Weekend Reading

“Thing” now has a new definition in the Oxford English Dictionary, thanks to “The West Wing” Every quarter, the OED updates its expansive catalog with new words that reflect the changing times. This month, more than 1,200 new words and phrases were added to the list. For example, “woke” and “post-truth” made the cut—the latter was dubbed “word of the year” by the OED in 2016. Without even realising it I co-opted this usage as well, for, you know, that thing… Mumbai has the world’s second-largest collection of Art Deco buildings but no one notices them Always look up, writ large in Mumbai. A Lecture About the History of the Scots Language … in Scots: How Much Can You Comprehend? …

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Weekend Reading

Location Scouting for Wes Anderson I have another part-time job that nobody knows about. It doesn’t pay very well because … well, technically my “boss” doesn’t actually know I hired myself to do the job. But whenever he decides he needs me, I’m certainly ready and waiting. I love the look of the Wes Anderson world, if you do too, check this out. The surprising number of American adults who think chocolate milk comes from brown cows Seven percent of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, according to a nationally representative online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy. If you do the math, that works out to 16.4 million misinformed, milk-drinking people. Something something …

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Weekend Reading

Groom surprises bride with a pug puppy on their wedding day, tears ensue As if a wedding day isn’t magical enough, groom Stephen Watt wanted to take it one paw-dorable step further by surprising his bride, Keriann Watt, a lifelong pug-lover, with her very own puppy at their reception in Luss, Scotland. The power of social media! This is a friend of my sister, she was at the wedding! Seeing this picked up by US media was fascinating! Also… PUPPY!! This Baker Makes Internet Trolls Eat Their Words — Literally The social media world is heavily populated by trolls — you know, those people who write nasty, mean comments online. Sometimes it can be tempting to respond back, but what …

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Weekend Reading

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 …

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Weekend Reading

What If We Cultivated Our Ugliness? or: The Monstrous Beauty of Medusa Myth and folklore teem with frightening women: man-seducers and baby-stealers, menacing witches and avenging spirits, rapacious bird-women and all-devouring forces of nature. One of a series of articles on how culture/media portrayal of women is … somewhat troubling (AKA fubar) Mossberg: The Disappearing Computer This is my last weekly column for The Verge and Recode — the last weekly column I plan to write anywhere. I’ve not linked to many (any?) of his articles but no doubt his legacy is a strong one The Curious Case of the Disappearing Nuts At 11:22 a.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2013, an orange Freightliner tractor-trailer arrived at Crain Walnut Shelling in …

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Weekend Reading

We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment We are misnamed. We call ourselves Homo sapiens, the “wise man,” but that’s more of a boast than a description. What is now? When is then? Etc etc. A notable addition to my recent post. How Mountain Biking Is Saving Small-Town From Nevada to Minnesota, hollowed-out mining towns are seeing economic revitalization on trails and tracks that attract mountain bikers from far and wide Photo: Nearly 50 years ago, the iron mining companies that were once the backbone of Crosby. And the world evolves. Pet Project The semester is almost over and the rain is only supposed to hold off for a couple more hours, but a group of Campbell University golf …

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Weekend Reading

Two notes on today’s post. I’m finding it harder to wade through my usual sources and avoid the T word. Especially this past week. It’s depressing stuff and shows no sign of abating. I tend to leave the order of the links in these posts unaltered. They are presented as I discovered, oldest to latest. But the news about Chris Cornell hit me really hard, largely because grunge was the ‘music moment’ I identified with growing up. Chris Cornell Was a Rock Star for the Ages Chris Cornell, frontman for Soundgarden and Audioslave, died Wednesday night in Detroit, a few hours after a Soundgarden show. He was 52. He died by suicide, a medical examiner determined. Cornell was one of the …

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Weekend Reading

The ‘Shazam’ For Plants Will Identify Any Plant From A Picture An estimated 400,000 flowering plant species exist in the world, and, understandably, it can be difficult to keep track. The vast majority of us can only recognize and name a handful of plants, even if we would like it to be otherwise. This’ll be one of those apps I forget about until I need. And by then I’ll already have asked my mate Graeme… Strong language: swearing makes you stronger, psychologists confirm It isn’t big and it isn’t clever. But the benefits, known to anyone who has moved home, climbed a mountain, or pushed a broken-down car, have finally been confirmed: according to psychologists, swearing makes you stronger. Bet you are …

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Weekend Reading

To Everyone Who’s Just Barely Holding It Together I remember a lot of days feeling like an egg; an intact shell that looked smooth and clean, with an inside that was messy and maybe even rotten. You’d have to break it to find out, I guess, but it never quite broke. A thin membrane was all that was keeping it together. If anything in this article hits home. Stop reading. Go do something good for yourself instead, walk in the sunshine, have a long hot bath. Make time for you (awesome, amazing, you). The stupid reason that larger clothes fit so badly A common complaint among women who wear sizes 16 and up is that if they can find items …

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Weekend Reading

Redshirts Aren’t Likeliest to Die — and Other ‘Star Trek’ Math Lessons The original “Star Trek” series isn’t just a milestone of science fiction, it’s also a treasure trove of mathematical ideas — as Space.com discovered when we attended “Star Trek: The Math of Khan” at the Museum of Mathematics. Star Trek in FAKE NEWS shocker. Honestly, what IS the world coming to? “Many American adults are wary of pedophiles”: The best internet advice for traveling to the US So you want visit the US. You’ve packed your bags, gotten your documents together, maybe paid for a pricey tourist visa, to sprawling land of barbecue and purple mountains. A gentle reminder to everyone across the globe that we ALL live …

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