2. Two pieces on the so-called prosperity gospel caught my eye this week. Did God Want You to Get That Mortgage in Time, and this piece from Peter Berger which will resonate with anyone who has spent time around the burgeoning pentecostalism of sub-Saharan Africa.
3. Staying in the same ball park Elizabeth Pisani comments on something we encountered in Botswana as well - navigating the tricky waters of faith healing (or simply "faith" for that matter), traditional medicines and ARV treatment for HIV.
4. PrintWhatYouLike.com - handy.
5. Here's a quick vegetable stock recipe from Mark Bittman for your reference as we move whole-heartedly into soup season.
6. Branagh to direct Thor? I think it could work. Thor was my favorite comic growing up (I was a mythology geek) and I've been skeptical of the forthcoming movie as even the comic had trouble walking the line between cheesy gravitas and realism, but Branagh's strong stage and Shakespeare background could pull it off.
8. Female birds apparently lay bright blue eggs as a signaling device, but do so at the expense of their own health:
The blue in many birds' eggs comes from the compound biliverdin, a breakdown product of the heme unit in haemoglobin, which circulates freely in the blood. But biliverdin is not just a pigment, it is also an antioxidant used by the body to prevent cellular damage.
Previous research has proven that when females lay vibrant blue eggs, their partners are more likely to stick around and help rear the young. So researchers speculated that because the blue comes from an antioxidant, it is a signal to males of the female's health status. Some scientists have argued that the female is making a dangerous trade-off, giving up resources needed to sustain her health to convince her partner that her offspring are worth looking after.