Finally, a Film That Understands Social Media /// We are all conspiracy theorists /// Why You Shouldn’t Use Google Maps On Your iPhone After Update /// What Makes a Cult a Cult? /// This Star Wars-Inspired E-Skin Lets Robots ‘Feel’ Objects /// The Greatest Showman | “This Is Me” with Keala Settle /// It Was All a Dream /// 10 Hip Stretches You Need In Your Life If You Sit A Lot /// The lie of “expired” food and the disastrous truth of America’s food waste problem /// The Winners Of The 2021 Audubon Photography Awards Are Breathtaking /// Giant pandas are no longer endangered, thanks to conservation efforts, China says /// Robot paramedic carries out CPR in ambulance in UK first /// The world’s best cities for mental wellbeing, according to data crunchers /// A Beginner’s Guide to Foam Rolling for Tight, Sore Muscles /// They Swore by the Diet I Created /// Earth Restored — Toby Ord /// Jason Sudeikis Is Having One Hell of a Year /// Instagram Has Become SkyMall /// Half a Life in 2 Minutes /// Shorter working week trial in Iceland hailed as an ‘overwhelming success’ /// Mystery of the wheelie suitcase: how gender stereotypes held back the history of invention /// Quarantined to Room 903 /// The artist touring the UK in an ice-cream van, to talk about grief /// Dancing With Systems /// The Best Science Fiction of 2021: The Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlist /// Podswap | Keep AirPods Alive and out of the Landfill /// OPEN LETTER TO THE GOOD GUYS /// World’s Largest Seagrass Project Proves “You Can Actually Restore the Oceans” /// When Will It Get Too Hot for the Body to Survive? /// How The Olympic Medal Table Explains The World /// Penniless: why a Victoria man has gone two decades without money
Taylor Tries Juggling From Above /// Four Laps: a Looping Video About Looping Videos /// Exit the Fatherland /// How to Negotiate with Ransomware Hackers /// The Expanse UI Design /// Welcome to the YOLO Economy /// The Tyranny Of Time /// Some medical devices don’t mean to be racist, but they are /// Why ‘quirky’ people are attractive /// The Circles of Friendship /// Simone Biles, Mesmerizing in Slow Motion /// The Minister of Chaos /// Replacement parts /// List of common misconceptions /// The World’s Most Dangerous Tree /// The Surprisingly Fun Story of How the Popsicle Was Invented by an 11-Year-Old Boy /// Riding your first Century (100 miles) – a guide for normal people. /// Stewart Lee — Le Document /// The King of the Geezer Teasers /// GB News, week 1: It takes until Tuesday to go full wingnut /// Houseguests /// ‘The water is coming’: Florida Keys faces stark reality as seas rise /// 100 Visions of Fatherhood /// A Shopper’s Heaven — Real Life /// When a Valedictorian Spoke of His Queer Identity, the Principal Cut Off His Speech /// How I Saved Enough to Buy a House With My Parents’ Money /// People Are Sharing Examples Of “Liminal Spaces” That Are Unsettling Yet Familiar At The Same Time (56 Pics) /// Notifications Off! The Distraction-Free Benefits of Five-Hour Work Days /// Amazon destroying millions of items of unsold stock in one of its UK warehouses every year, ITV News investigation finds
Tennis TV /// A quiet revolution: the movement to preserve lockdown’s hush /// Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities /// Reiki Can’t Possibly Work. So Why Does It? /// The Hot-Person Vaccine /// Another brain-frying optical illusion: What color are these spheres? /// The Dark Side of the Houseplant Boom /// The Hardest Ending I Ever Wrote, As Told by Six Screenwriters /// The Case Against the Eagles /// There’s something in my eye: why we happy-cry and what it does for us /// Miscellany № 90: 🌀🪐☆✻, or, the grawlix /// Two Assholes Lost in the Woods: An Oral History of ‘Pine Barrens’ /// How Pixar Uses Hyper-Colors to Hack Your Brain /// Watch a New Director’s Cut of Prince’s Blistering “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” Guitar Solo (2004) /// A Better Way to Think About Climate Change and the Kids Conundrum /// Wheel Spiels: High-heeled Shoes on the Trans-Pennine Trail /// Knowing How To Be Solitary /// Cryptocurrency is an abject disaster /// How to experience more wow /// I Mailed an AirTag and Tracked Its Progress; Here’s What Happened : The Mac Security Blog /// Pay No Attention to That Cat Inside a Box /// How the Personal Computer Broke the Human Body /// Neural implant lets paralyzed person type by imagining writing /// Charles Crocker’s Spite Fence /// ‘I hate everybody including you’ /// The Memex Method /// How to Delete All Facebook Posts /// The Filing Cabinet /// Trashed: how the UK is still dumping plastic waste on the rest of the world /// A People Map of the UK /// 100 Visions of Motherhood /// Rewilding from beyond the grave: the burial plots that heal broken landscapes /// The Dangers of Elite Projection /// The Secret Psychology of Sneaker Colors /// We Know What You Did During Lockdown /// How to stop overthinking /// Close Friendships /// How Can We Encourage Bodily Autonomy in Our Children? /// One Man’s Amazing Journey to the Center of the Bowling Ball /// A few thoughts on depression /// Facebook Still ‘Secretly’ Tracks Your iPhone—This Is How To Stop It /// Stop Trying to Raise Successful Kids
A few articles I read over the past month, in no chronological order (oldest first).
Gentle Cinema /// retrofy your iPhone with ben vessey’s pixel perfect mac OS ’84 inspired icons /// Scotland to get new nature reserve as community ‘achieves the impossible’ /// A Black Army Rises to Fight the Racist Right /// Australia: Geologist beaten up by ‘angriest octopus’ on beach /// This Hubble image is so incredible you’ll swear it’s fake /// On Competitive Advantage /// My Generation Isn’t Suffering Enough /// Why Making Our Brains Noisier Feels Good /// The Kitchen Dad /// How Did Frasier Afford His Apartment? /// Why Silicon Valley’s most astute critics are all women /// Kindness /// How The Wrecking Crew Secretly Recorded Some of the Biggest Hits of the 1960s & 70s /// Unwanted Corkpull — Real Life /// “You Can Be a Different Person After the Pandemic” /// Earthrise /// Making sense of conspiracy theorists as the world gets more bizarre /// Seeing in the Dark, Breai Mason-Campbell /// Exploring the unreleased music in Prince’s vault /// diamond geezer /// How Fit Can You Get From Just Walking? /// In Conversation: Mads Mikkelsen /// Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra: The toughest, weirdest race you’ve never heard of /// Kindle Store /// Billy Joel’s ‘Piano Man’ Sheet Music ‘Horribly Wrong’ for Years /// There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing /// Apr 19 Coffee Ritual: How I will use it to Hold Space /// Still Life /// Ian Knot – Ian’s Fast Shoelace Knot /// The Tyranny of the Female-Orgasm Industrial Complex /// Against meatposting /// The Secrets of the World’s Greatest Jailbreak Artist /// Just Leave Michael Collins Alone /// Strava: making a difference
A return of an old post format, here are a few articles I read over the past month, in no particular order.
An anniversary for great justice: Remembering “All Your Base” 20 years later /// There’s a Better Way to Parent: Less Yelling, Less Praise /// Revenge Bedtime Procrastination’ Is Real, According to Psychologists /// How Masayoshi Matsumoto creates his magic balloon artworks /// The 50 Best Movie and TV Show Twists of All Time /// Looking Closely is Everything /// Mike’s Fancy DSLR Webcam Setup /// A Drone’s Eye View of a Bowling Alley /// Meet The F1 Fan Who Takes Incredible Photos Using Model Cars /// The Future Of Work Will Demand These 8 New Skills /// How the West Lost COVID /// This teen makes tiny bow ties for shelter dogs to help them look spiffy and get adopted /// Polystyrene waste is everywhere, and it’s not biodegradable. Scientists just found a way to break it down /// ‘Success Addicts’ Choose Being Special Over Being Happy /// Not All Men: Dismantling The Pyramid /// The Advantages of Political Buffoonery /// Here Are 89 Of The Best Nature Photos From The Tokyo International Foto Awards /// The 7 types of rest that every person needs /// Bystander Resources /// How to save yourself another pointless guilt trip /// A Counterintuitive Way to Cheer Up When You’re Down
I stopped publishing my weekly Weekend Reading posts last year. As I said at the time:
3 years and 161 posts later and I think it’s time to admit that this is now more of a chore than I’d like. Sure it’s mostly automated, but over the past few months I’ve started searching out and filtering what I read knowing that it will appear in these posts, and that’s not why I started doing it. It isn’t supposed to be a chore, it’s just supposed to be an extension of what I already read, and it no longer is.
Since then I’ve read about the same number of articles but shared a wider variety, or at the very least I feel like I’ve shared a wider variety as I’ve not actually done any analysis on this other than the sense that reading and sharing articles the way I do now definitely doesn’t feel like a chore nor does it feel influenced by the fact that other people may judge me based on what I share (which is really what I was trying to say when I closed the weekly summary posts.
My life has changed a lot this since then, for the better I hastened to add, and naturally my world view and the things that matter to me most have evolved and my reading habits have mirrored that. As I’ve said, I’ve not stopped reading articles and I still subscribe to and enjoy a few daily newsletters, all of which have yielded some fascinating articles which I’ve shared (via Pocket and IFTTT so it’s still kinda automated) to my Twitter account.
When I set this up I would also have had the articles posted to my Facebook account but IFTTT doesn’t support creating posts to a personal Facebook account, but it does support creating posts on a Facebook Page. I didn’t have, nor had any desire to have, a Facebook Page because who needs yet another social media outlet to manage.
That was back then and like I say, life has changed so prompted by someone asking why I don’t cross post to Twitter AND Facebook, I give you – https://www.facebook.com/gordoncanread/ – so if you prefer to consume your social media over there, feel free to Like and follow my new page.
- What Was Inside the Glowing Briefcase in Pulp Fiction?
Before I started making my own web pages, I spent a not-insignificant amount of my time on the Internet trawling the alt.fan.tarantino newsgroup for bits of knowledge about Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction, and Reservoir Dogs.
Fascinating! (well not really, but still v.cool)
- iPad Pro (2018) Impressions
(to the tune of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer) You know ‘Ticci and Gruber, @panzer and Ritchie… Marco and Jason, Joe and Rosemary… But do you recall, the most famous YouTuber of all? MKB(in)HD, had a very shiny Pro… Um, so, yeah.
My favourite kind of review is one written by ‘real people’.
- In Defence of Hate
Hate can be valid and powerful, but far often it’s misused and misguided.
- American Women of the Far Right
In the run-up to the violence last year around the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, a woman named Erika, who is active in the white supremacist group Identity Evropa, was busy posting on Discord, an app originally used by gamers but used at that time by some on the far right.
Important to remember, that there are all genders involved in this. The men are the figureheads, but there are many other people supporting them.
- Your City Has a Gender and It’s Male
Why city designers are increasingly thinking about the female perspective. I have a secret to tell you about my city,” she says. “It has to do with what Eve Ensler calls the feminine cell.” It was the autumn of 2016.
Rings true for Glasgow.
- Thanks David Dimbleby. Now maybe Question Time can get with the times
Imagine the joy of turning to David “Brexit will be a walk in the park” Davis, live on TV, and saying: “Some people might think you ARE the joke about Brexit.” Last night David Dimbleby showed why he has been able to choose his own abdication date.
Not a show I watch because UGH.
- The best doesn’t exist. A psychologist explains why we can’t stop searching.
Given that we live in a consumer culture where you can get anything — a T-shirt, fancy whiskey, blood pressure medication — delivered to your door within hours, it is surprisingly difficult to buy things.
I feel this. Well, I used to (hang on, am I getting wiser as I get older?!)
- Data From Millions Of Smartphone Journeys Proves Cyclists Faster In Cities Than Cars And Motorbikes
Smartphone data from riders and drivers schlepping meals for restaurant-to-home courier service Deliveroo shows that bicycles are faster than cars. In towns and cities, bicyclists are also often faster than motorized two-wheelers. Deliveroo works with 30,000 riders and drivers in 13 countries.
Now we just need the cities to step up and deliver the infrastructure.
- Not Here to Dance
This is the story of the greatest night of my entire life. This is about a moment from the Ballon d’Or ceremony that I will never forget, even if I lived 200 years. It has nothing to do with dancing.
Yes to this. Sport is so very visible, and men are still such jackasses.
- AlphaZero: Shedding new light on the grand games of chess, shogi and Go
In late 2017 we introduced AlphaZero, a single system that taught itself from scratch how to master the games of chess, shogi (Japanese chess), and Go, beating a world-champion program in each case.
How a computer started to learn like a human.
- How I Quit Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon
It was just before closing time at a Verizon store in Bushwick, New York last May when I burst through the door, sweaty and exasperated. I had just sprinted—okay I walked, but briskly—from another Verizon outlet a few blocks away in the hopes I’d make it before they closed shop for the night.
tl:dr; it’s very very hard.
- This is What Happens to Kids’ Brains When They Talk To Alexa
While I bathe my 3-year-old daughter Marty each evening, we use Alexa to play music — usually a head-spinning rotation of her three favorite songs from Frozen.
Pause for thought. We really don’t know the longer reaching implications for so much of the technology we use these days.
- The technology that could end traffic jams
We’ve all been there. Stuck at traffic lights that never seem to change to green. Sitting in queues of cars that stretch on for miles or delayed by a glut of slow traffic that suddenly disappears. Traffic jams are a blight on our modern, fast moving lives.
A real bugbear, I know this technology exists, let’s use it!
- Tibet Is Going Crazy for Hoops
It was within such a village, Zorge Ritoma, that Dugya Bum, a sheep and yak herder from the Golden Stone Clan, took up the sport.
Zen basketball, see also; Chicago Bulls of the late 80s.
- A dog’s life: What would I sacrifice for the animal I love?
I lifted Scout from her dog bed the way the surgeon had instructed, one arm cradling her bottom and the other under her front legs, and gently carried her to my bed.
No, YOU’VE got something in your eye.
- The Endurance of A Christmas Carol
On January 2, 1840, Dickens wrote to his printers, Bradbury and Evans, to thank them for their annual Christmas gift of a turkey. He chose his words with care:
What’s this, what’s this! A christmas article!
- Year in Pictures 2018
It was a year of populist rebellions and political stare-downs. China’s ambitious expansions raised hackles and pollution levels. Trade patterns were upended, and long-standing bans were lifted. Women gained power, and refugees fled violence and starvation.
A picture tells… etc etc
- Penny Marshall, ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Star, Director, Dies at 75
Penny Marshall, who starred alongside Cindy Williams in the hit ABC comedy “Laverne & Shirley” and then became a successful movie director, died on Monday night, Variety has confirmed. She was 75.
I did not know she directed the movies she directed!
- The Rise of Anxiety Baking
Last winter, a recipe for salted chocolate-chunk shortbread cookies spread through my social circle like a carbohydrate epidemic. One of my friends kept seeing the cookies pop up on Instagram and, relenting to digital peer pressure, eventually made them.
Makes sense. I do enjoy baking, although mostly the eating part at the end.
- That Time Marines Dumped Millions of Dollars of Helicopters Into the Ocean to Save One Family
Few feats of engineering are as impressive as a military-grade helicopter.
Wow. In the midst of that war, at least there was a tiny glimmer of decency.
- Real Christmas trees are the greener choice
A fake Christmas tree has some obvious advantages over the real thing. There’s no sticky sap. No needles shedding everywhere.
We always had a fake tree. Time to review that choice.
- Prime and punishment
Last August, Zac Plansky woke to find that the rifle scopes he was selling on Amazon had received 16 five-star reviews overnight. Usually, that would be a good thing, but the reviews were strange.
Is Amazon too big to legislate?
- “Friends”: The television show that keeps on giving
Fans of the hit TV show “Friends” were relieved last week to see the sitcom’s 236 episodes will continue streaming on Netflix through 2019.
I am very guilty of rewatching. And yes, Ross just gets worse.
- The Best of 2018’s Bad Restaurant Reviews
The year 2018 gave us all plenty to complain about, and it was no different for restaurant criticism.
- 12 Reasons To Ditch The Diet Mentality
It’s the end of the year, which means resolution season is right around the corner.
Yes to this! Although I may have gone a little too far into the ‘not giving a shit what I eat’ zone…
- The Story of Dyngo, a War Dog Brought Home From Combat
It was late—an indistinguishable, bleary-eyed hour. The lamps in the living room glowed against the black spring night. In front of me was a large dog, snapping his jaws so hard that his teeth gave a loud clack with each bark. His eyes were locked on me, desperate for the toy I was holding.
What is it with stories about dogs… *sniff*
12 Insider Secrets from Restaurant Kitchens (That You Can Use at Home)
When it comes to top-notch restaurants, head chefs often rack up the attention and acclaim. But ask anyone who has worked behind the scenes in restaurants and they’ll tell you: The cooks are the ones who make the kitchen run.
A couple I knew, a couple are new. Always learning!
The problem with ‘good men,’ according to comedian Hannah Gadsby
Several celebrities were still milling around when Hannah Gadsby arrived at the microphone, so the Australian comedian — no stranger to letting her audiences wrestle with discomfort — waited a few awkward minutes for everyone to take their seats at the “Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainmen
Always learning. Hannah has a wonderful way to frame these things. So obvious, so true. (so guilty of this still).
Exercise Wins: Fit Seniors Can Have Hearts That Look 30 Years Younger
We know we need to exercise for our health, but a lifelong exercise habit may also help us feel younger and stay stronger well into our senior years.
No YOU are making resolutions for 2019…
How to Poach an Egg and Leave a Marriage
If I can poach an egg, maybe I won’t have to leave my marriage. The thought didn’t come to me fully formed. Whether it was an accident or not, the sudden and unbidden urge to poach an egg coincided with the realization I was thinking about divorce.
Wonderful article. Great advice. Seriously, give it a read.
The Race to Understand Antarctica’s Most Terrifying Glacier
Few places in Antarctica are more difficult to reach than Thwaites Glacier, a Florida-sized hunk of frozen water that meets the Amundsen Sea about 800 miles west of McMurdo.
Always fascinated by exploration and science. Although this is getting scary. What if…
Bao, a Heartwarming Short Film from Pixar
Bao, a short film by Domee Shi, was shown in front of The Incredibles 2 at theaters this past summer. In “Bao,” an aging Chinese mom suffering from empty nest syndrome gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life as a lively, giggly dumpling boy.
Ohhh Pixar. How you make me greet!
Marmite sprouts? Why retailers are pushing the boundaries with festive food
Many readers will find the thought of Christmas tree-flavoured crisps revolting, but Iceland is betting its customers will feel the opposite this festive season.
I, for one, welcome our Sprout flavoured crisps, but it is starting to get a bit silly, no? I like festive food that is traditional, don’t change it!
Showering Has a Dark, Violent History
The 19th century was a time of great innovation in plumbing. Cities got the first modern sewers, with tunnels that snaked for miles underground. Houses got bathrooms, with ceramic toilets, tubs, and sinks that you would easily recognize today.
I had a shower this morning. It was NOT like this.
Holland Tunnel’s holiday decorations are ‘OCD nightmare’
‘Tis the season for obsessing! A frustrated Manhattan driver is on a mission to rearrange the cluttered holiday sign above the Holland Tunnel — which is causing commuters’ OCD to flare up like crazy, he told The Post Tuesday.
Ha! Oh dear.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
Educate yourself on the origins on this song, why it might be a feminist anthem, and why we all maybe need to give history a free pass sometimes. Maybe?
Demon Underneath John DeLorean and the Invention of the Future
Long before Elon Musk, a visionary automaker showed how ugly the American Dream could be. In Zachary DeLorean’s little house on Detroit’s Near East side they speak Rumanian. Zachary is from Bucharest. Zachary has a way with machines but his poor English holds him back.
I look forward to the day these articles are written about women. (and yes that is a carefully considered comment).
Four Days Trapped at Sea With Crypto’s Nouveau Riche
Draw me your map of utopia and I’ll tell you your tragic flaw.
Wonderful writing as always. This entire bitcoin ‘thing’ is just a … well I don’t even know what the word is. clusteregofuck?
14 Months, 120 Cities, $2 Billion: There’s Never Been a Company Like Bird. Is the World Ready?
The first 10 Birds descended on Santa Monica, California, in early September 2017. Within days, this small migration became more like an invasion.
Not spotted them in Glasgow, yet… this is disruption at a grand scale. Horrific? Inevitable?
Meet the Safecracker of Last Resort
Charlie Santore sees Los Angeles from the inside, by breaking into safes whose owners can no longer unlock them. The house was gone, consumed by the November 2018 Woolsey Fire that left swaths of Los Angeles covered in ash and reduced whole neighborhoods to charcoaled ruins.
Safe crackers and pick pockets. Both exist in that same odd space for me, wrong, but excitingly magic.
Virgin Galactic makes it to space
Virgin Galactic, the space-tourism company backed by Richard Branson, sent two astronauts into space, the first people to make the trip from American soil since the last Space Shuttle flight in 2011.
I’ll let you make your own Virgin in space jokes…