This blogger responds to the article that got passed around a couple days ago claiming that we're hard-wired to reject scientific data that contradicts our beliefs. I was skeptical of the original article, mostly because it was intentionally titled and tagged to annoy people who believe things. Have a faith? Well, watch out, 'cause neuroscience proves you're a fool. It was good to read a response that was a little less annoyed and a little more coherent than my own skepticism. The blog post also reminded me of how intertwined our scientific programs and our public policies are. There's nothing wrong with having an agenda, but there's definitely something wrong with ignoring the influence your agenda has on your results. This doesn't just apply to science.


What Springs

The trouble with loving Pinterest as much as I do is that it can be hard to marry my activity there with my activity here, on my home of internet homes. Yesterday's very small collection of a few of my favorite fireplace shots was so much fun to compile that I thought I'd share a few springtime pictures today. Where I could, I have included their sources. Sometimes original links can get lost on Pinterest (especially with photos from tumblr). Most of them are flowers, which is actually very odd for me. Hope you enjoy:

I have always wondered if there was a creative and untacky use for doilies. The DIY community has recently answered my curiosity with a host of options, this wreath being one of my favorites. Details on how-to can be found over at Martha Stewart.

Origin unknown. I am also not very good at identifying flowers, but I have a feeling that all the flowers posted here are ranunculus. Perhaps they are my favorite. Who knew?

I can get carried away with decorating holiday items, especially cookies. But Easter eggs in particular are both challenging and fascinating to me. Details on how-to master these minimalist wonders over at Pickles.

Mostly I love the colors.

This photo reminds me of the years I gazed longingly through the pages of Victoria magazine. If it inspires you to brew a good cup of tea, we're on the same wavelength.
More photographic collections lovingly and laboriously curated here.


For no particular reason, other than it's my birthday and I like fireplaces.

From, an amazing collection of bathrooms with a happy bias toward tubs with fireplaces. 
From Simon Dale's incredible hobbit hole home built by hand in Wales. Maybe next year's birthday present for me? Definitely should be HGTV's inspiration for the Dream Home 2012.
Speaking of HGTV, a fire in the kitchen! From their collection of rustic spaces.


Dreaming of Homes (HGTV Opinions)

The past few months saw the wonder and franticity (made-up word) of my obsession with the HGTV Dream Home, an odd sort of obsession, since I mostly spent my time figuring out how I would completely renovate the place to make it better.

Okay, not completely renovate, but I had ideas. For example, I deeply resented that there was only one fireplace, and that despite the grandeur of its presentation in the living room, it was so very very small. I moved it to the master bedroom, replaced it with a larger one, and installed a third where the television sat in the guest room. I also mentally replaced the very small master tub with a spa tub and opened the guest room windows onto the jacuzzi patio with French doors. The most impractical room of the house, the awesome eight-bed dorm room, I left as it was. Go figure.

Needless to say, I did not win the house. Which is just as well, since I would have spent every penny of the cash prize on renovations instead of banking it for next year's astronomical property taxes. All this despite the fact that my obsessive mental renovation was essentially inspired by a real love for the house as a whole. For all my opinions, something about that house says, "This is your home. Come and stay."

In two weeks, the sweepstakes will open for the HGTV Green Home, but you can view pictures of the house on their website already (follow the link). While unlike in the last sweepstakes, I am confident I will not win this one (despite over 70 million entries, I still held out a hope that I would be flipping pancakes in that epic kitchen next fall), I will probably enter every day anyway. Just because, you know, you never know.

I still have my reservations about some elements of the house. Certain characteristics are carried over from Dream Home to Green Home in a pretty obvious way. The railings of both stairways, for example, look oddly similar. And many of the furniture pieces look like they could have come from the same showroom. And the kitchen cupboards obviously came out of the same brain.

I don't mind those things, of course. They're just fine. But I am still renovating in my mind. (One of the reasons I won't win; I'm already looking the proverbial gift horse in the proverbial mouth.) The bubblegum pink girls' room is possibly the worst idea since ever. It is dramatic and clever for now, but in three years the colors will be outmoded and brash. And it won't be easy to change your mind, since it's the carpet and walls and ceiling (oh my).

I would also always rather have a bathtub in the master suite, though I really do love that bathroom. And, yet again, the fireplace in the living room is mysteriously and irrationally miniature. I know HGTV has some sort of deal going with Rinnai, but what is the point of that epic chimney/hearth presentation if it's just going to frame a little bitty flame? I would understand in Southern California, but this house is in Denver where the winters are bitter cold. Please.

Of course, should I win this (hah!) I take it all back. I do love the colors, adore the furniture, and appreciate the calm simplicity of the whole design. Really, I do. In a lot of ways, this house is very straightforward. It's a simple family home, and it doesn't pretend to be much else. Which is a strength, I think. The extra-special bits are in the details. Like the television hidden behind the paintings above the mantle. Or the very curious "do" room with hidden desk consoles. Or the dog shower in the garage. These are elements that anyone could do in their own home with a little ingenuity. And that, essentially, is what we love best about HGTV. That it inspires us to take what we already have and make it something unique.
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