Weekend reading: stage fright, trigger warnings and bananas


The New Yorker | I can’t go on! What’s behind stage fright? Joan Acocella explores the history of stage fright and how it affects people.

The Atlantic | The Coddling of the American Mind Can trigger warnings, which aim to protect university students, actually harm their mental health?

The Atlantic | That’s not funny! Today’s college students can’t seem to take a joke Are American universities rejecting comedy that unsettles in favour of comedy that soothes?

The Economist | The medium matters Does the physical act of writing (slumped or erect, in bed or at a desk) influence how and what we write?

Quartz | Move over Shakespeare, teen girls are the real language disruptors Researchers think it was young women that changed hath, doth, maketh to has, does, makes. We can also thank them for vocal fry, the use of “like” and uptalk.

SuzelleDIY – How to Make Braaied Brandy Banana Splits

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Weekend reading: perspectives on money, French shirts and compost


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Love to read

Can We Change Our Childhood Perspectives on Money? This is such an important read for couples with differing approaches to money. The relationship Meg describes with her husband is pretty spot on for my partner and me. Ask yourself: If you found R1,000 would you spend it or save it? And what would your partner do? (You should also read 7 Tips for a More Equal Household.)

Authenticity Online. I’ve followed Jolie Ankrom for a little over a year now on Instagram (you can find her at @becomingjoile). I love her style, her approach to motherhood and her thrifting skills. She also introduced to me Whole30! But lately I have been touched by her insights into marriage and relationships. This piece she wrote is wonderful. You should read it if you’re in a long term relationship. I’ve read it a few times now and every time all I can think is “me too”. It’s a reminder that we’re not alone in our struggles.

How a Darth Vader selfie showed the worst side of social media. A reminder not to post your suspicions on social media. This poor guy had his picture shared over 20,000 times on Facebook after a stranger labeled him a creep and a possible sexual offender.

“What a horrible mother:” How a call from a “good samaritan” derailed these mothers’ lives. I remember staying in the car while my parents did the shopping – it was more fun than being dragged around the shops. Recently mothers in America have been charged with child endangered for doing the same thing.

Save Tax Free Investment Calculator. I thought this was a pretty useful tool for South Africans trying to figure out what tax free investment suits their needs.

French Speakers Hilariously Discuss What French T-Shirts Actually Say. “This is not even French. Putting “le” in front of a random foreign-sounding word doesn’t make it French.”

The 20 Most Beautiful Countries In The World. South Africa bags the top spot!

The Urban Death Project. If you don’t want to be buried or cremated you can be turned into compost. Sign me up!

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Weekend reading: poopy cats, flat hunting and blame


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The 9 Circles of Hell of Flat-Hunting in Cape Town. We went through the flat-hunting process in Johannesburg earlier this year. It’s enough to make me want to buy a house. I never want to move again.

The Mystery of Elderly Animal Matriarchs. Did you know that there are only two species that go through menopause? Humans and orcas.

Brené Brown on Blame. My mum sent me this. Why do we blame people and what does it do to our relationships?

Who needs Creme Eggs when you can make your own Creem Eggs? I am tempted to make these but the cost of buying 800g of good quality chocolate puts me off.

Anatomy of a New Yorker cartoon.  Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor for The New Yorker magazine, explains what makes cartoons funny and why.

Rescued from the flames. Read about the small team working to rehabilitate wild animals injured by the Cape Town fires.

A Day at Poopy Cat Office. This is pretty much my dream office environment.

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Weekend reading: cancer, cats, dogs and smart people


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Ursula K. Le Guin on Aging and What Beauty Really Means. A lovely piece on the difference between cats and dogs – and cat and dog people.

CatsWhen did girls start wearing pink? Did you know that “[t]he generally accepted rule [was] pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl”?

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the T. Swift. Joanna Robinson tells us why she loves Taylor Swift. See point three: She Makes Cat Ladies Look Good.

What living through cancer in your 20s looks like. Beautiful and heartbreaking pictures of 30-year-old photographer Amelia Coffaro’s battle with breast cancer.

The Food Lab: How to Poach Eggs for a Party. Did you think poaching eggs for a group of people was impossible? I did and I was wrong.

Why smart people are stupid. Question: “A bat and ball cost a dollar and ten cents. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?” Once you have your answer, head on over to read the article.

Women Having A Terrible Time At Parties In Western Art History. I can identify with all these woman. Sometime parties are hard work.

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Weekend reading: Taylor Swift, freezing your eggs and Ebola


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Don’t Say Goodbye. Just ghost. I am a ghoster. I will say goodbye to the host if I can but I am not going to take 20 minutes to say goodbye to everyone at a party.

If All Disney Princesses Were Taylor Swift. The whole gang is here: Tayriel, Jaslor, Swift White, Mulor, Taylorella and Tay. It’s the only way you could make Disney princesses any better.

Facebook and Apple to pay for female employees to freeze their eggs. Facebook and Apple are trying to keep talented women in the workplace for longer.

These Cyclists Found an Awesome Way to Demonstrate Why Bikes Are Better Than Cars. Yes bikes take up less space than cars. But I think this is a good reminder of how much space drivers should give cyclists on the road.

Facebook introduces Safety Check. In the event of a disaster the Safety Check tool will help you let friends and family know you’re safe, check on others in the affected area and mark your friends as safe.

After terrorist threat, feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian cancels lecture at Utah university. A scary reminder of the threats and physical danger feminists have to deal with.

Relax. You’re not going to die of Ebola! Is the panic about Ebola more dangerous than the disease itself?

Diet Coke – Taylor Swift Kittens. Could there be anything better in the world right now than Taylor Swift drowning in kittens?

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Weekend reading: living with a lion, finding your purpose and haters


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DIY: Woven Rope Doormat. A tutorial on how to weave your own doormat. I think it could easily be adapted to make place mats.

The Food Lab: Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles. A great idea for healthy lunches. They look delicious and are much healthier and tastier than store-bought instant noodles.

1971: Living With Neil the Lion. This is what happens when a lion becomes part of a household (great pictures but also stitches).

7 Unusual Questions To Help You Find Your Purpose. The first question is really important: What’s your favourite flavour of shit sandwich and does it come with an olive?

Rise and shine! What kids around the world eat for breakfast. Kids in  Amsterdam eat chocolate shavings on bread for breakfast? I think my parents were conning me with porridge!

Stop petting your stupid sweet cat, it apparently doesn’t even like it. A study has shown that being held or stroked for too long can be stressful for cats. Not sure we needed a study to figure that out – the biting and wailing might have been a sign.

Thank You Hater! by Clever Pie and Isabel Fay. This is a hysterical song for all the haters in the world. The chorus is my favourite: “Some might say you are a…sexually aggressive, racist, homophobe, misogynistic, cowardly, illiterate, waste of human skin!”

How to know if your batteries are dead or alive. Suzelle teaches us another useful trick!

 

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Weekend reading: loving criticism, preventing burnout and sunburn


Learning to Love Criticism. This New York  Times opinion piece looks at why professional women are often at the receiving end of personal criticism.

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NYT

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The Adventures of Business Cat. I loved this comic strip about the very serious adventures of business cat. You know you’re doing well when your business cat boss leaves a dead bird on your desk.

Rangers rescue baby elephant. These pictures show rangers jumping into a drinking hole at Addo Elephant National Park to rescue a baby elephant. They managed to get the baby out but when they ran away it started following them. “Please don’t leave me!”

You don’t need 8 glasses of water a day. How much should you drink? Three or four cups a day should be fine. (And tea/coffee/juice counts!)

“Preventing burnout is part of your job. Staying well rested is part of your job.” A necessary reminder about why having down time, looking after yourself and taking leave is important.

How the sun sees you. This video shows the not-yet-visible changes in people’s skin and the amazing power of sunscreen. And, as summer approaches, an important reminder that “a tan is a sign of skin injury”. Find out what actually happens to your skin when you get a sunburn.

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