23 May

Links for a Sunday Morning

Debunking the Myth of the Job-Stealing Immigrant – NY Times

Immigrants increase the size of the overall population, which means they increase the size of the economy. Logically, if immigrants were “stealing” jobs, so would every young person leaving school and entering the job market; countries should become poorer as they get larger. In reality, of course, the opposite happens.

The Economics of Tidying Up – The Atlantic

Status quo bias means that most of your stuff stays because you can’t think of a good reason to get rid of it. Kondo turns things around. For her, the status quo is that every item you own will be thrown away unless you can think of a compelling reason why it should stay.

This Is What Sweden’s Most Statistically Sought-After Home Looks Like – Slate

Hemnet determined an average value for measurable features such as size, price, number of rooms, bathrooms, and floors. Then they analyzed images of the most clicked-on properties over a six-week period to determine preferences for wall colors, floor types, and kitchen countertop materials.

No, it’s not you: why ‘wellness’ isn’t the answer to overwork – The Conversation

Many of us simply work too much to really be well. Nothing can alleviate the stress of overwork except working less.

How sleep plays a role in depression (and vice versa) – Globe and Mail

Researchers who have followed people with insomnia over months and years have found that (non-depressed) people who have insomnia are more likely than those without insomnia to subsequently develop major depression.

Yoga’s Surprising Brain Benefit May Erase the Effects of Chronic Pain – GOOD

While chronic pain—particularly the sort linked to depression—can actively reduce a person’s amount of grey matter, practicing yoga has the opposite effect on the brain, by prompting grey matter growth in the internal cerebral cortex.

Mounting Evidence of Advantages for Children of Working Mothers – NY Times

A 2010 meta-analysis of 69 studies over 50 years found that in general, children whose mothers worked when they were young had no major learning, behavior or social problems, and tended to be high achievers in school and have less depression and anxiety.

Meditation and yoga may ease diseases that cause gut pain – Washington Post

Stress-relieving meditation can suppress the activities of genes that help cause inflammation and other immune system problems in people with IBS or IBD, the study stated.

10 May

Links for a Sunday Morning


What Does ‘Middle Class’ Even Mean? – The Atlantic

According to a recent survey from Gallup, about 51 percent of Americans consider themselves middle or upper-middle class, while 48 percent consider themselves working or lower class. That’s the highest share to identify themselves as being on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder since Gallup began gathering such data in 2000.

Smaller Portions Taste Better and are More Satisfying – Big Think

Consumers compensate for small portions by attending more to the sensory properties of the food, altering their eating behavior, and slowing their rate of eating, which has the effect of increasing satiation, hence lessening their desire for more afterwards.

Why diets don’t actually work – Washington Post

After you diet, so many biological changes happen in your body that it becomes practically impossible to keep the weight off. It’s not about someone’s self-control or strength of will.

How Music Evolves – The Economist

There are three periods of rapid change. The first is from 1963 to 1964—the period of the British Invasion. The second is in the early 1980s. The third is around 1991. These revolutions do all correspond with times musical critics would have said change was happening (classic rock, new wave, and hip-hop respectively).

How allowing that early sip of alcohol can influence a child’s mind and future – Globe and Mail

Parental influence only goes so far. And in cultures where “getting wasted” is synonymous with having fun, early tastes of alcohol may not be harmless, researchers say.

30% of People with a ‘Healthy’ BMI Are Actually Obese – Obesity Panacea

Physicians could start paying less attention to weight or adiposity altogether, and evaluate more relevant markers of a patient’s health, including metabolic factors, psychological status, mobility, etc.

06 May

How to Buy Greek Ferry Tickets

Around this time of year when everyone is organizing their summer vacations, I often get e-mails from people reading  my blog for tips on planning a trip. I get a lot of questions, especially about Tobermory and Crete and Norway. I am by no means an expert but I do a LOT of research for every vacation that I plan so I do end up with a wealth of knowledge on certain destinations.

The most recent question I received was from Jacquelynn about travelling the Greek Islands:

Hi Samantha. I came across your blog and I enjoyed it very much. I’m definitely going to try and accomplish your top 5 list. I was wondering if you knew a site or the easiest way to island hop. I’m going to GREECE come this August. I’ll be visiting Crete first then Santorini, and lastly Milos. I was wondering if you knew how much ferries cost and if you have any advice on where to buy tickets. Thank you so much for your time.

Chania Crete (50)

Hi Jacquelynn

First of all, I haven’t been to Milos and know nothing about it. I HAVE been to Crete and Santorini and loved them both though, I must say, Crete has a very special place in my heart. Good choice.

Thankfully, I keep a repository of years worth of plans, websites, travel times, prices, and itineraries handy to revert back to at times like these.

Back in 2012 we paid 48.60 euro for a 2-hour Seajets ferry from Heraklion, Crete to Athinios Port, Thira (Santorini). Prices these days for that trip are closer to 60 euro.

The best website for helping you plan your island hopping is www.gtp.gr. It includes ferry times for all the major lines like Seajets (mentioned above), Hellenic Seaways, and ANEK Lines so you can compare what works best for you schedule.

Note that not all ferry trips between two destinations take the same amount of time. Some ferries are highspeed while others are not. And some routes might include stops at other islands before your destination. Be sure to compare travel time as well as departure time.

The official departure times for summer aren’t posted on gtp.gr until May or even June for some lines, but you won’t have trouble booking a ticket even a couple of days in advance for most ferries.

You can buy the tickets online for most ferry lines or if you want to buy them last minute, they are available from certain travel agencies in major cities. Check out the line’s website for info on the agencies that sell tickets.

I hope that helps!

And if you’re looking for more information on places to visit and things to do in Greece, check out my other posts:

Santorini Travel Tips

Top Things to do in Loutro Crete

Travelling to Heraklion Crete

Top 5 Things to Do in Chania Crete

Safe travels!

03 May

Links for a Sunday Morning


The Canada 150 Logo – Maclean’s

Designers consulted by the Ottawa Citizen offered varying takes on [the] design, one calling it “student work,” another saying it “meets the minimum criteria of a usable logo.”

Wearing a Suit Makes People Think Differently – The Atlantic

Formalwear elicits feelings of power, which change some mental processes.


The Board of Governors have voted on and unanimously approved the $90,000 in penalties be imposed on the Halifax team, coaches, and players for their actions in not playing the game.

How Wealth in Childhood Shapes Personality Later in Life – The Atlantic

The dynamics of inter-class marriages reveal that money predictably influences the way one goes on to think about with work, emotions, and parenting.

For Teenagers, Potassium May Matter More Than Salt – NY Times

The kids who consumed the most potassium had much lower blood pressures by the end of adolescence. What we need to focus on is increasing potassium intake rather than focusing on restricting sodium intake.

Recipe Writers Tell Us How to Spot Reliable Recipes on the Internet – The Kitchn

An experienced recipe writer will pay close attention to the words they choose in the instructions, to make sure they are clear and specific, and provide enough explanation to help even novice cooks.