A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… 10 Crazy and Unusual Book Designs, “No, you can’t deduct that…”

-o- No, you can’t deduct that -o-

I thought I was almost done with my taxes when I remembered I was a Teaching Assistant at George Washington last Spring and forgot to include that. Talk about a con of a freelance (read: unorganized) lifestyle.

Anyway, for a piece that ran this weekend, the NPR staff spoke to several accountants and other knowledgeable sources and asked them to list some of the most off-the-wall attempts their clients made at deductions. Among them? Cosmetic surgery, haircuts, and vet bills. Check out NPR‘s article by Jacob Goldstein.

-o- Weight as factor in employment decisions? -o-

A Texas hospital that includes body mass index (BMI) in their hiring policy has come under criticism. Well, yeah, it’s hard not to feel upset about that. Here’s the HLN article.

-o- Eggs as Art from all over the World -o-

Easter is over for another year, and pieces of plastic eggs litter my apartment. Ah, cats. Before leaving decorative eggs and nostalgic memories of hunts behind for awhile, check out this gallery from NPR.

-o-  Snow White’s in, Vampires are out, but at least Kristin Stewart is still around -o-

(Image source: Wikipedia.com)

Vampires, werewolves, dystopian futuristic worlds… Snow White? Not so much a logical progression. But Annalee Newitz makes some intriguing arguments in her piece on io9.com “Why is Everybody Obsessed with Snow White?” Check it out.

-o- 10 Crazy and Unusual Book Designs -o-

This is my favorite thing I found last week: “10 Crazy and Unusual Book Designs” by Emily Temple. Here’s the list from Flavorwire. Among them, and my favorite (perhaps predictably)… edible books! The first book on this list is an edible cookbook with pages that can be baked into a lasagna.

-o- Cherry Blossom Festival in pictures -o-

I was just on the Mall this weekend and, sadly, I think the blossoms are mostly gone for the year. Check out 100 years of cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. in pictures from the BBC.

-o- Best and Worst Beers -o-

Worth a read, but I wish “taste” were a category. Here’s the slideshow of 40 beers by calorie-count, carbs and alcohol percentage by Eat This, Not That. Going through this was actually kind of a bummer but… drinking beer was never a super calorie-conscious option to begin with…

-o- Recipe of the Week: Over-the-top Mushroom Quiche -o-

Cooking this week! Amazing-looking mushroom quiche. Here’s the recipe from Punchfork.

(Image source: @ Deb Perelman)

Sadly, Brian doesn’t like mushrooms, so we’ll also be making this soup with the abundance of asparagus in our fridge right now; here’s the recipe from thesolitarycook. Mmm… what an unusual and delicious-sounding combination: “Asparagus Soup with Sriracha and Avocado Creme Fraiche.”

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A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… 21st Century Publishing Success Stories, Bieber gets to shake Obama’s hand

-o- Kim Jong Il dies at age 69
CNN‘s coverage on Kim Jong Un, the successor; The Washington Post‘s coverage of the event; The New York Timesstory on the anxiety in the region.

-o- 7 new apps to download this week
From Mashable; see the piece here. My favorite? “Santa’s Big Helper”… if you can stomach the idea of downloading a Christmas app (and then using it to trick your kids…)

-o- Michelle Bachmann on Kinsey’s estimate of the gay population
When asked by a self-proclaimed “gay-friendly Iowan” if she was aware that 10% of Americans are gay, Bachmann replied that those numbers were according to “the Kinsey report” and have been known to be wrong for years now. Bachmann’s husband, who works at a clinic long-suspected of trying to “cure” homosexuality, backed his wife, informing the questioner that Kinsey’s work is no longer considered “valid.”
Dr. Kinsey is famous for his research on human sexual behavior in the 1940s and 1950s; he shocked the world when he claimed 10% of the male population was gay. Studies and polls since then have come up with numbers from1%-8%. Here’s the story on CNN’s political ticker blog.

-o- 21st Century Publishing success stories
21st-century publishing seems a terrifying field, but it is the industry I want to be a part of. I found this article from The Guardian on successful publishing in the digital age inspiring.

-o- 10 most popular Twitter pics this week
Also from Mashable – see all the 10 most popular photos on Twitter this week here. Among them? Taylor Swift’s new red shoes, Justin Bieber shaking hands with Barack Obama, and a conversation between Santa and Jesus.

-o- Eat This, Not That’s NEW Worst Supermarket Foods
Reading these lists can be upsetting, but it’s so worth it! Slideshow, List.

-o- The Ultimate Christmas Gift
With the holidays looming, I would venture to guess no one has time to make these this year. But still, drool over the photo on Gojee and file it somewhere for the day you are determined to give them a try!