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.: May 2010 --> May 2010

May 2010

» Good news! If you're middle-aged, your brain works better than it did when you were 25. Bonus: Maximize those advantages in one simple step.

There's a lot of hype in this field in terms of brain improvement. I did set out to find out what actually works and what we know. What we do with our bodies has a huge impact on our brains. Our brains are more like our hearts in that everything you do for your heart is thought to be equally as good or better for your brain. Exercise is the best studied thing you can do to your brain. It increases brain volume, produces new baby brain cells in grownup brains. Even when our muscles contract, it produces growth chemicals. Using your body can help your brain.

 [ 05.03.10 ]

» So far up my alley. If I had the time (and the bankroll) I'd create a restaurant like this. I'm tempted by the annual subscription.  [ 05.04.10 ]

» Looking for some novelty in your bourbon-drinking? Join a growing group of enthusiasts and small distileries and have some artisanal white whiskey, or as you might better know it, hooch.

The "you should sell this" moment for Death's Door's founder, Brian Ellison, came in early 2008 when he was preparing to age some red-winter-wheat-based distillate. A small Chicago distributor thought the raw liquor was so good he asked for 50 cases as is, and quickly found buyers.
"I always thought at some point people would get tired of it," Mr. Ellison said. Instead, Death's Door has sold more white whiskey in the first quarter of this year than it did in all of last year.

 [ 05.06.10 ]

» It's true: What if the Teabaggers Weren't White?

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters - the black protesters - spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn't like were enforced by the government? Would these protester- these black protesters with guns - be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that's what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation's capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country's political leaders if the need arose.
Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington. [...]
In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?
To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark "other" does so, however, it isn't viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and "American-ness" of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

If I know any white people who are waxing eloquent about the Tea Baggers, they aren't doing it to me. So I have no sense of how widespread this sentiment really is. But I doubt if any of them - or their parents - were going on about the Patriotism of the Black Panthers in the Sixties. (via @ebertchigago)  [ 05.06.10 ]

» New research shows that babies have an innate understanding of meanness and fairness - the building blocks of adult morality.  [ 05.07.10 ]

» The truth about Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the media, autism, and the MMR vaccine. (via w.o/l) / (1) Comments / [ 05.25.10 ]

» The Demographics of Fast Food in America analyzes Twitter and other social media for mentions of fast food restaurants and then maps regional preferences.

The maps actually denote the places in which residents post sigificantly more than others about food chains, so the McDonald's map shows little difference between states. There are some striking differences, though for Krispy Kreme, In-N-Out Burger, Dunkin Donuts, and others.  [ 05.26.10 ]

» What does a poor person look like? Engineers Without Borders member Duncan McNicholl found himself frustrated with media depictions of "poor Africans", so he has begun photographing his African hosts in 2 sets of clothes: the decrepit clothing usually depicted, and his subjects' very best clothes. The results are fun and enlightening, a lesson in themselves on media literacy and the ways in which typical media depictions of poverty tell only one part of the story. (via @anildash)  [ 05.27.10 ]

» Rabbi Jill Jacobs: Five principles that can guide us toward more effective social justice education  [ 05.28.10 ]



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