Monday, November 14, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 14: A New Addition

Every year I add to my collection a magazine or two on holiday cookies. This year, I didn't find a magazine that spoke to me. Every magazine I looked at had some versions of cookies that is in the other magazines I already have. That might be a sign that I have too many magazines. Hmmm.

Anyway, I was in a small bookstore and finally got my hands on this Gourmet Cookie Book! I had totally forgotten about it! This came out in 2009, I believe. Gourmet Magazine, before its untimely demise (sniff), had selected a representative cookie from each year that the magazine had been published. Each decade has a brief narrative giving context to the era and styles of cookies, and each cookie has a little note of origin. Not only are the recipes and stories fascinating, Gourmet, true to its form, has a beautifully laid out photo of each cookie type, laid out in kaleidoscopic designs. It's a treat to flip through the book.

When the book first came out, or maybe while it was being finished up, Gourmet actually published many of the cookie recipes online, so I still have them printed out. In fact, the Chocolate Wafer cookie recipe has become one of my favorites and I've been making them for three years straight, going on four.

Food and cooking as part of culture is so inextricable and makes life so, so interesting, I just can't get over it. It can build bridges, start revolutions, trigger memories, inspire creativity. I feel very fortunate to live in a culturally diverse place like LA where I can get exposed to so many different types of foods and cultures. It's truly an adventure.

Today's Reading
I guess this was posted on Friday but I missed it.

Why Everyone Hates the Boss

The brief post cites research by a UCLA professor about the neuroscience behind leadership, and how leaders with great technical skills may have less-than-great social skills (or vice versa?). The thing I thought was fascinating was this:

...the circuitry for thinking analytically, such as thinking about the future or about concepts, switches off the circuitry for thinking about others.
The point being that the more strategically-minded a leader is, the less capable s/he is to think about others, namely, I'm assuming, downline managers and staff. If this is really true from a neurological standpoint, it's fascinating! So, I'm wondering, is this circuit switch a strict on/off thing? Or is there a way to tape the switch open somehow, so people can do both? It seems like there are people who can do both - but just maybe not in the same moment. Very, very interesting. Would need to see what other research finding Dr. Lieberman comes up with.

I have to somehow figure out how to fit in online readings during the weekend. I'm so behind on Krugman and other favorites.

I just love that Krugman says things like "...Italy's economy minister[,] threw a hissy fit..." and "supply-side policies -  structural reform that makes workers more productive, prices more flexible, or whatever...". Hissy fit! Or whatever! How can anyone not love economics after reading him?

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