Friday, April 20, 2018

Weekend Reading; The Almost Through the Crunch Edition

My big seminar was this week. I think it went well. As always, I enjoyed giving it. But boy, am I glad to be done with it. I still have to get through the backlog of other things that piled up while I was focused on getting ready for the seminar, but I am hoping to spend less time at my desk this weekend and more time in my hammock or playing "birdie" (hitting a badminton shuttlecock back and forth) with Petunia.

Anyway, here are some links:

First some friend promo: Tragic Sandwich is trying to help get books and supplies for a drastically underfunded school library. I sent one of the classics from their wish list and a copy of Full Cicada Moon, by Marilyn Hilton, a book that I recently read to Pumpkin and really liked.

I didn't save any politics posts this week. I'm not ignoring things- I have a list of 10 addresses in Texas to send some postcards to this weekend! But I guess I didn't come across any articles I found particularly edifying this week.

Luckily, I have some other interesting things for you to read:

Don't drive your car at people. Seems like an obvious rule, but read the post and you'll probably realize you see people drive their cars at people every day.

New Zealand avocado crime stories are a favorite genre of mine.

You might want to read this post about an attempted scam if you have a gmail account- and especially if you also have a Netflix account (although the general form of the scam could work on many services). Just this week, I got an email from telling me to click here to activate my account. But I hadn't tried to create an account, and when I looked, the email address used was missing one of the dots that is in the form of my gmail address that I use. This was probably someone making an innocent mistake...but having read this post, I found myself trying to come up with why someone would want to scam me into creating an Indeed account that they would then control.

This story about a plastic-degrading enzyme isolated from bacteria found in a Japanese dump is encouraging.

I'm glad to learn that my growing annoyance with the noise level in restaurants isn't just me getting old.

In recommended listening, I have two episodes of Ezra Klein's podcast to recommend this week:

First, his interview with historian Carol Anderson about white rage and the politics of race in America is excellent. If you listen, listen all the way to the end, when Anderson describes the vision of the future I'm fighting for (that point starts at about 4.5 minutes before the end). I wish I could find a transcript for you, but it ends with: "If what we do is we move forward... Then we can get there. We can get there to what I think is something that has not been seen before, which is how do you create a vibrant, multi-racial democracy that truly works... If we fall back into our traditional patterns, then buckle up we're in for a bumpy ride. It's going to be bad."

His next interview is with Johann Hari, and is title "Is modern society making us depressed?" and I found it a really interesting, thought-provoking discussion about ways in which the way our society is organized may be exacerbating depression and anxiety. Neither Klein nor Hari argues against anti-depressant medicines, but Hari, who has himself dealt with depression and anxiety, takes the view that they are not a complete answer to the problem.

I love this tweet:

And this poem:

Cold bunny!


  1. That poem!

    And thanks for the shout-out, and for sending books. I hope that school library (and far too many others) can get more materials. The way we fund/don't fund school is disgraceful.

  2. Wow that poem.


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