The Power of Being Bored

"Boredom, in today’s world, is fleeting. Because of our phones — supercomputers, but pocket-sized — we’re never more than a moment away from something to distract us from our idle time (battery life permitting). That may seem like a bad thing — our brains need a rest and chores, like doing dishes or taking out the trash, need attending to. But it turns out, there may be an even greater benefit to being bored. "

The problem with the restaurant boom

"The American economy has basically become a giant wealth extraction machine operating on behalf of the top 1 percent. The next class down, the top 10 or 20 percent, has to grind every day to keep up with their rising costs of living. "

A good take on mental ilness

I wear glasses.  Can I manage without glasses?  Well, yes, probably.  I could squint a lot, constantly move up close to anything I want to see, take the bus or a taxi if I want to go anywhere.  I could just accept that I’ll never be able to see eagles flying in the sky or whales jumping out of the ocean.  
But why?  Why try so hard to manage life when I could just put on a pair of glasses?  No one would ever suggest a near-sighted person should just work harder.  No one would say ‘Maybe that’s just your normal’ to someone that needs glasses.  They would say ‘Let’s go to the eye doctor and get you a prescription so you’re able to see again.’
You shouldn’t have to try so hard.
My doctor (paraphrased), when I expressed doubts about going back on an anti-depressant.  (via
(via squidilydink)
This is such a good analogy because nobody thinks about it like this.  If you wear glasses, you literally need constant use of a medical aid to experience the world like most people do.  If it were anything besides glasses, that would be considered a disability.  But needing glasses is an extremely common, visible, and accepted form of disability to the point that we don’t even consider it one, we just accept that some people need glasses and that’s perfectly normal and there’s nothing wrong with needing to rely on them.
That is how all disabilities and illnesses should be seen, and how we should look at treatment for them.  You have a problem, and you need help dealing with it, and there’s nothing wrong with either of those things.  That’s perfectly normal and that’s okay.
Reblogging myself bc ^^that^^ was such a beautiful addition.  ~JJ
Yes. This.
(via livhathaway)
I love this so much. 
Glasses are such a great example because even when you only need them part time no one questions if you really need them if you don’t always use them. 
Like if you wear a brace sometimes but not always then people get suspicious, if you use a wheelchair for long distances or for sitting for extended periods of time but can get up and grab something or walk around a little, people question whether you really need the wheelchair at all.

But if you just use glasses for reading and then take them off later, or just for driving, or just at school/work if you need to see distances, no one questions whether you really need glasses since you don’t always seem to need glasses. 
And I don’t recall anyone telling me to soldier through reading without my glasses because it would make me a stronger person and I wouldn’t want to give up and become dependent on needing something to help me see, either.  Somehow, wearing glasses is normal and a perfectly fine aid, but taking medication or using a mobility aid means you’ve given up.  It boils down to which aids make able-bodied people uncomfortable and which ones they see as minor and acceptable.

Why your work schedule is bad for your health

And how changing how you eat might help.

How to be a reducetarian

"The term ‘reducetarian’ was coined by Brian Kateman, an energetic young New Yorker who spent years advocating for recycling, composting, and other environmentally-friendly practices before realizing that reducing meat consumption was the single most effective action he could take to help the climate. "

Terry Moore: How to tie your shoes [video]

You may have been tying you shoes wrong your whole life.

How Confidence Can Be Bolstered In Understanding That Everyone Is as Equally Foolish as Oneself

"Once we learn to see ourselves as already, and by nature, foolish, it really doesn’t matter so much if we do one more thing that might look quite stupid. Failure won’t be news to us; it will only confirm what we have already gracefully accepted in our hearts long ago: that we, like every other person on the earth are a nitwit."

Warning: one swear word.

Explanation of herd immunity


Quote of The Day

“Fifty thousand years ago there were these three guys spread out across the plain and they each heard something rustling in the grass. The first one thought it was a tiger, and he ran like hell, and it was a tiger but the guy got away. The second one thought the rustling was a tiger and he ran like hell, but it was only the wind and his friends all laughed at him for being such a chickenshit. But the third guy thought it was only the wind, so he shrugged it off and the tiger had him for dinner. And the same thing happened a million times across ten thousand generations - and after a while everyone was seeing tigers in the grass even when there were`t any tigers, because even chickenshits have more kids than corpses do. And from those humble beginnings we learn to see faces in the clouds and portents in the stars, to see agency in randomness, because natural selection favours the paranoid. Even here in the 21st century we can make people more honest just by scribbling a pair of eyes on the wall with a Sharpie. Even now we are wired to believe that unseen things are watching us.” 
― Peter WattsEchopraxia

Simple Fix To Vertigo

13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

Gaslighting: Know It and Identify It to Protect Yourself

5 Calls: Make your voice heard

"Calling is the most effective way to influence your representative. 5 Calls gives you contacts and scripts so calling is quick and easy. We use your location to give you your local representatives so your calls are more impactful."

Audioblogging Manifesto

Truer than ever, given the proliferation of video (and the scourge of searchable text: infographics).

4 annoying sounds you need to stop making

Video. Covers:

  • uptalk
  • vocal fry (and its cousin "sexy baby vocal virus": high pitch and vocal fry and uptalk)
  • shushing
  • "sustained mid-central vowel or bilabial nasal" noise; how we talk when we don't want the other person to interrupt.

Hard Boiled Eggs with an Electric Pressure Cooker

[click headline above] Works great! I've tried for a long time to make easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs, and this method seems to work well. And the Instant Pot is great for all kinds of other things: as a slow cooker, rice cooker, for saute and soups, etc.

My exact method for eggs:

  • although most pressure cookers come with a steamer tray or rack, I lost mine, so I got one of those folding metal ones [link] and put that in the pot
  • loaded a dozen eggs into it, and added approx. 1 cup water
  • put on the lid, with the vent in the closed position
  • started the cooker in manual mode, high pressure, set for 5 minutes
  • the device warmed up, hissed for a bit until the pressure built up, and then began timing 5 minutes, beeping when done and reverting to Keep Warm
  • I let it sit like that for 5 minutes, then released the pressure, and used tongs to move the eggs into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process
  • peeled one, very nice! put the rest back into the egg carton with "HB" written on it and put them in the fridge; had another a few hours later, still easy to peel and perfectly done
How I've found is the best way to peel eggs: tap them around the equator on the counter or side of the sink to break the shell, then roll them briefly between your hands to further pulverize the shell, and then peel the shell off.

There are many more recipes out there for eggs this way, and many of them use low pressure and a natural pressure release (where you just let things cool down until the pressure lets up; less steps); I may try one of those with the next batch.

Hummus Made Easy

I saw this at the store the other day and tried the black bean version: very good! Best hummus I've ever had. (click headline above to go the product website)

I made it using an electric mixer, so the beans weren't completely mushed, there was some nice texture to not having them completely blended.

I read somewhere that hummus is made better by adding sour cream, and that works even for packaged hummus, and also for this.

I made another batch with refried black beans, and some chopped onion and only light mixing, and that is maybe the best batch so far.

I read a Tweet once that said "I feel good knowing I've put so many of the Sabra kids through college." :-)

I have no affiliation with Bush's, an have received no recompense for this post; I'm just a person who has tried to like hummus, and now knows how to make really good hummus. 

24 Music Genres Worth a Listen

Each video contains multiple samples. Sign me up for Djent and Glitch.

To The EpiPen CEO: My Daughters Will Be Nothing Like You

How to Reckon with Emotion and Change Your Narrative

"Storytelling helps us all impose order on chaos—including emotional chaos. When we're in pain, we create a narrative to help us make sense of it. This story doesn't have to be based on any real information."

The Disquieting Anxiety Caused By Being Disliked For No Apparent Reason [video]

"... thoughtful insight into the disquieting anxiety caused by being disliked intensely for no apparent reason, particularly in this age of social media and digital communication."

Dear Mothers: We're Not Meant to "Bounce Back"

"We’re not meant to “bounce back” after babies. Not physically, not emotionally, and definitely not spiritually.We’re meant to step forward into more awakened, more attuned, and more powerful versions of ourselves. Motherhood is a sacred, beautiful, honorable evolution, not the shameful shift into a lesser-than state of being that our society makes it seem."

This Is How to Find Happiness: 6 Proven Secrets From Research

 "So what produces happiness all around the world, among people young and old, across the most varied backgrounds imaginable?"

Missouri, Kansas join other states pushing 'zipper merge'

"Using all available lanes until the last moment, then alternating entry into the open lane, helps reduce accidents by keeping both lanes moving at the same speed, said David Silvester, a Missouri Department of Transportation engineer."

I'm a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing

"Every officer in the country should be wearing a body camera that remains activated throughout any interaction they have with the public while on duty. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy for officers when they are on duty and in service to the public. Citizens must also have the right to record police officers as they carry out their public service, provided that they are at a safe distance, based on the circumstances, and not interfering. Witnessing an interaction does not by itself constitute interference."

Jim Jeffries (comic) on gun control

Warning: salty language.
In 2 parts:

How Romantic Ideas Destroy Your Chance at Love

"Society has set us up with the wrong expectations"

John Oliver stands up for science, pours cold water on all those scientific studies you love [article/video]

How To Help a Grieving Friend

"It’s hard to know what to do when someone we love is facing something awful. We don’t want to do the wrong thing or get in the way, or we want to help but don’t know how to, or we face a huge flood of fear and sadness that feels hard to push away long enough to be supportive, or they don’t seem to want or need help. But there are some ways that you can be present and supportive. "

Malia Obama Is Taking a Gap Year. It’s an Increasingly Popular Move

"President Obama’s oldest daughter Malia will take a gap year before attending Harvard University, the White House announced Sunday. While the brief White House statement did not mention what the 17-year-old First Daughter would be doing during that time, Harvard happens to be one of many elite schools that encourages students to take a year off.

“Harvard College encourages admitted students to defer enrollment for one year to travel, pursue a special project or activity, work, or spend time in another meaningful way,” according to the website for the school’sadmissions office. “Each year, between 80 and 110 students defer their matriculation to the College.”"

49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child

Seven parenting behaviors that stop children from being successful

A Psychotic Rant About Going to the Cinema

I did not write this. But the person who did is my hero.

Could have been phrased better

From H&R Block's 2015 tax software for Michigan:

Really? The best they could come up for that question is "Are you an unmarried spouse of a person who was 65 or older at the time of their death"?

An  unmarried spouse?!

It took me a while to figure out that it means "Was your spouse 65 or older when they died, and do you remain unmarried?" At least I think that's what it means. No help/explanation anywhere.