Thirteenth feels momentous, although probably only because three is my favourite number. And also, you know, Friday the thirteenth and witches.  A collection of things loosely related to mental state today:

A photo essay about living with anxiety disorders and one person's take on why there's been such an increase in the developed world over the last few decades. Which might explain why these cuddle pillows have found a market. These glowing portholes seem quite soothing too.

Finding out how many more times you will see your parents before they're gone might increase anxiety for some people, and decrease it, for others. As might knowing this.

Do you cry in public? 

Try this at home! 

Drugs for the body that also affect the mind. 

And nostalgia is good for the soul, apparently. 

AuthorSaya Hashimoto

The theme of which is the space in between heads, and art. Or just heads. Or art.

Like these portraits of famous peoples' heads made of spilled food.

And these portraits (I love portraits!) of peoples' heads...wrapped in rubber bands. 

Head transplants! It's a thing now. And if surgery like that isn't art, I dunno what is. 

In 100,000 years, heads might look like this. 

Art made from rubbish, not usually my favourite. But these Chinese landscapes. Woah.

Maybe I particularly like these surreal self portraits because a 14 year old made them. But that's not the only reason; some of them have a sort of soothing calm. 

pin-up girl.

Not art exactly, but definitely connected to heads; stick on tails that respond to your mood. 

And lastly, more portraits. In pencil. But you'd be forgiven for thinking they were photos. 

AuthorSaya Hashimoto

It's all about words this time, people. Someone said to me the other day that they read more words than ever before but almost never read a novel. I'm probably the same - I devour online articles aplenty and mow my way through swathes of journal articles but I've read less than ten books this year. I used to read several a week, just a couple of years ago. I imagine it's a trend and perhaps not a good one - apparently reading fiction improves empathy

Have you read this poem by Charles Simic? I love poems about food.

10 best internetspeak words (I seem to have started saying things like "lol" in real life which is extremely unfortunate, never start off saying things ironically, is the moral of that tale), 10 worst examples of management speak and a bunch of Swedish words we ought to have in English. Also, changes to English that have happened very slowly.

I've mentioned before I'm pedantic about spelling and grammar and was chastened, and swayed, by Stephen Fry's video. He says he fights his tendency to such pedantry as he fights other vices and I'm trying to do the same. 

And in word games: The world's biggest Scrabble board and enter the name of a film and out pops a thesis, hours of fun. Or type something and have it come out in llama font (yes, font! In the shape! of llamas!)

And finally, a video in which a behavioural economist posits that the language you speak could affect your ability to save money. 


AuthorSaya Hashimoto

You don't love birthdays but I hope I can coax you 'round; you seem amenable to persuasion, particularly when there is convincing anecdotal evidence. Or graphs extrapolated from single data points.

And I know you were brought up to be kinda private so don't worry, I ain't gonna spill any mushy beans here. 

Just, happy birthday Trezhbot; it feels so good to be your girl.

If I thought you were the acquisitive type, I might consider giving you a camera made of roadkill. But perhaps, for someone who hates mornings as much as you, this contraption, along with thismight be more useful for those times when other, less mechanical comforts are unavailable. There are so many caffeine and breakfast related things that might make waking up a little less excruciating for you; if you drove to work, this might be the perfect company. And if I thought you could have nice things and not break them jumping off retaining walls, this might be a fun thing to attach to your phone. You have a man cave (does it really have to be called that? It just occurred to me typing it what a truly awful apellation that is) so you mightn't need one, but if you were thinking of renovating, may I suggest that fitting it out with a personal brewery would be ideal for a beer snob, ahem, I mean connoisseur, like yourself? And as for your other interests, some less socially acceptable than others, amusing accessories abound (you see what I did there?).

But I can't see stuff making you love birthdays; 31 years of presents doesn't seem to have worked. So I have some other ideas, stay tuned.

AuthorSaya Hashimoto
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Since I ought to be frantically designing a study to measure whether or not curriculum change in New Zealand schools has impacted on food literacy and food security, I am (naturally) writing posts instead. 

This episode of bibelots is brought to you by the strange bedfellows food...and economics. Don't worry, the latter of the most pop variety, I promise.

I made these okonomiyaki t'other night. Well actually, I made the mix and left it on the table with a gas burner so my people could eat them hot off the griddle. They were perfect; shrimpy, spring-oniony and delivered a little vinegary heat surprise from the sriracha in the mayonnaise. I served them with tonkatsu sauce as well and upped the amount of shrimp by half again - okonomiyaki, then the sriracha mayonnaise (made with kewpie, natch), tonkatsu sauce, toasted sesame seeds and bonito flakes = major food joy. Making again, soon.

I get my news from my Twitter feed, which means I get a very strange mixture of things indeed. Recently: The Guardian on an economic revolution. Gawker (I know, I know) on an economic apocalypse. And so, why not put your money into cheese? And I mean that literally - that seems to be what they do in Italy (ha! and just as I write I realise that is no shining endorsement since that country is not, shall we say, entirely solvent). 

And lastly...I hate to admit it. I have insisted, flying in the face of all reason as is my wont, that this doozy of a summer shall last until May. But the mornings, they are a-colder (happily, the days are still warm so I only have to suspend disbelief for a few hours a day). Eating this porridge helps keep me cosy, but also makes me feel a little bit like I might be able to face reality. Because if this is what reality tastes like, I miiight be persuaded to accept it.

AuthorSaya Hashimoto