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.

Fore!

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.

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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.