Friday, 19 December 2014
Pico Iyer, Lapham's Quarterly
To be a foreigner is to be perpetually detached, but it is also to be continually surprised.
Charlie Warzel, BuzzFeed
Autcraft is one of hundreds of thousands of active Minecraft servers, but one of only a few that caters exclusively to children, young adults, and parents of children with autism and Asperger’s. Painstakingly moderated by a team of dutiful (and intensely vetted) volunteers, Autcraft is a safe haven to 5,000 players from all over the world and arguably one of the best communities on the internet.
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Joao Medeiros, Wired UK
"The more we observed him and listened to his concerns, the more it dawned on us that what he was really asking, in addition to improving how fast he could communicate, was for new features that would let him interact better with his computer," says Nachman.
Janet Maslin, New York Times
The time is right for “The David Foster Wallace Reader,” an anthology meant to serve different purposes for different readers.
J.D. Biersdorfer, New York Times
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Maria Konnikova, New Yorker
By now, everyone knows that a headline determines how many people will read a piece, particularly in this era of social media. But, more interesting, a headline changes the way people read an article and the way they remember it. The headline frames the rest of the experience. A headline can tell you what kind of article you’re about to read—news, opinion, research, LOLcats—and it sets the tone for what follows.
Nicholas Carlson, New York Times
She believed it could again become a top-tier tech firm that enjoyed enormous growth and competed for top talent. And two years in, Mayer, who has a tendency to compare herself with Steve Jobs, wasn’t about to abandon her turnaround plan.
Joseph Peschel, Washington Post
Murakami does lapse into bouts of over-playfulness, but whether he is writing for adults or children, he remains a suspenseful and fantastical storyteller.
Tim Carmody, Medium
Our humanity is capacious enough to extend to other beings (including those we have made with our own hands). We also have perspective enough to nuke the things we’ve made from orbit when it’s necessary to save lives. We are craven beings, but that’s not all we are. Even an orphan, a marine, an android, and a badass warrant officer turned surrogate mom can become a kind of family.
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Jessamyn West, Medium
Enforcing artificial scarcity is a bad role for a public institution.
Sarah Baird, Medium
The awkward second life of restaurant chain buildings.
Monday, 15 December 2014
Carol Rumen's, The Guardian
Mary Beard, The Spectator
In 1787 critics of the Paris Salon were scandalised by a painting exhibited by Mme Vigée Le Brun. The subject was conventional enough: a self-portrait of the artist cradling her small daughter. The problem was that Vigée Le Brun was depicted smiling. You could even see her teeth. This was, as one critic put it, ‘an affectation which artists, connoisseurs and people of good taste are unanimous in condemning’.
Patrick Anderson, Washington Post
In “Irene,” violence ups the ante, and tough-minded writing carries the day.
Sunday, 14 December 2014
John Pomfret, Washington Post
It’s natural that this new sobriety should affect not simply how China is viewed today but also how its past is depicted. The best history is not written in an ivory tower, after all; it’s done with an eye on today. And that brings us to Richard Bernstein’s excellent “China 1945.”
Judith Martin, Washington Post
Who could ever have been so blind and bigoted as to believe that only women attended parties, had children, wore clothes, lived in homes and ate food?
Certainly not those of us who worked there. We lived with that section head because the women’s department was where the jobs were — we could see how few women were advancing elsewhere in the news business — and because it was an exciting place to work.
William H. Pritchard, The Boston Globe
He concludes the list by noting that “One day, of course, no one will remember what I remember.” A fine book of remembering all sorts of things past, “Essays After Eighty” is to be treasured.
Charlie Jane Anders, Tor.com
Lee Weston Sabo, Bright Lights Film Journal
Do the Right Thing wasn’t ahead of its time. It was behind its time, and it’s ahead of ours.
Saturday, 13 December 2014
Tricia Rose, New York Times
The dramatic changes spurred by the civil rights movement and other 1960s social upheavals are often chronicled as a time line of catalytic legal victories that ended anti-black segregation. Jeff Chang’s “Who We Be: The Colorization of America” claims that cultural changes were equally important in transforming American society, and that both the legal and cultural forms of desegregation faced a sustained hostile response that continues today.
Matthew Specktor, New York Times
So much of its complexity, pleasure and occasional difficulty stems from its sequence of omissions and its non-chronological presentation.
Molly Eichel, The A.V. Club
As it mourned Mr. Hooper, the show found strength in honesty.
Ryan Lizza, New Yorker
Hughes addressed the group by speakerphone. “How are we going to produce the issue?” he asked.
Bruce Buschel, Medium
“It was there and then it wasn’t there. Like a mandala. Sort of perfect.”
“But there was no plan for this to blow away,” I said.
“Of course there was,” he said.
“What are you talking about?”
“It was chalk on a chalkboard, dad.”
“How obvious does impermanence have to be?”
“Then why am I crying?”
“Because you’re an idiot.”