Weekend Reading

  • A list of nonbinary gender identities
    From the nonbinary.org wiki, a list of gender identities that aren’t male or female. transgender is an umbrella term for all genders that go beyond society’s ideas of gender, which includes some kinds of binary gender people.

  • How one programmer broke the internet by deleting a tiny piece of code
    The story of how 28-year-old Azer Koçulu briefly broke the internet shows how writing software for the web has become dependent on a patchwork of code that itself relies on the benevolence of fellow programmers.

  • How Reporters Pulled Off the Panama Papers, the Biggest Leak in Whistleblower History
    When Daniel Ellsberg photocopied and leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times in 1971, those 7,000 pages of top secret Vietnam War documents represented what was then the biggest whistleblower leak in history—a couple dozen megabytes if it were contained in a modern text file.

  • How an internet mapping glitch turned a random Kansas farm into a digital hell
    An hour’s drive from Wichita, Kansas, in a little town called Potwin, there is a 360-acre piece of land with a very big problem. The plot has been owned by the Vogelman family for more than a hundred years, though the current owner, Joyce Taylor née Vogelman, 82, now rents it out.

  • Medium and Twitter founder: ‘We put junk food in front of them and they eat it’
    Ev Williams is not a fan of the increasingly homogenised media he currently sees, with its emphasis on feeding the great, gaping maw of platforms like Twitter and Facebook too often producing what he describes as tantamount to junk food.

  • No alcohol, no coffee for 15 months. This is what happened.
    Exactly today I haven’t had a single drop of alcohol or coffee in 15 months. A couple of my friends on Facebook & Twitter asked me to write about my experience, so here it is, in a nutshell. With over a year of no alcohol & coffee, I did notice some side effects. Here is what I learned.

  • Why salad is so overrated
    As the world population grows, we have a pressing need to eat better and farm better, and those of us trying to figure out how to do those things have pointed at lots of different foods as problematic. Almonds, for their water use. Corn, for the monoculture. Beef, for its greenhouse gases.

  • “Batman v Superman” Is a Failure on Every Single Level
    Oh dear, honey baby. Oh no, baby doll. This is a bad film.

  • We’re running out of water, and the world’s powers are very worried
    Secret conversations between American diplomats show how a growing water crisis in the Middle East destabilized the region, helping spark civil wars in Syria and Yemen, and how those water shortages are spreading to the United States.
  • On Its 40th Anniversary: Notes on the Making of All the President’s Men
    IF YOU HAVE WORKED in the movies, you know that a picture as good as All the President’s Men is a miracle. An impossible conjunction of talent and opportunity, collaboration and ego, trust, power, and luck. And then more luck. 

  • The Untold History of Aretha Franklin’s Irrevocable “Respect”
    Music critic Ann Powers says she thinks the song has endured as a theme song for the women’s movement in part “because it’s a conversation.

  • A Maddening Sound
    Sue Taylor first started hearing it at night in 2009. A retired psychiatric nurse, Taylor lives in Roslin, Scotland, a small village seven miles outside of Edinburgh. “A thick, low hum,” is how she described it, something “permeating the entire house,” keeping her awake.

  • Golden State and the Mathematical Magic of Seventy-Three
    “I am aware of the Warriors’ push for seventy-three wins,” Ken Ono, a professor of mathematics at Emory University and the author of “The Web of Modularity: Arithmetic of the Coefficients of Modular Forms and q-series,” said recently, just before the Golden State Warriors won game number seventy-two.

  • How Boots went rogue
    Britain’s biggest pharmacy used to be a family business, dedicated to serving society. Now, many of the company’s own staff believe that its relentless drive for profit is putting the public at risk.

  • My Mom Had a Massive Stroke Two Weeks Ago – Narratively
    She asks for carrot cake from our favorite restaurant, and Oreo Thins, and a brownie blast sundae from Sonic. This is maybe the oddest quirk of my new mother, the product of a stroke that happened just months before my 26th birthday. The mother I grew up with hated sweets.