Weekend Reading

Reading time: 7 mins
  • Poverty lingers a septic wound, choleric, stenching, bursting rancid all over your Sunday best.
    You jest at scars, that never felt a wound, I muttered to my phone screen as an avatar of a sneering man stared back, his grainy face positioned just to the left of his barbed jab about why a ‘bestselling author needs to be begging for tips on Twitter’.
    Heart wrenching post from Jack Monroe. Never presume what others are going through. Appearances invariably are NOT as things actually are. Life is complex for everyone.

  • The Unconscious Rules of Personal Space
    The distance you keep from others is an elaborate, instinctive dance. President Trump has a signature handshake. It hit the world stage at the United Nations meeting last year when he grabbed Emmanuel Macron’s hand and appeared to aggressively pull the French president closer.
    When did consideration of others stop being a thing? Can it be a thing again please?

  • Why You Should Stop Being So Hard on Yourself
    Self-criticism can take a toll on our minds and bodies. It’s time to ease up. Yes, it’s an obnoxious cliché, but it’s not just self-help fluff.
    Mental health is hard work. A lot of that hard work is about quieting the voices.

  • Being Bored Is Fun and Good, Sorry
    The importance of idle time.
    It’s been a long time since I’ve been properly bored.

  • Why we owe it to ourselves to spend quiet time alone every day
    By not giving ourselves the minutes — or hours — free of devices and distractions, we risk losing our ability to know who we are and what’s important to us, says physicist and writer Alan Lightman.
    Are you spotting a theme yet?

  • Mount Everest Isn’t (Necessarily) the Tallest Mountain …
    What next, the world is flat? Goddammit Science, stop this nonsense right now.

  • The Internet Is Applauding For This Girl Who Helped Her BF Understand Her Anxiety With This Handy List
    Let’s talk about anxiety; it isn’t something new because a majority of today’s generation has it. But people need to understand that general anxiety and anxiety disorder are two different things.
    This is wonderful. And useful. Usederful? Wonderuse?

  • ‘Pain au chocolat’ vs ‘chocolatine’: Pastry-name war heading to French Parliament
    Should one of the best known French pastries be called chocolatine or pain au chocolat? This is a debate that has been going on for decades in France. A group of right-wing French MPs are bringing the question to the French National Assembly as they are fighting to promote the term chocolatine.
    Ahhhh France. Finger on the pulse as always.

  • Treatment centre for cryptocurrency addicts opens in the Scottish Borders
    The residential treatment course for “crypto addicts” is based in Castle Craig Hospital in Peeblesshire.
    I can barely spell crpytocurency…

  • The friend effect: why the secret of health and happiness is surprisingly simple
    For some, eating alone can be a joyous thing: forking mouthfuls of pasta straight from the pan, peanut butter licked off a spoon, the unbridled pleasure of walking home from the chippie alone on a cold night. But regularly eating meals in isolation is a different story.
    All the quiet alone time isn’t always great. Mental health is hard!

  • Earth-Moon Fire Pole
    My son (5y) asked me today: If there were a kind of a fireman’s pole from the Moon down to the Earth, how long would it take to slide all the way from the Moon to the Earth?
    Smart and funny. XKCD is one of the few things I read every single day. The What If stuff is genius.

  • Your multivitamins aren’t helping you live longer
    You probably have a jar of multivitamins somewhere in your house. And it’s probably useless. There’s a good reason we thought they were necessary: For centuries, sailors who spent enough time at sea would often become lethargic, bleed from their gums, lose their teeth, and bruise like crazy.
    Funny, I just thought they would help me live a little bit healthier every day. Never equated multivits with long life? Just me?

  • One million French smokers quit in a year amid anti-smoking measures
    France has seen a sharp fall in the number of people smoking daily, with one million fewer lighting up from 2016-2017. a survey suggests. Such a drop has not been seen in a decade, according to Public Health France, which carried out the study.
    Alas, one million French ex-smokers are now getting fat on pain au cho… sorry… chocolatine.

  • Hip Hop Fan Freaks Out When He Hears Rage Against the Machine’s Debut Album for the Very First Time
    I consider myself lucky to have been a child of the nineties. As you know from Portlandia’s tribute to the decade of slack, it was a time when “people were content to be unambitious and sleep to 11 and just hang out with their friends.
    I can sort of remember when I first heard that album. I’d love to still have some of those moments.

  • The Good Posts: Chapter One
    This is the first of a whole series of posts that will be going up, and will eventually be bookified.
    SPOILERS!! But could be interesting if, like me, The Good Place has been a breath of fresh air.

  • Your Next Glass of Wine Might Be a Fake—and You’ll Love It
    Ari Walker had been working in the wine business for a few months when the dreams started. He didn’t know much about wine; he’d left college and taken a job at a distributor because his wife was pregnant and they needed money. But the more he tasted and read, the more entranced he became.
    Why can’t Science leave things alone?

  • A Brief History of America’s Appetite for Macaroni and Cheese
    Being a judge at a macaroni and cheese competition in San Francisco taught me a lot about American food. The competitors were mostly chefs, and the audience—the online tickets sold out in minutes—was soaking up the chance to be at a “Top Chef” kind of event, but more urban and cool.
    Mac and cheese. At once the most overhyped, yet delicious, food ever?

  • Why Kevin Durant’s Shoes Keep Falling Off
    IT’S DEC. 6 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a sold-out crowd files into the Spectrum Center. The world champion Golden State Warriors are in town for their lone trip to the Tar Heel State this season.
    Look, I’m nuts about NBA so I think I’m allowed one article now and then, ok?

  • Seriously, WTF Is Cockroach Milk? Here’s The Real Deal On This “Superfood”
    Understandably, you might have some questions. Here’s everything you need to know. Yes! But if you’re thinking it’s crushed up cockroaches somehow made into a liquid you’re going to have to pour into your cereal — like a really gross almond milk — you’re way off the mark.
    OK. I *think* we are going to far now… (but… how DO you milk a cockroach??)

  • Columbia and Yale scientists found the spiritual part of our brains—religion not required
    Scientists seek to quantify everything—even the ineffable. And so the human search for meaning recently took a physical turn as Columbia and Yale University researchers isolated the place in our brains that processes spiritual experiences.
    Sorry about the wine comment, Science, you can stay! I can confirm, in a test case of one (me), that this certainly rings true. Yay science!!

  • US preacher asks followers to help buy fourth private jet
    A US televangelist has asked his followers to help fund his fourth private jet – because Jesus “wouldn’t be riding a donkey”. Jesse Duplantis said God had told him to buy a Falcoln 7X for $54m (£41m).
    And the gullible eejits will probably buy him it.

  • There are two types of water, and a new study finds they behave differently
    It’s not just poets. Chemists also like to wax lyrical about water, because there’s nothing like it.
    Look, Science, I thought we had sorted this out… stop blowing my mind!

  • David Sedaris on his most overrated book and how bad people can make good art
    David Sedaris’ long literary career continues with the publication of Calypso, a new book of essays out today. It’s both his warmest and darkest book to date, commingling his typical observational humor with a more introspective examination of family, aging, and death.
    I AM GOING TO SEE HIM WHEN HE IS IN GLASGOW AND IT IS VERY EXCITING OH YES IT IS

  • Under The Skin: Why That ‘Arrested Development’ Interview Is So Bad
    Why this story? I had this conversation with several people last night after an interview with the cast of Arrested Development ran in The New York Times ahead of the show’s return to Netflix.
    Ugh. Men. These more subtle tactics and comments feel all the more reprehensible. Ugh.

  • Mary Meeker’s 2018 internet trends report: All the slides, plus analysis
    It’s that time of year again, when Mary Meeker unloads her highly anticipated internet trends report for the Code Conference crowd in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
    Worth a gander if you use the internet (which you are, right now. Honest. Ask a Scienti… ohnevermind)

  • Bodies Are Weird and Interesting and Cool… So Why Don’t We Love Them More?
    Bodies are weird, eh? They’re also weird to write about. I’ve been feeling a lot of things lately about the way we treat our bodies and the way we talk about them.
    Great post, my own body image issues pervade but maybe switching how I talk about my body is a start?

  • Poverty lingers a septic wound, choleric, stenching, bursting rancid all over your Sunday best.
    You jest at scars, that never felt a wound, I muttered to my phone screen as an avatar of a sneering man stared back, his grainy face positioned just to the left of his barbed jab about why a ‘bestselling author needs to be begging for tips on Twitter’.
    Heart wrenching post from Jack Monroe. Never presume what others are going through. Appearances invariably are NOT as things actually are. Life is complex for everyone.

  • The 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time
    “As ignorable as it is interesting.” That’s the classic definition of ambient music, stated by Brian Eno in 1978 on the sleeve notes to his album Ambient 1: Music for Airports. And he should know, since he basically invented the genre three years earlier with his album Discreet Music.
    A few in here I hadn’t listened too, perfect for lazy summer evenings.

  • Toy Shining
    After the release of Toy Story 3, I came up with the idea of using PIXAR characters to tell other stories. My friend and Pixar director, Lee Unkrich, is a big fan of Stanley Kubrick’s movie The Shining, so I thought this would be a perfect place to start.
    Remember when the Internet was full of stuff like this? MOAR PLEAZ!

  • Bye, Chrome: Why I’m switching to Firefox and you should too
    You’re probably sick of hearing about data and privacy by now–especially because, if you live in the United States, you might feel like there’s very little you can do to protect yourself from giant corporations feeding off your time, interests, and personal information.
    Checked your data from Facebook and Google? Concerned? This is for you.