Weekend Reading

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Still managing to, mostly, avoid Trump links here. Alas not completely but I’m doing my best to read more things outside of that horror show (whilst following along as best I can in the news).

  • Bird Man
    Noah Strycker spotted the first bird before I made it from the parked car to the edge of the marsh. “It’s a rough-legged hawk,” he said when I caught up to him, gesturing for me to peer through his long, 60-power Swarovski scope.
    I do love tales about dedication, no matter the field.
  • David Letterman on Life After TV, Late Night Today, and the Man He Calls Trumpy
    Since retiring after 33 years on the late night television, David Letterman has kept a low public profile — aided by the growth of a truly impressive beard. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been as fixated on politics as the rest of us.
    Letterman is fast becoming a Bill Murray-esque character, fascinating.
  • Change is Good
    “Even when change is elective, it will disorient you. You may go through anxiety. You will miss aspects of your former life. It doesn’t matter. The trick is to know in advance of making any big change that you’re going to be thrown off your feet by it.”
    Mostly posting this for myself, timely advice as I move home.
  • A school for grandmothers in India is fighting an invisible illiteracy problem
    India has not been a good mother to its girls—but one small village is trying to make amends to its grandmothers. The country has long been a hotbed for sex-selective abortion—specifically female foeticide. Fewer girls than boys are enrolled in school.
    More of this please
  • Chatbot that overturned 160,000 parking fines now helping refugees claim asylum
    The creator of a chatbot which overturned more than 160,000 parking fines and helped vulnerable people apply for emergency housing is now turning the bot to helping refugees claim asylum.
    More of this too!
  • I Have Traveled Here From the Present to Warn You About Global Warming
    Thank you for meeting me here. Excuse my tardiness, I’m still adjusting. Now, listen to me carefully.
    In light of recent news from the US on this topic, this is timely.
  • The People’s Princess
    Americans love their nostalgic cultural icons more than God and country. As our faith in every cherished institution from religion to the free press to science to democracy erodes before our eyes, our belief in The Force grows stronger by the day.
    Note to self: Read the Princess Diaries already
  • Maybe Monogamy Isn’t the Only Way to Love
    In the prologue to her new book, What Love Is and What It Could Be, philosopher Carrie Jenkins is walking through Vancouver, from her boyfriend’s apartment to the home she has with her husband.
    From personal experience, I’d remove the ‘maybe’.
  • IKEA is going to save your relationship with new furniture that simply snaps together
    Hands down, the most frustrating thing about IKEA’s flat pack furniture is the assembly. A mess of loose parts, bolts, screws, wayward allen wrenches and an infuriating manual stand between you and the picture in the catalogue.
    Anything that makes it easier to deconstruct/reconstruct furniture has to be a good thing.
  • The new authoritarians
    We might take the demonstrative demise of strongmen such as Nicolae Ceaușescu in Romania, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and – more recently and unobtrusively – Fidel Castro in Cuba to indicate that the day of the dictator has largely passed. Alas, authoritarianism is staging a comeback.
    Story of our time? God I hope not.
  • Nasty Women – the book: ‘Trump and Piers Morgan are top of the list to get a copy’
    A collection of essays on women’s lives published by 404Ink steals from the president for its title, and has been endorsed by Margaret Atwood The day Trump’s Muslim ban began in January, publisher Laura Jones was editing an essay by Zeba Talkhani about being a good Muslim.
    Bought this yesterday, looking forwarding to reading it.
  • Why We Can’t Look Away From Our Screens
    In a new book, “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked,” the social psychologist Adam Alter warns that many of us — youngsters, teenagers, adults — are addicted to modern digital products. Not figuratively, but literally addicted.
    So stop reading and … wait, not yet!!*
  • How the World’s Heaviest Man Lost It All
    Paul Mason used to weigh close to 1,000 pounds. Now that he’s shed almost all of it, freeing himself from his tomb of a body, he’s facing a question that’s heavy in its own right: How should he spend the rest of his life?
    Our physical and mental health is so strongly entwined, what happens if you unpick one but not the other?
  • Tarkovsky’s Flame
    When the world is brash, fast, and stupid, we must seek out what is quiet, slow, and intelligent to brace ourselves against the world’s madness.
    Yes yes yes. More quiet, more slow, take time to breathe.
  • The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.
    LET’S START WITH THE MOMENT I realized I was already a loser, which was just after I was more or less told that I was destined to become one. I’d been summoned to an editor’s office at the Globe Magazine with the old “We have a story we think you’d be perfect for.”
    Sometimes an article comes along that kinda smacks you upside the head. This is one (for me).
  • 25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going
    A strange thing you learn about American popular music, if you look back far enough, is that for a long time it didn’t much have “genres” — it had ethnicities.
    This is why Top of the Pops isn’t on anymore. Music is creating its own space.

* anyone remember the kids TV show, Why Don’t You? The theme tune included the line “why don’t you, switch off your television set and go do something less boring instead”, which always seemed like an odd thing for a TV show to suggest in the opening credits… *click*