Weekend Reading

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  • Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?
    There are three popular explanations for the clear under-representation of women in management, namely: (1) they are not capable; (2) they are not interested; (3) they are both interested and capable but unable to break the glass-ceiling: an invisible career barrier, based on prejudiced stereotypes.
    Where is the big switch that flips all this? PLEASE!

  • The Strange History of ‘O Canada’
    By the time my family moved to Quebec in 1968, the province had long since stopped singing Canada’s national anthem. At age seven, I attended an English public school on the south shore of Montreal.
    I get the feeling most national anthems go through similar ebbs and flows. Now, about Flower of Scotland.

  • Roxane Gay’s Complicated “Hunger”
    Roxane Gay has several personae, but she first garnered Internet fame as a diarist.
    Brutal honest writing. May not be an easy read for some, but you should try.

  • Nina Simone in Liberia
    Someone who knew Nina Simone well—a Liberian friend of hers, I suppose a mutual friend now—told me a story. Liberia’s past is in pieces, he said, and here’s one of them. Maybe it’s the one you’re looking for.
    I love these types of articles, that build a fuller picture of someone so iconic (about whom my knowledge is scant)

  • This Is Why The Minions Are So Popular
    I played a clip of the Minions covering the Beach Boys hit “Barbara Ann” and instructed my classroom of 4- and 5-year-olds to sing along.
    Banana? BAAANNAAANNNAAAAA (my first introduction to these mental yellow dudes)

  • From Ptolemy to GPS, the Brief History of Maps
    We now have the whole world in our hands, but how did we get here? Last spring, a 23-year-old woman was driving her car through the Ontario town of Tobermory. It was unfamiliar territory for her, so she was dutifully following her GPS.
    Who doesn’t love a map? Who doesn’t struggle with GPS directions? Ohhh just me…??

  • Lectureporn: The Vulgar Art of Liberal Narcissism
    Joan Didion began covering political campaigns in 1988. By then, she had switched to being a Democrat, which did little to change her views of the world or change her life in any tangible way. This made her incredibly skeptical about America’s two-party system.
    Is THIS the problem with liberals? Perhaps. I know the flags go up for me when the words start to ‘flourish’.

  • The chills we get from listening to music are a biological reaction to surprise
    Think of your favorite song of all time. Play it, even. Take a moment to get lost in the rhythm, the melody, the lyrics, and whatever they make you feel. Good to go? Great.
    Radiohead, Just. Metallica, Nothing Else Matters. Every time. Goosebumps.

  • Eight Bites
    As they put me to sleep, my mouth fills with the dust of the moon. I expect to choke on the silt but instead it slides in and out, and in and out, and I am, impossibly, breathing. Back on Earth, Dr. U is inside me. Her hands are in my torso, her fingers searching for something.
    An insider view of bariatric surgery (not LITERALLY inside… sheesh, and ewwww).

  • Knife-wielding stabbing machine could help solve violent crimes
    When a person gets stabbed, rips in the victim’s clothing may contain clues to help catch the attacker.
    Ohhh a robot… an ARMED robot! Yes, of course this is a wonderful idea…

  • From the Quiet of Wimbledon, the Loud Groan of the Crowd
    Tradition is as much a part of the Wimbledon experience as the grass itself, from the predominantly white clothing rule to the strawberries and cream sold around the grounds of the All England Club.
    Ahhh yes, the politely mannered British at their… best?

  • This Insane Greek Fireworks Battle Puts Your July 4th to Shame
    Every Easter on the Greek island of Chios, two churches host an ancient ritual in which residents on either side of town fire some 100,000 handmade rockets at the bell tower of the opposing church — while worship takes place inside.
    WHOOAAAA!

  • Faster Than the Speed of Sound: An Interview with Holly Maniatty
    Holly Maniatty is moving faster than anyone in the Wu-Tang Clan. She bounces up and down, her whole body undulates, her hands fly as she signs, her eyes flare precisely, her mouth articulates the lyrics.
    ASL at a rap concert. A whole level of skill and hard work (video)

  • Exile in Guyville
    For Interview magazine, singer-songwriter Liz Phair talks with author Elizabeth Wurtzel, whose first book, Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America, originally published in 1997, has just been re-released with a new afterword by the author.
    Never read Prozac Nation, but big fan of Liz Phair.

  • Itamar Simonson: What Makes People Collect Things?
    Everyone knows someone who collects things — whether it’s refrigerator magnets or political bumper stickers.
    Hello Kitty, football shirts, a lot of collections in the news this week, but why?

  • New map records massacres of Aboriginal people in Frontier Wars
    Rottnest Island: Black prison to white playground Related Story: Claims Tasmania’s Aboriginal naming policy not inclusive Related Story: What are kids today learning about Tasmania’s Aboriginal history?
    Righting historical wrongs. White men have a lot to answer for.

  • Why We Lie: The Science Behind Our Deceptive Ways
    In the fall of 1989 Princeton University welcomed into its freshman class a young man named Alexi Santana, whose life story the admissions committee had found extraordinarily compelling. He had barely received any formal schooling.
    Turns out it’s not just because your pants are on fire (which never made any sense anyway)

  • How Ford’s New CEO Plans To Beat Tesla, Uber, And Google
    In April 2017, the Ford Motor Company–114 years old, the second largest carmaker in the country behind General Motors, a stalwart of American manufacturing–was suddenly worth less than 14-year-old Tesla.
    Smart. New CEO. One to watch?

  • People are now snorting chocolate to get high
    It really is nose candy. Coco Loko — a “snortable” blend of cacao powder, plants and organic compounds like ginkgo biloba, taurine and guarana — is getting buzz as a drug-free high.
    What the… I mean… what?

  • Why You Will One Day Have a Brain Computer Interface
    Implanting a microchip inside the brain to augment its mental powers has long been a science fiction trope. Now, the brain computer interface is suddenly the hot new thing in tech. This spring, Elon Musk started a new company, Neuralink, to do it.
    Science fiction is faster and faster becoming science fact. This is fascinating, scary, and exciting.

  • Why Are So Many Bottles “Sqround”?
    They’ve all embraced the same type of bottle for their products. It’s not exactly a square. And it’s not exactly round. “The official term is ‘sqround,’” says John Zelek, Senior Creative at Soylent. The company’s new bottles are shipping now.
    No no no. NO. Sqround is NOT A WORD!!