Weekend Reading

  • Africa is splitting into two after tear in Kenya’s Rift Valley [Video]
    After heavy rains and seismic activities on Monday, the earth has split open at Kenya’s Rift Valley leaving a huge tear that is more than 50 feet deep and more than 50 feet wide weaving through the arable land in Narok County.
    And here we all are worrying about Trump, meanwhile in Africa…

  • Drawing is back in fashion as British Museum offer pencils and paper for new blockbuster exhibition
    It was once the staple of every artist’s practice, before falling out of fashion at the hands of conceptual art, formaldehyde cows and unmade beds.
    What a great idea!

  • What About “The Breakfast Club”?
    Earlier this year, the Criterion Collection, which is “dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world,” released a restored version of “The Breakfast Club,” a film written and directed by John Hughes that I acted in, more than three decades ago.
    Did anyone NOT fall in love with Molly Ringwald at this time? Great look on how we replay the values of today on art of the past.

  • quotemail #19: life is seasonal
    Those words knocked the wind out of me, and I wanted to share them. She understands that she is harvesting after patiently planting and tending to her garden, and it has shifted my own mindset. Now I understand: life is seasonal. Some years are for questions, and some years are for answers.
    I’ve already shared this on Twitter and Facebook but worth it again. When something resonates this hard, you come back to over and over.

  • This 1785 Dictionary of Vulgar Phrases Is a Hilarious …
    Did your mom ever wash your mouth out with soap when you were a rambunctious little scamp? If she did, you definitely know the childish joy of discovering “bad” words for the first time. Naughty language isn’t a modern novelty, and a 1785 dictionary of vulgarities proves it.
    Your challenge for today, pick one and use it in a random conversation. See if anyone notices!

  • The dots do matter: how to scam a Gmail user
    I recently received an email from Netflix which nearly caused me to add my card details to someone else’s Netflix account. Here I show that this is a new kind of phishing scam which is enabled by an obscure feature of Gmail called “the dots don’t matter”.
    I get this all the time (well ‘wrong’ email address signups). Apparently I own a Merc in Arizona somewhere…

  • South Korea’s former president is going to prison. The scandal behind it is batshit.
    South Korea’s former President Park Geun-hye has been sentenced to 24 years in prison and ordered to pay a whopping $17 million in fines after being convicted of bribery, coercion, abuse of power, and other charges.
    Say it with me, truth is stranger than fiction (which reminds me to get back to my attempts at fiction and beef them up a bit!)

  • Making the Touch Bar finally useful
    Back in 2017, I thought the Touch Bar had a vast potential to become engaging and helpful. I believed developers might support it in their applications. I was hoping there was a use for it.
    My 2012 MacBook Air is slowly dying. I will need to replace. Was gonna avoid Touch Bar but now… hmmmmm

  • How to Find New Music You’ll Actually Like
    Some people can dig up great music like magic, or have friends inside the industry who keep them updated. Some people are contented with their weekly Spotify Discover playlist.
    Nothing particularly radical in here but it’s a constant battle for me.

  • Headlines making you anxious? Delay reading them
    It’s a rare week, these days, that you don’t encounter some new, extreme plan for staying sane in a world of insanity-inducing headlines. People used to recommend one device-free day a week, or the occasional “digital detox” retreat.
    File under: So obvious you wonder why you didn’t think of it.

  • Stray Dog
    One of Moriyama Daidō’s most famous black-and-white photographs is of a stray dog, a bit wolfish, with matted hair, looking back into the camera watchfully, with a hint of aggression. He took the picture in 1971 in Misawa, home to a large US Air Force base, in the northeast of Japan.
    A story that isn’t about a dog at all…

  • Nikola Tesla predicted the smartphone in 1926
    In an interview published in Collier’s magazine in 1926, Nikola Tesla, then in the twilight of his career, made some predictions about the future that included electric airplane flights “from New York to Europe in a few hours”, more frequent earthquakes, and temperate zones becoming cooler…
    Genuine genius.

  • Glasgow Garden Festival: Did you go to the event in 1988?
    This is fab. I think I was there a few times, with groups and with my family.

  • You’ve Seen This Letter Everywhere, But Can You Write It?
    Which one is correct? (Credit: Johns Hopkins University) Most of us learn the ABCs in our youth. We see and say the letters so many times they eventually become etched in our minds.
    Given it’s the first letter of my name, and I’m a bit of a typography/font nerd… yeah I got it right!

  • The New Yorker’s musical magazine cover
    The New Yorker has a fun cover this week from cartoonist Tom Gauld. The New York street scene shows bits of music being played and listened to by people and birds and if you click through to the interactive version, you can listen to what each snippet of musical notation sounds like.
    Well this is just lovely.

  • The Countries That Drink the Most Wine Will Certainly …
    Unwinding with a glass of wine is a practice embraced worldwide, whether it’s to relax, enjoy over dinner with friends and family, or celebrate a special occasion. Wine consumption varies by country, but some countries are decidedly more enthusiastic about it than others.
    Next up, who are those people who manage to have ‘leftover wine’?

  • If Budgeting Your Money Is Too Hard, Try This Instead
    Everybody knows having a budget is a good idea. But actually sitting down, looking through your finances, and writing down how much you’ll spend on everything this month? That’s easier said than done. Sure, many people make and stick to a budget.
    I budget. I could do better. Gonna give this a whirl.

  • The Case of the Very, Very Friendly Man Online
    This is what most people’s social-media comments look like, right? A few banal pleasantries, some vague support, a soothing confirmation that you look nice in your new profile photo.
    I’ve been called out on this in the past, I genuinely didn’t realise I was doing it. If I’ve ever made anyone feel uncomfortable, please say (more on this later I think).

  • Extraordinary aerial photograph of Edinburgh circa 1920
    I’d never seen this stunning aerial photograph of Edinburgh taken by Alfred Buckham circa 1920.
    Neither had I.

  • Aging Ghosts in the Skincare Machine
    Let me start with my skin in the game. In the four months between November 2017 and February 2018, I spent about $520 on skincare products. This number does not include makeup. It does not include shampoo or conditioner. It does not include body lotion. And it is, in all likelihood, a little low.
    The skincare industry is bonkers mental.

  • Ticks rising
    Evolution has endowed the big-footed snowshoe hare with a particularly nifty skill. Over a period of about 10 weeks, as autumn days shorten in the high peaks and boreal forests, the nimble nocturnal hare transforms itself.
    Hands up if you feel a bit ‘itchy’ now?

  • Order to the Chaos of Life: Isabel Allende on Writing
    Literary history is ripe with eloquent attempts to answer the ever-elusive question of why writers write. For George Orwell, it resulted from four universal motives. Joan Didion saw it as precious access to her own mind. For David Foster Wallace, it was about fun.
    I find dedication and passion for anything utterly fascinating. What drives you, won’t drive me, but it’s still fascinating.

  • The improbable story of the cranberry’s path to global domination
    The secret of the cranberry’s success has always been stealth. After two centuries of cranberry-free Thanksgivings, the fruit quietly became a holiday staple thanks to US general Ulysses S. Grant’s 1864 holiday feast.
    *invests in cranberries*

  • Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes mashup is bigger than a Mega-Penguinosaurus
    For the entire stretch of the ‘80s, for many a penguin-loving comics-phile, the Sunday funny papers were the place to be, thanks to the illuminating work of Berkeley Breathed on his strip Bloom County.
    Dear Mr Watters. Please do more (but only if you want to).

  • Booze bargain hunt: the best budget supermarket tipples
    With a £10 gin from Aldi named one of the best in the world, the likes of Lidl and Asda are giving drinkers cause for cheer. Here’s our guide to the best hidden treasures.
    Yeah because what I need is MORE gin…

  • Stephen King Creates a List of His 10 Favorite Novels
    If you’ve ever had to name your ten favorite of anything, you know how much trickier such a list is to compose than it sounds.
    AKA when a top 10 list becomes a … top 28??

  • When Did Geek Culture Get so Angry?
    In January 2011, Jared Lee Loughner, then twenty-two years of age, attempted to assassinate US representative Gabrielle Giffords at a meet-and-greet with her constituents. Giffords survived, but six people died that day in a supermarket parking lot.
    Is the answer anything to do with ‘men’?

  • The Darker Side of Leonard Cohen
    O, the night Leonard Cohen’s death was announced, pilgrims began assembling at the doorstep of Cohen’s Montreal home to cry, pray, and lay offerings. This was just the beginning.
    Dare I suggest I rank Cohen alongside The Smiths as ‘hype does not justify the product’? I think I dare.

  • Who Does She Think She Is?
    Another day at the Telegraph and another attack on Laurie Penny. — Nick Cohen, The Spectator, 2011 Do you think that red hair and makeup is used for anything other than attention? Her writing? Same. That bitch is a whore who needs to die choking on cocks. — 4chan, 2016
    I hope she never ever stops. What is this world??!!

  • The Real Technology Problem
    We know Congress and Mark Zuckerberg won’t discuss the real technology problem. Neither will we. Ironically, it’s private. Sure, the privacy issue is worth examining and big tech needs to get humbled.
    What are you reading this on, right now? Is that the real problem?

  • Andre Ingram steals the show in Lakers’ loss to Rockets
    Staples Center stirred in anticipation as a thin 32-year-old rookie with taut cheeks and gray-speckled hair walked over to the scorer’s table to check in. The arena erupted when the part-time math tutor made his first three-pointer.
    10 years in minor leagues and finally gets a shot with the ‘big boys’. This is heartwarmingly lovely (go Lakers!!)

  • Airbus to Offer Naps in the Cargo Hold
    It won’t be a room with a view, but may help prevent neck strain. Passengers flying on Airbus SE planes will soon be able to slip down into the cargo hold for a proper nap.
    I struggle to sleep sitting up, so YES PLEASE TO THIS!!

  • Scottish police ‘rescue’ metal fans mistaken for suicide pact members
    Emergency services mounted a full-scale rescue operation, including fire engines, ambulances and lifeboats, after a passerby thought a group of heavy metal fans out camping were involved in a suicide pact.

  • Dêjà Rêvé Is Even Weirder Than Dêjà Vu
    According to legend, Cassandra, the princess of Troy, was cursed to speak true prophecies that no one ever believed.
    That weird dream, yeah it was weird, but was it prophetic?

  • What if The Shining was an 8-bit Video Game?
    My love of everything ‘The Shining’ grows and grows…

  • I refuse to be silenced
    Whore. Liar. Traitor. Opportunist. I have been called all of these things and more since I first began to speak out last October about being raped in 1997, when I was 21 years old, by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

  • The Infuriating Innocence of Mark Zuckerberg
    Mark Zuckerberg has spent most of his adult life apologizing, but he hasn’t managed to improve much.
    Facebook isn’t the problem. YOU are the problem (me too!).

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