Weekend Reads

These are late, but please spend some time reading. Also, if you can’t get to a protest, Wired has a bunch of things you can do to help:

Your weekend reads are below. I ran out of time to read all of these, but I plan to before the weekends up – and you should, too.

Notes – The NY Times, Wired, and Atlantic articles may have paywalls – if you run into them, try a different browser, incognito mode, a different device, or consider a subscription (I am debating subscribing to The Atlantic).

Please stay safe, stay healthy, and defund the police.

Wednesday Links: Black Lives Matter

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Weekend Reads

Before we get to the articles, please consider signing petitions, calling reps, and donating money to demand justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s deaths. Here are some links:

Now, onto the links.

The Public That Cannot Mourn Does Not Exist (The Convivial Society)

Yet, because so many have died in such a brief time, the tragedy takes on an undoubtedly collective and public character. It demands acknowledgement and a reckoning, not simply a tallying. As I write this, however, it begins to feel almost as if we’re prepared to move on. We were shocked on the first day that 100 died and later 1,000, but we somehow acclimated to anywhere from 1,500 to more than 2,000 deaths a day for a few weeks.

The Resillience of Marga Griesbach (The Cut)

Surviving It All: She’s 92, made it through the Holocaust, and set off for a cruise around the world in February.

Two heirs bought Midland dams as a tax shelter. Tragedy followed. (Bridge)

Eventually, a solution came to Mueller, an architect who lives in Las Vegas, and his cousin, Michel d’Avenas, a California musician who is the son of a French count and is now known as the Pebble Beach Bagpiper.

They would avoid taxes by purchasing four small hydroelectric dams in mid-Michigan near Midland, according to hundreds of pages of federal court records reviewed by Bridge.

The Bird Watcher, That Incident and His Feelings on the Woman’s Fate (New York Times – Possible Paywall)

Mr. Cooper’s love of birding began at age 10, he said, when his parents, two Long Island schoolteachers, enrolled him in a 4-H program. There, in a woodworking class, he crafted a bird feeder that he set in his lawn.

The man in the iron lung (Guardian)

When he was six, Paul Alexander contracted polio and was paralysed for life. Today he is 74, and one of the last people in the world still using an iron lung. But after surviving one deadly outbreak, he did not expect to find himself threatened by another

 

Baltimore orioles(c) pepperberryfarm: Baltimore orioles

Wednesday Links: 04/29/2020

Yes, we’re trying this again. I’m going to try something new – one or two relevant and timely links and one or two from the before time. I hope you can enjoy (?) these links.

Timely Links:

This is an excellent, thoughtful article that is also hard to read because there is so much we don’t know. I want to pull out one quote, the one that I hope you remember. It’s from the very end of the article:

And the desire to name an antagonist, be it the Chinese Communist Party or Donald Trump, disregards the many aspects of 21st-century life that made the pandemic possible: humanity’s relentless expansion into wild spaces; soaring levels of air travel; chronic underfunding of public health; a just-in-time economy that runs on fragile supply chains; health-care systems that yoke medical care to employment; social networks that rapidly spread misinformation; the devaluation of expertise; the marginalization of the elderly; and centuries of structural racism that impoverished the health of minorities and indigenous groups. It may be easier to believe that the coronavirus was deliberately unleashed than to accept the harsher truth that we built a world that was prone to it, but not ready for it.

I though this article was going to be a lot more depressing than it turned out to be. I think the US has a long way to go (and indeed, the headline on the main Buzzfeed news page reads like this: Contact Tracing Could Help Stop The Coronavirus. The US Might Blow It. There is some hope, but not enough (or a lot). Let’s just not give up and let’s keep fighting.

Links from the Before Time:

A truly excellent article from 2014 and it made a very interesting read, considering the flightless world we’re currently living in as well as our uncertain future. Spend some time remembering what it was like to fly (but never this nicely).

Your moment of calm:

Seven swans a swimming
Rachel Kramer: Seven swans a swimming

Music Sunday + Link

Happy September! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Today I bring you a link and a song. Enjoy!

Libraries have become vital for the marginalised, such as the homeless, to access essential government services such as Centrelink, and to stay connected. They have become defacto providers of basic digital literacy training – such as how to use an iPad or access an eGov account. Others cater to tech-enthusiasts offering advanced courses on coding or robotics in purpose-built spaces and laboratories.

Technology hasn’t killed public libraries – it’s inspired them to transform and stay relevant (The Conversation)

This is the newest song by a KPOP group I love: IMFACT – 나나나 (NANANA).

The Wednesday Four

If you skip these weekly posts I link to, you shouldn’t. I have been skimming them, but for week 21, I read it all the way through. I realized several things while reading it, the most important was how much I have already normalized, as Amy describes it, the Trump regime. While I try never to refer to him by his full title and I shudder when I hear others do it, sometimes I do forget or ignore how bad things are. Reading week 21 made me realize that, well, things are bad and they’re getting worse. Please remember that this is not the world we want and yet, here we are.

Anyway, your links this week:

  • Redux: You’ve got mail, you idiot! This post originally ran on October 26, 2011, back when Donald Trump was relentlessly propagating an easily debunked conspiracy theory about President Obama. As we ponder the triumph of “alternative facts,” it’s worth considering what makes bullshit so appealing and why it’s so hard to debunk. (The Last Word On Nothing)
  • Letter to My Younger Self by Pete Sampras (The Players Tribune) Note: For most of the time he was active, Pete was one of my favorite tennis players. The others are current player Gilles Simon and legend Bjorn Borg.

The Wednesday Four

Last week was something else. Wednesday was A Day Without Women, our President released his health care “plan” and so many things happened. I missed a lot of it due to being out of town because Southeast Michigan, where I live, was hit with a huge windstorm and myself, along with around a million others, lost power. I have power again and it’s very nice. It was a sharp reminder how quickly our world can change. Stay safe, everyone. Stay warm (or cool, depending where you are).

Here is week 17.

Due to the above mentioned issues, I haven’t read many articles recently, so here are more old ones. Including one about one of my most favorite movies, Chungking Express. If you haven’t seen it, please do, it’s fantastic.

  • In Dreams: 20 Years of ‘Chungking Express’ (mxdwn)
  • William Gibson Sees the Future: But he’s not trying to predict it. (Slate) Note: Gibson is my favorite author and I loved The Peripheral, which is what this article is partially about. 
  • Did My Best Friend Really Know Me? For 27 years, the writer had a dutiful relationship with her most devoted friend. Only later did she question who needed who more. (Dame)

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Tony Leung Chiu Wai in Chungking Express

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Faye Wong in Chungking Express

The Wednesday Four

Two things about this week’s links. The first is that I will forever have a huge soft spot for the movie Hackers. I know that it’s not really a great movie, but I adore it and I cannot imagine growing up without having watched it. My sister and I still quote it to each other (along with another cult classic from our youth, Empire Records). There is something endearing and enduring about Hackers, it was in many ways such an innocent time, too. The second thing is that I adore the late Oliver Sacks and his writing. If you’ve never read any of his books, do yourself a favor and read one. It could be one of his science books, or something else of his entirely. Please, go read his writing. It’s great way to remember him.

Week 15 is all about Russia and intolerance.

The links:

  • ‘Hackers’ at 20: How a 20-year-old, mostly inaccurate flop predicted the future, reshaped sci-fi, and won over the real hacker community. (Passcode/Christian Science Monitor)
  • Hoax hunter: I bust people who fake illnesses online (Fusion)
  • The Website MLB Couldn’t Buy Meet Durland and Darvin, the Hummer-driving, rock-and-roll-playing, real-life twins keeping Twins.com in the family and out of Minnesota’s baseball mitt (Grantland)
  • How Oliver Sacks Helped Introduce The World To Autism Autism and its many forms may be widely discussed today, but it wasn’t until the famed neurologist and writer told the story of identical twins George and Charles Fin in his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. (Buzzfeed)

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B1A4 on 02/17/2017 at The Copernicus Center outside of Chicago, IL (taken by me)

The Wednesday Four

This weeks links are about Mars, the fact that your TV is spying on you, among other things. First, the state of the nation (not good):

Week 13 and we’ve already started the normalizing.

Onto the link:

No picture this week, instead enjoy this trailer for Bill Nye’s new Netflix show. I can’t wait.