Survival Tips | MbShhhhhhhhh | It’s What’s for Dinner

MARCH 19, 2019  /   SUBSCRIBE



“Stress can be constructive or destructive. It can encourage or discourage, move us along or stop us dead in our tracks, and make life meaningful or seemingly meaningless. Stress can inspire you to operate successfully and perform at your maximum efficiency in a survival situation. It can also cause you to panic and forget all your training. Your key to survival is your ability to manage the inevitable stresses you will encounter. The person that survives is one who works with his stresses instead of letting his stresses work on him.”

“People under stress have a potential to panic if they are not well-trained and not prepared psychologically to face whatever the circumstances may be. While you often cannot control the survival circumstances in which you find yourself, it is within your ability to control your response to those circumstances. Learning stress management techniques can significantly enhance your capability to remain calm and focused as you work to keep yourself and others alive. A few good techniques to develop include relaxation skills, time management skills, assertiveness skills, and cognitive restructuring skills (the ability to control how you view a situation). Remember, “the will to survive” can also be considered “the refusal to give up.””

– Survival, Army Field Manual 3-05.70




I’m Zuzana, Won’t You Vote For Me: In the land-locked, central European country of Slovakia, a 45-year-old woman is emerging from virtual obscurity to become the front-running presidential candidate. Zuzana Caputova, a progressive lawyer who has never run for public office, believes voters want a return to decency. She refuses to engage in the stridency and crudeness frequently seen as a mark of authenticity. She leads in the polls despite supporting positions long considered politically poisonous, including gay rights. If she becomes the first woman leader of this deeply conservative country of 5.4 million, it will have been against all odds and conventional political wisdom. The morning after a particularly contentious debate with an opponent, Caputova said: “Even though people might not agree with all my opinions, they can build a bridge of trust to me because I act with civility… I don’t fight the person, but only the actions of the person.”

Caputova is raising the hopes of opposition parties across the region who believe a backlash against populists may be afoot. In Romania as in Slovakia, huge crowds have taken to the streets in the past year to show their frustrations with governments led by self-styled populists and ethnic nationalists. In Poland, with national elections scheduled for October, a fierce battle is raging over the country’s future; last year voters chose opposition politicians in most local elections.

In Slovakia, the murder of a young journalist investigating government corruption led to the largest protests in decades. But even before the murder many Slovaks were questioning the country’s direction, fearing their democracy could be at risk. Caputova said the murders, and the government’s reaction, inspired her to enter the presidential race. “People are feeling frustrated and disappointed and are yearning for change. Some candidates have chosen to exploit this fear. But for me… hatred and fear is destructive.”




MbShhhhhhhhh: American officials have learned from classified intelligence assessments and anonymous Saudi insiders that Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman authorized a secret campaign to silence dissenters over a year before the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The campaign included surveillance, kidnapping, detention and torture of Saudi citizens. Some operations involved forcibly repatriating Saudis from other Arab countries, and detaining and abusing prisoners in palaces belonging to the crown prince and his father, King Salman. At least some of the clandestine missions were carried out by members of the same team that killed and dismembered the dissident Washington Post journalist last October in Istanbul. After Khashoggi’s murder Saudi officials acknowledged the Saudi intelligence service had a standing order to bring dissidents home, but they did not admit a specific team had been built to do it, or that MBS had ordered it. (NYT)

I’m A Fun And Mentally Young Guy!: Results from a six year study by the National University of Singapore found that a unique antioxidant present in mushrooms could have a protective effect on aging brains. While not suggesting they’d proved a direct link between the fungi and brain function, researchers did say the more mushrooms people in their 60s and over ate, the better they performed in tests of thinking and processing. Only nine out of 100 people who ate more than two portions of mushrooms a week were diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), compared with 19 out of 100 among those who ate fewer than one portion. MCI can affect people’s memory, make them forgetful, and cause problems with language, attention and locating objects in spaces; it is not as serious as dementia.

Mushrooms are one of the richest dietary sources of ergothioneine – an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which humans are unable to make on their own. They also contain vitamin D, selenium and spermidine, which protect neurons from damage. The study’s lead author says that while it seems a commonly available single ingredient could have dramatic effect on cognitive decline, it is really a combination of dietary factors — tea, green leafy vegetables, nuts and fish, along with an avoidance of sugar and salt—that is most beneficial. (BBC)

Macron’s Literal Reunion Tour: French president Emmanuel Macron’s two month listening tour of more than 10,000 sessions held across France officially ended Friday. The “national conversation” was a lofty plan designed to restore civic trust in his embattled presidency and the French Republic itself. The debates drew sizable crowds, and most people seemed to take the events seriously. Regional officials recorded more than 1.5 million individual contributions in more than 16,000 booklets of complaints. A polling institute will assist the government to analyze the data within two weeks; the data will be sorted thematically and sent to a board of five government-appointed examiners, with results expected in mid-April. Just what kind of policy changes will result is unknown, but at least the endeavor appeared to change the perception of Macron as someone very distant to someone more engaged. Giving people the opportunity to make their concerns known is working to an extent, as the number of people joining the yellow vest protests has fallen. The violence hasn’t yet abated however. On Saturday about 10,000 people took part in a rampant protest in Paris, smashing and looting shops and setting fires to buildings. (WaPo, WSJ)




Fake Plastic Recycling: It took decades to teach Americans to recycle. It was working pretty well until January 2018, when China stopped buying recyclable material collected in the US because too much other trash was mixed in. After that Thailand and India started accepting more imported scrap, but now with new restrictions that’s tapering off as well. The turmoil in the global scrap markets began affecting American communities last year, and it’s getting worse. Recycling costs have increased so much California’s treasurer says “We’re in a crisis moment in the recycling movement right now.” Hundreds of US towns and cities have canceled recycling programs, limited the types of material they accept, or agreed to huge price increases. Others like Philadelphia, PA and Sunrise, FL are burning their recycling material in facilities that convert waste into energy. Still others are simply taking recyclables to the landfill along with all the other trash. Environmental groups have long said the answer lies in limiting waste at its source, including banning plastic bags and straws. (NYT) Additional song: Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead and a cover by Scala & Kolacny Brothers.





Chickpeas. It’s What’s for Dinner: There’s one type of migration all political ideologies can support—food/flavor migration. Not so long ago sushi seemed intolerably foreign to most Americans. Then came hummus, chipotles, Kaali Daal, and almost before you know it everybody’s cooking up some Pad Thai.

Once hummus became a widely enjoyed grocery-store staple, people at every level of the American food industry saw opportunity in the legume’s versatility. In the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean, chickpeas have been a common ingredient in everyday cooking for thousands of years. “The reason chickpea is grown and consumed so heavily in those areas is because of its nutritional value,” says the head of the chickpea lab at the University of California at Davis. That’s right. There’s a chickpea lab.

Like Greek yogurt, another foreign but familiar food, the chickpea’s high protein—15 grams a cup when cooked—is seen as evidence of its superior food value in a diet culture obsessed with protein. But the spike in chickpea interest in the US has been so profound that it’s even reflected in internet-search data: monthly Google inquiries have more than tripled since January 2011, when hummus was already commonplace among more adventurous eaters. In a country increasingly wary of meat, more open than ever to non-Western ingredients, and anxious about climate change, the chickpea’s expanding role in the American diet is less a trend story than a logical inevitability. (Atlantic) Additional song: Hoe-down from “Rodeo” by Aaron Copland. The iconic song from the Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner commercial. The song is an American classic.

Can We Survive Our Digital Disasters That Are a Click Away

Please consider making a donation to Daily Pnut, an independently operated and bootstrapped publication. Many thanks to everyone who already supports us!


Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: