Mostly we read books and set them aside, or hurl them from us with great force, and pass on. Yet sometimes there is a small residue that has an effect. The reason for this is the always unexpected and unpredictable intervention of that rare and sneaky phenomenon, love. One may read and like or admire or respect a book and yet remain entirely unchanged by its contents, but love gets under one’s guard and shakes things up, for such is its sneaky nature. When a reader falls in love with a book, it leaves its essence inside him, like radioactive fallout in an arable field, and after that there are certain crops that will no longer grow in him, while other, stranger, more fantastic growths may occasionally be produced.—Salman Rushdie
—from “Books vs. Goons”
—found in the Los Angeles Times (April 24, 2005)
crapulent · /ˈkræpjʊlənt/ · /KRAP-yoo-lənt/. adjective. Sickness from excessive drinking (or eating); the result of such excess. Intemperance. From Latin crāpula (intoxication). See also: crapulence, crapulous.[Read more…]
- I’m enjoying The Guardian‘s Tree of the Week series (including my mom’s favorite tree, the Weeping Willow) ※ Incidentally, I missed last week because we got a 2nd and final puppy: meet Willow Bea Arthur (on the left, next to older but smaller and feisty Ruthie Belle Ginsburg).
- An occasional feel-good story never hurts → Gustaf Håkansson – the ‘steel grandpa’ who won a 1,000-mile bicycle race
- A new idea to me → The Case for Climate Reparations
- The MDOCS program focuses on “presenting the stories of the human experience in documentary media and technologies: old and new; visual, oral, and written; analog and digital.” They haven’t been slowed by the pandemic → SHIFT: A virtual exhibit of work by the 2020 MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute Fellows
- Sometime facts are more interesting than fiction → The Great Buenos Aires Bank Heist
- I first learned there were organizations studying neuroscience and the law—confirming my long-standing, biography-driven intuition—toward the end of David Eagleman’s excellent book Incognito: The Secret Life of the Brain, where he introduced his idea of “biologically informed jurisprudence” and the Center for Science and Law. Which is all to say that this story of one man with a traumatic brain injury makes clear how complicated this really is → The Final Five Percent ※ Incidentally, Eagleman has a brand new book that looks fascinating: Livewired.
- Humans Are All More Closely Related Than We Commonly Think
- Oddities: Security flaw left ‘smart’ chastity sex toy users at risk of permanent lock-in // “Baby Shark” kid’s song used to bully jail inmates, DA says // Inside the Million-Dollar Market for Cow Gallstones // This Extraordinary Bird Is Both Male and Female, Divided Down the Middle // Moschino sends puppets down the runway for Milan Fashion Week
- This week’s Curiosity Cluster: this is the tweet that led me to the peculiar world of the eccentric Timothy Dexter (the image attached to the tweet made me literally LOL) → If you ever feel self-conscious about your writing, please know that in 1802, a man named Timothy Dexter published a 9,000-word book with seemingly arbitrary capitalization and literally ZERO punctuation. ¶ Here is how he chose to address reader complaints in the second edition…. ※ “Lord” Dexter was…peculiar. In addition to his magnum opus, A Pickle for the Knowing Ones—which might be an American Finnegans Wake, an extraordinary artifact of the earliest avant garde, or complete nonsense—Dexter was a Forrest Gump like character of finance, who literally sold coal to Newcastle, and bed-warming pans and wool gloves to the tropical West Indies, and stray cats to the Caribbean Islands…making a killing every time. He told people his wife was dead and those who saw her were seeing her ghost…and had her caned when she didn’t cry enough at his mock wake after he faked his own death. ※ The New England Historical Society created a [concise portrait of Dexter]https://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/timothy-dexter-ridiculous-millionaire-sold-coals-newcastle/). ※ The www.LordTimothyDexter.com domain is…not, but arguably more in keeping with this strange man himself.
- Today in 1963, Félicette, a Parisian stray, becomes the first cat launched into space. One of 14 cats trained for such a mission—all with electrodes implanted to monitor neurological activity—Félicette’s mission lasted 13 minutes, during which she experienced 5 minutes of zero-gravity after an ascent whose acceleration reached 9.5 Gs. Nickname “Félix” after the popular cartoon series, Félicette was euthanized just two months later…but she lives on as the subject of multiple postage stamps and a statue at the International Space University.
A fitting tribute to both Lennon (I know he wasn’t the greatest guy; don’t @ me) and the times we are living in → ▸ Sean Ono Lennon Performs “Isolation” By John Lennon
An Israeli commercial for the ▸ McShwarma
QAnon (I can’t fathom the gullibility and stupidity) ☡ Vaccines (because weren’t the most faithful supporters anti-vaxxers until a minute ago?) ☡ New Apple stuff (because I’m still rocking my iPhone 7S) ☡ Kanye (because mental illness just isn’t funny)
- Reader V.: “Suddenly Reddit is everywhere [and] this reminded me of your surprisingly great Reddit links a few months ago: How “Am I the A—hole?” Created a Medium Place on the Internet.”
- Reader T.: “I’m just going to leave this right here. QAnon High Priest Was Just Trolling Away as a Citigroup Tech Executive.”
- And in serendipitous synchronicity, A Different Reader T.: writes, “I may have broken a leg tripping on the QAnon rabbithole. Thanks for nothing! But anyway this: What we can learn about QAnon from the Satanic Panic.”