Monthly Archives: May 2015

Internet Findings of the Week for May 29, 2015

Here are my picks of the most interesting things I’ve come across on the internet this week!

Podcast of the week

A Neurosurgeon Reflects on the ‘Awe and Mystery’ of the Brain


Gutenberg Encyclopedia/Wikimedia Commons

I appropriately discovered NPR’s Fresh Air podcast while running through the fresh air of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park a few weeks ago. I am always interested in anything about the brain, and this podcast is fascinating, albeit quite gory and graphic. British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh describes, in wonderfully easy-to-understand detail, many of his notable experiences as a brain surgeon. He laments many failures where patients often died, but also enthuses about his passion for constantly learning more about how the brain works. Compelling things I learnt: the brain itself can’t feel pain; some patients stay awake and watch their own brain surgery on a screen; scientists still don’t know what some parts of the brain do.

Videos of the week

Groundskeepers Turn into Acrobats

I wish I had seen this live! On an April day in NYC, some workers tending to the lawn in Bryant Park (near the New York Public Library) suddenly dropped their gardening tools and appeared to spontaneously start an acrobatic routine! I love that random things like this happen in this city! There are so many talented and creative people. This stunt was done by an awesome group called Improv Everywhere which regularly coordinates amusing, surprising and unexpected performances around the city.

War and Tensions in the Middle East Traced Back Decades

If you’re wondering why western countries feel a duty to intervene in tensions in the Middle East, then watch this video. Although very simplified, it gives a great overview of how the problems Middle Eastern countries are facing now could be rooted in decisions made for the region by westerners following World War I.

Recipe of the week

Vegan Coconut Bacon

My delicious homemade coconut bacon.

My delicious homemade coconut bacon.

I first tried this scrumptious stuff as part of a vegan BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato) sandwich at Little Bird Unbakery in Auckland, New Zealand. At the time it didn’t even occur to me that I might be able to make it myself. Then last week, wanting to make a vegetarian Cobb salad, I decided to go on a mission to make it. I finally found a key ingredient for it on Tuesday this week – liquid smoke. My first attempt turned out perfectly! Coconut bacon is far more delicious and flavorful than any type of meaty bacon I ever tasted before I became vegetarian. It’s also low-fat and cholesterol free!


Internet Findings of the Week for May 22, 2015

This is the first in a weekly series where I will be writing about the most interesting things I have come across on the internet in the past week. They aren’t necessarily new or recent things, but just things that I found particularly memorable or interesting.

Website of the week

This website is fantastic! I follow sexy actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, 3rd Rock from the Sun etc) on Twitter and often see him tweeting about something called “Hit Record”. I was reading it like the phrase to describe a top-selling music album, and half-wondered what his connection to music was. Today he tweeted about a “tautogram” competition – which piqued my interest. So I clicked on the link and finally went to this mysterious website. And it’s this amazing collaborative creativity website founded by JGL himself! Where people upload videos, writing, sound clips and photos to collaborate and contribute to projects. And if something you contributed ends up in a Hit Record production, you can get royalties from it. And just for the record, Hit Record, is actually using the verb to record, not the noun record.

Videos of the week

Meet Brooklyn’s Hasidic Hipsters

I was so intrigued to come across this awesome little video about a group of people who live in my own Brooklyn neighbourhood of Crown Heights. I see Hasidic people every day, and have noticed their distinctive style of clothing, but I never knew the reason behind their style. This piece delves into the world of two Hasidic women and how they express their personal style within the limitations of their religion. It was heartwarming to see how their pursuit of edgy, yet modest fashion, brought them together with women of all races and religions.

Jade’s Journey Marked by Drugs and Death

I am utterly shocked at what is happening in Myanmar to feed China’s desire for jade jewelry. I have a few pieces of jade jewelry, some of it from New Zealand (greenstone/pounamu), and some of it probably from Myanmar, so I was compelled to watch this short doco. It links the spread of HIV in small mining Myanmar mining villages, right back to China’s increasing demand for jade. Miners struggling to carry on in horrific conditions are tempted into taking heroin to help them get through. Now there are countless addicts without proper rehabilitation clinics, and needle sharing has led to an HIV outbreak.

Article of the week

An injured toucan is getting a 3D printed beak

I love it when technology and real-life needs collide like this. A gorgeous toucan in Costa Rica had his beak hacked off by some unknown animal-haters, and now an Indiegogo campaign has raised $10,000 to fund a new beak! The beak will be made by Denver, Colorado-based Orthopets, which specialises in orthotics and prosthetics for animals. So happy for Grecia the toucan!