Posted in aerospace, chemistry, communication and networking, design and architecture, food, physics

Last minute gift ideas

As I scrounge through my closet looking for last minute gifts for family and friends, I feel somewhat better knowing that Christmas Eve is the second-busiest shopping day of the year. For those of you looking for last-minute home-made gift ideas, I have the perfect thing: The catapult. Compiled by MAKE magazine are several how tos and kits to make a variety of trebuchet and catapults. Think of it as a family project, and the perfect use for that century-old fruitcake. I’ve got nothing against a fresh panettone, but some of those things are just scary.

For the less mechanically inclined, and speaking of baking, NPR recently aired a great story about the chemistry behind the perfect cookie. Food scientist Shirley Corriher (yes, an actual food scientist!) divulges how to keep your cookies from crumbling.

Hmm, looks like my nephew is getting my old audio recorder. Hopefully your last minute gift recipients will fare better.

Oh yeah, and keep an eye out for Santa on one of the many Santa trackers!



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.