Top 5 Picks for the Week, February 10, 2012

Technology, Toothpicks, Love, Makeovers, and Cards

1. Corning

Photo Credit:

Oh, the possibilities! Corning is a leading company for glass and ceramics that specialized in creating new pieces to enhance technology.  You have probably already encountered their work and may not have even realized it.  What were once thought to be futuristic dreams are coming to fruition thanks to their advancements.  Corning has been behind the development and implementation of many of our current display technology surfaces, such as the front of smart phones, tablets, notebook computers, and even TV screens.  They focus on optimizing definition while increasing durability and reducing cost and weight.  Ever striving for the best product and revolutionary ways to use items like touch sensitive glass, Corning promises to be at the forefront of technology for years to come.  The great minds working for the company clearly have a pioneering spirit.  The video, A Day Made of Glass 2: Unpacked, is a follow-up to their earlier video, A Day Made of Glass, explaining Corning’s vision and where we stand today with how realistic the proposed inventions are currently.  Everything from education to medical procedures are being studied to see how Corning’s inventions can help create a better tomorrow for us all.  It’s very exciting to see where we will most likely be headed as the progress continues.

2. Scott Weaver

Photo Credit: - Scott Weaver

“Unconventional” may be one of the best words to describe Scott Weaver, an artist and sculptor from California.  He is highly talented with an unusual medium.  Generally reserved for elementary craft time or possibly a county fair entry, Weaver has taken toothpick sculptures to an unprecedented level.  His eye for detail, construction aptitude, and flowing structures put him in a field all his own.  Rolling Through the Bay, his most well-known creation, is not only a work of art in its own right, but Weaver has also made the piece interactive.  His version of the San Francisco Bay area made entirely from toothpicks and adhesive was designed to allow ping-pong balls to travel through the massive model on numerous different “tours” of the city.  Check out the video showing Rolling Through the Bay in action complete with Weaver’s narrative to truly appreciate the hours of work and detail he poured into this labor of love.

3. The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman

Photo Credit:, Dr. Gary Chapman

Do you ever feel like you’re having difficulty truly expressing your love and appreciation for the special people in your life; or find yourself wondering why your spouse can’t seem to just give you a kiss when they tell you everyday how attractive you are?  Part of the problem might be that you are speaking different “languages.”  In his book, The 5 Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman explores the idea that there are 5 different categories in which people feel loved.  These are through: words of affirmation; quality time; receiving gifts; acts of service; and physical touch.  His writing series has grown to include several other books, many of which expand on this idea carrying it to children, teenagers, singles, men, and even how to show appreciation in the workplace.  Dr. Chapman’s philosophy has provided a great foundation for my relationships.  When it seems that there is a slight distance, or lack of communication with the special people in my life, one of the first things I do is try to invest in their particular love languages.  I would suggest this book to every person (single, in a family, or especially when starting a relationship).  The website has several resources including a free quiz you can take now to find your primary love language, and it will give you a breakdown of what that love language entails and how to best use it.  It only takes a few minutes and if you can have your loved ones do it too, it will provide great insight as to how you can all love each other better.  All of the books, short videos, and daily pod casts are also available through the site,

4. Real Simple, Virtual Makeover

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Many of us are ready for a change and needing a new look, but the cost of the salon, the frustration of not finding the right shade, and the uncertainty of the outcome can keep us stuck in a rut.  The staff at Real Simple has provided a great solution to try out a new style before you invest, the Virtual Makeover.  I’ll be honest, I’ve always wanted to find an outstanding stylist like you see on TV, and let them completely re-do my hair and makeup; but until I get that opportunity, the Virtual Makeover is the next best thing.  The site allows you to upload your own photo (or you can select a generic model with similar features), to try different haircuts, color, highlights, and cosmetics.  It will tell you what products and shades you have selected, so you can go out and purchase that exact thing or at least have an idea of the items you are looking for.  You can sign up for free to save your makeovers allowing you to share them with others or print out to take to your hairdresser.  If you don’t want to start from scratch, Real Simple gives options for 15-minute looks or party looks, as well. The Virtual Makeover is perfect for experimenting with new shades and styles to see what will work best with your skin tone and facial shape before you commit.


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You may be slightly behind with Valentine’s only 4 days away.  But try to remember to at least send your loved ones a quick reminder that they are special in your life.  With the internet and e-cards, it’s never been easier, faster, or cheaper.  There are several online electronic greeting sites, but not all are free, and some of the ones that are offer cheesy or poorly made messages. has provided the best service that I have found so far (if you do not want to pay per card or a monthly subscription fee).  For me personally, if I’m going to be charged $3.99 to send something electronically I’d rather go out and buy a physical card instead.  With once you pick the card of your choice, you can personalize font color, style, and size to make it all your own.  If you can’t think of anything sweet to type, they offer several suggested messages from which you can choose.  Additionally, if you prefer, you can log in with your Facebook account to view upcoming friend’s birthdays to ensure no one is missed.  Once you send your card you will receive a confirmation email and a second email arrives when it has been viewed.  E-cards are a great way to send your love and all for free!


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