Five Good Things – Thursday Longreads Edition

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

Today instead of the usual assortment of randomness, I have a collection of longer articles I found interesting. Hope you all enjoy!

download (3)1) The Washington Post has a great article and interview with George Lucas about Star Wars, past and present, and how he views his role in the franchise. A little sad, to be honest, but really interesting stuff.

download (4)2) Buzzfeed has an anonymous account from a Mormon who is also a lesbian about her experience growing up queer in the church and why she is staying in the church, and staying out, for as long as she can despite their draconian policies regarding same sex couples. It’s a very moving read.

download (5)3) As I was listening to a friend help her son with his spelling homework yesterday, I was once again struck by what a weird, messy language English is. Aeon magazine helps unravel why this is.

download (6)4) The Atlantic has a great run down of where our gene-editing technology is, and what we might do with it in the future. There’s a ton of potential for its use, both good and bad – as any sci-fi fan knows well enough.

d739b8b7035) The journal Nature offers some ideas for what to do about the fact that there are way more PhD students than there are suitable jobs for them. Unfortunately using a giant donut to lure them off a cliff and reduce their numbers isn’t one of them.

Five Good Things for 11/19/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

Last night we went out to an amazing little restaurant called The Tin Angel and splurged. We got a bunch of small plates and an entree each and cocktails. So that’s our eating out budget for the next three months, but it was totally worth it. The highlights were the pork empanada with harissa sauce, the calamari with bread to dip in the juices, and the speck-wrapped shrimp. If you’re in the area, definitely go try The Tin Angel.  But for now, here are some less edible but still wonderful things for your day.

FIGA960H.png1) Like most of America, I will be seeing the final installment of the Hunger Games movies this weekend. I’m really excited for it. Cracked has a great, if poorly titled, article about themes in the movies: “6 Bizarre Messages You Didn’t Notice In ‘The Hunger Games'”. It really should be called “6 Ways Themes in Dystopian Science Fiction Have Changed Over Time and What It Can Tell Us About Our Collective Psyche”. Definitely worth a read if you’re a sci-fi and/or Hunger Games fan.

2) I love this Toys R Us commercial featuring a father and daughter bonding over Star Wars fandom. So cute, and so nice to see a store admit that girls like Star Wars. Like, a lot of us. Hopefully things like this will lead to more Star Wars female characters in toys and on merchandise, which is currently lacking.

Continue reading “Five Good Things for 11/19/2015”

Five Good Things for 11/11/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

I know I’ve been sparse with the regular content this week, but I hope to have a few things up later. Work’s been crazy but at least I’m off today so I can stop writing boring technical papers and start writing fun blog posts. Man, I need to find something to do that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a computer.

Women_Vets_Served1) Today is Veteran’s Day, which is why I’m not at work. For most of us, it’s just a day off work (if that), but I think it’s important to at least take a sec to remember the people who fought in wars on our behalf and who keep us safe in peacetime. However you feel about the military or about any particular war, I think we can all agree that those who have served deserve respect and help they don’t often get. I’d like to bring attention to our woman veterans, particularly, who face unique challenges and often don’t have support services tailored to their needs. There have always been woman veterans but today there are more women than ever who are dealing with the aftermath of combat. A great program that help woman veterans is Final Salute, and I encourage you to visit their website, learn about the issues woman veterans face, and donate.

Continue reading “Five Good Things for 11/11/2015”

Five Good Things for 11/5/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

4fabb1873570a6b1b4a1976fe1d33d1fToday is grey, rainy, cold, and slow at my job. It’s too early to start the weekend but I’m so over this work week. I’m really feeling Arthur Dent’s famous sentiment. Thankfully, I’ve got some great diversions to get us through this one.

Screen-Shot-2015-05-29-at-10.22.54-AM1) Okay, this is local news but I’m still excited and I think it’s relevant nationally. It looks like Salt Lake City has elected a new mayor, Jackie Biskupski, who is only the second woman to hold the position, and the first openly gay (and first single mother) mayor in our city’s history. Those of you who haven’t spent much time in SLC are probably shocked by this, but despite the often rightfully deserved conservative and bigoted reputation of the state of Utah, SLC actually is very welcoming to the LGBT community. And while I’m excited Jackie is making history here, outsiders will also be surprised to learn how little of a deal her orientation was in the campaign. I think that’s the best part of all – we didn’t elect a lesbian mayor, we elected a mayor who just happens to be a lesbian.

2) I feel totally vindicated by this Aeon Magazine article about how the indecisive often make better decisions that those who choose immediately. I’m notoriously indecisive and I always want more data to be sure I’m picking The Best Thing, whether it’s an entree or an apartment. The few times I have made a spur-of-the-moment decision on a big purchase (my last car and my last computer) I regretted it. So stop getting annoyed with me at restaurants, already!

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Five Good Things for 10/20/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

gilmore-girls-return-netflix1) Gilmore Girls is coming back for a four-episode run on Netflix! I wouldn’t unequivocally put this in the “good” category, as revivals of beloved shows are dicey, but Amy Sherman Palladino is return to helm so we are good hands. We can all just pretend season seven never happened. Although if there’s no Luke and Lorelai wedding I will be most displeased.

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Five Good Things for 10/12/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

1)  The fact that we still celebrate Columbus Day is Not Good. Columbus wasn’t just your average racist, brutal, totalitarian European conquerer. He was all that with an extra side of nasty. But what is good is that more and more people and places are rejecting Columbus in favor of celebrating the indigenous peoples of the Americas, past and present. Talk you to your community and leaders and officials about making a change in how we celebrate this day.

2) These apple roses2015-03-13 119 p look delicious, a sure to impress dessert for any fall potluck. I saw a recipe for a whole pie made of these I’ve been threatening to try, but this looks like a more manageable recipe to start with. I might make these today. Since I’m off for Indigenous Peoples Day.

3) It’s still a little warm here, but there’s finally a crispness in the air and some color on the mountains. If you can’t get out, check out this slideshow from National Geographic of autumn in the United States of America.

14442828379354)  Star Wars sandcastles! Japan is celebrating The Force Awakens with some really amazing themed sandcastles. The site is in Japanese but the pictures are the important thing!

5) Today’s xkcd comic, seasonally appropriate.

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