What I learned this week, May 3, 2013

Stylish bike rider, French Quarter, New Orleans

Stylish bike rider, French Quarter, New Orleans

Here’s What Americans Don’t Get About Cycling — And Why It’s A Problem

Bike rider in front of the Winspear Opera House. If you are wondering, the photo is cropped and upside down.

Bike rider in front of the Winspear Opera House. If you are wondering, the photo is cropped and upside down.

Paul Thomas Anderson directing a film of one of Thomas Pynchon novels. This is truly the best of all possible worlds.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice to Begin Shooting this Month.

Now I’m waiting for an HBO series made from Gravity’s Rainbow.

It may be more of a coincidence than anything else, but I live in one of these and spend time every year in seven of the twelve, including the top five.

The Top 12 American Boomtowns

Dallas Skyline from the Soda Bar on the roof of the NYLO Southside hotel.

Dallas Skyline from the Soda Bar on the roof of the NYLO Southside hotel.

Quick Hits:
Two hot books to watch for
Spice Things Up in the Kitchen with Homemade Taco Seasoning
Do These 9 Things in Your Kitchen to Lose Weight
The Great Gatsby and 7 other hideous movie tie-in book covers
In Germany, a U.S. beer invasion
Forget the Unemployment Rate: The Alarming Stat Is the Number of ‘Missing Workers’
The old order is dying. We are living in the age of Farage
US Headed For The Coldest Spring On Record

When I first saw this, I thought, “Oh, this has to be fake.” As time goes by (and a couple of hours is an eternity in internet-time) it looks like it might be real. At any rate, it’s one hell of a strange photo, real or not.

Rays reporter Kelly Nash takes an impressively dangerous Fenway Park self-portrait

Why Workout Pain Is Good

The reason the saying “No pain, no gain” is so common is because it’s true: If you never feel discomfort when you exercise, you’re not getting all the benefits. What separates great athletes from mediocre ones isn’t only talent and training – it’s also how well they can handle discomfort.

I was tired, turned on the TV, and saw a little of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner – and was appalled. The phrase that kept wafting through my mind was, “let them eat cake.” The next day I found this article, which echoed my thought.

The Narcissism Of The White House Correspondents’ Dinner Hurting The Media’s Already Tarnished Brand

“The breaking point for me was Lindsay Lohan,” Tom Brokaw recently said. While this statement could apply to so many circumstances, he was specifically referring to the annual gala event known as the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. “[W]hat we’re doing with that dinner, as it has been constituted for the past several years, is saying, ‘We’re Versailles. The rest of you eat cake,’” Brokaw added in a striking rebuke of what the night (which has evolved into a whole weekend of festivities) has become. There will come a day soon when members of the press will ask themselves why they did not listen to Brokaw. The political media has a credibility problem, and the WHCD is not helping.

I guess I have a low tolerance for narcissism (hypocritical for someone that has a blog – the most narcissistic thing there is), especially in elected officials – which are supposed to be servants of the people.

10 books from the 21st century every man should read

A worthy list. I have read most of these, and the rest were on my to-read. It’s nice to see so many short story collections on here. The Road is not one of my favorite Cormac McCarthy novels. But its only competition in this century is No Country for Old Men – which I would give the nod to, but that is arguable. I’m going to have to look into those Author’s Picks.

Dove’s Fake New ’Real Beauty’ Ads

Very effective and heart-rendering… but it’s fake.

How to Make Taco Bell’s Crunch Wrap Supreme at Home

Nothing sums up the deliciousness of a Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme more concisely than the love letter to it on the daily humor website McSweeney’s. All of the Crunchwrap’s beauty is perfectly summarized in that piece: the convenience of not having to choose between a soft or crunchy tortilla, the patches of sour cream randomly placed throughout it, and a creamy, indulgent nacho cheese sauce that is the ying to the meat’s yang. And it’s all wrapped together in a soft tortilla shell that makes it easy to enjoy one-handed without making a mess.

You’ll Be Shocked by How Many of the World’s Top Students Are American