A few conclusions:
- Eating fat doesn’t actually make us fat. It’s the insulin cycle, triggered by eating carbohydrates.
- The easily-digestible carbs like refined flour, soda, and potatoes are the worst offenders.
- For weight-loss, a low-carb diet is a lot more effective than a low-fat,…
Reza Aslan, editor
Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East
W.W. Norton and Company, 2010, 657 pp.
Spreading through American living rooms last winter, as live broadcasts streamed from Cairo’s Tahrir Square, was an overdue recognition that Arabs and others in the Middle East were not so different after all, not inhibited by their culture and religion, for instance, from wanting modern political and economic systems. A young, university educated woman articulated in eloquent English her plans for reform. An older man, a shopkeeper, was ready to die to change a system he knew in his gut was wrong. Those who have spent time in the region could not help but feel relief, not only at the bursting-forth of new momentum for change, but at the shift in perceptions here at home. Then came the pop video “Voice of Freedom” by Mostafa Fahmy, showing families in the streets singing of their hopes for the future. The week Hosni Mubarak left office, “Voice of Freedom” reached 1.5 million YouTube hits.
This many could relate to. Protesters were not shouting for Allah to kill Jews and Westerners. They were demanding decency and dignity. Ordinary people rallied against violent intimidation and structural discrimination, for better jobs and an end to money-grabbing cronyism among elites. In Tunisia and Egypt, in Bahrain, Iran, Libya, Yemen and Syria, movements of various sizes and varying agendas began to form. Each country came into focus as distinct. Once these folks began inhabiting the west’s laptop screens, we grew anxious to get to know them better. We craved — and still crave — more back story.
How timely, then, is the anthology Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East. Edited by Reza Aslan, author of No god but God and Beyond Fundamentalism, the collection came out late last fall just before protests in Tunisia started the season of change. Digital media may have spurred aspiration into action, but it’s the region’s wealth of stories and poems that have animated the spirit behind the recent events. Al Jazeera’s live webcasts were crucial, but so were the words of poet Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi’s “The Will to Live,” words activists chanted in Tunis as they began the wave of uprisings in January:Tunisians recited these words in the 1950s as they fought for independence from France, and this year their children and grandchildren revived them. This poem, and others by al-Shabi, spread with the speed of a mouse click to Alexandria and Cairo, and now provide comfort to the friends and family of unarmed civilians recently killed by the regime in Syria — more than 1,500 as of this writing.
If, one day, a people desires to live, then fate will answer their call.
And their night will then begin to fade, and their chains break and fall.
Charlize Theron for W Magazine’s “Movie Issue” :
Growing up in South Africa, were you always tall and blonde and beautiful?
For the first eight years of my life, I didn’t have front teeth. I was pretty sick as an infant, and antibiotics rotted them. But then I started to take dance classes, and I eventually got some teeth [laughs]. When I was 16, I went to Milan to model.
Did you dream of being an actress?
I wanted to be a ballerina, but I was too tall, and I had too many injuries. What I loved as a ballerina was telling stories, and I could also do that with acting, so I eventually moved to L.A.
You had a star-is-born moment as a result of your first role. For 2 Days in the Valley, you were on a billboard over Sunset Boulevard for a very long time. What was the audition for that movie like?
I remember I was in a catsuit. I’d never auditioned before, and I almost brought a bottle of ketchup and squirted it all over myself for the scene where I got shot. I looked like a maniac. It was a dying scene, so I barged through the door and started crawling on the floor. I think they were too scared not to give me the role.
MORE FROM W MAGAZINE:
Greg Kelly, son of NYC police commissioner Raymond Kelly and co-host of “Good Day New York” on Fox 5, is being investigated for sexually assaulting a woman. Yet the headline that just came up in my news feed was this:
The media needs to call sexual assault what it is. When headlines continually conflate rape and sexual assault with ‘sex’, they contribute to a culture that ignores, and even condones, sexual violence.
UPDATE: Look at this! Good on them.
Apple has allegedly given the official word that Siri will not be coming to older iOS devices, at least not any time soon. I received word yesterday from someone who contacted Apple with a bug report, suggesting an optional build of iOS with Siri included, available as a paid upgrade: