Tag Archives: ebook

Internet Findings of the Week for November 1, 2015

This week I have become addicted to an awesome newsletter, I was inspired by a child with a rare condition, and I have been trying to live like an astronaut on earth.

Newsletter of the Week


Image via Lennyletter.com

Image via Lennyletter.com

Lenny is my new favorite email newsletter.

It is the newsletter of Lena Dunham and “Girls” producer Jenni Konner. I have only read three issues of it so far, but with each issue I am excited, and overwhelmed at how perfectly they select exactly the sort of topics I want to read about right now. The articles range from outrageously funny, to serious and important women’s issues. I was totally fascinated by an article about selling human eggs, and amused, yet a little put off by the vajacial article. They also have articles about the most inspirational women like Dr. Jill McCabe and Jennifer Lawrence. Writing for this newsletter is my new dream job.

I’ve really caught on to the American obsession with email newsletters. At first I thought it would be annoying having newsletters clogging up my email account. But living in NYC where there is no cell coverage in the subway, it is a blessing to have something already downloaded that I can read offline. Other good newsletters include theSkimm and The Lightning Notes.

Story of the Week

The Girl With Her Heart Outside Her Chest

This is a moving story about a little girl who is living and loving her life, despite having her heart sticking out of her chest. It is visually shocking to watch, but so uplifting to see the little girl’s attitude and positivity towards her situation. She and her mother moved to the US from Russia last year so she could get treatment. Her condition is called the Pentalogy of Cantrell and means she has no diaphragm and no abdominal muscles. She has kidney and bladder problems, and is susceptible to illness in cold weather – part of the reason she and her mother are currently living in Florida. A crowdfunding page is raising money for her treatment.

eBook of the Week

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

Who would have guessed how much you can learn from an astronaut? I have been fascinated by the ISS since astronaut Chris Hadfield first started tweeting from there in late 2012. He also made brilliant YouTube videos about his experience. Since he returned to Earth in 2013, I’ve been following his progress and was so eager to read his book when it came out. It really is a brilliant book, full of hilarious anecdotes and easy-to-understand science. I am absolutely amazed at the enormous amount of preparation that goes into a space flight. I mean, I assumed there would be a huge amount to learn, but I didn’t realize the astronauts and their coworkers would actually physically act out every possible thing that could go wrong before their trip to the ISS. One of the biggest takeaways from the book is that you can never be too prepared for something. And the more prepared you are, the less fear you have. Chris talks about how people often ask him if he is scared about going into space. But he says not really, because he is prepared for a myriad of possible things that could go wrong and trusts that he and his fellow astronauts and cosmonauts will be able to respond accordingly.

Internet Findings of the Week for August 28, 2015

This week I became enlightened about how the media enjoys reporting about Donald Trump, and I read an ebook that was so compelling I just couldn’t put it down.

Video of the Week

Rachel Maddow Sums Up Trump’s Presidential Run

In this witty and hilarious interview the always-awesome Jimmy Fallon discusses motives, concerns and benefits of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. I have been bemused by Trump’s seemingly effective campaign antics over the last few weeks, and thought this video would be purely be making fun of Trump, as Fallon has done previously. But instead Maddow talked about how much she loves reporting about Trump, and how Trump has made the presidential race so much more interesting and amusing to report on than usual. They also talk about (which is something I’ve often wondered) whether or not Trump really seriously wants to be president, or whether he is just doing this to see how far he can get. Maddow also wonders how he is managing to keep his multitude of businesses running smoothly while working full time on his presidential campaign. I’ve only ever seen Maddow doing serious interviews and journalism, so it was refreshing and interesting to see her making funny yet insightful remarks (and sometimes swearing) about current affairs.

Ebook of the Week

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

This deeply moving and sometimes painful-to-read novel was recommended to me by my great aunt. She has been my book guru since I was a child. She gave me the first Harry Potter book in 1997 when it had just been published, and I read it before all of my friends had heard of it. “The Light Between Oceans” is set just after the end of World War I and follows the difficult and at times wonderful post-war life of Tom Sherbourne as he makes a living as a lighthouse keeper with his wife on a beautiful, remote Australian island. When a healthy but tiny baby and a dead man in a dinghy wash up on the island, their lives become immediately more complicated, as they decide whether they should keep the baby as their own, or try and find her family. The novel explores that magical and almost frighteningly close bond between parents and children, and the ethical struggles parents go through to do the best thing for their children and for themselves. Right before I finished the book, I was excited to discover it is being made into a film starring Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender, and Rachel Weisz.


Internet Findings of the Week for July 3, 2015

This week I was surprised to be convinced by a new anti-aging serum, I became concerned about the treatment of transgender people in our society, and I enjoyed reading a comedian’s autobiography.

Article of the Week

Kiwi-developed “breakthrough” anti-ageing serum

Copper peptides structure via Wikimedia Commons.

I always hear about the latest “anti-wrinkle” or “anti-aging” creams and ointments that are out there. I usually ignore them and think they must be some sort of placebo effect, or just very luxurious moisturizers. But this anti-ageing product was researched and produced over four years by scientists at the University of Auckland’s School of Pharmacy (the university I went to). And it’s not just for anti-aging, they also hope to use the same technology as a new way to deliver vaccinations without needles. The product uses nanotechnology to deliver drugs (copper peptides) through the skin, into the body’s cells. So for the first time I’m wondering if it could actually be the real thing. I (hope I) don’t need anti-wrinkle cream just yet, but it is pretty convincing to hear a rigorous study of this product in Germany “found that in wrinkle volume reduction the serum performed at levels 31.6 percent above Strivectin, a recognised market leader in the anti-ageing skincare category in the United States”.

Videos of the week

John Oliver on Transgender Rights

This is a very topical subject, as marriage equality became legal across the whole USA last week. I went to the fantastic NYC Pride Parade last Sunday, and felt the excitement the LGBTQ community is feeling about finally being accepted in society. But John Oliver points out that the way society treats transgender people is still not acceptable. I agree with him that it is inappropriate to ask someone you don’t know very well (he shows the example of TV interviewers and interviewees) about what their genitals look like. He also highlights the issue of transgender people being restricted from using the public bathroom they feel most comfortable using. It is also interesting, and sort of sad, to hear about a transgender person who feels more comfortable and accepted as a man with his army deployment in Afghanistan, than he does back home with his family and friends.

Rebirth of a Transgender Teen

Keeping with the theme, this is a New York Times Documentary about a teenager who recently had gender-reassignment surgery. For anyone who wants to better understand how transgender people feel about being the wrong gender, this is a great video to watch. Kat explains how paralysing it felt being a boy, and how liberated she feels now she is a girl.

Ebook of the Week

Yes Please by Amy Poehler


This is the autobiography of comedian and actress Amy Poehler, which I’m 72% through on my iPad. I wanted to read it because I recently did an improv class, and she started the improv theater UCB in NYC. It is laugh-out-loud funny, and very inspiring to hear about her slightly disorganised and hurdled path to success. She has been on Saturday Night Live (which I love) and Parks and Recreation (which I badly want to watch), so it’s intriguing to hear an insider’s behind-the-scenes account of what it’s like to work in that world. But she also candidly and refreshingly discusses her personal life, such as her divorce, and having children. And there are photos! I love it when autobiographies have photos!

Internet Findings of the Week for June 5, 2015

Here are the things I’ve been reading/watching/making this week from the internet!

Article of the week

New grocery store sells food discarded by supermarkets


Photo by Niteowlneils via Wikimedia Commons

This is the kind of thing all cities need. So much edible food is wasted every day, even though there are food shortages and hungry people all over the world. An ex-Trader Joe’s manager has started a new nonprofit grocery store in Boston which sells food close to its expiry date, that other grocery stores would have thrown away. I’ve read a lot about dumpster divers and freegans since I’ve been living in New York, but that can be illegal. This new grocery store is a way to save that food, and distribute it cheaply and legally to those who really need it.

Video of the week

Three “Potentially Habitable” Planets For When We Completely Destroy Earth

A very interesting look at which planets in the universe have the potential to be suitable for human life. It made me think of the Christopher Nolan film “Interstellar”. The film is set in a time when Earth is becoming increasingly unpleasant to live upon, so a group of astronauts venture into another galaxy to check out some planets which, from a distance, appear to be habitable. In real life, we have to hope that governments and corporations will actually reduce global warming before this happens, but it’s fascinating (not quite comforting) to think that there could be other places humans could go if Earth became unbearable.

Ebook of the week

Rebel With a Cause by Ray Avery

I’m about three quarters through this intriguing autobiography ebook about scientist, social entrepreneur and inventor Ray Avery. I interviewed this fascinating man a few years ago for a story about third world baby incubators, and was very impressed by how kind and intelligent he was. So I was shocked to read about his absolutely horrific childhood in England. At a young age he was taken away from his abusive parents, and shuffled between disgusting orphanages and foster homes, before he eventually used his naturally creative and entrepreneurial mind to find his own successful path in life. He has a wonderful writing style and way of phrasing things. It’s a compelling and inspiring read. Profits from the hard copy of the book go to Avery’s charity Medicine Mondiale.

Recipe of the week

Beginner Sourdough Sandwich Loaf

Sourdough loaf 2

My freshly baked bread

I baked my first sourdough loaf today and it was delicious. It was also my first time using our amazing KitchenAid mixer to make bread. I made the sourdough starter about two weeks ago, and since we have guests staying I decided it was time to try it out. The sourdough starter was easier to make than I expected, but I used it to make sourdough pancakes last weekend, which didn’t taste sour at all. I think waiting another week to make bread was a good idea because today’s loaf was a lovely texture and had just the right amount of sour taste. It was pretty quick and easy to make too! The dough took about 10 minutes to make, then I just left it to rise overnight. I popped it in the oven when I woke up in the morning so we could have warm bread for breakfast.