There’s too much Internet—including a mesmerizing infographic of dogs from around the world—and too little time. That’s why we curate a list of the best of the best (aka “the Greatist”) things we’ve come across on the Web this week. In other words, it’s the stuff we’d email/gchat/tweet/text you immediately if we were besties. While we’ll never stop striving to bring our readers amazing content on a daily basis, we know not all the best stuff comes from us.
1. An Unlikely Ballerina: The Rise of Misty Copeland [The New Yorker]
American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland has been the darling of the dance world for years, but after appearing in an Under Armour commercial this summer that almost instantly went viral, she’s now a full-on celebrity. And this week, she got The New Yorker treatment. Copeland’s story is both inspiring and impressive—coming from humble beginnings in Los Angeles and not lacing up her first pointe shoes until she was 13 years old. (For reference, most prima ballerinas start dancing shortly after they learn to walk.)
2. 72 Ways Food Can Change the World [Eater]
Eater, the one-stop shop on the Web for everything food related (besides our recipes, of course!), unveiled a snazzy site redesign this week. To celebrate, the editors asked dozens of people at the forefront of food movements (professors, farmers, restaurant owners) how we can change the world through food. The answers ranged from silly meets serious (replacing bottles of wine with kegs, so less glass ends up in landfills) to sobering (the tale of a summer spent as a butcher that turned one professor vegetarian). It’s been our bedtime read all week—which is why we’ve been a little low on shuteye.
3. Human Hamster Wheel Could Be the Ultimate Standing Desk [Mashable]
By now we’ve heard all of the warnings about the dangers of prolonged sitting: Sitting is the new smoking, it’s shaving years off our lives, and we still need to be worried if we exercise regularly. Plenty of solutions have been offered to get us on our feet and moving, from treadmill desks to the DeskCycle. But they lack the sleek design (and built-in irony) of the hamster wheel standing desk, a design developed by artists in residence at AutoDesk. If you’re looking for something slightly less bulky, there’s the super portable and stylish StandStand, a three-piece wooden contraption that can turn any tabletop into a standing desk.
4. Snackwave: A Comprehensive Guide to the Internet’s Saltiest Meme [The Hairpin]
Surf’s up in snack land. Our friends over at The Hairpin coined the phrase “snackwave” to describe our collective Internet obsession with junk food in an age when healthy and clean eating are king. (Think tweeting at Taco Bell, joking about buying a burger-inspired prom dress, and watching Rory and Lorelai eat endless pizza as you stream Gilmore Girls on Netflix.) This anthropological and historical look at snackwave is the best kind of Internet black hole we could’ve asked for.
5. Want to Be Happy? Stop Being So Cheap! [The New Republic]
Money can buy happiness, so long as you’re the one giving it away. That’s just one of the many intriguing findings from The Paradox of Generosity, a new book written by two Notre Dame sociologists. If you don’t have deep pockets, you can increase your level of happiness by volunteering. People who said they were “very happy” volunteered nearly six hours a month. Those who were the most unhappy volunteered just over half an hour. Pitching in really can be the perfect pick-me-up.