The Future of This Blog

I started this blog in college on a whim.  I’ve now been out of college for two and a half years.  The blog has, obviously, gone through some growing pains as I have.  It’s housed an incredible amount of very different content.  Right now, I don’t have any plans to be blogging regularly again.

That said, I do have some things I’d like to post.  Sporadically.  As I write them.

Essentially, they’re personal essays.  Brain dumps of all my thoughts on a topic, lightly polished.  They’re probably all going to be unstructured and slightly rambling.  If you follow this blog on some platform, then I hope you enjoy the ride.  I know I am.

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Welcome to Giugno | Giugno 2016 Scripts

 

Hey, it’s been a little while since I made a video, but I’m back! For an entire month! All during June I’m posting a video every day – or at least I’m trying to. It’s called Giugno which is Italian for June. Why Italian? Eh, it made the project feel special more than anything else. SO, why am I doing this? I mean, after my failure of a Vlogtober last year, why put this kind of pressure on myself from a hobby?

Short version: it’s because I really like making these videos and talking out loud to my camera.
Long version: I like making videos, I like making things in general. I like challenging myself, I want to get better at making videos, and I want to get better at editing videos. I bought Adobe Premiere recently, so I need more practice with it. In my 2016 goals video I talked a little bit about the fear of failure and not letting it get me down and prevent me from doing new things. This is one of those new things.

Throughout June expect a new video from me every day. And I’ve got some good ones coming.

Grazie per guardare, alla prossima, ciao. (That’s just my usual ‘thanks for watching, I’ll see you next time, bye’ but in Italian so it goes with the theme).

I’ve gotten a lot of comments saying that I talk too fast, and while I’m trying to work on that it’s just not in my nature.  I’m a New Yorker, I talk fast.  So as a compromise, I’m adding captions onto my videos and posting all the scripts on my blog.

Satiated Saturday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Roundup

This is my second thanksgiving as a vegetarian, but the first where I will actually be at a thanksgiving dinner.  I usually prefer to spend my thanksgiving at a museum and thinking critically about American history, and in fact history as a whole.  But, in order to participate in thanksgiving with my family  I need to have some vegetarian options for myself.  Because I don’t have as many of these in my own arsenal, I’ve rounded up a bunch of resources for you me and you guys.

Satiated Saturday

The Veggie Table | A vegetarian blog with its own roundup of recipes, but all of these are original and created by the author Laura K. Lawless.

Veg Kitchen | Another roundup from a vegan blog, and I think most of these are original recipes too.  All vegan things are safe for vegetarians, but remember that not all vegetarian things are safe for vegans, so if you have vegan friends over for thanksgiving, remember that they might need separate things as well.

Buzzfeed actually has a handful of vegetarian/vegan thanksgiving recipe roundups, so here we go.  Pure Links | Brussels Sprouts For Thanksgiving | 29 Side Dishes | 37 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes For Thanksgiving | 22 Delicious Meatless Mains | 41 Delicious Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Chef In You | A vegetarian thanksgiving roundup from 2009.  There is everything from soup to risotto on this list, so it’s sure to have something for you.

The Pioneer Woman Stuffing | Substitute veggie broth for chicken broth in this recipe and you can make your own stuffing from scratch.

Satiated Saturday | Shameless self-promotion: you should check out my Satiated Saturday category on my blog

Vegetarian Gravy | This is my vegetarian gravy recipe, and I love it.  I’ll be making it for my family to share the joy that is delicious meatless gravy.

Easy Italian Bread | My Italian bread recipe adapted from Bakers Banter would be delicious on the side of your tofurkey.

Roasted Almonds | Roasted almonds would make a great side, especially if you’re the only vegetarian and you have a hard time getting family to let you in the kitchen on Thanksgiving.  They’re easy and fast.

Remember: if you check the ingredient list you can find lots of vegetarian stuffing mix, and mashed potatoes are always vegetarian.  If you’re like my family you could make an antepasto tray/spread and not let anyone else eat it.  (We haven’t actually made an antepasto in years because our thanksgivings are weird, but they were my favorite as a kid).  Try this tutorial from Martha Stewart, and this one from Giada de Laurentiis.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!

What is There to Change?

My fraternity brother Hancie wrote this wonderful piece about body image and being comfortable in your own skin. In place of my own thoughts today, please read it and give yourself some love.

Ferocity & Curiosity

When we last left off we were looking at whose pictures influence thoughts about body image. If we know that our minds have been influences, then we should look at how they have been. A short video has recently been released by Jubilee Project where they asked fifty people, adults and children, one question: What would you change about your body?

The video opens with the responses from adults, all of whom don’t think very long before giving their answers. These include changing their foreheads, ears, and feet. One response that particularly stood out to me was a mother saying, “Stretch marks after having a kid,” as she held her son in her arms. The things that these adults are wishing to change about themselves are aspects of their bodies they are born with. With the exception of plastic surgery, these elements are impossible to change. People are walking…

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The Enormity of Time

Today I released a video on my channel entitled “Enormity of Time” about just how ancient the world really is.  History is incredibly ancient, and incredibly enormous.  When I have existential crises I often think about just how old the Earth really is, so I’m going to share it with you.  In the form of a timeline, and a video.

The Roman Empire was formed in 27 BCE.

Boudicca led the Iceni revolt in 60-61 CE.

Nero fiddled in 64 CE.

The Colosseum was constructed from 70-80 CE.

via Flickr

Parthenon via

The Parthenon was built between 447-438 BCE.

 

Stonehenge was built between 3100 BCE – 2200 BCE.

Great Zimbabwe via Jan Derk

Great Zimbabwe via Jan Derk

Great Zimbabwe was created, flourished, and crumbled between the eleventh and the fourteenth centuries CE.

Harrappan civilization flourished between 3300 BCE and 1900 BCE.

Mohenjo Daro was founded in about 2600 BCE, and had city-wide sewers before anyone else.

Civilization in the Indus River Valley developed irrigation around 2500 BCE.

Cleopatra and Caesar by Jean-Léon Gérôme

Cleopatra VII was born in 69 BCE.

The Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed in 2584 BCE.

That time difference is 2,515 years.

The first moon landing was in 1969 CE.

That time difference was 2,038 years, which puts Cleopatra’s birth 477 years closer to the moon landing than to the building of the Great Pyramid.

 

Let’s get way more ancient.  We outlived Homo Neanderthalensis 25,000 years ago, and Homo Floresiensis 12,000 years ago.  The humans who would become Europeans, Asians, Americans, Australians, et al began migrating from Africa 125,000 years ago.  Humans have only been on the planet for 200,000 years.  Which seems long until you put it in context.

Homo Floresiensis Reconstruction by John Gurche via

Hominids developed about 15 million years ago, but didn’t develop bipedalism until 3 million years ago.  So for 12 million years our hominid ancestors were quadrupedal.  Before hominids though, there were other primates, and they developed 85 million years ago.  But primates are only part of the mammalian class, which developed 256 million years ago.

 

How incredible is that?  Seems pretty ancient now huh?  Well I’m about to blow what’s left of your mind.

This streamlines evolution, but is a great illustration. via

Life migrated onto land 360 million years ago.  But before animals adapted to live on land, they had to develop brains right?  But they developed brains 190 million years before they became adapted to live on land.  Which means brains developed 550 million years ago.

 

To me what’s incredible is how short some things are in truly ancient prehistory.  It took 550 million years to develop from fish with brains to modern humans, but it only took 50 million years to develop from primitive multicellular organisms to fish with brains.  Multicellular life developed from single-cellular life 600 million years ago.

And the final way that I’m going to blow your mind is this: the Earth is 4.54 billion years old, and life began on the planet 3.6 billion years ago.

 

Boom.  Is your mind blown?  Mine is.  I’d really appreciate it if you’d watch the video above, because I’m incredibly proud of it.  And if you like the video, please subscribe to my channel here.

 

This Week in History | #AmericanApril

In conjunction with my American April YouTube series I’m posting a weekly roundup of historical events in April.  Unfortunately, I definitely can’t include everything on these lists, so I’m choosing 5 for each day, and they won’t all be American history.  Any time I make a video about the same topic I’ll also link to that.

April 1:

1778 – Oliver Pollock invented the dollar sign.  ($)

1826 – Samuel Morey patented the internal combustion engine.

1865 – Battle of Five Forks (American Civil War)

1976 – Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computers.

2001 – The Netherlands became the first country to legalize gay marriage.

April 2:

1453 – Mehmed II began the siege of Constantinople.

1513 – Juan Ponce de Leon first sighted Florida.

1792 – American Congress passed the Coinage Act which established the US Mint and several coins we do not use today such as the $10 Eagle, $5 Half-Eagle, and $2.50 Quarter Eagle.

1870 – The first woman was nominated for the US Presidency: Victoria Woodhull

1917 – Jeanette Rankin, the first female member of congress, began her first term.  She was from Montana, and said “I may be the first woman elected to Congress, but I won’t be the last.”

 

April 3:

1043 – Edward the Confessor was crowned King of England.

1513 – Juan Ponce de Leon first landed in Florida after seeing it the day before.

1657 – Oliver Cromwell refused the crown after the English civil war.  He was declared Lord Protector in December 1653.

1860 – The first Pony Express journeys began in Saint Joseph, MO and Sacramento, CA.

1922 – Vladimir Lenin was appointed the General Secretary of the Communist Party.

Edward the Confessor

April 4:

1721 – Sir Robert Walpole became the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1796 – Georges Cuvier founded the science of Paleontology.

1812 – The state that would become Louisiana joined the United States, then known as the territory of Orleans.

1887 – Susanna M. Salter took office as the first female mayor in American History.  She was mayor of Argonia, KS.

1916 – US Senate voted to enter WWI.

Susanna M. Salter

 

April 5:

453 – Saint Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the Irish.

1614 – Pocahontas married John Rolfe.

1621 – The Mayflower set sail on a return journey to England.

1792 – George Washington uses the first presidential veto in history; he vetoed a bill regarding representation measures.

1951 – Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were given the death sentence for spying on behalf of the Soviet Union.

Pocahontas and John Smith J.W.Glass, 1870

 

Computer Issues

I’m having some computer problems, and my beloved Wanderer will be at the computer doctor tomorrow.  I’ve got some posts scheduled, so there shouldn’t be any interruption here, but you never know.  I did also download the app, so I can post on the go, or I suppose I could always go to the library and use their computers.  Any excuse to go to a library really.  

Hopefully I’ll get Wanderer back quickly and in tip top shape.  For now though I’m just sending articles to read to Pocket, uploading documents I want to work on to Google Drive, making all my notes in Evernote, copying my entire hard drive to an external, and hoping.  I’ll probably be on twitter more often than not, so tweet me!

J