Weekend Reading

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  • Why we fell for clean eating

    In the spring of 2014, Jordan Younger noticed that her hair was falling out in clumps. “Not cool” was her reaction. At the time, Younger, 23, believed herself to be eating the healthiest of all possible diets.
    It’s nice to have been ahead of a curve for once. I’ve always viewed ‘diets’ as wrong, and that sensible controlled eating, not following fads but science, is preferable. (I don’t adhere to this mind you…)

  • How TV Addles Kids’ Brains: A Short Film Directed by Godfrey Reggio (Maker of Koyaanisqatsi) & Scored by Philip Glass

    On October 4, 1982, “more than 5,000 people filled the Radio City Music Hall to experience a remarkable event. That event was the world premiere of Koyaanisqatsi.
    Well worth putting everything down and watching. It’s disturbingly engrossingly disturbing.

  • Want to be happier? Live in a small house.

    American houses have grown far too big. Chances are, your house is too big, and it may be doing you more damage than you realize.
    Not to the same scale but this mirrors my own experiences after I moved to a smaller place

  • Vonny Leclerc: Confronting the dirty truth about clean eating fads

    One plus of surviving eating disorders is a finely-tuned BS detector when it comes to food fads and messages about health. Which brings me neatly to my current bête noire. Clean eating: a food philosophy centered on woolly concepts like “wellness” that no-one feels they have to define.
    The backlash continues…

  • Don’t think too positive

    Do you believe that positive thinking can help you achieve your goals? Many people today do. Pop psychology and the $12 billion self-help industry reinforce a widespread belief that positive thinking can improve our moods and lead to beneficial life changes.
    So glad I have maintained a healthy dose of cynicism and pessimism. BALANCE, innit.

  • Growing Up with Alexa

    When it comes to digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, my four-year-old niece Hannah Metz is an early adopter. Her family has four puck-like Amazon Echo Dot devices plugged in around her house—including one in her bedroom—that she can use to call on Alexa at any moment.
    *adds to ideas for future dystopian novel*

  • ‘They could destroy the album’: how Spotify’s playlists have changed music for ever

    Custom playlists on the streaming site can bring unknown artists to millions. But are they altering how songs get written? Venezuelan singer Danny Ocean was languishing in obscurity when he released Me Rehúso independently in September – and then Spotify changed his life.
    Mostly agree, although some artists still produce albums designed to be albums, but outside of those, playlists and tracks all the way.

  • Pound coin gag scoops best Edinburgh Fringe joke award

    A joke about the new pound coin has been named the funniest of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.Ken Cheng won the 10th annual Dave’s Funniest Joke Of The Fringe with: “I’m not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change.
    The bar seems to be dropping lower and lower?

  • A Lesson For Men About The Women They Don’t Own

    Men don’t always see women as property—but it’s there, implied, and needs to be purged from our culture. A guy walks up to a girl in a bar. She’s laughing with her friends, engrossed in conversation. He slides in next to her to introduce himself. Offers her a drink.
    Article #342 in the on-going series of ‘ALL MEN SHOULD READ THIS’.

  • A cyclone hit Madagascar and made vanilla four times more expensive

    As a huge tropical storm drifted westward across the Indian Ocean in March, it set itself on a collision course with the world’s sweet tooth.
    My unabated vanilla latte consumption probably isn’t helping either…

  • My 2017 total solar eclipse trip

    I was not prepared for how incredible the total eclipse was. It was, literally, awesome. Almost a spiritual experience. I also did not anticipate the crazy-ass, reverse storm-chasing car ride we’d need to undertake in order to see it.
    One of a few articles from those in America who caught the totality, many saying the same kinda thing.

  • Here’s every total solar eclipse happening in your lifetime. Is this year your best chance?

    On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible from the contiguous United States. It’ll be the first to traverse coast to coast in nearly a century.
    Cool tool! No total eclipses anywhere near where I live though…

  • Paperback Thrills: 16 Best Thrillers of the Last 100 Years

    The perfect thriller is a difficult beast – a complex mix of pacing, plotting, and tension all doing a high-wire act to keep readers on the edge of their seats and glued to the page.
    I’ve read a few of these and will read more (the Agatha Christie choices are excellent, btw)

  • You can learn how not to be a LGBT ally by looking at what happened at Glasgow Pride

    If you want to know how not to be a good ally to a minority community, look no further than Glasgow last Saturday, where a toxic combo of ego and intransigence – by police and the Pride organisers –  may just have set police-LGBT relations back by years.
    My conflicted view of Pride continues. I love where it came from and what it should stand for, but recent developments always seem to be a little cack-handed and establishment focused.

  • Defending Indiana Jones, Archaeologist

    Indiana Jones isn’t that bad of an archaeologist. I mean, okay, the low relative quality of his archaeological expeditions is so notorious it’s become a bit of a truism. There’s a great McSweeney’s list of the reasons Herr Doktor Jones was denied tenure.
    Isn’t ‘named after the dog’ enough? Great film geek article.

  • Wading Through AccuWeather’s Bullshit Response

    AccuWeather issued a statement regarding the controversy over their app sending location-identifying information to a monetization firm. It’s a veritable mountain of horseshit:
    TL;DR – Uninstall AccuWeather now and never let it darken your homescreen again.

  • All Your Questions About Gender-Neutral Pronouns Answered

    When I tell someone that my preferred pronouns are they/them/their, I never know what to expect. Sometimes people say okay and move on, but other times, they’ll start to ask a whole bunch of questions that I don’t really feel like answering.
    Some nice examples to help you remember are included.

  • Climate change is coming for your cava and champagne

    First it wreaked havoc on our tea, then coffee. Now sparkling wine—both cava and champagne—is under threat from climate change. A new study in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology looked at grape varieties in northeastern part of Spain, which is famous for producing cava.
    Sparkly drink lovers, STOCKPILE!!

  • Want to Find the REAL Story? Ignore Your Instincts

    Guys. I’ve fallen in love with this essay by Emily Ruskovich. It so beautifully captures the author’s process of how stories evolve, how they morph from a single image, feeling, or idea into a full-fledged story—if we just let it lead us to where it wants to go.
    One for those of us who dabble with ‘writing’.

  • Maybe We All Need a Little Less Balance

    Ever since I can remember, I’ve been told to strive for balance. Yet I’ve noticed something interesting: The times in my life during which I’ve felt happiest and most alive are also the times that I’ve been the most unbalanced. Falling in love. Writing a book. Trekking in the Himalayas.
    I talk A LOT about finding Balance but a lot of this struck home. Yet in the past I always viewed change as a good positive thing. Time to disrupt myself?

  • John Steinbeck Knew the Homeless Are Human: Do We?

    Displaced. Migrants. These are words used to describe the Joad family in John Steinbeck’s depiction of Dust Bowl-era hardship in The Grapes of Wrath, but they were most definitely also homeless.
    Feels. The number of homeless in Glasgow seems to have risen over the past few years.

  • Germany’s self-driving car ethicicists: All lives matter

    The German federal government will adopt new guidelines for self-driving cars inside the country, which will prioritize the value and equality of human life over damage to property or animals.
    How does an AI ‘pass’ the Trolley test?