Weekend Reading

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Special Election Free edition (one week only).

  • Aleppo After the Fall
    As the Syrian civil war turns in favor of the regime, a nation adjusts to a new reality — and a complicated new picture of the conflict emerges.
    The forgotten conflict, 4 years of war and it barely makes the front pages anymore.

  • The Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Competition
    Late one afternoon last summer, our family arrived at a campsite on the western shore of Lake Michigan. We had been driving all day, across Wisconsin on our way further east. The four of us—my wife and two daughters, ages 7 and 10—set up our tent, made dinner, then went down to the water.
    My record is 12, set many years ago. I need to practice. A LOT.

  • Urchins and alleyways: a rare glimpse of 19th-century Glasgow – in pictures
    Photographer Thomas Annan captured Glasgow in the 1860s and 70s, at a time when the city had transformed and grown rapidly after the industrial revolution
    Always interesting seeing your home city, picking out landmarks that still exist today.

  • Climber Completes the Most Dangerous Rope-Free Ascent Ever

    The more I read about this feat, and this man, the more bamboozled I am. It’s utterly mindblowing.

  • Open-minded people have a different visual perception of reality
    Psychologists have only begun to unravel the concept of “personality,” that all-important but nebulous feature of individual identity. Recent studies suggest that personality traits don’t simply affect your outlook on life, but the way you perceive reality.
    So this half-full glass is actually… a porcupine? Am I doing it right?

  • Who needs a perfect language? It’s already perfectly imperfect
    Poets, historians, scientists, philosophers – we all seek to capture the world in a net of language. Yet it is the nature of nets to capture some things while letting others slip away.
    English is such a rich language, and evolves faster than we realise.

  • The Bondage-Bound, Feminist Origins of Wonder Woman
    Orgies, a sex cult, polyamory, lie detectors, and bondage. While that sounds like the makings of a fascinating word association game, those words do have one very particular thing in common – well, besides the obvious.
    The movie is packed with wonderful feminist, enlightened ideas, so this is a strange bedfellow of an article.

  • Why ‘Checking Your Privilege’ Doesn’t Work
    “Dear White People: no one is saying your life can’t be hard if you’re white but it’s not hard because you’re white.” This perhaps overly earnest profundity comes from an August 2015 tweet by user Austin (@kvxll), that somehow made its way to my own Twitter feed.
    The problem with privilege is you don’t see it, this opened my eyes to my mistakes and assumptions (and I am the most privileged type of person possible).

  • Taking Muhammad Ali home
    A week before her husband dies, Lonnie Ali changes the plans for his funeral. The funeral she had envisioned is too big, she thinks. It is too complicated.
    Articles I will always read: anything about The Greatest.

  • Apple’s developer conference was chock full of new hardware
    Apple’s annual developer conference felt especially like a show for consumers this year, with announcements of seven laptop updates, a new iMac Pro desktop computer, a new iPad, and a new home smart speaker called the HomePod.
    Apple is doing some new stuff. Some of it is good. Some of it isn’t everything people wanted. Some of it I don’t quite get why. In other words, Apple is doing what it always does.

  • Welcome to Poppy’s World
    It’s hard to explain Poppy to the uninitiated. But I’m going to try. Let’s start with the edge of the Poppy rabbit hole: You see a woman in a YouTube video. She is blond and petite with the kind of Bambi-sized brown eyes you rarely encounter in real life.
    Mentioned as an aside in the Apple Dev Conference… and that’s all I’m gonna say (ok, I will also say… WTF?)

  • How to fall to your death and live to tell the tale
    Alcides Moreno and his brother Edgar were window washers in New York City. The two Ecuadorian immigrants worked for City Wide Window Cleaning, suspended high above the congested streets, dragging wet squeegees across the acres of glass that make up the skyline of Manhattan.
    I am not good with heights, and presume if I was falling to my death, my brain probably WON’T recall this article but… you never know.. right?

  • When you cross a raven, the bird will hold a grudge
    For over 2,000 years, children have been warned of the dangers of hidden agendas through the “The Fox and the Raven.
    I KNEW IT!! Sorry, had some Raven harassment issues a few years ago and no-one believed me!

  • A conversation with Rickie lee Jones
    A video of a conversation that most of you will have heard some of before (earworm activation in 3, 2….)

  • What it feels like to get hit by a pitch
    A baseball is a wondrous little thing. It weighs 6 ounces — the same as an apple — and is the perfect size and shape for the hand. It is the ideal home for the proudest autographs, so white and pristine, resting on the mantel or in the trophy case.
    I’ve started watching a little baseball for reasons I’m not yet sure of, the more I learn the more I can see how people get dragged into it (stats fiends, check it out!)… and then there is side of it.

  • The Exquisitely English (and Amazingly Lucrative) World of London Clerks
    It’s a Dickensian profession that can still pay upwards of $650,000 per year. At Fountain Court Chambers in central London, the senior clerk is called Alex Taylor. A trim, bald 54-year-old who favors Italian suiting, Taylor isn’t actually named Alex.
    Hey ‘disruptors’ I have a new industry for ya!!

  • Turns out open relationships aren’t the most sexually satisfying
    Sex is a big part of most romances, whether a marriage or a more experimental union. A recent survey of Europeans shows that people in the most sexually liberated partnerships aren’t having the best time.
    They missed out the question ‘Are you surprised by this’ to which many poly people would answer, ‘no, not at all’.