Weekend Reading

  • Apostrophe-gate
    The Watergate scandal produced a number of far-reaching effects. It brought down a president. It created a new era of disillusionment with politics. And, more important for my purposes, it spawned one of the most flexible, enduring suffixes in modern history.
    I’m not that fussed about apostrophes, but just you wait for interrobang-gate, wow that’s gonna be something‽
  • America Has Never Been So Ripe for Tyranny
    And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny. As this dystopian election campaign has unfolded, my mind keeps being tugged by a passage in Plato’s Republic. It has unsettled — even surprised — me from the moment I first read it in graduate school.
    I hear ‘tyranny’, my brain hears, ‘A wretched hive of scum and villany’
  • Every Episode of David Attenborough’s Life Series, Ranked
    This Sunday, Sir David Attenborough, naturalist, maker of wildlife documentaries, snuggler of gorillas, wielder of That Voice, keeper of the blue shirt, and Most Trusted Man in Britain, turns 90.
    A true legend in every sense of the word.
  • I tried to make my own tortillas from scratch the Mexican way in the US, and it was a disaster
    Corn tortillas are ubiquitous in the US. Factories daily churn out millions of them and disperse them to all corners of the country.
    I think the mistake is in trying to make your own… I have mine delivered (and pre-filled!).
  • Should Prostitution Be a Crime?
    Last November, Meg Muñoz went to Los Angeles to speak at the annual West Coast conference of Amnesty International. She was nervous.
    Some cultural changes bubble, this seems to be one about to hit the top and burst.
  • The Russian Spy Who Painted Brooklyn Red
    This is a story about a man named Rudolf Ivanovich Abel. He was a colonel in the KGB—a master spy, a mole deeply embedded in the United States, and the central hub of a massive, all-consuming espionage network that threatened all that we hold near and dear. Well, that’s not totally true.
    Spies! Secrets! Intrigue. Someone phone Dan Brown!
  • Where Did All The Dicks Go?
    The transformation of the word “dick” from endearing nickname to phallic slang term was so complete by the time I was a child that it was difficult for me not to snicker whenever I heard someone mention my grandfather by name, and impossible for me to understand why any man would choose to go with that name.
    FNAR! Ok, there, got that out of my system. I hope this isn’t a hard read (sorry!).
  • Two minutes playing this video game could help scientists fight Alzheimer’s
    Michael Hornberger always enjoys watching his children play the video game he helped create. Their small fingers move deftly across their sleek cellphone screens. Their brows furrow in concentration as they maneuver through the brightly colored virtual reality.
    I think there’s a word for this intersection in thinking but I can’t remember it..
  • Why You Shouldn’t Tell That Random Girl On The Street That She’s Hot
    Ah, spring. What a wonderful time of the year. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, terrified college students are graduating, and dudes on the internet are pondering that age-old philosophical question: “But whyyyyy can’t I tell that random girl on the street that she looks hot?”
    All good advice. Heeded.
  • Be A Better Bystander: How Third Parties Can Help Targets Of Online Abuse
    I’m not posting this because I get abuse, I’m posting it because we are ALL part of the solution.
  • What It Really Means That Facebook ‘Suppressed’ Conservative News
    Facebook’s black box is slowly being opened.
    FNAR! Ohh wrong post… anyway… 1984 anyone?
  • Radiohead Meets With My Shrink
    Notes from a therapy session during which I only spoke in phrases from Radiohead’s new album. I won’t get heavy. Keep it light. Keep it moving.
    You have heard the new album, right? I mean if you’ve had time to… what, you don’t like Radiohead?
  • How Breakfast Became a Thing
    What you may not know is the origin of this ode to breakfast: a 1944 marketing campaign launched by Grape Nuts manufacturer General Foods to sell more cereal.
    OK, this I can handle, but if anyone tries to fuck with brunch they’ll be on my list!
  • To boost your creativity, procrastinate
    Procrastination, it turns out, may not be such a bad thing after all. The most effective way to tackle a new creative assignment is to put it off for a while, according to psychologist Maria Konnikova.
    These posts are a testament to the power of my procrastination (and if you are still reading, yours too).
  • Alison Bechdel on Writing, Therapy, Self-Doubt, and How the Messiness of Life Feeds the Creative Conscience
    Virginia Woolf lamented in her diary midway through writing To the Lighthouse.
    We human beings are a complex lot, eh?
  • The Unbelievable Reality of the Impossible Hyperloop
    Startup Hyperloop Technologies has started shooting magnetically levitated capsules along a track in Las Vegas to show off a radical idea for the future of freight and mass transit.
    This is the Jetsons, right?
  • Watch The First Real-World Test Of Hyperloop Technology
    Hyperloop One is one of the companies attempting to take the hyperloop from Elon Musk’s imagination to real-world application. On Wednesday, the company held the first live test of its version of the ultra-fast transportation system at a site in Nevada.
    And here is the proof that it’s really happening! WHOOOOOOOOSH!
  • How Typography Can Save Your Life
    This story was co-published with Source. After decades of silently shouting at the top of its lungs, the National Weather Service recently announced that it’s going to stop publishing its forecasts and weather warnings in ALL CAPS.
    Typography. Proof I’m a nerd.
  • I Promise You Don’t Have To Lose Weight To Be Happy
    Obvious fat. You’ve-got-such-a-pretty-face fat. Internet-trolls-making-digs-at-the-double-chins-on-my-upper-arms fat. I am, in the parlance of the fat acceptance community, known as an “in-betweenie” or a “smallfat” — I fluctuate between a size 16 and a size 18.
    I too am fat! HOORAY!!