The Southern Expat Communique: New York observations of a displaced belle


Red letter days lead to exploration of word clouds

After a beautiful day in Little Rock, filled with friends, a milestone, puppy kisses, some amazing food, and remarkable conversation, I was too amped up to take a nap with my husband. As I sat down with Ken Burns’ account of Baseball, I set out to discover how to conjure a word cloud.

As luck would have it, Tagxedo (a very easy and fun to use website) populated the top of my search. I plugged in the ole Southern Expat website to populate the cloud with personalized phrases and words, and out popped the graphic below. How cool is that?! I’m simply charmed!

Tagxedo lets you opt out of using particular words, change the colours, pick your shape, and much more. I know this is going to be at least a minor obsession of mine. Speaking of, have y’all watched Legal Eagles in your adult life? Put that on your list too, friends.

To craft your own, go to tagxedo.com!

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What can a Happiness Index teach us?

Alexa von Tobel is at it again. This time, she is helping us determine whether wealth is tantamount to happiness. What do we learn from her today? In short,

1.   Money doesn’t necessarily make you happy. Duh.

2.   The wealth gap in our country is extraordinary: the top 20% of the country earns 8 times as much as the bottom 20%.

3.   There exists something called the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index. By god, I think the Bhutanese are on to something by quantifying happiness as a kind of national commodity. Happy people are more productive, right?

Alright, kids, what are you going to do today to improve the GNH of your country, state, city, home? I might just schedule a field trip to Bhutan, Denmark, or Norway to learn from a happy example, you know? Let me know if you want to sign up! In the meantime, I am going to listen to some blues music (which I think is downright inspirational) and pick up a copy of The Geography of Bliss.

Have a beautiful day even if the sun isn’t shining above you!