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Very Good Things

Recommendations on podcasts, movies, TV, books, recipes, restaurants, technology, travel, shopping and more. Things that make life more interesting or satisfying.

Month

February 2017

Josh Richards Plans To Live On Mars By 2027 – Podcast

This was a fascinating episode (originally broadcast last year) of the Conversations with Richard Fidler podcast. Richard speaks with Josh Richards, a stand-up comedian and official astronaut candidate with the Mars One project, which is a privately backed consortium that plans to populate Mars with humans. He was chosen from 200,000 initial applicants and is now one of the remaining Mars 100 from which two women and two men will be chosen. The final four then embark on training for a decade. This differs from other space expeditions in that the astronauts won’t be coming back to earth. It’s eery, exciting and no longer science fiction. Listen or subscribe to the podcast with the ABC Radio app, via iTunes or RSS. Another memorable episode of this podcast was the interview with Richard Flanagan on Syria’s Great Exodus.

Crisp Tofu Cooked In Tomato-Pepper Sauce Recipe

This tofu recipe from Luke Nguyen gets a good kick from the pepper though you can dial up the chilli component if you like it extra spicy. Serve with steamed rice (and steamed greens if you’re feeling healthy). It takes around 30 minutes from start to finish and serves 4. You will need:

  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) silken tofu, drained and cut into 3 cm (1¼ inch) cubes
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced red Asian shallots
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli, finely sliced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ tspsea salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), cut into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 coriander (cilantro) sprigs, to garnish

View the full recipe.

Call Your Girlfriend Podcast – Drop The Ball Episode

As a long time fan of the Call Your Girlfriend podcast hosted by Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow (see previous post, albeit much has changed in the political landscape since then), I found the latest episode to be a great one. The Cheeto Watch segment was amusing/alarming (“you elect a reality TV personality, you’re going to get a reality TV presidency”) but it was the interview with Tiffany Dufu who’s life’s work is in advancing women and girls that I took the most from. She talks about her new book Drop The Ball, in which she “urges women to embrace imperfection, to expect less of themselves and more from others—only then can they focus on what they truly care about, devote the necessary energy to achieving their real goals, and create the type of rich, rewarding life we all desire.” Listen to the episode (interview starts at 20:20 in). Side note… Ann Friedman’s weekly newsletter is a worthwhile subscription.

In The Dark – A Unique True Crime Podcast

In the Dark is a 9-part true crime podcast unique in its approach in that after 27 years of mystery surrounding the abduction of Jacob Wetterling, the case was solved just a week before the podcast was due to launch (late last year). It does not detract from the quality or impactfulness in any way, however. Reporter Madeleine Baran carries on to reveal how law enforcement mishandled one of the most notorious child abductions in the USA and how those failures fuelled national anxiety about stranger danger, led to the nation’s sex-offender registries and raised questions about crime-solving effectiveness and accountability. Warning: it is an intense listen and very disturbing in parts. Download or listen or watch the trailer.

Banaban Coconut Oil Sugar Body Scrub – Effective, Natural And Economical

This is hands down the best body scrub I’ve ever used. It contains only natural ingredients, turns your skin silky smooth and it’s only $12 (AUD). There’s not much in the beauty market that can claim to be natural, effective and cheap – many products that purport to do something, do little or nothing and can often command a high price tag. Banaban also make a Tropical Spice version of this scrub with cinnamon, cloves and ginger. You could probably make a scrub at home for less but let’s be honest, you’re not going to. If you aren’t into scrubs, gift it to someone that is – they will thank you, I promise. Find a stockist or buy online.

Pocket App – Save Articles And Videos To View Later

The next time you find an article, video or link you want to read or watch later, save it to Pocket. It’ll sync across your phone, tablet, and computer so you can come back to it whenever and wherever you’d like, even when you’re offline. It lets you read what you save in a distraction free layout, i.e. no annoying ads, and if you’re too lazy to read the article you can also convert it from text to speech. There’s an option to subscribe to the Pocket Hits curated newsletter (you can choose how often you receive these emails) that showcase the very best stories in Pocket. I’ve found some interesting and worthwhile reads through this. Plus, the Pocket app is free. Find out how it works and how you get it.

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