Friday, December 14, 2018

Probably the Last Weekend Reading Post of 2018

I have so many posts that I have half-written in my head. I even have a few that I have half-written in my little writing notebook that I carry with me. But my life has been a whirlwind lately: Busy at work, busy at home, busy busy busy.

Some of this is bad luck (Mr. Snarky got sick, I got sick, Petunia got sick), some of it is due to a scheduling coincidence that we saw coming but couldn't change, and some of it is due to the fact that I didn't fully appreciate how busy my new job would be at this time of year.

Anyhow, I'm burned out. I've got some time off work coming up, and I'm giving myself a vacation from as many of my other responsibilities and activities as possible. That doesn't mean I won't write anything more here until 2019 - I like to write and maybe I will write some of those posts I have half-written! But I am planning not to read as much news and other internet things, and so I don't think I'll write any more weekend reading posts.

I have pre-scheduled a bunch of Annorlunda posts and am giving myself permission not to do anything more on book promotion.This is not actually a particularly good time of year for my sales - although I think any of the Annorlunda books would make great gifts, I think people tend to gravitate towards longer books as gifts. One of the things I wanted to try again, though, was a post-Christmas "fill up your new e-reader" sale. Since I'm taking some time off, I set the sale up early. I'm running the sale only on my Gumroad store this year - it is too much work to coordinate a sale at all the other ebook vendors. The posts promoting it will go out after Christmas, but the promo code is active now: If you buy any of my books (or, for that matter, recorded classes) at my Gumroad store, enter the promo code FILLUP and get 50% off.

OK, with all that preamble out of the way, on to the links:

One of the things I'll be thinking about during my time off is the fact that when I'm 70, I want to be in the "regular exerciser for decades" group... and I think I need to make some priority changes to make sure that happens.

John B. Judis' article about the two economies is worth your time.

This Alexis Madrigal article about ChuChuTV and other YouTube channels aimed at toddlers and preschoolers is old, but I finally read it and it is really interesting.

This article about mammalian meat allergies is fascinating... and more than a little freaky.

Have you seen the article about the thesis advisor who hired mercenaries to rescue one of her students?

I found this Noah Smith thread about the immigration policies of Obama and Trump useful:

This is heartbreaking. Tech companies should do better.

Isn't this gorgeous?

I don't have many links this week, so here's a song I've been really enjoying lately:

And of course, a bunny:

I hope you all have a good weekend... and rest of 2018!

Friday, December 07, 2018

Weekend Reading: The Beach Walks Are Wonderful Edition

I went for a walk on the beach today instead of my rollerblade. It had rained again (which is good, we need the rain) and I wasn't sure if my rollerblading path would be dry. Also, I fought off a cold this week and last night I was sure I wouldn't be up to rollerblading, and hatched the plan for a walk on the beach instead. As it turns out, I feel much better today and would have been fine to rollerblade, but the beach walk idea had taken hold and so that's what I did.

Everytime I walk on the beach I think I should do it more often, and I wonder what I could change to make that happen. I'll have to work on that. The obvious solution - move within walking distance of the beach - is not feasible right now, and even if it was feasible I'm not sure I'd trade the convenience of having my kids be able to walk to school for more frequent beach walks, as nice as those are.

But surely I can come up with a plan that gets me to the beach more frequently, so I'm going to work on that.

Anyway, on to the links:

Isabel Wilkerson's New York Times review of Michelle Obama's Becoming is as great as everyone is saying it is. Definitely worth your time.

But if you'd rather laugh in a LOLSOB sort of way... Alexandra Petri's take on the recent Republican shenanigans in the states where they lost is pretty funny. Here is a more serious rundown of what has been going on.

Adam Serwer is pretty persuasive on why we won't have a Democratic version of Trump anytime soon.

If you have TPM Prime, Josh Marshall's two summaries of where we stand after today's document releases are worth your time. John Reed's (free) summary at Slate is useful, too. As are many, many other articles, I'm sure.

The editors of Mother Jones give an overview of what Facebook has done to the news.

Ed Yong provides a pretty thorough look and the technical and ethical problems of the work that created the world's first gene-edited infants.

It is hard to quit using Amazon Prime because shopping is work. I will also say that figuring out which retailers are ethical in their treatment of employees and suppliers is also a lot of work.This is why I'd rather we have laws that set up standards but I won't start down that ranty path....

This is an interesting essay written by someone who was all in on Lean In and is now... not. My own feelings about Lean In and Sandberg are complicated. They always have been, but are getting more so. I do think it is interesting that she's taking more heat for Facebook's corporate failings than Mark Zuckerberg is.

A historical analysis of Queen Elizabeth I's make-up.

This picture made me happy:

This thread is awesome. Hat tip to @gspeng for sending to to me!


Have a good weekend, everyone!