Quick Links for July 2020

There's some really good stuff in this profile of Choire Sicha. "Not meddling with talent and not diluting great ideas by committee are two smart strategies in a creative workplace that are rarely deployed successfully."  patreon.com
A new study argues for a greater appreciation of hedonism in our lives. "Enjoying short-term pleasurable activities that don't lead to long-term goals contributes at least as much to a happy life as self-control."  media.uzh.ch
"Screen time expert" Anya Kamenetz reflects on what she's learned about kids & screens during the intense pandemic lockdown time. "Lean into video chat and real-time interactions. And play games, watch TV and videos together as a family."  nytimes.com
A 118-page toolkit for reparations published by the Movement for Black Lives to help people "better understand what reparations are and how Black people in the United States can get them."  m4bl.org
MacKenzie Scott just donated $1.7 billion to a variety of organizations working in areas like racial equity, LGBTQ+ equity, functional democracy, climate change, gender equity. Check out the whole list here.  medium.com
"Actress and director Amy Seimetz has obtained a temporary restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, director Shane Carruth, accusing him of years of mental, emotional and physical abuse."  variety.com
Several US states (like Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama) still offer license plates w/ the Confederate flag on them where profits go to Confederate pride groups.  twitter.com
A visual investigation by the NY Times: How Federal Officers Escalated Violence in Portland.  youtube.com
MineSweeper implemented in CSS + HTML (no JavaScript)  github.com
What Vermont and Its History Might Teach the Nation About Handling the Coronavirus. Whatever the reason for the state's success during the pandemic so far, I feel very lucky to be living here right now.  newyorker.com
A new study may show why SARS-CoV-2 causes a temporary loss of smell and taste. "SARS-CoV-2 infection is unlikely to permanently damage olfactory neural circuits and lead to persistent anosmia."  news.harvard.edu
"Life improves when I let go of ideas of what I want it to be."  drawinglinks.substack.com
An oral history of Quokka Sports. This team did incredible, experimental things on the web back in the mid-90s.  sportico.com
A survey of US museum directors finds that 1/3 of museums are in danger of permanently closing due to the pandemic.  npr.org
Jesus, Trump's advisors have started presenting him with evidence of "our people" suffering in Republican states so that he takes the pandemic more seriously.  washingtonpost.com
"Where Is My Name?" is a campaign by women in Afghanistan to be able to freely use their names in public. "Women are generally only referred to as the mother, daughter or sister of the eldest male in their family..."  bbc.com
Inexpensive paper-strip tests for Covid-19 designed for near-daily use, that give near-instant results, and only detect high levels of virus could be key in controlling the virus.  npr.org
"You can now boot a Windows 95 PC inside Minecraft and play Doom on it."  theverge.com
How Police Unions Fight Reform, a long piece in the New Yorker by William Finnegan. "Imagine a nurses' union that hated patients, that went on TV and talked about how much trouble the patients give them."  newyorker.com
A new poll indicates that "an increasingly broad majority of Americans are wearing masks in public". The numbers are up significantly since June. Common sense and public health are winning out. Thanks for wearing a mask! Keep going!  huffpost.com
There have been anecdotal reports of Covid-19 reinfection, but epidemiologists & immunologists increasingly believe that reinfection is rare.  nytimes.com
A photo of Comet Neowise photobombed/ruined by SpaceX's Starlink satellites. Yuck. I know most people on Earth can't even see the night sky anymore because of light pollution, but this sucks.  twitter.com
From I Love Typography, a great post about the history of early African American printing and publishing (books, pamphlets, newspapers, etc.)  ilovetypography.com
Coming soon from one of my favorite food writers/chefs/magicians Kenji López-Alt: a children's book called Every Night Is Pizza Night, "a story about open-mindedness, community, and family". Includes a recipe for making pizza!  bookshop.org
What You Need To Know About The Battle of Portland. This is a good summary of the situation in Portland written by someone who "has worked as a conflict journalist in Iraq and Ukraine".  bellingcat.com
Nice White Parents is a new podcast series from the makers of Serial that's about "the 60-year relationship between white parents and the public school down the block".  nytimes.com
A lovely remembrance of Robin Williams from someone who went to the same 12-step meeting for years. "He kept a very low profile but he was unfailingly kind."  twitter.com
Seven books to read in which very little happens. Includes Nicholson Baker's The Mezzanine, which is fantastic.  lithub.com
The sports writers at the NY Times have come up with some interesting ideas (good and bad) about how to fix professional sports (e.g. too-long baseball games, confusing rules in soccer & football, boring golf).  nytimes.com
Whoa, a paper that presents evidence of possible human presence in Mexico "as early as 33,000–31,000 years ago", which is more than 15,000 years earlier than the Clovis culture.  nature.com
The Billionaire Behind Efforts to Kill the U.S. Postal Service. Spoiler warning: it's libertarian dipshit Charles Koch, who has done untold damage to our country and the Earth.  inthepublicinterest.org
Billie Eilish's bad guy, but played in the major key. "instead of playing it normal i'm the good guy so i play it in the major key, to the screams of music majors everywhere."  youtube.com
A Small Needful Fact, a poem by Ross Gay about Eric Garner. The last line of this knocked me on my ass.  poets.org
NY Times Styles reporter Caity Weaver recorded and annotated everything she looked up on Google or Wikipedia for a week. I would totally read this blog.  docs.google.com
The Racist History of Tipping. "The practice spread throughout the country after the Civil War as U.S. employers, largely in the hospitality sector, looked for ways to avoid paying formerly enslaved workers."  politico.com
The Influenza Masks of 1918, "a collection of images from a century ago of people doing their best to keep others and themselves safe".  theatlantic.com
Alex Trebek's memoir, The Answer Is..., is out today. "I want people to know a little more about the person they have been cheering on for the past year."  bookshop.org
How to Solve a Problem is a children's book by rock climber Ashima Shiraishi, who was climbing the some of the world's toughest routes at age 10.  bookshop.org
Why Do Some Vermonters Display The Confederate Flag? "The reason I started flying my Confederate flag is because it does irritate me that you've got these Black Lives Matter flags flying everywhere."  vpr.org
Design a better face mask, win $1 million. "The $1M Next-Gen Mask Challenge aims to reimagine protective face masks used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by making them more comfortable, functional, accessible, and even stylish."  xprize.org
My mask protects you, your mask protects me, right? Yes, but masks are also protective to the wearer. "The less virus that you get in, the less sick you're likely to be."  npr.org
A review of the typefaces used by crackpot protestors, including Paranoid Light, Illuminati Bold, and Dipshit Condensed.  twitter.com
The release of Christopher Nolan's Tenet has been delayed with no forthcoming release date. Theater movies are done in the US for at least 6-12 months – either theaters will be closed or audiences too sparse to justify Hollywood budgets.  variety.com
No Shakespeare in the Park this year, but WNYC and The Public Theater did an audio production of Richard II.  wnycstudios.org
The NY Times goes inside the White House's disastrous response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Americans, all of us, should be FURIOUS about this. They straight-up murdered tens of thousands of people – where is the outrage?  nytimes.com
John Lewis, Towering Figure of Civil Rights Era, Dies at 80. "Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble."  nytimes.com
Unidentified federal officers in unmarked cars are indiscriminately snatching people off the streets in Portland. I'll just point out that this is literally (like literally literally, the literal use of the word "literally") what the literal Nazis did.  nytimes.com
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is streaming a feature-length documentary about artist Gerhard Richter until the end of July (US-only).  metmuseum.org
A taxonomy of Reply Guy behaviors. "LIFE STORY REPLY GUY: He saw you post personal anecdotes and assumes that replying to you with HIS life story will be very interesting."  twitter.com
Over the past 3 years, the past-year usage of LSD by Americans has increased by 56%. Scientists theorize it's because the world has gone to hell and people are looking to self-medicate.  scientificamerican.com
A dozen protestors were partially blinded after the police hit them with "less lethal" munitions. The Washington Post investigated three of the incidents and found that video footage undermines the official police accounts of the shootings.  youtube.com
Lovely aerial photos of Vermont from Caleb Kenna.  nytimes.com
For Rolling Stone, Jamil Smith writes about the genesis of the Black Lives Matter movement and the three women who started it (Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi).  rollingstone.com
Dave Eggers satirizes the sad state of Covid-19 testing in the United States. "Oh, we have plenty of tests. We just don't have appointments."  nytimes.com
TIL that after the Civil War, thousands of defeated Confederates moved to Brazil, where slavery persisted until 1888. Confederate flags still proudly fly in Brazil, which is home to an annual Confederate Festival.  washingtonpost.com
Draftsman and inventor Lewis Howard Latimer played a pivotal role in both the invention of the telephone (he did the patent drawings for Bell) and lightbulb (invented a carbon filament bulb that allowed for continuous burning bulbs).  en.wikipedia.org
How Bree Newsome Bass took down the Confederate flag from a SC state house flagpole in 2015. "She had never climbed anything more than a tree as a kid or a rope in gym class. So she took a few days off to learn from the Greenpeace activist."  washingtonpost.com
What bird are you most like? I'm a red-tailed hawk! "You understand strategy, and sometimes work with a partner, but overall most of the time you are happy to be alone."  cornelllabpgstore.com
Some WFH content for you: The 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time. (And as you might have guessed, an anagramic entry takes the number "one" spot.)  pitchfork.com
An account of what international travel to Australia is like right now (incl. a Covid test and mandatory 14-day, government-funded quarantine upon arrival).  twitter.com
The NFL team in Washington DC is dropping the racist "Redskins" name and logo.  nytimes.com
Our government's inept response to the pandemic has rendered American passports worthless. "In the absence of a humane government, America is now ruled by COVID-19. Welcome to the Plague States of America."  medium.com
Turkey has revoked Hagia Sophia's status as a museum and Turkish president Erdogan ordered it to be opened for Muslim prayers. I visited the Hagia Sophia a couple of years ago and it was the highlight of my trip.  nytimes.com
A look at some memorable photos taken by Patrick Cashin, retiring staff photographer of the MTA in NYC.  nytimes.com
The Confederacy Was an Antidemocratic, Centralized State. "The actual Confederate States of America was a repressive state devoted to white supremacy."  theatlantic.com
Sleeping Giants has pushed big advertisers to drop their support of racist & sexist media brands. While that was going on, co-founder Nandini Jammi says: "my white male co-founder gaslighted me out of the movement we built together".  medium.com
America Is Refusing to Learn How to Fight the Coronavirus. Instead, we have "a pattern of failure following failure, with each successive failure normalized by the last".  nymag.com
New nonfiction from Nicholson Baker – Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act.  bookshop.org
After early success, Israel is facing a resurgence of Covid-19 cases. This bit seems relevant to the reopening schools debate: "Schools — not restaurants or gyms — turned out to be the country’s worst mega-infectors."  thedailybeast.com
Cities should greatly reduce the number of cars allowed and give the reclaimed space back to the people. Here's what that could look like in NYC.  nytimes.com
Whoa: "The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled by a 5-4 margin that nearly half of Oklahoma is an Indian reservation in the eyes of the criminal-justice system."  nytimes.com
PRINT magazine revisits a 1968 piece called The Black Experience in Graphic Design and interviews Black creatives about what's changed. "It is hard to believe that this article was written in 1968. More than 50 years later, very little has changed."  printmag.com
Fascinating new DNA evidence suggests early migration from South America (specifically from what is now Colombia) to eastern Polynesia sometime before circa 1150 ACE, possibly arriving even before western Polynesians did.  nature.com
"There's overwhelming evidence that the criminal justice system is racist. Here's the proof." A massive review of studies of racial bias in policing, our legal system, etc.  washingtonpost.com
The formation of "social pods" (small, trusted groups that isolate together) can be very helpful in limiting the damaging effects of long-term social isolation.  gen.medium.com
Nerissa Zhang, who is a Black woman, sent her startup's pitch deck to several VCs who publicly stated wanting to invest in Black-owned startups. She got 0 responses – until she sent the same messages from her co-founder husband's email.  thebolditalic.com
Oprah Winfrey, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Lionsgate and The New York Times to Adapt The 1619 Project Into Film, TV Programming and More  theroot.com
Doctors in the UK are seeing mildly affected or recovering Covid-19 patients come down with "serious and potentially fatal brain disorders".  theguardian.com
American Fascism: It Has Happened Here. As Langston Hughes once said, "In America, Negroes do not have to be told what fascism is in action. We know."  nybooks.com
Listen to Tom Hanks, people! "Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands. That alone means you are contributing to the betterment of your house, your work, your town, your society as a whole. And it's such a small thing."  latimes.com
"The United States has formally notified the United Nations that it is withdrawing from the World Health Organization." Seems about right – the US government doesn't care about the health of its citizens.  statnews.com
Black Death, COVID, and Why We Keep Telling the Myth of a Renaissance Golden Age and Bad Middle Ages. "The Renaissance was not a golden age to actually live in, even if it was a golden age in terms of what it left behind."  exurbe.com
Great, honest, and engaging interview with Thandie Newton.  vulture.com
The Pandemic Experts Are Not Okay. American public health officials – ignored, attacked, overworked, underappreciated, frustrated, and fatigued – are at risk of burning out just a few months into a years-long pandemic.  theatlantic.com
Tennessee Williams with Air-Conditioning. "There is no need to sweat or shout in such a small, well-chilled apartment. I can be heard across the room without raising my voice. Look, I have created a chore wheel for the three of us..."  newyorker.com
Pre-order Black Futures, a collection of work by Black creators edited by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham. Really excited to see how they put "images, photos, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets, poetry" into a cohesive whole.  bookshop.org
I'm a Direct Descendant of Thomas Jefferson. Take Down His Memorial. "The time to honor the slave-owning founders of our imperfect union is past."  nytimes.com
From Science magazine's senior photo editor, the most memorable photography of the pandemic so far.  blogs.sciencemag.org
A discussion of appropriation & and equity of access in the food/restaurant world. "All food is fusion, so why does it matter who is cooking what?"  instagram.com
A great review of the filmed version of Hamilton by Siddhant Adlakha. "The show's more idealistic elements feel illusory in hindsight. It was made for a different America, and today, it's easy to wonder whether that America ever existed at all."  polygon.com
Why are US cases of Covid-19 increasing while deaths are decreasing? "The answer is simple. It's called Simpson's paradox and it's the result of incorrectly pooling data and arriving at a false conclusion."  twitter.com
Descendants of Frederick Douglass read excerpts from his famous speech, "What, to the American Slave, Is the Fourth of July?"  npr.org
When the Fourth of July Was a Black Holiday. "The Fourth became an almost exclusively African American holiday in the states of the former Confederacy - until white Southerners...snuffed these black commemorations out."  theatlantic.com
Is the Fourth of July worth celebrating? "After Juneteenth, it's hard to overlook the hollowness of American freedom."  thenation.com
Popular Mechanics on How to Topple a Statue Using Science. "To break the statue from its base, split into two teams on either side and work in a back-and-forth motion."  popularmechanics.com
Anti-racism work is supposed to be hard. "There should be tears. There should be grief and guilt. There should be shouting and bad words and silence. There should be wariness, even at the best of intentions."  columbusalive.com
A reminder that for some patients, problems from Covid-19 infections will "persist for months, years or even the rest of their lives". It's not just deaths – the nonchalance some have about this virus is astounding.  nytimes.com
The brutal truth about the pandemic in the US from Zeynep Tufekci: "Americans should plan for one more year of this with their family or community."  twitter.com
David Gallagher's photo project You Have to See This Place: Kickstarter backers picked a geographic location and he sent them a print of the photo he'd taken closest to that spot.  dfg.nyc
A list of the 2020 Apple Design Award Winners.  apps.apple.com
Coronavirus Brings American Decline Out in the Open. "Without fixes for infrastructure, education, health care and government, the U.S. will resemble a developing nation in a few decades."  bloomberg.com
June 2020 Archives »