NERDY THINGS THAT INTEREST ME
I love finding interesting articles in print or on the web--which I then devour and bring up in everyday conversation because I'm so pumped (FACTS!)--but the things I read up on on a daily basis need to meet a certain criteria. These are the kind of things that catch my attention, ranked.
- •Sociological research/demographicsRates of urbanization and population density maps, age spread of the U.S. population compared to other developed nations, changes in religious involvement and attitudes toward religion, correlations between class and myriad life wellness indicators, per capita recycling rates depending on region, there's just way too many to list!! I love it all so much, especially when @NatGeo does a brilliant accompanying infographic. I live for Infographics.
- •Microeconomics stuffPertaining to average consumer spending (like how much the average American spends on Christmas presents), changes in consumer spending (like how less millenials are purchasing homes compared to the generations before them), subsequent changes in market (the music industry increasing artists' touring dates due to profits lost through streaming and illegal downloading, yogurt companies switching to Greek yogurt over traditional bc it's more profitable).
- •Public health statisticsHow access to health care is disparate depending on a person's race, anything related to obesity in America (@npr did an entire series on it; it was amazing), latest reported rates of efficacy for cutting-edge treatments of "preventable" diseases in the developing world, and any human interest piece about a doctor from a developing country who is "giving back" by choosing to practice public health in his/her own hometown. Gets me every damn time.
- •Informative essays by subject matter expertsThis is when a super smart person writes a short article to try and dumb down some complex theory/concept from their field in a way that is comprehensible to the average person with, say, a bachelors degree in the liberal arts (me 🤗) I affectionately label these kinds of pieces as "101" literature for the Everyman, be it on astronomy, neurobiology or epidemiology. They make me feel like maybe I could be a part of that world.
- •In-depth interviews with authors/actors/artists, highbrow or lowbrow (mostly lowbrow)I'm somewhat indiscriminate when it comes to any article featuring a person who is obviously obsessed with their medium, be it visual media or the written word. I love to hear from visionaries, even if they may come across as self-important and maybe even a little crazy. Have read many a feature in @TIME, most recently interviews with J.J. Abrams and Adele. The ideal subject of an in-depth interview, though, is, in my opinion, Guillermo del Toro, hands down. Creative people are fascinating.
- •Personal essays that are truly uniqueFirst person accounts are compelling as hell. I remember reading an essay by a woman who had cleaned houses for the super rich and it was remarkable. The essay has to be from a point of view not usually "honored" by traditional media (e.g. Is a woman of color, low-income, multiethnic). I'm looking for that alternative, underrepresented voice! Warning: I may then subsequently follow the author on Twitter.
- •Recipes with good picturesCaveat: they cannot be impossibly difficult to execute (crazy cooking techniques), feature obscure ingredients (like fennel bulbs??? Haha) or expensive equipment that I don't have (a food processor). I am a sucker for a good food picture, and will often cut out a recipe from a magazine and make it that week if it's appetizing enough. My latest favorites have been from Costco magazine (weird, I know) and Real Simple.