Weekend Reading

  • Hogwarts as Never-Never Land: Stephen King on The Goblet of Fire

    “I read the first novel in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in April 1999 and was only moderately impressed. But in April 1999 I was pretty much all right.”
    Pop culture clash with the ever wonderful Mr. King. Insightful as ever.

  • What Do We Mean When We Say “Toxic Masculinity?”

    This. All of this.

  • ‘It was wonderfully scary’: Tim Curry, Rob Reiner and Kathy Bates on the joy of adapting Stephen King

    Four decades after Carrie, the master horror writer’s It is the latest of his tales to be turned into a film. Actors and directors explain what’s kept the industry hooked Hollywood pounced on Stephen King as soon as his first novel, Carrie, was published in 1974.
    I’ve read the novel, and barely recall watching snippets of the TV Movie, and I don’t like horror movies… but…

  • Alien-Like Blob Found in Lake is Actually a Living Thing

    Sometimes, we are all this blob—a large, gelatinous mound sitting in a lake, begging to be left alone. Recently, one such blob was found near the Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver. While it might not look like something from Earth, the Blob is very much alive—and it contains multitudes.
    We are multitudes. Nature is awesome.

  • Sending Summer Off With a Bang: 55-Foot-Tall Sand Castle Snags World Record

    It’s virtually impossible to get a sense of just how large this world-record-smashing sand castle really is until you see a shot that includes crowds of tiny humans gathered around its base.
    Meanwhile I can’t even turn out a castle shaped bucket without losing one of the towers…

  • ‘Ally McBeal’ at 20: Calista Flockhart, David E. Kelley and More on Dancing Babies, Feminism and Robert Downey Jr.

    If TV shows had godparents, Ally McBeal’s would have been Melrose Place and The Practice. Without those two series, chances are Fox’s groundbreaking dramedy about a lawyer and her crazed life might never have happened.
    I loved Ally McBeal and… WHOA, 20 years. (Also, Lisa Nicole Carson. Just saying).

  • This music production tool is the reason why all new music sounds the same

    Imagine music as a recipe.
    Yet one more reason I am no longer passionate about ‘chart’ music.

  • The bad news is that fish are eating lots of plastic. Even worse, they may like it.

    As you bite down into a delicious piece of fish, you probably don’t think about what the fish itself ate — but perhaps you should. More than 50 species of fish have been found to consume plastic trash at sea.
    Goes alongside other news this week that our (filtered) water supplies are tainted with plastic too. We are plastic people.

  • Why Freddie Mercury’s Voice Was So Great, As Explained By Science

    Freddie Mercury, the late frontman for the legendary band Queen, died almost 25 years ago. But he’s still regarded as one of the best rock singers ever. What, exactly, made him so great? A research team in Europe wanted to answer that question, so it looked into the science behind his voice.
    Science? SCIENCE? He’s Freddie motherfuckin’ Mercury, that’s all the damn science you need! (Ahem, Queen may be my favourite band, just sayin’)

  • Don’t Call It Pink Chocolate

    Barry Callebaut AG, the world’s largest cocoa processor, has come up with the first new natural color for chocolate since Nestle. A started making bars of white chocolate more than 80 years ago.
    I’m waiting on the first ‘but where is the blue chocolate for boys’ idiot to show up.

  • Celery Was the Avocado Toast of the Victorian Era

    Though it’s the crucial third component of a mirepoix, cooked celery is one of the most universally hated vegetables.
    Further proof that trends are not a new… er… trend… ?

  • Wild dog packs count sneezes to vote democratically

    Wild dogs aren’t totally wild, it turns out. As in any society, there are complex rules in their packs, plus powerful types who disproportionately influence the group. Yet the will of the many does at times prevail.
    All those who want this instituted in Parliament, SNEEZE TWICE!

  • You Are the Product

    At the end of June, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook had hit a new level: two billion monthly active users. That number, the company’s preferred ‘metric’ when measuring its own size, means two billion different people used Facebook in the preceding month.
    We the people. Etc etc. Sheesh.

  • Why Happy People Cheat

    “Most descriptions of troubled marriages don’t seem to fit my situation,” Priya insists. “Colin and I have a wonderful relationship. Great kids, no financial stresses, careers we love, great friends.
    There are other options people. It takes hard work and complete honest.

  • Rebecca Solnit: if I were a man

    Growing up, the author joked she was the perfect son: intelligent, ambitious, independent. How different might her life have been? When I was very young, some gay friends of mine threw a cross-dressing party.
    Wonderful, thought provoking, article.

  • iOS 11 Almost Turns an iPad in to a MacBook

    Next Tuesday Apple will be hosting an event where we expect to see the unveil of their latest iPhone. As it’s the 10th anniversary of the game-changing device, expectations are high for a significant new design.
    I’ve been playing with iOS 11 Beta releases, the muscle memory isn’t quite there yet but it’s a massive improvement for iPad users.

  • You’ll Be Happier If You Let Yourself Feel Bad

    There’s a moment in Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray when the title character declares war on his feelings: “I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions,” Dorian says. “I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
    I’ve worked on exactly this. Learning how to step back and accept how things are, regardless of your emotional state isn’t easy but very worthwhile (when it works, it doesn’t always).

  • The Gift of Presence, The Perils of Advice

    When my mother went into a nursing home not long before she died, my wife and I were told that, for a modest increase in the monthly fee, the staff would provide a few extra services to improve her quality of life. We gladly paid, grateful that we could afford it.
    Recent family events (my Uncle passed away) brings this sort of thing into sharp relief.

  • The Literary Allure of Edinburgh, Explained

    Edinburgh is a Gothic mystery. There is fiction and horror, death and, on occasion, romance. There are things that go bump in the night. It’s the kind of place that makes you think witches – the Hansel and Gretel type, not Sabrina, The Teenage Witch – are real.
    I really need to explore Edinburgh more, even though it’s only the second best city in Scotland (after Glasgow).