Category: Linkstorm

Friday Links (First of 2015 Edition)

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Well, hey there, well-beloved-but-desperately-neglected minions! We’re back from the States, back at work, and back at the grindstone. Let’s catch up. Jeff has dived straight into studying for his next round of exams (we’re down to less than a year of this slog), and I’m back freelancing and in the world of London luxury development. The first couple of week of a new year are always a bit hectic, but we might be setting a new record for post-holiday self-destruction. Luckily, there a few things keeping us sane.

We finally coughed up the money for a shiny new laptop that is causing me to coo, “the precious…” every time I open its sleek lid. It’s long overdue. I’ve been using a refurbished laptop we bought for about $400 at least three years ago that’s been getting increasingly clunky and hard to manage over the last year. When I couldn’t have two windows open at the same time without the whole thing freezing, I knew it was time to let Marvin go to his rest. Let’s just hope all my image and music files transfer over alright.

The intrepid Caitlin Kelly is in town and crashing at our place this week as she journeys around the city, conducts research and interview for assignments, and generally puts us all to shame with her pace. Last weekend, completely backward due to jetlag, we all went out on the town and had some much needed adventuring. We ate good food, had great conversations, and did some truly impressive vintage shopping. Caitlin’s got the touch for spotting a deal, let me tell you!

Less immediately important, but still pretty vital, I finally got my local library card and might actually have made headway in getting a British bank account. Long story, will rant later. In the meantime, I’m putting together budget proposals of numbers so high as to give me a nosebleed, working with a grade-A creative team and a world class illustrator, and checking off new items from my list with satisfying ticks. Here are your links, catch me up on your holidays and tell me what you’re up to this weekend in the comments!

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Enjoy a shot from me on assignment in Notting Hill. Much as I whine, life’s pretty decent, kittens.


Some people have more…something…than sense. Not sure it’s money.

You lucky ducks, Caitlin is blogging her adventures (plus tips on renting flats in Paris).

Unsure about the background of Tolkien’s mythology? CPG Grey is here to help.

Jezebel gives a pretty good account of the “fluffication” of this history surrounding Empress Elisabeth of Austria.

Headline of the week, I feel.

I barely use my iPod for music anymore, it’s all podcasts through and through, so this list from Medium about interesting podcasts from 2014 (minus Serial, because obviously) hooked me.

Women’s issue news worth sharing and a cause worth supporting.

Since I’m still working in London housing, this is fascinating.

Ah, journalism.

Carmen Sandiego and Oregon Trail forever.

A response that moved me on the attack in Paris, a city where Caitlin is just visiting us from and returning to at the weekend. Thoughts for safety all around, please.

An 18th century time capsule opening.

Friday Links (Gunning for Vacation, Edition)

“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.”
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

September has been one of the toughest months of my life and I am powering through it for the simple reason that I have my first vacation in over a year coming up next week. I have been working almost daily for over a year now, including weekends and holidays. Occasionally I’ve been able to get a weekend away from my laptop or day off, but they have been rare. And kittens, I’m tired.

I’m also proud. I’ve gone from less than $100 a month to what WOULD be almost a living wage (if, you know, debt weren’t a thing and I didn’t live in one of the most expensive cities on earth) in less than two years. Not all freelancers can do that. But it’s absolutely taken a toll–on my health, my relationships, and my self-care. A lot of working for yourself is finding and keeping a healthy balance and it’s a constant learning curve for me. Long story, short? I’m really excited for my time off.

My in-laws are coming to visit and after a few days in London we are taking the party to the road touring the southwest of England. Updates forthcoming but for the next couple of weeks I’ve been saving up past adventures to keep you entertained. Here are you links and let me know what you’re up to this weekend!

Online friend and really incredible designer Bethany Grow has launched her blogizine, The Collaboreat! As the name suggests, it’s a collaborative travel and food site and it’s already lengthening my list of places to visit and nosh within.

Cambridge updates ahead in particular!
Cambridge updates ahead in particular!

Scotland will not leave the U.K.

New life goal: attend these.

Excellent Youtube video from The Brain Scoop on the history of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. I’ve been pondering on proactive vs. reactive conservation efforts ever since my trip to an urban beekeeping facility in London and learning more about the rapid decline of insect populations in Britain. We humans are responsible for the greatest mass extinction since the last Ice Age. Though a lot of that is fairly recent and related to our quests for more energy and raw materials, the truth is we’ve been negatively affecting other species populations for about 10,000 year total, which is sobering.

Ah, the great expat egg debate. Walk with me, kittens, and learn.

Holy hell. I believe in counseling. THIS is NOT counseling. (Side note, there is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful to have been born when and where I was. I recognize exactly how lucky I am. In another century I’d have been burnt at the stake.)

Writing is good for you!

The call for 10 books that changed your life that went around Facebook recently (and that I responded to) was pretty popular and the data miners who work there collated the most popular results. I haven’t read five on this list but need to!

Tumblr find of the week.

I am not well versed in American literature. Past the point of shame and well into the area of laughable. This new list might help.


The 18th century might have been wacky, but I’ve always secretly been in awe of early 19th century headgear, of the Wives and Daughters variety. I would definitely have been burnt at the stake, both for refusing to sport those styles and for shredding my corsets in public.

A nice little update to the old riddle. The fifth graders, they get it!

Friday Links

Better days are coming. They are called Saturday and Sunday.
~Author Unknown

Another grim week for news. The ranks of ISIS are growing and the NFL’s pathetic standards for behavioral expectations of their players were exposed. Scotland’s voting on independence next week leading to fears of longterm effects for Britain and the EU, people are speculating that Romney will run again (please benevolent universal forces, no!), and Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide.

On the home front, things are better this week. I’m working towards a much needed break here in a couple of weeks, though unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to the States for the funeral. It’s been a largely rewarding but financially frustrating year in a lot of ways. I may have to write a post or two about it. In the meantime, here are your links, kittens, and thanks so much for the lovely comments and emails last week. I really appreciated them.

A London literary map. I need this.

Found the best Twitter feed.

Powerful images of Apartheid South Africa.

Kurdish female fighters standing up to ISIS.

Interesting piece about the rise and decline of the iPod and what role it played in much of our current technical realities. I remember getting an iPod for Christmas one year, it was my big request and I got good use out of it. But I had never really considered its long term impact before this. I still use my iPod, but instead of music it’s mostly stocked with podcasts these days. How about yours?

Kill it with fire!!!

This prank is amazing, and you just know this dog is baffled as to why people are running screeching.

The great mystery solved? Fun fact, I actually live shockingly close to Whitechapel, land of Ripper-hysteria and now Ripper-tourism.

Unexpected photos of Really Big Deal events. And some silly ones. The London Underground shot is equally amazing and scary, not sure I would have trusted the early models (the present day ones can be dubious enough!).

Friday Links (Hard Times Edition)

“I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.”
― Audrey Hepburn

It’s been a bad week. Work was tricky, some private concerns caused stress, and my grandfather passed on Wednesday. You’ll understand if I’m not around for a bit? Here are you links, have a good weekend and try and put something positive into the universe.

These beasts get it. (Obligatory Buzzfeed language warning.)

We, in fact, do have the technology!

An old, old post but one I was just alerted to by the hilarious Kerry over at PT&P. The problem with algorithms (her own post on how it affects writing and content creation is worth a look in too, I think!)

History humor, the captioned adventures of George Washington.

Makeup made into art.

Fascinating story on what people actually see after their blindness has been cured or corrected. Sight is a skill and requires a degree of neurological experience for the brain to learn to process the incoming information.

Gorgeous photography.

Britain’s Crown Jewels live a mere 30-minute or so walk from me and they are pretty impressive. But I don’t think anything beats the famous troves of imperialist Russia, most of which were confiscated by revolutionaries and have been lost to time. But this post over at the Court Jeweler, a reprint of a 1920s article on the gems, is a lot of fun, shows what the imperial jewels would have looked like, and the links are jaw-dropping. Frankly I feel the same way about the spread of egg sized rubies as I do about Versailles: looking at both you think, “Yeah, I’d absolutely have revolted too.”

Sad but interesting read on how superstition causes human beings to deal with otherness.

Margret Atwood’s rules for writing.

Uh, yes please.

Thank you, internet.

Obligatory women in religion news update, this story on the decline of nuns was fascinating and significant to me. When the religious contributions and work of women is separate, largely without fanfare or recognition, and devoid of a lot of autonomy and authority…women opt out. They take their time, talents, and even faith elsewhere.

Science is splendid.

Truly splendid.

Friday Links

“Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion.”
― Leigh Hunt

Another week, another Friday! There are a lot of great updates from various Friends of the Blog, Caitlin Kelly started teaching at the Pratt Institute, Katarina picked up a book agent (!!!) for her first novel, and a respected acquaintance found housing in Kenya where she just moved.

However, there’s some bad news from me. My grandfather’s health has taken a very bad turn with an infection that went to his heart. The family is taking the situation one step at a time, and my father and his sisters are with my grandparents, but any positive vibes, prayers, or supportive thoughts  you could send their way would be very appreciated. Thank you, kittens.

Here are your links, just a few for your Friday, and tell me what you’re getting up to this weekend in the comments!

I had to chortle because Jeff definitely owns this shirt. And I may or may not have the lady version…

This headline alone should make you want to view the gallery.

Romantic friendships, an interesting subject for those interested in gender dynamics and history. As I happen to be. The notion that they grew most during a time when men and women’s spheres were so cut off from one another is something I hadn’t properly considered before, but that makes a lot of sense. Obligatory pearl-clutchers warning, queer relationships are discussed and some sexuality.

Trying not to break into song

Disease has always been the soldier’s stereotypical companion, but the Paris Review has put together a piece and gallery on the anti-VD campaigns of WWII.

The Spanish royal family has had a rough time of it, but this article in the Daily Beast is positively dripping with scandal.

I’m a big fan of Pop Culture Happy Hour on NPR, and Linda Holmes (editor of the Monkey See blog and panelist) compiled a pinterest board of every “What’s Making Us Happy This Week” ever mentioned on the show. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Have a listen and then browse, ducklings!

What a clever thing!

So, that Star Trek future is postponed, right?

Friday Links

“There aren’t enough days in the weekend.”
~Rod Schmidt

Another day, another Friday, another batch of internet linkage. I’ve intentionally kept most of it light and interesting since the news this week has been particularly bad and disheartening, from Ferguson to ISIS. This weekend I’m doing some volunteering, some writing, and hopefully a good bit of wandering since work (and the weather) have conspired to keep us mostly inside and I’m likely to go crazy without more exercise. Share anything worth knowing in the comments and let me know what you’re getting up to yourselves.


Last week I shared the story of a guy who liked everything that appeared on his Facebook feed. This week, the tale of someone who did the opposite.

Journalism, behind the scenes.

This editor at The Atlantic defends the email, which I did not entire realize was apparently under attack.

Iran has a problem with sex, namely that people aren’t having the “right” kind or amount. The most chilling aspect of this article to me is the recently passed bill to ban and limit certain aspects of contraception.

And speaking of, a journalist sent out a tweet about tampons for a story she was covering and the backlash was… pretty much everything that is wrong with the internet rolled into one.

A Downton Abbey blooper to whet your appetite for the next series.

A pair of roommates decided to spend a year not buying anything. This intrigues me because both Jeff and I work extremely hard but, like many of our generation, have student debt that really impacts our finances. Plus we live in an amazing but expensive city. We constantly look for ways to budget to save even a tiny bit because even with strict family rules, most of the money we make is spoken for with little left over to go into savings. (Also, one of our laptops just died and the other is on the brink. Ugh.)

J. Crew launched fragrances this week. I’m grateful that poverty keeps me from impulse purchases because I’d be all over this otherwise.

Interesting piece on a major flaw in the farm-to-table movement, as perceived by a chef dedicated to the cause. Increasingly obvious to me is that in America especially, we’ve restricted our diet to foods that are unsustainable in and of themselves. We need to branch out and eat more widely.

A 19th century guide to avoiding London pickpockets. Still relevant.

Rise up, citizens!

I loved this New Yorker piece on reading to impress yourself. Part of the reason I came up with the reading goals in my 101 in 1001 list was because even though I got an excellent education in many ways, it was very uneven in others. The two high schools I attended were wildly different and the second had some major failings (though I met, and am still in contact with, one of the best and most important teachers of my life from that school). As a result there are a bunch of important, classic novels I’ve never read. Things like my list and my Goodreads help me check them off for no other reason than I want to.

Like I said, it’s been a rough week the world over, so here’s what bestie Xarissa called, “a bright spot” in the dimness, a 4 year old reviews one of the most reviewed restaurants in the world.


Friday Links

“There is little chance that meteorologists can solve the mysteries of weather until they gain an understanding of the mutual attraction of rain and weekends.”
~Arnot Sheppard

Another big week. We had our friend Lark in town last weekend and through the start of this week, it was delightful to see her! Beyond that I had meetings, copy writing, and work enough to make me glad for the weekend. Although the weather has turned cold and rainy lately and shows no signs of stopping. The notoriously short British summer might have already come and gone, kittens!

The links this week are quick and dirty, please add anything you’ve read or seen worth sharing in the comments and let me know what you get up to this weekend!

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Interesting piece about complaining!

As a military brat, I find this fascinating. Cheese?

I think I could really get up the nose of a future Home Owners Association with one of these gorgeous things!

A world of only Facebook “likes” is a world we don’t want to live in.

They shall remain nameless at present but I have multiple friends with manuscripts being reviewed by publishers and would just like to refer them to these. When I am so lucky as to join them, I shall certainly take inspiration.

Correct, because it is excellent.

Word changes are interesting to me, not just how their usage shifts around over the centuries, but their pronunciation as well. Grammar Girl has a great list of a few such developments.

This gorgeous handbag line was featured in Liberty a while back and I’ve started seeing it pop up elsewhere, so clearly we need to help get the word across the Pond as well.

Brace yourself for our future robot overlords.

It’s Shark Week and the annual controversy is alive and well.

HONY is out of New York this summer…and amazing, important things are happening.

There’s a lot in this piece that resonates with me. I grew up a military brat and worked in a police department for five years, and in that time I do feel I caught a glimpse of this militarized cop mentality which concerned me. In this country, soldiers are not cops and cops are not soldiers, and there is a reason for that.

Friday Links

“Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them.”
~John Shirley

A frustrating but largely good week and an insufficiently restful weekend coming on. We’ve got friends in town, I’ve got a check in the mail, and we had another nephew born yesterday! As Jeff is the youngest of five siblings, I married into a pre-exisiting bunch of nieces and nephews where previously (as not only the oldest sibling but the oldest cousin) I had none, and the posse has continued to grow deliciously. The Woodland clan makes cute kids.

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There have been a lot of random visits from the neighboring cat as well. More on this later.

This Is Glamorous has some gorgeous shots of the Dolce & Gabbana couture collection, shown in Capri, Part II here. Italian fashion isn’t my personal mainstay, but those gowns are stunning and look like they move beautifully.

In other fashion news, a mom wrote a letter to Lands End about some of the clothing choices offered for her daughters. The company listened. High fives all around! Next stop, more variation for boys too – choices all around! The company is getting some criticism for being “too late,” but I think they should get credit for 1) acknowledging the validity of a criticism and 2) turning around a solution quickly. Another criticism is that they are only responding to stop negative press, to which I kind of say, “So?” They’re a business and someone pointed out that their marketing was costing them. So they amended their marketing and product to both reduce a stereotype and widen their market. That’s not just the right thing to do, it’s good business practice.

A surprisingly SFW list of 600 years of slang words for, in slang, making the beast with two backs. A very important vote now, which of these should be brought back immediately?

Political speculation time, is Romney going to run again? I hope not, but what do you think?

Yes. More advertising campaigns like this, thanks.

H/t to Ruth for this hilarious article. When we were at Teri’s for dinner last weekend, we all had a fascinating discussion about social media and perception that was quite fun.

Gigi New York’s released their fall handbag line and colors (it’s summer, retailers, calm down!), and I have to say, I am crushing hard on that kelly green.

Wedding gowns of yore; some pretty, some whacky.

What one take on living off the grid looks like.

Everybody else can go home, THIS is the best Women Against Feminism parody.

I’m currently off sugar and hating it. It is a drug and it is addicting. But in the midst of withdrawals, I find this Buzzfeed post intriguing.

Jeff and I have been doing something slightly out of the ordinary for us this year: going to summer blockbuster movies…and enjoying them! It’s inspired a lot of heated debate over the future of the movie industry vs. other forms of media, specifically streaming video, so this piece caught my eye. Weigh in.

I would not at all mind coming across one of these.

To round off the week, a thought provoking piece from The Federalist. Who guards the guardians when we don’t acknowledge the guardians anymore?

Friday Links (Chose the wrong month to go off sugar, Edition)

“What hath night to do with sleep?”
― John Milton, Paradise Lost

The links post is a text heavy one this week. Why you ask? Because I’ve spent nearly three days on a massive editing project that turned out to be much more labor intensive than anyone anticipated and was up to four in the morning reconciling drafts. I have digested a lot of text this week (including three books, surprisingly), so must you. It good for us.

This weekend I’m doing some volunteering and some napping and am pretty excited about both. Dinner this evening with Ruth and Teri also promises to be a much needed delight, though I might turn into a pumpkin and plead bed at a shockingly early hour. Here are your links, tell me what you’re up to this weekend in the comments!

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Goodness, are we already doing this? Live in the moment, entertainment industry! (That being said, I’m fairly intrigued by the next Pixar film…and In Heart of the Sea…and Crimson Peak…okay. Guilty.)

In related news, the first promotional images from the film adaptation of Into the Woods are out.

This woman has turned Beyonce songs into dramatic monolog. Required viewing, obviously.

Occasionally, yes, it does happen, someone needs to be rewarded for their online excellence. There’s a site for that.

Hooray, we’re doomed!

Interesting short piece on a Burmese skin/beauty product you’ve never heard of before.

A truly excellent response to the Women Against Feminism tumblr, which I will not link to here. (I initially thought I was reblogging and linking to it on my tumblr, which I use mostly for fun and to track images and stories I think are interesting and beautiful, but I didn’t realize that I had accidentally reblogged it on WordPress. The trial of too many media sites! That happened on Tuesday, and I took the post down, in case you saw it and wondered where it went. I’ve got nothing against reblogging in general, but I’ve never done it here so I thought it best not to start. Plus I want this author to get the clicks and the credit in her own right, because she basically dropped the mic.)

Congratulations. We have advanced to new and surprising levels of narcissism.

Interesting piece from The Atlantic on how we have too many lawyers…and several of them are trying to get out of the profession.




Friday Links

“Cheers to the freaking weekend…”
– Rhianna

Busy Friday prepping for a busy weekend. Here are your links, kittens, and tell me what you’re getting up to in the comments!

Fascinating story on the tale of a viral tweet.

Interesting and important piece from the NYT about the financial realities of freelancing and how writers are opening up about it. Finances are a constant presence for me since going freelance full time and in my first year, there have been plenty of months where I didn’t make what I wanted or needed to and our savings has had to come into play. Luckily I’m finally in a place where starvation isn’t a glaring possibility, but it still feels like a constant threat. In spite of recent successes and steady work!

The history of a severely undervalued garment.

For those interested on a longer view of Mormon Feminism (a history that dates back to the suffragettes) plus some perspective of it in the digital age, Nancy Ross, an acquaintance of mine does an admirable job of laying it out.

A video game idea generator, shared on Seth Godin’s blog and emailed to me from friend and Friend of the Blog Caitlin.

Your tumblr find of the week. (h/t Jeff)

H/t to my sister-in-law Camille for this series on wardrobe building. I edited down everything I owned to two suitcases when we moved to London and it was a great experience that’s really made me rethink clothes and possessions, so the idea of capsule wardrobes really interests me.

Existential Comics. Does what it says on the tin.

Rejoice, for Kate Beaton has posted new comics at Hark, a Vagrant and teased a new book. I particularly enjoy the Greek mythology one.

I can never resist a good batch of art remakes.

Or infographics of classical literature!