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