Weekend Reading

The banana is dying. The race is on to reinvent it before it’s too late During the summer of 1989, Randy Ploetz was in his laboratory just south of Miami, when he received a package from Taiwan. I can’t imagine NOT having bananas. That Time Coca-Cola Released a New Soda Just to Spite Pepsi Few companies have a rivalry as fierce and longstanding as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola and in their never ending battle for soda market dominance each company has gone to some spectacular lengths to screw over the other. I find this all the more amusing given I mostly drink water these days (yeah, I’m on my high horse, what of it?!) Nationalism Isn’t Patriotism At a time when …

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Weekend Reading

This Is Your Brain on Nature When you head out to the desert, David Strayer is the kind of man you want behind the wheel. He never texts or talks on the phone while driving. He doesn’t even approve of eating in the car. “Everything is Waiting for You” by David Whyte Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity. The Rise of Netflix Competitors Has Pushed Consumers Back Toward Piracy A new study shows that after years of declines, BitTorrent usage and piracy is on the rise again. The culprit: an increase in exclusivity deals that force subscribers to hunt and peck among a myriad of streaming services to actually find the content they’re looking for. The 20 Best iPhone …

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Weekend Reading

Kitchen machismo off the menu as female chefs blaze a trail in Scotland Julie Lin MacLeod worked in male-led kitchens for years, and her experiences there – inappropriate sexual advances among them – served as motivation to open her own place, one that would be run by women. Some of the best eateries in Glasgow on this list. 5 Psychological Strategies to Ease the Stress of Perfectionism The last three months I’ve been trying an experiment. It’s something that I’ve never done before, and in a certain way, it’s been a huge challenge. However, in other ways, it’s been an enormous stress relief, and I would say a largely successful effort. Read for myself, sharing for others. ‘I have an …

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Fit and fat

I stepped out of the shower the other morning, dried myself off, wrapped the towel round my waist and turned to face the sink. I reached up to retrieve my electric toothbrush from it’s charging point and caught my reflection in the mirror. I don’t really look at myself all that often, I’m not exactly my greatest fan in that respect; I’m all too aware and disapproving of my shape so I don’t tend to dwell on my appearance as all I ever really see is a fat man staring back at me. I know I’m not as fat as I think I am, but there’s one part of my body that I struggle with, all the more now that …

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Weekend Reading

The outrageous plan to haul icebergs to Africa If towing icebergs to hot, water-stressed regions sounds totally crazy to you, then consider this: the volume of water that breaks off Antarctica as icebergs each year is greater than the total global consumption of freshwater. And that stat doesn’t even include Arctic ice. Given the state our planet is in, this is anything but crazy, and it’s sad that it’s come to this. Steve Kerr and Phil Jackson Trade Coaching Lessons Favored to win their third straight championship, Steve Kerr’s Golden State Warriors face more adversity than fans realize. Kerr speaks with his former coach Phil Jackson — who led two teams to 11 NBA championships — about surviving success. Mindful coaching of athletes. Something …

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Reading to escape

There were two routes I used to walk to my primary school, both of them down main roads that spanned the top half of the town. One took me down Townhead Road and offered the chance to nip in to a corner shop for some illicit sweeties, the other took me off Bonhill Road and into the lane that ran behind some off the houses, passing a piece of long (and still) neglected waste ground before arriving at the gates. It wasn’t a long walk, 10 mins if you were in a rush and hurried, not that I ever did. Depending on the time of year I’d change my route on the way home, but most days I simply retraced …

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Weekend Reading

Ditch the almond milk: why everything you know about sustainable eating is probably wrong In food and drink, we all want to do the right thing. We want to shop and eat sustainably. But, sometimes, it is easier said than done. Our willingness to jump on the latest eco-trends and unquestioningly accept reassuring labelling can lead to unintended consequences. Another week, another article about food. Time to get my own farm? The iPhone’s autocorrect is a blessing and a curse. A longtime Apple designer explains why it’s so hard to teach software to read your mind. I have a confection to make. Ugh! No, I don’t want to bake a cake. Let me type that again. I have a confession to make. …

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45 miles

My first bike was a Boxer. It was royal blue, with chunky tyres and these days would probably be called a mountain bike (for kids, it was tiny). It was the smaller version of the Grifter, which itself was a BMX/off-road kinda thing with the most totally awesomest twist-handle gear shift just like an actual motorbike! My best mate’s big brother had a Grifter and ohhh how I would covet that bike. Not that I’d ever have touched it, he was a bit scary… I can’t remember learning to ride my bike beyond vague memories of my Dad running along behind me telling me to pedal faster, nor can I recall when the stabilisers first came off and I flew …

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Weekend Reading

Innocent people with dirty-sounding last names face the “Scunthorpe problem” Sitting through roll call in school is already bad enough if you have a last name like Weiner, Butts, Cummings, Medick, Dickman, or Suconcock. But if that sounds rough, just try getting past the first stage of an online registration process. Seymour? Is there a Seymour in the room? A Mr. Seymour Butts? (yes, I am 8 yrs old!) Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound Look around on your next plane trip. The iPad is the new pacifier for babies and toddlers. Younger school-aged children read stories on smartphones; older boys don’t read at all, but hunch over video games. Parents and other passengers read …

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Gigs for the soul

“Fry your onions in garlic!”, he shouted. It was another evening in the Barrowlands, the ageless dance hall turned gig venue. It was late December, 1991, and I was there to see the Silencers, ably supported by the wonderful Humpff Family (wonderful in both name and in their rock/ceilidh stylings). As we were waiting for the Silencers to come on stage, the audience was starting to gear up and the noise was steadily increasing as more and more people came in and jostled their way into the crowd. It’s the same at every gig. A guitar tech wanders on to the stage to plug in a guitar and is given a rousing cheer, every gap between playlisted ‘intermission’ songs is …

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