This week, I’m reading about a new investigation into a famous crime, exploring the roots of an interesting colloquialism, and beating holiday stress with a handy paperback guide. Plus, I’ve discovered several fun podcasts from the BBC, which are perfect for cold-weather commuters.
On Your Kindle
In 1990, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was robbed in one of the most remarkable art thefts in history. Not only was the stolen art valuable—works estimated at $500 million—but the theft itself was unique: None of the stolen paintings were ever recovered or seen again.
On Your Smartphone
“ How Far is it to the Boondocks? Try the Philippines ,” by Lakshmi Gandhi, NPR
This fascinating article from NPR’s “Code Switch” blog reveals the tangled roots of the common phrase for an out-of-the-way area. The use of “boondocks” originates in the Philippine-American war, a little-known conflict at the turn of the century, but as Gandhi describes, the phrase became famous after a military tragedy.
On a Podcast
" In Our Time ”
This BBC podcast, hosted by Melvyn Bragg, is a must for history buffs. Covering historical and cultural topics from the Borgias to tea, there are plenty of interesting tidbits for listeners. Also fun: The BBC’s Book of the Week podcast.
Yoga Sparks: 108 Easy Practices for Stress Relief in a Minute or Less , by Carol Krucoff
Holiday stress left you frazzled? Grab a copy of this nifty little book. Even if you’re a yoga novice, Krucoff’s de-stress exercises are simple and easy to follow. The guide is organized by breathing, posture, and meditation exercises based on your location—things to do at home, work, or anywhere you go.