Itâ€™s a gorgeous Spring day here in New England, and, rather than ambling into town and pausing to admire the colorful panoply of flora, I am ambling along the information superhighway and pausing to admire the colorful panoply of news articles and such. What, you may ask, accounts for this choice of activities? Dedication? Erudition? The high pollen count? Agoraphobia? It matters not, for I will tarry here but briefly. Whilst doing so, allow me to share a diversity of recommendations for your perusal, in no particular order. Enjoy…
â€¢ A Question of Resilience. This is a fine article by Emily Bazelon in todayâ€™s New York Times Magazine on some fascinating research that is currently being conducted on psychological resilience. Bazelon details how â€œ[t]he latest research shows that resilience can best be understood as an interplay between particular genes and environment â€” GxE, in the lingo of the field. Researchers are discovering that a particular variation of a gene can help promote resilience in the people who have it, acting as a buffer against the ruinous effects of adversity.â€?
â€¢ We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs. This article is, in fact, an excerpt from the book of the same title by Nasrin Alavi and comes via The Sun magazine. The author is an expatriate Iranian journalist who offers us a welcome glimpse into the minds and lives of the blogging community in Iran. Given the escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran, I would say that such a glimpse is essential in countering the aggressive and dehumanizing rhetoric that has begun to populate the airwaves.
â€¢ Coming Home from War on the Cheap: Shortchanging the Wounded. This article by Judith Coburn, writing in TomDispatch, details the appalling state of the Veterans Administration, whichâ€”largely thanks to the Bush administrationâ€”is so underfunded and overwhelmed that returning veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom have been traumatized by their experiences, are impeded from obtaining necessary services. Needless to say, our troops deserve better.
â€¢ The Meatrix and The Meatrix II: Revolting. These are two Flash moviesâ€”produced by the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE) as part of its Sustainable Table programâ€”which creatively spoof The Matrix films so as to highlight the inherent problems of factory farming and to promote healthier and more sustainable practices. Itâ€™s times like these that Iâ€™m glad to be a vegetarian.