Weekend Reading

Reading time: 7 mins
  • Why are (some) Star Wars fans so toxic?
    With at least one new film every year, you’d think it would be easy being a Star Wars fan in 2018, but it isn’t. That’s not because JJ Abrams killed off Han Solo in Episode VII, or The Last Jedi snuffed out Luke Skywalker.
    I love Star Wars. It’s my childhood universe. How can it bring so much hate?

  • Ersatz Free Trials
    On Monday Apple announced that they are officially supporting so-called “free trials” for non-subscription apps. The reaction has been a breathless celebration that Apple has finally relented and given developers something we’ve been asking, no begging, for since the dawn of the App Store.
    Apple are relentless at maintaining their cashflow. This shouldn’t be a surprise.

  • Meet the people who still use Myspace: ‘It’s given me so much joy’
    Almost every day, Kenneth Scalir takes a trip to the library or a cafe near his home in Sherman Oaks, California, to spend about an hour on his favourite site: Myspace.
    I missed Myspace completely. I already had my own website so didn’t see the point. Glad it’s still going.

  • Zaha Hadid’s only house finally completes in Russian forest
    New photographs and a movie reveal Zaha Hadid’s only completed private residence – a house in the Barvikha Forest near Moscow, for a man she called the “Russian James Bond”.
    Such a towering talent.

  • The Four Rules for a Good Book Club
    The first rule of book club is: you have to read the book. It’s one, I’m happy to report, the ladies of the film Book Club are willing to follow.
    The book club I attend is withering and dying (I think). Maybe time for a new one, with rules!

  • Don’€™t Eat Before Reading This
    Good food, good eating, is all about blood and organs, cruelty and decay. It’s about sodium-loaded pork fat, stinky triple-cream cheeses, the tender thymus glands and distended livers of young animals.
    A true voice is gone. Here’s where it (mostly) started. RIP A. Bourdain.

  • Seduce Me! The Untainted Sweet Sounds of Accent-Riddled Podcasts
    “BBC English” was once a byword for the poshest British accent, the one that featured all the old vowel gliding (hee-eh for hair), along with the bits and bobs that many of us forget when trying to simulate classy British. Like the intrusive R.
    Some great podcasts. However the smoothest voiced one I’ve found remains 99% Invisible.

  • This Is What It’s Like To Not Own A Smartphone In 2018
    Four years ago, I wrote about having no regrets for being a “dumb phone” user. At the time I was an anomaly: 58% of Americans, according to Pew researchers, owned a smartphone; that figure was around 80% for people in my age demographic. Now, I’m a clear oddity: 77% of U.S.
    Interesting, the further into the margins some people are pushed, the more they embrace them. For better, or worse?

  • Sturgeon announces Immediate pay rise for NHS staff
    Scotland’s First Minister has announced that all NHS staff earning under £80,000 a year will receive an immediate pay rise of 3%. Nicola Sturgeon also hit out at the “hostile environment” caused by the UK government’s immigration policy and called for relevant powers to be devolved to Scotland.
    No, it’s not enough. Yes, it’s well overdue. But it’s done and I see this as a good thing.

  • The Belt That Listens to Your Bowels
    In 2005, Barry Marshall, an Australian gastroenterologist and researcher, shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery that peptic ulcers are caused not by stress, as was commonly thought, but by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori.
    [insert favourite Dad joke about farting]

  • A Love Letter to Butch People (That Is Accidentally About My Dad)
    I’ll start with a bad joke: what’s the difference between my father visiting my house and a butch person visiting? My father says he’ll take out my trash and fix my leaky sink; the butch does it without saying anything.
    This is why I read so many articles. I find ones like this that help me learn.

  • Minimalism. It’s About More Than Clutter.
    Embarking on a decluttering and minimizing endeavor can be difficult. In fact, it can be downright scary at times. This is because minimalism isn’t just about your stuff—it’s also about your why.
    I need to do another round of decluttering. I’ve been in my flat a year and WHERE DID ALL THIS STUFF COME FROM!

  • Giving Myself A Dress Code Changed My Dang Life
    There are a lot of aspects of my day that I dislike. My commute sucks. I hate having to figure out what to have for lunch. I’m not a huge fan of doing chores.
    As a 44yr old man who is happiest in a t-shirt, should I be mixing it up?

  • Americans are reading poetry again because of Instagram
    Poems, it seems, are just another form of shareable content. For the first time in more than 20 years, poetry reading is growing in the US, according to new survey data released by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
    Art will find a way.

  • Next year, people will spend more time online than they will watching TV. That’s a first.
    It’s finally happening: Next year, people around the world will spend more time online than they do watching TV, according to new data from measurement company Zenith. In 2019, people are expected to spend an average of 170.
    But how much of that online time is spent watching TV online?

  • A trans woman shares her love letter to the NHS
    You may be aware that before moving back to the UK in December I’d spent the last few years living in America, during which time I came out as a transgender woman and commenced hormone replacement therapy in the USA’s barbaric and expensive ‘healthcare’ system.
    A tiny beacon of happy joy. Ohhh yes, dear reader, I cried.

  • Inside the Binge Factory
    “What do you think about gas in the tank for the long term?” asks Cindy Holland, Netflix’s vice-president of original content.
    Takeaway, they both know exactly what they are doing, and make decisions based on whim.

  • The Ascension of Cauliflower
    Food companies are capitalizing on the low-carb, gluten-free trend by using vegetables like cauliflower to replace flour, rice and other simple carbs.
    All hail the … ohhh ffs, whatever food is the next big thing I guess (I thought it was peas?)

  • Mr. Rogers Had a Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Children
    The TV legend possessed an extraordinary understanding of how kids make sense of language. For the millions of adults who grew up watching him on public television, Fred Rogers represents the most important human values: respect, compassion, kindness, integrity, humility.
    Replace ‘Children’ in the title with ‘fellow human beings’ and we might have a better planet.

  • WIRED’s pick of the best podcasts for curious minds
    Podcasts are more popular than ever. Thanks to 2014’s podcasting hit Serial everyone who owns a mixing desk and a microphone has started to create their own. Sometimes the choice of what to listen to can be overwhelming.
    I’m walking a lot, which means more podcasts. Some belters in here.

  • Ten tips to help you communicate with a person with sight loss
    It’s packed full of information about the latest news, views and developments in the eye health and sight loss sectors.
    Always learning.

  • The Jankó keyboard, an 1882 replacement for the traditional piano layout
    The Jankó keyboard is a musical keyboard layout for a piano designed by Paul von Jankó in 1882.
    I’m relearning/refinding my piano skills. No, not on one of these.

  • Gossiping Is Good
    Word on the street is that gossip is the worst. An Ann Landers advice column once characterized it as “the faceless demon that breaks hearts and ruins careers.
    I am rubbish at gossip. The whole X is with Y, or A cheating on B, stuff. Always passes me by.

  • When does hungry become hangry?
    Have you ever been grumpy, only to realize that you’re hungry? Many people feel more irritable, annoyed, or negative when hungry – an experience colloquially called being “hangry.”
    WHEN I’VE NOT HAD MY BREAKFAST YET!! Ahem…

  • Apple killed fun
    There was a time when visiting Apple’s website, or one of its stores, was an explosion of color. I recently came across this random page from 2008:
    So true. Can you imagine a range of laptops in the old iPad Nano colours?

  • The new rainbow flag is a design disaster—but a triumph for LGBTQ inclusiveness
    Is literalism killing our symbols? In the quest to appease LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) seeking representation, Portland-based designer Daniel Quasar has proposed an update to the iconic rainbow flag.
    Perhaps time for a brand new flag? (Ha, can you imagine the uproar!)

  • Today’s Masculinity Is Stifling
    As boys grow up, the process of becoming men encourages them to shed the sort of intimate connections and emotional intelligence that add meaning to life. In hindsight, our son was gearing up to wear a dress to school for quite some time.
    Growing up, I can’t even imagine how we (myself included) would’ve treated a boy if he turned up at school in a dress. Progress is slow.

  • The Lifespan of a Lie
    The most famous psychology study of all time was a sham. Why can’t we escape the Stanford Prison Experiment?
    A flawed experiment that is easily understood and processed, but that we know is wrong? Could apply to many things right now.

  • Slip Coaches: Back When British Express Trains Detached Passenger Cars at Speed
    According to British railway lore, the “slip coach” was born when a rail official was riding in a train car that came an unexpected stop. The rest of the express train kept going while his carriage glided to a gentle halt in front of a midway station.
    WTF, how did I not know this was a thing?!

  • ‘The Good Place’ Creator Mike Schur on Season 2’s Debate-Spawning Finale
    No comedy on television churns through more story ideas, in more surprising ways, than NBC’s The Good Place.
    SPOILERS! Wonderful wonderful spoilers. CANNOT WAIT for it to return.

  • The Church of Interruption
    Sometimes I am startled to realize, in the middle of a discussion, that I have offended or hurt some of the people I’m talking with. First, know and accept this: I have a friend who is a wizard. He is an ancient and wise wizard, and we have tea together.
    Ever had someone interrupt you (people who identify as female, I know you have!)?

  • The Shining Overlook Hotel rug: Hicks’ Hexagon officially licensed (240x170cm)
    The most iconic carpet in film is now available as officially licensed luxury rugs and carpet runners for your own home. About the designer: David Hick’s fusion of pattern, colour, antique and contemporary has influenced many designers of both home and fashion.
    WOW YES! I’ll definitely buy one of hold the front page how frickin much?

  • The Art of Enjoying The Burn
    After inspecting my ankle, the doctor told me to strengthen it by doing a hundred calf raises a day. I try to do them whenever a few minutes present themselves: when soup is heating, coffee is brewing, or something is downloading. After a few dozen reps, the calves really start to burn.
    And the more you go, the harder you work to achieve it. I feel this (literally, was at the gym last night!)

  • It’s All Too Much, and We Still Have to Care
    As a purely descriptive matter, it’s surely true: We are all going numb. As Donald Trump makes war with Canada and peace with dictators and human rights abusers, the narrative is that everyone’s lost all feeling.
    I don’t post about Trump on here deliberately, but that doesn’t mean I’m not aware of what he’s doing and the horrible, disgusting acts being carried out in his name.

  • The most important study of the Mediterranean diet has been retracted
    In 2013, the New England Journal of Medicine published a landmark study that found that people put on a Mediterranean diet had a 30% lower chance of heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular disease than people on a low-fat diet.
    SUCK IT OLIVES!! Sorry about that, I just really don’t like olives.