Yael’s Variety Hour

Welcome to my weekly variety hour, where I post my favorite assortment of links and videos found throughout the internet.

After a couple of slow weeks, my big challenge in this week’s variety hour was narrowing down links to include! Luckily, I somehow managed to get it down to seven, encompassing various topics I blog about, from food politics to neuroscience to freelance writing.

As was likely evident in my Hannukah posts, I’m Jewish, but still found this video of a modern-day Christmas story amusing.

They say winter is the season for giving, and author/neuroscientist Jonah Lehrer (who I happen to think is one of the most brilliant people on earth, even though he hasn’t responded to my interview request) takes a look at the way the brain views giving. This is fascinating research, and made me stop and think about issues I care about and how I became aware of them, often due to the story of a single individual.

No variety hour would be complete without some selections for freelance writers and the people that love them. One big issue many of us who write for the web face is that we are not judged by the quality of our content, but by how many “clicks” and “likes” we get. Luckily, I haven’t yet had to change course on an interview mid-way, but perhaps this is coming? Check out what happens when Steve Martin spent “too much time” talking about his book, according to a live audience. Yikes!

As a freelance writer, I’ve had an awful lot of luck with PR… but this brilliant video shows what it looks like when that isn’t the case.

For those of us who love grassfed beef, here’s a bit of validation… just look at the amount of antibiotics factory farms use! No wonder pig MRSA is rising…

If you’re into acupuncture, like me, but want some scientific validation, here is a recent study, which shows that acupuncture changes the way the brain perceives pain.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a beautiful performance of Alexandria Falling by my friend, Julean Rai. My favorite part is when he throws the capo across the room (well, in this video he just gently sets it down, but in his live shows there’s some throwing going on!)

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