I promise I’ll write a legitimate blog post again soon. But life has taken a big crap on me (well, mostly on my beloved Volvo, Karl, and my once-robust flock of chickens, of whom only one remains) and I’ve been busy panicking. In the meantime, click on this stuff. It’s good.
Finding Comfort Without Food from Ridgeview Medical Center. As an emotional eater I have read a lot of these lists, but this one stands out for both comprehensiveness and originality.
Bon Appétit debunked some cooking myths even I had been clinging to. Salt your beans, sear your steak at the end, use less water to cook pasta – just turn the kitchen on its ear why dontcha!
I got into Yoga earlier this year and then I got right back out after just a few months, after reading a whole lot about cultural appropriation. I stopped bellydancing, too, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Yoga. After reading this article on separating neo-colonialism from Yoga practice by recombining the postural aspect with the philosophical (as was intended), I am tentatively easing back into Yoga – philosophy-first.
In “No, It’s Not Your Opinion. You’re Just Wrong,” Jef Rouner of Houston Press explains why “it’s my opinion” isn’t the amazing Captain America shield you want it to be when you are full of shit.
Do you still have Seattle FilmWorks film laying around? I recently discovered a roll. I thought I had rushed the last of them of to PhotoWorks (as they rebranded themselves in 1999) before they closed permanently (in 2011, after a lot of lawsuits), but alas, I uncovered one more during spring cleaning. Do not despair! I found a company that still processes this dreaded film! The Camera Shop, Inc. in St. Cloud, MN will let you mail in your Seattle FilmWorks film and solve the mystery of what the hell is on there. Long lost memories returned at last! (Spoiler: My roll turned out to be 20 shots of the 1999 Seattle Flower and Garden show taken with a weak flash. *sigh*)
The Minimalists, one of my new favorite blogs, wrote recently about the difficulty of Letting Go of Sentimental Items, which is something we all struggle with and which I have revisited myself, this spring. These guys always write inspiring stuff, and this is no exception.
Fun fact: In WWI, MI5 used Girl Guides (the UK equivalent of Girl Scouts) as spies. No, really. And it gets even better: “At the start of the war Boy Scouts were also used. But it quickly became clear that Girl Guides were more efficient because they were less boisterous and talkative.”
Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Do you have any sort of writing project with a deadline? Or do you simply feel that imposing a deadline, even an arbitrary one, would help you write? There’s a handy online tool called Pacemaker, which can help you out. You tell it your goal word count, your start and end dates, and even such extra criteria as which days of the week you want to work more/less on, and the steadyness/increase/decrease of your intensity over the life of the project, and it poops out a calendar for you. (Or a table. Or a graph.)
Have you ever wondered how far one point is from another – as the crow flies? There’s a calculator for that here at FreeMapTools.com. This is just plain fun (and interesting) but also very handy when one or both of your endpoints is on an island not serviced by a state ferry.
My local library tweeted a link to this great article from the New York Times: Is There Anything One Should Feel Ashamed of Reading? Short answer: no. Slightly longer answer: Well, maybe 50 Shades of Grey. But read it anyway, because it is amusing and uplifting, and we all need to be reminded that it is AOK to read what we like to read.
Also on Twitter, I tweeted a link to an article that explains how anthropologically unsound the Paleo diet is (from Scientific American, here). Hilariously, it was almost immediately liked by a pro-Paleo twitter account manned either by a bot or someone simply not paying attention. In response, a real-life friend I follow sent me a link to this New York Times article: The New Age Cavemen and the City. To paraphrase my own Twitter response, this article is beautifully written. The snark is powerful yet subtle, like the best of Onion articles. The author lets his subjects condemn themselves with their own words and actions.
I am obsessed with learning other languages. I have been learning German on and off for years and I have recently put my nose back to the grindstone. Although with Duolingo and Memrise, it hardly feels like work. I am also learning Spanish and French on both sites, which offer an array of languages. Both are colorful, free, and very fun. Both let you set reminders and goals, talk to other language learners, review, and brag. I have also added Quizlet to my arsenal. I am reading children’s books in my target languages and when I come across a new word I add it to my flashcards on Quizlet. I can then virtually flip them (as they are magically read to me in the correct language), test myself by typing the words (graded on accuracy), and play games with them.
At The Little House in the City I read about an alternative to the now-standard (and once found only in luxury hotels) fluffy terry towel. Like most Americans, I have towels like these, and they take a lot of water to wash and two cycles to dry. In the summer, they come off the line as pliable and soft as asphalt shingles and in the winter they don’t completely dry between uses. This post suggests trying old-fashioned or European-style towels made of chambray, linen, microfiber, or waffle-woven cotton. I snagged a like-new waffle towel from the thrift store for $5 and I have been converted.
newsflash: sometimes it’s okay to not follow your dreams. I think this is a reminder we all need sometimes. We are under so much pressure from memoirists, advertising, superbloggers, and 50% of Pinterest pins to “follow our dreams”, “never give up on our dreams”, and “never settle for work that feels like work.” *Ahem* That sounds like quite the luxury to me. And to Kelton Wright, who assures us that “it’s brave to quit your job to go paint in Peru for a year, but it’s also brave to work two jobs to help pay for your mom’s medical bills.”
This article from Mother Jones confirms what I have long suspected: the new arsenal of so-called “superfoods” are no better or worse for you than cheaper, more sustainable, less exotic foods to which you already have easy access.
Do you have a towering stack of books teetering dangerously in your house? A never-ending list on Goodreads or at your library’s website? TBR Time is an online calculator that estimates how long it will take you to read aaaaaall those books. Just in case you were curious, or thinking of taking a hiatus form work to plow through them so that you can walk freely about your house again without triggering a book-a-lanche.
I am testing this feature and hope to run it every Friday. This will be a roundup of links to articles, posts, apps, sites, and other online content that I found interesting, inspiring, or useful during the week.
While I still have Pocket to quickly add to my “read later” queue, I switched this week from Diigo‘s QuickNote extension to Evernote. While both are convenient ways to make notes to myself that are always at hand in my browser (I love OpenOffice but sometimes by the time it fires up I have forgotten what I was going to write), Evernote has more formatting and organization options, and I can send notes to it via text message. (I don’t have a smart phone.) In the years since I started using QuickNote Diigo added a sharing option but I never needed it until now. Evernote has sharing, too, with collaborative features. This may come in handy for beta reading and editing. Or not. Either way I am very happy with Evernote now.
Why crime fiction is leftwing and thrillers are rightwing. In this Guardian piece, Scottish crime writer Val McDermid points out a phenomenon I never before noticed (not being an avid reader of the genre) and explains why it is increasingly important.
No recipe website will ever eclipse my beloved Cooking Light, but to even compete with it for my attention is noteworthy. At Food52, very careful curation (and very good photography) sets this site apart from all other reader-submitted-recipe sites. These are truly great recipes. Always interesting and frequently eclectic, eccentric, and international. I have enjoyed everything I have tried from this site and if I had to eat the mujaddara I found there every day for the rest of my life, I’d be OK with that.
How Long Does it Actually Take to Form a New Habit? Blogger James Clear, like me, enjoys researching old saws and commonly-held misapprehensions. Turns out that the oft-repeated time frame of 21 days to make a new habit is one of these incorrect rules of thumb.