Life in your 40’s

Loved this essay from Pamela Druckerman.  This is definitely my favorite bit:

There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.

Honestly, that was one of the biggest revelations to me as a grown-up.  Also, the realization, that some people never really do grow up (or at least fail to handle life with any semblance of mature confidence).

This is good, too:

• There are no soul mates. Not in the traditional sense, at least. In my 20s someone told me that each person has not one but 30 soul mates walking the earth. (“Yes,” said a colleague, when I informed him of this, “and I’m trying to sleep with all of them.”) In fact, “soul mate” isn’t a pre-existing condition. It’s an earned title. They’re made over time.

• You will miss out on some near soul mates. This goes for friendships, too. There will be unforgettable people with whom you have shared an excellent evening or a few days. Now they live in Hong Kong, and you will never see them again. That’s just how life is.

The whole thing is quite good.  Or at least strikes me so at the age of 42.

Are you using your flash wrong?

Actually, I know there’s a lot of photography experts among you, so maybe not.  Still, I love this David Pogue column that distills the basic advice on how to best use flash photography into five simple points.  Everybody who takes pictures with something other than their camera phone should know this stuff.  For me, learning about using fill flash in bright sunlight has led to dozens of good photos that otherwise would have been miserable.  I also love the idea of using your phone to light up your subject from outside the frame– I’m going to have to try that.   The one suggestion that I really like, that Pogue does not make, is using slow synchro flash (as it’s called on my Canon) which allows you to get your subject lit up, but also allows background light so they are not in the “black cave.”  Anyway, good stuff for those not in the know and nice reminders otherwise.

Quick hits

1) Saletan on the pro-choice case for infanticide.  Or at least for making us wrestle more fully with the morality and philosophy of the issue.

2) Yes, Whole Foods is America’s temple to pseudoscience and making liberals, therefore, look bad.

3) Alec Baldwin (who, by the way, I love) on why he is saying goodbye to public life.

4) The Republican talent gap on political campaigns.

5) A collection of sad faces from silver medalists.  Pretty irresistible.

6) Love this “how to take a shower with a gay athlete.”

7) Chipotle will soon be offering a vegan burrito based on shredded soy.  If you’ve been following my occasional musing about meat, you know I’m excited about this.  I optimistic that it will be tasty enough that I will, sometimes, replace it for my usual carnitas.

8) How to get fit in a few minutes a week.  High-intensity interval training is awesome.  But even more awesome if you don’t do it every day.

9) Ads in the science magazine Omni from the 1980’s.  Loved these.

10) The real IRS scandal.

11) John Dickerson on the dangers of trying to “be real” for politicians.  Great line:

The most wonderful version of this is the Nixon administration effort to humanize their boss. He met small groups of reporters for cocktails and tried to peddle amusing stories to make them think he was not such a cold fish. He didn’t succeed, because he was a cold fish.

12) Great Businessweek piece on the academic/athletic scandal at UNC.  The part that always kills me about this is that just because there were some non-athletes in fake classes (who’s enrollment was disproportionately athletes) the UNC administration has the gall to insist this is not an athletics scandal.  Sure, as a Duke grad and NC State employee, I’m supposed to hate UNC.  I don’t.  It’s a great university that usually reflects very well on our state.  I hate to see them ruining that.

13) Ivy League schools very narrow view of increasing economic diversity.

14) I was vaguely aware that big stuff was happening in Venezuela.  Nice piece in the Atlantic explains what’s really going on (was especially fascinated by the role of Cuba).

15) Teenager blows families $80,000 settlement because she blew the confidentiality agreement by posting about the settlement on facebook.

16) Love this– former Pizza Huts re-purposed (I can think of several in Cary and Raleigh).

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