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Italian singer Adriano Celentano released a song in the 70s with nonsense lyrics meant to sound like American English, apparently to prove Italians would like any English song. It was a hit, and resulted in this: THE GREATEST VIDEO I HAVE EVER SEEN.
Rise of the Nazis [Ep. 1, 2, 3] - "In 1930 Germany was a liberal democracy. Just four years later democracy is dead, Germany's leader is a dictator and its government is in the hands of murderers. This series tells the story of how this happened. Leading historians and experts get inside the heads of some of the key players, whose political plotting, miscalculations and personal ambitions helped to destroy democracy and deliver control to Hitler." (via; BBC; previously)
On Twitter, Terri Nelson noted the proliferation of complaints on Yankee Candle's website about the lack of scent in their scented candles. Kate Petrova responded (Threadreader version) with a tweet thread analyzing Amazon reviews for scented candles before and during the pandemic, and the results are interesting (and very easy to understand). [more inside]
Follow me down a Joyce Chen rabbit hole. Joyce Chen was born in 1917, a Beijing daughter of a high ranking official. She and her husband and children were on the second to last boat leaving Shanghai after the communist revolution. Chen found herself a housewife in the US, a huge change from her job as an insurance broker back in Beijing. But in time, she started to focus on creating a career from her cooking... [more inside]
Since 1957, nearly 10,000 satellites have been put into earth orbit. The approximatley 2700 of them still functioning have been joined by another 26,000 catalogued pieces of space debris, along with countless pieces too small to track. There is an ever increasing risk of chain reaction collisions, especially with massive fleets of new communications satellites starting to be launched. (New Yorker) [more inside]
I wasn't planning to leave this life that I'd built purely on some intangible warning from a boy who was half a dream. I liked what I had now: the mindless, fuss-free job; a roommate who was reasonably clean and had no drunk boyfriends to bring over; the little pockets of weird I'd found in the neighborhood, places where I didn't feel quite out of place. For the first time in my life I could see myself continuing down this path towards the future, gray in my hair, a box flat to call a home, a collection of books, half a dozen cats. A tidy and quiet picture that brought me little jolts of pleasure when I thought of it. [more inside]
With the finale of The Great British
Bake-Off Baking Show having been aired, one might wonder what it was like inside The Bubble that made the show possible? Vanity Fair has a lengthy article from September. Likewise The Guardian. Metro.co.uk has an article from just last week. No spoilers, but for me this was one of the best finales ever.
55 Ways White People Say ‘White People’ Without Actually Saying ‘White People’ (Very Smart Brothas/The Root)
Wildlife bridges — AKA animal crossings, animal passings, ecoducts, etc. — can be pricey (costing US$2-4 million each, but one crossing can save thousands of animals lives every year. Common in Europe since the 1950s, they have become much widespread around the world. [more inside]
If you are having a tough time right now, here is Dolly Parton watching people cover her songs on YouTube and being, well, completely Dolly Parton about it.
Speed Reading Sucks (LA Review of Books): Seen in tandem with other popular companies like Blinkist, Joosr, and Shortform, which offer bullet-pointed, summarized versions of books so customers don’t have to spend time actually reading the books themselves, speed reading is part of the emergent market of “cram reading” and represents the latest heights to which our skill-obsessed, workaholic society aspires. I have little doubt that following lines of text with a pencil or scheduling specific times to focus on the task of reading (both “techniques” advised by Kwik) could aid in the reading process. But a more pressing matter is why such odd, over-achiever exploits are so alluring in the first place. Just why, exactly, is everyone suddenly so behind on reading, so gripped by the need to read more and faster than ever before? ¶ For the answer we need only survey the structure of our techno-capitalist civilization, with its grinding, hyper-competitive dynamism...
One in four Britons don’t shower every day: “A Shower is where you get completely into the shower and also wash your hair. A man shower is where you get your hair wet but don’t wash it. And a shower (lower case, no stated gender) is where you just stand at the sink, splashing yourself ... If you spray deodorant on and call that a shower, that’s a Sure-er (you have to say it, not spell it). If you spray deodorant on and spray dry shampoo into your hair, you’ve had a Febreze. If you can’t be bothered to shower and instead get into the sea because you are near it, you’ve had a Sea Febreze.”
How Georgia's Nona Gaprindashvili conquered the chess world (SL Calvert Journal). [more inside]
“His handlers, who are basically all old Obama staffers, believe in something called the Great Reset of capitalism,” Ingraham said in a November episode of her show. “It’s a plan to force a more equitable distribution of global resources.” from The Biden Presidency Already Has Its First Conspiracy Theory: The Great Reset [Daily Beast] [more inside]
DJ Cummerbund: A purveyor of cursed, powerful mashups such as The Devil Wap Down to Georgia and Play That Funky Music Rammstein (2020 Webby Award). Come for songs that you may not know how to feel about individually yet are strangely compelling when bound together, stay for the restrained yet hilarious video editing and persistently recurring Macho Man. [more inside]
WE TRUST YOU. PLEASE TAKE WHAT YOU NEED AND LEAVE THE MONEY ON THE TABLE
For drivers who’d notice the “Pasta King” sign from the rural Sonoma County road and pull into Art Ibleto’s driveway, the door to the kitchen was always unlocked. The fridge was always full of penne, marinara, pesto and lasagna. And when Ibleto wasn’t around to take people’s money, the desk was nearly always covered with folds of cash next to the yellow touch-tone landline phone and old Rolodex, accompanied by notes of appreciation. Ibleto, who died Tuesday morning at the age of 94, was the kind of person for whom this honor system was natural, instead of novel. For all of Ibleto’s philanthropy and civic service to the Sonoma County community he adopted as a young immigrant from Italy, it’s this fact that sticks with many of the Pasta King’s fans most: he trusted you.[more inside]
From CityLab: The still-raging pandemic means social activities will stay outdoors as the temperature plummets. Here’s what experts say about the art of keeping warm.
As we enter this holiday season, this resource is intended to support educators and families as we address the true story of Thanksgiving. This guide provides resources that range from lesson plans to narratives that uplift the perspectives and contributions of the Native American community.
“Well this is rather snazzy! Casually making into into the ‘Best books of 2020: Science’ in the Financial Times reading list,” said biochemist and neurodiversity advocate, Dr Camilla Pang who, at 28, is the youngest ever winner of the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Prize for Explaining Humans: What Science Can Teach Us about Life, Love and Relationships, the book she needed and began writing as a child through the perspective of her autism and her love of science.