Melissa's blog

The American Dormitory/Cafeteria System Is Unhealthy And Wasteful

It's been five years since I graduated college. Since then I've worked in higher ed for most of my career. Occasionally I visit the student residence websites just to see if things have changed. Mostly because I work so close to the student residences that if they did have good food in the cafeteria it would be convenient.

To Skinner Box Myself In: Task List Gamification

A month ago I was playing a video game and realized what I was doing was incredibly repetitive. I've been playing Pokemon on and off since 1998, when the first game was released in America. Since then some game mechanics of this role-playing game (RPG) have changed a lot, but overall there is a ton of what RPG-players call "grinding." Repetitive actions engaged in because you need to access something in the game.

How "Feminists" Alienate Women

Recently XOjane published an interesting article by "anonymous" titled UNPOPULAR OPINION: I Am A Feminist And I Don't Think We Need The Feminist Movement Anymore. I don't agree with all of it, but I think it has some great points. I wouldn't be surprised if the author is in her early twenties because it reminds me of something I would have written at that age. And the reactions to it are pretty telling:

Egg Freezing: A Sign Your Workplace Is A Dystopian HellHole

It's just too perfect. Facebook and Apple are offering its female employees free egg freezing. What a totally great way to get women interested in tech careers!

The New New Age Cavemen In The City: The media and the voices we amplify

I admit, I was going to write about how the latest NYtimes article on the "paleo" diet is much nicer to the people it features than the NYtimes article I was in four years ago. And I suspect it's because of the astonishing number of products the new article it features, signs that "paleo" is now an economic entity worthy of respect.

The Problem With Traditional Rainboots & Some Minimalist/Zero-Drop/Flexible Alternatives

Yesterday marked the first day in Chicago of cold autumn rain. And certainly not the last. Being an avid walker in all types of weather, that means I have to have footwear that can handle 

wet weather -- any kind of wet weather from hot rain to snow. Of course you can get rainboots anywhere, but traditional rainboots have some serious issues. 

Fitting Into My Clothes Again While Still Writing About Delicious Food

I had a choice to make: to buy new clothes or to lose the weight.

I'm lucky to have the choice to say no to "big food"

I was reading an article about P.R. companies recruiting "mommy bloggers" to shill for big food, something I have encountered personally. Through this blog and through my more mainstream food writing I've had plenty of contact with Public Relations professionals.

Cilantro Supposedly Tastes Like Soap To Me But I Love It

A couple of years ago there was a study that posited that a genetic variant was responsible for the fact that for some people cilantro (known as coriander leaves in some countries) is delicious and for others it tastes extremely bad. Many of the people in the latter group characterize the bad flavor as something like "soap." The study has been making the rounds again lately with this article.

Agribusiness And The Grassroots Food Movement

When I lived in NYC I was a member of a food swap group. The mission of the group was "To build community by sharing and trading homemade foods, recipes and tips." It involved bringing your homemade pickles or cookies or whatever you made and swapping it for someone else's homemade goodies. One of the people who runs it, Meg Paska, now runs a small farm.