What goes well with dirty politics? A martini of course!

Ice cubes
2 ounces vodka or gin
4 to 5 teaspoons olive brine
Splash of dry vermouth
Garnish: green olives


 

What goes well with dirty politics? A martini of course!

Ice cubes

2 ounces vodka or gin

4 to 5 teaspoons olive brine

Splash of dry vermouth

Garnish: green olives

 

“Maybe you have to believe in the value of everything to believe in the value of anything.”
WILD ONES by journalist Jon Mooallem isn’t the typical story designed to make us better by making us feel bad, to scare us into behaving, into environmental empathy; Mooallem’s is not the self-righteous tone of capital-K knowing typical of many environmental activists but the scientist’s disposition of not-knowing, the poet’s penchant for “negative capability.” Rather than ready-bake answers, he offers instead directions of thought and signposts for curiosity and, in the process, somehow gently moves us a little bit closer to our better selves, to a deep sense of, as poet Diane Ackerman beautifully put it in 1974, “the plain everythingness of everything, in cahoots with the everythingness of everything else.”
-Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
Read more at http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/12/10/best-science-technology-books-2013/

“Maybe you have to believe in the value of everything to believe in the value of anything.”

WILD ONES by journalist Jon Mooallem isn’t the typical story designed to make us better by making us feel bad, to scare us into behaving, into environmental empathy; Mooallem’s is not the self-righteous tone of capital-K knowing typical of many environmental activists but the scientist’s disposition of not-knowing, the poet’s penchant for “negative capability.” Rather than ready-bake answers, he offers instead directions of thought and signposts for curiosity and, in the process, somehow gently moves us a little bit closer to our better selves, to a deep sense of, as poet Diane Ackerman beautifully put it in 1974, “the plain everythingness of everything, in cahoots with the everythingness of everything else.”

-Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

Read more at http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/12/10/best-science-technology-books-2013/

from Frank Bruni’s op-ed on Ties that Bind 
 

from Frank Bruni’s op-ed on Ties that Bind 

 

Congratulations to Jon! 

Congratulations to Jon! 

"He smiled, and I knew I would never see him again.
John Carlin recalls his last, poignant encounter with Nelson Mandela, who had come to play a central part in his life."

The Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/nelson-mandela-dies-he-smiled-and-i-knew-i-would-never-see-him-again-8987639.html

from Pick Any Two blog:
"I’m sad to say that the first thing I did when I learned I was pregnant wasn’t jump for joy or squeal with delight. No, the first thing I did was whip out my smartphone and do a quick Google search for “alcohol during pregnancy.”
Four days prior, you see, I had attended a high-end charity event where I indulged in two – or was it three? – glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon. I blissfully enjoyed every sip, entirely ignorant of the embryo instead me.
So there I stood, positive pee stick in hand, waiting for the Internet to tell me my imbibing would result in a two-headed baby or worse.

When I told my doctor, she quickly assured me that I probably hadn’t done any irreparable damage, but that I should be more careful from here on out. After that, I followed every pregnancy guideline to a tee; no coffee, alcohol, sushi, or deli meat until I was holding a healthy baby in my arms, I said.
It felt a little over-dramatic, honestly. And a new book by Dr. Emily Oster, associate professor at the University of Chicago’s school of business, says it was just that.
In Expecting Better, Oster argues that many of the established recommendations for pregnant women – including limits on alcohol, caffeine, cold cuts, and sushi, and guidelines on weight gain and bed rest – are based on questionable or conflicting research. Doctors are restricting expecting women’s freedom, she contends, without the necessary science to back it up. 
The book, not surprisingly, is stirring up a lot of controversy, both in and out of the medical community. I’m no doctor, but here’s what I’m taking away from Oster’s research.
Use common sense.
While Oster argues that light drinking during pregnancy is fine, she’s not saying moms-to-be are free to get sloshed. We all know the dangers of heavy drinking during pregnancy, and this book isn’t refuting them.
Stop worrying so much.
Panicking over a turkey sandwich or stressing over an extra two pounds isn’t doing you or your baby any favors. Pregnant women could benefit from a little more calm and a lot less guilt – there will be plenty of that once the little one arrives.” 
Read the rest of the article here

from Pick Any Two blog:

"I’m sad to say that the first thing I did when I learned I was pregnant wasn’t jump for joy or squeal with delight. No, the first thing I did was whip out my smartphone and do a quick Google search for “alcohol during pregnancy.”

Four days prior, you see, I had attended a high-end charity event where I indulged in two – or was it three? – glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon. I blissfully enjoyed every sip, entirely ignorant of the embryo instead me.

So there I stood, positive pee stick in hand, waiting for the Internet to tell me my imbibing would result in a two-headed baby or worse.

When I told my doctor, she quickly assured me that I probably hadn’t done any irreparable damage, but that I should be more careful from here on out. After that, I followed every pregnancy guideline to a tee; no coffee, alcohol, sushi, or deli meat until I was holding a healthy baby in my arms, I said.

It felt a little over-dramatic, honestly. And a new book by Dr. Emily Oster, associate professor at the University of Chicago’s school of business, says it was just that.

In Expecting Better, Oster argues that many of the established recommendations for pregnant women – including limits on alcohol, caffeine, cold cuts, and sushi, and guidelines on weight gain and bed rest – are based on questionable or conflicting research. Doctors are restricting expecting women’s freedom, she contends, without the necessary science to back it up. 

The book, not surprisingly, is stirring up a lot of controversy, both in and out of the medical community. I’m no doctor, but here’s what I’m taking away from Oster’s research.

Use common sense.

While Oster argues that light drinking during pregnancy is fine, she’s not saying moms-to-be are free to get sloshed. We all know the dangers of heavy drinking during pregnancy, and this book isn’t refuting them.

Stop worrying so much.

Panicking over a turkey sandwich or stressing over an extra two pounds isn’t doing you or your baby any favors. Pregnant women could benefit from a little more calm and a lot less guilt – there will be plenty of that once the little one arrives.” 

Read the rest of the article here

Wine should definitely be considered a food group!

Wine should definitely be considered a food group!

Congratulations to the ten books that were named the Best Books of 2013 by The New York Times! We’re especially proud of Alan Blinder and After the Music Stopped!
 

Congratulations to the ten books that were named the Best Books of 2013 by The New York Times! We’re especially proud of Alan Blinder and After the Music Stopped!

 

Finally a book club pick you can share with your dog! Modern Dog chose Dog Songs by Mary Oliver for their club’s next read.  
"Anyone who loves dogs and beautifully, deceptively simple language that somehow cuts right to the heart of things, wonderful and true, will delight in this book. Dog Songs, a collection of new and favourite poems from Pulitzer prize winning poet Mary Oliver, is a gift to the heart, one that will prompt smiles of recognition and likely leave you with tear spangled eyes. It feels like being known. This slim tome of poems celebrating the dogs that have enriched the poet’s world is a thing of beauty, a glorious, heartfelt tribute to and reflection on our communion with our canine friends. Highly recommended.”
-Connie Wilson, Editor-in-chief of Modern Dog

Finally a book club pick you can share with your dog! Modern Dog chose Dog Songs by Mary Oliver for their club’s next read.  

"Anyone who loves dogs and beautifully, deceptively simple language that somehow cuts right to the heart of things, wonderful and true, will delight in this book. Dog Songs, a collection of new and favourite poems from Pulitzer prize winning poet Mary Oliver, is a gift to the heart, one that will prompt smiles of recognition and likely leave you with tear spangled eyes. It feels like being known. This slim tome of poems celebrating the dogs that have enriched the poet’s world is a thing of beauty, a glorious, heartfelt tribute to and reflection on our communion with our canine friends. Highly recommended.”

-Connie Wilson, Editor-in-chief of Modern Dog

The Families We Invent by Frank Bruni 

When they were 11 years old, Kylee and Starr split a stolen Coors and made a wordless pact, pricking their fingers with a cactus needle to let their blood run together. The gesture symbolized the girls’ hope — their determination — that their lives would always be joined just as closely.


“You had this idea that I’ll never forget,” Kylee told Starr much later on. “People move places and change careers for their spouses. And you said to me, ‘Why can’t we do that for our friendship?’ ”
Kylee and Starr each went on to marry and have kids, but more than 25 years after their pact, when they sat down in 2007 to speak about it, they were living on the same street, sharing the burdens that needed sharing and no more able to envision separate existences than they had been when they drank that illicit beer. If that’s not family — real family — please tell me what is.


Read the rest of The New York Times article here

The Families We Invent by Frank Bruni 

When they were 11 years old, Kylee and Starr split a stolen Coors and made a wordless pact, pricking their fingers with a cactus needle to let their blood run together. The gesture symbolized the girls’ hope — their determination — that their lives would always be joined just as closely.

“You had this idea that I’ll never forget,” Kylee told Starr much later on. “People move places and change careers for their spouses. And you said to me, ‘Why can’t we do that for our friendship?’ ”

Kylee and Starr each went on to marry and have kids, but more than 25 years after their pact, when they sat down in 2007 to speak about it, they were living on the same street, sharing the burdens that needed sharing and no more able to envision separate existences than they had been when they drank that illicit beer. If that’s not family — real family — please tell me what is.

Read the rest of The New York Times article here