Links I Love: Volume 6

This week I bring you links on how successful Lagos Danfo drivers actually are; why some women choose to not have children, how the concept of “soulmate” has been (re)invented; how and if yoga and Islam and Christianity can work together; sometimes the things we believe are right aren’t and they are wrong to other people; why happy dreams are terrible. There’s an article on what your Hogwarts house says about you (as explained by science); why Sweden is the best place to live in the world; the evolution of alternative medicine; the story of an all-female force during WWII and some other interesting articles. Enjoy!

The Little-Known Story of the Night Witches, an All-Female Force in WWII

From the start of the war, Colonel Marina Raskova, a Soviet pilot who was known as the “Russian Amelia Earhart,” began receiving letters from women across Russia wanting to join the war effort in any way they could. Many women served support roles at the time, but it was difficult to make it to the front. Raskova lobbied to finds ways for women to take a more active role in the war, and was highly successful in her efforts, leading to women being eligible for the draft and even convincing the military to establish all-female units

I Hate My Body
I hate that the Internet tells me to accept myself as I am, to be proud of my body and the story it tells. I run my hands over my midsection, remembering the smooth, taut skin of my teens and early twenties. Instead of shrugging and saying “So what? I’ve got a muffin top and I still look damn good,” I remember the size eight jeans shoved in the back of my closet. I don’t know why I don’t throw those jeans out or give them to someone who can wear them. I try to make them fit over my size 12 ass periodically, which becomes an exercise in frustration and humiliation that makes me hate my body even more.

On Lady Boners: 7 Things I Learned About Sex From the “Female Viagra” Debates
And they have no problem discussing it in meetings broadcast to the entire world and recorded in government documents for time immemorial. They say things like “lover” and “sexually generous” and it’s kind of gross but also I think they’re on to something. They pretty much invented recreational sex, after all. So next time you find yourself in an elevator with your supervisor turn around and thank her for the invention of birth control and ask if she’s got any tips to spare. She’ll either fire you or slip you some tantric sex beads from her last Sensual Sweatlodge retreat.

Never Put Work Before Life
Swedes have a saying, which translates roughly as: “There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing.” So at the first sign of spring, usually around April, Swedes wrap up and get outside. “The weather can be quiet erratic,” admits Fischer, “but instead of going back inside when it’s cold, you go and get another jumper.” Forslin agrees: “As soon as the sun appears and it gets over 5°C, we run outside. Even if it’s freezing. We have lots of public fire-pits and it’s great to go cross-country skiing or hiking and then barbecue or have a picnic somewhere.”

The Evolution of Alternative Medicine
It’s hard to talk about integrative health without using abstract terms like wellnessvitality, and healing. Most traditional medicine systems are built around these ideas. They start with the assumption that there’s some kind of life force that wards off disease. Then they treat specific illnesses by balancing elements or unblocking energy flow—whatever it takes to get the body back to its natural state of equilibrium.
Modern medicine doesn’t have theories like this. In fact, it was the lack of these philosophies that set physicians apart from the homeopaths and hydropaths who once crowded the American marketplace. Starting around the turn of the 20th century, doctors learned how bacteria and viruses could transmit illness. They studied the systems of the body and all the different ways they could go wrong

What Psychologists Can Learn About a Person Who Identifies as a Slytherin 
Beyond delighting or devastating the Harry Potter superfans of the world, though, the study also adds new support to a not-so-new idea: that the connections a person feels to a fictional group or character may shape them in ways that stretch beyond the page

What I Learned About Love While Shitting In A Trash Can
That even if you’re with the “right” person, it won’t always feel easy. That if the relationship is difficult in any way, it doesn’t mean you’re not a good match. No doubt there are wrong matches. There are people who shouldn’t be together, couples who only exacerbate each other’s narcissistic and destructive tendencies

17 Science Facts That Will Make You Question Everything
Firenados are fairly self-explanatory and completely terrifying. They are tornadoes that are full of raging hot flames. They occur during wildfires, which, due to all that rising hot air, create their own massive winds, which can pull more oxygen into the fire, making them stronger as they pull the flames high into the sky.

Having A Title Is Too Mainstream
It’s the happy dreams I hate.
I hate the light and joy I feel, sucked into this big, big lie. It’s like living a double life. One where you’re all great and your life is all figured out. One where you’re in love and your smile is always beautiful, even with your crooked and yellowed teeth. One where the people who hurt you never did and they still love you just as much as the day they started loving you. One where he holds you close and then from clap, you enter dance, if you know what i mean.
One where you’re not sick. One where you’ve food to eat (which may double as a nightmare).
One where you have the dream job you always wanted. See the pun?

Why Women Choose Not To Have Children
“People who want children are all alike,” writes editor Meghan Daum in the book’s introduction, with apologies to Tolstoy. “People who don’t want children don’t want them in their own way.”
The concept of the innate biological desire to have a baby is a familiar one, repeated throughout books and television shows and emotional anecdotes about how friends and family members were suddenly gripped with a burning desire to get pregnant. But for women who’ve never felt such an urge, and who keep waiting for it to happen without ever experiencing any such stirrings, the notion can be alienating. “I finally said to myself, I don’t really want to have a baby, I want to want to have a baby

The (Re-)Invention of the Soul Mate
Until quite recently, marriage was simply about “creating conditions that made it possible to survive and reproduce.” It was, Ansari puts it, in a moment of Klinenberg-inflected seriousness, “too vital an economic and political institution to be entered into solely on the basis of something as irrational as love.”

Your Right is My Wrong
Recently, I decided to keep my beard. When people meet me for the first time, their eyes tend to linger on my face followed by a gaping of their lips. Most would ask and try to pretend that everything’s normal. Some are brave enough to ask if I’ve joined a religious cult that requires me to keep a beard. These questions and reactions annoy me.

How far can you stretch: Christianity, Islam and Yoga
Yoga also generates headlines in countries far from India, both because of its widespread appeal and the mixed feelings (to put it mildly) that it engenders among followers of the world’s monotheistic faiths.

Lagos Danfo: Driving Towards Success
However, there is a certain element of performance to their work. Cast as the villains of the city, blamed for everything from traffic jams to rubbish on our streets, it’s easy to set them apart from the “common citizen,” but scratch beneath the surface and it is not so hard to see that they are just like everyone else. Many of them did not think they would end up as bus conductor or drivers, but as some of them have said, life happens.


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