Category Archives: 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

Your Morning Cup of Links

The case of Stephen Greenblatt

A strange museum

What it means to be Cuban

What the Greek myths teach us about anger in troubled times

Jupiter’s auroras defy the laws of earthly physics

Freedom and art at the turn of the century

The mystery of the lost Roman herb

The inept crusades of the Knights Templar

A man who traveled to some of the world’s most violent places to clown around

Bureaucracy and poetry

Monet’s art collection

How the Jeopardy! writers room comes up with all those questions

Sex is cheap...and that’s a problem

Who painted the first abstract painting?

Leave a comment

Filed under Around the World, Art, History, Science, Sex, Uncategorized

Weekend Links

Why truckers love NPR

A guide to the plants of Tolkien’s Middle Earth

Should one always obey the wishes of late authors to destroy unpublished work?

A history of tea and how European colonization changed the Western diet

How Buffy The Vampire Slayer redefined TV storytelling

When things go missing

How Instagram is changing restaurant design

What a dumb time to be alive

The fight over women’s basketball in Somalia

The untold story of the Astros’ rainbow uniforms

Why everyone loves blue

A history of Europe’s four winds

The real Gus Grissom

Leave a comment

Filed under History, Sports, TV/Movies, 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

Your Morning Cup of Links

Can Amazon keep competing with so many competitors?

Politics overtake the Met

Why do people even go to college anymore? It’s certainly not to learn. Don’t waste your money. “You haven’t studied anatomy (because it’s racist obvs), but here’s a medical degree anyway.” We can’t be too far away from that at this point.

Will we ever know what dark matter is?

Goddamn it, NO. “Let’s take something good and ruin it” seems to be the only idea Hollywood has these days.

The Next Lost Cause

Sex Cells

The King of Audiobooks

The man who keeps Monet’s gardens growing

When Milton met Galileo

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, Science, Sex, TV/Movies, Uncategorized

Afternoon Links

How did the war against poaching elephants become a war on ivory?

The end of families gathering around the TV

The fascinating artifacts found in Europe’s receding glaciers

How the Old Masters became the Old Masters

The gentleman Nazi

The return of U.S. Chess

Why classical music is the best music

The invisible poems hidden in one of the world’s oldest libraries

Fools

“The greatest film review I’ve ever read”

Yep. Embarrassing.

What fresh hell is this

Sargent’s watercolors

Thomas Gainsborough’s dazzling vision

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Music, TV/Movies, Uncategorized