Enjoyed the Website “BrainPickings.org” (323/366)

“Genius Borrows nobly.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


This morning, Nick posted a picture he found on the web of “Thomas Jefferson’s Recipe for Coffee”

Interesting, huh?  From the same site, he also shared with me some quotes form Eleanor Roosevelt’s book “You Learn by Living” on living a fulfilling life:

“Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. Paradoxically, the one sure way not to be happy is deliberately to map out a way of life in which one would please oneself completely and exclusively. After a short time, a very short time, there would be little that one really enjoyed. For what keeps our interest in life and makes us look forward to tomorrow is giving pleasure to other people.

It is easy to slip into self-absorption and it is equally fatal. When one becomes absorbed in himself, in his health, in his personal problems, or in the small details of daily living, he is, at the same time losing interest in other people; worse, he is losing his ties to life. From that it is an easy step to losing interest in the world and in life itself. That is the beginning of death.

I have always liked Don Quixote’s comment, ‘Until death it is all life.’

Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: ‘A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.’

But there is another basic requirement, and I can’t understand now how I forgot it at the time: that is the feeling that you are, in some way, useful. Usefulness, whatever form it may take, is the price we should pay for the air we breathe and the food we eat and the privilege of being alive. And it is its own reward, as well, for it is the beginning of happiness, just as self-pity and withdrawal from the battle are the beginning of misery.”

Some beautifuly insightful words.  Nick told me he had gotten both the recipe and the quotes from one of his favorite websites, “BrainPickings.org” – and I had to check it out.

BrainPickings.org was created by Maria Popova, who is “an interestingness hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large, who also writes for Wired UK andThe Atlantic, among others, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow.”  She collects the material and produces BrainPickings.org – and currently keeps the site and all this fantastic content available for free – and simply asks for donations from people who appreciate her collection.

Here are some “Favorite Pickings” from past posts:
How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love
7 Must-Read Books on the Art & Science of Happiness
Five Manifestos for the Creative Life
7 Essential Books on Optimism
Why We Love: 5 Books on the Psychology of Love

And some great ones that caught my eye while browsing posts that involved cooking:
Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child: A Lesson in Publishing and Perseverance from the Iconic Chef
Recipes and Household Tips from Great Writers
They Draw & Cook: Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World
The Recipe Project: Recipes by Rock-Star Chefs Set to Song

This website is wonderful.  If you find yourself staring at your Facebook news feed or mindlessly playing Angry Birds too much, consider checking out Brain Pickings instead.  You won’t be sorry!

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One Response to “Enjoyed the Website “BrainPickings.org” (323/366)”
  1. Ying says:

    Will definitely take a look!

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