Weekend Reading

The Ukrainian Hacker Who Became the FBI’s Best Weapon—And Worst Nightmare One Thursday in January 2001, Maksym Igor Popov, a 20-year-old Ukrainian man, walked nervously through the doors of the United States embassy in London. I do so love these stories, the hidden truths, the human interest. I wonder if anyone has thought about making movies like this? (I fear I may be too late). Nick Brown Smelled Bull It was autumn of 2011. Sitting in a dimly lit London classroom, taking notes from a teacher’s slides, Nick Brown could not believe his eyes. A good example of challenging things and trusting your own instinct. Why Designers Love The Ampersand Cheerily nuzzled above the “7” key like a pear-shaped pill …

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Less to say

I’ve hit a strange point in my use of social media recently. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing but I am definitely using it less. I don’t check Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram multiple times a day, and some days not at all, and as such I’m posting less and less too. In fact if anything I’m preferring Instagram these days. Why? Because there is too much and I don’t have the energy to sift through it to find the good stuff. Too many opinions, too many in-jokes, too many overlapping conversations I am not a part of, too much noise, too much hate, too much love, too much silliness, too much, too much, too …

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Weekend Reading

Until I was a man, I had no idea how good men had it at work Testosterone made my voice low. Really low. So low that I am almost impossible to hear in a loud bar or a cacophonous meeting, unless I speak at a ragged near-shout. But when I do talk, people don’t just listen: they lean in. Something I am aware of in the workplace, it really needs to change faster. Starbucks Orders and the Mass Customization of American Food Food customization is more than a craze in America—it’s a reflection of identity. It’s been said that there are 87,000 ways to order a drink at Starbucks. What’s wrong with my Grande Skinny Latte, Extra Hot, with Sugar-free …

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The days slip away

Rise to the chime. The bleary eyed shuffle and the morning ablutions. Take your pills. Dress yourself. Brush your teeth every day. Floss not often enough. The scold of the dental hygienist awaits! Then to the bus. Then to coffee. Then to my desk. Computer screen glows from black. The cogs whirr into life. Around me a cacophony of tapping rises. Good morning. Good morning. Good morning. I say. I am well. How are you? I am good, and you? Verbal tennis, the expectation of politeness. I stare at rows and columns, words white on black. I sit in rooms and listen and talk and listen and talk. The clock moves in fits and starts. Taunting me for moments, racing …

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Weekend Reading

Apostrophe-gate The Watergate scandal produced a number of far-reaching effects. It brought down a president. It created a new era of disillusionment with politics. And, more important for my purposes, it spawned one of the most flexible, enduring suffixes in modern history. I’m not that fussed about apostrophes, but just you wait for interrobang-gate, wow that’s gonna be something‽ America Has Never Been So Ripe for Tyranny And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny. As this dystopian election campaign has unfolded, my mind keeps being tugged by a passage in Plato’s Republic. It has unsettled — even surprised — me from the moment I first read it in graduate school. I hear ‘tyranny’, my brain hears, ‘A wretched …

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Only one

“Ask yourself if you would do it if nobody would ever see it, you would never be compensated for it and nobody wanted it.” – Ernst Haas (via) There must be a reason I write. I write here, I write in a journal, I (don’t really at the moment) write short stories, and I (definitely not at the moment) am writing a novel. I write. All of it because I want to, for me and my own personal reasons which I’ve mentioned here before, at least that’s how it started. Reading that Ernst Haas quote made me realise one of the reasons I’ve been a bit blocked on my novel. During NaNoWriMo I wasn’t thinking about anyone reading it, I …

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Weekend Reading

Apologies for the hiatus; ’twas a mixture of illness on my behalf, and illness on behalf some of the services I use to compile this list. Here are some articles that caught my attention over the past couple of weeks. Why you shouldn’t exercise to lose weight, explained with 60+ studies At the end of the 45-minute workout, my body was dripping with sweat. I felt like I had worked really, really hard. And according to my bike, I had burned more than 700 calories. Surely I had earned an extra margarita. One thing I love about science, it continues to prove that nothing we know is true. Pass the doughnuts (I’ve done a lot of typing!) 2016 Audubon Photography …

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My own comfort

Despite what I might try to insist, to myself and others, I prefer my own company to that of others. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy being with other people, those that I love, and those that I like enough to tolerate (I kid, I kid!) but when I’m feeling in need of comfort I tend to look to myself. I put it down to spending the first 8 or so years of my life as an only child. Back then I learned to lose myself in my own imagination, later transferring that skill to reading and I revelled in the silence that that solitude brings, lost in a page turner, oblivious to the passing of time with only …

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