Friday Unwind #14: Free Libraries; Triskaidekaphobia; The Honey Bus; Peplum; Big George Foreman; DALL-E 3
Taylor Swift and Lucky Number 13
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📚 LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES
When I saw a cute little wooden ‘house’ full of books on the roadside near my daughter’s house in Atlanta, I had never heard of Little Free Libraries.
In 2009 Tod Bol mounted a little wooden schoolhouse on a post in his lawn in Hudson, Wisconsin. He filled it with books as a tribute to his Mom, who was a book lover and school teacher who had recently died.
He went on to build little libraries all over the Midwest, forming a non-profit in 2012. His goal was to set up 2510 little libraries, to surpass the 2509 Carnegie libraries that had been built with Andrew Carnegie funding between 1883 and 1929.
His goal was met in 2012. Currently there are more than 150,000 little free libraries in 115 countries around the world.
You can check out the Little Free Library interactive map to find little libraries near you!
That’s actually a word. Go ahead. Pronounce it.😂
Triskaidekaphobia is a fear of the number 13. Symptoms may include hyperventilating, rapid heart beat, dizziness (um, if you are hyperventilating…), and unwillingness to leave your house.
There’s a long history attached to the number 13, including paganism, Christianity and witches, many promoted by horror movies, especially about Friday the 13th.
If #13 is on your list with black cats and broken mirrors, you might want to follow Taylor Swift’s example. Early on in her career she often performed with the #13 painted on her hand.
“I was born on the 13th. I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks. My first No. 1 one song had a 13-second intro,” she told MTV in 2009. “Every time I’ve won an award I’ve been seated in either the 13th seat, the 13th row, the 13th section or row M, which is the 13th letter. Basically, whenever a 13 comes up in my life, it’s a good thing.”
Maybe it’s time for us to follow her example and make #13 our lucky number. It certainly seems to have worked out for her.
Happy and Lucky Friday the 13th to you!🍀
📚 BOOK NOOK: The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage, and a Girl Saved by Bees
When author Meredith May was just five, her world was turned upside down. Her parents split, her mother retreated in despair to her bedroom, and they moved into a ramshackle house in Carmel Valley with her eccentric grandfather and distant grandmother.
I’ve heard of being stung by bees, but never being saved by them. But this is exactly what happened to May. Her grandfather made honey in an old military bus that was rusting away in their yard. His passion for the bees became her passion. Her lonely life was replaced with a hive of bees that showed her the importance of family.
Before reading this book, I wasn’t a fan of bees. But looking through the eyes of a little girl and her grandfather, I learned how to understand, trust, and respect them.
👗 PEPLUM IS BACK
Flouncy ruffles or stiff corsets at the hips and Victorian hoop pockets just below the waist… do I really have to bring more attention to that part of my body? 2023 fall fashion says ‘yes’. Do I have to?
This is scarier than Friday the 13th…👇
🎬 GROOVIE MOVIE: BIG GEORGE FOREMAN
For someone who was the 2-time world heavyweight champion of the world and an Olympic gold medalist, it seems odd that he may best be remembered for two entirely different things: The George Foreman Grill and the fact that he named all five of his sons George Foreman.
The movie “Big George Foreman” gives an accurate account of Foreman’s troubled and angry youth, his rise and fall in the boxing world, his near death experience that catapulted him into the ministry, and his return to boxing.
Like many of the movie reviewers, I had hoped for a closer look into George Foreman the human being, instead of just a tale of the events of his life. Even so, it’s a trip down memory lane for those of us who grew up during that time, and perhaps a glimpse into boxing history for everyone else.🥊
Available on Netflix.
💡 GUEST SPOTLIGHT: DALL-E 3 by MITCHELL ALLEN
One of the topics in last week’s edition of After 21 Club was about a 909 pound pumpkin that took top prize at the Alaska State Fair. In addition to gargantuan gourds, the fair is known for limericks celebrating the super sized squash. When I asked readers to submit their own pumpkin poem, Mitchell Allen cooked up a beauty, including an AI generated pumpkin portrait.
Thinking that other readers may be Tech-NO’s like me, I asked Mitchell to share how he carved out such a creation. Is this something we can all do? The answer is, YES. And here’s how:
💡 GUEST POST: Creating AI Images by Mitchell Allen
Creating images with AI can be so much fun. Until recently, I've been using NightCafé, which has a ton of features. As a result, generating images on that site can be overwhelming. Decent images appear only after testing and refining the descriptive text, choosing the right model and tweaking various other settings. That entire process is known as prompt engineering; however, the models tend to ignore some of the text!
Recently, I learned that a new tool was released: DALL-E 3. Created by the company who gave us ChatGPT, DALL-E 3 was built on top of Chat GPT, which means that the text prompts are not ignored.
Although the OpenAI website adequately explains DALL-E 3, I really got a feel for the possibilities after watching a video from Kristina God, whose newsletter is all about helping her readers earn money online.
I decided to try it. Following Kristina's instructions, I logged on to the Bing chat website, selected the "More Creative" conversation style and simply typed in the following prompt:
Oil painting of an old man with a lit match, standing in a burning pumpkin patch, it is midnight, the devil is behind the old man, photorealistic, vibrant and bright colors.
The idea for this prompt came from my comment on last Friday's Unwind, where Heather asked for a pumpkin limerick. Here are the limerick and the image. What do you think? Am I an artist and a poet, or just a hack?
There was an old man with a match
Who lit up a pumpkin patch
When the gourds did not burn
His attention did turn
To immolating Old Scratch.
When Mitchell isn’t creating AI images he can be found sharing amazing, original puzzles and other creative ideas in his Substack, Mitchell’s Mind-Bending Variety Puzzle Brain Dump. Go there, if you dare…😁
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Any free libraries near you? 📚
What’s the 13th to you?
What does ‘the bees knees’ mean?🐝
Peplum; Yay or nay?
Who owns a George Foreman Grill?
What have you used AI for?
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Wherever you are, I hope life is sunny. 🌞❤Heather
PS: My other publication, Kindness Magnet, is out getting a makeover. But you can still subscribe (Oh, please do.). She’s a little wonky right now, but she’ll be back soon. You’ll want to be there for the before and after pics of her makeover. I promise not to show the surgery… 💚🤕