Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: What happens if Trump doesn’t go? / COVID-19 and the English language / The history of ‘cuck’ / The loneliness of Prince / Coronavirus and secondhand smoke

This week: What happens if Trump doesn’t go? / COVID-19 and the English language / The history of ‘cuck’ / The loneliness of Prince / Coronavirus and secondhand smoke

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism. Learn more about my academic background here.

1. What Will You Do if Trump Doesn’t Leave?
By David Brooks | The New York Times | September 2020
“Playing out the nightmare scenario.”

2. How COVID-19 is changing the English language
By Roger J. Kreuz | The Conversation | September 2020
“A perennial issue for lexicographers is deciding whether or not a term has enough staying power to be enshrined in the dictionary. The COVID-19 pandemic has produced its fair share of new terms that are blends of other words, and many of these are on the editors’ watch list.”

3. The Long, Violent Literary History of Calling Someone a ‘Cuck’
By Eliott Grover | Inside Hook | October 2020
“From the Trojan War to Shakespeare, the oft-ridiculed archetype has always had much darker implications”

4. How to Build a Moat
By Malia Wollan | Tip :: The New York Times Magazine | October 2019
“Don’t expect your moat to stop swimmers not wearing armor.”

5. What We Talk About When We Talk About Magical Realism
By Fernando Sdrigotti | LA Review of Books | October 2020
“If anything, magical realism — in its juggling of exoticism and legibility, a combo that Edward Said would have called Orientalist when occurring in other elsewheres — is a practical marketing ploy, a reduction by means not of absurdity but of obfuscation — a crude simplification through fuzziness.”

6. Prince Was One of the Loneliest Souls I’ve Ever Met
By Neal Karlen | LitHub | October 2020
“After knowing him in forever-alternating cycles of greater, lesser, and sometimes not-at-all friendship over the final 31 years of his life, until our final peculiar phone conversation three weeks before he died: His greatest—and perhaps only—fear was dying alone.”

7. ‘This is really a government which doesn’t seem to be able to control the situation’ — Iraq
The Intelligence :: The Economist | October 2020
“A pilgrimage that is sure to become a COVID-19 hotspot is a sign of how much the country’s government is losing legitimacy to its clergymen and tribal leaders.”

8. How ‘Goodfellas’ and the Gangster Class of 1990 Changed Hollywood
By Jason Bailey | The New York Times | September 2020
“That autumn, The Godfather Part III was hotly anticipated. Instead, the Scorsese movie and other crime tales raised the stakes for filmmakers to come.”

9. As an anxious internet nerd, my relationships are thriving during lockdown
By Laurie Penny | The Guardian | September 2020
“Since lockdown began, I’ve moved three times, lost jobs and been separated from my family – but my online community hasn’t changed”

10. Can you get the coronavirus from secondhand smoke?
Viral Questions :: Associated Press | August 2020
“Secondhand smoke isn’t believed to directly spread the virus, experts say, but infected smokers may blow droplets carrying the virus when they exhale.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: When a nation doesn’t have a functioning president / Returning a tribal item / Sade remains the queen of chill / The life of George Floyd / Coronavirus and pregnancy

This week: When a nation doesn’t have a functioning president / Returning a tribal item / Sade remains the queen of chill / The life of George Floyd / Coronavirus and pregnancy

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism. Learn more about my academic background here.

1. Lip service
By Geoff Edgers | The Washington Post | October 2020
“Sarah Cooper became famous mocking Trump. She’ll be just fine if he loses.”

2. What happens to national security and foreign relations if the president is incapacitated?
By Gordon Adams | The Conversation | October 2020
“[A]t a time when many senior officials – including most of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – are quarantining, the country is not completely rudderless. That’s true even in a situation where the vice president has not become acting president, or if there are political or legal battles over the succession process.”

3. How a Scrap of Papyrus Launched a Reconsideration of Early Christianity
By Ariel Sabar | LitHub | October 2020
“But in the late 1800s, fragments of papyrus bearing traces of these lost scriptures began turning up at archaeological sites and antiquities shops across Egypt. The story they told about the earliest centuries of Christianity would force historians to reexamine almost everything they thought they knew about the world’s predominant faith.”

4. How to Return a Tribal Item
By Malia Wollan | Tip :: The New York Times Magazine | October 2019
“You will be asked to describe it, and often to submit a photo.”

5. George Floyd’s America: Born with two strikes
By Toluse Olorunnipa and Griff Witte | The Washington Post | October 2020
“How systemic racism shaped Floyd’s life and hobbled his ambition”

6. The peril and the promise
By Henry Curr | The Economist | October 2020
“The covid-19 pandemic will accelerate change in the world economy. That brings both opportunity and danger.”

7. Why singer Sade is the queen of quarantine and chill
By Chuck Arnold | The New York Post | October 2020
“Clearly, she likes to take her sweet time, and if anyone is allowed to move at her own chill pace amidst all the stresses of the world, it’s Sade.”

8. Why you should read this out loud
By Sophie Hardach | BBC Future | September 2020
“Most adults retreat into a personal, quiet world inside their heads when they are reading, but we may be missing out on some vital benefits when we do this.”

9. The eight secrets to a (fairly) fulfilled life
By Oliver Burkeman | The Guardian | September 2020
“What follows isn’t intended as an exhaustive summary. But these are the principles that surfaced again and again, and that now seem to me most useful for navigating times as baffling and stress-inducing as ours.”

10. Can a pregnant woman spread the coronavirus to her fetus?
Viral Questions :: Associated Press | July 2020
“It’s possible, but it seems to be relatively rare and scientists think they know why that is.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Deceptive influencers / Nude celebs for voters / Five myths of the 25th / The military’s role in election chaos / Dress code for biking

This week: Deceptive influencers / Nude celebs for voters / Five myths of the 25th / The military’s role in election chaos / Dress code for biking

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism. Learn more about my academic background here.

1. ‘Fake Private Plane Girls’: The Deceptive Genius of the Influencer Backdrop Economy
By Hazel Cills | Jezebel | September 2020
“[O]n social media — where living and documenting a life of luxurious travel can become a lucrative way to make a living — fake private jets, apartments, and mesmerizing photoshoot locations are almost as common as the real deal.”

2. More penises are appearing on TV and in film – but why are nearly all of them prosthetic?
By Peter Lehman | The Conversation | October 2020
“To me, this says something about the unusual significance we continue to grant the penis, along with our cultural need to carefully regulate its representation. In a way, the use of prosthetic penises maintains a certain mystique about masculinity, preserving the power of the phallus.”

3. Celebs getting naked to beg for votes is yet another downfall of 2020
By Kirsten Fleming | The New York Post | October 2020
“But if voting isn’t a joke, who the hell gave the OK to the actors and comedians like Tiffany Haddish, Sarah Silverman and Chris Rock (why, Chris Rock? Why?!) to get naked in the most cringeworthy celeb mashup since that black-and-white anti-racism video.”

4. How to Build a Latrine
By Malia Wollan | Tip :: The New York Times Magazine | September 2019
“To construct a basic pit latrine, you don’t need engineers, special equipment or much money.”

5. Specter of election chaos raises questions on military role
By Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor | Associated Press | October 2020
“Gen. Mark Milley, who as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the nation’s top military officer, has told Congress the military is committed to staying apolitical and steering clear of any election role.”

6. Five myths about the 25th Amendment
By Joel K. Goldstein | Five Myths :: The Washington Post | October 2020
“It’s not just about physical incapacity, and it doesn’t provide for removal of a president.”

7. The Age of Innocence: How a U.S. classic defined its era
By Cameron Laux | The American Century :: BBC Culture | September 2020
“Wharton was no friend of change. She didn’t like feminism, and she saw the worship of status in Old New York being swept away and replaced by the worship of money — hardly a forward step. But the story of Newland Archer and his tribe (also her own tribe, let’s not forget) is expressed with an elegant and complex ambivalence.”

8. Girl meets bike: but what should she wear?
By Pamela Druckerman | 1843 :: The Economist | September 2020
“A Parisian guide to dressing for two wheels”

9. How artificial salt marshes can help in the fight against rising seas
By Patrick Greenfield | The Guardian | September 2020
“Made from Crossrail clay, Europe’s biggest coastal habitat restoration project is a valuable flood defence but is itself threatened by climate change”

10. Can I get COVID-19 through my eyes or ears?
Viral Questions :: Associated Press | June 2020
“As with the nose and mouth, doctors say the eyes may be a route of infection if someone with the virus coughs or sneezes nearby.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: The antibody test / The real Danny Trejo / The tsunami that changed history / The joy of cleaning / The sexual power of colonization

This week: The antibody test / The real Danny Trejo / The tsunami that changed history / The joy of cleaning / The sexual power of colonization

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism. Learn more about my academic background here.

1. THE CHOICE 2020: Trump vs. Biden
Frontline :: PBS | September 2020
“Michael Kirk and his team, hear from friends, family, colleagues and adversaries about the challenges that shaped Trump and Biden’s lives and could inform how they confront the crises facing the nation at this pivotal juncture.”

2. A ‘Great Gatsby’ Quote Takes On New Resonance
By Ian Prasad Philbrick | The New York Times | October 2020
“People critical of the president’s and other Republicans’ behavior have been sharing a line from the Fitzgerald novel about the wealthy characters whose “carelessness” harms everyone around them.”

3. How Danny Trejo Built a Decades-Long Film Career After Prison
By Cat Cardenas | Texas Monthly | September 2020
“After years of playing ex-cons and bodyguards, the prolific actor became an iconic leading man in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete series.”

4. How to Tell Gunfire From Fireworks
By Malia Wollan | Tip :: The New York Times Magazine | August 2019
“Pay attention to the intensity of each pulse.”

5. How a ‘forgotten’ 600-year-old tsunami changed history
By Megan Gannon | National Geographic | May 2019
“New evidence shows a disaster similar to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami battered the same region centuries ago and may have given rise to a powerful Islamic kingdom.”

6. Empire and Degradation
By Rafia Zakaria | The Baffler | September 2020
“On the links between colonialism and sexual control”

7. The great experiment
By Emily Anthes | The Washington Post | September 2020
“The pandemic is tragic. It’s also an incredible chance to study human behavior.”

8. Lather me than you: the joy of soap
By Catherine Nixey | 1843 :: The Economist | September 2020
“Cleaning has long been the preserve of women. It’s time to burst some bubbles”

9. The spy who couldn’t spell: how the biggest heist in the history of US espionage was foiled
By Yudhijit Bhattacharjee | The Guardian | October 2016
“Ever since childhood, Brian Regan had been made to feel stupid because of his severe dyslexia. So he thought no one would suspect him of stealing secrets”

10. What can a COVID-19 antibody test tell me?
Viral Questions :: Associated Press | May 2020
“An antibody test might show if you had COVID-19 in the recent past, which most experts think gives people some protection from the virus. The tests are different from the nasal swab tests that determine if you’re currently sick.”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Dating in the COVID-19 era / The stories that still stand today / Coronavirus and currency / New armor for Marines / Enduring and accepting fat

This week: Dating in the COVID-19 era / The stories that still stand today / Coronavirus and currency / New armor for Marines / Enduring and accepting fat

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism. Learn more about my academic background here.

1. Colin Powell Still Wants Answers
By Robert Draper | The New York Times Magazine | July 2020
“In 2003, he made the case for invading Iraq to halt its weapons programs. The analysts who provided the intelligence now say it was doubted inside the C.I.A. at the time.”

2. Coronavirus FAQs: What Are The New Dating Rules? And What About Hooking Up?
By Isabella Gomez Sarmiento | NPR | September 2020
“Their main takeaway? Just like before the pandemic, open and honest communication is key.”

3. With schools closed, public libraries are being used as day-care centers, angering some people
By Samantha Schmidt | The Washington Post | September 2020
“Nationwide, millions of working parents, especially working mothers, are dealing with the same dilemma. Remote-learning plans require full-time working parents to find care for an average of 43.5 hours a week, roughly triple the amount of child-care time they needed before the pandemic, according to a report from the Urban Institute.”
Also see, from Apollo: Public libraries have been vital in times of crisis — from conflict to Covid-19

4. Stories of Then That Still Hold Up Now
The New York Times Book Review | September 2020
“Margaret Atwood, Héctor Tobar, Thomas Mallon and Brenda Wineapple on older political novels they admire that have a lot to say about the world today.”

5. Rain is sizzling bacon, cars are lions roaring: the art of sound in movies
By Jordan Kisner | The Guardian | July 2015
“Skip Lievsay is one of the most talented men in Hollywood. He has created audioscapes for Martin Scorsese and is the only sound man the Coen brothers go to. But the key to this work is more than clever effects, it is understanding the human mind”

6. Can the coronavirus survive on paper currency?
Viral Question :: Associated Press | May 2020
“Yes, but experts say the risk of getting the virus from cash is low compared with person-to-person spread, which is the main way people get infected.”

7. Estoria Da Boca
By Steven Lee Moya | Mixcloud | April 2020
“Playing tracks by Astrud Gilberto, Afternoons In Stereo, Bebel Gilberto, Abicah Soul and Kyoto Jazz Massive.”

8. Marines to get better-fitting, lighter body armor
Stars and Stripes | April 2020
“Tests of a prototype of the new vest, which is around 25% lighter than the legacy system, showed that it also significantly reduces fatigue in the field. …”

9. The friendly Mr Wu
By Mara Hvistendahl | 1843 :: The Economist | April / May 2020
“The weakest link in America’s national security may not be foreign technology but its own people. Mara Hvistendahl traces the story of the single mother who sold out to China”

10. The Truth About Fat
NOVA :: PBS | April 2020
“Could it be that body fat has more to do with biological processes than personal choices?”