A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Best 2012 Commencement Speeches, Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to ban supersized sodas

Not funny, but worth noting: Just as rumors and winds of a tornado edged toward D.C. Friday evening, The Washington Post Tweeted: “Send us your storm photos, but don’t put yourself at risk for the pics.”

-o- Best 2012 Commencement Speakers -o-

What do Michelle Obama, Aaron Sorkin, Neil Gaiman, and Jane Lynch have in common? They’re all featured by The Wall Street Journal as notable commencement speakers. Here’s the WSJ roundup with embedded videos of the above speakers’ speeches and more.

-o- E-reading trends -o-

Love these. Do people who own e-readers read more books? Which is the most popular e-reader? This infographic even attempts to answer the question of why people read books.

Infographic from Mashable.

-o- Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposes a ban on super-sized sodas -o-

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has decided to try and ban all sodas over 16 oz. So… cups? Bottles? Cans? All of the above? Seems totally ridiculous to me but… This country is facing a lot of obesity-related health problems. Maybe just getting people talking about this is a good idea.

Here’s a link to Stephen Colbert’s video on the attempt: awesome.

-o- 10 NY literary bars -o-

This is more tourist-y than literary, but still way cool. In a few weeks my Aunt Susan and Uncle Brad are staging NY Peb Crawl Round III; maybe I can get one of these on the list!

Collection from Lonely Planet.

-o- 10 Jaw-droppingly beautiful places -o-

StumbleUpon has become fun again! Gallery (originally on BuzzFeed); I’ve been to Cinque Terre and want to go to that Crooked Forest ASAP.

-o- Top 100 Bestselling Books in the country -o-

List from Publisher’s Weekly. I included this because just today my friend told me she’d read Fifty Shades of Grey at the beach and I hadn’t even heard of it. And THEN my cousin raved about it at my Aunt Ginny’s birthday party. I’ll have to check it out!

-o- Cooking this week: Thai Green Curry Coconut Shrimp with Basil -o-

Here’s the recipe from SkinnyTaste.

(Image source: SkinnyTaste.com)

My last cooking adventure with the lovely Lindsey was SUPER successful… stay tuned for pics of our roasted chicken and romaine with spinach and red peppers.

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Facebook went public, Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Celebrities

Okay so technically it’s Tuesday morning… but it’s only been Tuesday for a few hours, and I’ve been sick and therefore slightly lazy. Anyway, thanks for waiting! Here are this week’s selections for “A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday…”

-o- Facebook went public -o-

And then the stock fell. It closed below IPO price on Monday. Did anyone see that coming? Did everyone see that coming?

Well, at least Mark Zuckerberg married his lovely longtime girlfriend. And since he’s changed his status to “Married”, the update has been liked over ONE MILLION times.

(Image source: ABC News)

Here’s a piece from the WSJ looking at the stock price on Monday, May 21. As of 5:19 a.m. ET on May 22, Facebook’s stock is down 10.99% to $34 a share. Here’s more from The Washington Post.

-o- Forbes‘ Celebrity 100 list -o-

Seven of the top 10 on this list, “The World’s Most Powerful Celebrities,” are women. At least half are primarily musical performers.

I’ll bet you can’t guess who’s number one. Hint: Oprah is number two (J.K. Rowling is at number 85; I guess being uber rich doesn’t translate into being “powerful”… or maybe Harry Potter has had his day). Here’s the list from Forbes.

-o- 18-year-old gets elected to school district board -o-

Josh Lafazan is now the youngest -ever elected official in the state of New York. According to this Mashable article by Alex Fitzpatrick, Lafazan connected with voters in his district using his Facebook page and Spreecast. You can also watch him speak at the link above.

-o- Child knows she is transgender as young as 2 years old -o-

I like that we live in a time when this can happen, when parents can show this kind of support to a son, who was born a daughter. At age four, after being diagnosed with “gender identity disorder,” this MD resident began introducing himself as a boy. He is now called Tyler. Here’s the full story from The Washington Post.

-o- Cool science images from this week -o-

Wow. Jewel caterpillar photographed near Cancun, Mexico.

(Image source: BoingBoing.net. Taken by Gerardo Aizpuru.)

Check out the rest of the slideshow from Popsci.

-o- Cooking this week: Blueberry chocolate chip pancakes -o-

Brian and I began spending time together four years ago. We met in March of 2008 and were in love by June. That first summer, we didn’t really concern ourselves with eating well. We had a lot of pancakes, and then one night we went to 2 Amy’s and had blueberry chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. Lightbulb! For the rest of the summer we bought fresh blueberries and chocolate chips and… gained weight, I’m sure.

Check out Pip & Ebby for a recipe and some truly mouthwatering pictures. Ours were never this pretty:

(Image source: Pip & Ebby)

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Which is greener, a meat or a veggie burger? Theory on politically-influenced baby names

-o- Happy day after Mother’s Day -o-

I have an absolutely wonderful mother. I got to spend Saturday evening with her and the rest of my family at a gala supporting Single Carrot Theater in Baltimore. We also had a wonderful brunch Sunday morning. My mom is a beautiful, kind, patient, capable, sweet, intelligent, and endlessly forgiving woman. I hope she and all the other mothers in the world had a lovely weekend.

Bonues: Nature’s toughest mothers from BBC.

-o- Which is greener: a steak or a veggie burger? -o-

If you love the planet, you love veggies… right? Conventional wisdom holds that beef – factory raised, hormone injected, delicious delicious beef – is terrible for the planet and you’re terrible for eating each raw tasty morsel. However, people are beginning to realize that its the overproduction of food that destroys its ‘green-ness.’

Raw veggies are of course the best for the energy-in energy-out ratio, but veggie burgers and all of the processes required to make them taste like beef could be worse that grass-fed beef people are trying to replace it with.

Experts weigh in on a Mother Jones forum.

-o- Top 10 Twitter pics of the week from Mashable’s Charlie White -o-

These are always so fun. Love Beyonce’s dress. Check them out: Slideshow.

-o- According to The Washington Post, graduates are facing a better markets this year -o-

Finally some good news on the employment front. While the recession has been relatively easy on those with higher degrees, matriculating students still didn’t have it easy. Now, students graduating have better chances of finding jobs than those who have graduated in the last three years. Here’s the article from The Washington Post.

-o- Van Halen’s “No Brown M&Ms backstage rule” -o-

Turns out he had a really good reason: Over-sexed over drugged rockstars try to get away with whatever they can. While that may regularly be the case, Van Halen’s brown M&Ms were really an ingenuous idea to detect venue neglect. If you haven’t heard the rumors and reasons… check out the NPR piece and video.

-o- Partisan divide in baby-naming? -o-

This is really kind of funny. Is nothing off limits? It’s not that people are consciously giving their kids  political names like Bill O’Rights, Ellie Phants, or Don Q. Kong (hmmm…). However political divides apparently influence parents and the names they give their kids. To find out how and to determine if you agree, see the NPR article.

-o- Cooking this week: Pasta Salad -o-

Here’s a Pasta Pomodoro salad from The Parsley Thief; we plan to add some shredded rotisserie chicken. Mmmmm. Doesn’t this look incredible?

(Image credit: The Parsley Thief)

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

Thanks to Brian for helping me out this week… and happy four-year anniversary to my perfect man.

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Supermoon pictures, 20-year-old lands Harry Potter-reminiscent 7-book deal

-o- What they don’t tell you in commencement speeches -o-

You just wasted 100k and four years. Not really, but check out some sage advice from a former speechwriter and current professor. Best nugget: “Your parents don’t want what is best for you. They want what is good for you, which isn’t always the same thing.” Here’s the WSJ article.

-o- Saturday night Supermoon pics -o-

The latest installment from Stephanie Meyer… er… I mean, a yearly phenomenon that yielded some awesome pictures.

Here’s a gallery from The Washington Post; More photographs from The Guardian.

-o- How tech have advancements have changed student life -o-

Check out this awesome infographic from Mashable. Many of the stats aren’t surprising, but a few will make you think. For example, 12 million college students are currently taking at least one online class.

There are also a bunch of cool apps, including one allowing students to calculate the specific grade needed on a test to pass a class.

-o- Wired How-To Wiki: Surviving at Sea -o-
The Last Resort: Cannibalism.. Hopefully this never happens to you, unless maybe you’re the kind of jerk that mocks people it has happened to. Either way, get ready to eat things raw. Top Menu item: Joe with a side of hallucination and PTSD

Fun/scary: here’s the wiki.

-o- The Hunger Games makes ALA’s list of most-banned books -o-

Lets make a deal. If you find a book offensive, don’t read it! Apparently some people have found The Hunger Games to be “anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence.” Violent, sure. It’s about a voyeuristic battle royale. But “anti-family”? Come on people.

Read the CNN article.

-o- Kids hating classic books on Twitter -o-

Do everyone a favor and hate on them for awhile. Here’s the collection from Publisher’s Weekly.

-o- 20-year-old student lands 7-book deal with Rowling’s publisher -o-

Because we always love waiting for the next best. Seriously though, all power to her and I hope her books make me as happy as Rowling’s did. Here’s the article from the Daily Mail.

-o- Cooking this week -o-

Black Bean Roasted Garlic Guacamole. Purist, schmurist… this looks amazing. Thanks, MaggiesOneButtKitchen!

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/s720x720/154556_10150904317235239_664855238_12140309_555325935_n.jpg

(Source: MaggiesOneButtKitchen)

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Johnny Depp: Vampire

-o- Baby Bucket List -o-

If you haven’t seen this site, please check it out: Avery’s Bucket List. It is one of the most moving blog pieces I’ve ever seen. This family found out that their infant daughter will most likely not reach age two, so they have tried to give her the fullest life possible and imagine the life she should have had.

Incredibly sad, but also so inspiring. Here’s the CNN piece on the story.

-o- The White House Correspondents’ Dinner -o-

Watch Obama’s full speech on YouTube.

-o- Seeing Philadelphia by public transportation -o-

Reporter Becky Krystal takes a day trip to Philadelphia without the use of a car; she has to make some tricky decisions but she manages to see what she came to see. The best part? The relatively low cost of the trip. Here’s The Washington Post article complete with accompanying photo gallery “Navigating Philadelphia, sans car.”

-o- Man City beats Man U 1-0 in the Manchester Derby… and Americans care! -o-

I imagine most of that was the prior match between the two resulting in a 6-1 victory for Man City. Lack of goal-scoring is one of the most frequent charges I hear leveled at the (incidentally, personally beloved) sport.

Check out BBC Sport‘s article on the game by Phil McNulty.

-o- The Guardian, The Observer‘s 10 Best First Lines in Fiction -o-

Here’s their list compiled and contextualized by Robert McCrum, and here’s mine. The two lists have no crossover at all so you should look at both. This morning, this collection was still among their top-viewed items.. so check it out!

Among them?

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain(1884)
“You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by a Mr Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly.”

-o- Johnny Depp: Vampire -o-

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have teamed up again in Dark Shadows. This time, Johnny Depp plays an 18th-century vampire who awakens in the 20th century. Helene Bonham Carter also stars in her seventh appearance in a film with Depp.

Here’s Depp in a promotional video on Wired.

o- 10 Book-themed Kindle Cases -o-

Before I even looked at this I found myself wondering… If I bought a book-themed case for my new iPad and could imagine any one I wanted into existence, is there a book I’d want to look at every day?I think I’d like a generic-looking old-fashioned, weathered book. So I want my expensive tablet to look like an old book – not just an old book, but one doctored to look like the amalgamation of cultural memories of what old books do and should look like.

It’s as tough as deciding on a tattoo (which is why I don’t have any).

Anyway… Here’s the “10 Kindle Cases That Look Like Books” slideshow by Amy-Mae Elliot from Mashable. I really dig the Moleskin one.

o- Steve Kloves to work on Jungle Book script -o-

Kloves, of Harry Potter-screenplay fame, is in talks to work on a remake of The Jungle Book. Story from BBC News.

-o- Cooking this week: Coriander Chicken with Tomato-Corn Salad -o-

I know I usually plug other bloggers here but mmmm this looks so simple and so tasty! Here’s the recipe, originally from Cooking Light.

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Snowpril? And, 67 books all (geek) parents should read to their kids

-o- Earth Day -o-

I hope you all had a wonderful 4-20! It was a gorgeous Earth Day and I sincerely everyone enjoyed it and put it to productive uses.

-o- Shakespeare’s birthday -o-

If you live in D.C., as I do, you may have celebrated the Bard’s birthday at the Folger Shakespeare library yesterday. Several cities are hosting festivals of Shakespeare’s plays at their theaters. At the very least, consider recalling your favorite Shakespeare-related memory, literary or otherwise.

I’ve recently finished reading Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series, and William Shakespeare is featured heavily in a few of the stories.

-o- Snowpril? -o-

Snow in April?!?! Thank you global warming for extreme unpredictable weather. One of the little groundhog deniers saw his shadow, so 6 more months of winter.

CNN article on today’s storm.

-o- Over 50% of people learn of breaking news via social media -o-

Shameless self-aggrandizing by a social media site, sign of the times, or both? Social media definitely has a speed edge over tradition sources, but is the speed worth the haste? Often times “breaking news” really is “breaking rumors”

Infographic from Mashable.

-o- Oh my goodness, it’s Moby Dick -o-

How exciting! World’s only all-white killer whale spotted off the coast of Russia. No word yet if giant metaphor is chasing after it.

Photo and article from CNN. Here’s another photo and more photos of the day from The Wall Street Journal.

-o- 67 books every geek should read to their children -o-

List from Wired. My mom and dad introduced me to several books on this list, including: Shel Silverstein’s collections, The Borrowers, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and the glorious The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I should buy a copy of that one.

Bonus: What do LolitaThe Phantom Tollbooth, and The Shining have in common? They are all on this list of  10 Great Books to Read Aloud from Flavorwire. Great list.

-o- 10 Beautiful Literary Box Sets -o-

Thank you again, Flavorwire! Here’s the gallery.

-o- Recipe of the Week: Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps -o-

Here’s the recipe from Gina’s Skinny Recipes.

(Image Source: Gina’s Skinny Recipes, SkinnyTaste.com)

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Facebook buys Instagram for $1B, If famous writers had written Twilight…

*Many thanks to my wonderful Brian for providing the commentary for this week’s post.*

-o- Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock -o-

Smart, or as stupid as when News Corp bought Myspace? Some think it was a savvy move, cornering the emerging app market and preventing a potential rival from doing the same. Instagram, if you aren’t fully plugged in, allows people to share photos taken on their smartphones over social networking sites. Lets hope that it isn’t a sign of Facebook getting drunk on IPO cash and overpaying… unless you actually want Facebook to go down like the Hindenburg.

Check out the article from The Economist.

-o- Americans do not “walk the walk” -o-

It seems almost common knowledge that America is the world’s most obese country, and now it turns out we are one of the laziest. Apparently, Americans walk the least of all industrialized nations. Is it hard to believe? We all but worship the car and consider cheap gas sacrosanct. Now its coming back to bite us… of only we could run from it.

Here’s the article from NPR.

-o- How many Americans would you guess do not regularly go online? -o-

1 percent, 5 percent? According to CNN it could be as high as 20 percent, or 1 in 5 Americans, who never have used or essentially don’t use the Internet. Perhaps your bubble (I know mine does) makes this hard to believe, but the elderly rarely use the internet and poor and rural households typically can’t afford computers or don’t have access. Maybe they secretly know something us tech-tethered people don’t. If the world’s Internet collapses I know I won’t know how to procure a pizza.

Check out the article from CNN.

-o- About J.K. Rowling’s new “realist” novel for adults -o-

Can J.K. Rowling strike gold twice? Her name alone will probably induce millions to buy it. However, if it flops, she could tarnish her image. I personally love that she’s trying something new.

Here’s the piece by Ethan Gilsdorf of Wired.

-o- If famous writers had written the Twilight series… -o-

I LOVE this kinda stuff and LOVE that the internet delivers it to my fingertips. My favorite:

“Cormac McCarthy: In the opening scene, Edward dashes Bella’s head against a rock and rapes her corpse. Then he and Jacob take off on an unexplained rampage through the West.”

Hilarious. Thanks to Elisabeth for finding this! Jen’s favorite?

“James Joyce: Edward’s rapacious love for Bella reflects the way globalism has pillaged Ireland. It’s entirely written in Esperanto, with sections in untranslated Greek, except for Chapter 40, which is inexplicably rendered as a script page from the musical “The Book of Mormon”.

Check out this piece by Lizzie Stark on io9.com.

-o- Sunrises, frogs, hippos -o-

Two photo galleries from The Washington Post. Here’s a sunrise, sunset gallery and here’s the collection of exotic animals from around the world, including hippos, polar bears and sphynx cat. AWESOME.

-o- Cooking this week: Artichoke Dip Mac and Cheese -o-

Drooling. Seriously. Here’s the recipe from The Scrumptious Pumpkin.

(Image credit: The Scrumptious Pumpkin)

Bonus: Simple Cauliflower recipe from 101cookbooks.