May 16, 2011

May Mish-mash of Tiny News

Water! It seems to be everywhere. The earth in Southern Ohio (and sadly to a greater extent further south) is swollen with it. Plant life is lush with it, growing, expanding, dripping, filtering out the sunlight whenever it manages to shine through a cloudy sky. In this soupy environmental mix, I sit and peruse the news. And I've whittled it down to a few interesting tidbits I am calling "Tiny News."

1) Not all Tiny News is small, but "One Story" books are quite little. One Story ( publishes 18 issues a year and each issue is ... one story. You can go online and order individual issues, or be smart and subscribe. The 3 issues I ordered arrived Saturday: "The Quietest Man" by Molly Antopol (#132); "The Husband" by T. Cooper (#138); and "Housewifely Arts" by Megan Mayhew Bergman (#142). I can't wait to read these little gems (they are approx. 5 x 7 inches in size and 26 or so pages, with a plain cover).

2) I recently saw a photo of Chattanooga's Hunter Museum of American Art on the Tennessee River and I would like to visit it. (This is Tiny News now, it will be bigger news if I do go and take a bunch of photos of Chattanooga. Including, hopefully, a choo-choo.

3) Colatura di Alici: "an ingredient used in Italy for centuries" states Lidia Bastianich (to the WSJ) for a burb entitled "My Magic Ingredient." "It's the juice that drains out of anchovies salted in a barrel." Hmmm.... My Magic Ingredient? Butter. Butter makes everything taste pretty darn good. I am not supposed to like it so much. Nor it's evil twin, salt. (sigh)

4) I read a lot of print and online media because I like to be surprised, see pictures of cool things, learn new things and read about other people and how their lives are going well. Sometimes I find Tiny News that sounds made up. Like a secret honor society of folks on Wall Street known as Kappa Beta Phi. They meet at the St. Regis Hotel, NY, in January and Fast Company magazine says new members "often dressed in drag, perform a far-from-PC variety show poking fun at Wall Street and government bigwigs. If the members don't like it, they throw dinner rolls."

I would very much like to see a photo taken from the audience's viewpoint, of members throwing their arms back and lobbing dinner rolls at executives onstage in drag singing poorly. I do not know why this sounds interesting to me, but it does.

I am a member of Beta Sigma Phi, a social/cultural/service sorority for women. We do not throw dinner rolls, we eat them. Except for a few who are watching their weight. Last month, we learned about flower arranging. Next month, scrapbooking. Our group is located in Ohio, but I suspect even a NY State branch of Beta Sigma Phi would not throw dinner rolls.

5) Spearmint: I have been ahead of the times. For years I have bought spearmint oil, put a drop of it in the middle of a tablespoon of body lotion (like Curel, or St. Ives) and rubbed it on my arms and legs for a refreshing pick-me-up. Now, spearmint is all the rage, says the Wall Street Journal, and you can buy "Fresh Mint Leaf Cologne" ($55 for 30ml) at Or, you can buy Curel Moisture Lotion ($7.99) and spearmint oil ($14.50 for 11 ml, which will last you for many years) at the links I've indicated to save you money, time, and keep you freshly scented. Note: I have allergies and asthma, and am very sensitive (not in a good way) to cologne. My spearmint trick has never given me any problems.

6) More Tiny News: "Get to the Good Part: In Praise of Shortened Attention Spans" by Terry Teachout, author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal about Oxford University Press's "Very Short Introduction" Series "in which celebrated experts write with extreme concision about their areas of expertise. Each volume in the series is about 140 pages long... ...You don't have to be in a hurry to learn from these books, for it is their compression that makes them so invaluable. Force a writer to be brief and you force him to think clearly--if he can." Oh, I love that last line! Here's a link to the series. There are 275 volumes (topics) in the series.

7) coaches kids in poor communities on financial literacy and business skills. Sounds like a good thing.

8) I love the story in the Wall Street Journal recently on the Argentinian man, Pedro Martin Ureta, who has created a huge guitar from trees (best seen from the air) in honor of his wife. It's made of 7000 trees. His wife died in 1977 at age 25. Here is link to a cool video that shows the guitar from the air!

9) "Authentically Disney, yet distinctly Chinese," that's how Disney describes Shanghai Disney which has broken ground and should be up and running in 5 years. I am saying no more....

10) Tiny News Phrases: "Even the moon looks cold." Lisa Colbert, ABC6 Columbus weather reporter. Also heard on NPR, someone being interviewed and described his "multi-hyphenated existence." I believe it was this gentleman, playwright Majahat Ali. I thought this an interesting term, familiar, I am sure to many, but one that I hadn't really heard before.

I learn something new every day. It may be Tiny News, but all that adds up, doesn't it?

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