Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Lowered ExpectationsBy Eric Weiner
Mysterious are the ways of human happiness, as anyone who has surveyed the perplexing, often contradictory research findings can attest. But one nugget in particular truly boggles: Denmark is the happiest nation in the world. More than two-thirds of Danes report being “very satisfied with their lives,” according to the Eurobarometer Survey, a figure that has held steady for more than 30 years. True, Danes tend to be healthy, married and active — all contributing factors to happiness. But why, researchers wondered, are Danes happier than Finns and Swedes, who share many of these traits, not to mention a similar culture and climate?
The answer is, in a word, expectations. Danes have low expectations and so “year after year they are pleasantly surprised to find out that not everything is rotten in the state of Denmark,” says James W. Vaupel, a demographer who has investigated Danish bliss.About once a year, some new study confirms Denmark’s status as a happiness superpower. Danes receive this news warily, with newspaper headlines that invariably read: “We’re the happiest lige nu.” Lige nu is a Danish phrase that means literally “just now” but strongly connotes a sense of “for the time being but probably not for long.” Danes, in other words, harbor low expectations about everything, including their own happiness... Read more
I live for this sort of stuff.
* via The New York Times, a new weekly series about the challenges and satisfactions of raising a puppy through its first year of life.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
E. brought this back from Boston for me as a souvenir and not surprisingly, I am enjoying it immensely. David Simon, who at the time was a reporter for the Baltimore Sun - he later on became the screenwriter for Homicide and The Wire -, spent a year following Baltimore detectives, riding with them, observing and writing. The result is a smart, informative and often hilarious account of life on the Job on the streets of Baltimore.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
God I love Japan.
Who but the Japanese could unite two of my very favorite things in such a wonderfully weird way?
The ramen-making robot was built by 60-year-old shop owner Yoshihira Uchida...
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Ironically, this may be proof that nothing will change in Iran.
The clerics are siding with the people, securing their position of influence and power in Iranian society. Let's not forget that Mousavi is no spring chicken - his political transformation is fairly recent and his plans certainly do not include a secular government.
It's safe to say that some change is better than nothing at all - abolition of the ''moral police'', a willingness to open dialogue with foreign countries, less discrimination against women in Iran, elimination of state-run TV networks, etc. Still, I am tempted to believe that plus ça change...
This morning's Times article