Category Archives: Literature

Afternoon Links

I’m glad the NYT publishes this stuff, but nothing will change. Americans have to learn the hard way. And we’re going to be in a world of pain in the coming decades.

A public university president in Oregon gives new meaning to the idea of a pensioner.

Joseph Robertson, an eye surgeon who retired as head of the Oregon Health & Science University last fall, receives the state’s largest government pension.

It is $76,111.

Per month.

New “Lost In Space” stirs memories of campy cult classic

Sounds like I’ll be watching the new “Civilisations” show mostly on mute because the Left has to ruin everything.

“If we were on Earth-2 and President Mitch Daniels were in office and Republicans were enjoying the luxury of a boring and mature presidency that was tackling head-on the Sweet Fiscal Crisis of Death coming our way, the pull of Ryan’s family might not have been nearly so acute…As a general rule, whether you’re on the right or the left, if you personally hate Paul Ryan, that’s an indicator to me that you’re an unreasonable person. Sure, you can disagree with him. You can be disappointed in him. But if you buy the claptrap from the Krugmanite Left or the Bannonite Right about Ryan, if you think he’s evil or a fraud, I’m going to assume you’re part of the problem in our politics.”

Behold, the stupidest thing you’ll read this month. Delicious food at low prices with excellent customer service but OH NOES THEY’RE CHRISTIANS AND THEY MOCK COWS. DRIVE THEM OUT OF THE CITY! Get a life, people.

Sadly, this is true. 

Why I laugh when teachers want to get paid more.

More than one-fifth of millennials in the U.S. — 22 percent — haven’t heard of, or aren’t sure if they’ve heard of, the Holocaust, according to a study published Thursday…Additionally, two-thirds of millennials could not identify in the survey what Auschwitz was. 41 percent of millennials believe two million Jews or fewer were killed during the Holocaust, the study found. Six million Jews were killed in World War II by Nazi Germany and its accomplices.

This is stupid.

I would love to watch a good movie about this woman.

Almost everyone over 30 somehow survived this “controversial” method of parenting. Back then, it was called “parenting.”

This story is insane.

Good on the White Sox. Can’t imagine what this guy has been through.

The Red Atlas: How the Soviet Union secretly mapped the world

A history of seven buildings between 105th and 106th street in Manhattan

Leave a comment

Filed under History, Literature, Politics, TV/Movies, Uncategorized, Unusually Stupid Primates

Afternoon Links

Research shows that people who read words on paper remember them better than those who read words on a screen.

A short history of the ballpoint pen

“Do elephants have souls?” Fascinating.

Why you should read George Eliot

How sad

Children are struggling to use and hold pencils because the excessive use of touchscreen phones and iPads is damaging their dexterity, specialists have claimed. Paediatric doctors, handwriting experts and orthopaedic therapists are warning that although youngsters can swipe a screen, they no longer have the hand strength and agility to learn to write correctly when they start school. Increasingly the use of digital screens is replacing traditional skills such as drawing, painting and cutting out which boost fine motor skills and coordination.

We’re really not going to make it, are we? What a dumb time to be alive.

Sadly, I think this is probably true.

A contest between a generic neoliberal and Trump would be a battle of airs and grievances, a duel for feigned moral superiority utterly divorced from practical moral and economic questions. It would be phantasmal, like the rest of our political life…Meanwhile the same media that made Trump’s rise possible by investing his every moronic utterance with world-historic significance is trying desperately to pose as a check on his authority. The 2016 election was the story of CNN allowing Trump to phone in his extemporized thoughts on nothing in particular while Rand Paul and Jeb Bush sat waiting in the wings with their boring white papers on criminal justice reform.

Shhhh. Don’t take away our reason to irrationally panic and propose bad policies and scream “murderer!” at those with whom we disagree.

“A lot of right-of-center people in my world love the idea of ‘outsider’ lawmakers, who are unsullied by government experience. I keep hearing that ‘wonky’ candidates are boring, because they keep talking about details that few people pay attention to or even care about. I’d argue that Trump’s epic flip-flop is a demonstration of why conservatives are fools to turn over the power of government to any candidate who hasn’t been fighting the good fight for a long time, and who can’t demonstrate a grasp of key policy details. ‘Outsider’ is turning into a euphemism for ‘a candidate who can’t be bothered to do his homework.’

A biography of the Renaissance’s biggest gossip, Giorgio Vasari

Disgraceful

The U.S. Army confirmed on Monday that it had mishandled retired bomb-sniffing war dogs and said it would comply with recommendations in a Defense Department Inspector General’s report that called for reforms. In a report released on Friday, the Inspector General said that canine heroes, which saved the lives of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan while working with brigade combat teams to sniff out roadside bombs, were mistreated by the Army after they returned to the United States.

The report said that some dogs were left in kennels for up to 11 months, beyond a deadline for giving them away for adoption or re-using them in the military or other government agencies. It said they were mistreated through lack of care and attention, and others may have been put down.

Trump’s fake Renoir

Dying

Why “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes is a terrible song

Disney World is proof the middle class is booming

Like most of his ideas, this is a terrible, bonkers idea.

A history of British embassies

I have never wanted to drone strike a place so badly.

Leave a comment

Filed under Around the World, History, Literature, Music, Politics, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

The escape of Charles II to France

A new biography of Grant

THE DOG PATRIARCHY MUST BE STOPPED

Everything about this story is ridiculous. Especially the “I had a bump on my neck once that turned out to be nothing, so now I need an emotional support rodent to fly with me” part.

We’re raising a generation of idiots and calling it progress.

Solzhenitsyn’s cathedrals

The truth and fiction of Adam and Eve

Massive ancient underground city once housed 20,000 people

Google X and the science of radical creativity

How The Princess Bride built film’s most beloved sword fight

The volatile friendship of Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon

A “horrifying and engrossing” history of madness at sea

Is the traditional Western a thing of the past?

The man who invented Bailey’s

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, History, Literature, Science, TV/Movies, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

Cooking with Gogol

How photography influenced John Singer Sargent

Singing with new lungs

Your feel-good story of the day

People who shelve their books with the spines facing in are monsters. Who does this?

Despicable

Glad to see the “let’s be adults instead of wussy garbage babies” movement is growing: “There is a growing sense that we are entitled to have the world adapt to our preferences, instead of the other way around…Put your pet in a damn carrier, as people did for decades in a system that worked totally fine before everyone became incredibly self-centered. Thank you.”

People still pay attention to this talentless fucking idiot for some reason.

“Philip Larkin and Me”

Bernstein at 100

African Science Fiction

Are delivery apps killing restaurants?

East End easels

Edward Lear in full

How a dodgy German biologist influenced art nouveau

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Literature, Uncategorized

Afternoon Links

Revisiting a novel that inspired J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and George R. R. Martin

“After reading this, it is advisable to take a moment to wonder at the absurdity of life, to offer a quiet prayer of thanks for the fact that any of us is still alive, and then to pursue—yet again, and surely not for the last time—that recurring question of our era: What in the world is the president talking about?”

How Conde Nast put the squeeze on New Yorker cartoonists

Martin Amis on Americans’ lack of wit

The novel that inspired Dune

The legend of Lou Gehrig

On cultural appropriation

“In his rhetorical contempt for free speech, his ignorance of basic constitutional facts, his addiction to drama and ratings, his personalization of every political question and conflict, and his uncanny ability to bring out the same qualities in his biggest detractors, he breathes new life into H. L. Mencken’s definition of democracy as ‘the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.’”

Everyone in this situation, except the victim, should go to jail for a very, very, very long time. Call me a starry-eyed idealist, but I would like to live in an America where you can’t order a state-sponsored murder to someone’s door like a pizza.

The year of lost opportunities

That 2017 has been a year of lost opportunities is an important failure for Republicans, who are likely to accomplish even less in 2018, when the prospect of congressional elections held in the shadow of Trump’s unpopularity will brighten the already visible yellow streak running down the back of Republican Washington. Perhaps things will go differently. But it may very well be the case that 2017 represents all that Republicans will really get out of the Trump phenomenon: a little bit of reform, a lot of noise, and a reputation that may never recover and may not deserve to.

“Why I left Iran to play chess in America”

How idiocy makes the New York subway so expensive

Were some Renaissance painters influenced by hallucinogenic fungi?

Technology in Amish country

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Around the World, Literature, Politics, Uncategorized

Afternoon Links

A colorful history of dust jackets

Why do conductors do the things they do?

Illuminating the past, one precious book at a time

Studios are beginning to digitally resurrect actors and it’s a terrible idea

Fifty years of The Master and Margarita, the Russian masterpiece of magical realism

Terry Teachout on the stark difference between Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald

How Amazon picks its seemingly random deals of the day

The police murder of Daniel Shaver

Infuriating

“There is a better way to go about organizing the country than bonk-you-on-the-head tribalism, but it requires a measure of maturity and forbearance that we do not seem to be able to muster just now…This is our doing. We have this situation because we choose to have it, because we put our faith in naked political power and therefore choose to elevate the worst and ugliest among us. This is all on us.

What a sad, strange little man

Sounds like the prosecutors overcharged

Lol. And you’ll continue to wait. Suckers.

It’s getting harder for truth to find purchase, since we seem unable to even agree upon what it is any longer. Facts are stubborn things, as John Adams said. So increasingly, the nation seems to be saying ‘to hell with them’ when they don’t conform to our political worldview—politics now trumping morality or honesty more often than not. Facts have gone from being a loosely objective reality that reasonable people can generally settle on (even to further manipulate them for cynical or polemical ends), into a choose-your-own-adventure fantasy stroke book for the onanistically inclined.”

The art of paperbacks

The Vanzolini Saki, an elusive Amazon monkey, has been observed for the first time in 80 years

Psalms in praise of Scotland’s past

101 things learned from Christie’s online magazine

Sargent’s women

Memorize that poem!

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Literature, Poetry, Politics, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

People are trash. I can’t remember the last time I went to a movie or play and someone wasn’t talking or looking at their phone. What happened to manners?

The surprising joy of Stranger Things: “But the nostalgia of Stranger Things isn’t just for an era, really: It’s for a feeling. That feeling is intimately connected, weirdly enough, with bicycles — and, by extension, the reckless sort of freedom rarely found in childhood today.”

On the same subject:

It’s the same reason everyone loves “Casablanca” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” but merely appreciate “Citizen Kane.” Rick Blaine and George Bailey make us feel things. They help us see in the most basic way that altruism is a fundamental part of life, that giving ourselves makes us more complete. Our country seems more divided every day. And then out of nowhere comes this weird little show. And it doesn’t divide us. It isn’t controversial. It’s just nice. It’s about things we can all agree on. It could not have come along at a more perfect time. For that reason, it doesn’t matter if it ages well. Sometimes things need to be of their times. And sometimes the best way to serve our times is to tell a story that happened a long, long time ago in a decade that seems far away.

How a trove of Nazi art wound up under lock and key on an Army base in Virginia

What’s beneath New York City? Nobody knows.

The marvels of British realist painting

The man who studied the sun’s puzzling heat

Tom Ricks on revising his book on Churchill and Orwell

The lost pleasure of reading aloud

Why do people hike?

What to do with Heligoland?

What was Edgar Degas like?

How smartphones have ruined the museum experience

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, History, Literature, TV/Movies, Uncategorized, Unusually Stupid Primates