One. Being compared to Scandinavians, and never coming up the winners, is getting old. But that corner of the world has some things down. Look at the Finns. Finland’s newborn mortality rate used to be amongst the highest in the West before World War II andnow it’s the lowest. What intervened are the advent of government health care and the baby box. Since 1938, and still going strong, every new mother is sent home after delivery with a cardboard box that can double up as a crib and filled with everything a mom will need: bedding, baby clothes (including a snow suit), diapers. And condoms.
Two. Eating out can be an exercise in deciphering what is on your plate these days: chefs try to outsmart one another, and us, with intricate plating and abstruse ingredients, to the point of annoyance. Enter Jacques Le Merde, the Instagram account of a chef who plates exquisite dishes of…junk food. At the center of this dish is a Kinder chocolate egg (check out more of her creations here). Behind Jacques Le Merde is a woman with a sense of humor and a love for beauty: Toronto based chef Christine Flynn (thanks to our friend Manu for uncovering this gem).
Three. While walking the dogs every day for years, I noticed a trend in my neighborhood: old cooking-oil fuelled Mercedes, VW vans and Prius are being supplanted by Teslas. For reasons I can’t quite explain I have been finding this change annoying – maybe it has something to do with Teslas being beautiful, environmentally friendly and absolutely out of my price league (and the preferred methods of transportation of obstentatious techies). The model 3 that was just unveiled and that will hit the market next year is, possibly, my new object of material desire: completely electric with a charge that can take you 250 miles and beautiful. Price tag: $35,000. Not exactly cheap but more affordable than the $70,000 starter prices of the other models. I look at my Mini with affection and wonder….
Four. When in doubt, a Mary Oliver poem will always do the trick. (found on Austin Kleon’s blog)
Five. Remember the days we would meander through record stores, allowance money in our pocket, going through stacks of vinyl, deciding what to take home? Vinyl is enjoying a renaissance with the young crowd that never lived through it, even if mainly purchased as a collector’s item. If you happen to be in Malibu, may I suggest a browse through Stax of Wax? It’s a tiny store that carries about 300 vinyl albums (anything that is made available by record labels can be ordered) where the owner/curator has assembled a giant “starter kit” of the best recordings from the 60s until now that one might want to own on vinyl. I didn’t buy anything but it gave me ideas for collector friends – plus, it was enormous fun to let my fingers run through those bins again.