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  Quick Links for April 2021

Harrison Ford's reaction to a card trick had me on the floor  twitter.com
This is incredible: Andre Agassi decoded Boris Becker's formidable service game by watching his tongue movements.  twitter.com
Nice collection of video essays about Citizen Kane to mark the 80th anniversary of the film's premiere.  openculture.com
The pandemic clearly exposed the deadly inequality of our economic and political systems. But will we finally do anything about it?  nature.com
Dodai Stewart, The Case for a National One-Week Vacation. "We could all take a deep breath and go outside. Feel the sunshine. Sit in the park. Hike. Bird watch. Make out with a stranger."  nytimes.com
More than you probably wanted to know about "granny knots" and how to avoid tying them.  fieggen.com
Informative photoessay: How Pfizer Makes Its Covid-19 Vaccine. "Pfizer currently operates on a 60-day timeline from start to finish, and more than half of that time is dedicated to testing."  nytimes.com
Michael Collins, who journeyed to the Moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11, has died at the age of 90.  nytimes.com
This update on what James Turrell is up to in the Arizona desert with his Roden Crater project is bonkers. "The spaces inside are far more elaborate than Turrell has ever revealed in public."  smithsonianmag.com
One man's six-year quest, aided by a spreadsheet, to park in every single parking spot at his local supermarket.  twitter.com
"Happiness is the letting go of craving and no longer being dominated by the endless pursuit of control."  yungpueblo.substack.com
Human Rights Watch: "Israel is guilty of the international crimes of apartheid and persecution because of discriminatory policies toward Palestinians within its own borders and in the occupied territories."  apnews.com
This low-stakes story about a mother duck, her ducklings, and the Dad who loves them is maybe the perfect heartwarming thing you need to read this morning.  twitter.com
Getting the Shot. @hels and photographer Dina Litovsky went to talk to newly vaccinated New Yorkers. "As soon as it happened, I felt a wave of relief, which is pretty cool. It's kind of euphoric."  newyorker.com
3D Print 18,000 Famous Sculptures, Statues & Artworks: Rodin's Thinker, Michelangelo's David & More.  openculture.com
Epicurious won't be publishing any new recipes or articles featuring beef. "Our shift is solely about sustainability, about not giving airtime to one of the world's worst climate offenders."  epicurious.com
The Covid-19 vaccination rate in the US is declining. But "resistance" isn't to blame – mostly people need more info, it needs to be more convenient, and systemic inequalities need to be overcome.  statnews.com
A list of 45 Lost Albums We Want To Hear, from musicians like Hendrix, Carly Rae Jepsen, Prince, Beastie Boys, Shirley Manson, and Dr. Dre.  stereogum.com
Yahoo, the Destroyer. "How the historic company became known as a bumbling villain of internet culture."  theatlantic.com
SiriusXM is buying 99% Invisible. The podcast landrush & consolidation continues.  nytimes.com
Common sense mask guidance: "To lower risk for Covid-19, make sure your activity meets two out of the following three conditions: outdoors, distanced and masked."  nytimes.com
Post-vax, I am going to be wildly whipsawing between wanting to go out as much as possible and preferring to stay home.  theatlantic.com
A malaria vaccine has shown up to 77% efficacy in a trial of 450 children in Burkina Faso. If this result holds with further trials, this is an amazing breakthrough that will save millions of lives.  theguardian.com
A tribute to 11 great NYC sandwiches. Delighted to see the bologna & American cheese sandwich from Sam's Deli on there. I've had dozens of comforting sandwiches from Sam's over the years.  ny.eater.com
Here's the most important thing about the number of "breakthrough" cases we're seeing of people getting Covid-19 after vaccination: the rate is even lower than expected.  slate.com
Gonna be a slow day on @kottke today – feeling some vaccine side effects and am going to rest up. Got the newsletter out this morning though, take a peek.  mailchi.mp
Possible public health messaging to target American men who refuse to get vaccinated: Covid-19 lowers your testosterone and increases erectile dysfunction. That's perfect: hit 'em right in the groin.  twitter.com
Is there anything more wholesome than Kermit the Frog and Debbie Harry singing a duet of The Rainbow Connection on The Muppet Show? This was the only performance of the song on the show.  openculture.com
Women in the US are getting vaccinated for Covid-19 at a higher rate (~10% more) than men. Literal toxic masculinity. Tracks w/ all the m/f couples I've seen walking around, her masked and him unmasked.  nytimes.com
'World Travel: An Irreverent Guide' by Anthony Bourdain & Laurie Woolever. I've seen so many people in my feeds reading this book.  bookshop.org
The recipe for the shortbread that Ted Lasso makes for his boss in the show is from a @melissaclark recipe for Bittersweet Brownie Shortbread.  david-smith.org
Winners of the 2021 Sony World Photography Awards. OMG, the face slapping one!  theatlantic.com
The NY Times published their profile of stoner workaholic Seth Rogen on 4/20. "[Marijuana is] just a tool we use to make our experience more palatable."  nytimes.com
Advice for post-pandemic re-socialization from someone who was previously house-bound with a health thing. "If you feel overwhelmed [around people], just park your ass on a bench and centre yourself: treat people like bees. It works."  twitter.com
In launching his new newsletter, I love @tedgioia's promise to be an "honest broker" of cultural recommendations.  tedgioia.substack.com
FTC Rules Businesses Must Disclose Whether They Actually Cool Or Just Use Minimalist Branding.  theonion.com
Adam Serwer on the limits of this single criminal conviction. "There will be more Derek Chauvins, because his conviction alters nothing about this system."  theatlantic.com
Eau D'Office, a line of scented candles with workplace smells (like "Warm 96-Page Deck Left on the Printer" and "Afternoon Rush at the Coffee Bar").  instagram.com
Chef José Andrés makes what he calls the creamiest omelette "in the history of mankind": mix 1 egg + 1 spoon of mayonnaise in a measuring cup and then 1 minute in the microwave.  tiktok.com
A look (with graphs!) at how well the vaccines are working in the UK, US, and Chile. "We now have clear, real-world data from many countries showing...the vaccines are reducing infections, reducing hospitalisations and reducing deaths."  twitter.com
Cannabis delivery isn't legal in Maine, so this enterprising online shop employs "psychics" to "find a wide selection of your lost weed and drop it off at your home".  newyorker.com
The USDA is extending its program to provide free lunches to school students through June 2022.  edsource.org
Ibram X. Kendi: Compliance Will Not Save Me. "For Black and brown people, this is the terror of American policing. When we do not comply, we die like Daunte Wright did. When we do comply, we die like Adam Toledo did."  theatlantic.com
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd.  twitter.com
Lofi Cafe: relaxing beats for your workday.  lofi.cafe
This is pretty cool: a DIY open-source split-flap display. If I had a small IRL business of some sort (bakery, cafe, package shipping place), I'd 100% have a functioning split-flap display on the wall.  github.com
How Fit Can You Get From Just Walking? "Walking is probably the single most underutilized tool in health and wellness."  gq.com
They're making a second Downton Abbey film. Inject this low-stakes Britishness right into my veins!  variety.com
Why You Can't Hear The Dialogue in Tenet. This drove me nuts – one of the reasons I was really disappointed in Tenet.  youtube.com
I guess "Are Outdoor Mask Mandates Still Necessary?" is a perfectly fine question to ask but is this really an urgent concern right now?  theatlantic.com
Herman Miller is acquiring Knoll to create a modern design supercompany.  newleaderinmoderndesign.com
"We're talking about a deadly flesh-eating vapor cloud that could affect 1 million people."  drillednews.com
The rules for Covid chess. "The queen just got her first dose of the Moderna vaccine and now thinks she can fly diagonally, horizontally, or vertically to Austin for vacation."  newyorker.com
"All adults in every U.S. state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the April 19 deadline that President Biden set two weeks ago."  nytimes.com
Decades ago, Mac computers came with a sound that played when the machine couldn't boot properly. Behold, the Mac Chimes of Death.  512pixels.net
Audio from a hog calling contest mashed up with heavy metal music.  youtube.com
A big update to Google Earth's Timelapse feature: "24 million satellite photos from the past 37 years have been compiled into an interactive 4D experience. Now anyone can watch time unfold and witness nearly four decades of planetary change."  blog.google
The Nation's Corn Belt Has Lost a Third of Its Topsoil. "I think it's probably an underestimate. There are areas where there's probably a centimeter of topsoil left."  smithsonianmag.com
Yet another small study indicates that psilocybin may be an effective treatment for depression.  bbc.com
I love the economic way in which this story by @migold & @choire is written: quick, dense sentences, short paragraphs, lots of links, informative but also opinionated. Reminds me of Suck.  nytimes.com
Fascinating Vintage Photos of a Batman-Themed Dance Class in New York in the 1960s.  vintag.es
An interview with Roxane Gay about art and art collecting. I love hearing curious and creative people talk about new obsessions – you tend to get a hybrid expert/beginner perspective that's really valuable.  news.artnet.com
Radiohead's first EP, Drill (1992), has found its way onto streaming services.  open.spotify.com
This is an interesting take on media via @austinkleon: there are centripetal books/movies/podcasts/etc. that suck you in and centrifugal media that spins you out.  austinkleon.com
Return the National Parks to the Tribes. "All 85 million acres of national-park sites should be turned over to a consortium of federally recognized tribes in the United States."  theatlantic.com
This is a really great website and you should see it.  y-n10.com
Maybe America Is Racist. "Of all the manufactured hypotheses that attempt to explain these racial disparities, none of them even comes close to the simplest explanation. It's racism."  theroot.com
"Every act of gun violence is forever hurting countless lives – even when it's not taking them."  twitter.com
Citing "an abundance of caution", the FDA & CDC called for a temporary pause in giving the J&J Covid-19 vaccine to investigate a rare blood clot disorder that developed in six women (out of 7 million vaccine recipients).  nytimes.com
The majority of US state names have Native American origins.  reddit.com
Russia's official Covid-19 death toll in 2020 was ~57,000, but their total excess deaths were more than 362,000. "[The excess deaths] belie Putin’s contention that the country has managed the virus better than most."  nytimes.com
The Marshall Project has released a new style guide: 'What Words We Use — and Avoid — When Covering People and Incarceration'. For example, instead of "inmates" or "convicts", they recommend using "incarcerated people".  themarshallproject.org
Today I learned you can buy meal kits directly from Xi'an Famous Foods. Hand-pulled noodles at home!!  xiankits.com
A list of the 100 Greatest Korean Films Ever, as chosen by 158 international film critics from 28 countries. Films by Bong Joon-ho, Lee Chang-dong, and Park Chan-wook all rank highly.  koreanscreen.com
The first genetically modified mosquitos will be released in Florida this spring. "When released GM males breed with wild female mosquitoes, the resulting generation does not survive into adulthood, reducing the overall population."  undark.org
A short compilation of research on how being wealthy affects people's psychology. "To understand how money affects politics, we need to understand how money affects psychology."  theatlantic.com
"What exactly is meant by the term 'Holocaust'? It means that the global Jewish population in 2019 (~15 mil) is still lower than it was in 1939 (16.6 mil). So many Jews were murdered that we still haven't recovered demographically after 80 years."  yair.substack.com
Tracking down the original server that Yahoo was hosted on before it was called Yahoo.  twitter.com
A ranking of Anthony Hopkins' 20 best movie performances. Somehow, Silence of the Lambs *isn't* #1.  theguardian.com
A 900-Page Pre-Pantone Guide to Color from 1692: A Complete High-Resolution Digital Scan.  openculture.com
Thandiwe Newton Revealed That Everyone Has Been Spelling Her Name Wrong For 30 Years. "from now on, Thandiwe will be going by her given name, which is pronounced 'tan-DEE-way.'"  buzzfeed.com
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, dies aged 99.  theguardian.com
Light a virtual candle to honor the memory of someone murdered in the Holocaust. For a virtual experience, this was surprisingly moving. Did some research on my person: only 43 of 1600 people transferred to Auschwitz with her survived.  illuminatethepast.org
"Cycling is ten times more important than electric cars for reaching net-zero cities"  theconversation.com
New vocab word: "deal friends". Realizing I don't have those kind of friends. I've learned how to figure out who just wants things from me, then I just stop engaging on that basis, and they drift off in search of others to feed on.  theatlantic.com
"FDA approves first test of CRISPR to correct genetic defect causing sickle cell disease". CRISPR & mRNA vaccines are going to change a lot of things in the next 10 years.  news.berkeley.edu
'Welcome 2 America' is a 2010 Prince album that will be released for the first time in July.  nytimes.com
Terrifying short science fiction story. "What great message to another civilization can you possibly send with only 248 bits of information?"  reddit.com
A new documentary reveals why the supposed Leonardo painting Salvator Mundi was not displayed at the Louvre as planned. "The scientific evidence was that Leonardo da Vinci only made a contribution to the painting. There was no doubt."  theartnewspaper.com
A new HIV vaccine has shown promise in Phase I trials. "The vaccine successfully stimulated the production of the rare immune cells needed to generate antibodies against HIV in 97 percent of participants."  europeanpharmaceuticalreview.com
CDC (finally!): The risk of Covid-19 infection from contact with contaminated surfaces (fomites) is low. Let's end this "deep cleaning" hygiene theater and focus instead on hand washing, masking, and ventilation.  cdc.gov
"The contracts the Trump administration signed with the vaccine manufacturers prohibit the U.S. from sharing its surplus doses with the rest of the world."  vanityfair.com
A Ruthless Ranking Of The 25 Best Muppets. #1 is obvious, but I don't think I like where Big Bird is here.  npr.org
The Galactic Federation interviews Earth for membership. "Is there enough food to go around? It's looks like some people are starving."  twitter.com
MLB is moving the All-Star game out of Atlanta in response to Georgia’s new anti-democratic election laws.  nytimes.com
The ebook version of David Grann's excellent Killers of the Flower Moon is on sale today for $2.  amazon.com
The conservative movement is rejecting America. "A recent essay in a prominent right-wing outlet gives an unusually clear window into the modern right's anti-democratic worldview."  vox.com
How QAnon Is Tearing Families Apart. "Long before Mark walked in the door of their Chicago home one day last year carrying a machete, Elena knew that their 20-year marriage was coming to an end..."  vice.com
"In a backlash to 2020’s historic voter turnout, and under the pretense of responding to baseless and racist allegations of voter fraud and election irregularities, state lawmakers have introduced a startling number of bills to curb the vote."  brennancenter.org
I aspire to @anildash's casual energy here: "When we invented non-fungible tokens..." Uh, what?!  theatlantic.com
The latest @kottke newsletter just went out!  mailchi.mp
"America ruined my name for me. So I chose a new one."  newyorker.com
Bhutan is racing to get initial Covid-19 vaccine shots to their entire eligible population within a week. After much planning and a massive push, they should be done in the next day or two.  independent.co.uk
Adam Curtis: sensationalist media has turned us all into paranoid weirdos like Richard Nixon.  youtube.com
Hulu and the NY Times are teaming up to produce a documentary series based on The 1619 Project.  nytco.com
Dr. Matt Lodder discovered he had an imposter. "I found a video clip of him at a conference, reading out a chapter I'd written. He was dressed like me. He had even copied my tattoos."  theguardian.com
After B.B. King breaks a guitar string during the middle of a performance (~3:00 mark), he keeps on playing and singing while he casually changes the string onstage.  youtube.com
Know Her, a list of 20 groundbreaking artists from the turn of the 20th century who have been largely forgotten and written out of the narratives of modern art because they were women.  yhaduong.com
Podcast: @debbiemillman interviews @robynkanner, senior creative advisor for the Biden/Harris campaign. "Kanner’s sponsor asked what her goals were. She said she was going to elect the next president of the United States."  printmag.com
How the pandemic changed our friendships. "Over the past year, she said, we stopped exploring, often limiting our rare encounters to tiny groups of trusted intimates. We didn't get new ones."  nytimes.com
"The last time ships got stuck in the Suez Canal, they were there for eight years and developed a separate society with its own Olympic Games."  vice.com
March 2021 Archives »