An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.
The question Monday from Republican state Rep. Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.
[...] Dr. Julie Madsen, a physician who said she has provided various telemedicine services in Idaho, was testifying in opposition to the bill. She said some colonoscopy patients may swallow a small device to give doctors a closer look at parts of their colon.
“Can this same procedure then be done in a pregnancy? Swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is?” Barbieri asked.
Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.
“Fascinating. That makes sense,” Barbieri said, amid the crowd’s laughter.
Rep. Barbieri later claimed he “was being rhetorical.” “I was trying to make the point that equalizing a colonoscopy to this particular procedure was apples and oranges….It was the response I wanted.” Whatever you say, dude.
Here’s the thing: A quote like this is just a particularly absurd illustration of the everyday reality that US lawmakers, with absolutely no expertise in medicine or public health, are regularly ignoring the scientific facts and advice of health professionals and passing laws that tell doctors how to practice medicine. Whether or not Rep. Barbieri actually thinks that the stomach is connected to the vagina, he for sure believes that he knows better than a physician whether it’s safe to provide abortions via telemedicine.
In reality, it is extremely safe, effective, and cost-effective. By increasing access to the procedure earlier in pregnancy, telemedicine results in improved health outcomes and is greatly appreciated by patients. Rep. Barbieri’s opposition to the practice is driven by his opposition to abortion in general, which he — like the rest of the anti-choice movement — wraps up in a veneer of concern for patient safety, while ignoring the consensus of the people who actually provide abortion care.
I do not blame anti-choice lawmakers from trying to impose their own beliefs about abortion on their constituencies, but pretending that they know better than health experts is an insult to the entire profession. And I think it’s long past time that the medical establishment — whether or not they provide abortions — fight back against the increasingly anti-medicine tactics of the anti-abortion movement, from politicizing health boards to mandating that doctors to lie to their patients.
Pharmaceutical companies say that they need long patents that keep the price of their drugs high so that they can invest in research. But that’s not actually what they’re spending most of their money on. Instead, they’re spending more — sometimes twice as much — on advertising directly to doctors and consumers.Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Have some soy paper
It’s been quite a while since I was last on the Gold Coast. I reckon the last time I was there I was about 12 and back in those days it was cheaper to road trip there than fly. I vaguely remember going to Sea World, Dream World and Movie World, and spending hours at the Timezone in Surfers Paradise but for some reason I remember very clearly receiving a deck of cards from Jupiters Casino which started my love for all card games.
Anywhos a couple of weeks ago I was flown up for a much needed weekend escape – hello chillaxing on the beach – but the primary purpose of my visit was to visit Chase Kojima’s newest restaurant, Kiyomi, which opened late last year at Jupiters on the Gold Coast. Chase’s Sokyo is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney and I was keen to see if Kiyomi measured up.
After checking in and spending the day eating donuts with Helen, we return to our room and find a sweet surprise- a chocolate sculpture of the fruit that the restaurant is named after. The kiyomi is a small Japanese citrus fruit that has been cross-bred from a tangerine and an orange and it is deeeelicious.
We take the lift to the lobby level where Kiyomi is located and find that it is already packed – apparently all tables are booked out for the month!
Luckily we have a booking and as we’re led inside the restaurant I’m mesmerised by the fluorescent UV artwork by Tokyo-based Houxo Que, a Japanese street artist.
We start off with drinks, a refreshing Yuzu Collins ($18) and a Tengumai Umajun Junmai Sake ($10). I’m warned about the ice filled hole in the glass sake Tokkuri that keeps the sake cold without diluting it but still manage to knock all the ice out because I’m coordinated like that.
We design our own Sashimi Platter- bbq eel ($12), tamago ($8), tuna ($12), and salmon belly ($12), my fave of the lot being the silky, smoky eel.
We smell the Scallop, yuzu honey, scorched corn and mache ($18) before it even reaches our table, the yuzu force was strong with this dish! I love yuzu but woahhh easy there fella! I’m not the biggest fan of scallops but these were perfect specimens, plump and delicate and the addition of the charred corn was ace.
The Seared Scampi ($9 each) was just amazing. It just about blew me away and I fell head over heels in love with the combination of the clean flavour of the scampi, the richness of the foie gras and the tartness of the julienned green apple bringing everything home.
Moving onto the sushi and rolls section we order the Aburi Salmon ($19), the salmon is a generous fat slice draped over the pat of rice but it had barely a kiss from the blowtorch and we all know how much I love burning. That sounded sarcastic but really, who doesn’t love a good char :D
The Queensland Roll ($23) is certainly interesting in presentation, with soy paper instead of the usual seaweed wrapping morsels of sweet spanner crab and a creamy avocado puree squiggle on top.
I’d hoped there would be miso cod on the menu but the Dengakuman Toothfish ($37) soothes my soul with its caramelised miso glaze and smoky flavour.
The Wagyu +7 oyster Blade ($37) is another hit for me and thanks to the magic of cooking on the binchotan grill, each slice is so fricken tender and juicy!
We were pleasantly full at this stage but we really had to see how their tempura game stacked up against Sokyo. The Tempura Cuttlefish ($20) is perfection with golden batter so light and crisp it could make angels weep.
And last but not least, Chase’s signature Crispy Rice and Spicy Tuna ($20), a slice of ruby red tuna lies on a dollop of spicy mayo and a cube of sushi rice that has been fried until crisp. Smashing.
We were stuffed to the gills but there’s always room for dessert right? Our only problem was choosing which dessert to get and since we were indecisive we were brought a dessert platter. The Mango Shiso (full size $13), tastes like summer with fresh mango pieces, dollops of creamy mascarpone and sour cream, crunchy shiso meringue, toasted milk powder and mango sorbet.
The toffee tuille in the Apple Jack (full size $13) is eye catching though immediately plasters itself to my teeth and while the Jack Daniel’s foam may not be for everyone I loved the combination of the gingerbread and honey ice cream.
I’m glad to see that Goma Street (full size $14) has made it on the menu as it’s one of my faves at Sokyo. I love cracking through the discs of dark chocolate and black sesame crumble to reach the extremely addictive caramelised white chocolate mousse and the black sesame ice cream is super intense in flavour.
The service at Kiyomi is top notch but I did find it disconcerting that because the restaurant wasn’t enclosed we could see directly into the casino and cringed as the doof doof music from the bar downstairs slowly increased in decibels throughout the night.
We rub our bellies and stagger off to sleep away the food coma.
And then breakfast time at Food Fantasy! I love hotel buffets!
There are pastries galore and a pancake machine which is seriously like the best invention ever.
The line for omelettes was never ending so unfortch I skipped this and went straight for bacon and waffles :D
Then it was some quality time by the pool
I like long walks on the beach…
Farewell Gold Coast! You were bloody awesome!
ChocolateSuze dined at Kiyomi as a guest of Jupiters Hotel & Casino. Return flights from Sydney, one night’s accommodation and breakfast at Food Fantasy was included.
F came home one day after a doggy play date and announced that we should go The Henson: it is a dog-friendly pub with pretty darn good food.
Say no more, he had me at “dog-friendly pub”!
We’re always on the lookout for dog-friendly places, so I was pretty excited about coming here (Xander looks pretty happy about it too! Haha).
It’s also a kid-friendly place, complete with a shed that’s been converted into a play house; there were actually more kids than dogs – I think Xander was the only dog there that day.
I wasn’t prepared for how big this dish turned out. The tobiko-topped seared scallops came with an avocado, miso corn, and bean sprout salad, sprinkled with toasted sesame.
There was quite a lot going on, and while F thought it was the weaker dish of the three, I really enjoyed it. This is a salad I’d definitely have again, as I liked how the dish was light yet still had some substance to it.
Mac’n’Cheese is one of the best comfort food for me; this one is jazzed up with cauliflower, kale, and truffle.
It came out close to being molten hot lava and despite (impatiently) waiting for it to cool (by eating other things), my first bite was still piping hot. Typical mac’n’cheese! I don’t think I’ve ever had one that wasn’t hot on the first mouthful.
It was so decadent and cheesy that it’s worth doing the open mouth breathing thing to cool it down (so classy, I know haha).
The “Knuckle” Sandwich consisted of wagyu brisket, fennel slaw, Swiss cheese, and smoky mayonnaise on rye with chips on the side.
It may not look like it, but there was a lot more brisket under all that slaw; the sandwich was very well balanced! There was an unexpected kick from the mayonnaise, but I managed to push through the heat and enjoy my half (of course, F didn’t think there was much heat, if at all).
As one would expect, the brisket was the star: so tender, perfectly seasoned, and succulent. The chips were pretty good too, especially when we added the salt below.
F went to get our cutlery and came back with more; available condiments include a variety of salt! He grabbed the smoked chilli salt and rosemary rooster salt.
I was already struggling through the spicy mayonnaise, so I only tried the fancy chicken salt. It went very well with the chips.
I loved how relaxed the atmosphere was at The Henson (even with the overly excited kids in the background) and I loved the food even more. Definitely going to make this into our regular hangout! There’s so many other dishes I’d love to try.
Just as heads up: we went on a Saturday around lunch time, so we had to do a couple of laps before finding a parking spot in a side street.
91 Illawarra Road,
Marrickville, NSW, 2204
Ph: (02) 9569 5858
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Emma Morano is an Italian centenarian who, at 115, is the oldest living person in Europe. In a profile in the New York Times yesterday, she credits her longevity to eating three raw eggs a day and never remarrying after an early divorce.
Ms. Morano has no doubts about how she made it this long: Her elixir for longevity consists of raw eggs, which she has been eating — three per day — since her teens when a doctor recommended them to counter anemia. Assuming she has been true to her word, Ms. Morano would have consumed around 100,000 eggs in her lifetime, give or take a thousand, cholesterol be damned.
She is also convinced that being single for most of her life, after an unhappy marriage that ended in 1938 following the death of an infant son, has kept her kicking. Separation was rare then, and divorce became legal in Italy only in 1970. She said she had plenty of suitors after that, but never chose another partner. “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone,” she said.
The Times notes that “gerontologists agree that there is no one key to longevity.” But just last month, Scotland’s oldest woman, 109-year-old Jessie Gallan, revealed that her secrets have been eating porridge every morning and “staying away from men” because “they’re just more trouble than they’re worth.”
Just sayin’ — I’m sensing a pattern here.
Ed. note: This post was originally published on the Community site.
Fifty Shades of Grey premiered over the weekend, and I went to see it. Until that moment, I boycotted everything having to do with Christian and Anna for three reasons. 1.) The relationship between the two of them seemed to be abusive, and did not accurately depict BDSM play, relationships, or sex. 2.) It originated as Twilight fanfiction, and as someone who used to write (non-Twilight) fanfiction, I was infuriated by the rash of reporting and purging of good stories from fanfiction.net due to advertisers being upset about the presence of erotica on the website. 3.) Everyone was reading it, and I’m just not a bandwagon kid.
On Friday, however, I took the plunge, spending Valentine’s Day Eve in the movie theater, accompanied by my boo, and watching 50 Shades. The theater was a little less than half full, a disappointment from the viewpoint of the concessions worker. As a gender non-conforming person of color living in rural Ohio, I rarely expect to see people who look and/or express the way I do. North Face jackets, Bean boots, and monogrammed jewelry dominated my vision as I took my seat, reminding me that 50 Shades is definitely not a fringe movie.
And that’s what makes it interesting.
Most of the conversation surrounding 50 Shades discusses the ill-described BDSM, dissects the abusive relationship between Christian and Anna, and/or rips apart the writing. And while all of these critiques are certainly valid, they don’t capture the essence of what is captivating about 50 Shades. The Daily Beast describes 7 movies that did BDSM better than 50 Shades, but none of them made 95 million dollars at the box office during an opening weekend in February. Over a four-day opening weekend, 50 Shades made 94.4 million domestically, and nearly 250 million globally. That’s in addition to the sale of 100 million copies of the book.
While I maintain that the material in both the books and the movie (though less so) is dangerously problematic, the fact that 50 Shades even exists at all is worth a discussion about the power of women and women’s sexuality. Zoe Williams from the Guardian described it best when she discussed the popularity of the books: “James’s sex scenes are not incidental, they are the meat of the plot, the crux of the conflict, the key to at least one of and possibly both the central characters. It is a sex book. It is not a book with sex in it.” 50 Shades is a piece of erotica that sold 100 million copies and was consumed publicly by women. In 2011 and 2012, mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, teachers, professors, colleagues, and friends read these books…and talked about it. A few years later, women poured into theaters around the globe to see the film adaptation, which also contained some of the most graphic sex scenes I have ever personally seen in an R-rated movie, thus cementing the phenomenon created by the sexuality of women. That’s pretty revolutionary.
Existing alongside this truth, of course, is the fact that 50 Shades, both book and film, contains giant swaths of content that are horrible when it comes to the messages sent to women (e.g. stalking is sexy). And while we should use our collective internet power to problematize that, we should also focus our energy on talking about what 50 Shades represents from a consumer perspective. Year after year, we lament the dearth of media and entertainment that stars and caters to women. 50 Shades of Grey demonstrated the consumption power of women in such a strong way that to ignore it would simply be stupid. I’m hopeful that the powers that be pay attention, so that the next phenomenon driven by women isn’t rife with problematic depictions of sex and relationships.
A couple of weeks ago it was wet and just absolutely freezing and it felt like the cold was seeping into my bones (yep I totally sound like an old person). I needed something spicy to warm me up so the boy and I ventured into Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe (9/37 Ultimo Rd Haymarket) after hearing stories of a noodle soup with 7 levels of hell. Ok I’m being dramatic but the noodle soup starts off at Level l and goes up to Level 7, although technically there’s only 5 levels of spiciness because 4 and 6 are bad luck numbers.
I start with the Do Dee Monster Level 1 (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10) thinking it can’t be thaaat spicy. I was wrong. I thought I’d been slowly building up my chilli tolerance but as it turns out, I’m still firmly in the unable-to-handle-spicy camp. I made it about half way because the soup was fricken tasty- sweet and rich but with a hint of sourness and packed full of coriander and shallots. There’s a choice of noodles- thin rice, glass, egg, flat rice, thai instant or wheat but I stick with the recommended fresh thin rice noodles which has a very satisfying chew to it. I absolutely loved the pork, braised until ridiculously tender and there was a jumble of fish and beef balls, pork slices that kinda reminded me of the pork in a banh mi and a handful of fried wonton strips.
Noods loves chilli but he pretty much started crying as soon as he dug into the Do Dee Devil Level 2 (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10). He manages to finish the bowl though he paid for it later :P I kinda want to go with someone who’s attempting the Level 7 just to see if they’ll be in tears after one spoon…
Trust me, you WILL need beverages to help with the burning! Noods goes with luridly pink and incredibly sweet Thai Ice Milky Cordial ($3.90) and I opt for the Thai Ice Volcano Ovaltine ($3.90) which has a generous heap of powdered Ovaltine on top.
When we return the next day I chicken out and go for the Do Dee Nursery (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10) which is absolutely perfect but feels like it’s missing something. Like chilli. Heh. There’s baskets of condiments filled with sugar and chilli powder on each table in case you want to tailor your soup to your liking but instead I spoon soup from Noods’ Level 1 into my bowl and it is perfect. I normally order the Jumbo but the Small size is perfect if you’re eating other foods. The noodles here don’t leave me with that heavy feeling you get when eating ramen but it’s also not too light that you’re hungry again after 2 hours which is tops.
We couldn’t resist the Deep Fried Crispy Pork Skin ($2) which comes in a little plastic packet on a plate with some Thai basil and bean sprouts that I’m assuming was meant to go in our noodles. The pork skin is everything I’d hoped for, crispy, fatty and addictive but it tastes exactly like the type that I buy from Pontip, the Thai grocery 2 stores to the left of Chat Thai near Capital Theatre. If you’re going, make sure you buy the ones in a takeaway box, not the bag and the brand is Penny’s. You’re welcome.
The Grilled Pork Satay Skewers ($2.50/skewer) is a hit with the family, the pork is nicely seasoned, tender and with caramelised edges. Is that a hint of lemongrass we taste? Whatever it is, it’s fricken tasty.
We were originally going to order a papaya salad but instead we order the Tom Tard Seafood Platter ($35.90) as it comes with the salad (actually there’s a choice of 7 salads but we go with the normal papaya salad), grilled prawns, mussels, salmon, squid, cold noodles and vegetables. The salmon is a tad on the dry side which is a shame but the papaya salad is the bomb! We chose a low level of spice and the julienned green papaya is mixed with chilli, tomatoes, lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, peanuts and dried shrimp and the whole shebang is super refreshing.
We’d planned on heading elsewhere next but all night we had watched desserts fly out of the kitchen so we ended up staying put and we’re glad we did!
Mango with Sticky Rice ($7) is always a must have whenever I see it on the menu, the mango was perfectly ripe and sweet and the sticky rice drenched in coconut milk.
The Bread with Pandan Custard ($5.50) looked ginormous when it arrived! The pah tong goh aka deep fried bread sticks are piping hot but sadly are a little on the dense side. We still manage to polish off the dish though I would’ve liked a bit more of that pandan custard to completely drown the bread in!
I wasn’t too keen on the Black Sticky Rice with Taro ($5.50), I love black sticky rice but I’ve never been a huge fan of taro so I pushed this over to the rellies who promptly demolished it.
Last but not least was the Durian with Sticky Rice ($7), the durian was fragrant but ah how I wanted MORE of it! Like, reverse the ratios of the durian and rice man!
Do Dee Paidang is a massive hit with the locals and especially all the Thai ex-pats and I can see why with awesome food at pretty affordable prices! I’ll definitely be back and will work on increasing my chilli tolerance so I can move up from Nursery!
THIS PLACE MAKES THE BEST CAKES I HAVE EVER EATEN
In an unintentionally viral video, a Saudi Arabian historian justified his nation’s ban against women drivers by arguing that it protects them from roadside rape.
Saudi Arabia’s prohibition on women driving instituted in 1990, has been defied several times in recent years by women who have filmed themselves driving in protest. The government has responded with a crackdown, arresting women who break the law and even sending two women to a the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh which handles terrorism cases.
But don’t worry. There’s a good reason for this ban.
In a recent TV interview, historian Saleh Al-Saadoon claimed that the reason women are allowed to drive in Europe, America and parts of the Arab world is because women there don’t care about getting raped if their car breaks down: “They don’t care if they are raped on the roadside, but we do,” Al-Saadoon said on Saudi Rotana Khalijiyya TV.
The understandably incredulous host, who isn’t named, responds by saying, “Hold on. Who told you they don’t care about getting raped on the roadside?” To which Al-Saadoon replies, “In our case, however, the problem is of a social and religious nature.” When the host pointed out that the two other guests were shocked by the historian’s comments, he said, “They should listen to me and get used to what society thinks, if they are really so out of touch with it.”
Never fear — the women of Saudi Arabia may not be allowed to drive, but they are waited on by a gaggle of male relatives who have nothing to do but serve them: “Saudi women are driven around by their husbands, sons and brothers,”Al-Saadoon explained. “Everybody is at their service. They are like queens. A queen without a chauffeur has the honor of being driven around by her husband, brother, son and nephews. They are at the ready when she gestures with her hands.”
The host then wondered about the risk of being raped by these drivers, asking, “You are afraid that a woman might be raped by the roadside by soldiers, but you are not afraid that she might be raped by her chauffeur?”
“Of course, I am,” replied the concerned historian. And then he dropped a radical policy recommendation that could forever change the transportation system of Saudi Arabia: “There is a solution but the government officials and clerics refuse to hear of it. The solution is to bring female foreign chauffeurs to drive our wives.” No, he didn’t! He then asked the host, “Are you with me on this?”
Her response was a face palm, followed by laughter.
So, to summarize: the solution is to bring in foreign female drivers who may very well get raped on the side of the road if their car breaks down. But it’s all good, because it’s no big deal for them.
Jar of peas no ty
I feel like we should go here coz everyone wanks ok about it
I’ve immensely enjoyed my meals the couple times I’ve been to Sokyo – it’s actually one of my favourite (and often recommended) restaurants.
I was in delighted disbelief when I heard they were now serving breakfast (all locally sourced of course)!
Sokyo caters for a full continental breakfast buffet, as well as having an a la carte menu.
Amongst the goodies baked in-house, there was a soba stand, fresh honey from the comb (you can see it in the top left photo!), sashimi, and cereal.
Everything looked so delicious, fresh, and were very prettily presented (which was kept that way too in spite of the waves of hungry breakfasters).
I wanted to try everything at the buffet… only I got seriously distracted by the a la carte menu.
But first: drinks! We started off with a double macchiato and Green Lemon Honey iced tea for F, the standard Earl Grey and a White Peach iced tea for me.
The Purple fruit smoothie (back right) consisted of blueberries, acai berries, agave, and milk; oh my goodness, it was so good! Creamy, sweet with a touch of tart, and not at all heavy.
While you can really taste the green tea in the Green Lemon Honey, I preferred the refreshingly bright taste of my White Peach with its concoction of lemon juice, blood peach, and white tea.
The eggs benedict consisted of streaky bacon (glazed with maple and agave syrup), a poached egg, edamame, brioche, and miso hollandaise sauce.
F and I have been on the (rather lazy) hunt for the best eggs benedict and we would have to say that this tops our list. F even went to say that our hunt may possibly be over!
All the components were in perfect harmony, in flavour and texture – sweet, savoury, creamy, crisp, soft – and the sauce was surprisingly light as well.
I can’t decide what I loved most about this dish: the light and tangy, slightly salty hollandaise, the candied bacon, gooey egg, or sweet brioche. Maybe the candied bacon because… well, it’s candied bacon and a fabulous one at that.
When we stayed at a pension in Appi, Japan last year, our breakfast were quite similar to this: grilled fish of the day (salmon), onsen 63-degree poached egg in soy sauce, miso soup, steamed Hokkaido Yumepirika rice, nori, Japanese pickles, and a side of edamame beans.
Man, this dish seriously took us back to those Appi days – the flavours were pretty much spot-on to what we had each morning and made us miss Japan so much.
I loved how the fish was presented too and was told that it was stacked skin-side up to represent the Japanese mountains. Love it!
We weren’t too sure how to eat the egg, so it was lucky that Alex was there to look after us.
He told us to break the egg, wrap a bit of rice and salmon in the nori, then dip it into the eggy goo. Bliss.
The pancakes were served with banana purée, Nutella, walnut crumb, and fresh fruit… oh and of course generous lashings of maple syrup.
While this was a perfectly great dish, I felt it was a bit overshadowed by all the other fantastic dishes.
Interestingly, F disagreed and found the curry udon to be the weakest.
I adored the heartiness of this Japanese beef curry soup with pork neck, potato, and thick noodles; another dish that sent me back to Japan. Gah, so good.
The Chef’s omelette of the day had flakes of salmon within and was accompanied by an insanely light and creamy crème fraiche.
The omelette was so fluffy and well-seasoned and I know this sounds really weird, but it was immensely satisfying to see it so neatly folded over.
The full continental buffet, an “a la carte” dish and a tea or a coffee costs $38, while just the buffet itself with tea / coffee is $28. Or if the buffet is too much for the morning, an “a la carte” dish, a tea or a coffee, plus a juice from the buffet is $22.50.
I’m not really a morning or breakfast person (I’m definitely more of an owl with late night snacking), but for Breakfast by Sokyo, I’d gladly wake up early and break my fast on these amazing dishes.
F and I were in full agreement: best breakfast, hands down, in a very, very long time. So much so, that he’s bringing his fixie boys to Sokyo on the weekend after their city mash ride!
es&t dined as a guest of Access PR and Sokyo
Level G, The Darling, The Star
80 Pyrmont Street
Pyrmont, NSW, 2009
Ph: (02) 9657 9161
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Go get yourself a tiffin
The Little Daylight
by JESSICA FURSETH
I got on the plane — you always get on the plane in the end. I went to Norway thinking I could always go back to the city early if it got to be too much: the cold, the dark, the silence. I do that now, whenever I leave London: I tell myself I can go back early. Twelve years of living in the Big Smoke and it keeps getting better, or maybe I’m just getting greedier for it? For years my habit has been to always have a plane ticket waiting to take me somewhere, but lately the date of departure approaches and I don’t really want to go. London is gritty, demanding and thrilling, and the constant noise has been a backdrop to every significant thing in my life.
It’s been several days since I came to Norway now, I couldn’t really say; Scandinavian days are so short in winter. Sunset came at 3:45 p.m. today, six and a half hours after the sunrise. Then, once the sun has disappeared, the sky seems to stay blue forever. It is partially because of the cold, minus 12°C today, rendering each intake of breath sharp and the air sparkling clear. I lived here for 18 years, but I don’t really remember much about winter. Until I got here a few days ago I’d forgot how the long, slow dark feels so dense once you’re in it, like being in a submarine at the bottom of the sea. The daylight is small, in length and in intensity, like there’s a light somewhere just around the bend but it doesn’t quite stretch far enough to fill up the sky.
As cold as Norway may get in the winter, I was never cold when I lived here. I’m not cold this time either, even after a week of relatively mild frost in London that nevertheless felt like a severe and personal form of punishment. The difference is that Norway expects the cold, so people accept it and prepare for it, not like the English style of remaining in denial while shivering in thin coats in drafty rooms, wondering what’s happened to the air. In Norway, you dress like a polar explorer, with double wool down the arms and legs and insulated shoes. The trick for managing cold weather is slowly resurfacing from my subconscious, where it’s been buried all these years I’ve been away.
I don’t usually go to Norway in the winter anymore but this year I’m between houses, so I figured my mother’s place in this small Norwegian town would be a nice place to be technically homeless. I was right: it’s peaceful and plentiful here, even in the cold. Everywhere you go is a warm room with ice on the windows. There are no distractions, but somehow I’m still finding the hours slipping away. Suddenly the front door clicks open as my mother comes home from work. The town is sleepy under the snow covering the streets, the gardens and the porches. The roads are empty as people retreat to their wood-heated houses at night, red-cheeked from frost with hair static from wooly hats.
The night comes so early and I never quite get a grasp on the day before it vanishes. The novelty of the dim light distracts me from the things I need to do, as I work in the warmth looking out at the cold, where the disappearing blue light is reflected by the snow. The whole world feels quiet here. I love London more than any place I’ve ever been, I adore the rush and the noise, and I keep thinking this silence will start to bore me soon. But for now I’m just wandering around, from the table to the tea kettle to the bed and back, reveling in the little daylight. Life feels simple here, in the way it always does when you spend time in a place that’s not your home. I was born here but it never felt quite right, in ways that had nothing to do with the light or the temperature. Now that I’m a visitor it’s okay, it’s even a treat to spend a few days being someone I’m not. There’s a luxury in allowing myself to enjoy the dark and the cold, just for a little while. So I’m just going to sit here, watching the constant changes of the light, drinking in the silence with a thirst that won’t last for long, but right now it feels endless.
Jessica Furseth is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in London. You can find her twitter here and her website here. She tumbls here. She last wrote in these pages about body talk. You can find an archive of her writing on This Recording here. Visit our mobile site at thisrecording.wordpress.com.
Photographs by the author.
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"The Return of Yawny" - Andrew Bird (mp3)
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I wanna drink an ultimate nutella frappe
FOOOODS! So one fine day a bunch of us kicked off the new year by meeting for brunch at newly opened Brewristas (73 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe).
We spy Kevin, part owner of Brewristas tending to his cold drip towers, syphons and pour over station and know we’re in for a caffeinated treat.
We order 3 bottles of Brewrista’s hand crafted cold drip coffees- Cold Brew ($9), Brewmonade ($10) and Brewtea ($10). I’m not an expert of coffee by any means, I know what I like and don’t like so Raff has been slowly teaching me the different methods and importance of the beans sourced. I liked the Cold Brew which tasted clean and sweet, the Brewmonade (cold drip with home lemonade) was refreshing but I found a tad on the sweet side. I loved the Brewtea the most (cold drip coffee with cold drip tea), although I’m not sure if it’s because Malaysians always drink Cham, a combo of coffee and tea so I thought this tasted familiar. Anywhos check out Raff’s post here for more detailed descriptions on the coffee :P
On another visit with Toan, I couldn’t resist the Vietnamese Ca Phe Sua Da ($5), iced coffee served over condensed milk and it’s bloody good, as is anything with condensed milk.
Kevin’s Balls ($10) are filled with roasted pork belly, tofu, spicy kimchi, sweet potato and encrusted with shin ramyun. I was worried it’d be too much novelty and no taste but was pleasantly surprised with how (dare I say this..) MOREISH the balls were! The noodles provided the glorious crunch factor and housed the juicy pork belly within. I didn’t really taste much sweet potato which was a shame because I heart sweet potato but it was probably used more as a binder for all the ingredients in the ball than for flavour.
We order the Grilled Eggplant Stack ($14) with grilled zucchini, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, thai pesto, sweet potato puree and bocconcini with additional Chorizo ($3) because hey, CHORIZO EQUALS HAPPINESS! The eggplant was totally the star of this dish though (I REFUSE TO SAY HERO), each slice was fat and juicy with a nice smokiness to it. I loved the itty bitty bocconcini scattered around but would’ve loved more mainly because cheese is awesome.
Porky Pig’s Hotteok ($15) is a honey jam pancake sandwiched with crispy bacon, a poached egg, spicy guacamole, rocket and a mango & habanero mayo. The honey jam pancake is more of a muffin stuffed with honey jam, I know some people aren’t quite on the sweet and savoury combo bandwagon but as for me I’m firmly in that wagon and happily driving away.
Innards shot of the pancake! It kinda reminded me of this fried lotus paste bun desserts I used to eat growing up, I’m attempting to access my memory with the name but am failing and google isn’t helping for once (edit: Heong Peng!). The dish doesn’t really need the mango & habanero mayo once the gooey egg yolk is pierced and smothers everything in sight with its golden river of happiness. It does get a bit rich but hey you’re worth it.
Coconut Poached Chicken Salad ($16) with spinach, fennel, coriander, watercress, topped with fried shallots, drizzled with a pomegranate infused lemon dressing. Truth be told we ordered this salad out of a feeling of guilt because we all knew that our nutrient intake could always use a boost and for a salad this was pretty tasty especially with the juicy pops of pomegranate seeds. My tastebuds were super confused with the tender strips of coconut chicken because I’m so used to the flavour of coconut + chicken to be in a laksa!
Ultimate Nutella Frappe ($7) is made with heaps of Nutella, vanilla ice cream, a double espresso shot and ice, all blended together. I was buzzing from all the caffeine I’d already consumed so opted for the frappe minus the espresso shot because I’m weak haha and ohhh boy is this drink rich! Definitely one for the nutella lovers!
Of course what’s a meal without dessert? The Tiramisu Pot Plant ($10) is cute as a button and equally delicious. Layers of ladyfingers are soaked in Brewrista’s espresso with sweet mascarpone mousse and topped with chocolate biscuit crumbs for the ‘dirt’.
A lot of the cafes in Glebe close quite early but Brewristas is open from 1pm to 10pm on weekdays, from 10am to midnight on Saturday and from 10am to 9pm on Sunday. I’ll definitely be back for my next caffeine hit!
Most Americans, when asked if they are affected by advertising, will say “not really.” They think other people are influenced by cultural messages, but that they are somehow immune.
Whether people are shaped by the media they consume seems to be a perpetual question. The fact that billions of dollars are spent every year attempting to influence us is probably a sign that advertisers know it works. Scientists get in on the action, asking pressing questions like: Do violent video games increase violence in real life? Do sexy, thin models hurt girls’ self-esteem? We do the studies and the answers are often inconclusive, probably because of how complicated the relationships are.
Psychologist Stefano Ghirlanda and his colleagues asked a slightly simpler question: Do celebrity dogs influence the popularity of dog breeds? They looked at 100 movies with prominent dog characters from 1939 to 2003 and compared the release date to breed registrations. The answer seems to be: with the exception of box office flops, yes.
Given that many dog movies are made for kids, I’d be interested in the mediating role of parenthood. Companies that make children’s products like sugary cereal know that they can get the parent to buy their product if the kid is annoying enough about it. So, they market to children directly. I’d love to see if people with and without small children were equally affected by the breed of dog in this year’s movie.
The researchers method of popularity, moreover, was registration with the American Kennel Club. Pure bred dogs are expensive. So, I wonder if the power of these trends varies by social class. If a family can’t afford a “Beethoven,” they may be more likely to just adopt a mutt from a neighbor’s litter.
In any case, though, this seems like incontrovertible evidence that we’re influenced by mass media. But you already knew everyone else was, didn’t you?Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
I want to eat the things
ThirtySecondStories.com. So excited to finally share this! I take short recordings and combine them with my sounds and visuals to make video stories. Launching with two episodes, with a third coming the following week.
You can’t take it with you. Unless “it” is sexist media coverage.
Australian author Colleen McCullough died yesterday at the age of 77. While researching and teaching neurophysiology at Yale, McCullough started writing novels in her on the side — and ended up writing international bestsellers. Her most famous book was The Thorn Birds, which sold over 30 million copies and was turned into a miniseries. Just last year, she published another novel, titled Bittersweet.
But here’s how the Austrialian (a, erm, Australian publication) began its obituary:
Colleen McCullough, Australia’s bestselling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless a woman of wit and warmth. In one interview, she said: “I’ve never been into clothes or figure and the interesting thing is I never had any trouble attracting me.”
Clearly, the most important thing about any woman is how she looks and how she traps those men. And clearly it’s surprising that a fat lady might be smart and nice. (That “nevertheless”!)
On Twitter, ABC journalist Joanna McCarthy named the introduction “the worst opening lines of an obituary,” and others compared the paper’s coverage of McCullough’s life to its laudatory treatment of Bryce Courtenay — who, like McCullough, was an Australian author but, unlike McCullough, was a man.
Update: #MyOzObituary. Go read.
With a decent rack but meh around the face, she nevertheless managed to land a man! She also wrote books, we hear. #MyOzObituary
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) January 30, 2015
The Logan vineyard is insanely beautiful and she doesn't really do it justice
'While three states and 16 cities now have paid sick day laws' woah
The movement to ensure that everyone can take a day off from work if they or their family are sick has been gaining steam over the last few years, thanks to the collaboration of feminist and labor forces. And today, President Obama is calling for the passage of a federal paid sick leave policy, as well as a new plan to help extend paid parental leave to all Americans.
While three states and 16 cities now have paid sick day laws, without a federal policy like this, roughly 40 percent of (mostly low-income) workers still don’t have access to this modest benefit that every other developed country besides the US requires. The new law would apply to businesses with 15 or more employees, and the White House estimates it would extend sick leave to 43 million workers who currently lack it.
Image via ThinkProgress
The President is also requiring that federal employees get at least six weeks of paid sick leave when a new child arrives and calling on Congress to offer six weeks of paid administrative leave as well. To help the rest of us, he’s dedicating funding to help states set up their own paid family leave programs. Currently only three states have them, and the US is not just the only developed country without a national paid maternity leave law — let alone paternity leave — but one of the only countries, period. Nationwide, only 12 percent of workers have access to paid family leave through their employers and less than half of us even get the unpaid leave extended to some under current federal law. (The fact that American families continue to have babies in such a context truly boggles the mind; a child-bearing boycott seems long overdue.)
“One fact is resoundingly clear,” White House advisor Valerie Jarrett writes. “The fundamental structure of our workplaces has simply not kept pace with the changing American family.” This isn’t just bad for the economy as a whole but, as Stephanie Coontz argued last year, it’s also one of the biggest reasons that the movement toward gender equality has hit a wall: these godawful work-family policies create “structural impediments” that “prevent people from acting on their egalitarian values.”