The world’s foremost water sommelier


Well, you have water sommeliers too. Came as a total surprise to me.

Martin Riese is a sommelier. But not for wine. Or beer. Or any other beverage you typically would think requires an impeccable palate and expert recommendation. No, Riese is a water sommelier — and one of the best in a small, but quickly growing field. (The Wall Street Journal has called him “The world’s foremost water sommelier.”) Riese’s crusade? To taste, analyze, judge and spread the word about the different flavors of water he believes should be savored like a fine wine.

The complete article

MEL Films

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My Name Is Ahmed

If you are a Riz Ahmed fan, I am sure you know what this Needull is about.

The British actor and rapper has been recently in news for his essay, published in the Guardian. The piece is an extract from The Good Immigrant – a book about race and immigration in the UK, penned by British minority ethnic writers. In the essay, Ahmed details his experiences of being cast as a radical Muslim at airports in the era post-9/11. The topic is an old wine and have been touched by many but what I find interesting was that Ahmed’s experience is at odds with the sort of characters he strives to portray – an individual “whose story is not intrinsically linked to his race” and completely in sync with the character he actually portrays, like Changez in The Reluctant Fundamentalist or Shafiq in The Road to Guantanamo.

On the way out past my lookalikes, I gave a loud, “As-salaam aliekum.” No one leapt to return the greeting. Perhaps they lacked the safety net of a convincing “gosh!”

Full Essay Here

Riz Ahmed – The Guardian

Invisible Wounds

We are on the brink of a nuclear war.

Last week, four armed terrorists gunned down 17 Indian soldiers and injured many more in one of the most horrifying attacks on an Indian military base in Uri, J&K. Over the week, Indian politicians and public have expressed that a retaliatory war with Pakistan is inevitable. The defence minister of Pakistan has even threatened that Pakistan would not hesitate from using nuclear bomb , if India makes the first move.

With all the outrage around, I decided to select a Needull which deep dives into one of the major after-effects of war. Apart from the pain which the death and destruction of war brings, there is one more deadly after-effect which remains long after the bullet noises are gone. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is one of the most common mental disease amongst veterans, leading to other mental disorders and even suicide.


So, while our nationalistic self must be lobbying for ‘war’ on social network, it is time to realize that war is alway a loss, even for the victors. Today’s Needull is a 2015 article from Vanity Fair by renowned war journalist and writer Sebastian Junger which looks into how PTSD has become a problem beyond the battlefield.

Full Article Here

Sebastian Junger – Vanity Fair

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The New Europeans


Europe is changing fast. Immigrants and refugees in all countries of Europe are growing each year. Today’s needull looks at the this change.

Germans have a word for what Franklin was afraid of: Überfremdung, or “overforeignization.” It’s the fear that home will become unrecognizable, because there are too many strangers in it, talking in strange languages and behaving in strange ways. Most of us, if we look into our hearts, can probably at least imagine the feeling. In Germany this past year it has been on fiery display. There have been large nighttime rallies and flaming rhetoric by right-wing orators in Dresden and Erfurt. There have been hundreds of attacks on refugee shelters, most still empty—although just days before Merkel’s press conference drunken thugs lobbed a Molotov cocktail into a child’s bedroom at a shelter in Salzhemmendorf, near Hanover.

The complete article

Robert Kunzig — National Geographic

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Why do high-achieving students help others cheat?


Today’s needull is an interesting discussion on why students help other students cheat. This is something that would have happened to all of us in school or college.

We weren’t close friends — we knew each other only as “the person who sits near me in bio.” What motivation did I have to help him? Well, he was retaking freshman biology as a sophomore, so I (condescendingly) felt a little bad for him. But more importantly, I was a nerd and didn’t have the social capital to say no, which was why cooler kids had been copying my homework for years. I considered whether Jacob needed the help, whether I might get caught, and whether he and his friends would consider me a bitch or a goody-goody if I ignored him. That cheating itself might be wrong didn’t enter into my calculations.

The complete article

Lauren O’Neal — The New Inquiry

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Aging and My Beauty Dilemma


So instead, an entire generation of feminist and postfeminist women who stormed the barricades of the American work force, planned their reproductive destinies, and even got their partners to fold the laundry occasionally are now engaged in an odd sort of collective self-delusion. Everyone (at least in certain high-profile or professional circles) is doing it, and very few are confessing, a fact that in some ways is more disturbing than the surge in the surgeries themselves. Because not only are we nipping, suctioning and using hormones, but we’re also feeling embarrassed about it, and lying. Neither of which was really the point of women’s liberation.

The complete article

Debora L. Spar — The New York Times

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What Company Loses Money the Best?


A look at some of the big tech companies, the amount of money they lose and their profitability prospects, if any.


Why They (Were) Losing Money: The anonymous social media app (remember that craze?) earned a flurry of breathless coverage in early 2014, but never had a significant revenue source.

Most Outlandish Expenditure: While Secret was still hot, co-founder David Byttow sold some of his shares for $3 million and bought a Ferrari. Sure, that makes it a personal expense, but still. Very classy.

Profitability Prospects: Zero. The app shut down 15 months after it launched, and the founders promised to return the venture funding to investors. What was left of it post-Ferrari, anyway.

The complete article

Victor Luckerson — The Ringer

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