Weekend Reading

I wore men’s clothes for a month – and it changed my life It’s 9am and I’m having breakfast at the House of Commons. I’m wearing a three-piece pinstriped suit, matching tie and pocket square, and the confidence of a mediocre white man. To my left, a man is pouring me coffee; to my right, another is listening respectfully. How did I get here? This is my – if you only read one post, read this one – entry this week. Five Documentaries Worth Watching — Tools and Toys Rather than make a super-extensive list of my all-time favorite ones, I figured I’d put together a short list of documentaries from recent years that I heartily recommend. Enjoy! Warning: This …

Continue reading »

Weekend Reading

A billion dollar gift for Twitter Listen, it’s almost 2017, so it’s absurd to still be writing “how to save Twitter” thinkpieces. My use of Twitter is waning. It might just be the usual cycle of the mehs, but I’m finding myself increasingly less bothered about it recently. But Really, Why DO We Post So Many Food Pics? There is no sincerer love than the love of food. – George Bernard Shaw And no, it’s not JUST because we are all fat bastards (what? just me, ohh ok then) Things I read this year: My favourite books of 2016 2016 has basically been a left-up toilet seat of a year, but it wasn’t all terrible. Some great books were published …

Continue reading »

Weekend Reading

More high profile deaths, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds. No links to articles as they’ve all circulated but all had the same underlying theme. These people will flawed, they were inspiring, they were human. Waiting for Ripley If in space no one can hear you scream, torment is doubly painful. Inside her cocoon aboard a starship, the woman looks peaceful, but she’s forced to sleep, unable to dream, and on a course toward a waking nightmare. Iconic character for many reasons, we need more. Meet Henry Orenstein, the man who changed how the world plays Henry Orenstein was standing outside his concentration camp barracks, shivering, when the amplified voice of his salvation cut through the frigid air: “All Jewish …

Continue reading »

Weekend Reading

‘Fuck You, 2016’ A chorus of celebrities and people on the street echoed host John Oliver’s message for the end of the year: “Fuck you, 2016.” Wary we are skewed by the media we consume but… yeah I got nothing. Fuck you, 2016. Have more famous people died in 2016? It’s been held up as a particularly gloomy year for celebrity deaths. But has the grim reaper really claimed the souls of more notable people than usual in 2016? David Bowie, Prince, Harper Lee, Alan Rickman, Nancy Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Sir George Martin, Victoria Wood, Leonard Cohen… Yes. Fuck you, 2016. Literary Hub’s Best Books of 2016 Sudden Death, Álvaro Enrigue, trans. Natasha Wimmer (Riverhead): The best way I can …

Continue reading »

Weekend Reading

Why Time’s Trump Cover Is a Subversive Work of Political Art Time Magazine’s annual “Person of the Year” announcement is, year after year, grossly misunderstood. The power of a photo, and I bet Trump had no idea, and likely won’t ever realise what has happened. 12 Gifts for Perennials, a curious people* Perennials is a term coined by Gina Pell, my co-founder of The What. It’s used to describe enduring, ever-blooming, curious people of all ages not a demographic or a generation. If this sounds like you or someone on your holiday list, here are some items you’ll both enjoy (especially #12). In case you need some last minute inspiration for holiday shopping! On Optimism and Despair First I would …

Continue reading »

Weekend Reading

The True Purpose of Microsoft Solitaire, Minesweeper, and FreeCell If you haven’t ever played Solitaire, Minesweeper, Hearts or FreeCell, it’s safe to say you’re in the minority. These simple Windows games have probably caused more lost worker hours than anything short of a worldwide coffee shortage. We’ve all been played! (geddit, played… ohh COME ON!) The mild glory in being second best In a recent and quite gloriously camp interview with RuPaul, Graham Norton attempted to explain the Eurovision Song Contest. Ru is madly curious: does Britain ever win? What do you get when you win? “Oh, no,” says Norton, knowingly. “No one actually wants to win.” I’m competitive by nature but as I age, I mellow, like a fine wine …

Continue reading »

Weekend Reading

Typography + Language + Writing Systems = Afrikan Alphabets I am quick to confess that I am an easy sell-out to a top piece of print, yet at times this has been thwarted by unresolved issues that I hold with the graphic design profession. As an individual who mediates between art and design, I am careful not to shoot myself in the foot here. Geektastic stuff, if you aren’t excited by the title, probably best to move on… The making of a cinematic linguist’s office Ever since the first trailer for the upcoming science-fiction movie “Arrival” came out back in August, we here at Language Log Plaza have been anxiously awaiting more glimpses of Amy Adams. Arrival is fast becoming …

Continue reading »

Weekend Reading

Noisli – Improve Focus and Boost Productivity with Background Noise Now, put your headphones on and start boosting your productivity. I’m a bit of a sucker for these things but this one is a good one, calming too if you get the right combo. Productivity Is Really About What You Don’t Do The best productivity tip I ever got was the idea of a “stop-doing list” from Jim Collins. In this Age of Distraction, we’re all dodging and weaving between so much incoming information that what you don’t do on a daily basis has become as important—if not more—as what you do execute on. Can you tell I’m on a bit of a ‘get stuff done’ kick at the moment? …

Continue reading »

Weekend Reading

“It’s an exercise in seeing”: An artist’s mind-opening ritual of doodling on Sundays Sundays used to be sacred, reserved for prayer, family or sightseeing. Today, a third of busy Americans let work seep into their weekends, according to a 2014 National Bureau of Economic Research study. There is a lot to be said for switching off. That reminds me, must buy more Lego.. The average Netflix subscriber watches almost twice as much Netflix as they did 5 years ago Netflix says it will produce a whopping 1,000 hours of original TV shows and movies in 2017, and that’s a good thing since people keep watching more and more Netflix. The number of hours of Netflix the average subscriber watches has …

Continue reading »

Weekend Reading

Trump warning: Skip the first two links if you want to avoid Trump related links (I know, I’m feeling very fatigued by the whole thing too). President Trump’s First Term On the morning of January 20, 2017, the President-elect is to visit Barack Obama at the White House for coffee, before they share a limousine—Obama seated on the right, his successor on the left—for the ride to the Capitol, where the Inauguration will take place, on the west front terrace… Between now and then we will have a much better understanding of what President Trump will do. I have the fear. Motherhood: A letter to my girl The man we were talking about in the bath on Monday night won …

Continue reading »