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Some quick links from around the internet for your weekend

The best thing I read this week was an article in Eater by the incredible Helen Rosner about the restaurant chain Olive Garden. That sounds hard to believe but really it has everything- a huge profitable company, a familiar family experience, plates of Italian food, and questions about nostalgia and change. Even if you’ve never eaten at an Olive Garden, you’ve had a similar meal in a chain restaurant somewhere and this article will bring that into focus in the most incredible way. It definitely fed into my writing about how we tell average stories.

As a stupendous bonus I learnt about toasted ravioli, which Olive Garden sells as a starter. If ever you are sat wondering why America is so successful in many ways, quickly google ‘toasted ravioli’ and observe the long list of copycat recipes that allow you to recreate this joy at home. Vegan ravioli is impossible to find in the UK, but in France… there are cheap tins of vegetable ravioli which, with a little prep these could be breaded and deep fried. Be still my (clogged up) heart.

On the other hand, if you’ve ever thought about the dangers of style over substance and to further demonstrate that the Olive Garden menu is a microcosm for the larger world then… lasagna fritta. Deep fried lasagna. It looks like deep fried kitchen sponges arranged in wall of yuck. I haven’t tasted it though, so maybe I would eat my words.

deep fried lasagna olive garden

By far the best YT video I watched this week, and you may well have seen this already, is the Rocket Jump one about how the first Star Wars filmed was saved in the edit. I suspect that this story is true for all of the first three Star Wars films and I know that The Last Jedi could definitely have used some editing magic. I enjoyed it but it was a hot mess storywise. By all means @ ME.

Even if you are not a Star Wars fan, this video is worth your time because it reveals the power and importance of film editing, not a process that gets a lot of attention usually. It also really highlights how juxtaposition, tension and the release of information are all crucial for building a good story- a lesson applicable to movies and writing.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of work and, from an educational perspective, how we might prepare children for the world of work they will enter. A lot of the discussion and research on this topic has been centered around the rise of self-employed workers, the gig economy and portfolio careers. I can see the huge benefits to this type of work and I’m not sure that, even if we wanted to, we could stop the growth of this category of employment, there are too many coinciding factors pushing it forwards.

However, I do think there are some serious downsides to working in this fragmented way, not least the lack of clear career path and how that allows you to feel professionally secure and credible. This New Yorker article by the excellent Nathan Heller investigates some of those issues and is well worth reading.

Along similar futurist lines, what do you think will happen with technology fifty years from now? Will it be mostly a force for good or evil? How will it be used? The Pew Research Center was equally curious and set about asking 1001 Americans their opinions. 39% thought that teleportation will be possible within the next fifty years. Thoughts?

Obviously there are many YT videos about teleportation and if you don’t already know about quantum entanglement then this video is definitely worth watching. It makes my mind wobble.

I’m not particularly a cat person, but I do love these cat drawings by Kamwei Fong. Found via Swiss-Miss.

Available as prints on Etsy.

cat kamwei fong

I used one of Jason Fenmore’s images for my post about ’18 things for 2018′ because I think he captures a very familiar, very photographed subject- the sea- in an interesting way. His crystal clear close ups of waves are my favourite.

Prints available from his site.

jason fenmore waves

Finally, Design Sponge is one of my favourite online visits, and this roundup of their best think pieces in 2017 demonstrates why I like checking their website weekly. They have found a way to combine their love for interior design with activism and thoughtfulness. It’s inspiring and a great role model for blogs and lifestyle sites.

design sponge

Top photo from Pop Sugar.

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