Happy birthday, 7B!

This morning, the seven billionth person on earth was born.  Our fixed-size planet, which was home to just 500 million people in 1500, now has 7 billion people living on its surface – and that number is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050.  With numbers like that, it’s time to ask some questions:

  • Where to you fit into the grand scheme of things?  Find your number here.  I am the 4,885,109,561st person alive on Earth and the 79,721,025,639th person to have lived since history began.  How much before or after me were you?
  • How exactly did we grow so quickly?  Check out this great video from the folks at NPR.
  • What is a typical person like, now that there are 7 billion of us?  See the National Geographic video below for some insight.

Music Monday: Pop-up Party

Nothing brings me back to middle school dances like a pop-up video.  They were how I learned to tell the difference between the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, where I finally understood who this Slim Shady character was, and where I finally got the appeal of popular music.  (I owe most of this to Jen Wall – Jen, if you’re reading, I’m bringing you my future kids to teach them about music some day!)

My education continued with the latest pop-up video from VH1 – Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA,” where I learned:

  • Miley = not really a fan of Jay-Z – he’s too “pop” for her
  • This song was designed to launch Miley’s Wal-Mart clothing line, not to be my summer jam
  • The confetti from this shoot took two weeks to clean up
  • Pop-up videos make everything better.

Check it out here.  What song would you love to see get the pop-up treatment?

Putting the horror in the season

When it comes to Halloween, I am a total wimp.  My favorite Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus.  I lost nights of sleep the first time I saw The Ring.  When Laura, Katie, and I visited a haunted ship, I almost cried when the ghost-hunting thingy kept lighting up red only right in front of my face (which apparently meant that there was an evil dementor/ring wraith specter hovering in front of me, according to the guides).

So when I saw this post with photos of people being genuinely scared out of their minds in a haunted house, I could totally relate.

The place: Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagara Falls, Canada

The scene: as you’re walking along a dimly lit path, people jump out at you and then a car drives out of nowhere, barely braking in front of you

The result:

… and that’s just the beginning.  Some of the best are posted here, and the full catalog of fear is on Flickr.

If this looks enticing to you, better head to Canada without me… looking through these pictures of people in pure terror gives me enough of a chill to call it a day.

Do you love or hate haunted houses?  Are you scared of Halloween, ghosts, witches, or something totally mundane?  Spill!

Best party food ever?

Watch your back, baked brie – this mega cupcake is going to give you a run for your money!

This was the most moist and delicious cupcake I’ve ever eaten – and it didn’t hurt that it was about the size of my head.  If I can figure out what made it amazing (the silicone pan?  putting it in the freezer after it cooled for 15 minutes?  the cake mix?) I will be sure to report back!  In the meantime: nice work Chef Katie!

It’s Mountain Day!

Today is my favorite holiday – Mountain Day.

At my alma mater of Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts, Mountain Day starts on a random weekday morning in the fall when the bells in the clock tower ring incessantly.  This deafening toll means that you are excused from classes, meetings, and responsibilities for the entire day.  People either sleep, study (even though, for once, it’s discouraged), or trek up the mountain.  Too lazy to climb the 940 feet?  A shuttle will take you to the top, where the MHC President dishes out ice cream for lunch.

I loved Mountain Day so much, I turned it into a monthly tradition.  Usually, I hiked with my roommate Julia and made a point of going every month we were at school – sometimes, that meant hiking at 5:00 on a December morning, sometimes we caught the last rays of light in April.  I roped other people into it as our schedules got harder to manage, and kept up the tradition my entire MHC career.

At the end of it all, I delivered this speech at commencement about how our college experiences, and our lives, resemble the waiting and the possibilities of Mountain Day.

Happy Mountain Day, fellow MoHos.  Hike that mountain for me!

Hiking buddies - Julia and me, dressed like champs

An early morning hike in winter

Mountain Day - Senior Year

Want to know more?  Read my Mountain Day post from last year!

How do you measure a year of life?

How about love?

Or, measure this last year, my 25th year in:

  • 119 blog posts
  • 2 pairs of Tevas
  • 11 months at a great new job
  • 1 stellar Oscar party
  • 0 sweepstakes won (HGTV Dream Home, I’m coming for you this year!)
  • 1 new family member (yay Lillian!)
  • 50+ books read
  • 3 new places that sell Strongbow
  • 2 new pashminas
  • a unquantifiable number of amazing friends

Thanks for being a part of this adventure – I can’t wait to see what comes next!