able to weather financial upheaval without breaking a sweat and have confidence to spare when it comes to taking risks such as starting their own business or taking a year off to travel without an enormous safety net?

99% Music Mix I: Inspiration Is For Amateurs

Following on our successful mix collaboration with Ghostly International, we’re launching a new music series here at 99%. This late-summer concoction wraps electronica, techno, synth pop, and dash of sultry boogie-woogie into a dreamy, magic carpet ride.

How to Escape a Riptide

Summer is drawing to a close. If you made it to the beach this year, you managed to get your tan on and survive a shark attack. Congratulations!