Friday, September 28, 2012

Best of the Week #77

Tomorrow morning at the crack of waaaaay before dawn, I’m going HOME!!!! I am so excited I can barely contain myself for the following reasons:
  • I haven’t been home since Christmas.
  • Lake Tahoe.
  • The Pacific Ocean.
  • Real donuts.
  • Running the trails at Mt. Tam.
  • Good Mexican food.
  • My family (well duh).
  • And oh, the whole reason for this visit – Sister1 is quite literally about to have a baby!!!! (It was “supposed” to happen last week and we are all impatiently awaiting the first arrival of the next generation of my family!
It’ll be a whole week of glorious NorCal time for me and in case you can’t tell, I’m EXCITED.

On the blogging front, my most popular post this week was my Ragnar Relay Race Report. Because our team was AWESOME. For a while there (i.e. all day Monday), we thought we won and got really excited. I told all my friends, and many asked “So what do you win?” The only answer I had was “Umm the glorious knowledge that we are WINNERS.”

But then some bad(ish) news came – Ragnar had made a mistake and we actually got second place. Still not too shabby for a supposedly non-competitive team! So I (i.e. my super-duper-awesome friend/boss) made these certificates to commemorate our achievement. YES.

On the real work front, this report has been my week and I’m rather proud. And the accompanying press release and blog post…because why not do all the things myself?

Ok and now the silliness begins! These are always funny to me:

This New World infographic came out on Sunday, and was followed by this very interesting blog post on Wednesday.

  • However, since the trades of which I am jack (no, that makes little sense to me as well) are secession and irredentism – the fission and fusion of countries* — I can make some general comments and then skip through the cases briefly. First, secession is damned hard: countries resist losing pieces of themselves (see Monica Toft‘s work). There are many lessons to draw from South Sudan, but one of them is secession takes decades — six of them or so, and South Sudan is hardly swell today.
Speaking of Ragnar (as I have been all week), “10 Reasons Running Ragnar is Better Than Dating.”
  • #7 Vans Aren't Creepy 
  • Try picking up a girl for a first date in a van and chances are you'll cause her to run a 10k PR just trying to get away from you. Ragnar makes vans less creepy. Even the ones that have "Free Candy and Puppies Inside" get a measure of respect.
  • #3 You REALLY Get to Know The People You're Sleeping With
  • No more guessing about the "history" of your bed mates. No more thinking...what is that thing on her leg, or that thing he does with his nose? 24 hours (plus a few more if you're not the fastest) and you REALLY get to know your fellow Ranar-ians. Everything from their childhood to (and hopefully not really) their digestive issues.  This might not be a necessary positive unless you like digestion.
  • #1 You Always Get to Run Away
  • On a first date the running away is optional (less so when getting married), at a Ragnar Relay it's the only way to go!
"Listen to ‘Moby-Dick’ as Read by Tilda Swinton, John Waters, David Cameron, and More."
  • Moby-Dick is without a doubt one of the greatest works of American literature — but, being intimidatingly long and detailed, it is not read as widely as it should be. 
  • For the project, famous figures like Tilda Swinton, John Waters, China Miéville, Benedict Cumberbatch and even UK Prime Minister David Cameron will read sections of the novel aloud to be posted online, creating a delightfully patchwork audiobook. The project will post one new chapter per day — so welcome to your new morning ritual for the next 135 days — along with complementary artwork from a variety of contemporary artists. 
Umm hello yes please right now. “Pumpkin Crème Brulee.”

  • Sweaters, stretchy pants, pumpkin scented candles and pot pies. Bring it on.  I see your seasonal change and I raise you a glass of cider.
Nerd alert: “Bigger Cities, Smaller Screens: Urbanization, Mobile Phones, and Digital Media Trends in Africa.”
  • Perhaps most dramatic, cellphones and other mobile devices, already widespread, are becoming a nearly universal platform, not only for telephony but also for audio and video information and entertainment. This offers a fundamentally different “media” experience and has already led to an entirely new and largely unrecognized class of independent media–some newly created channels for international broadcasters–serving the African continent. This report traces the dramatic spread of mobile telephony in Africa and examines how this is affecting the news media landscape on the continent.
This cartoon of a man and his dog is adorable and hilarious. Go to the site and read them all.

Unexpected but excellent re: Libya:
  • Exasperated by the interim government’s failure to curb the militia brigades, thousands of civilians swarmed into the headquarters of several of them in Benghazi on Friday and forced their fighters to scatter — in effect, an angry mob demanding law and order. (source)
Henry David Thoreau the runner?
  • “All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hour’s toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one… characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.” (source)
I love the Honest Toddler:
  • Tacos in a Mason Jar
  • What type of tomfoolery is this.  ————————->
  • I suppose come dinner time you just throw it against a wall and try to find meat amongst the shards. You’ll need long pants and gloves for this adventure.
  • Someone said to themselves, “Tacos would be perfect if we just replaced the shell with glass.”
  • It already has 11 repins so that means 11 families are in the emergency room.
I don’t entirely understand how this works…but I want to know more! “A Cookie Coffee Cup That’s Easy To Recycle: Just Eat It.”

  • "The cookie cup is made of pastry that is covered with a special icing sugar that works as an insulator making the cup waterproof and sweetening at the same time,"
"11 Things You Should Know About Living In Boston."
  • 3. Give Allston a chance. -- This place is generally regarded as a craphole, but I lived in Allston for years and I loved it. You know the Austin, TX saying “Keep Austin Weird?” I once saw graffiti on a wall that said “Keep Allston Shitty.” The rent there is cheap. (I had a huge house with two other people for less than $1,500.) The bars are great. (Check out Model Cafe and the Silhouette.) And the house parties do not stop. (They really don’t.) Allston also has nice thrift stores, good restaurants (Sunset Grill and Tap has over 400 types of beer! Bagel Rising is delicious and hipster!), and fun music venues. Actually, don’t go to Allston. Keep it for the dedicated, proud few.
  • 10. The Fens is where gay prostitution happens. Now you know. -- It’s like the Elephant Graveyard. You are never to go there, Simba. [Editor’s Note: I DID NOT KNOW THIS. My team used to run there!!!]
You’ve probably already seen this, but it’s still hilarious.

Hope you have a great weekend!