Sunday Reading: Please Refrain from Baking Knives into Cakes.

Hey everyone, welcome back from a week of food, sleep, family, too much family, too much food, and never too much sleep.  Time to get back in the swing of things here at Middlebury.  Instead of doing all that work you put off, why don’t you read a few of these stories? [Sidenote- anybody remember the Murmuration video on a Sunday Reading a few weeks ago? Saw one as I drove to the airport- nature is awesome.]

BOOKS: Published as a holiday gift guide, the New York Times released their 100 Notable Books of 2011 and if you ever have time to do some non-academic reading, it’s a good list to work off of.

PEOPLE WATCHING: So, Thanksgiving trips usually involve a lot of flying and for me, that means a lot of people-watching.  This article describes the new wave of youtube videos that are solely “reaction videos” : watching people watching other people.

GRAFFITI: When Pompeii was covered with volcanic ash, almost everything was preserved until its rediscovery in 1749.  Everything including significant amounts of graffiti written on the walls.  My personal favorite? “If anyone does not believe in Venus, they should gaze at my girl friend.”

MONEY: xkcd had created a giant chart of (almost) all the money in the world: where it is and what it can do, broken out into “dollars, thousands, millions, billions.”  It’s insane.

PRISON: Ever wondered what people try to sneak into prisons?  I’ll give you a hint: they usually don’t bake handguns into cake.  Answer? Live ammunition, lots of drugs, iPads (?) and more.

SPORTS: If you are, say, behind the times in regards to knowing anything about the NBA lockout, David Berri describes the situation in pretty easy to understand economic terms on the Freakenomics blog. [Well, turns out I’m more behind the times than I thought- NBA lockout’s over.]

And your video of the week: