>Mental Flossing: What did you learn last year?


1. What’s the most interesting book or article you read in 2008?

This one is hard to answer, not because I didn’t read any, but because I read so many great articles this year. Unfortunately for my personal productivity, I discovered Google Reader and how to subscribe to RSS feeds in 2008. The good news is that I read more news. The bad news is that I don’t really have time for much else.

I did read Malcolm Gladwell’s new book “Outliers: The Story of Success” and I’m highly recommending it to y’all. In fact, I recommend all of his books (don’t worry, there are only three).

I also went to a cool bookstore this year: Blackwell’s in Oxford. There are three miles of shelving in the basement alone. So much booky-goodness!

2. What’s the best food you tried for the first time in 2008?

Does alcohol count as food? Of course it does! Gosia introduced me to Zubrowska (Bison Grass Vodka) and apple juice (a drink called, Wikipedia just taught me, “tatanka” or “szarlotka” in Polish or a “frisky bison” in UK English) . Pretty freaking tasty. Other than that, nothing is really standing out for me. As far as culinary adventures go… this year was 100 times tamer than last year’s adventures on Wangfujing Street in Beijing.

Beijing China - Fall 2007 (107)

3. What prominent figure’s death upset you the most in 2008?

Who died in 2008? I’m gonna have to look this one up… bloody hell! You can learn everything on Wikipedia! Okay, going through the list now…

Wow. World lost a lot of “prominent” people in 2008. I didn’t really hear about nary a one of them (although I do remember reading about both Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Heath Ledger) so I can’t really say I was upset by any of them. The last time a prominent figure died where I was honestly at all upset was Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in 2007 (and before that, Hunter S. Thompson in 2005).

A sketch by Vonnegut

4. What’s the most unexpected way the economic crisis affected you in 2008?

I think it would have to be how hard it has been for me to find another job. I’ve never had to struggle to even get in the door this much. And let me tell you how it feels, boys and girls. It feels like complete and absolute sweaty donkey balls. I don’t support fighting to find work.

5. What’s a new hobby you picked up in 2008?

You know… I don’t think I have picked up a new one. Unless you want to count “hanging out in English pubs” as a “new” “hobby”.

6. When you look back at 2008 five years from now, what will be the first thing that comes to mind?

That I could love being in London so much, yet be so miserably unhappy most of the time. It is the weirdest thing.

7. What’s your “Week-After-Christmas Resolution” (something you vow to start doing next Friday, but can give up on January 1st)?

On Friday, 26 December, I vow to start emailing/writing to at least one person each day.

Original Comments:

Holly wrote (on 20/12/08):
That I could love being in London so much, yet be so miserably unhappy most of the time.
— It’s strange, that is also how I felt. I loved the city so much, but my work situation was frequently difficult.

Carey wrote (on 21/12/08):
I like the new blog colours.
and I relate to number 6.

Jodi-Wan Kenobi wrote (on 21/12/08):
I’m glad you like it, Carebear. I thought about moving the blog over to either Blogger or WordPress so I can have my own url… but then thought no one but you, Hoolicia and my moms reads the damned thing anyway. And you know… we should probably leave it like that. 😉 So I just updated the colours so I could feel like I had a new blog.

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