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Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Plight Of The Blind Gamer, by Stephen Wilds, The Outline

I’m legally blind due to albinism. I don’t drive, and I need a magnification program in order to use a computer. I also love video games. Ever since the original Game Boy kicked off the revolutionary genre of handheld gaming, I’ve been tormented by trying to play games made for screens that I can’t see.

I asked my mom for a Game Boy even though we both knew I’d have trouble. I ended up mostly playing Tetris since I just had to identify the shapes. Anything like Super Mario Land, Zelda, or heaven forbid, games that require reading, was simply a waste of money. But still, I couldn’t help myself from falling for the latest handhelds over and over — as anyone could understand, I wanted to play.

The Roots Of Boston’s Christmas Tree Go Back 100 Years To A Disaster In Halifax, by James Sullivan, Boston Globe

A few days after the explosion, 17-year-old Haligonian Walter Hoganson wrote a pen pal, Harold Kennedy of Stoughton, Massachusetts, recounting what he called the “horrible catastrophe.” Hoganson had been at work at a local paper, The Daily Echo. “[T]here was a short rumble and then a big ‘crash’ (a terrific, terrifying roar),” he wrote. “I got as low as I could and the glass and wood flew everywhere, but I didn’t get a scratch. Harold, our big steady building rocked like a little cradle.” Hoganson wasn’t hurt, but a buddy who worked on the waterfront was killed. Like many Halifax residents, Hoganson lost loved ones, including his older sister, her husband, and their 11-year-old son.

Just hours later, a blizzard made conditions in the city even worse. But relief efforts began in earnest the next day. As Hoganson told Kennedy, “thank God the noble state of Massachusetts stood the same as ever ready to help us.”

It’s Only Human To See Our Own Sins In Animals, by Mark Peters, Boston Globe

Animal behaviorists can’t escape the specter of human behavior, and whether they should even try is an open question to be answered on a case-by-case basis. As Pratt put it, anthropomorphic terms are useful “if they convey some very precise meaning.” Sometimes that precise meaning involves the human animal too.

An Economy Is A Living Thing: Andy Weir’s “Artemis”, by Chris Pak, Los Angeles Review of Books

On a narrative level, Weir’s choice of a female protagonist enables a welcome departure from the hypermasculinity of The Martian. While it doesn’t offer something significantly new to lunar colonization narratives, Artemis extends the scope of Weir’s storytelling to encompass the social and economic relationships that shape the life of a community.