Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: How to stop biting your nails / Hoping for the end of the world / Madrid’s abandoned ‘beach’ / Swimming with a shark / India’s ‘solar canals’

This week: How to stop biting your nails / Hoping for the end of the world / Madrid’s abandoned ‘beach’ / Swimming with a shark / India’s ‘solar canals’

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. A Handbook for Our Times: The Elements of Stress
By Bob Eckstein | LitHub | November 2020
“Things could not get any worse but they can get funnier.”

2. Notes on Grief
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | The New Yorker | September 2020
“Grief is a cruel kind of education. You learn how ungentle mourning can be, how full of anger. You learn how glib condolences can feel. You learn how much grief is about language, the failure of language and the grasping for language.”

3. The ‘solar canals’ making smart use of India’s space
By Kalpana Sunder | Future Planet :: BBC | August 2020
“Solar energy is clean, but it usually takes up huge tracts of land. In India, an alternative is turning the country’s canals into glittering trails of solar panels.”

4. How to Stop Biting Your Nails
By Malia Wollan | Tip :: The New York Times Magazine | July 2020
“Keep in mind that putting your hands in your mouth during a viral pandemic increases your infection risk.”

5. ‘Dad, I’m bored’: What I learned from my son’s incurable boredom
By Mark O’Connell | 1843 :: The Economist | October 2020
“My insistence on the connection was, in retrospect not only a cliché but strangely puritanical, as though boredom could not be encountered on its own terms but only as a necessary stage on the way to productivity.”

6. The Pros and Cons of Swimming With a Hammerhead
By Cara Giaimo | The New York Times | September 2020
“A new study suggests that the ocean’s strangest-looking headgear is difficult to tote around.”

7. Yearning for the end of the world
By Dina Nayeri | The Guardian | August 2017
“Though the word ‘rapture’ never appears in the Bible, the concept has gripped Christians for centuries. It has spawned novels and movies, books interpreting modern events and thousands upon thousands of feverish pulpit speeches”

8. How to Mend a Pair of Jeans
By Malia Wollan | Tip :: The New York Times Magazine | July 2020
“Wives of rural, working-class farmers and fishermen developed the stitching technique as early as the 1600s as a means to reinforce and mend their clothing.”

9. When in Doubt, Smile Like an Axolotl
By Aimee Nezhukumatathil | LitHub | September 2020
“If a white girl tries to tell you what your brown skin can and cannot wear for makeup, just remember the smile of an axolotl. The best thing to do in that moment is to just smile and smile, even if your smile is thin. The tighter your smile, the tougher you become.”

10. The story of Madrid’s abandoned ‘beach’ for its working class
By Peio H. Riano | El Pais | September 2020
“Built in 1932 in a style reminiscent of Le Corbusier and used by Robert Capa for a famous photograph, the landmark site is in a state of complete neglect after years of payment defaults”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

Handsome gentleman scholar, Civil War historian, unpretentious intellectual, world traveler, successful writer.

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