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  Quick Links for September 2021

"Divorce can also be an act of radical self-love that leaves the whole family better off."  nytimes.com
The Odyssey of Star Wars, a retelling the Star Wars saga in the style of classic epic poetry. "I look not to myself but to the Force, / In which all things arise and fall away."  bookshop.org
OpenMoji, an open library of over 3900 emojis.  openmoji.org
An excerpt from Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography. This was tough to read.  vanityfair.com
Solastalgia "is the pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault" (e.g. by climate change).  muse.jhu.edu
An Unsung Female Pioneer of Computer Simulation. Mary Tsingou Menzel helped create the field of nonlinear science.  scientificamerican.com
"Scientists have confirmed that malaria parasites in Africa have developed resistance to a key family of drugs used to protect against them."  nature.com
MGMT × Earth, Wind & Fire.  youtube.com
This story broke right through my pandemic numbness – I'm almost shaking in rage. Please PLEASE get vaccinated and start taking Covid seriously.  twitter.com
The ubiquitous Chinese food takeout container was originally invented for carrying oysters.  thedieline.com
A miniature stone wall building contest.  dswai.ie
Jackie Chan breaks down how he choreographs fight scenes in his action/comedies. "I want the fighting to be like dancing."  twitter.com
Interesting post from @anildash on cooperative overlap, a style of conversation that involves talking along with (or over) the person you're talking with.  anildash.com
Beethoven died while working on his 10th Symphony – an AI program has finished it for him.  theconversation.com
The winners of the 2021 MacArthur Genius Grant.  nytimes.com
Anita Hill: What It Was Like for Me to Watch Christine Blasey Ford's Testimony. "With some of the same senators from 1991 sitting on the Judiciary Committee...I could not bring myself to be optimistic that the entire committee had evolved."  theatlantic.com
Behold, I Have Returned from a Hike! "I've moved beyond the world you live in. I cut the tether. It was just me, the great outdoors, and the phone I relied on heavily for navigation, documentation, and a podcast..."  newyorker.com
My Time with Kurt Cobain. "I had the distinct feeling that Kurt would not live a long life. But what, if anything, could I do about it? Was it even my place to get involved?"  newyorker.com
Red Covid. "Covid is still a national crisis, but the worst forms of it are increasingly concentrated in red America."  nytimes.com
Adam Serwer writes about the five clear ways in which Trump and the Republicans tried to overturn the 2020 election in a coup. The Eastman memo is astoundingly straightforward about it.  theatlantic.com
Astronomers have found a potential remnant nebula for a supernova recorded by Chinese and Japanese astronomers in 1181 CE. "This sighting in 1181 CE is the only one in the past millennium not to have an associated nebula...with it."  syfy.com
How America's hottest city is trying to cool down. There are solutions to climate challenges in cities (more trees!), but as efforts in Phoenix show, the poorest areas often get short shrift.  youtube.com
Unvaccinated Mom Wants To Know If You're Coming Home For Covid This Year. "After all, Grandma's going to be here, and contracting this disease together could be the last time we get to see her."  theonion.com
The largest space telescope in history is about to blow our minds. "The James Webb Space Telescope will be 100 times as powerful as the Hubble. It will change how we see the universe." I'm ready to be blown.  vox.com
Betty Reid Soskin is 100 years old today and is the oldest active ranger in the National Park Service. A colleague once once described her as "sort of like Bette Davis, Angela Davis and Yoda all rolled into one".  nytimes.com
Netflix plans to combat Disney (Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar) with – *checks notes* – the Roald Dahl Cinematic Universe. "[Netflix] acquired the Roald Dahl Story Co., which manages the rights to the author's characters and stories."  apnews.com
How to Get Things Done When You Don’t Want to Do Anything. This is me today – I could barely even get through this article to figure out how to write this sentence.  nytimes.com
Oh right, people were really bent about mandatory seatbelt laws in the 1980s.  twitter.com
Visualizations that make abstract mathematical concepts much easier to understand.  math.stackexchange.com
I don't know about you, but I will read any article titled "How Humans Lost Their Tails", especially if it's written by @carlzimmer. "A team of scientists in New York say they have pinpointed the genetic mutation that may have erased our tails."  nytimes.com
An appreciation of the college education by Agnes Callard. "Let me come out and tell you what a university is for: a university is a place where people help each other access the highest intellectual goods."  thepointmag.com
Robert Durst, subject of HBO's The Jinx, was convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of his friend Susan Berman. "What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course."  nytimes.com
So many female body parts are named for men; here are their official medical names. Fallopian tube = uterine tube, G-spot = internal clitoris, Kegel muscles = pelvic floor muscles.  nytimes.com
Loving these tiny love stories.  nytimes.com
Is Jane Austen the Antidote to Social Media Overload? "Racking up likes and followers today resembles the nonstop friending of 19th-century England. But Austen's characters figured out how to disengage."  daily.jstor.org
A podcast that features "long, uninterrupted soundscapes" of the Australian wilderness. Great for working or relaxing.  podcasts.apple.com
"Range anxiety is the fear that [an electric vehicle] has insufficient range to reach its destination and would thus strand the vehicle's occupants." (It me.)  en.wikipedia.org
Ambient Chaos, a fun soundboard from @nealagarwal. Church bells + bees + casino + waves is my jam right now.  neal.fun
You're Still Exhausted. "Life is still exhausting because the pandemic was and remains exhausting in so many invisible ways – and we still haven't given ourselves space to even begin to recover."  annehelen.substack.com
Lara Hogan's book Demystifying Public Speaking is now available online for free. I've pretty much retired from speaking in public, but I have heard many great things about this book.  demystifying-public-speaking.com
Parents feeling the immense strain of guiding their can't-be-vaxxed under-12s through the American Delta variant hellscape. "I feel like we're constantly reacting. There's not enough time to be proactive. It's like a fire alarm every day."  washingtonpost.com
Haruki Murakami writes about his accidental t-shirt collection.  newyorker.com
The winners of the 2021 Ig Nobel Prize. "Each winner has done something that makes people LAUGH, then THINK." The peace prize winner studied whether beard growing evolved to protect from face punching.  improbable.com
In a statement, Pfizer-BioNTech says that their Covid vaccine "has been shown to be safe and highly effective in young children aged 5 to 11 years". They plan to file for emergency authorization by the end of the month.  nytimes.com
This piece by @tressiemcphd (feat. @shrinkthinks) about Covid denial, empathy, and grief is really interesting. "I am afraid that the onslaught of Covid denial stories is robbing me of [my humility] by undermining my empathy for others."  nytimes.com
Movie posters generated by an AI program based on brief text descriptions of the films.  noahveltman.com
Before Food Trucks, Americans Ate 'Night Lunch' From Beautiful Wagons. (Working on my night lunch!)  atlasobscura.com
Mirroring most of Europe (where recycling rates are high), Maine has passed a law that makes manufacturers (and not consumers) cover the costs of recycling. Fantastic...companies should be responsible for this.  nytimes.com
1 out of every 500 Americans has died from Covid-19. Greatest country in the world, etc.  theguardian.com
Colson Whitehead's latest book is Harlem Shuffle, a crime novel. Love authors who range widely over format and genre.  bookshop.org
Rolling Stone's list of the best 500 songs of all time, updated for the first time since 2004. Lots to argue about here but also lots to enjoy. #1 is Aretha Franklin's Respect.  rollingstone.com
China Has Fully Vaccinated More Than 1 Billion People, over 70% of its total population.  bloomberg.com
The History of Drag, "a collection of shows and shorts about the history of drag, including a major documentary, a musical history show and audio shorts by drag artists from across the UK".  audiocontentfund.org.uk
Ikea is launching a US program to buy back used furniture and resell it as part of "the company's ambitious goals to become circular and carbon positive by the end of the decade".  fastcompany.com
A visualization of the 7,102 known languages in the world today.  visualcapitalist.com
Fossil Fuel Capitalism Is Cutting Our Lives Short. "A new study shows that 17 billion life years could be saved if air pollution was reduced to WHO standards."  tribunemag.co.uk
Whoa, Hoefler&Co has been acquired by Monotype.  typography.com
Season 5 of the excellent Scene on Radio podcast is about the climate crisis. "We'll trace the evolution of the colonizing, extractive Western culture that has driven us into the ecological ditch, and we'll look at potential solutions – the repair."  sceneonradio.org
Ah man, Norm MacDonald is dead at the age of 61. I loved him on SNL's Weekend Update.  deadline.com
Gas stations make most of their money on convenience store items, not selling gasoline. (It seems like this would make it easier for them to eventually supplement w/ EV chargers?)  thehustle.co
Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman have won a $3 million Breakthrough Prize for their research on mRNA technology, which has been used to great effect in Covid-19 vaccines.  breakthroughprize.org
A review of Swedish Chef's new restaurant, Dorg Schnorfblorp Horganblorps. "A swordfish sailed past my head and smacked clumsily against the wall. 'Herdy come da fishy wishy!' Our chef had arrived."  newyorker.com
MoMA’s Online Courses Let You Study Modern & Contemporary Art and Earn a Certificate. Very tempting.  openculture.com
"Turn a Google Sheets spreadsheet into a blog page and RSS feed."  sheet-posting.me
The cars used in the filming of Mad Max: Fury Road (the War Rig, Nux Car, Immortan Joe's Gigahorse) are up for auction.  lloydsonline.com.au
As part of a big push to get more Americans vaccinated against the Delta variant, the Biden admin. mandated vaccinations for federal workers & the Labor Dept. will make them mandatory for businesses w/ 100+ employees. More like this, pls.  nytimes.com
"Minus is a finite social network where you get 100 posts – for life."  minus.social
TIL that Michael K. Williams choreographed the dancing in the music video for Crystal Waters' 100% Pure Love. Love that song.  youtube.com
Steven Heller & Thilo von Debschitz celebrate the work of a prolific designer that you've probably never heard of: Joseph Caroff. Among other things, he designed the film poster for West Side Story and the James Bond 007 gun logo.  printmag.com
TIL that in 1960 actress Anita Ekberg shot a paparazzi with a bow & arrow (and the guy still got the photo).  twitter.com
By counting excess deaths since January 2020, the Economist estimates that more than 15 million people have died of Covid-19 worldwide, more than 3 times the official death toll of ~4.6 million.  twitter.com
A collection of free, open source health icons. There's over 1000 of them, including ones for devices, body parts, medical conditions, and vehicles.  healthicons.org
Radiohead is rereleasing Kid A and Amnesiac this fall, along with a third companion album called Kid Amnesiae with unreleased tracks recorded around the same time.  pitchfork.com
School dress codes are sexist, racist, and classist. "They put the onus on girls to not be distracting or not call attention to themselves instead of putting the onus on all students to respect everyone's body."  nytimes.com
For a second year, MIT's biology department is offering their class on "COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 and the Pandemic" featuring guests lecturers like Dr. Fauci and CDC director Rochelle Walensky. All the classes are free to stream and archived on YouTube.  biology.mit.edu
Nantucket Doesn't Belong to the Preppies. "Nantucket was once a place of working-class ingenuity and Black daring."  theatlantic.com
I've recently been dipping into @simplebits' Twenty Bits I Learned About Making Fonts book, a collection of thoughts from a veteran designer who recently started designing typefaces.  simplebits.com
Seinfeld theme in the style of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. Evil & genius.  youtube.com
A collection of quotations & thoughts on the harmful nature of fame, or as E.B. White called it, "the indignity of being observed".  austinkleon.com
Hidden structures in hairballs, and how to see them. I feel like I spent a lot of daydreaming time as a kid looking at groups of things trying to figure out if they were grouped or not.  reticular.hypotheses.org
From the New Yorker archive, a 2000 piece by Anthony Bourdain about 24 hours in the life of his restaurant, Les Halles. "For the weekenders, a saddle of wild hare stuffed with foie gras is not a good special."  newyorker.com
Female Hummingbirds Avoid Harassment by Looking Like Males. "Scientists found these [blue plumed] male look-alikes avoid harassment directed toward green females."  nytimes.com
NASA's Perseverance rover has collected a rock sample from the surface of Mars that will be retrieved by a future mission and returned to Earth for analysis.  mars.nasa.gov
Sally Rooney's Beautiful World, Where Are You is out today! But boo, I don't have time to get started on it until later in the week.  bookshop.org
Why are hyperlinks blue? "WHO decided to make them blue? WHEN was this decision made, and HOW has this decision made such a lasting impact?"  blog.mozilla.org
Oh shit, Michael K. Williams has died at the age of 54. He was fantastic in The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, and many other things.  variety.com
Oh My Fucking God, Get the Fucking Vaccine Already, You Fucking Fucks. "You want a two-month-old to wind up on a fucking ventilator instead of you, a fucking adult, getting a fucking sore arm for a day? What are you, a pitcher for the Yankees?"  mcsweeneys.net
Vaccination reduces risk of long Covid, even when people are infected, U.K. study indicates.  statnews.com
August 2021 Archives »