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Camping, like many things (basketball, ice cream, the US House of Representatives), is totally unnecessary. We have giant recreational vehicles if you have to go somewhere and we have charming trailers if you want cosy-ness. We have good hotels that already have showers and beds. We have cities that are more interesting than the country. If you must see wild animals, we have nature shows on TV with much more interesting scenery than you can possibly find! So, camping? No.
But camping gear is different. Gear is always great! Tents are the sine qua non of camping. The tent above is the one recommended by thewirecutter.com and it is the perfect size to set up in my living room. Adventure! 
http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-tent-wed-take-camping/

Camping, like many things (basketball, ice cream, the US House of Representatives), is totally unnecessary. We have giant recreational vehicles if you have to go somewhere and we have charming trailers if you want cosy-ness. We have good hotels that already have showers and beds. We have cities that are more interesting than the country. If you must see wild animals, we have nature shows on TV with much more interesting scenery than you can possibly find! So, camping? No.

But camping gear is different. Gear is always great! Tents are the sine qua non of camping. The tent above is the one recommended by thewirecutter.com and it is the perfect size to set up in my living room. Adventure! 

http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-tent-wed-take-camping/

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Never read the nutritional information about chicken. If you read the fat content of chicken skin, you cannot eat chicken - or, more correctly, I cannot eat chicken. We can only hope that it is, “good fat”, a phrase that is as hard to believe as “God’s mercy”. Doubtful.
So don’t read the nutri info and, instead, look at these great chicken recipes from, as usual, www.thekitchn.com!
http://www.thekitchn.com/15-delicious-ways-to-eat-chicken-this-summer-recipes-from-the-kitchn-205529

Never read the nutritional information about chicken. If you read the fat content of chicken skin, you cannot eat chicken - or, more correctly, I cannot eat chicken. We can only hope that it is, “good fat”, a phrase that is as hard to believe as “God’s mercy”. Doubtful.

So don’t read the nutri info and, instead, look at these great chicken recipes from, as usual, www.thekitchn.com!

http://www.thekitchn.com/15-delicious-ways-to-eat-chicken-this-summer-recipes-from-the-kitchn-205529

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I’m always trying to be more organized and more efficient. The web tells me that Evernote is the way to do that. But, so far, Evernote and all the other apps that are designed to make us more productive don’t help me. They just add another layer on top of the 2 truly essential tools: GMail and Google Calendar.  If there is a God, I’m sure he/she/it uses GMail and Google Calendar!
However, I always keep an open mind! So here’s a nice article on how to make Evernote function even better. I might try it…
http://www.mguhlin.org/2014/07/25-tips-to-turbo-charge-your-leadership.html

I’m always trying to be more organized and more efficient. The web tells me that Evernote is the way to do that. But, so far, Evernote and all the other apps that are designed to make us more productive don’t help me. They just add another layer on top of the 2 truly essential tools: GMail and Google Calendar.  If there is a God, I’m sure he/she/it uses GMail and Google Calendar!

However, I always keep an open mind! So here’s a nice article on how to make Evernote function even better. I might try it…

http://www.mguhlin.org/2014/07/25-tips-to-turbo-charge-your-leadership.html

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I buy and eat a kilogram of almonds every week. A local food shop that is part of the fancy Hyundai Department store has excellent, fresh, delicious almonds. Now, when I pick a bag, the woman in charge of the nuts opens the bag and adds an extra scoop. I’m a regular - probably the best regular she has!
30,000 won - that about $30!. They’re expensive. But nothing is quite like an almond: buttery rich but with the slight sharpness of an apple seed. And my mother told me when I was a little boy that almonds make you smart. I still believe her.
The world agrees; almonds are now popular everywhere people can afford them. But… there’s bad news - worse than the price! Brace yourself; Mother Jones delivers the harsh reality:

But in the long term, the almond boom may prove bad news for everyone who relies on California’s farms for sustenance. You might have heard that the state, supplier of half of US-grown produce, is locked in its worst drought on record. Meanwhile, it takes 1.1 gallons of water to produce a single almond, as my colleagues Alex Park and Julia Lurie have shown. You don’t have to scramble to figure how many almonds make up 2.1 billion pounds to realize that that’s a hell of a lot of water.

One almond takes 1.1 gallons of water to grow! That is slightly over 4 liters!!!! How is it possible? Put 4 liters of water on the counter next to one little almond. Astonishing! We are so ignorant of the realities of our food and what is necessary for agriculture. 
What can we do? The rich guys who are pouring money into fake meat should stop immediately and switch to artificial almonds! Probably easier than meat anyway and, to me, much more important!
http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/07/your-almond-habit-sucking-califoirnia-dry

I buy and eat a kilogram of almonds every week. A local food shop that is part of the fancy Hyundai Department store has excellent, fresh, delicious almonds. Now, when I pick a bag, the woman in charge of the nuts opens the bag and adds an extra scoop. I’m a regular - probably the best regular she has!

30,000 won - that about $30!. They’re expensive. But nothing is quite like an almond: buttery rich but with the slight sharpness of an apple seed. And my mother told me when I was a little boy that almonds make you smart. I still believe her.

The world agrees; almonds are now popular everywhere people can afford them. But… there’s bad news - worse than the price! Brace yourself; Mother Jones delivers the harsh reality:

But in the long term, the almond boom may prove bad news for everyone who relies on California’s farms for sustenance. You might have heard that the state, supplier of half of US-grown produce, is locked in its worst drought on record. Meanwhile, it takes 1.1 gallons of water to produce a single almond, as my colleagues Alex Park and Julia Lurie have shown. You don’t have to scramble to figure how many almonds make up 2.1 billion pounds to realize that that’s a hell of a lot of water.

One almond takes 1.1 gallons of water to grow! That is slightly over 4 liters!!!! How is it possible? Put 4 liters of water on the counter next to one little almond. Astonishing! We are so ignorant of the realities of our food and what is necessary for agriculture. 

What can we do? The rich guys who are pouring money into fake meat should stop immediately and switch to artificial almonds! Probably easier than meat anyway and, to me, much more important!

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/07/your-almond-habit-sucking-califoirnia-dry

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It’s difficult for the news to shock us. Terrorists kill people everyday and governments kill people everyday. Idiotic groups kidnap children and remain unpunished. Planes disappear. You get used to it. 
Then something like this happens and it is truly shocking. It swiftly penetrates through our acquired media numbness and, because it is so savage and so stupid and because we actually feel it, it seems impossible!
But, sadly, it is true. Stupid trouble-making pro-Russian thugs, supported and smugly encouraged by stupid trouble-making Russian President Putin, shot down a passenger plane thinking it was a military plane. The combination of ignorance and violence is so perversely suitable. The Canadian investigator who arrived at the scene described the men who control this area as “heavily armed and under the influence of alcohol or drugs”. These are the men who killed 300 people so Putin can feel more important. 
This news penetrates through and you feel your stomach turn.
Now what?
David Remnick argues for caution but, at the same time, puts the big picture blame where it belongs:

We shouldn’t pretend to know for certain what we don’t.
What’s far more certain is that Vladimir Putin, acting out of resentment and fury toward the West and the leaders in Kiev, has fanned a kind of prolonged political frenzy, both in Russia and among his confederates in Ukraine, that serves his immediate political needs but that he can no longer easily calibrate and control. 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/17/malaysia-airlines-plane-crashes-ukraine-live
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/malaysia-airlines-flight-mh17-u-s-links-ukraine-rebels-to-plane-crash-1.2710774
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2014/07/putin-and-the-crash-of-malaysian-airlines-flight-17.html

It’s difficult for the news to shock us. Terrorists kill people everyday and governments kill people everyday. Idiotic groups kidnap children and remain unpunished. Planes disappear. You get used to it. 

Then something like this happens and it is truly shocking. It swiftly penetrates through our acquired media numbness and, because it is so savage and so stupid and because we actually feel it, it seems impossible!

But, sadly, it is true. Stupid trouble-making pro-Russian thugs, supported and smugly encouraged by stupid trouble-making Russian President Putin, shot down a passenger plane thinking it was a military plane. The combination of ignorance and violence is so perversely suitable. The Canadian investigator who arrived at the scene described the men who control this area as “heavily armed and under the influence of alcohol or drugs”. These are the men who killed 300 people so Putin can feel more important. 

This news penetrates through and you feel your stomach turn.

Now what?

David Remnick argues for caution but, at the same time, puts the big picture blame where it belongs:

We shouldn’t pretend to know for certain what we don’t.

What’s far more certain is that Vladimir Putin, acting out of resentment and fury toward the West and the leaders in Kiev, has fanned a kind of prolonged political frenzy, both in Russia and among his confederates in Ukraine, that serves his immediate political needs but that he can no longer easily calibrate and control. 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/17/malaysia-airlines-plane-crashes-ukraine-live

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/malaysia-airlines-flight-mh17-u-s-links-ukraine-rebels-to-plane-crash-1.2710774

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2014/07/putin-and-the-crash-of-malaysian-airlines-flight-17.html

Text

mythologyofblue:

And it grows, the vain
summer,
even for us with our
bright green sins:

behold the dry guest,
the wind,
as it stirs up quarrels
among magnolia boughs

and plays its serene
tune on
the prows of all the leaves—
and then is gone,

leaving the leaves
still there,
the tree still green, but breaking
the heart of the air.

-Carlo Betocchi, ”Summer”, trans. by Geoffrey Brock + +

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explore-blog:

To be revisited regularly as hygiene for the soul: How to Find Fulfilling Work

exactly

explore-blog:

To be revisited regularly as hygiene for the soul: How to Find Fulfilling Work

exactly

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from the wonderful black workshop

from the wonderful black workshop

(Source: theblackworkshop)

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Boris Pasternak was a Russian poet and translator of Shakespeare, among many other authors. He is most famous in the West for his novel, Dr. Zhivago. 
Pasternak managed to survive the insanity of Stalin but just barely. When the KGB was planning to arrest him, Stalin quoted some poetry that Pasternak had translated and told them, “Leave him. He’s a cloud-dweller.”
Not quite. The great novel Pasternak wrote, Dr Zhivago, is really the story of the Soviet Union from before the 1917 revolution to the Second World War. It is an indictment of the stupidity of the Communists and the tragic death of freedom under Stalin and his thugs. Sometimes the ‘cloud-dwellers’ hurl down bolts of lightning.
BBC Radio 4 has a great 5-part reading of The Zhivago Affair by Peter Finn and Petra Couvee. Wonderful.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b048jflr

Boris Pasternak was a Russian poet and translator of Shakespeare, among many other authors. He is most famous in the West for his novel, Dr. Zhivago. 

Pasternak managed to survive the insanity of Stalin but just barely. When the KGB was planning to arrest him, Stalin quoted some poetry that Pasternak had translated and told them, “Leave him. He’s a cloud-dweller.”

Not quite. The great novel Pasternak wrote, Dr Zhivago, is really the story of the Soviet Union from before the 1917 revolution to the Second World War. It is an indictment of the stupidity of the Communists and the tragic death of freedom under Stalin and his thugs. Sometimes the ‘cloud-dwellers’ hurl down bolts of lightning.

BBC Radio 4 has a great 5-part reading of The Zhivago Affair by Peter Finn and Petra Couvee. Wonderful.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b048jflr

Video

The Rolling Stones doing the gentle and melancholy, Wild Horses.