All of us know, whether or not we are able to admit it, that mirrors can only lie, that death by drowning is all that awaits one there. It is for this reason that love is so desperately sought and so cunningly avoided. Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word “love” here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace—not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.—James Baldwin
—found in The Fire Next Time (1962)
nugatory · /ˈnju:ɡət(ə)rɪ/ · /NYOO-gə-tree/. adjective. Worthless, trifling, inconsequential. From Latin nūgārī (to jest), from nūgae(trifles).[Read more…]
Links: August 2, 2020
- Voter’s rights are on a lot of minds right now, including mine → The Brennan Center for Justice has initiatives in three major areas: voting reform, vote suppression, and voting rights restoration. ¶ I can’t single any area out as more important, but I am particularly interested in ending felony disenfranchisement. ※ Listen to voting rights activist Desmond Meade and Dale Ho, Director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project explain recent efforts to restore voters’ rights in Florida and elsewhere.
- A weird rabbit hole…you have been warned! → The Hunt for the Death Valley Germans
- Two very different ways to experience YouTube → TheirTube // My 90s TV
- It seems a little early, but here are The Guardian’s picks for the 100 best books of the twenty-first century.
- Use FutureMe to write a letter (or many letters) to your future self. Who knows, you might surprise the you that is yet to be. ※ Of course, the old fashioned kind are good too.
- I echo Reader B., who shared them, the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 Shortlist Gallery has some beautiful images. ※ While I’m spacing out, there is something heartening about humans continuing to reach beyond our planet (hopefully not to lay waste to another one) → NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission: Live Updates ※ A cool part of that new mission → NASA’s Ingenuity—the First Ever Off-World Helicopter—Is Set for a ‘Wright Brothers Moment’ on Mars.
- News in the animal kingdom → Camels Originated in North America, Probably Roamed Hollywood // Researchers “Translate” Bat Talk. Turns Out, They Argue—A Lot // Vantablack? Meh. Meet the Ultra-Black Vantafish // The fastest animal for its body size probably isn’t what you’d expect
- Book Art! → Jacqueline Rush Lee’s “Inked” series // Nicholas Jones, book sculptor // Isobelle Ouzman’s altered books // Emma Taylor’s “Three Dimensional Narratives Composed from Discarded Books” // The Medieval Masterpiece, the Book of Kells, Is Now Digitized & Put Online Thanks, Reader C. //
- A Sunday salmagundi → BBC Mews // Hemingway Writes The Baby-Sitters Club // The World Carrot Museum // cakes with threatening auras // Filling potholes with mosaic art
- Today in 1909, the Lincoln Center (commonly known as the Lincoln Penny) is released to US Treasury facilities across the United States. 1909 was the centennial year of Lincoln’s birth, stoking interest in the new coin, and the U.S. Mint had refused to allow any images of the new coin to be show prior to the coin’s release, fueling the fervor even further (though the new penny wasn’t without controversy. Lincoln was the first person to be depicted on a regular American coin. ¶ On August 2, lines formed at locations across the country, most of which had strict limits to the number of coins that could be purchased. For a while, the pennies were selling for up to 25 cents each, settling down to “just” 5 cents each until production caught up with demand. But that’s nothing, how about a penny worth a cool One. Million. Dollars? ※ The term “penny” is a misnomer. More accurately called a one-cent piece, the first pennies were approximately the same size and shape as the British half-penny (pronounced hay-penny if you want to sound cool), and the nickname stuck. ※ It costs nearly two cents to produce a penny, arguably the most useless of coins, leading to various initiatives to get rid of the coin altogether. Given that it costs ten cents to make a nickel, perhaps detractors should start there?
Fred Dibnah: Steeplejack
I didn’t even know steeplejacks were a thing, much less that this ► BAFTA Best Documentary film about one charismatic steeplejack existed. It’s easy to see why the subject of the film, Fred Dibnah, went on to become a television personality of no little renown.
The Last Bronycon
► The Last Bronycon. Bronycon was an annual convention “for fans of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic animated television show, among them adult and teenage fans who call themselves bronies.”
Withheld: August 2, 2020
Alien DNA (because humans are terrible enough on their own) ☡ Demon seed (because Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric) ☡ TikTok (because the natural immunity of age) ☡ FaGoogAmApple’s testimony to Congress (because concern theater) ☡ Resumption of baseball, basketball, soccer, etc. (because chess, the royal sport, never went away)
Responses: August 2, 2020
- Reader A. on Paul Beatty’s WORK: “The Scottish courts have w. The third is ‘Not Proven’, which doesn’t let the accused off the hook, yet.”
- Reader B: “Which Pynchon was the source [of the pixilated quote]?”
- Reader C.: “No idea that pixilated had another much more interesting definition.”
- Another Reader C.: “I just wanted to add emphasis to a small bit in that Jia Tolentino interview — What’s one skill we should all learn while in quarantine? ¶ TOLENTINO: How to make someone feel loved from a distance.”
- Reader K.: “I thought I’d send you, in response to my delight at the ‘Wealth Drawn to Scale‘ imagery, this link to a recent NYT article about artists’ responses to the current ‘hauntological’ (great term I’m pretty sure invented by the artists) crisis…”