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The Weekend Links

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"¢ From Jan, a list of the Craziest Shoes from Around the World. The dog ones are by far the creepiest, although they definitely have some competition in this collection.

Beer myths debunked, from Paul. Apparently untrue: my belief that drinking a pint of Guinness is equivalent to eating a loaf of bread. Although my stomach still kinda stands by that one.

"¢ As exam season approaches, consider this humble procrastination tool from Amanda, who sends us a great link to a site full of fun games with wonderfully soothing music.

"¢ A story about The Wind, and how he overcame his loneliness.

"¢ Reader Lexi has a blog full of interesting and provocative photography. To start, some beautiful pictures of people serenely floating. Being stuck in an office as summer approaches, these definitely make me wistful for the beach.

"¢ Rain is in the forecast for us this weekend. Here's a fun way to spend an afternoon indoors: how to dye yarn with Kool Aid.

"¢ From the AV Club, 15 things Kurt Vonnegut said better than anyone else. So it goes.

"¢ Ah, it's (finally) time for the NFL draft! As I spend 15 hours in front of the TV watching the drama unfold, read Tuesday Morning Quarterback's mocking of all the mock-drafts that lead up to this event. Still in the spirit? Read about the biggest draft busts here...

...then take our 'Name the Last 20 #1 Picks' quiz.

"¢ My friend Andrea sent this to me just as I was compiling this list, and I felt I should include it, mostly to ask you all ... can anyone tell me exactly what it is?

"¢ The 2008 Fortune 500 was announced this week. Think you can guess the top ten American corporations? Here's a little quiz.

"¢ New favorite person Angie has once again sent in a plethora of great links (and I encourage all of you to follow her example!) We'll start with this one: Where's Waldo on Google Earth? Everyone's favorite disappearing wanderer has a new home ... somewhere in Canada!

"¢ Recession? What recession? Pirates are finding business to be booming.

"¢ Fantastic array of staged photos that play on the "death by chocolate" concept, including death by oreoes, lifesavers, etc. May not be for the sensitive.

"¢ Speaking of fantastic color, here's a link to the beautiful and soothing Sony Bravia commercials that aired in the UK. I would love love love to be there for the next one they film. Anyone have any leads?

Kiwi animation video that will exploit the gambit of your emotions from contentment to sadness at seeing the little guy truly get what he wants.

"¢ Thanks to my friend Reena who, in response to last week's video on a similar subject, sends me this jewel of another talented youngster playing music in a fun way.

"¢ Peruse pictures from an earlier time, with a website devoted to vintage Sears, Wards, JC Penny and other retailers' Christmas catalogs, which, like all things old (except people), creeps me out just a little.

Thanks once again to everyone who sent in such great links this week ... I feel like the ball is definitely rolling on this. Don't stop! Clean out your bookmarks and send them my way:

[Last Weekend's Links]

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images
6 Radiant Facts About Irène Joliot-Curie
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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Though her accomplishments are often overshadowed by those of her parents, the elder daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie was a brilliant researcher in her own right.


A black and white photo of Irene and Marie Curie in the laboratory in 1925.
Irène and Marie in the laboratory, 1925.
Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 4.0

Irène’s birth in Paris in 1897 launched what would become a world-changing scientific dynasty. A restless Marie rejoined her loving husband in the laboratory shortly after the baby’s arrival. Over the next 10 years, the Curies discovered radium and polonium, founded the science of radioactivity, welcomed a second daughter, Eve, and won a Nobel Prize in Physics. The Curies expected their daughters to excel in their education and their work. And excel they did; by 1925, Irène had a doctorate in chemistry and was working in her mother’s laboratory.


Like her mother, Irène fell in love in the lab—both with her work and with another scientist. Frédéric Joliot joined the Curie team as an assistant. He and Irène quickly bonded over shared interests in sports, the arts, and human rights. The two began collaborating on research and soon married, equitably combining their names and signing their work Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie.


Black and white photo of Irène and Fréderic Joliot-Curie working side by side in their laboratory.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Their passion for exploration drove them ever onward into exciting new territory. A decade of experimentation yielded advances in several disciplines. They learned how the thyroid gland absorbs radioiodine and how the body metabolizes radioactive phosphates. They found ways to coax radioactive isotopes from ordinarily non-radioactive materials—a discovery that would eventually enable both nuclear power and atomic weaponry, and one that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.


The humanist principles that initially drew Irène and Frédéric together only deepened as they grew older. Both were proud members of the Socialist Party and the Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes (Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals). They took great pains to keep atomic research out of Nazi hands, sealing and hiding their research as Germany occupied their country, Irène also served as undersecretary of state for scientific research of the Popular Front government.


Irène eventually scaled back her time in the lab to raise her children Hélène and Pierre. But she never slowed down, nor did she stop fighting for equality and freedom for all. Especially active in women’s rights groups, she became a member of the Comité National de l'Union des Femmes Françaises and the World Peace Council.


Irène’s extraordinary life was a mirror of her mother’s. Tragically, her death was, too. Years of watching radiation poisoning and cancer taking their toll on Marie never dissuaded Irène from her work. In 1956, dying of leukemia, she entered the Curie Hospital, where she followed her mother’s luminous footsteps into the great beyond.

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Live Smarter
You Can Now Order Food Through Facebook
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After a bit of controversy over its way of aggregating news feeds and some questionable content censoring policies, it’s nice to have Facebook roll out a feature everyone can agree on: allowing you to order food without leaving the social media site.

According to a press release, Facebook says that the company decided to begin offering food delivery options after realizing that many of its users come to the social media hub to rate and discuss local eateries. Rather than hop from Facebook to the restaurant or a delivery service, you’ll be able to stay within the app and select from a menu of food choices. Just click “Order Food” from the Explore menu on a desktop interface or under the “More” option on Android or iOS devices. There, you’ll be presented with options that will accept takeout or delivery orders, as well as businesses participating with services like or EatStreet.

If you need to sign up and create an account with or Jimmy John’s, for example, you can do that without leaving Facebook. The feature is expected to be available nationally, effective immediately.

[h/t Forbes]


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