A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? How was your week? I know I already mentioned this, but it felt so strange not to share a weekend link list last Friday, and I’m happy I get to share one today!

Our weekend plans? We are visiting four houses that are for sale. We are test driving a 7-seater Peugeot. We’re going to an art show on Saturday night. And there’s a big Vide Grenier in town this weekend too. Vide Grenier translates to “empty attic” and it’s basically a huge community yard sale.

And here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share with you:

-Man Kaur started running in 2009 –– when she was in her 90s. Earlier this year, she won gold in the shot put, javelin, 60-meter dash and 200-meter run at the World Masters Athletics Championships. She’s currently 103.

-“Women weren’t included in clinical trials until the 1990s. We make up 70% of chronic pain patients, but 80% of pain medication is tested only on men. Doctors know less about us so they tell us it’s all in our head.”

-Best news. A long list of big chains have banned open-carry in their stores.

-Related: In the four weeks since the El Paso shooting that left 22 people dead, more than 40 potential mass shooters have been arrested.

-A journalist spent a 24-hour shift with a woman who is a home health aide to a man with Alzheimer’s. She is his social worker, diaper changer, dietitian, day planner, warden and much more. Here’s what the journalist learned about this fast-growing, low-paying, relentlessly demanding job. (NYT)

-Hah! More Honest Latin Mottoes For Your Overrated University.

-A long fascinating/infuriating piece about tech’s crisis of conscience.

-The Cherokee Nation has named Kimberly Teehee as its first ever delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. A treaty from 1835 created the position — but it’s never been filled until now. I am totally here for this.

American athletes have been warned they will face “consequences” if they stage political protests at next year’s Olympic Games. Thoughts?

-I really loved what Elizabeth Warren said at the Climate Town Hall — light bulbs, plastic straws and cheeseburgers are “exactly what the fossil fuel industry hopes we’re all talking about.” She said that instead we should focus on 3 industries that produce “70% of the pollution.”

-Related, sometimes when something seems like an earth-friendly no-brainer (like using LED lights), we get the opposite effect of what we are looking for. I’m also interested in learning more about how nighttime illumination is considered a serious environmental pollutant.

-KFC is testing Beyond Meat’s plant-based chicken nuggets and boneless wings in their restaurants.

-In 2015 we imported a restored vintage Vespa from Vietnam, and last week, the day before we moved to France, we said goodbye to it.

A story of two births.

-Our Airbnb is in the countryside next to a farm, and I forgot that means flies! Lots of flies. My local friend recommended getting an electric swatter. I ordered this one — it looks like a tennis racquet. Have you tried one?

Here are a few things I saved on Twitter this week:

-He asked for ideas for good quick meals to make when you’re dealing with depression.

-A really interesting thread on emotional labor.

-This short, silent video left me with SO MANY QUESTIONS.

-An excellent thread on wealth and poverty.

-A cool thread on African architectural styles.

I hope you have a really wonderful weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


17 thoughts on “A Few Things”

  1. FLIES! One of my pet peeves about being in France is the lack of screens in the windows and the flies that are all over, not to mention the mosquitos. IKEA to the rescue!! Ikea sells these amazing mesh curtains that I use to cover every window. I cut them to fit and tack them into the window frame, or just hang them over the window opening using curtain rods. Huge improvement.

  2. Thanks for the list – always something I look forward too. And good luck with the house search – can’t wait to read more!

  3. I need more African architecture in my life! Thanks for sharing! (And I definitely missed you last week – glad you’re back!)

  4. Love, love, love what Warren said!!!

    Reminds me of an episode from the podcast The Indicator (a planet money podcast). Turns out that all of those reusable cotton grocery bags may be far, far worse than plastic bags because of the sheer amount of water it takes to make them. And you have to use them like 430 times before they “break even” with a plastic bag.

    And plastic bag bans can backfire because people end up buying trash bags, which are made of thicker plastic (= worse for the environment).

    Here’s the link (I love the indicator because episodes are only 10 minutes).

  5. We have one of those tennis racquet fly swatters. They do work but they give a serious zap. Don’t test it on yourself – it really hurts! My kids learned the hard way.

    1. We have an electric swatter, too. We use ours mostly for mosquitoes, which we have lots of in the summer, and it works great. But yes–it gives a serious jolt, which my partner found out when he accidentally touched the metal part. There are also light fly traps, which work really well if you have a ton of flies and don’t want to have to constantly be swatting them.

  6. When I scanned through your list I clicked on the story about ‘open carry’ wondering how stores would be able to stop people from toting open carry bags and why they felt the need to do it. I was thinking about shoplifting. My ignorance turned to shock and then horror when I realised you meant guns. (I’m Australian). The very idea that people would go shopping openly carrying a gun blows my mind. Who are these people?

      1. Julie and Gail, lest you think this is common throughout the USA, it’s not. I am a grandmother and have lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, and Seattle. I have NEVER seen someone open carry a gun. I’d be curious too if this is more common in places like Texas. (I have visited there many times b/c I have a sister there but I have never seen an open carry there either.)

    1. The best way I can describe it is that it is a very American, cultural thing (well, at least in some areas of the US).

      As a caveat, a friendly reminder that the US is huge and this issue is very polarizing within the US. For example, I grew up in a mid-size midwestern city and did not know anyone who had a gun. I grew up in a community that vilified guns. In 8th grade I met someone who had a gun and was absolutely shocked! I still refuse to get a gun, but now i live in a liberal city in the south and many of my liberal, young, millennial friends either have guns or grew up around guns (all of these folks, by the way, support comprehensive gun reform, background checks, the works).

      A long time ago I was a camp counselor at an American camp with many Australian fellow counselors. One Australian young woman was shocked- shocked!! – when she saw a few motorcycle drivers without helmets. She couldn’t believe that you’d a) be allowed to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, and b) just ride a motorcycle without a helmet in the first place. Both of these things are very, very American. The thing about the US is that “individual freedom” is embedded into our culture at such a fundamental level, that many folks “don’t like the government telling them what to do” even when- *especially when* – it comes to public safety.

      So, guns are the same way. Many Americans see the right to carry a gun as a fundamental right, and the idea that you *wouldn’t* be allowed to carry a gun as the government telling them what to do. It’s just a very culturally American thing.

      A few caveats about the above:
      1. I get worried when I type these things that it sounds like I’m defending gun culture. I’m not. I’m not for a universal ban on guns – I think for certain things (like hunting, animal control, etc.) guns are acceptable. But I think it should be extremely difficult to get any gun. I wrote the above because I think it’s important for people to understand the psyche of the American who believes that guns are an absolute right.
      2. The majority of Americans don’t own guns. (Yowza, though – 30% of Americans DO own guns. I admit, I had NO IDEA it was this high – I just looked it up!)
      3. This issue is also largely divided along political lines. Hidden Brain (podcast) did a great episode about the differences between liberals and conservatives. One thing that he noted was that liberals are generally less worried about safety, and conservatives are more worried about safety. This also helps explain why gun ownership rates are higher among conservative-leaning folks.

      1. So well explained. Thank you. My husband has an open carry license (we too live in a large liberal city in the south). He and I disagree on this but it his right, so be it. His main reason is for safety , like you said , and is very concerned about protecting himself and the general population from crazies with guns.

  7. So the jalapeno/nickel/sunflower/eggplant door filler video illustrates a new way to feed rats so they are not bored, right? Because no one likes a bored rat.

  8. Am I the only one who finds the Banned Open Carry frustrating? It’s not like it carries any weight. “Oh shoot I can’t kill 20 people at Walmart today because they said I can’t bring in a gun?” And the fact that stores are afraid to offend their gun rights supporters is a head shaker too. I do appreciate the statement as it demonstrates a shift in public and business opinion, something that we would have not seen just 5 years ago. But my god…So. Dang. Slow.

  9. I LOVE the inclusion of your saved Twitter threads. Every one of them is on point. Anything regarding Emotional Labor usually sparks some very resentful feelings in me. I’ve learned to only dive deeper into that topic when I’m in a good headspace, otherwise I’m looking angrily toward my husband all evening. Ha!

  10. It makes me feel sick that the Olympic committee feels like it’s their place to strip athletes of their constitutional rights to speak openly about and protest public policy in our country. I understand that the Olympics are not a political event, but that just sounds like something people in power want to say to silence the oppressed and those who would stand up for change. The USA should be an example of these freedoms in the international community.

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