Quick Links for May 2021

Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Open. This sucks – she was very clear about her mental health needs and WTA officials fined her and basically said "fuck you". Do they care about the wellbeing of their players or no?  nytimes.com
"Fully vaccinated people, and also just liars, can now go mask-free at theaters"  avclub.com
Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch finally has a theatrical release date: Oct 22, 2021.  indiewire.com
An AI, teamed up with non-funny humans, is trying to win the New Yorker cartoon caption contest.  pudding.cool
Sky Pool. Yikes!  mossandfog.com
An Other War Memorial, memories from victims and survivors of the American War in Vietnam.  anotherwarmemorial.com
For £50, you get 15 minutes to fill your car up with as many mannequin body parts as you can carry. "Under no circumstances whatsoever will you be able to fill your car boot with hands. Please don't ask."  mannakin.com
A visually impaired person shares how she uses her iPhone. I hadn't seen the Braille keyboard option in action before – amazing!  twitter.com
Some literary collective nouns. My favorite by far is "a gruop of proofreaders".  theguardian.com
Political scientist David Faris on the dangers of the Republican revolt against American democracy. "My current level of concern is exploring countries to move to after 2024."  vox.com
Inside Citizen's Dangerous Effort to Cash In On Vigilantism. This is just evil, deeply immoral stuff that is making society more dangerous to live in.  vice.com
I am not liking what I am hearing lately about the B.1.617.2 variant of Covid-19 first identified in India – preliminary evidence indicates that it could be "far more transmissible" than B.1.1.7.  nytimes.com
Coronavirus Variant Excited To Compete With World’s Top Mutations In Tokyo This Summer. (This is The Onion, but just barely.)  theonion.com
Salman Rushdie on the books we truly love: "I believe that the books and stories we fall in love with make us who we are, or, not to claim too much, the beloved tale becomes a part of the way in which we understand things..."  nytimes.com
Interesting fact about the 1918 pandemic: "Doctors then hadn't even figured out that influenza was caused by a virus." That discovery didn't happen until the 1930s.  theatlantic.com
The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum will reopen in NYC on June 10 and admission to the museum will be free through October 31.  cooperhewitt.org
"minion skin"  twitter.com
Basic research on the mouse hepatitis virus (a coronavirus) begun in the 1980s proved essential to understanding & combating SARS-CoV-2 when it appeared in late 2019.  covid19prequels.com
"Immunity to the coronavirus lasts at least a year, possibly a lifetime, improving over time especially after vaccination, according to two new studies." What amazing news this would be if these studies prove true.  nytimes.com
Facebook is not listening to your offline conversations with friends, but here's how it knows to show you ads about those convos. "If my phone is regularly in the same GPS location as another phone, they take note of that."  twitter.com
An oral history of A Different World.  vanityfair.com
I have been making @mslynnchen's Taiwanese pork chops with scallions and broccoli lately and really liking them.  food52.com
What If We Just Stopped Calling the Cops? "For decades, the solution to Black Americans' distrust of cops has often been to not call them. Now white people are catching on too."  vice.com
Amazon is buying MGM for $8.45 billion.  variety.com
George Floyd Is Dead Because America Is a Racist Country. "For 46 years, he had managed to survive the pillaging of his family’s wealth. He outlasted a racist education system. He withstood the prejudice of the criminal justice system."  theroot.com
This Chemistry Nobel Prize winner was very vocal about Covid-19 – and very wrong, even dangerously wrong. And he wasn't the only one. How should society & the scientific community react to this sort of thing?  statnews.com
The housing market in the US right now is bonkers. "There are now more Realtors than listings."  twitter.com
For those who are not vaccinated, Covid-19 case/hosp./death levels are still relatively high in many parts of the US. Something to keep in mind that the state and national averages we're seeing don't reflect.  washingtonpost.com
Due to government mistrust, online disinformation, and "a lack of urgency in the comparatively virus-free city", Covid-19 vaccine uptake in Hong Kong is quite low and they may have to throw millions of expiring doses away.  news.yahoo.com
A block-by-block tour, in photos and a 3D model, of the vibrant Black neighborhood destroyed in the Tulsa Race Massacre 100 years ago.  nytimes.com
Gorgeous My Neighbor Totoro zoetrope.  twitter.com
An update on the support for Black Lives Matter in the US. "Republicans and white people have actually become less supportive of Black Lives Matter than they were before the death of George Floyd."  nytimes.com
"Kiyan Prince was killed in 2006 at the age of 15. Now, EA Sports is continuing his legacy by putting him in [FIFA 21]."  fastcompany.com
The evolution of butts. "Gently turn that blobby body around, and gaze deep into its marvelous, multifunctional anus."  theatlantic.com
This is a really lovely & meditative set of instructions for creating your own bird kite at home.  nytimes.com
10 positions that chess engines have a difficult time understanding but human players see easily.  chess.com
A profile of Vermont governor Phil Scott, who is a Republican thriving in the most liberal state in the US. As a Vermonter, I can say his handling of the pandemic was very good, conservative in the best sense.  theatlantic.com
A possibly novel coronavirus that may have jumped from dogs into humans has been detected in samples taken in Malaysia in 2017/18. NOT NOW JESUS CHRIST.  npr.org
Just sent out this week's @kottke newsletter. It features pencil typography, an infinite hotel, and a majestic thundercloud.  mailchi.mp
During WWII, Japan launched thousands of hydrogen-filled paper balloons with bombs attached to them, hoping they would float across the Pacific and cause damage in the US. (And some did.)  npr.org
Today is Dieter Rams' birthday and to celebrate Gary Hustwit is streaming his documentary about the legendary designer for free for 24 hours.  ohyouprettythings.com
Documentary filmmaker Tim Wardle shares 15 things he wished he'd known about documentary filmmaking when he started out. "6. Embrace the nuance and psychological complexity/messiness of real people."  twitter.com
Watch Accurate Recreations of Medieval Italian Longsword Fighting Techniques, All Based on a Manuscript from 1404.  openculture.com
25 Edits That Define the Modern Internet Video, like "a perfectly devastating zoom, a video cut short a millisecond too early, or a freeze-frame right at the moment of climax".  vulture.com
UNC-Chapel Hill was set to offer award-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones a tenured position but their board of trustees blocked it due to political pressure from conservatives.  ncpolicywatch.com
There's a Wonder Years reboot narrated by Don Cheadle coming out that centers on a 12-year-old boy growing up in a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama in the 1960s.  youtube.com
Why Confederate Lies Live On. "Confederate history is family history, history as eulogy, in which loyalty takes precedence over truth."  theatlantic.com
Meet the Four Kinds of People Holding Us Back From Full Vaccination: the Watchful, the Cost-Anxious, the System Distrusters and the Covid Skeptics.  nytimes.com
Novelty is the key to understanding the pandemic. "SARS-CoV-2 is new to our immune systems. That makes it very dangerous. Viruses that are new to us spread faster and are more lethal than old familiar ones."  theinsight.org
An AI tries to finish a 15-second clip of the Spice Girls' Wannabe in the style of Nine Inch Nails.  youtube.com
A profile of Shayne Bushfield and the relatively small online community he runs, LearnedLeague. "What Bushfield wants is to re-create, over and over, the experience of playing trivia with his friends at the office."  newyorker.com
"Contemporary German parents give their children a great deal of freedom — to do dangerous stuff; to go places alone; to make their own mistakes, most of which involve nudity, fire, or both."  slate.com
Oh right, carmakers are probably going to charge vehicle owners by the hour for self-driving service.  teslarati.com
Bill McKibben: in order for the switchover to electric vehicles to happen quickly in the US, we need to build a national network of charging stations.  newyorker.com
"The Great Online Game is an infinite video game that plays out constantly across the internet. You’re no longer playing as an avatar in Fortnite or Roblox; you’re playing as yourself across Twitter, YouTube, Discords, work, projects, & investments."  notboring.co
TIL that my home internet service (that I use for producing @kottke) is not actually "broadband". No wonder my kids complain about Fortnite lagging.  theverge.com
Chances are you've probably experienced "psychic numbing" at some point during the last year and a half.  npr.org
Coming in Jan 2022 from @michaelharriot, Black AF History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of America.  bookshop.org
Who can do what through the where now?  phys.org
What's the opposite of a Rube Goldberg machine called?  mobile.twitter.com
A useful thread from @waxpancake about the crisis in Gaza  twitter.com
Incredible fly-by video of Mount Rainier taken from a recent Delta flight.  twitter.com
"A new spin on [the classic video game Oregon Trail] focuses on more accurately representing Native Americans and includes new storylines and playable Native American characters."  npr.org
Lovely and insightful reflections on 20 years of blogging from Cory Doctorow. I nodded along to almost all of this.  doctorow.medium.com
"A new analysis of the toll of the Covid-19 pandemic suggests 6.9 million people worldwide have died from the disease, more than twice as many people as has been officially reported."  statnews.com
New issue of the @kottke newsletter just published  mailchi.mp
CDC says vaccinated Americans can go maskless outdoors and indoors in most situations. I worry this is premature.  nytimes.com
The American Girl Doll: Imperial Wives Collection.  twitter.com
Recent studies found that men who had Covid-19 were more likely to have severe erectile dysfunction, lower sperm counts, and decreased genital size. So...get vaccinated maybe, hesitant gents?  twitter.com
Hans Zimmer is creating an in-car soundscape for BMW's new M-brand EVs to compensate for the lack of growling engine noise.  autoblog.com
A high-level report concludes that the WHO and national leaders should have acted faster and more decisively to try to curb the pandemic. "It is glaringly obvious that February 2020 was a lost month."  nature.com
The Emerging Movement for Police and Prison Abolition. "I want [to] build up another world that is rooted in collective wellness, safety, and investment in the things that would actually bring those things about."  newyorker.com
I Mailed an AirTag and Tracked Its Progress; Here's What Happened.  intego.com
An anti-vaccine conspiracy theory (that vaccinated people can "shed" harmful proteins) is "leading some anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers to contemplate wearing a mask and social distance".  vice.com
Health Conspiracy Theorists Hate Living in the World They Helped Create. "By fighting the most commonsense public health measures at every turn, the health conspiracy theorists helped create a climate where more restrictive ones are looking...necessary."  vice.com
Did a cicada write this?  nytimes.com
"From the makers of Portrait of a Lady on Fire and The Favourite comes Lesbian Period Drama..."  youtube.com
This seems really useful: tests that can detect Covid, flu, RSV, and other respiratory illnesses in a single go.  nytimes.com
TurboVax, the personal side-project site that centralized all of NYC's vaccine appointments, is closing down because vaccine availability is widespread now. Bravo!  twitter.com
On Monday, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland recorded zero deaths from Covid-19. Lockdown + strong vaccine rollout saved thousands of lives.  bbc.com
The FDA has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds. (The CDC still needs to sign off.)  nytimes.com
Huh, a new incarnation of StumbleUpon.  stumbled.cc
scroll + click.  lab.hakim.se
Vaccine Side Effect, or Have You Just Been Alive for 40 Years? "Q: Are you experiencing unusual nausea? A: I am nauseous, but it could be because I ate some fried food yesterday. Fried food upsets my stomach. So does spicy food. So does too much fiber."  mcsweeneys.net
It seems that con man Frank Abagnale, the basis of Spielberg's 'Catch Me if You Can', made up many of his criminal exploits. We really should have seen this coming...  whyy.org
A list of the 100 best sitcoms of all time. Frasier over Fleabag? No thank you.  rollingstone.com
How Filippo Brunelleschi, Untrained in Architecture or Engineering, Built the World’s Largest Dome at the Dawn of the Renaissance.  openculture.com
For a number of reasons (like a new less-lively ball), MLB hitters are having trouble getting on base this season, "maintaining a .233 batting average, the lowest mark in the league's 150-year history".  bleacherreport.com
I'd been unaware of recent goings-on at Vimeo: they've repositioned themselves as a "B2B SaaS company" and will spin out of IAC as an independent company later this year.  protocol.com
This is potentially exciting: James Burke wants to make a new Connections series. Yes, please.  twitter.com
Ibram X. Kendi is launching a new podcast next month: 'Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi'  deadline.com
The US ranks 44th on the 2021 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.  rsf.org
This is the most succinct description of the American pandemic I've seen (by @jbouie): "the pandemic made it very clear that we live in a society and a good chunk of americans said 'no thanks'"  twitter.com
Bill and Melinda Gates announced today that they will divorce.  vox.com
"The F.D.A. is set to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those 12-15 years old by early next week."  nytimes.com
When NYC's Eleven Madison Park restaurant reopens, they will no longer serve meat or seafood due to environmental concerns. "What at first felt limiting began to feel freeing, and we are only scratching the surface."  nytimes.com
Post-vaccination Inertia Is Real. "Readjusting our ideas about what's safe is going to take time."  theatlantic.com
Reaching 'Herd Immunity' Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe. This has seemed the likely outcome for months now – simply not enough people are interested in the vaccine to get us there.  nytimes.com
When you look at the success & popularity of solo artists compared to their former groups/bands, Beyoncé is an outlier.  pudding.cool
April 2021 Archives »