Pop Culture

Snowy Day Reading (Even If It Isn’t That Snowy)

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Do you have a fireplace? Wish we had a fireplace.
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Our survival guide for the snowpocalypse that didn’t quite happen includes one raised eyebrow, a mug of ginger cinnamon tea, and, as long as we’re stuck inside, some good reads. Here’s a selection of some of our best interviews of the past year to help you get through the day. Blizzard, schmizzard.

Read on, Mash-Ups.

Helen Fisher: Attraction is (Almost) Colorlind

Photo credit: Paolo Di Tommaso/flickr
Love is blind. Mostly.

“When you marry someone of a different culture, it’s often the little things that get you. My twin sister lives in France and is married to a French man. One of the big issues in their relationship is a draft. She wants to open the windows in the summer for a breeze. And the French are absolutely convinced that a draft will kill you. Absolutely convinced of it! So he thinks she’s trying to murder him, and all of their arguments are about a draft.”

Mira Jacob on Arranged Marriage, Jewish In-Laws and Tabla

Photo credit: In Kim
Mira Jacob, author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing

When we told my mother-in-law that we were going to give him an Indian name, she said “Okay, just be sure not to give him a name that sounds like a terrorist.” Like, great! Thanks. To her credit, when she says stuff like that I immediately say something and she’s great about it and understands why it’s wrong. So Jed calls them up after our baby is born and tells them his name. They go and look it up and the first definition of “Zakir” that comes up in Google is “eulogizer of Allah.” We didn’t think about the fact that the internet was going to give our Jewish relatives heart palpitations.”

Duane Fernandez: What’s It Like Being Married To A White Woman When You’re A Brown Man?

Photo credit: Duane Fernandez
White Girl + Brown Guy = Awesome

One of the best things about growing up in a home where both of your parents are from different parts of the world is the clash of idioms and phrases and the lack of awareness or understanding of American idioms and phrases. My mother always called ladybugs “ladybirds” and I had no idea I was wrong until repeating this at school.”

Maria Hinojosa on Telling America’s Stories, Yours Included

Photo credit: America By The Numbers
Maria Hinojosa, on the job

I am a journalist, I am a Latina, and I am Latina journalist. I don’t ever take off my hat and stop being a Latina, or stop thinking that I was born in Mexico. It’s part and parcel of who I am. At my core, I’m a journalist. That’s what I love to do.”

Jad Abumrad: Exploring the Margins on Radiolab, and in Life

Photo credit: MarcAntonio.com
Jad and Robert, hosts of Radiolab

I never felt like an official Arab. I felt like an American kid who liked Def Leppard who happened to speak Arabic, like some weird interloper. “

The Angry Asian Man is Actually a Really Nice Guy

Photo credit: J. Lee
Stay angry.

“There’s the whole phenomenon of Asian-American YouTube personalities, which is crazy and amazing and confounding and awesome. The other day, I was talking to a 10-year-old Asian-American kid who said he wanted to grow up to be a YouTube star. This same kid interrupted a conversation between adults to ask, “Who’s Angelina Jolie?” That blows my mind. “

Ashok Kondabolu on Das Racist, Dosas and Dating While Indian

Photo credit: Amy S. Choi
Ashok Kondabolu, walking New York.

Das Racist always used to get pegged as racially ambiguous. But that just means, not white or black. I’m the least racially ambiguous human in the world. I’m such an Indian looking dude. Look at my name. The other guy in the band is Punjabi, though he could speak Spanish, so he could front like he was Dominican, maybe.”

Heidi Durrow on the Beauty of Being Mixed Race

Photo credit: Heidi Durrow
Heidi Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell From The Sky

One of the funniest things that someone has said about my mom, who is from Denmark, was that they were surprised to learn what her background was. They always thought that her heavy accent meant that she was from the Bronx. “

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