Design

Four Fun Things

Jerry Before Seinfeld

Have you seen Jerry Before Seinfeld yet? In his Netflix stand-up special, Seinfeld pays tribute to his roots — his childhood years (he even visits the home he grew up in), the first jokes he ever told and the night his parents finally saw his routine. As NPR notes, he “reveals how he started — and demonstrates, once again, just how good he’s gotten.” Plus, three more things…

How families around the world spend their vacations

Have you ever wondered how families around the world spend their vacations? In Japan, short two- to three-day vacations are the norm, and trips might be to a nearby onsen, or hot-springs spa. In the city of Ibusuki, for example, “visitors spend 15 minutes buried in hot, mineral-laden volcanic sediment followed by a soak in nearby springs.” Unlike a sauna, the “sand delivers heat slowly.” See the full piece here.

Project 62, Target's new home line

This week, Target launched Project 62, a stellar new home line. Our picks: this mid-century coffee table, this brass sconce and this rose gold wine chiller. True to form, the well-designed items come at budget-friendlier prices and would look really cute in any apartment.

I Love Lucy

The Awl asked their readers, “What’s something you learned recently?” The answers were hilarious and charming, like, “It’s ok to be alone,” and “You pronounce segue as segway. I’ve been seeging into situations instead of segwaying into them for years.” (What would your answer be?)

P.S. More fun things, and eight awesome podcasts.

(Japan photo by Moises Saman/New York Times.)

  1. Katie says...

    I just read this article and it reminded me of things recently learned on here. There is a long entry in the list from someone who thought “Knowledge is power. -Sir Francis Bacon” was really “Knowledge is power. France is Bacon” and her struggle to understand the meaning for years. I laughed so hard.
    http://www.tickld.com/x/fbk/35-embarrassed-people-reveal-things-they-thought-were-real-but-actually-never-ex-copy-2017-03-13-10-36-17/p-15?utm_campaign=tkl-fbk-d-us-ae13b048&gak=g0jr

  2. This is embarrassing, but I discovered recently (I’m 31) that it’s “hide-a-bed” and NOT a “Haida Bed” (whuuuuut!!! My mind is still reeling). As a young Canadian girl I guess I just assumed that these were beds invented by the people of Haida Gwaii (on the North coast of British Columbia) and lived for decades without questioning the idea? It took until I saw the word written down in a decorating magazine in my moms bathroom. MAJOR face palm moment as I came out of the bathroom at family dinner, magazine in hand, like “GUESS WHAT GUYS!?” Needless to say they were not as shocked as I was.

  3. Oh I love the learning comment about “It’s okay to be alone”… Ain’t that the truth… I think mine would be that you should peel an avocado instead of trying to scoop it out.. yep- I totally feel brilliant at this discovery that the whole world found out before me.

  4. I need to see his special, I did not know he has one on Netflix.

  5. Jade says...

    My mind was blown recently when I learnt that when using bobby pins the curved side should be placed facing downward and the straight part on the top cause they are designed to grip the hair. 27 years of dancing and school and I have been using them wrong all this time.

    • This is a revelation. I have long bemoaned the uselessness of bobby pins, when perhaps I have been the useless one!

  6. Jennifer says...

    This is great entertainment! I googled it and saw “Do wombats have square buttholes?” LOLOLOL!

  7. Sarah says...

    You home in on something, not hone in. I finally learned that one yesterday.

  8. Joanna, did you see the note from the photographer’s wife at the end of the “how families around the world vacation” story? The passage and the accompanying photo are so lovely:

    “It’s impossible for my children to be quiet for any length of time — a second later, Atlas would be in the sea, Pia building sand castles. But when I look at this picture, I think it is accurate in reflecting the essence of what that moment was and the relationships I have with the kids. I have always felt like la mère-louve — a mother wolf. From the moment you are pregnant, people are telling you what to do, how to do it. But there is something elemental and ancient and visceral about motherhood — that feeling that you would go to war for your kids. It’s a gut feeling that’s very powerful.”

  9. t says...

    It’s jury-rigged not jerry-rigged. whoops. glad I recently straightened that out.

  10. Saz says...

    I learnt that the mother of the twins Romulus and Remus was called Rhea Siliva!

    • Katie says...

      JUST learned this too, because of that OPB special about the Cassini mission. Where I also learned Saturn has 62 moons. WHAT.

  11. Amy P says...

    Well, I just learned that “segue” is pronounced “segway”. I’ve been “segging” all this time.

    • Laura says...

      OMG me too, I’m 37 years old and I’ve seen it written and I’ve heard it spoken and I never connected that they were the same word. I thought that “segway” was some weird office-speak colloquialism all this time that nobody ever writes down because it’s not a real word. LOL geez. Mind = blown.

  12. Charity says...

    Thanks to my toddler, I’ve recently learned that there is, indeed, a wrong way to cut toast.

  13. Recently I learned how to carry a purse or tote bag properly. I had been carrying them over my shoulder my whole life, but my toddler, who is newly in possession of a bag of her own as a result of having started preschool, has taught me that what you’re actually supposed to do is trot your bag along next to you as though you are walking a dog. Now I have to carry my bag like this everywhere we go, or else I risk being corrected by her. Live and learn! ;)

    • Jessica says...

      hahaha :D

  14. Cindy says...

    I learned that in Biblical Hebrew, a closed syllable is followed by a daghesh lene and not a daghesh forte.

  15. Lili says...

    On things recently learned: I guess this isn’t so much something I recently learned as a realization I recently had but I was driving around the other day, at 24 years old, and realized that if I say ‘Beetlejuice’ three times Beetlejuice himself will not, indeed, appear. Oprah might call it an ‘Ah-ha!’ moment but for me it’s just getting older/ wiser. haha.

    • Avalanche Lake says...

      It took me until well into adulthood to shake the feeling that, if I walk into a dark room and look in the mirror, saying “Bloody Mary” three times will not make Bloody Mary appear. Thanks for the memory/laugh!

  16. Alyssa says...

    The “what have you learned lately” question {and all the answers} are truly the best! So many things I’m now learning because of you all.

    I’ve learned lately that a gay best friend is literally the best kind of friend. I’ve become best friends with a guy who is gay and he is the most sensitive, caring soul, but also has a delightful taste in face masks, romantic comedies, and will willingly tell me my butt looks amazing in my new Levi’s.

    • Amy Harleman says...

      Well that’s a little stereotypical. He’s a great best friend because of who he IS, not by virtue of being gay. Gay guys aren’t “pets” for straight women. Pet peeve.

    • Gabby says...

      Amen.

    • emily says...

      I think what you mean is that YOUR best friend is the best friend for you :)

  17. SN says...

    Learning the guitar! It’s seriously the best – picking it up and strumming along to my favorite Beatles songs is a great way to spend down time.

  18. LOVE the rose gold wine chiller and can’t wait to see Jerry before Seinfeld. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend!

    XOXO, Amy

  19. Jennie says...

    My “what have you learned lately” is also a pet peeve. I work in a company of 420,000 and tons to corporate speak – which actually makes people sound like idiots. My #1 pet peeve is using the word “utilized” incorrectly, and way too often. So I taught myself a succinct way to articulate the difference between “use” and “utilize”. “You use your house keys to open your front door. You utilize a butter knife to jimmy the lock and get the front door open.”

    • emily says...

      Interesting! So you’d say “utilize” in the case of using a tool outside of its intended purpose? Perhaps interpreted in a corporate setting that might be “utilizing” a strategy that isn’t traditional, etc…?

      I’m wondering because my office is not very “corporate” but it never hurts to improve and streamline communication!

  20. Jennifer says...

    How to deglaze a pan when making a sauce and why it is so important. I’d been reading recipes and watching cooking shows for years and somehow never understood it, but suddenly it just clicked! I’ve been cooking every day for years but now I feel like I’ve upped my game.

  21. I recently learned that “vegetable” is a culinary term, not a scientific one. And it blew my mind. Also, it’s brussels sprouts, with an “s” at the end of brussels, and not brussel sprouts.

    • Abby says...

      Semi-related:

      It’s Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight Savings Time.

      Sadly, after I learned that, it just brought me irritation, since like 90% of people say the latter. Hoping to spread that info around and bring that number down!

    • Sarah says...

      I see Brussels sprouts spelled incorrectly EVERYWHERE- menus, websites, the grocery store… it drives me crazy. Also Brussels should be capitalized. Glad I’m not alone in this :)

    • Annelies says...

      You do know it comes from Brussels, capital of Belgium, Europe? ;-)

  22. Courtney Hayes says...

    “What have you learned lately?” is one of my favorite questions to ask old and new friends! It’s so telling of a person’s personality. And it keeps the small talk to a minimum, which I LOVE.

  23. Ana says...

    I started watching Jerry before Seinfeld and exhilarated with the timing and the pace of the jokes. (they were pretty good, too)

    It’s great watching someone who has won so much risking it all again!

    As for the things I’ve learned: “the mental load” comic. I need to stop carrying it around the whole time.

    • Madie says...

      I loved the Mental Load comic and think of it often… so much so that it’s now become part of my mental load, which I need to share w/ my husband. :)

  24. Annie Green says...

    That most of the shit I believed about myself for most of my life was probably developed before I went to school when I was small, confused and came to the wrong conclusions. Result: I now accept that I AM NOT IN CHARGE OF THAT.
    60 is not too late to change.

    • Nykole says...

      This is awesome!

  25. neha says...

    I learnt to paddle a kayak in a slightly better way! I learnt to doggy paddle in water in a slightly better way! I learnt to use the knife to carve wood! I learnt just about right now that there is one person at work I really wouldn’t want to work with ever again. I really wouldn’t want to!! I hope the world is big enough.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you sound awesome, neha!

  26. C says...

    Last year I realized that all door locks open by turning the key away from the door jamb. I’d never thought about the logic of it before so I seriously thought that every single lock was just a 50/50 chance of being clockwise or counter-clockwise. For my entire life I just thought it was random. A couple years ago I did a student exchange through my university and was trying to make conversation with one of my flatmates as we both unlocked the doors to our rooms. I said “Man, it’s so annoying getting used to a new door, isn’t it? I hate having to memorize which direction they unlock in.” She just gave me a funny look.

    It was SO EMBARRASSING when I figured it out months later and had flashbacks to that conversation! I got my honors bachelor degree before I figured out how doors work. DOORS.

    • D says...

      AMAZING! I just learned that right now by reading this comment. So thanks! :) (and don’t feel dumb — I have a master’s and didn’t know this until now.)

    • R says...

      I’ve read this site for years, never once commented, and apparently *doors* are what it takes for me to do so. MIND BLOWN! I, too, always though it was a 50/50 chance of getting it right. It allllll makes sense now. Signed, Someone-who-is-embarrassed-yet-grateful-to-just-now-understand-doors :)

      PS I noticed that both my response and the other response are signed with a single initial. There’s something nice and humbling about this door revelation!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha, R, your comment made me laugh out loud!

    • Sarah says...

      This is valuable information you are sharing!! Mine was how most cars show what side the gas is on by what side they put the little gas icon next to the gage. Major revelation when I figured that out!

  27. sonya gomes says...

    That just because someone has an opinion about you and your life or says something about you doesn’t make it true

    • Hannah says...

      Yes! Such a good reminder!

  28. Sara G says...

    I went to my first airshow and recently learned that there is a plane that refuels other planes in the air!!!! I am so fascitated by this, I feel like a kid all over again.

    And if this is all new to you check out videos on youtube! I’m obsessed.

    • Lisette says...

      Awesome! Never knew this!

    • Amy P says...

      They do this at sea too, and it’s an intense procedure there as well what with waves and currents and keeping speeds the same!

  29. Emily L says...

    I also recently learned how segue is actually pronounced. Glad it wasn’t just me!

  30. I LOVE the sand onsen in Ibusuki. The warmth engulfs you once the staff shovel the sand on top on you, and I was pleasantly surprised how heavy the sand is. It felt amazing and after awhile you can feel your own pulse all throughout your body :)

  31. Fran says...

    I learned on NPR’s Splendid Table that you can cold brew any kind of tea in the refrigerator overnight! Two tea bags to a quart of tap water, and just put it in the fridge for 8 hours. It’s so refreshing, less bitter than tea brewed with hot water, and so much less expensive than the store-bought stuff.

  32. Kate says...

    Funny that you’ve used that picture because I’ve just decided to start learning French! I took French in school but never really practiced since then and I’m now dating a French guy so it seems only fair to make an effort with his language. Night classes here I come!

  33. I was reading a children’s sea animal alphabet book to my daughter and it came upon N for – narwhal. I was really confused because all the previous sea animals weren’t fictional and so I didn’t know why they would introduce a fictional sea animal in the middle. AND THEN I GOOGLED NARWHAL and my mind was blown. It’s now my favorite party question “hey, narwhal, real or fake?” I swear 50% of the population thinks they’re fake – so I felt validated.

    • Em says...

      Me, too… I learned about the narwhal exactly the same way as you … reading to my child ! Shocked.

    • jillian says...

      YES!!!! This!!!!

    • Megan says...

      I learned this only a few years ago, too! My poor husband was trying so hard not to laugh at me. Yep, totally thought they were fictional.

    • C says...

      Haha I did the same thing! I mentioned how I hated that book because it had fake animals mixed with the real, and my friend told me they were an actual thing. I am 32!

    • haha! It’s so validating. :)

    • shannon says...

      Whaaaat?! I said fake, my husband said real, and we both had to think about it! Fun question…thanks for the ice breaker idea!

    • Kate says...

      Yes! Only learnt about the narwhal this year too.

      It was in a book, and then on the kids TV show “Octonauts”. I thought it was a magical unicorn seal, but good old google set me straight.

    • K says...

      YES. THIS. i totally thought they were fictional as well!

  34. Kyle says...

    I learned that pickle juice tastes good in a martini. It sounds gross but it was really good! (I had it at a fancy cocktail bar- chilled vodka, pickle juice, and a cornichon garnish). If you like a dirty martini and like pickles, you’d probably love it.

    • Taryn says...

      This! Another great use is a whiskey chaser…called a Pickleback!

  35. Elliesee says...

    Today I was wondering why September, October, November and December were the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th months, since they mean respectively 7, 8, 9 and 10. Well my daughter informed me that Julius Ceasar added July and August in his honor.

    • Julie says...

      Never thought of that!

    • Madie says...

      Oh my gosh this is amazing. Thank you for sharing!

    • Elliesee says...

      There is a little bit more to it – Julius Ceasar renamed month 5 and 6, and January and February were added later. Did the Romans just shut everything down in the winter??

  36. beverly says...

    Just went down the rabbit hole of landscape architecture practice. So beautiful and complex. Almost everyday I get to use my background in sculpture to think about how urban space can shape our experience of the outdoors.

  37. Lily says...

    How to cook! I was never a good cook but I finally told myself that I should just learn. I got a few easy cookbooks and followed the recipes. And guess what? It wasn’t hard! I feel like a real adult now.

  38. Lilla says...

    That there are totally decomposed wasps inside the figs we like to eat! What?!? Nature is incredible. I’m still eating them, its a natural symbiotic process and they are delicious (figs- not the wasps).

  39. Tracey says...

    A little lowbrow but my funniest fact that might be new to learn… A Wombat’s poop is cubed. Like a pile of little dice. Look it up!

  40. patricia Ferris says...

    My husband thought porcupines shot their quills out to defend themselves.

    • Annie Green says...

      Ha! Good for him!

    • Karen says...

      Wait. So they don’t? Bummer.

    • Cait says...

      Wait…they don’t?

    • Madie says...

      I had to Google it: “Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. These quills typically lie flat until a porcupine is threatened, then leap to attention as a persuasive deterrent. Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched.”

  41. patricia Ferris says...

    I was saying segue as “se-goo.” I learned it doing crosswords and finally put it together when I heard someone use it in conversation. Same goes for ingenue (my pronunciation was in-Jean), and ennui (me:enuey). I was building a great vocabulary, I just didn’t know how to pronounce any of it!

  42. C says...

    Whoa – a little warning that the NYTimes piece opens up with a slightly NSFW (and very large) photo!

    • Anon says...

      LOL yes I wish I had this warning..I am at work with colleagues sitting right next too me..even though no one saw(i hope) i was super embarrassed :D

  43. brianna says...

    That I really really want to work in a museum and even though I swore I’d never go back to school after being rejected by two graduate programs, I am seriously considering committing 2-3 years of my life to get a museum studies degree so I can do so.

    • Liz says...

      Hi Brianna,

      Do you know what type of museum job you are interested in? Depending on the job, you may not have to go back to school.. I work for a museum and would be happy to chat about the field if you’d like! Like any field, there are pros and cons. Just thought I would reach out because I always wished I’d had someone to ask for advice when I was first starting out (or still do, really!). Anyhow, good luck! : )
      Liz

    • I’m considering museum studies for grad school as well!! or art history or something! such a tough decision! good luck in your application processes!

  44. Betsy says...

    Started learning guitar for I think the 15th time? Anyway, finally figured out you’re supposed to be looking, like, a measure or two ahead. Same with DDR, pool, chess, and running, apparently. Who knew.

  45. Abby says...

    …that wolverines and wolves are different animals!

    This was a few years back, but I shared my discovery on social media to help enlighten anyone else who might not known either, and then found out that apparently EVERYONE knew that and was agog that I didn’t. Ha!

    • KylieO says...

      I didn’t know that!! Thanks! LOL

    • Abby says...

      Ha, me neither (obviously)!

      I thought wolves/wolf was just a short way of saying wolverines/wolverine.

      Apparently I was completely oblivious to the existence of the wolverine, which is more of a fat little bear type animal. Huh!

  46. Tabby says...

    Beware that coffee table! I bought it and it is difficult to assemble – every part needs to be put together. I had to hire someone to finish it, and it required power tools.

  47. M says...

    How to love myself. I’m 45. It’s taken 18 years in a painful marriage (that I’m still committed to) to learn what it means to find myself beautiful, worth enjoying & spoiling, & how to take good care of my heart & body. Now I’m hoping for 45+ more years to practice this! It’s fun. ?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s wonderful. rooting for you, M xoxoxo

  48. Lindsay says...

    That I need to stop and enjoy my kids more and not worry if the floor is washed or if the beds are made. There’s no one knocking on our door giving out awards for the perfect home, and there’s no rewinding time so I’d better focus my energy on the really important stuff.

    • Jordan says...

      I want to try to do this too! Why is it so hard??

    • Nicole says...

      Oh man, me too. But it’s so hard! After I had a baby, I found myself with the urge to keep everything clean and perfectly in place.

      I realized that, for me, having a clean house is the way I can exert some sense of control over my life. Cause Lord knows- with kids, you have control over nothing! So, I try to give myself a break when I feel that insatiable urge to tidy up- it’s just my way of controlling what little I can.

    • I have been learning that there’s no way around fear. Only through it. I have spent so much of my life avoiding things that scare me, and I am only now beginning to walk into them. I’ve started yoga teacher training and it’s something that’s both captivated and terrified me. Only a month into the whole thing, I’ve already felt embarrassed and humbled, but also more inspired and passionate than ever before. I wish I would have done it sooner, but I know that now is the perfect time. We only have a limited amount of time to live, and we’ll never know how much time we have. I don’t want to spend it afraid or thinking about what could have been.

    • Katie says...

      I blame those Instagram feeds showing gorgeous and pristine all-white living areas…that are home to cool couple…and somehow also their three adorably dressed kids under five?!?
      I have to remind myself that they probably just tidied one corner of the room to take the picture ;)

    • Annie Green says...

      True. There really are no Housework Police waiting to kick the door down and inspect the cupboard under the sink. Except in your head. Mind you, dusting and hoovering makes life easier than filth does. Find the balance, that’s the key.