“Hygge is the idea that helps Denmark regularly rate as one of the happiest countries in the world — Danes have regularly been some of the most joyful in the world for over 40 years that the U.S. has been studying them — despite long, dark winters. Loosely translated at “togetherness,” and “coziness,” though it’s not a physical state, it’s a mental one. According to VisitDenmark (the country’s official tourism site): “The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family — that’s hygge too. And let’s not forget the eating and drinking — preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and small things in life.” Hygge’s high season is winter, and Christmas lights, candles galore, and other manifestations of warmth and light, including warm alcoholic beverages, are key to the concept.
Still a little confused and wondering how you could cultivate hygge in your life? This Danish NPR commenter sums up some specifics: “Hygge is a deep sense of cosy that can originate from many different sources. Here is a good example from my life : a cloudy winter Sunday morning at the country house, fire in the stove and 20 candles lit to dispel the gloom. My husband, puppy and I curled up on our sheepskins wearing felt slippers, warm snuggly clothes and hands clasped around hot mugs of tea. A full day ahead with long walks on the cold beach, back for pancake lunch, reading, more snuggling, etc. This is a very hyggligt day.” Now that sounds do-able, doesn’t it?” 7 cultural concepts we don’t have in the US – Mother Nature Network
“You have probably heard, by this point, the news that Harper Lee is finally releasing a companion novel for To Kill A Mockingbird after over 50 years. Pretty exciting news, right? Her publisher has probably had a lot of time to figure out their publicity rollout and has also definitely made sure that she wants them to publish said companion novel, yes? Especially since Harper Lee has always made it very clear that she would not release another book, and since Harper Lee is currently in a nursing home, and since her sister and lawyer died last year, and several third parties have begun suing one another for the right to use Harper Lee’s name…you would definitely think they would be sure to have all their ducks appropriately rowed before making such a significant announcement, right?
At the very least, they would have talked to Harper Lee about it, right? To get her, you know, permission?” Questions I Have About The Harper Lee Editor Interview – The Toast
“There’s a reason domestic violence prevention websites have lists of your rights in relationships. It’s because the places you tend to see rights violations tend to be abusive relationships. It’s because rights violations tend to lead to abuse. Do abuse victims “consent” to be in their relationships? On the surface, perhaps it looks that way, but that is rooted in a victim-blaming, “why doesn’t she (he) just leave?” mentality and a serious oversimplification of the psychological dynamics of abuse. Abuse relies on tearing down your partner’s sense of self and personal agency to the point where consent is really no longer valid. And it doesn’t take physical violence to make a relationship abusive.*
I believe that if you’ve come to a place in your relationship where someone has negotiated any one of their rights away, that relationship includes coercion, and that invalidates consent. Staying doesn’t mean your partner’s not hurting you. The fact that your partner submits to you doesn’t mean you’re not being an abusive asshole.” Relationship rights: Can you negotiate them away? – More Than Two
“What are we left with, after all of these excuses filter through the failed prayer?
One must pray in exactly the right way, for exactly the right things, at exactly the right time. One must not be selfish even a little, or ask out of pride. One must not doubt even the smallest bit that it will work–in fact, nobody around at all can have even a smidgen of doubt. And one must be ready to somehow count dead silence as an answered prayer.” I Kind of Knew, Long Before I Realized I Knew – Ex-Communications
“2) Supression of Women. Still others will answer that the church’s obsession over sex stems from their need to control women in particular. I think they bring up an important point, and the inherent misogyny of the biblical writers needs to be addressed. I think that the shape of Christian sexual prohibitions and the ways in which churches often approach the matter (e.g. speaking to young women as if it’s always their responsibility) point to the residual effects of ancient sexism. But when you compare the Christian religion to its predecessor, Judaism, you find that the early Christians took a step or two forward in their treatment of women, giving them a more important role in the propagation of that faith than most other religions of their day. Christianity’s treatment of the subject of sex, on the other hand, seemed to almost lurch backwards into a more prohibitive stance than of any which had come before. Before Jesus, adultery was already bad. After Jesus, however, you can’t even look very long before you’ve “sinned in your heart.” For Jesus, even thinking too much about sex has become a crime. No wonder the poor woman lost sleep over whether or not to wear form-fitting pants. So what gives?” Sex and Christianity Make Strange Bedfellows – Godless in Dixie
“Stefani was never a part of that sex. Afterward, I just laid there and sort of looked at him. I knew I should have had some fiery feminist thing to say, but I still couldn’t believe that that was it, he wasn’t going to invest in my pleasure at all, I thought surely there must be more coming. But there wasn’t. That was it.
When I say we live in a misogynistic culture that denies female pleasure, this is what I’m talking about. Of course this was a singular situation, but there are so many similar situations that happen on a day to day basis, I don’t even know where to start.
Misogyny — that is, this culture we live in that prioritizes men’s needs over women’s, and which tends to dehumanize and objectify women — makes us (both women and men) think a lot of bad things.
Misogyny makes us think the male orgasm is more important than the female.
It makes us think guys are lusty fellows, and that women are lusty objects.
It makes us think guys enjoy sex but women enjoy the mushy emotional things like cuddling.
It makes us think women are dirty and immoral if they act on sexual desire.” The real reason women orgasm less often than men – Paleo for Women
“The cruel irony, of course, is that men are now feeling the same pressures that women have been feeling for generations – to conform to an incredibly specific form of beauty. And of course, those who don’t measure up are taught that they’re failures – that they are inherently less desirable, even less manly, than the shiny-chested, leaned out Dolce and Gabana model. At a time when men already feel sexually invisible and desperate for validation (or even acknowledgement), being told that being sexy means being lean and jacked at all costs.
Welcome to the Beauty Myth boys. Hope you survive the experience.” The New (And Impossible) Standards of Male Beauty – Dr NerdLove
“Yet, despite the preponderance of evidence showing that violent and harassing environments cause emotional distress and can lead to mental illness, we still have no name for what happens to women living in a culture that devalues and allows men to abuse them without consequence.
What does living with the fear of rape do to your mental well-being over time? What diagnosis do you give to the shaking hands you can’t stop after a stranger whispers “pussy” in your ear on your way to work?
And what about those of us who endure the same daily gauntlet of discriminations and threats of gendered violence without really feeling anything because it’s so routine? What hoops did our brains have to jump through to get to ambivalence? Is it really more “normal” not to be anxious?” Sexism is making women sick – Jessica Valenti – The Guardian
Have you ever wanted to just escape the city, suburbs or even a small village in the country side? Just leave it all behind and go out into the wilderness. Well Claire Dunn did just that, she spend a year in the Australian outback building her own shelter and learning how to light a fire without matches. She wrote about her experiences in My Year Without Matches: Escaping the City in Search of the Wild and it is a fascinating and inspirational view into what a year in the wilderness can look like – and how it can help you figure out who you really and what you really need.
Our mission is to build our own shelters, and gradually to acquire skills such as making fire without matches, hunting and trapping, tanning hides, gathering bush food, weaving baskets, making rope and string, moulding pottery, tracking, increasing sensory awareness, learning bird language and navigating in the bush. Visiting instructors will join Kate and Sam to teach a series of workshops over the first half of the year. Then we will be left to fend for ourselves.
The rules are few. Apart from no booze, we are limited to thirty days out of camp, and thirty days of visitors in. It is essentially to be a Choose Your Own Adventure story, with equal emphasis on experiencing the changing face of the bush and ourselves, over four full seasons. A cross between the reality-TV show Survivor and the solo wilderness reverie that American poet and naturalist Henry David Thoreau elucidated in his book Walden. “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” Thoreau had exclaimed in exaltation of his self-styled life as a forest hermit, words I had inscribed on the inside cover of my journal. To qualify for the program, all we had need to do was study the basics over two week-long courses, and prove that our motivations weren’t madness or law evasion.
Even though she’d been working to protect the environment and the Australian forests and thought she knew what the forest was like, actually living there turned out to be quite a different experience…
I thought I knew the forest until we moved in together. And then, as is often the case with flatmates, I realised I barely knew it all. It had been an easy assumption to make. I was a forest campaigner; the forest was my life. All day every day it was what I spoke of, what I thought about, what I loved.
More importantly, I imagine, was learning how to truly listen to yourself. To stop being a human doing, rather than a human being (something I can personally relate to).
“Claire, the messages we receive from our culture run deep. It trains us to be human doings, rather than human beings. Your upbringing was particularly strong in this.
“For a woman, in particular, this comes at a great cost – separation from her true self. The most important task for you this year is to return to the feminine.”
“The feminine is guided by feeling and intuition. She learns to listen to the impulses arising within her, and acts according to her own sense of rightness. Her heart, not what the outside world deems to be success, is her map and compass. This is the seat of her power.”
“What I want you to do is simple: I just want you to feel. Feel everything. Unmoor your emotions from the judgments that will arise and come back to your heart. Ask yourself, ‘What do I feel like doing now?’ And then do that.”
I think this is such an important lesson for all of us. Learning to truly listen to ourselves, figure out what is the right next step for us and realizing that we don’t need to check of all of the things on our to-do list, before we are “enough”, before we can do the things we truly desire.
I pick up the pace, my face red with the knowledge that I am being seduced again by the false promise that there is a magic point in the future when enough will be enough, when I will tick the right number of boxes to give me permission to slow down.
In conclusion she touches upon how most of us could do this, if we really wanted to, but so few of us do in part because we don’t truly believe it’s possible. In my experience this doesn’t just go for spending a year in the wild – it is just as true for our other dreams.
“You could do it, too,” I say lightly, as the young guy looks wistfully at my shelter, knowing as soon as I say it that there’s plenty of reasons why he can’t, or won’t. While the few thousand dollars and the luxury of unattached time mightn’t seem like much, it’s more than most people have. And that’s the easy part. Hardest is the belief that it’s possible, that you can do the thing you’ve always wanted to do, the one thing that calls to you more than anything. The thing you’ll only regret in its absence.
My Year Without Matches (currently $5.07 on Kindle) is beautiful, inspirational and thought-provoking – I highly recommend it.
Would you be interested in spending a year in the wild? Do you have dreams that you think are impossible? Are they really?
What have you been reading lately? As always I invite you to find me and connect with me on Goodreads.
“This crowd eagerly post some of Charlie Hedbo’s cartoons with the aim of accusing the magazine of racism and sexism, without caring to dig into the context.
The context of Charlie Hebdo’s Parodies/cartoons is easily understood by the French but not easily understood by outsiders, unless they are conversant with French politics. Some of these cartoons can be viewed and understood under the piece What are some of Charlie Hebdo’s most famous cartoons?
At first glance, these cartoons might appear racist, sexist, and ill-thought-out, but after reading the contexts, this is usually not the case.” The Charlie Hebdo tragedy: The five crowds that are getting it wrong – YEMMYnisting
“Reading and experience train your model of the world. And even if you forget the experience or what you read, its effect on your model of the world persists. Your mind is like a compiled program you’ve lost the source of. It works, but you don’t know why.” How You Know – Paul Graham
“Birds will not readily abandon their young because they “smell humans.” For one thing, birds don’t have a great sense of smell. Their olfactory bulbs are small and simple compared to other animals (although this wasn’t always the case, and there are exceptions to the rule, like the turkey vulture, albatross and kiwi), and they’re not going to be able to pick out your scent from all the other smells hitting their beaks at any given moment.
Even if they could detect your scent, and make a negative association with it, they’re not just going to up and leave. You wouldn’t abandon your kids and home at the first sign of danger, would you? Even if you didn’t love either all that much, you already went through the trouble of painting the living room and changing all those dirty diapers, right? Birds will make that same simple economic decision. They’ve invested a lot of time and energy in those babies and they’re not going to give them up for nothing. Mess around with a nest before the eggs are laid or before they hatch, and a bird might re-nest elsewhere, but once the kids are in the picture, they’re no push-overs.” If You Touch a Baby Bird, Will It’s Mother Really Abandon It? – Mental Floss
“8) If it teaches you to fundamentally distrust yourself and to view yourself as essentially broken, weak, or unable to think for yourself. Not too long ago I caught a sermon in which the preacher compared everyone to sheep. As many preachers often do, he took great pains to stress the stupidity of sheep, and their great need to be led by someone else. This, he argued, is a good way to think about ourselves. If reading that does not make something boil inside you then you have become as desensitized to that kind of talk as I was when I was still “in church.” But messages like that should make you angry. This compulsion to give such a low self-image to people is despicable, and it should be seen for what it is. It teaches people to see themselves as unable to determine their own steps, unable to think and to dream and to pursue goals of their own choosing. It cuts at the heart of what it means to be an intelligent being, and as with the other points I have made, this holds us back as a species from becoming what we could be.” Your Religion May Be Harmful If… – Godless in Dixie
“* I’ll get disqualified for not being a Christian. Only Christians are allowed to have legitimate opinions or a right to speak about Christianity. Of course, this doesn’t disqualify straight or white Christians from pontificating and trying to control the conversation about LGBTQ people or people of color (POC)–or their very lives. Sometimes this disqualification will take the form of a Just Asking Questions question: “Why do you care so much about this if you don’t believe in it?” or “Why can’t you just leave Christians alone?” Sometimes a Bible verse will get trotted out to try to clobber me, insinuating that only Christians can possibly “rightly divide the word” and know what it really means. That one’s especially funny because when I was Christian, I knew exactly what the verses meant–and nobody ever once said otherwise. I do not receive in turn, either, the right to demand that Christians quit talking about atheism or deconversion–topics they manifestly do not understand–or say that if they’re not either of those things then they’re not allowed to talk about them. That only works if you’re a Christian.” Disqualified – Ex-Communications
“None of the pain Scott talks about came from things that happened to him. They came from things that happened inside his head. He speaks in generalities about “sexual assault prevention workshops,” or of feeling targeted by feminist literature — himself saying that he was perversely drawn to the most radical and aggressive rhetoric he could find, eschewing more moderate writers for the firebreathing of Dworkin and MacKinnon.
He doesn’t talk about anyone targeting or harassing him personally — indeed, how could he be targeted by books written by second-wave feminists when he was a toddler? — but of feeling targeted, of having an accusatory voice inside his mind tormenting him with a pervasive sense of inadequacy, uncleanness, wrongness. It doesn’t seem like anyone in his life was particularly giving him a hard time, but that he was giving himself a hard time and picking up on any critical or negative messages directed at men in general as a way to amplify his negative thoughts.” The plight of the bitter nerd: Why so many awkward, shy guys end up hating feminism – Salon
“About five years ago, I sort of “woke up” and saw my home clearly for the first time. I had always had an organizing streak and even remember organizing the Tupperware cabinet in my parents home when I was only 18. But, somehow, this natural knack for organizing and creating order from chaos got covered up by years of stuff.
Stuff that I thought that I might need one day.
Stuff I thought might have some sort of financial value.
Stuff that I thought was essential to my memories.
Stuff that other people had given me (and that I hung onto out of guilt).” Do you want your home to feel like a sanctuary instead of a mess? Read this. – Christie Inge
Self-care has become increasingly important to me over the past several months, as I’ve been dealing with (and continue to deal with) a lot of health challenges. I’ve had to truly learn what it means to put myself and my health first – something that’s very difficult, when you veer towards a Type A personality and want to be able to do all of the things perfectly all of the time.
I struggled with permission. Feeling worthy and deserving of having my needs looked after.
One of the more difficult things to come to terms with was realizing that self-care isn’t something you can check off your list and be done with – you have to start over every day. But that’s also the beauty of it, that you get to start over every day and work on becoming truly proficient at looking after yourself – which in the end will enable you to be the “best” you.
At its essence, it’s very core, self-care is about identifying and meeting your needs.
Braime guides you gently and with compassion through why self-care is so important – and why we might resist it. Teaches about the difference between coping strategies, short-term self-care and long-term self-care. She covers the essentials of self-care such as sleep, exercise and food and shares an abundance of suggestions to try out.
“It turns out there is a fine line between wanting your partner to understand you and wanting your partner to validate your feelings. For years, I wanted others to confirm that my feelings were okay to have.
And ultimately, the belief that feelings need to be validated to be valid was the cause of my codependency.
Here’s what it comes down to: If you don’t believe your feelings are genuine, real, and legitimate, nothing your partner says will make a difference. Whether or not your partner gets you is secondary to honoring your own feelings.” You Don’t Need Other People to Validate Your Feelings – Tiny Buddha
“Nonviolence means allowing the positive within you to emerge. Be dominated by love, respect, understanding, appreciation, compassion, and concern for others rather than the self-centered and selfish, greedy, hateful, prejudiced, suspicious, and aggressive attitudes that dominate our thinking. We often hear people say: This world is ruthless, and if you want to survive you must become ruthless too. I humbly disagree with this contention.” The Art of Compassionate Conversation: How to Impart Love and Acceptance in Every Conversation – Kevan Writes
“I think this story beautifully illustrates the story of the human race, which created a hero to save itself from the many dangers, toils, and snares of life only to one day realize that it must become the hero of its own story. Just as Alex Rover was a rugged and self-sufficient projection of all the weaknesses and shortcomings of a frail and multiphobic writer, so I think our gods have always been projections of ourselves, or rather of what we wish we could be. Because we feel weak, they are strong. Because we feel powerless over nature, they control it. Because we make mistakes, they never do. And because we don’t understand how things have come to be, they are responsible for making everything we see, including even ourselves. They are the projected embodiment of everything we are not, and just like Alexandra, we come to depend on them despite the fact that we create our creators in our own inventive brains. Sometimes they personify our own traits and share our own moral shortcomings. But sometimes they transcend those things as well, showing us the way forward out of our own faults like beacons of moral perfection.” Nim’s Island and the Reason for God – Godless in Dixie
“When I talk about the patriarchy? This is what I’m talking about. Men like Baucham believe their adult daughters are bound to obey them in word and deed, and that they possess their daughters’ virginity to hand off to another when they choose. I’m lucky that my father was fairly introverted and hands off, but I still had a hell of a time with it when my courtship when rogue (or, to put it more specifically, when I took the reigns to my own love life).
And while Baucham is against stoning unmarried daughters who are sexually active, one wonders what he thinks should be done with them. It can’t be pretty.” Voddie Baucham, Daughters and “Virgin Brides” – Love, Joy, Feminism
“OK, I’m going to say this with all sincerity to Aaronson and other nerds and Nice Guys: I’m sorry you were bullied. I’m sorry you may find relationships scary and confusing. I’m sorry you may not have the instinctual social ease that others may have. I’ve been there, I have done that and I’ve got the emotional scars to prove it. I understand that trying to figure out how to get better at dating can be confounding, frustrating and intimidating – that’s the whole reason why I created this site.
So with that being said: build a bridge and get the fuck over it. Being bullied doesn’t make you right, or better or morally superior. Being a nerd doesn’t mean that you’re holy. Just because you’re a geek doesn’t mean that you aren’t also an asshole. Being socially awkward isn’t an excuse and trying to play the Oppression Olympics doesn’t make it any better. No, life isn’t fair, it never has been fair and the sooner you stop expecting that fairness to apply to you, the sooner you’ll be able to improve.
Yes, we live in a society that tells men and women conflicting rules about sex and sexuality and that can be confusing. Yes, the rules about boundaries and consent are changing and we’re all trying to shake off generations of toxic lessons about gender and sexuality and it can be weird, confusing and intimidating. But blaming feminists for scaring you, bullies for bullying you or neanderthals for taking what you “deserve” isn’t progress, it’s whining. Stop blaming others for what, at the end of the day, are your choices. You and you alone are responsible for your life and to make it better.” What’s Really Wrong With Nice Guys – Entitlement, Nerds and Neanderthals – Dr NerdLove
“So I began to wonder, if I do more respectful things, perform more generous actions and, well, dress a little better, will I actually have a little more self respect? In other words, because I’m in a relationship with myself, maybe I should act in such a way that my “self” could respect my “self” a little more.” You Are in a Relationship with Yourself; Make It a Healthy One – Storyline
“A Swedish adventure racing team was stopped for a meal in Ecuador before the final two stages of a 430-mile race through the rainforest when they saw a miserable-looking stray dog. Mikael Lindnord, one of the racers, pitied the thing and tossed the dog a meatball to eat.
The dog, who the racers eventually named Arthur, then followed them for the rest of the grueling race, through deep jungle and mud on a 20-mile trek, even swimming alongside the team’s kayaks for one portion.” Adventure racer gives stray dog a meatball, dog follows him to finish line of 430-mile race – For The Win
“There are different kinds of difficulty, and although the English language likes to lump them together, they have different causes and solutions. Depending on what kind of difficulty you’re facing, the proper course of action might be to buckle down or despair.” Different Kinds of Difficulty – Scott H Young
“So where does this leave the intellectual Christian today? Clearly there have been many diverse intellectual traditions within the Christian faith over the centuries, some enjoying a rich and intellectually sophisticated history. Some of the greatest western thinkers were Christians, and some of them even made theology and biblical study their primary focus. I cannot and will not deny that. However, I am arguing that these highly intelligent people developed and contributed to their various traditions in spite of the pervasive anti-intellectualism found laced throughout the Bible. They serve as an excellent illustration of the human desire to understand the world better even in the midst of settings where such ambitions are disparaged. On behalf of the human race, I’m proud of their drive to know more, and to make sense of the religion which they were taught to believe (in most cases when they were still very young and impressionable).” Anti-Intellectualism and the Bible – Godless in Dixie
“The argument that ISIS’s brutality has nothing to do with religion simply does not hold.
Going by the numbers flocking to Iraq and Syria these days, it is clear that a small but significant number of religious Muslims consider the ideology of ISIS legitimate, honorable and worthy enough to give up their lives for.
We do have a real problem with a very plausible interpretation of the Quran that ISIS cleverly uses to its advantage. It’s time we take our blinders off and started openly talking about the connection between ISIS’s brutality and Quranic literalism. It has become far too dangerous to be polite and leave religion out of the discussion.” Does Islamic State’s Brutality Really Have Nothing to Do With Religion? – Fathima Imra Nazeer – Huffington Post
“In the wake of the massacre that took place in the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, I have been called upon as a scholar specializing in Islamic paintings of the Prophet to explain whether images of Muhammad are banned in Islam.
The short and simple answer is no. The Koran does not prohibit figural imagery. Rather, it castigates the worship of idols, which are understood as concrete embodiments of the polytheistic beliefs that Islam supplanted when it emerged as a purely monotheistic faith in the Arabian Peninsula during the seventh century.
Moreover, the Hadith, or Sayings of the Prophet, present us with an ambiguous picture at best: At turns we read of artists dared to breathe life into their figures and, at others, of pillows ornamented with figural imagery.” The Koran Does Not Forbid Images of the Prophet – Newsweek
“I do not intend for a moment to minimise Aaronson’s suffering. Having been a lonely, anxious, horny young person who hated herself and was bullied I can categorically say that it is an awful place to be. I have seen responses to nerd anti-feminism along the lines of “being bullied at school doesn’t make you oppressed”. Maybe it’s not a vector of oppression in the same way, but it’s not nothing. It burns. It takes a long time to heal. Feminism, however, is not to blame for making life hell for “shy, nerdy men”. Patriarchy is to blame for that. It is a real shame that Aaronson picked up Andrea Dworkin rather than any of the many feminist theorists and writers who manage to combine raw rage with refusal to resort to sexual shame as an instructive tool. Weaponised shame – male, female or other – has no place in any feminism I subscribe to. Ironically, Aronson actually writes a lot like Dworkin – he writes from pain felt and relived and wrenched from the intimate core of himself, and because of that his writing is powerfully honest, but also flawed. The thing is that the after effects of trauma tend to hang around long after the stimulus is past.” On Nerd Entitlement – New Statesman
“Instead of telling us that her success is thanks to good luck and other people’s good will, Poehler makes clear in the book that her path to fame was paved with hard work and a refusal to take any shit. It’s an all-too-obvious but still much-needed call to women who’ve been told for far too long – at the office, at school, all over the internet – to be too nice if we want to get ahead (or just get along).
I’m sick of powerful women who rely on self-deprecation and likeability to make people feel comfortable with their success. Modesty and niceness are overrated – and I don’t believe for a second that they are the traits of wildly successful women. Tell us how you really got there. I know it wasn’t just “taking a seat at the table” or because you stopped saying sorry.” The secret to success? ‘Bitchiness’ – Jessica Valenti – The Guardian
“Some nerdy guys seem to think being a woman means getting dates and sex whenever we want. First of all, this is not true (seriously, how many women spent years pining over a guy who never gives them a second look?). But second, this completely ignores the mocking and bulling women face for their gender.” “Hey, Dreamboat!”: Teenage Girls Get Mocked To – Love, Joy, Feminism
“At the same time, cattle are key to the world’s most promising strategy to counter global warming: restoring carbon to the soil. One-tenth of all human-caused carbon emissions since 1850 have come from soil, according to ecologist Richard Houghton of the Woods Hole Research Center. This is due to tillage, which releases carbon and strips the earth of protective vegetation, and to farming practices that fail to return nutrients and organic matter to the earth. Plant-covered land that is never plowed is ideal for recapturing carbon through photosynthesis and for holding it in stable forms.
Most of the world’s beef cattle are raised on grass. Their pruning mouths stimulate vegetative growth as their trampling hoofs and digestive tracts foster seed germination and nutrient recycling. These beneficial disturbances, like those once caused by wild grazing herds, prevent the encroachment of woody shrubs and are necessary for the functioning of grassland ecosystems.” Actually, Raising Beef Is Good For The Planet – Wall Street Journal
“Indifference is simply not caring. Not really having an opinion or taking a side.
And no place is it easier to be indifferent than in acrappy job or a stale relationship.
When you look around your job and see a bunch of people who gave up caring back when Bill Clinton was President, it’s hard to want to try.
When your work feels nothing but menial, it’s hard to try and make it significant.
When you’ve been hurt too many times in relationships, why care? And yet, indifference will cost you. Not the pain of heartbreak. But the pain of never truly caring about anything enough to give your heart that possibility.” Should You Even Care? – All Groan Up
“A piece of writing needs to start somewhere, go somewhere, and sit down when it gets there.” “Taking things from one source is plagiarism; taking things from several sources is research.” “A thousand details add up to one impression.” “You cannot interview the dead.” “Readers are not supposed to see structure. It should be as invisible as living bones. It shouldn’t be imposed; structure arises within the story.” “Don’t start off with the most intense, scary part, or it will all be anticlimactic from there.” “You can get away with things in fact that would be tacky in fiction — and stuck on TV at 3 o’clock in the morning. Sometimes the scene is carried by the binding force of fact.”Writing with the Master – The Magic of John McPhee – Tim Ferriss
“Adam Lee made an excellent point about this: Christians should be objecting to the basic principles of meteorology and tectonic theory because they both attempt to explain the mechanics of global happenings without referencing any deities. They should be outraged! And what about germ theory, or the theory of gravity? Why do they push back against the theory of evolution, which has become the most basic organizing principle of the life sciences, and not all the others? You won’t find Christians developing competing models of meteorology and weather prediction giving sufficient credit to God. In fact, most of them will probably check the weather forecast this evening before making their plans for the next day, but the weather man will likely say nothing at all about Yahweh in his forecast. How could they even listen to him? The Bible says nothing about high pressure and low pressure systems; it says Yahweh makes storms himself. Why hasn’t a more biblically faithful version of meteorology grown up? And why don’t half of all Americans subscribe to it?” Why Don’t We Have Christian Meteorology? – Godless in Dixie
“For thousands of years, religions have used shame as a method of control. It is easy to see how shame is detrimental to females in patriarchal religions, but it has grave consequences for males as well. We hear a good deal today about the shaming of women and girls, but we don’t hear as much about male shame. Male shame is all around us and starts at infancy. Its message is strong and consistent: males must act a certain way or they are not really male. Males must always be seen as distinctly different and superior to females. From male shame comes a wide range of behaviors designed to oppress women and ensure male dominance. Understanding the interplay and dynamics of shame makes it possible to explain much of the misogynistic behavior we see in the religious and non-religious alike.” Male Shame – Ex-Communications
“I’m trying to unlearn many of the lessons of gender that I internalized when I was growing up. But I sometimes still feel very vulnerable in the face of gender expectations. The first time I taught a writing class in graduate school, I was worried. I wasn’t worried about the material I would teach, because I was well prepared and I was going to teach what I enjoyed teaching. Instead, I was worried about what I was going to wear. I wanted to be taken seriously. I knew that because I was female, I would automatically have to prove my worth, and I was worried that if I looked too feminine, I would not be taken seriously. I really wanted to wear my shiny lip gloss and my girly skirt, but I decided not to. Instead, I wore a very serious, very manly, and very ugly suit. Because the sad truth is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as the standard, as the norm. If a man is getting ready for a business meeting, he doesn’t worry about looking too masculine, and therefore not being taken [for granted] [seriously?]. If a woman is getting ready for a business meeting, she has to worry about looking too feminine, and what it says, and whether or not she will be taken seriously. I wish had not worn that ugly suit that day. I’ve actually banished from my closet, by the way. Had I then, the confidence that I have now, to be myself, my students would have benefited even more from my teaching because I would have been more comfortable, and more truly myself. I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.” We should all be feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – TEDxEuston
“In defense of the Batman shirt, some HuffPost commenters asked: “What’s wrong with wanting to be a wife?” Nothing, Wade said. The problem, she explained, is that we “live in a world that defines women by their relationships with men, but not men [by their] relationships to women. … In this context, it is reminding people what the expectations are for women, and the expectation is not just that she will be a wife, but that she’ll be somebody important’s wife, and her identity will be defined by hisimportance.”
A similar Internet uproar erupted when Marvel sold a set of shirts that read “I Need a Hero” for girls and “Be a Hero” for boys. The message was all too clear: that girls need rescuing and boys are the ones for the job.” You Are What You Wear: The Dangerous Lessons Kids Learn from Sexist T-Shirts – Huffington Post
“Consent is not for Irish women: once a person in Ireland becomes pregnant, their right to refuse or to choose medical treatment is null and void. Self-determination is not for Irish women: once a person in Ireland becomes pregnant, they may no longer choose the direction of their lives within our borders, and if they do not have the right to leave their borders their lives become the property of our state. And as of today, even the right to be laid to rest after our deaths is not for any pregnant person in this country.” Irish women are now incubators. Even in death. – Consider the Tea Cosy
“I often feel: Controlling I want a guaranteed outcome. I find myself manipulating the smallest moments or trying to will a specific end result so I can feel safe. Somehow, I believe that if I can predict an outcome everything in my life will be “OK.” Like a perfectionist I occasionally find myself believing that perfection will protect me. I get caught up in the belief that if I look perfect, act perfect and live perfectly, I can avoid the feelings of shame, judgement, or pain that are part of everyday life (no matter how perfect you are.) How to Move From “What Will People Think” to “I Am Enough” – Danielle Dowling
“If you’re like most couples, you may not actually know. Many couples are very quick to assume that they’re on the same page regarding major relationship issues without ever actually talking about them. Communication is key to a relationship’s success, but it only helps if you’re communicating about the things that matter. There’s never a worse time to find out that you and your partner don’t feel the same way than when you’re facing major life events without ever having gamed out how you were planning on responding to them. What might be a minor issue to you may well be a relationship extinction-level event to her and vice-versa, and you don’t want to find this just in time to watch your years together go down the drain.
Instead, you want to have these 5 conversations as soon as is reasonably possible when your relationship starts to get serious. You may not be in perfect sync with one another, but by being able to talk about these issues – when they’re still an abstract instead of a very real issue – can make the difference between a relationship for the ages and an ugly break-up.” These 5 Conversations Will Save Your Relationship – Dr NerdLove
“But what pop culture fails to show is that you can, in fact, survive heartbreak. It may have felt like you lost a limb – and that is a pain worth recognizing and working through. Unfortunately, every romantic comedy and drama in the universe (just about) defines the individual, particularly women, as an extension of their romantic partner. You are complete with another person; incomplete without. Under this direction, we are unable to recognize that the limbs we feel are missing are actually totally intact.
In reality, with or without another person, all of you is still there. We just aren’t taught to see that. We are not taught to value our own individual wholeness. If we were, we would stop needing things from other people. If we were taught to value ourselves, we would not need to predicate our worth on what others perceived of our value.” Pop Culture’s Portrayal of Love Is Killing Us – Disrupting Dinner Parties
“Sometimes you hear this particular form of abuse called “JAQing off,” and the imagery that might have arisen in your mind is perfectly in keeping with what it seems like for the person doing it. Indeed, the person asking doesn’t really care a bit about what the target thinks; the question is only being asked to frame a bit of imminent proselytization. It’s a form of abusive behavior as well as hugely dishonest, but it’s a tactic that ex-Christians might get tripped up by very easily–we’re so used to being on the defensive! And we often feel that we have an obligation to convince our friends and loved ones that we deconverted for a good reason.
No matter what we do about the question being asked, we lose. If we answer, we quickly discover that the person asking it just uses it to draw us into an unwanted, unasked-for discussion about the validity of our decision to leave the religion (and our reason will inevitably be found invalid, I’m warning you now). If we don’t answer, we’re clearly scared of answering which must obviously mean our decision to leave wasn’t valid. So we often feel a lot of pressure to answer these insincere questions, likethis time we’ll find the magical way to convince that person that we did what we did for a good reason.” JAQing Off – Ex-Communications
“That sounds pretty compelling, doesn’t it? It’s hard to argue against saving 50,000 lives a year.
But that’s not what the study showed at all. In fact, the following would be a more accurate report on the results of this study, couched in the context of what we know from other statin drug trials:
Out of 100 high-risk people taking a statin for five years, 98.2 will not benefit at all—but they will be exposed to significant side effects and complications, including muscle damage and diabetes.
The 1.8 people that do benefit will live an average of 6 months (and a maximum of one year) longer than those that didn’t take the statin.
These results only apply to the people at highest risk for a future heart attack: middle-aged men who’ve already had a heart attack (aka “secondary prevention”). There is no compelling evidence that statins extend lifespan at all in men without pre-existing heart disease, or women with or without heart disease.” What the Media Isn’t Telling You About Statin Drug Trials – Chris Kresser
“For all of you out there who are here with me in this: you’re not alone. I am not alone. We aren’t alone. When all we can remember is who we are right now, remember that we have been here before and gotten through and escaped into who the us who we will be again. And remember even when we are desperate and hurting and we- let’s be real- make utter tits of ourselves, the compassion and empathy this grows in us for the times when we are the caretakers of other people’s pain.
It’s not okay right now. I think it will be.” On living with a part-time broken brain: possibly a love letter to all of us – Consider the Tea Cosy
“I have spent some time learning, but learning does not imply understanding. I am more a student now than I was 10 years ago. I do not want to be a robot, a cog in society who answers yes because yes is considered the appropriate answer. Neither do I want to be a protestor. I just want to seek out what lies underneath the veils of politeness and programming that I’ve been given as a person in this society. I want to get comfortable with my insecurities until I am no longer insecure. I want to be comfortable in my skin so that I do not need to dump any of my discomfort onto someone else in the form of judgment.” Damien Rice on ‘Scarred’ First Album in Eight Years – Rolling Stone
“The fact that there are few paths to greater desire comes from rigid adherence to traditional gender and sexual roles. One of the common complaints from men who feel sexually invisible is that women don’t take the initiative or express themselves as openly as men do. And yet, it’s men who discourage them from doing so. According to traditional gender roles, male sexuality is predatory and aggressive while female sexuality is submissive and receptive. Womendo signal interest – in fact, much of the effort they put in goes unnoticed by men. They are are taught to do so passively -sending approach invitations and making themselves available to be approached rather than approaching themselves. Women who flip the script and flaunt gender roles by being the approacher often make men uneasy. Many men react badly – overestimating her level of investment (“She came to me. She must really want my dick!”) or even upset or nervous. And if she should not be attractive to him… well, he may actively get hostile at her presumption.” The Fear of Being Invisible – Dr NerdLove
“I came out of those Bible studies with a sure and certain conviction that the god of that book is not actually a good parent. I was downright rattled. He glorifies ignorance, wants to keep people childlike, makes it a virtue to ignore evidence, sees pursuit of knowledge as deeply questionable, and values “love” and obedience over any wisdom gained outside his glorification. And even questioning God’s ways is a sin (as the entire Book of Job demonstrates).” Stopping Thought. – Ex-Communications
“As promised, Health is a powerful app. It allows users to track everything from calories to electrodermal activity to heart rate to blood alcohol content to respiratory rate to daily intake of chromium. But there’s a notable exception. Apple Health doesn’t track menstruation, an omission that was quickly seized upon by many tech writers as, well, ridiculous. The Verge asked “is it really too much to ask that Apple treat women, and their health, with as much care as they’ve treated humanity’s sodium intake?” How could Apple release a health-tracking app without the ability to monitor what is likely one of the earliest types of quantified-self tracking?” How Self-Tracking Apps Exclude Women – The Atlantic
“at the decline of my participation in the offline world, in physical spaces: at meetings, at protests, at strategy sessions i was met with a lot of questions that folks actually didn’t want responses for. for every honest answer i gave about my pain and why i now limp around with a cane, i was given a distanced look of discomfort and some wishes that i will recover or get well soon. truthfully, there is nothing for me to recover from. i am disabled with no way out and that’s okay.” revolution from my bed – Y’ALL
“In addition to being ten, Kyle and Owen are big. They are just about the same height as me, and their feet are bigger than mine. They wear size 14 clothes, and their strong, athletic muscles are rippling.
We’ve hit the turning point. I’ve watched it happen. I’ve witnessed it first-hand. Over the past several months my sweet little adorable babies went from being perceived as just that, to being perceived just as I’ve long dreaded.
It has started.
I’ve been in the store and watched from a short distance as they’ve been followed. (Yes, already.)
I’ve heard it over the intercom system: “Security Alert. Section C. Security Alert.” (Yes, already.)
I’ve stood behind them as they’ve been stopped in line, being perfectly obedient, but being questioned. (Yes, already.)
I’ve watched as they’ve been wrongly accused. As the worst has been wrongly assumed. As the fault has been wrongly blamed.
The looks. The hesitation. The ever-so-slight facial expressions. The too-quick-to-judge.
It has only just begun.” Cute Little Black Boys Do Grow Up to Be Black Men, Part II – and Now They Are Ten – Never a Dull Moment
“But beyond all that, Denmark endures dreary winters with the help of an arcane cultural concept known as “hygge.” It’s not an easy word for outsiders to pronounce — it sounds sort of like HYU-gah — and it’s even harder to translate. Hygge apparently has no direct analogue in English, and related words like “coziness,” “togetherness” and “well-being” only cover a fraction of its nebulous definition. Still, in hopes of shedding light on Denmark’s world-class happiness, here’s a closer look at the hazy nature of hygge.” How ‘hygge’ can help you get through winter – Mother Nature Network
“Cultivating a remarkable life that sustains you is about reclaiming these small choices, about making the decision not to let small choices pass us by because we are busy underestimating their power. And, yes, we always have a choice – even (and especially) when we feel like we don’t.” Worry, Intention & Reclaiming Choice – Mara Glatzel