Weekend Reading

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  • The Daredevil of the Auction World
    Christie’s, the auction house, celebrates its two-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary this year, and over time the origins of certain company traditions have become obscure.
    Who knew art and auctions could be so damn exciting!
  • The father of trending: Abdur Chowdhury
    It’s one of those internet phrases that have seeped into everyday usage. Newsreaders tell us a story is trending, editors tell their staff they want interviews to trend and activists want their causes to trend.
    One thing I will never ever be; trending.
  • Remarks at the SASE Panel On The Moral Economy of Tech
    This is the text version of remarks I gave on June 26, 2016, at a panel on the Moral Economy of Tech at the SASE conference in Berkeley. The other panel participants were Kieran Healy, Stuart Russell and AnnaLee Saxenian.
    A long but fascinating look at the impact of technology on society. If you only read one of these links these week, make it this one.
  • This ‘ambiguous cylinders’ illusion is blowing my tiny mind
    I’m British, and if I didn’t already have enough reasons to drink heavily this weekend, I can go ahead and add this video to the list. Look: reality is broken. It’s been well and truly Done In and it wasn’t even some interdimensional superbomb that did it.
    I can’t. What? How the… no but surely… sorry, my brain has just gone and curled up to cry in the corner…
  • Anatomy of the Type
    To learn about typography better, we must be able to distinguish between different typefaces. Just like humans, each typeface has some physical attribute that distinguishes it from the other typeface.
    GEEK ALERT!!
  • Town in Italy use Silent Fireworks as a way of Respecting animals
    Any large celebration that involves fireworks is fun, but while we enjoy the sounds and sights of colourful explosions overhead, our animals feel very differently.
    More of this please!!
  • Hear Electronic Ladyland, a Mixtape Featuring 55 Tracks from 35 Pioneering Women in Electronic Music
    Given that we’ve previously featured two documentaries on electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire, an introduction to four other female composers who pioneered electronic music (Daphne Oram, Laurie Spiegel, Éliane Radigue & Pauline Oliveros), and seven hours of electronic music made by women.
    This is great. I mean the music. The fact I didn’t know much about these women until now, not so great.
  • Who is this man who seems to die in every terrorist attack?
    If you’ve clicked on any articles about the victims of recent terror attacks, you might have seen this man’s photo. Following the deadly terrorist attack at Atatürk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, social media users shared his photo, claiming this man was among the 42 people killed.
    Do not trust your media, challenge everything! VIVA LA REVOLUTION!! (seriously though, do not trust your media)
  • What Are the Most Popular Marijuana Products?
    This post is adapted from Headset Inc. Cannabis Intelligence, a Priceonomics Data Studio customer. Does your company have interesting data? Become a Priceonomics customer. There are a lot more ways to get high than there used to be.
    In no shock to anyone, legalising cannabis use means more innovation in how to consume it. Amazing.
  • The incredible things that had to go just right for Juno to reach Jupiter
    “We just did the hardest thing NASA has ever done,” said Scott Bolton, the lead investigator on the Juno mission. After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno managed to enter the perfect orbit around Jupiter.
    If you are a bit ‘meh’ about the whole ‘we sent a bunch of metal to another planet’ thing, a. what’s wrong with you?! b. read this, the odds and level of achievement is staggering.
  • Aloe Vera Is a Lie
    Hello! Welcome to the Fourth of July. It is sunny, and you’re at a barbecue, and you’re probably not wearing enough sunscreen. You are going to get a sunburn.
    I knew I shouldn’t have trusted Aunt Vera! (note: is this a US thing, doesn’t seem to prevalent over here)
  • To the supporters of Donald Trump
    A number of political thinkers have penned a non-partisan letter to supporters of Donald Trump. The letter is striking for its non-confrontational tone in nevertheless painting Trump as a dangerous authoritarian.
    I am not a fan of Trump, but it’s clear (as in the Brexit vote) that people aren’t really voting for him, they are just voicing their discontent through the channel available to them. However, cause and effect people, CAUSE AND EFFECT!
  • The Haunting Background Vocals on The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter:” Merry Clayton Recalls How They Came to Be
    The question of what an artist is willing to give up for her art is unanswerable until the moment of sacrifice arrives, and she must make a choice—safety, comfort, family, etc, or the leap into a creative endeavor whose outcome is uncertain?
    A fantastic track on a legendary album, who knew it cost so much?
  • Reality Hunger
    A.1. Steak Sauce, never artisanal and not once locally made, is currently the subject of a campaign that touts it as a secret ingredient to a compound butter with which to finish your steak.
    Dear Foodie friends, you aren’t really falling for all this, right? (No, they say, ‘real foodies’ know the difference…)
  • Neuroscientists say multitasking literally drains the energy reserves of your brain
    Does your morning routine consist of checking emails, browsing Facebook, downing coffee, heading to the train while Googling one last idea, checking notifications, more coffee, and going through your work email?
    Add in reading through random links of articles and collating a list to post every weekend. No wonder I’m exhausted!
  • No groom? Vancouver business plans weddings for solo brides
    Vancouver has been described as one of the most difficult places to meet a significant other. So, if you’re single, why not marry yourself?
    Awww this is lovel… no no, hang on, yup. This is bonkers.
  • The UX Secret That Will Ruin Apps For You
    A friendly robot greets me on Facebook. He’s dressed like a doctor, stethoscope and all, here to do a security checkup. So for the next 5 to 10 seconds, I wait as he pokes and prods my account.
    File under, things I kinda knew, or sorta suspected, which will now annoy me even more than they do already!!
  • Inside the Mind of Steven Spielberg, Hollywood’s Big, Friendly Giant
    The legendary director on The BFG, eye contact between actors, the trauma of his childhood, and the reason he gave Drew Barrymore a kitten. magine you are Little Steven Spielberg. It’s the early 1950s. You are 7, maybe 8. You are very small in an enormous world.
    A wonderful article about my 3rd favourite director. Everyone has seen at least one Spielberg movie, and this explains why they are so damn popular.
  • A shopper’s manifesto: These three simple questions are the key to quitting fast fashion
    Some years ago, the food advocate Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, succinctly summed up the best advice he could offer on how a human should eat: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants…”
    As a fashion icon, this was an interesting read. OK, I’m clearly no icon (stop sniggering at the back), but you can apply the ‘chain’ way of thinking to many purchases.
  • This Could Be The Strangest Exoplanet Found Yet
    This exoplanet is part of a triple star system, sits further away from its parent star than Pluto, and is four times larger than Jupiter. Imagine a planet, like Jupiter, but four times heavier. And it’s got a huge orbit, maybe twice as wide as Pluto’s. Oh, and it has three suns.
    Space is FUCKIN MAHOOOSIVE people!
  • Waffle-maker dispute results in 30 people kicked out of Mason County hotel, police say
    MASON COUNTY, MI – Two women fighting over the waffle maker in a Mason County hotel apparently ignited a major disruption over the holiday weekend inside the hotel’s buffet-style breakfast area, police say.
    Sometimes you just need some nonsense to balance out the madness. GERROFF MY WAFFLE!
  • The ‘Holy Grail’ for earthquake scientists has been accidentally destroyed
    For nearly half a century, thousands trekked to Rose and Prospect streets to behold a slice of sidewalk that, by conventional standards, had no curb appeal. Pulled apart so that it no longer aligned, the humble curb wasn’t much to look at.
    That should curb their enthusiasm (sorry Larry!)