April 12, 2016 | beesleya
Learn about your food - where it comes from, how it's made, and the history of how and why we started to eat what we eat - with some of these informative documentaries.
This film shows how human desires are an essential, intricate part of natural history by exploring the natural history of four plants -the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato - and the corresponding human desires - sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control. This two-hour documentary begins in Michael Pollan's garden, and roams the world, from the fields of Iowa to the apple forests of Kazakhstan, from a medical marijuana hot house to the tulip markets of Amsterdam.
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of food journalist Pollan's thesis. Humans used to know how to eat well, he argues, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." Indeed, plain old eating is being replaced by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Pollan's advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food."
Discusses the enduring appeal of soul food, and presents an overview of its history, covering its roots in Western Africa, its incarnation in the American South, and the role it plays in the health crisis in the African American community.
April 5, 2016 | madame librarian
Getting enough sleep helps you stay healthy and alert. Many older people don’t sleep well, but getting older doesn’t mean you have to feel tired all the time. There are many things you can do to help you sleep better:
- Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
- Develop a bedtime routine. Take time to relax before bedtime each night.
- Exercise at regular times each day but not within 3 hours of your bedtime.
Neuroscientist Penny Lewis explores the latest research into the nighttime brain to understand the real benefits of sleep, showing how, while our body rests, the brain practices tasks it learned during the day, replays traumatic events to mollify them, and forges connections between distant concepts.
Meditation can be described as the exercise of quieting the mind, and The Little Sleep Meditation is an innovative compilation of short, guided meditations aimed at relaxing and soothing the listener into a complete state of calmness to aid a good night's sleep. It is suited to both beginners and advanced meditators and features music by Llewellyn from his bestselling album Sleep Gold. Philip Permutt, acclaimed healer, author, and meditation expert, also includes detailed sleeve notes about working with the sleep meditations on the CD.
March 5, 2016 | madame librarian
This month's selections include a variety of formats and topics, fiction and non-fiction.
A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante's inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists.
Dennis Mira just had two unpleasant surprises. First he learned that his cousin Edward was secretly meeting with a real estate agent about their late grandfather's magnificent West Village brownstone, despite the promise they both made to keep it in the family. Then, when he went to the house to confront Edward about it, he got a blunt object to the back of the head. Luckily Dennis is married to Charlotte Mira, the NYPSD's top profiler and a good friend of Lieutenant Eve Dallas. When the two arrive on the scene, he explains that the last thing he saw was Edward in a chair, bruised and bloody. When he came to, his cousin was gone. With the mess cleaned up and the security disks removed, there's nothing left behind but a few traces for forensics to analyze. As a former lawyer, judge, and senator, Edward Mira mingled with the elite and crossed paths with criminals, making enemies on a regular basis. Like so many politicians, he also made some very close friends behind closed-- and locked-- doors. But a badge and a billionaire husband can get you into places others can't go, and Eve intends to shine some light on the dirty deals and dark motives behind the disappearance of a powerful man, the family discord over a multimillion-dollar piece of real estate . . . and a new case that no one saw coming.
Hailed as "the best-read person in America" (The Paris Review) and "the best book critic in America" (The New York Observer), Michael Dirda's latest volume collects fifty of his witty and wide-ranging reflections on literary journalism, book collecting, and the writers he loves. As fans of his earlier books will expect, there are annotated lists galore -- and a revealing peek at the titles on Michael's nightstand. Funny and erudite, occasionally poignant or angry, Browsings is a celebration of the reading life.