September 15, 2018
Why 95.8% of Female Newscasters Have the Same Hair Hair politics from InStyle magazine, of all places
From The New Yorker's Annals of Entomology: What Termites Can Teach Us — Roboticists are fascinated by their “swarm intelligence,” biologists by their ability to turn grass into energy. But can humans replicate their achievements? Amia Srinivasan looks back on people's interest in termites, from The Soul of the White Ant (translated) by Eugène N. Marais and the earlier Some Account of the Termites, Which are Found in Africa and Other Hot Climates. In a Letter from Mr. Henry Smeathman (Archive.org), to the new review of modern scientific inquiries, Lisa Margonelli's new book, Underbug: An Obsessive Tale of Termites and Technology (Goodreads; Amazon).
If a Leap Baby born in 2000 commits a crime on February 28, 2018, should they be tried as a minor or an adult? One girl challenged the Australian courts with just this conundrum when she chose February 28, 2018 for her crime, resulting in incredibly complicated discussions of what exactly a "month" is and an initial ruling overturned on appeal. [more inside]
Many educators don't know the science of reading and, in some cases, actively resist it. Research shows that children who don't learn to read by the end of third grade are likely to remain poor readers for the rest of their lives, and they're likely to fall behind in other academic areas, too. People who struggle with reading are more likely to drop out of high school, to end up in the criminal justice system, and to live in poverty. But as a nation, we've come to accept a high percentage of kids not reading well.
Some tips she shared in advance of the proposed blog launch included stowing all morning and evening skin care products in a nightstand basket, setting up a coffee-making station within reach, and avoiding the shower. “Showering requires being upright, as well as being SPRAYED with WATER!” she points out. “You can lay down in the bath, throw some bubbles in, almost as good as bed.” The homebody economy, explained.
Presenting "Brown Spot Blues,", an extempore paean to a boogie-woogie bulldog. Nirvana fans may prefer the remix. [more inside]
danah boyd (previously) delivered a keynote speech (available as text or video) to the Online News Association. It’s about manipulation of the media and how extremists and conspiracy theorists try to get their phrases covered so that they can get people to search for their terms and be indoctrinated.
Ace guitarist Marc Ribot has a new album out collecting resistance songs both old and new - and it's terrific. Guest vocalists on the disc include Tom Waits (in his first new recording for two years) and Steve Earle. And here's Ribot himself performing one of the songs live.
It takes hard work to say, “This is how I am" | From Heather Havrilesky's upcoming book of essays, "What if this were enough?" [more inside]
What Women Want From Jian Ghomeshi by Anne Thériault [Flare] “In the autumn of 2018, almost exactly four years after the allegations of sexual assault and abuse made against Jian Ghomeshi were published in the Toronto Star, we have finally reached the contrition stage of this particular narrative. In a lengthy essay for the New York Review of Books—accompanied by a Edvard Munch painting of a man deep in thought, entitled Melancholy—Ghomeshi takes 39 meandering paragraphs to say that he feels sorry; mostly for himself, but also a little bit for the women he hurt. Women, he explains, that he didn’t actually hurt in any of the specific, horrible ways that you’ve heard; mostly he hurt them by being thoughtless and a bit full of himself, which, he’s sure you’ll agree, is perfectly understandable given how famous and beloved he used to be. But anyway, enough about these women! What Jian really wants to know is, What it will take for you to finally stop hating Jian?” [more inside]
It's January 1983 and Prince is sitting at the piano in his home studio in Minneapolis. He has a cassette recorder, some spare time and a bunch of songs in his head. direct soundcloud link [more inside]