Friday, February 17, 2012

Best of the Week #48

Alright I have a lot of links to share with you today…so let’s jump right in, shall we? My most popular post this week was Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting – Valentine’s Day treat anyone?

How’s this for running for a cause? Peace Corps Volunteer Allé (with whom I studied abroad, and once broke into her apartment with my fingers in Queens) is running a half-marathon in Senegal to raise money for girls’ scholarships:
  • Seeing me running through their fields early in the morning, people in my village are becoming inspired too. When they first asked jokingly what in the world I'm training form we were laughing at my bright red face and sweat-soaked shirt. (I'm definitely not the image of beauty after a run.) But their faces quickly grew serious when I explained the cause. Especially, so many women, my host moms, grandmas and aunts, who never had the opportunity to go to school, never learned anything but pounding millet and spinning thread. Read More!
This video is long-ish (10 minutes), but interesting:
  • The Stanford MRI Lab hosts the world’s first ever love competition, in which seven contestants have five minutes to neurochemically love someone as hard as they can.

Someday maybe I will go places and write amazing articles like this: “In a War Zone, Finding Solace in Food” by a NYT war correspondent. This is a MUST READ.
  • I brought, too, Dutch-style unsweetened cocoa, which has a dark-chocolate bitterness. On the coldest winter days, I would pour hot water into a mix of cocoa and milk at the bottom of my cup. A froth would appear briefly on the surface and I would see myself crouching by a small propane stove in the moist green of the mountains of upstate New York, the steam of the cocoa made outdoors mixing with the curls of low-lying clouds drifting through the trees. The first sip of cocoa on winter days in Kabul transported me to that faraway verdancy and was a promise that I would return to the mountains of my childhood summers.
  • A luxurious dinner in my Kabul kitchen was to grate some Parmesan, slice and sauté a couple of mangy zucchini, beat a couple of eggs, add the cheese and pour the mixture over the zucchini, cooking it until it solidified. It was a savory, poor man’s frittata. I would sit with my frittata, a sliced tomato (Afghans are brilliant tomato growers) and my Gourmet magazine, reading how to make a proper coq au vin, and feel restored.

I always love a good dictator joke. I’m just sad that Omar al-Bashir didn’t make the list…(source)

Well I hate slow walkers as much as the next city-dweller with places to go, but this is almost kinda mean? "Slow walking 'predicts dementia.'"
  • The speed someone walks may predict the likelihood of developing dementia later in life, according to researchers in the US.
Awkward Cat Sleeping Positions #15. The Windowsill. The whole world is your hammock. 

This Gawker list: "Seven Careers Full of People You Should Hate."
  • 7. Social Media Experts: These are the people that mega-corporations pay hundreds of thousands in consulting fees to teach them how to set up a facebook page. How is this a real job? You basically teach old people to use twitter and you get paid astronomically for it.
  • 1. Bloggers: How is there an entire burgeoning billion dollar industry of twenty-somethings who write crap on the Internet? I don't understand it. A bunch of kids with no life experience write their views on the news of the day and world affairs and entertainment like it matters and you people eat it up? I have lifelong friends I have to ply with booze to get them to listen to me talk about anything for more than five minutes, and here you guys are, willfully clicking away. I can't even look in the mirror. I was going to be a foreign correspondent! I'm getting a drink.

I kinda want this to be said of me pre-race: “She morphs into psycho dog when she hits the line,” Baskin-Wright said. (Uhoh, what does that say about me?) The article is about Siberian husky sled-dogs.

Amusing. My refugees used to live in PG County. (source)

Interesting article, giving a slightly different perspective than the regular rhetoric: "Adulthood, Delayed: What Has the Recession Done to Millennials?"
  • The circumstances surrounding the Millennial generation are particularly strange. Many came of age in the longest economic expansion of the 20th century and graduated into the worst recession since the 1930s…With education comes opportunity. That's the deal, as this generation understood it. Now, they're the highest-educated generation in American history, and they've graduated into ... this.
Love me an infographic: "A political history of Africa since 1900 - interactive"
  • On Saturday 9 July 2011 South Sudan celebrated its independence day. How did the current nation states emerge from colonisation?

Am I completely incapable of posting a Best of the Week sans Hunger Games reference? Yes. (source)

A McSweeney’s Open Letter to Peoples or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond (a great series): “An Open Letter to the Fastest Jogger at the Park
  • To begin, let me go on record as saying that you are, undoubtedly, the fastest jogger at the park. You burst out of the wooded thicket and into my sight like a firework of sweat and sleevelessness amidst Sunday’s leisurely banality.
  • Ambling listlessly, these lazy Sunday walkers tend to take up all of the best sprinting routes at all of the best sprinting times, leaving men of your caliber no choice but to risk life and limb dodging their obstructing girth.
And I will leave you with this image - no reason, other than the obvious one that it is awesome. Happy weekend!