I Need My Girl
Trouble Will Find Me
A little cheese to cheer you up is sometimes necessary.
While insects can be slimy, cringe-inducing creatures, often squashed on sight by humans, a new book released today by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) says beetles, wasps and caterpillars are also an unexplored nutrition source that can help address global food insecurity.
A taste of L.A.
It went like this:
- Why are there so many people at the beach in the middle of the week? Does anybody work here?
- Nope. If we lived here we wouldn’t either.
- I don’t understand, how would we pay our bills?!
- You are thinking about it the wrong way. First, we decide where we want to live, which beach we want to go to, whether we surf or hike or both, and what type of car we would have.
- And then…?
- Then the rest.
- Oh ok. What car then?
- You would only want a Fiat 500 or an old VW.
- OMG a loose seal!!
- Right there. It looked straight at me!!
And I did not make that up.
After weeks of being indoors because of a foot injury I finally went outside last weekend thanks to a good friend’s genius idea of taking me around in a bike with a wheelbarrow on the front. Slightly ridiculous? Sure. But it worked.
The result is this little video that made me appreciate New York like I was a tourist all over again.
New York City has a problem with income inequality. And it’s getting worse—the top of the spectrum is gaining and the bottom is losing. Along individual subway lines, earnings range from poverty to considerable wealth. The interactive infographic here charts these shifts, using data on median household income, from the U.S. Census Bureau, for census tracts with subway stations: http://nyr.kr/11mEy8m
People on Chambers St. really standing out here.
I’ve been slightly fascinated with the Rando app for the past few days. A good friend of mine introduced me to it and I quickly got hooked.
The app is simple: You take a picture (no choosing from your library) and send it anonymously. For every picture you send you get another one and you can see where it was taken. The app also tells you where you picture was delivered. That’s it!
The greatest part of the app is that it has all the elements that made the Internet exciting when it first started: anonymity, no likes, no comments - just a random connection with someone in another part of the world.
My friend (who absolutely hates social networks like Facebook) likes it because of its simplicity and because he says it encourages social responsibility, if only for a few seconds. “You feel responsible for sending a little bit of happiness with each picture,” is how he put it.
I’m not sure I would call it happiness, but it definitely taps into the fun of gifting (and receiving!) for no reason.
So far we have gotten pictures from as far as Taiwan, Iraq and Poland. I’m not sure if they are moderating them, but it has worked quite nicely so far.
SAY NO TO VERTICAL VIDEOS!
Stop everything you’re doing and watch this extremely important Friday PSA.
In his book, technology had shortened people’s attention spans, made them obsessed with their youth and prompted the quasi extinction of books and hard news journalism, among other things.
Sure, the book exaggerated these effects, but that was sort of the point since it served the narrative of his technology-dominated (and slightly fatalistic) future.
Three years since the book came out, Google Glasses seem to at least mimic one aspect of the future envisioned by Gary Shteyngart: the fact that we will wear our technology.
It may not be the äppärät, a pendant-like device through which characters in the book livestream thoughts and conversations, but instead, glasses are supposed to respond to our voice commands to record video, take pictures, and provide us with information.
“It’s been really magical to capture moments spent with my family and kids that I would never have done with a camera or a phone, on a swing, in the air, whatever situation.”
- Google co-founder Sergey Brin at the TED conference in California where he explained Google Glasses.
While I am all for new technology making life easier and helping us connect (and full disclosure, I’m a huge fan of Google products), the increasing obsession to document and broadcast every minute of our lives has this chilling effect in my mind.
In his TED talk, Brin made the point that the glasses will free us up from gadget-staring and let us experience stuff more (I’m paraphrasing).
But what worries me is not that we are not fully experiencing things because of our gadgets, but that we feel that to fully experience things we must constantly - almost incessantly - capture them, romanticise them through filters, and make sure everyone else around us knows and acknowledges that what we just went though is totally awesome/cool/worth telling.
The glasses will just augment this behaviour. Of course, we usually forget we have the power to op-out whenever we want.
It hurts just as much as it is worth.
Julian Barnes via Zadie Smith’s essay on pleasures vs. joy.
Can’t help but identify with her memories of being young and reckless in London and moving on to a more domestic (yet happier) existence in New York.