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 a favourite of mine, so capturing a few links about it here too.

  • Rescue Goat With Anxiety Only Calms Down In Her Duck Costume
    It all started when Leanne Lauricella went shopping at Marshalls before Halloween. She was browsing the aisles when something caught her eye — a child’s duck costume, complete with a big orange bill and two webbed feet.
    I dies of teh cutez.

  • Take This Spreadsheet & Save the World: A Tool for Unsure Activists
    In times of fear and crisis, we all turn to our own sources of consolation — some have faith, some have hard liquor. I have spreadsheets.
    More substance than it suggests, there are many ways to ‘be active’ I hadn’t even considered. Like this one.

  • As a gender we men are in crisis and feminism is our only way out
    Let’s just get one thing straight: feminism is not anti-men. Feminism is not about women receiving preferential rights, it isn’t about taking away the rights of men, or what is rightfully theirs.
    There are some things in this article I take issue with but, on the whole, I agree with the premise.

  • People who swear all the time are actually really fucking smart, says science
    Pottymouths are persecuted. Even in your twenties, your censorious mother will still clutch you, aghast, for dropping a curse word; at school, you were dealt detentions and playground duties and extra homework for exclaiming “shit” when you forgot your folder, or something.
    FUCK YEAH!!!

  • Watching “Arrival” After the Election
    “Arrival,” the new movie from Denis Villeneuve (“Sicario,” “Prisoners”), which Anthony Lane reviewed in last week’s issue of the magazine—and which, this past weekend, earned twenty-four million dollars at the box office, more than people were expecting.
    Maybe this is why the movie resonated so strongly with me?.

  • Fighting authoritarianism: 20 lessons from the 20th century
    Yale history professor Timothy Snyder took to Facebook to share some lessons from 20th century about how to protect our liberal democracy from fascism and authoritarianism.
    History repeats. We can act, we must act.

  • Canada police to punish drink-drivers with Nickelback
    A Canadian police force is threatening festive drink-drivers with a cruel and unusual punishment: forcing them to listen to local band Nickelback. Kensington Police Service, which looks after the residents of Prince Edward Island, will be handing out fines and criminal charges as usual.
    This is for everyone saying they are moving to Canada because they have an inclusive (cute) Prime Minister… THIS IS HORRIFIC!!

  • Thriving on raw eggs, world’s oldest person marks 117th birthday in Italy
    Emma Morano, thought to be the world’s oldest person and the last to be born in the 1800s, celebrated her 117th birthday on Tuesday, still swearing by her diet of two raw eggs a day. Morano was born in November 1899, four years before the Wright brothers first took to the air.
    I’ve never even had one raw egg. I’ll be dead by 60!

  • The true story of Nintendo’s most wanted game
    None of this would’ve happened had Jennifer Thompson not gone thriftin’. This was in April 2013, and she was browsing clothes and $1 DVDs at the Steele Creek Goodwill in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, when she noticed it behind the glass counter.
    Ahhhh I do love a nice story of geekery.

  • How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red’
    Yascha Mounk is used to being the most pessimistic person in the room. Mr. Mounk, a lecturer in government at Harvard, has spent the past few years challenging one of the bedrock assumptions of Western politics: that once a country becomes a liberal democracy, it will stay that way.
    Depressing reading, but all the more vital because of it.

  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year – People’s Choice
    25 shortlisted for the People’s Choice Award in the latest Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition – on show now at the Natural History Museum in London.
    Hooray for nature! (not linked, the article that more young adults watch Planet Earth II than watch X-Fucktor!)

  • More than a quarter of Europeans believe rape is sometimes justified, study finds
    The figures have been published in a report commissioned by the European Union into gender-based violence.
    Breaking out of ‘my bubble’, this kind of thing is shocking and terrifying.

  • Who is the Genius Behind Merriam-Webster’s Social Media?
    In case you hadn’t noticed, Merriam-Webster’s Twitter game is strong—topical, funny, smart, and informative while also being relentlessly irreverent. Not what you’d necessarily expect from the social media account of a dictionary.
    If you are on Twitter, it’s well worth a follow!

  • Cognitive bias cheat sheet
    I’ve spent many years referencing Wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases whenever I have a hunch that a certain type of thinking is an official bias but I can’t recall the name or details. It’s been an invaluable reference for helping me identify the hidden flaws in my own thinking.
    I’ve been kinda aware of cognitive bias in the past but always presumed it was something that would take care of itself. So far it has…

  • How to Make Easy Sushi at Home
    Making sushi is more complicated than it seems, but it doesn’t have to be. One problem is that most people expect sushi to be nigiri-zushi—that is, made with pressed rice and mostly fish—a skill, ude, often judged by the degree, kagen, by which the chef seasons and presses the rice.
    I don’t make sushi often, even though I’ve been on a course. God, I love sushi.

  • 50 Iconic Indie Album Covers: The Fascinating Stories Behind The Sleeves
    They’re images you’ve seen a thousand times, but what do they mean, and how did they end up on the cover of your favourite ever albums?
    Not much else to say. Fascinating. Stories. Album. Covers.

  • Nobody is home
    The tiny home is one of the many oxymorons of our strange times. Thousands of people, mainly on the west coast of North America, have built small homes, little bigger than a garden shed, that they tow around on trailers.
    Whilst I continue to declutter, this is a step further than I think I’m comfortable with.

  • How Stanley Kubrick Made His Masterpieces: An Introduction to His Obsessive Approach to Filmmaking
    As each semester in my film course rolls around, it’s more and more apparent how time depletes the pop culture currency of those directors who did not make it into the 21st Century.
    I really should keep a tally of the topics I post here, Kubrick must be up there near the top.

  • I Was Friends with a Serial Killer
    It is 1981 and I am working the summer at a twenty-four-hour truck stop on the Trans-Canada at Lutes Mountain, just outside of Moncton. During the day it’s insanely busy.
    Read this and try NOT to side eye whoever you are sitting next to….

  • The Best Stephen King Book You Haven’t Read
    I always considered myself something of a King fan, I’d gorged on the horrors of It and The Tommyknockers and ‘Salem’s Lot as a teenager, and then loyally grabbed all his new releases as they arrived in bookshops every year or so. I’d even watched Kingdom Hospital, for goodness sakes.
    I read this before I knew it was Stephen King, I think I was 13 at the time? Re-read it last year, still a fantastic read.

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Mushrooms
    A single dose of magic mushrooms can make people with severe anxiety and depression better for months, according to a landmark pair of new studies. The doom hung like an anvil over her head.
    But can you get them on prescription?!