Weekend Reading

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  • The Most Exclusive Restaurant in America
    The first time Jeffrey Merrihue came across the name Damon Baehrel, he was amazed that he hadn’t heard of him. “I didn’t understand how the secret had been kept,” Merrihue said recently. “The people I go around with, it’s hard for us to find something that is genuinely unique and new.”
    I wonder what the Yelp reviews are like?
  • Can smiling make you happier? Maybe. Maybe not. We have no idea
    In the spring of 2013, a 63-year-old social psychologist in Wurzburg, Germany, made a bold suggestion in a private email chain.
    A wonderfully sprawling article that, ultimately, you can just ignore (but do read!).
  • In the rural Pacific Northwest, prepping for the day it hits the fan
    Don and Jonna Bradway recently cashed out of the stock market and invested in gold and silver.
    I’m definitely never going to be a Prepper, but then if the SHTF I figure we are all equally fucked anyway (read article above for that reference)
  • What Killed the Jingle?
    Marketing ditties once had a distinctive, hokey sound, but today’s advertisers have ditched them for standard pop songs. Most Americans can recite their share of jingles. Perhaps they can’t remember their partner’s cell phone number, but they know every digit required to reach Empire carpet.
    Ask your kids, or young relatives if they even KNOW what a jingle is and prepare to feel very old
  • Gene Wilder’s Genius Reason for Willy Wonka Walking With a Limp (Video)
    Gene Wilder starred in the original 1971 “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” but he only did so under one condition. “When I make my first entrance, I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp,” he said, according to Letters of Note.
    One of a kind actor, with a gentle humour and kindness about him. Sad times.
  • ‘Freaks on the peaks’: the lonely lives of the last remaining forest fire lookouts
    There were 10,000 lookouts, scanning the wilderness for signs of smoke. Now just a few hundred remain, and they pass the time hiking, writing and knitting. For Levi Brinegar, alone atop his mountain, a storm can feel like the end of the world.
    Not sure I could do this job, but somedays it’d be a nice option!
  • Psychology debunks the idea that we’d be happier if we lived somewhere else
    Virtually every time I travel to a new place, I find myself fantasizing about starting over there. Mostly the feeling sneaks up on me, as it did this summer while I walked on a coastal trail above the Pacific Ocean in Victoria, Canada.
    Scientists are doing a lot of debunking. Maybe THEY should move somewhere else to be happ… dammit.
  • The Audacious Plan to Save This Man’s Life by Transplanting His Head
    What would happen if it actually works? Like a little white Lazarus with red eyes, the paralyzed mouse was walking again.
    Bit gruesome this one, does talk about animal testing, but the applications are astounding (put it this way, that headline isn’t JUST clickbait)
  • Situations where it’s OK for men to talk to women they don’t know
    The tantrum crops up time and time again. This time it’s because there was backlash from women towards an article teaching men how to chat up women who are wearing headphones. When women say they’d rather be left alone, men tend to completely lose their shit.
    Clear instructions. Please read.
  • The Inside Story Of “The Crystal Maze”, The Most Epic Game Show Ever Made
    Before you read a single word of this piece, put your headphones in and start playing the video below. If you suddenly find yourself with a great big grin on your face, it’s safe to read on.
    I still write Mumsy on cards for my Mum.
  • Great Missenden Plays Itself
    Nestled in Buckinghamshire’s Chiltern Hills, a 45-minute train ride from London, Great Missenden (pop: 2,255) was originally built in the 12th century around a vast monastery. Many of its row houses are themselves upwards of four hundred years old.
    The life of one amazing man and the town he lived in. Roald Dahl.
  • GoPro’s New Strategic Focus: The Plan to Expand Into Original Content (EXCLUSIVE)
    “I was up jammin’ ’til 3 a.m. last night,” GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman says by way of apology, as he arrives half an hour late for a recent interview at the company’s headquarters in San Mateo, Calif.
    Interesting times if their plans take off, sorry, I’ll stop droning on.
  • The Real-Life Superhero Who Beats the Cops to Bike Thieves
    He rode his bike to work. After work, he rode his bike home again. In the evenings, in his basement, he wrenched on bikes that he fixed up and flipped. Monkeying with bikes helped him burn off stress.
    Hooray for everyday, ‘average’, human beings (who aren’t average at all).
  • How Do Mathematicians Cut Cake?
    What’s the best way to cut a cake? Unless you’re a professional wedding planner, you probably haven’t given the question much thought.
    OK, I’ll admit it. I didn’t read all of this one. But if you like Maths and cake, you’ll love this!
  • Book Reading 2016
    Americans today have an enormous variety of content available to them at any time of day, and this material is available in a number of formats and through a range of digitally connected devices.
    Must get back on my Goodreads challenge, and might make note of the format I read (digital or paper) just for kicks.
  • My Brother’s Pregnancy and the Making of a New American Family
    When the call came, my brother was at work in the open office in Cambridge, Mass., he shares with seven colleagues who, like him, help run clinical trials for a drug developer. The phone number came up blocked, so he knew it must be the doctor. He stood up, unsteady on his feet.
    Dear World, gender is fluid. Ends.
  • Glasgow’s Building Built in Lego
    Having lived in Glasgow nearly all my adult life, I have come to love this city’s varied and exciting built heritage. I recently started making Lego models of some of my favourite buildings. This blog tells you a little about how I came to do this.
    I am the proud owner of his version of the Wellington statue (including traffic cone!).