Month: April 2016

Weekend Reading

It’s back! I had hoped to have a double issue today but technology (looking at you IFTTT) has failed me. Still, there’s some good stuff in this short list, personal favourite – who will debunk the debunkers, everything you thought you knew debunk but not for the reasons you think!?

Getting back

For the last few weeks I’ve been battling a chest infection, it’s still lingering but the worst is past. The reason I know this is that last night I got annoyed at the state of my kitchen and cleaned it for the first time in a few weeks, yup it seems I can assess my ‘wellbeing’ by my desire to tackle the things that annoy me and how much I want to do ‘something’ rather than just sitting about.

So, as I’m definitely on the mend – even if I’m not at 100% just yet – now is the time to get back to where I was which, given that it’s almost May, isn’t quite where I’d hoped I’d be this year. No, I don’t mean New Year resolutions, more the usual type of desires and habits I’d hoped to have stuck to which I’ve not.

Writing wise.. well, not so much with the writing. I had been keeping up with my Day One journal but that’s fallen away, and let’s not talk about the novel I’m trying to write which, it seems, is still percolating in my head. I don’t know if I’m not happy with the plot or just need to get my head down and finish writing the damn thing but it’s telling that somewhere in the back of my brain I’m not satisfied with how it is at the moment. But then again I guess that’s the point of a first draft, to explore the characters and make improvements on the rewrite.

Health wise, chest infection aside, I’ll fess up and admit I’ve been over lazy and eating, well, everything! A nice long walk with some friends a month ago was the last real exercise I’ve done and I’ve not really been watching my diet so it was no surprise when the scales announced the increase in my weight over the last couple of months.

Upside is because I no longer drive to work, I am walking more during the day, especially up and down stairs in the office, every little helps!

Equally as I’m starting to really notice my lack of flexibility I’m going to start with a simple regime of stretches every day. 7 mins a day, should be do-able, right? After that I can look to other forms of exercise but I’m determined not to do my usual which is to rush into things. Slow and steady and all that.

Anyway, step one is this, write a blog post. So if nothing else, I’ve managed that.

Quick wins people, quick wins.

Weekend Reading

  • A list of nonbinary gender identities
    From the nonbinary.org wiki, a list of gender identities that aren’t male or female. transgender is an umbrella term for all genders that go beyond society’s ideas of gender, which includes some kinds of binary gender people.

  • How one programmer broke the internet by deleting a tiny piece of code
    The story of how 28-year-old Azer Koçulu briefly broke the internet shows how writing software for the web has become dependent on a patchwork of code that itself relies on the benevolence of fellow programmers.

  • How Reporters Pulled Off the Panama Papers, the Biggest Leak in Whistleblower History
    When Daniel Ellsberg photocopied and leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971, those 7,000 pages of top secret Vietnam War documents represented what was then the biggest whistleblower leak in history—a couple dozen megabytes if it were contained in a modern text file.

  • How an internet mapping glitch turned a random Kansas farm into a digital hell
    An hour’s drive from Wichita, Kansas, in a little town called Potwin, there is a 360-acre piece of land with a very big problem. The plot has been owned by the Vogelman family for more than a hundred years, though the current owner, Joyce Taylor née Vogelman, 82, now rents it out.

  • Medium and Twitter founder: ‘We put junk food in front of them and they eat it’
    Ev Williams is not a fan of the increasingly homogenised media he currently sees, with its emphasis on feeding the great, gaping maw of platforms like Twitter and Facebook too often producing what he describes as tantamount to junk food.

  • No alcohol, no coffee for 15 months. This is what happened.
    Exactly today I haven’t had a single drop of alcohol or coffee in 15 months. A couple of my friends on Facebook & Twitter asked me to write about my experience, so here it is, in a nutshell. With over a year of no alcohol & coffee, I did notice some side effects. Here is what I learned.

  • Why salad is so overrated
    As the world population grows, we have a pressing need to eat better and farm better, and those of us trying to figure out how to do those things have pointed at lots of different foods as problematic. Almonds, for their water use. Corn, for the monoculture. Beef, for its greenhouse gases.

  • “Batman v Superman” Is a Failure on Every Single Level
    Oh dear, honey baby. Oh no, baby doll. This is a bad film.

  • We’re running out of water, and the world’s powers are very worried
    Secret conversations between American diplomats show how a growing water crisis in the Middle East destabilized the region, helping spark civil wars in Syria and Yemen, and how those water shortages are spreading to the United States.
  • On Its 40th Anniversary: Notes on the Making of All the President’s Men
    IF YOU HAVE WORKED in the movies, you know that a picture as good as All the President’s Men is a miracle. An impossible conjunction of talent and opportunity, collaboration and ego, trust, power, and luck. And then more luck. 

  • The Untold History of Aretha Franklin’s Irrevocable “Respect”
    Music critic Ann Powers says she thinks the song has endured as a theme song for the women’s movement in part “because it’s a conversation.

  • A Maddening Sound
    Sue Taylor first started hearing it at night in 2009. A retired psychiatric nurse, Taylor lives in Roslin, Scotland, a small village seven miles outside of Edinburgh. “A thick, low hum,” is how she described it, something “permeating the entire house,” keeping her awake.

  • Golden State and the Mathematical Magic of Seventy-Three
    “I am aware of the Warriors’ push for seventy-three wins,” Ken Ono, a professor of mathematics at Emory University and the author of “The Web of Modularity: Arithmetic of the Coefficients of Modular Forms and q-series,” said recently, just before the Golden State Warriors won game number seventy-two.

  • How Boots went rogue
    Britain’s biggest pharmacy used to be a family business, dedicated to serving society. Now, many of the company’s own staff believe that its relentless drive for profit is putting the public at risk.

  • My Mom Had a Massive Stroke Two Weeks Ago – Narratively
    She asks for carrot cake from our favorite restaurant, and Oreo Thins, and a brownie blast sundae from Sonic. This is maybe the oddest quirk of my new mother, the product of a stroke that happened just months before my 26th birthday. The mother I grew up with hated sweets.

Weekend Reading