I shall look forth from my window, the laburnum and the mountain-ash becoming mere silhouettes in the foreground of my vision. I shall look forth and, in nay remoteness, appreciate the distant pageant of the world. Humanity will range itself in the columns of my morning paper. No pulse of life will escape me. The strife of politics, the intriguing of courts, the wreck of great vessels, wars, dramas, earthquakes, national griefs or joys; the strange sequels to divorces, even, and the mysterious suicides of land-agents at Ipswich—in all such phenomena I shall steep my exhaurient mind.—Max Beerbohm
—found in The Works of Max Beerbohm (1896)
teratology · /tayr-ə-TOL-ə-jee/ · /tɛrəˈtɒlədʒi/. noun. The study of physical abnormalities, gross defects, and the conditions that give rise to them. From Greek prefix *terato-* (of or pertaining to monsters), from Greek teras (monster or monstrosity). See also: teratoid, teratophobia, teratophilia, teratogenetic, teratoma, teratical.[Read more…]
- How the Fake Beatles Conned South America.
- The readaletter tag on YouTube is delightful, with all kinds of people (celebrities and not) reading letters to friends, family and the public. ※ Staying with letters, read about The Stamp that Almost Caused a War .
- No one knows, and can more accessibly talk about, new and emerging online language than Because Internet author Gretchen McCullough, and this new interview is no exception: Why “Ok.” Is the Most Terrifying Text You Could Ever Receive.
- FixMyQuarantine links to interesting videos, songs, articles, useless facts and uplifting news intended to “help people escape boredom of staying at home.” Even better, the selection changes every 24 hours. Thanks Reader S.
- Weaving together the ideas of Marcel Maus and Lewis Hyde on gifts and the gifted with the contemporary, mercenary market and notions of a spiritual economy, Ted Gioia’s Gratuity: Who Gets Paid When Art Is Free is a must read.
- Unlike almost everyone else I know, I couldn’t bear Tiger King. But this not-so-depressing or salacious piece on The Strange and Dangerous World of America’s Big Cat People was great.
- Speaking of animals: Pets in prison: the rescue dogs teaching Californian inmates trust and responsibility. ※ Pairs well with: We Put Too Many People Behind Bars. This Pandemic Shows Why That’s Not Necessary.
- Looking for some big books to occupy your time? Then The 50 Best Contemporary Novels Over 500 Pages is for you. ※ And if you’re one of those tricksters who find pandemic reading pleasurable (or necessary), then the inimitable Bryan Alexander has your back: Reading for the plague: a syllabus.
- For your eyes: The weirdest, most wonderful virtual museums you can visit without leaving your couch & An inspired photographer, a disrupted senior class and 500 portraits that capture what they lost. ※ For your ears, a bit of nostalgia: 10 TV themes played on piano by Ethan Iverson. ※ And for, well, the rest of you: Burning Man Is Going Virtual, and So Are the Orgies.
- On this day in 1986, the worst nuclear disaster in history—along with the Fukushima Daiichi disaster the only incident rated at the highest level on the International Nuclear Event Scale—occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat, in what is now northern Ukraine. The accident would release 100 times more radiation than both of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined, killing two plant workers immediately and more than two-dozen first responders within a few months. The ultimate death toll, including eventual deaths from cancer and other diseases, could reach 16,000. More than 350,000 people in Pripyat and nearby areas were relocated, turning Pripyat into a ghost town. After putting out the immediate fire and shutting the rest of the plant down, the reactor was covered by a 400,000 cubic meter concrete and steel structure called the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Sarcophagus but, due to degradation, the sarcophagus was replaced in 2018 by the New Shelter. ※ See also: Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl (a short film shot by drone in 2014), a Traveler piece on What It’s Like to Visit Chernobyl Today, and the acclaimed Chernobyl miniseries.
“Enjoy a ► virtual walk through the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden—complete with cherry blossoms—in this extraordinary video captured by cinematographer Nic Petry…”
Watch the ► Hamlet Monovlogues, in which “Hamlet is a struggling millennial vlogging his struggles of life as the events of the play unfold.”