Cool Man and the Sea: A Surfer Who Meditates

Jaimal Yogis is a journalist with a talent for surfing, a great imagination, and some serious Buddhist chops--he's spent time wrestling with his demons at Zen monasteries. In his latest book, The Fear Project, he transforms himself into a barefoot Malcolm Gladwell--explaining the neuroscience of fear as he explores it in the context of his own X Games-worthy life.

We wanted to call him out for checking way too many boxes on the "I'm so cool" list: who could possibly be a surfer-Buddhist-writer? But then we read this excerpt from his first book, Saltwater Buddha (for which, of course, there's a film in the works), and we couldn't help but fall for his honesty and self-deprecating humor. 

This week, he's bringing his considerable gifts to New York City where, as part of the Rubin Museum of Art's "Brainwaves" Series, he'll be in conversation with Dr. Srini Pillay, Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard Medical School and author of Life Unlocked, 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear.


The Girl Scouts Introduce A Cookie With Super-Food Ingredients, and Nattering Nabobs Snipe

The Girl Scouts make an attempt to make a healthier cookie, and everyone jumps all over them. With the start of cookie season the Girl Scouts have introduced a new cookie brand, Mango Cremes, filled with a patented functional food called NutriFusion that contains cranberry, pomegranate, orange, grape, strawberry and shitake mushrooms--a bunch of antioxidants and even an immune system stimulant.

We'll have to track down a Girl Scout (not easy to do in New York City) to get a taste of it, but for a moment we'd like to applause the "girls" (though this idea smacks of troop leaders) for their effort.

Indeed, we'd say enhancing cookies with immune-boosting shitake mushrooms during the height of flu season is a downright public service.

Sure it's still a cookie--this was the Huff Post's smoking gun; and yes the relatively small amount of NutriFusion almost certainly provides more hype than health. But we don't think it's "Bullshit" as Jezebel ranted. it's a good idea, and one that--if they can preserve the taste--should be used by other mass-market cookie mongers--Oreos, are you listening?

So let's just calm down, credit the Girl Scouts for at least trying to sneak some nutrients into their cookies. And, for goodness sake, let's all remember that cookies are supposed to be occasional treats. Get your nutrients with your meals!


Flu Widespread, Leading a Range of Winter’s Ills

The New York Times

It is not your imagination — more people you know are sick this winter, even people who have had flu shots.Google Flu Trends U.S. map, January 10, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. EST--red indicates intense flu activity across the nation!

The country is in the grip of three emerging flu or flulike epidemics: an early start to the annual flu season with an unusually aggressive virus, a surge in a new type of norovirus, and the worst whooping cough outbreak in 60 years. And these are all developing amid the normal winter highs for the many viruses that cause symptoms on the “colds and flu” spectrum.

Read the rest of the story at

See Google Flu Trends, registering "intense" flu activity in most of the U.S.

Is January too late for a flu shot?: See Dr. Merrell's answer

Dr. Merrell's flu survival guide--Part I, Prevention

Dr. Merrell's flu survival guide--Part II, Treatment


One World Futbol, Saving Childhood One Goal at A Time

This new, relatively indestructible soccer ball may save children who are at risk of literally losing their childhood to political violence, natural disasters, poverty or all of the above. The One World Futbol, conceived by entrepreneur Tim Jahnigen and financed and championed by Sting, is made out of the same material as Crocs. 

Mr. Jahnigen learned that children were fashioning soccer balls out of string and garbage (or just kicking around plastic bottles) after real soccer balls donated by relief organizations popped on the makeshift rubble-strewn fields of refugee camps and other war or disaster torn areas.

He vowed to make a soccer ball as tough as the children who wanted to play despite their abominable living conditions. After testing prototypes under extreme conditions--by children living in a refugee camp for former child soldiers and a soccer-ball-loving lion at the Johannesburg zoo--the One World Futbol was ready to go.The One World Futbol was tested for toughness by this lion at the Johannesburg Zoo.

There are still some obstacles--most notably manufacturing and shipping costs--but 33,000 Futbols (carried by all sorts of "fairy godparents" including Doctors Without Boarders docs, flight attendants and a U.S. Army colonel) are already on playing fields in places like Afghanistan, Haiti and Iraq; allowing kids to worry--if only for 90 minutes--about how to make a goal rather than how to survive.



An Open Letter to People Who Take Pictures of Food With Instagram


Dear People Who Take Pictures of Food With Instagram,

Just because the picture looks artsy doesn’t mean you are. I get it. We all went through our creative, experimental stages. There is a period in all of our lives where we think we can probably make money off our pseudo-artistic talent of choice. And now, you think you are a photographer because Instagram does the work for you. Do you have to focus anything? Do you have to worry about lighting? Do you have to think at all? Not really. You are part of a fast growing legion of people that have been duped into believing they are visionaries, auteurs, even.

<3 <3 Gorgeous day for lunch outside <3 <3,” you post to the image of a set of railroad tracks behind a McDonald’s.

Read the rest of Katherine Markovich's piece at