Here is the best of the internet for the last month. Catch up on all the great and good right here.
- Fouch-o-matic Off Grid by Nick and Esther Emery is my new favourite thing.
My amazing friend Esther is living off the grid with her family in a yurt in the middle of nowhere, and her husband is building a house out of the wood they have chopped down on the land. How do they create electricity? How does one go about building your own house? How do children cope in that remote environment? All these questions are answered in the series.
I keep telling Esther that her true audience is not her fellow ‘off-gridders’ but middle class liberals like me who feel like they should be less conventional, but are rooted in suburbia and instead live vicariously through Esther in the comfort of our centrally-heated homes. Seriously, though – this series is awesome., and love watching how she does it.
This video is of a traditional frame raising – watch a house frame being constructed before your eyes. I like watching it with the boy, explaining how a house gets built.
Do yourself a favour and subscribe to Nick and Esther’s channel.
- This is the DISCOVERY OF THE DECADE: not one, but TWO Gilmore Girls interviews for the 15th anniversary celebration. Lauren Graham (Lorelei) and Amy Sherman-Palladino (creator) really stand out as witty and entertaining commentators – it’s sheer pleasure to hear their ‘behind the scenes’ reflections.
One of the things that struck me from the interview was the secret to the ‘real life’ feel of the drama. Amy Sherman-Palladino says that “The way we wrote the story was ‘low stakes’…We kept the small big, and the big small.” This heightens the emotional impact of the small conflicts – because that mirrors real life – the small things that create the drama of our lives.
Best response to a question from the audience:
Q: “To Amy, writer of the show – how did you manage to keep the individual characters’ voices individual and yet combine them in relationship?”
A: “How did I do it? Um… I’m a writer. That’s what I do. I can’t do brain surgery, but I do know how to write.”
(Also – who knew that Danny Strong, aka Doyle, was one of the masterminds/creators behind the new hit show Empire? Awesome-ness.)
- Select cast interview – 15 year reunion
- Full cast interview ATX – full 15 year reunion Q and A
Also on video:
- The Syrian Refugee Crisis explained simply with an animation Lots of myth busting, and very helpful.
- The basic difference between cats and dogs (This made me smile)
- Sally Burch – Presentation on why the NHS’ advice to ME patients is harming them – this is so important – a must-view for all medical professionals
- Interview with lead singer about life with M.E. Stuart Murdoch, based in Glasgow and lead singer and founding member of popular Indie band Belle and Sebastian talks openly about his experiences with M.E. This is a wonderfully insightful and touching interview.
Best articles and blog posts
On M.E. / CFS
“The lactate levels, this time were higher, Vink said, than most professional athletes would ever reach during their most strenuous exercise. That includes marathoners which is why Vink’s demonstration demonstrates how walking with ME/CFS could be harder than a healthy person doing a marathon. According to Vink his blood lactate levels were higher than those seen in marathoners.”
This is a fascinating insight into the biochemical mechanisms of a body with severe ME/CFS (note he was also made worse by Graded Exercise Therapy)
- How walking to the toilet can be more physically strenuous than running a marathon (a doctor investigates his own M.E.)
- Post-Ebola Virus Disease Syndrome – many people believe there is good evidence for M.E. being a post-viral syndrome. Here three post viral syndromes are compared – Post Ebola virus, Infectious Mononucleosis (Glandular fever) and giardia. My M.E. was triggered by a bad bout of Glandular Fever, so it was fascinating to read that severe cases of GF might be alleviated by antivirals. Might this prevent future M.E. cases?
Politics and disability
- Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of UK’s Labour Party – Here are 24 things that he believes
- How the government tries to deny the existence of sickness (on benefits and rebranding – New Statesman)
- ‘Literally worse than doing nothing’ – How the DWP’s ‘back to work’ programme is making mental health problems worse, not better (Independent)
- Coroner rules that being found ‘fit to work’ was cause of man’s suicide and warns DWP that action needs to be taken (The Guardian)
- It’s not just those suffering from mental illness who are made worse by the government’s ‘fit to work’ assessments – MS Sufferers’ health damaged by fit to work tests, survey finds (The Guardian)
- Sign a petition to urgnently investigate the effects of sanctions – please spread this far and wide
Best Christian articles:
- Sarah Bessey – The sanitised stories we tell
- Seth Haines – What is inner sobriety?
- Abby Norman at the Mudroom – Hope is too heavy sometimes
- Hannah Mudge at Christian Today (I may or may not be featured in the story…!) – The Christian Storytelling Boom – Vulnerability, openness and emotional burnout
- Let books be books – not girls versus boys books, says author of Chocolat, Joanne Harris (The Guardian)
- Coolest vase ever. Made entirely of pencils, a snip at £5000.
- Change yourself into a Peanut Character. SO much fun. (This is mine)
My writing in other places (September 2015):
- All the Things I Cannot Speak (for She Loves), “We want to focus on our achievements rather than our powerlessness. But this is not the way of the kingdom, and the cloud of witnesses tell us we are not alone.”
- The Day I Went to a Faith Healer (Mudroom), “We cannot talk about miraculous healing without acknowledging the cloak of mystery around it. God is not a slick and sharp faith-healer who promises you health if only you give enough.”
- Like Me, Like Me, Like Me – Confessions of a social media addict (For Seth Haines) “They say that 5-10% of people can’t control their social media usage. Why is it so addictive?”
- Why Harvest Festival Should Be a Lament, not a Celebration (for Premier Christianity) “We cannot ignore the fact that our communal sin is the cause of poverty, and still claim our Festival as an act of worship.”
On the blog:
- When the Journey is Too Much for You. “Sometimes even the journey towards meeting God is too much for us…We need space, quiet, room to breathe, safety. We need to receive, because we have nothing left to give.”
- Blackberries in Eden “We were not meant to be productive robots, endlessly working, endlessly churning out the same things.”
Plus, the ever-popular God and Suffering stories restarted for another season – check them out if you haven’t already.
Over to you:
- What were the best blog posts and videos you spotted in September?
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