Hello everyone! So here we are at that midway point of Jterm! Whether the glass seems half-full (finally, skiing with real snow! Time for the hunt!) or half-empty (only two more weeks to deadline…), I hope this installment of Sunday Reading finds you well and fills your metaphorical glass with semi-useful information, a pause of entertainment, and smiles.
Science and Harry Potter: Scientists re-discovered a monkey previously thought to be extinct in the forests of Indonesia. The Miller’s Grizzled Langurs caught researchers by surprise, they had been hunted to near extinction for their meat and bezoar stones in the past. Harry Potter fans, according to the Washington Post, should know of Bezoars from Professor Snape’s lecture to first year students, as they “are believed by some to neutralize poison.”
Environment: As though the environmental movement isn’t young and hip enough — check out the Swap-O-Matic, an eco-friendly vending machine. And also in Environmental news, not only is Midd going to be installing a solar farm (as Middblog reported on earlier this week), but Sweden is exploring installing a four lane bike superhighway!
Politics: Newt Gingrich Wins the South Carolina Primary, shocking just about everyone (or maybe just me?). I’m still keeling over the fact that he was cheered on like a Backstreet Boy in the 90s by somehow playing the victim card when asked about a recent interview in which his (2nd? 3rd? 47th?) ex-wife said he asked her for an open marriage. I get that the news networks need to stop turning themselves into People Magazine and focus on actual political issues, but let’s face it — 1) Has that at all been done yet in this campaign? and 2) Newt, you have so many skeletons I’m astounded you’re still in the running. Not just your marital history, but your ideas to mine the moon, to ready our defenses for an electromagnetic pulse attack, to employ ‘poor’ children to clean their own schools and to light highways from space with mirrors? Really? All in all, it was an eventful week in the Republican Primary world; Rick Perry bowed out of the race and endorsed Gingrich AND new results from Iowa now show that Rick Santorum, not Mitt Romney won the Iowa Caucus with a lead of 34 votes.
Colbert and Politics: It was too late for comedian Stephen Colbert to get on South Carolina’s primary ballot, however, in partnering with former candidate Herman Cain (who was still on the locked-down ballot)– the Colbert/Cain team was able to garner some votes. Wondering who voted for the duo? Meet some of the people here!
Geekery: Is your Jterm class just a little too casual? Need a lighter read to intermix amongst Faust and Tolstoy? Try NPR’s Talk Nerdy to Me: Three Reads for your Inner Geek, (or at least just bookmark for summer reading!). And no, you don’t have to be the Uber-Pro Sci-Fi Comic-Con Speed-Dating kind of geeks to enjoy these selections. (Though, after viewing TLC’s newest show, Geek Love, on said topic, I would highly recommend also adding that TV show to your list of things to do as well).
Awwww: 32 Pictures that will make you say Awwwwwwww. Baby Hippo may be my favorite.
Music: I would be remiss not to honor the amazing Etta James who passed away on Friday. Known for killer blues hits, such as I’d Rather Go Blind, Something’s Got a Hold on Me, At Last, and countless others — she will be dearly missed. FlavorPill has created At Last: An Essential Blues Playlist in her honor — and if you have yet to venture into the Blues world, or think it’s not for you, I leave you with the words of Etta herself, as the Washington Post reported: “A lot of people think the blues is depressing, but that’s not the blues I’m singing,” she told the Los Angeles Times in 1992. “When I’m singing blues, I’m singing life. People that can’t stand to listen to the blues, they’ve got to be phonies.”
And in Etta’s honor, as someone who crossed musical boundaries and broadened all of our horizons, for our videos of the week (Yes, I know, I’m going plural… but I promise it’s worth your while) some refreshing mixes of note:
1) An oldie but a goodie, meet Kevin “K.O. Olusola,” and his amazing Hip-Hop Cello & Beat-Boxing. (He’s also more recently known for his membership in Pentatonix, the a cappella winners of NBC’s the Sing Off)
2) Keep those speakers up, and enjoy the amazing PogoMixes of Nick Bertke. From his most recent Jaaam: The Fresh Prince Remix (below) to Upular (a Pixar Remix) to Kadinchey (Bhutanese for Thank You, a remix of sights and sounds recorded around Bhutan), he is just brilliant.
3) And one more bonus… Sick beat made by 10 household items.