Friday News Bites: Teenage Brains! Supersized Saturn! Lady Ghostbusters!

Happy Friday, everyone! In addition to all the sciencin’ and entertainment news, we have some politics-related stories to cover, so let’s get started:

Read More Friday News Bites: Teenage Brains! Supersized Saturn! Lady Ghostbusters!

Friday News Bites: Boehner Tantrums, War Trickery, Whiskey + More

Every time you think that the Republican wing of the U.S. House of Representatives has exhausted their list of fit-throwing methods, they double down and find new ways to be petulant children. On a related note: I may be a bit cranky about the world this week. Shocking, I know. Read More Friday News Bites: Boehner Tantrums, War Trickery, Whiskey + More

Ask UfYH: When Your Trash Isn’t Trash

Q: I am moving come January or February 2015. This seems a lot of time, but, as you know, it is not. My problem is not really the “how to move” stuff. I get that (start now. NOW). I am traveling in an RV (which also needs some unfucking so I am starting there) and won’t be to that home ’til October.

However, it is some kind of trigger for me to throw stuff in the landfill. Read More Ask UfYH: When Your Trash Isn’t Trash

Ask UfYH: Dusting, Allergies, and Getting Rid of Decades of Stuff

Q: So I have pretty intense dust allergies, which usually get worse whenever I’m cleaning due to the stuff that gets stirred up by my rag/broom/whatever. I’m wondering if you could share some methods of dusting or sweeping that will minimize the amount of stuff that ends up in the air, so that I can keep my room clean without having horrible sneezing/itching attacks. Read More Ask UfYH: Dusting, Allergies, and Getting Rid of Decades of Stuff

How to Make Magazine Wine Bags

Recently I’ve discovered several tutorials on how to make gift bags out of newspaper. I thought these bags would be a perfect way for me to waste my summer nights as the holiday season approaches.

I’ve always been a big fan of recycling and buying bags or notebooks made out of recycled materials, so the DIY projects made sense. The best tutorial I found is from the site “How About Orange.” The tutorial has very structured steps to make tiny little newspaper bags. So I modified the steps and created magazine wine bags.

Now that I’m a legal drinking citizen, what better way to recycle my fashion magazines, which I’ve stored since 2008, than to make wine bags? They are sophisticated, fun, and environmentally friendly. For a friend you can buy a cheap bottle of wine and give a handmade bag – it’s a win-win. I’m not trying to sell this tutorial, I’m just excited that I created something and I’m proud. I hope you take a few minutes to try my tutorial and tell me what you think. It takes a little time and some patience. But in the end, recipients of these wine bags will be so delighted to have wine and a topic starter (your bag!).

So prepare yourself, because you might have to get use to hearing that you are exceptionally crafty, ingenious, creative, resourceful, and environmentally conscious. This project should take you about 15 minutes the first time, but after your first bag, it will be quicker. The bags will be 9.5” tall, 5 ” wide, and 3.5″ deep. If you complete this craft and want to revel in your success, please let me know how it went. Modifications are always welcome! I know friends and family will love these; mine sure did. Just follow these nine steps and enjoy!

Materials Needed:

  • Old magazines (you can use covers or the pages)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Tape and Glue sticks
  • Pen
  • Card-stock/ Cardboard
  • Hemp twine (you may use ribbon, rope, etc)
  • Single Hole Punch

Steps to success:

1. Take two sheets of magazine pages (or the front & back cover). Attach the sheets with tape. This should measure about 17.5″ in width. If you opt to using magazine pages (I did this), you will need to double layer your pages (glue is the best way) to reinforce the bag.

2. You will need to take two more magazine page and cut it in half. These halves will be attached to the top of the already-attached pages, giving you a larger surface area. You have four pieces because you need two layers of paper for bag thickness, so glue the edges together. The height of the bag should be 14.5″. So now you will have a surface area of 17.5″ x 14.5″.

3. Next you will measure 1.5″ from the top and fold making a flap. Then at the bottom of the large rectangle, measure 2″and make a fold.

4. Now you need to take the rectangle and fold it in half. Then measure across from left to right: 5″/3.5″/5″/3.5″/0.5″. These will establish the width and depth of your bag. Once you’ve measured, make fold creases at each measurement going down. After these steps you may add pieces of cardboard/card-stock just below your 1.5″ flaps for reinforcement, because this is where your handles will go. But be sure to glue down your 1.5″ flaps before you move on to Step #5.

5. Glue the 0.5″ flap to the 5″ section. This is important because this is what brings the whole bag together!

6. Now you need to refold the bottom 2″ flap; the creases need to be deep so you can get to Step #7.

7. Reshape into the tube-like shape. Then take the bottom flap, folding it in like a present. Attach with tape at the bottom and on the inside. Cut a piece of cardboard/card-stock to fit the bottom of the bag for more reinforcement. Glue the cardboard/card-stock inside the bag.

8. Position the bag upright and punch two holes on the rim of the bag. String the hemp twine through the holes to form handles. Finally, tie tight knots at the end of the twine on the inside to secure the handles.

9. Then fold in the sides and pinch the top together to give your bag the “gift bag shape.” That’s it! You now have a wine gift bag, and you finally put your old magazines to good use!

Awesome News of the Day: Christmas Tree Recycling

If you or your family has used an artificial Christmas tree for environmental reasons, you’re running out of legs to stand on. While my parents’ motivations were more about laziness, I often took comfort in knowing that our less-cool fake tree was better for the environment, because it was reusable and didn’t involve killing a real live tree. Read More Awesome News of the Day: Christmas Tree Recycling