Weekend Reading

Reading time: 5 mins
  • We Use Sports Terms All the Time. But Where Do They Come From?
    Your third-grade phys ed teacher used them all the time. Your neighbor does, too. Even your kids pull them out every once in a while. We’re talking about sports idioms, those everyday phrases ingrained in our lexicon, handed down from generation to generation.
    Also interesting to see how many of these have crossed the Atlantic.

  • Home Office refuses visas for authors invited to Edinburgh book festival
    The festival, which starts on Saturday and includes appearances from 900 authors and illustrators from 55 countries, routinely provides assistance for visa applications. It has reported a jump in refusals over the last few years.
    This country is getting worse.

  • Bill Maher Is Stand-up Comedy’s Past. Hannah Gadsby Represents Its Future.
    Last weekend, as Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix phenomenon Nanette continued to rack up impassioned reviews and think pieces, Bill Maher aired a new HBO special, Live From Oklahoma. If you watch them back-to-back, they seem to be in conversation, or debate.
    In light of this, it was interesting seeing Marcus Brigstoke doing standup at the Fringe.

  • Science Has Resolved the Question of Boxers vs. Briefs
    In 1925, boxer shorts were unleashed on the world: loose-fitting underwear for men, featuring an elastic waistband inspired by the shorts worn by boxers. It was underwear for the inner pugilist.
    Because this is important!

  • The $250 Biohack That’s Revolutionizing Life With Diabetes
    Two exhausting years in, Kate found the beginnings of an alternative in an online forum. A loose confederation of do-it-yourselfers were working on a system that would eventually help link an insulin pump to a glucose monitor and connect both to a smartphone app.
    Hmmmm. Not sure we are quite ‘there’ yet though, are we?

  • “Snapchat dysmorphia”: why people are getting plastic surgery to look like their edited photos
    Grace Smith*, 28, started using the Facetune photo app a few years back to edit wrinkles out of her face. The lines between her eyebrows created a shadowy effect on her forehead, and she thought she looked fresher and prettier in pictures when the shadow was erased.
    Very much not good.

  • The Iraqi Spy Who Infiltrated ISIS
    BAGHDAD — The driver was sweating as his white Kia pickup truck sped along a rain-slicked Baghdad highway toward a neighborhood bustling with open-air markets. With every jolt and turn, his pulse quickened.
    Wow. What a story.

  • Adam Grant’s simple trick for actually enjoying your successes
    If you’re anything like me—a class A overachiever—you’ve probably been advised more than once to slow down. Relax, take a breath, just enjoy your latest success for a bit before worrying about the next one.
    Posting for reasons (for MY reasons)

  • Pop Songs in English, Written by Native Speakers of Swedish
    If you were in the land of the living in ’93, you will remember a song called “All that She Wants,” by the Swedish band Ace of Base. I don’t know anybody who resisted that song.
    If you are reading this, and you don’t like at least one Abba song, just… leave.

  • Only 15 people have ever finished the grueling and secretive Barkley Marathons — here’s what the race is like, according to people who’ve tried
    For a runner who tries to enter the Barkley Marathons, one thing is certain: they have almost no chance of finishing. The first Barkley race was held in 1986, but the course distance was bumped up to at least 100 miles — probably 130 miles, depending on who you ask — in 1989.
    Pretty sure I’ve linked to this before. If you can find it on Netflix, watch the documentary. Bonkers. People are awesome.

  • How Bill Browder Became Russia’s Most Wanted Man
    Shortly after Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin wrapped up their recent summit at the Finnish Presidential Palace, in Helsinki, around two hundred journalists gathered in the building’s neoclassical ballroom.
    Yes, it’s a ‘Trump’ link, but it helped me better understand some of the finer points of this particular shitshow.

  • Paris baulks at ‘horrible’ eco-friendly public urinals
    Bright-red, fully exposed, urinals have been placed across the city to reduce peeing on the streets. But the eco-friendly devices, which are filled with straw and designed to be odourless, have left many unconvinced.
    So many jokes, so little time.

  • When a Stranger Decides to Destroy Your Life
    Monika Glennon has lived in Huntsville, Alabama, for the last 12 years. Other than a strong Polish accent, she fits a certain stereotype of the All-American life. She’s blonde. Her husband is a veteran Marine. Her two children, a boy and a girl, joined the military as adults.
    This is horrible. People can be so so vile.

  • Is neuroscience getting closer to explaining evil behaviour?
    In 1941, en route from a ghetto to a concentration camp in Ukraine, a Nazi soldier beat my grandfather to death. My father witnessed this murder.
    Maybes aye, maybes naw.

  • Leaving a Good Man Is Hard To Do
    Several years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the prolonged and heart-wrenching breakup that persisted in destroying my entire life over the course of many months, a friend sent me an essay she thought I should read.
    Genuinely posting for a friend (where that friend is ME! hahaha)

  • The Rub of Rough Sex
    This is a piece about abuse. This is a piece about kink and a piece about consent. This is a piece about the law.
    This is a jarring, long, piece about consent, kink, sex, and where boundaries start to fail.

  • Women’s Pockets are Inferior.
    For each brand mentioned in this study, 4 pairs of jeans were measured: a skinny and straight style in both mens and womens clothing. Skinny style is referred to as slim in some brands and if a standard straight style was unavailable, a boot-cut style was used instead.
    Definitely posting THIS for a friend.

  • This is how tiny changes in words you hear impacts your thinking
    In 1973, America watched as then President Richard Nixon vehemently declared on national television, “I am not a crook” in regards to the Watergate scandal. Not many people believed him.
    Strong words, short sentences. I do not always consider my words. I might have to start.

  • Aretha Franklin Wasn’t Just A Great Singer — She Was A Genius
    “Genius” is a title Aretha deserves, without question. That we have often failed to give it to her (and other black women) shows only our own biases.
    Been re-listening to her early albums. LEGEND.

  • 60 Times Madonna Changed Our Culture
    Madonna was a pioneer of welding her voice to her image, and in a culture consumed with critiquing how women look, and controlling how they use their bodies, she’s been on the front lines — a seductress and a battering ram.
    Another LEGEND, for so many reasons.

  • MIT mathematicians solve age-old spaghetti mystery
    If you happen to have a box of spaghetti in your pantry, try this experiment: Pull out a single spaghetti stick and hold it at both ends. Now bend it until it breaks. How many fragments did you make? If the answer is three or more, pull out another stick and try again.
    Science, bitches! Also, I’d never heard of this at all. Is it a maths geek in-joke?