Thursday Ten

Today’s links include several very long reads and I’m sorry about that first link. I know it’s depressing, but if there are some gems as well (especially the two sets of photography links).

10 Ways The World Will Get Worse In 2015  The World Economic Forum isn’t optimistic about the planet’s prospects for a happy new year. (Fast Company/Co.Exist) Note: Let’s get this one out of the way first.

Whipping Boy A writer spends forty years looking for his bully. Why? (New Yorker)

‘Serial’ and White Reporter Privilege On cringing through the mystery. (The Awl) Note: Though I’m part of podcast myself and people have rec’d this one to me, I never found the time to start and now I’m glad I didn’t.

Related: The Problem With “Serial” And The Model Minority Myth It needs a “bad” minority to balance the scales. Hello, Jay. (Spoilers for anyone who hasn’t listened to Episode 8.) (BuzzFeed)

The Dreadful Inconvenience of Salad A start-up will contribute an interesting answer to the million-dollar food-policy question: If healthy food was as easy as junk food, would we eat more of it? (The Atlantic)

The Truth About Anonymous’s Activism A look behind the mask reveals a naïve techno-utopianism. (The Nation)

The Ebola Wars How genomics research can help contain the outbreak. (The New Yorker) Note: Equal parts heartbreaking and heartening. Also, this article clearly shows how treatment changes depend on the color of your skin and where you live/where you’re from.

By Noon They’d Both Be In Heaven KELLI STAPLETON, whose teenage daughter was autistic and prone to violent rages, had come to fear for her life. So she made a decision that perhaps only she could justify (New York Magazine)

The Rise of Invisible Unemployment Three theories about today’s biggest economic mystery: If unemployment is shrinking, why aren’t wages growing? (The Atlantic)

The Unfinished Suburbs of America Thousands of acres across the country were partially developed during the housing boom. What should happen to them now? (The Atlantic)

Dear Kate: Living with Grief Following our daughter’s death, my husband and I saw no end to the grief. Yet we have somehow discovered meaning, hope, and even joy after life’s most terrible loss. (Indianapolis Monthly)

Bonus:

The Most Extraordinary Photos You’ve Never Seen Until now. Some months back, the agency’s photographers decided to look through all of their old, unpublished images to see what they might find. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the quality of work Magnum’s roster continuously produces, they came up with an incredible collection. What follows is a selection of the imagery on sale (signed prints for just $100 each!) and a note from the photographer about his or her frame. (Esquire)

‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I in 1914. On this year’s Armistice Day in London, a massive work of art dedicated to commonwealth servicemen and women lost a century ago reached its conclusion. The evolving installation, titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red”, began back on July 17, with the placing of a single ceramic poppy in the moat of the Tower of London. (The Atlantic)

Lessons In Combining Art And Science (And Taking Amazing Photos) From Rockstar Astronaut Chris Hadfield Astronaut, social media expert, and music video star Chris Hadfield talks about art and science as two parts of one whole, and talks us through his eye-popping space photos. (Fast Company/Co.Create) Note: Now, don’t you feel better? I know I do.

The VHS-Era Internet (YouTube) Note: I want to watch some of these, but I haven’t yet.

Advertisements

The Thursday Ten

Some of these are older links I’d forgotten to share before. Also, the Vincent van Gogh link is very long, but fascinating. There are also some pretty great links, like the one about cats and then there’s that one about Thor’s hammer.

  • NCIS: Provence: The Van Gogh: Mystery For many decades, suicide was the unquestioned final chapter of Vincent van Gogh’s legend. But in their 2011 book, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith offered a far more plausible scenario—that Van Gogh was killed—only to find themselves under attack. Now, with the help of a leading forensic expert, the authors take their case a step further. (Vanity Fair)
  • Why Banksy Is (Probably) a Woman: The world’s foremost street artist is a social justice warrior and a viral media master. She could be anyone. (City Lab) Note: Aside from a failure to understand what graffiti (street writing) is (it is not catcalling, fyi), this article is interesting. I wouldn’t call it good, but the author makes a decent argument for Banksy’s gender.
  • William Gibson: I never imagined Facebook The brilliant science-fiction novelist who imagined the Web tells Salon how writers missed social media’s rise (Salon) Note: My favorite article of the week because William Gibson. If you don’t understand … you don’t know me very well.

Thursday Ten (makes a comeback)

Yes, I’m back! With more depressing articles for your weekend. Please don’t hate me too much. This week there’s an article that will make you cry, another that will make you angry and one that will make you wonder what the world has come to. But, if you make it to the end, there’s some fun and interesting things waiting for you.

  • EXPOSED After an accidental needle stab, a doctor’s Ebola watch begins (Washington Post)
  • On Kindness: My mother is sick. (Matter/Medium) This is a phenomenal and heartbreaking read.
  • The Art of Not Working at Work At first, the ability to check email, read ESPN, or browse Zappos while on the job may feel like a luxury. But in time, many crave more meaningful—and more demanding—responsibilities. (The Atlantic)
  • The greatest story Reddit ever told (Kernal/Daily Dot) Note: I’m not a fan of Reddit at all, I rarely ever visit there, but this story is fascinating and, strangely, heartwarming.

Bonus:

  • The Internet Arcade: The Internet Arcade is a web-based library of arcade (coin-operated) video games from the 1970s through to the 1990s, emulated in JSMAME, part of the JSMESS software package. Containing hundreds of games ranging through many different genres and styles, the Arcade provides research, comparison, and entertainment in the realm of the Video Game Arcade. (Internet Archive)
  • These Secret Cold War Radio Stations Are Still Broadcasting: In the early days of espionage, long before the advent of burner phones, satcoms, and other modern-day spy gadgets, getting word to field agents—especially those working behind the Iron Curtain—proved a dangerous game with global consequences should the agent’s cover be blown. But that’s where number stations, and their uncrackable radio codes, come in. (Gizmodo)

Thursday Ten

A little bit of a mix of links today.

Mourning Excalibur, the Ebola Dog: Are we all quite mad here in the developed world?  A petition to save Excalibur, the pet dog of a Spanish nursing assistant who has contracted Ebola, received more than 370,000 signatures before the animal was sedated and killed as a precautionary measure this evening. As his corpse was taken away in a van for incineration, a crowd of activists who had clashed with police during the day were reportedly shouting: “murderers!” (Bloomberg)

 ‘I Couldn’t Smell, and Then I Died’ A fading ability to identify scents is a sign that life’s end may be near. (The Atlantic)

Popular on Amazon: Wildly misleading self-published books about Ebola, by random people without medical degrees In the past 90 days, some 84 people have self-published Ebola e-books on Amazon, almost half of them in the past month alone. Many of them are popular, crawling their way up the bestsellers’ list to sit atop categories, such as health and medicine. Many of them are well-reviewed by their readers, who vow to buy Hazmat suits or start vitamins based on what they’ve read. And many of the books — almost all of them, in fact — contain information that’s either wildly misleading or flat-out wrong. (Washington Post) Note: I’m sorry if you all hate yourselves now, I know I do.

Meet the Hong Kong Cop Who Has Joined His City’s Protesters: I met John on Tuesday in Mong Kok, the shopping district of Kowloon where the previous night a man had driven a Mercedes-Benz through a crowd of protestors, fueling rumors that hired thugs were trying to cause trouble for the Occupy Central movement. John, who was carrying a backpack with a yellow ribbon pinned to the strap, told me there had also been reports of cars filled with weapons parked nearby. I asked how he knew so much, and he surreptitiously pulled a card out of his pocket: a police ID.  (The New Republic)

The U.S. media will believe anything on North Korea: some perspective from a long-time Asia hand (Tim Shorrock)

The Thugs of Mainland China: Last Friday, as the Occupy Central protests convulsed Hong Kong, James Bang, a twenty-eight-year-old digital-strategy consultant, found himself holding down the front line in the district of Mong Kok, his arms linked with other young protesters as they fended off surging groups of attackers. The assailants shoved the protesters, spat in their faces, and shouted, “Motherfuckers!” and “Go home!” Their accents signalled to Bang that they were from Guangdong, across the border, and they wore bags slung across their chests, a style common in mainland China. He was convinced that they weren’t locals. “Hong Kong people don’t spit on Hong Kong people,” he told me over Skype. “In Hong Kong, they spit on the roads.” (New Yorker)

Fond Memories Of Ebola Victim Eric Duncan, Anger Over His Death: He liked to joke around with his neighbors. And he always gave them a helping hand. The neighbors that Thomas Eric Duncan’s generous spirit is what cost him his life. (NPR)

Hope Solo abuse allegation can’t be ignored: Our league can no longer turn a blind eye to the allegations that Solo assaulted two family members. (USA Today)

 The Story Of A 12-Year-Old Norwegian Bride Brings Attention To A Global Issue: Child-aid organization Plan Norway uses a local face to raise awareness around the global issue of child brides. (Fast Company/Co.Create)

Adobe’s e-book reader sends your reading logs back to Adobe—in plain text: Digital Editions even tracks which pages you’ve read. It might break a New Jersey Law. (Ars Technica) Note: This has been making the rounds, but I haven’t shared it yet. FYI, Amazon does the same thing — and don’t blame the libraries, we had no idea this was going on.

Bonus Links:

Navigating All the Fringe Beliefs in LA: If you want to make friends in LA, one of the first things you must learn to do is to socialize with crazy people. Or rather, to socialize with otherwise sane people who will wait until several hours into a casual conversation to nonchalantly reveal a belief in elves, or telepathy, or the Hollow Earth. (The Bold Italic) Note: This is here to make you laugh, hopefully it did it’s job.

What It’s like to Fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class, the world’s best airline experience, from Singapore to New York:  In 2008, Singapore Airlines introduced their Suites Class, the most luxurious class of flying that is commercially available.  The Suites were exclusive to their flagship Airbus A380, and they go beyond flat beds by offering enclosed private cabins with sliding doors that cocoon you in your own little lap of luxury. The interior was designed by French luxury yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste and comes along with a plush soft leather armchair hand-stitched by the Italian master craftsmen Poltrona Frau. Perhaps most well-known of all, Singapore Airlines became the first and only commercial airline with a double bed in the sky. (Medium)

Thursday Ten

When I was in high school, I was obsessed with many things. One of these things was Ebola and other, similar viruses. This was, obviously, in my young and less anxious years (I barely remember them, to be honest). I read Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone, watched Outbreak and struggled to finish The Coming Plague (I’m pretty sure I didn’t finish it). But after one too many nightmares, I gave up on all my dreams about being some sort of infectious disease doctor (I shudder to think of it now) and moved on with my life. But Ebola still remains and dominates the news (both here and abroad). And while today’s links do contain some information on Ebola, there are other things as welll. Including the protests for democracy in Hong Kong.

And on that note, here are this week’s links.

  • When no gender fits: A quest to be seen as just a person: How do you navigate the world when it is built on identifying with one group or another and the place that feels right is neither? (Washington Post)
  • I Had a Stroke at 33: On New Year’s Eve 2007, a clot blocked one half of my brain from the other. My reality would never be the same again. (BuzzFeed)
  • Message for Beijing Hidden in a Hong Kong Street Poem: On a busy Hong Kong street on Wednesday, a poem dashed out on a bare wooden crate contained a hidden message for China. (Sinosphere // New York Times)
  • Hong Kong’s protests don’t impress mainland Chinese visitors: Chinese tourists pouring into Hong Kong this week for a shopping holiday are getting an unexpected lesson in democracy from the city’s tens of thousands of protesters demanding free elections. So far, most of them are unimpressed. (Quartz)
  • 16 Dramatic Videos Show What It’s Like to Be in Hong Kong Right Now: Thousands of protesters braved clouds of tear gas and police batons charges to stand firm in center of Hong Kong in one of the biggest political challenges for China since the Tiananmen Square protests 25 years ago. (Mic)
  • Pro-Democracy Protesters Occupy Hong Kong’s Central District: In Photos (The Atlantic) Note: This was also posted on FB. You can also follow live coverage of the protests on the South China Morning Post’s Occupy Central blog.
  • The Supreme Court That Made It Easier to Buy Elections Just Made It Harder for People to Vote in Them: In case there was any remaining confusion with regard to the precise political intentions of the US Supreme Court’s activist majority, things were clarified Monday. The same majority that has made it easier for corporations to buy elections (with the Citizens United v. FEC decision) and for billionaires to become the dominant players in elections across the country (with the McCutcheon v. FEC decision) decided to make it harder for people in Ohio to vote. (The Nation)
  • Don’t panic over Ebola in America: The first thing to do is to calm down.  Ebola is terrifying. But it’s not likely to kill you, or to spread widely in the United States. What’s scary — and hyped — about Ebola isn’t what makes it dangerous. (Vox) Note: Actor Idris Elba wrote an impassioned plea to help stop the spread of Ebola. Read it: Stopping Ebola in Its Tracks (Huffington Post)
  • Incredible Close-Up Drone Video of an Erupting Volcano in Iceland: This epic video isn’t a CGI outtake from Lord of the Rings. It’s proof that a guy with a quadcopter managed to get very, very close to an erupting Icelandic volcano—close enough to melt the face of the GoPro camera that shot the video. (Wired)
  • The Hidden Costs of E-books at University Libraries: For the past few years, both the California State University and the University of California libraries have been experimenting with packages that replace paper books with e-books. The advantages are obvious. With e-books, you no longer have to schlep to a library to take out a book. You just log on from whatever device connects you to the web, at whatever time and in whatever state of dress, and voila! the book appears on your screen (Times of San Diego)

Bonus:

  • How to Plant a Library: Somewhere outside of Oslo, there are 1,000 newly planted spruce trees. One hundred years from now, if everything goes to plan, they’ll be published together as 100 pieces of art. (Pacific Standard)

Thrusday Ten

There’s a lot of Ebola stuff on here, sorry about that.

  • What If You Just Don’t Know If You Want Kids? Many women are certain they want kids someday. A smaller number are positive they don’t. But there’s another group that isn’t the subject of many hand-wringing studies or best-selling books: the ambivalent. The ones who vacillate between “I don’t feel compelled to have children” and “What if I regret not having had children?” (New York Magazine)
  • Hell in the Hot Zone: As the Ebola epidemic rages, two questions have emerged: How did the deadly virus escape detection for three months? And why has a massive international effort failed to contain it? Traveling to Meliandou, a remote Guinean village and the likely home of Patient Zero, Jeffrey E. Stern tracks the virus’s path—and the psychological contagion that is still feeding the worst Ebola outbreak in history. (Vanity Fair)
  • Why Don’t We Treat Teeth Like the Rest of Our Bodies? Dental care is excluded from most insurance plans for a bizarre and antiquated reason, and millions of people suffer as a result. (Atlantic) Note: I do go to the dentist regularly, but it took me a long time before I did. Thanks, mom and dad, for convincing me to go.
  • Forget GMOs. The Future of Food Is Data—Mountains of It: Inside a squat building on San Francisco’s 10th Street, packed into a space that looks a lot like a high school chem lab, Hampton Creek is redesigning the food you eat. Mixing and matching proteins found in the world’s plants, the tiny startup already has created a reasonable facsimile of the chicken egg—an imitation of the morning staple that’s significantly cheaper, safer, and possibly healthier than the real thing—and now it’s working to overhaul other foods in much the same way. (Wired)

Bonus:

Thurday Ten

Today’s bonus links aren’t as fun as previous weeks. Instead, we have an interesting (if with a happy ending) story about the impact of social media and how to follow Scotland’s historic independence referendum. A note that some of the main links might be triggering to victims of domestic violence/etc.

  • Ray Rice and His Rage: The sordid Ray Rice scandal has opened a much-needed dialogue about domestic violence. (New York Times)
  • ‘What is reality?’: A Q&A with the artist who used social media and Photoshop to fake an epic trip even her parents fell for (Washington Post)
  • Comment sections are poison: handle with care or remove them  Comments are often regarded as a right but they can do more harm than good. In the absence of strict moderation, we’d be much better off without them. (Guardian)
  • When You Can’t Afford Sleep: Many low-income workers get just four or five hours of rest each day. Research shows their bodies might never recover. (The Atlantic)
  • Should We All Take a Bit of Lithium? The idea of putting a mind-altering drug in the drinking water is the stuff of sci-fi, terrorist plots and totalitarian governments. Considering the outcry that occurred when putting fluoride in the water was first proposed, one can only imagine the furor that would ensue if such a thing were ever suggested.The debate, however, is moot. It’s a done deal. Mother Nature has already put a psychotropic drug in the drinking water, and that drug is lithium. Although this fact has been largely ignored for over half a century, it appears to have important medical implications. (New York Times)
  • Ticks and Cowboys:  A handful of federal agents stand between the U.S. and a devastating pest. (Modern Farmer)
  • Smartphones Are Used To Stalk, Control Domestic Abuse Victims: But there’s another kind of privacy concern that is a lot more intimate. You could call it Little Brother, though it’s really more like husbands and wives, lovers and exes who secretly watch their partners — from a distance. They are cyberstalking — using digital tools that are a lot cheaper than hiring a private detective. (NPR)

Bonus: