I had a small bbq in my backyard last night. Having a backyard in NYC is quite rare, and since I have one, it almost seems like my duty to share it with my friends. It’s pretty magical back there. About 50 feet behind my camera is a peach tree. Tasty this time of year.

I got a kettlebell. Multiple friends and other sources have been praising the benefits. So I tried it last week at the gym. It hurt so good. But then, reading up on it, this sentence clinched the deal for me:

The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work.

I bought it from here, because they were the ones with the simplest, most classic design. It really is pretty.

A teenager who lost her fingers to septicaemia as a toddler has been able to brush her teeth for the first time – after she was fitted with bionic fingers. Chloe, from Swindon, Wiltshire, contracted streptococcal septicaemia after being struck down with chicken pox aged three-and-a-half.

It’s, of course, wonderful to see medicine and technology progress like this. Fortunately, the children of today, as long as they are vaccinated for chickenpox, won’t ever have to worry about amputations secondary to chickenpox complications. We’ve essentially eliminated that risk.

Also, a massive study published just a few days ago, analyzed over 1,000 vaccine studies to determine that immunizations are extraordinarily safe and there is absolutely no link at all between the MMR vaccine and autism.

“Hurricanes are the latest discovery of radio stations and they are being taken up in a big way. To me, Nature is continuously absorbing– that is, she is a twenty-four-hour proposition, fifty-two weeks of the year– but to radio people, Nature is an oddity tinged with malevolence and worthy of note only in her more violent moments. The radio either lets Nature alone or gives her the full treatment, as it did at the approach of the hurricane called Edna. The idea, of course, is that the radio shall perform a public service by warning people of a storm that might prove fatal; and this the radio certainly does. But another effect of the radio is to work people up to an incredible state of alarm many hours in advance of the blow, while they are still fanned by the mildest zephyrs. One of the victims of Hurricane Edna was a civil-defense worker whose heart failed him long before the wind threatened him in the least." 

– E.B. White, from the essay The Eye of Edna, September 15, 1954 from the book Essays of E.B. White, one of my favorite books I’ve read in many years. Photo by Jill Krementz of White in his writing space in Allen Cove, Maine.