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 the competition to be the Big Boss. The man whose name we laughed at. He got fewer votes than the lady, but we don’t make the rules, darling, they do. ‘They’ will become so significant to you as you grow up.
    How do you explain what Trump embodies to an innocent mind?
  • Google’s former happiness guru developed a three-second brain exercise for finding joy
    Chade-Meng Tan, a former engineer, joined Google in 2000 as employee number 107. Though he played an instrumental role in building Google’s mobile search function, among other technological feats, he’s better known for the mindfulness classes he later led for employees.
    Mindfulness? Finding joy? Yeah, easy to scoff at but right now, I’ll grasp these straws!
  • Nick Denton, Peter Thiel, and the Plot to Murder Gawker
    One day in September 2014 the publisher of Gawker Media, Nick Denton, sent an e-mail to Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist and billionaire.
    In depth article on this story which I’ve been aware of but not massively bothered by (I don’t read Gawker, and this felt all ‘boys with toys’ nonsense to me…
  • A 20-Year-Old Dutch Man Just Set The New World Rubik’s Cube Record
    Don’t blink, or you’ll miss the entire 4.74 seconds it takes Mats Valk of the Netherlands to completely destroy both this Rubik’s cube and the world speed record.
    Since this was posted, a robot did it in 0.637 seconds. The rise of the machines continues…
  • The End of Relaxation
    We live in the golden age of wellness vacations, where taking time off is all about becoming a better person. When I was 22, I used to have a fantasy about going away to a sanitarium.
    When I was 22 I used to worry about being taken away to a sanitarium, my my, times change!
  • You Can Have Emotions You Don’t Feel
    What does it mean to have an emotion? It seems obvious that having one means feeling it. If you’re happy but don’t know it, in what sense could you actually be happy? Such reasoning seemed sound to William James.
    Reason #349 in the series: Humans are complicated and also awesome.
  • Carl Sagan on Moving Beyond Us vs. Them, Bridging Conviction with Compassion, and Meeting Ignorance with Kindness
    “Unless we are very, very careful,” wrote psychologist-turned-artist Anne Truitt in contemplating compassion and the cure for our chronic self-righteousness, “we doom each other by holding onto images of one another based on preconceptions that are in turn based on indifference…”
    Deep thought article that seems timely. Abridged version: Be nice to everyone.
  • The Art of the Blurb
    Few Canadian writers have been more deliriously blurbed than Anne Carson. “[T]he most exciting poet writing in English today,” declared Michael Ondaatje. “ . . . I would read anything she wrote,” proclaimed Susan Sontag.
    All writing takes skill (as you’ll have seen from my examples here, it also can be performed by idiots)
  • Be Unfailingly Kind
    DJ and I play Destiny. I’ve never met DJ, but each week he and I and a dozen or so other regulars are sitting on our respective couches, chairs, and bean bags tackling the various parts of this gorgeous first person shooter. You can play much of Destiny by yourself.
    How to be a good leader = how to be a good person. Abridged version: Be nice (kind) to everyone.
  • Eavesdrop on Ultrasonic Rat Giggles
    A tickle can send a rat into a fit of ultrasonic giggles. New research reveals what goes on in a rat’s brain during a tickle attack. Scientists knew rats loved to be tickled, especially on their backs and bellies. A tickled rat lets out tiny giggles, too high for us to hear.
    Cute little ratsies!