Genealogy, the study of family histories, is a popular pastime for millions of people worldwide. Individuals seeking to learn more about their pedigree or simply discover more about their family’s past have built vibrant communities of like-minded (and possibly related) individuals to help each other play historical detective and track down the missing links in their chain of ancestry. Continue reading

LEGO bricks: To a parent, they’re a virtual minefield, hidden away in the carpet to inflict unimaginable pain from a seemly innocent barefoot step. But to a child, they are a tool for creatively engineering anything the mind can imagine. And for many, they are our first foray into open source. The instructions with a LEGO set start out as rigid rules, and become merely guidelines as children learn to remix, adapt, and extend the “code” which defines the object being built, and then be shared with anyone nearby. Continue reading

When it comes to recipes, it pays to be organized. Years of clipped recipes and notes written on napkins stuffed between the pages of countless dirtied cookbooks aren’t necessarily the best way to organize a recipe collection. And let’s be honest, you were probably never going to cook 95% of the recipes in those books anyway, so why not shed them for a more modern solution. Continue reading

This year’s municipal election is over. There were wins I was proud of and losses that deeply disappointed me. Regardless of who you supported in this year’s elections, I think we can all agree that everyone who ran should be given our thanks for stepping up to the plate; that the incumbents who lost should be given our gratitude for their years of service; and that the council and mayoral newcomers should now be given our help, advice, and honest feedback to keep Chapel Hill moving forward on progressive issues. Continue reading

In North Carolina, if there are more than two candidates in a primary, the winning candidate must carry at least 40% of the vote in a primary election to win outright. Otherwise, the second-place finisher has the right to request a second runoff primary in which the top two vote-getters from the first primary face off against one another. Second primaries may occur for well-known offices, like Senate or Governor, as well as much lesser-known offices like the various Council of State positions, or may occur for a local race which does not have a statewide component. Continue reading