Music Sundays: THAMA

Another singer I found through YouTube. He’s singer/songwriter and producer with Amoeba Culture. He also worked with EXO-SC (a duo made up of Sehun and Chanyeol from the KPOP group EXO) on their first (and excellent) album. He’s got a really chill vibe to his music, which everyone by now knows that I love. Below are a couple of recent videos of his, as well as a music video for a song he released earlier this summer.

Find him on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Weekend Reads – Friday, August 30 2020

This week’s post is a collection of articles that span a lot of topics. There’s no theme, except that I found all of these links interesting. If you’re looking for something a bit more pandemic related, check out my Wednesday Links post from earlier in the week – it’s all about COVID/SARS COV2.

How to Outrun a Dinosaur (Wired – $$)

If, through some scientific malfunction, you found yourself transported 70 million years into the past, you might be safer from certain hungry reptiles than you think.

The K-Pop Fans Who Tweet Fake News (Paper Magazine)

Why some K-Pop fans obsessively “clear the searches”

Black ‘The Sims 4’ Players Are Changing One of the World’s Biggest Games (Vice)

The Sims has been an industry leader in terms of diversity and inclusion, but black players have been fighting to see themselves in the game for years.

Transparent Public Toilets Unveiled In Tokyo Parks — But They Also Offer Privacy (NPR)

The project’s eye-catching toilets are part of a plan to put people at ease when visiting a public bathroom – a prospect that can trigger a number of responses, from relief to trepidation.

Note: I love these bathrooms. They are absolutely gorgeous – especially when seen at night. It makes me want to move to Japan.

Anatomy of a Photograph: Authoritarianism in America (The Atlantic – $$)

When the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shows up at a peaceful protest in battle fatigues, it’s time to pay attention.

The Prince of Georgia Is Big on Instagram (Wired – $$)

The musician BERA is the son of the country’s former prime minister and richest man. When street protests arose in Tbilisi, I went to check on him.

Confessions of an ID Theft Kingpin: Parts One and Two (Krebs on Security)

At the height of his cybercriminal career, the hacker known as “Hieupc” was earning $125,000 a month running a bustling identity theft service that siphoned consumer dossiers from some of the world’s top data brokers. That is, until his greed and ambition played straight into an elaborate snare set by the U.S. Secret Service. Now, after more than seven years in prison Hieupc is back in his home country and hoping to convince other would-be cybercrooks to use their computer skills for good.

And finally, a cartoon that sums up a lot of how I feel. Tag yourself: I’m Too Direct

COVID Risk Comfort Zone (xkcd)

Wednesday Links: SARS-CoV-2 & COVID-19

I was going to wait for Friday to post these, but I ended up with a lot of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 articles, so I’m sharing them today instead.

If you only read one article, read this one (thanks to my sister for linking sharing this one with me):

COVID-19 Is Transmitted Through Aerosols. We Have Enough Evidence, Now It Is Time to Act (Time)

When it comes to COVID-19, the evidence overwhelmingly supports aerosol transmission, and there are no strong arguments against it. For example, contact tracing has found that much COVID-19 transmission occurs in close proximity, but that many people who share the same home with an infected person do not get the disease. To understand why, it is useful to use cigarette or vaping smoke (which is also an aerosol) as an analog. Imagine sharing a home with a smoker: if you stood close to the smoker while talking, you would inhale a great deal of smoke. Replace the smoke with virus-containing aerosols, which behave very similarly, and the impact is similar: the closer you are to someone releasing virus-carrying aerosols, the more likely you are to breathe in larger amounts of virus.

Why The Coronavirus Is So ‘Superspready’ (NPR)

A person with a high viral load walks into a bar.

That, according to researchers who study the novel coronavirus, is a recipe for a superspreading event — where one person or gathering leads to an unusually high number of new infections. And that kind of occurrence is increasingly considered a hallmark of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

A New Study Suggests a Possible Disease Vector: Germy Dust (Wired – $$)

Since the pandemic’s beginning, scientists have argued over how respiratory viruses can spread. Now an experiment with guinea pigs and influenza is adding a new wrinkle.

Note: about the above article, it’s a bit panic inducing, as one would expect, however this is from the end of the article, which should make everyone feel a tiny bit better:

“This information adds to our understanding about where virus in the air might be coming from, but it doesn’t change how we should approach it,” Marr wrote in an email to WIRED. “The same things that we’ve been doing—wearing masks, keeping our distance, avoiding crowds, and ensuring good ventilation—will also help reduce the risk of transmission from breathing in virus that gets into the air this way.” So mask up and keep on carrying on (from a distance).

I Won’t Drink Today, and I Won’t Get the Virus Today (The Atlantic – $$)

Alcoholics Anonymous prepared me for the pandemic.

You can get reinfected with Covid-19 but still have immunity. Let’s explain. (VOX)

A 33-year-old man was confirmed to be reinfected with Covid-19. This likely isn’t as bad as it sounds.

And, finally, something a bit less stressful (and a lot more enjoyable). 10/10 would recommend his vlogs – I’ve included the first one below, if you’d like to just start watching.

This COVID-19 summer’s must-watch show is… an NBA rookie’s YouTube page? (Ars Technica)

NBA player/amateur filmmaker Matisse Thybulle has created essential epidemiological viewing.

Music Sundays: INNERLAW

Another one of those random singers that I stumbled upon on YouTube. I don’t know much about INNERLAW, except she’s a Korean singer/songwriter (follow her on IG here). I really, really love her sound. It’s very soothing and I’m delighted that her music is on Spotify.

Here’s her newest single, which is how I discovered her music.

You can listen to INNERLAW on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music.

Weekend Reads – Friday, August 21 2020

Quite a few of the articles this week are ones that I read in 2018. There are a couple of newer articles here too, but again, these are mostly a couple of years old. There will be more of these as I work my way through my backlog of articles that I saved to read later.

What Really Scares Voting Experts About the Postal Service (The Atlantic – $$)

No matter what Trump says, the USPS has the money and the capacity to handle a huge surge in mail-in ballots. But new restrictions could disrupt the election.

How Much of the Internet Is Fake? (New York Magazine)

Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually.

Dr. Google Is a Liar (New York Times – $$)

Fake news threatens our democracy. Fake medical news threatens our lives.

“I’m Going To Be Honest With You,” The Grandfather Told Police. “I Killed A Lot.” (Buzzfeed)

In this excerpt adapted from The Devil’s Harvest, Jessica Garrison reveals how a contract killer’s 35-year run of murder and mayhem in California’s Central Valley reflects a far more widespread injustice: The institutions that were supposed to protect a community failed it again and again.

I Voted (Washington Post – $$)

How facing death changed the political views — and influenced the vote — of one man with cancer

I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon. (The Atlantic – $$)

There’s a certain novelty, after decades at a legacy media company, in playing for the team that’s winning big.

At U.K. Care Home, Residents Brilliantly Re-Create Iconic Album Covers On Twitter (NPR)

(c) Robert Speker

From the department of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”:

Surreal, audacious, unfinished – the Sagrada Família remains a divine work in progress (Aeon Video)

Towering above the nearby blocks in the Eixample district of Barcelona, the Sagrada Família is unmistakable for its colossal scale and its convention-defying architecture

TW: If you’re uncomfortable with mosquitos (or insects in general) you may want to give this video a pass. However, it’s worth watching and extremely interesting.

Music Sundays: NIve

Almost all of the new music I listen to I find one of two ways: NPR and YouTube. I know it seems weird that I would find new music from YouTube, but I subscribe to a lot of music channels that post music videos/performances by a lot of different artists (from indie bands to rappers to soloists). If I listen to something and I like it, then I follow them, if possible, on Spotify. One of these recent “finds” is NIve, who it turns out has been around for a while. You can learn more about him on Wikipedia.

I really like his sound, it’s somewhat pop mixed with singer-songwriter. It’s good music for working or writing (and probably driving, but who is driving a lot these days? Not me). I hope you’ll give him a chance!

Find him on Spotify and Apple Music.

The music video for his latest release, how do i, off of the single bandages.

Behind the cut you’ll find videos from his recent ONSTAGE performances (which is how I stumbled across his music).

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What I’ve been doing …

In the past I used to post about stuff I’ve been reading or listening to or watching and I thought I’d start that up again. Since I’ve been working from home, I’m listening to a lot of music. Since I don’t go out much because of the pandemic, I’ve also been watching a lot of TV. And, of course, I’m still reading. It’s about time I shared a few of the things I’ve been doing and enjoying from the past week. Enjoy!

What I’ve been reading …

I’ve been reading a lot of Japanese mysteries recently and this is another enjoyable one. I had read Murder in the Crooked House earlier, which was funny because it’s the second book in the series. This has a Sherlock Holmes feel because the detective (if you can call him that) isn’t telling the story, his friend is. It’s an enjoyable mystery and no, I did not solve it before the book gave me the answer.

A couple of my coworkers had recommended this book to me, either last year earlier this year. I’d tried it and then decided it just wasn’t working for me. I’d put it on hold (using Overdrive through my library) and forgotten about it. But I got a notification last week that it was available and I figured I’d give it another try. I’m glad I did!

It’s a murder mystery (sort of) set on Yale’s campus in an alternate world where all of the secret societies have access to magic. Something about the tone reminded me a bit of Sarah Gailey’s Magic For Liars book, though the only thing they have in common is magic and schools (a private high school in Gailey’s case). That being said, although it’s a long book, it is very enjoyable. Just be aware that it is the first book in the series and it ends on a semi-cliffhanger.

This book was (and probably still is) an extremely popular book in South Korea. It’s the story of a 30something woman who is suffering from mental health problems. They stem, essentially from the way society in South Korea thinks of and treats women. The book is not hopeful, but it is a brutal wake-up call. It is not just a South Korean tale – it is the story of women all over the world.

It’s written in a very detached way that many people didn’t like, but I enjoyed it. It’s also quite short, it took me about a just about a day to read it. There are also footnotes scattered throughout the novella that back up all of Cho’s stats about the treatment of women in South Korea. It’s also been made into a movie, though I haven’t seen it yet.

For more about the book, check out these reviews:

What I’ve been watching …

Movies:

  • Old Guard [Netflix] – this movie is quite enjoyable and also quite stressful for a movie about immortals! I have not watched as many movies during this pandemic as I’d hoped and most of what I’ve been watching have been movies I’ve already seen. My sister convinced me we should watch it, and we did. Definitely worth it. I am a fan of movies where women kick ass and boy do they. The cast is also fantastic.

TV:

  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark [HBO Max] – Last year I listened to the audio book of the same name. It’s the story of how Michelle McNamara was working on figuring out who the Golden State Killer was. She did, essentially, solve it, though she died before he was caught. The book is excellent – I highly recommend it. The documentary is basically the same story, but with a lot of interviews with people close to Michelle, as well as her husband Patton Oswald, and victims and survivors.
  • Midsomer Murders [Acorn] – I have watched watched almost all of these before, but my sister and I decided to take advantage of Acorn’s extended pandemic trial earlier this spring and because we both enjoy this show so much, I’m still paying for it so we can continue watch. Most of the episodes are cozy mysteries, but some really bring an emotional punch.
  • Parts Unknown [HBO Max] – Again, another show I am rewatching. I will forever be grateful to have watched these shows when Tony was still alive. It makes me appreciate both what he did and the kind of person he was so much. It’s also really interesting (and depressing) to watch these hour long trips to other places – to countries we can’t go to now because there’s a pandemic. If you miss traveling, why not give a Parts Unknown a try.

Other things I’m watching:

Perry Mason (HBO Max), which is about young Perry Mason. The Untamed (Netflix/Viki) which is a Chinese drama that has taken the fandom world by charge. Memorist (n/a), a Korean TV show about a detective who can read people’s memories and the bad guy he’s trying to catch (who can erase people’s memories). I’ll write about all of these shows when I finish them.

Also, my sister and I watch a lot of YouTube videos (if anyone wants recommendations, let me know). The way we watch TV is that we call each other and match up our videos so we can watch “together” and talk about it. I highly recommend this method of watching TV with people you’re not near (or not comfortable seeing in person, because pandemic).

What I’ve been listening to …

  • NIve – Korean singer. You’ll learn more about him on Sunday.
  • UNVS – KPOP band who debuted earlier this year
  • Kang Daniel – KPOP singer (formerly of the group Wanna One) who just came back with a new album.
  • ONF – KPOP boy group I’ve been a fan of for a few years.
  • ATEEZ – KPOP boy group I was supposed to see with a friend of mine in April. The concert was postponed (to when, I don’t know) because of the pandemic.

Here’s your moment of calm:

Lake Michigan Twilight (c) Zach Korb

Weekend Reads – Friday, August 14 2020

Have some time this weekend? Here are some links I’ve been meaning to post for a while.

As a side note, if a subscription may be required to view the article, you’ll see dollar signs ($$) next to the publication name. If you don’t have a subscription to the publication, sometimes you can view these articles in the incognito/private mode of your browser. If you notice one I’ve not marked, let me know.

Tune In, Drop Out (Rest of World)

In the face of social and professional pressure, many young South Koreans are simply opting out — and the economy is adapting to them.

America Should Prepare for a Double Pandemic (The Atlantic)

COVID-19 has steamrolled the country. What happens if another pandemic starts before this one is over?

Streaming Isn’t Everything, and Blu-rays Are Back to Prove It (Wired – $$)

As the gaps in streaming libraries become greater, so does physical media’s comeback story.

My Father Says He’s a ‘Targeted Individual.’ Maybe We All Are (Wired – $$)

My dad is one of thousands who believe the government is subjecting them to mind control. As a daughter and a journalist, I felt a duty to investigate his claims. Have these individuals been America’s prophets all along?

The Widely-Spoken Languages We Still Can’t Translate Online (Wired – $$)

People who speak languages missing from Google Translate, Siri, and Wikipedia will face future crises—leaving aid organizations scrambling.

Reconsidering the Jewish American Princess (Vox)

How the JAP became America’s most complex Jewish stereotype.

Emily Dickinson’s Electric Love Letters to Susan Gilbert (Brain Pickings)

“Come with me this morning to the church within our hearts, where the bells are always ringing, and the preacher whose name is Love — shall intercede for us!”

Photographs of (models of) the moon (1874) (Public Domain Review)