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Radar, week 8: Insatiable appetites

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What to think about Ukraine? What to do about Ukraine? Timothy Snyder is building a list of ways to help. Lots of great, often worrying, information in this story on IKEA’s insatiable appetites. It’s the world’s largest consumer of wood; it’s the largest private landholder in Romania. I also learned the word “edacity”. (trees, passim) The NYT’s David Leonhardt, who has consistently argued for a kind of liberal’s relaxation of covid restrictions, has been a […]

Radar, Week 7: Reckonings and records

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• I was rapt by the way this Katie Baker piece on Eric Schneiderman’s attempt at a #MeToo redemption tiptoed through such difficult territory. • Hype as a scale. • Scratching that Murakami-esque, middle aged vinyl dad itch: Listening Room on Instagram • When she was worried about the state of the world in the 1960s, Pauline Oliveros started singing and playing long, extended drones on her accordion. She spent nearly a year on a […]

Radar: Week 6

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Susy Thunder was a pioneering phone phreaker How does the FBI’s art crime team operate? Janet Kessler has been tracking San Francisco’s coyotes for 15 years. Dominic Cummings has a £10 per month Substack newsletter. It shows a “voracious intellect” “coupled with a tireless curiosity” with writing that is simultaneously “too long, too aggressive, too inward-looking.”  The Guernica tapestry is back at the United Nations Roxane Gay pulled her podcast from Spotify: “Sometimes, racism is […]

Radar: Week 5

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• Beautiful images of polar bears who have moved into an abandoned Arctic weather station (drone footage on YouTube) • Coober Pedy is a town in Australia where half of people live underground because it’s so bloody hot. • The alien’s binary: Atossa Araxia Abrahamian on motherhood. • Pew’s morphology of Republicans identifies five distinct groups. • Mind expanding (to me) piece on the possibilities of Arabic typography.

I’ll never complain about somebody filing long again

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“At roughly 31,000 words, the article is as long as a novella, roughly five times the length of a typical major magazine article.” “Mr. Wright, a staff writer at The New Yorker for nearly three decades, initially turned in 76,000 words. “I have an appetite to go into depth,” he said in an interview. (He added, with a laugh: “I get paid by the word.”)” —From the New York Times’ short note about the Lawrence […]

A prayer for life

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According to a Tina Brown essay I read recently, Vanity Fair‘s breakthrough editorial moment came when she published Dominick Dunne’s 1984 heartbreaker about the murder of his daughter and the trial of her killer. Since Conde Nast relaunched the magazine in 1983, it had been destroyed in the market, hadn’t found its footing, and had been lined up to get shut down. When Brown took the job at the start of 1984 it was almost […]

ASAP

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Been thinking a lot about the long view recently, both in work and in life. Everything’s awful and urgent and yet the past six months have felt so momentously slow that it’s creating a huge amount of internal dissonance: make-it-happen-now has to sleep in the same bed as when-this-is-all-over. And that’s presuming it will ever be over, of course. I’m placing high value on every little moment that breaks out of the immediate, every long […]

Ancient bum wiping

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“The Romans had two primary ways to clean themselves post-bathroom break. Option one? A tool called a tersorium, which was “used to clean the buttocks after defecation.” Imagine a loofah, but made of fresh sea sponge, attached to a wooden rod—similar to back-washers sold in drugstores today. After using the stick to aim and the sponge to wipe, the person would dunk the sponge in a bucket full of water or vinegar to clean it off […]

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“The protests demanding that states “reopen” after all are protests demanding that working people head back into jobs that risk their health. The now-infamous “I Want a Haircut!” sign brandished by a Wisconsin woman underlined the point: These people aren’t simply protesting curtailments of their own movement. They are protesting a lack of people to serve them. They are demanding other people get back to work. And when we look at that sign and flinch […]