This list of relatively new books on environmental history and policy looks pretty interesting, if you're into that sort of thing.
Noted: Ryan's Podcast Reviews. Worth checking occasionally, if you're looking for new podcasts.
I really enjoyed this article about the secret history of same-sex marriage.
Also this article on the history of breakfast...
Huh, a surprisingly good piece in the Atlantic about Native Americans and genetic testing.
I have to say, this doesn't surprise me in the least. The Emperor really does have no clothes. One of the most famous successes of the British Security Service was its great spy round-up of August 1914. The event is still celebrated by MI5, but a careful study of the recently-opened records show it to be a complete fabrication - MI5 created and perpetuated this remarkable lie. The bit about the gerbils is just fantastic.
Jessamyn West writes about settling her father's estate (and includes a link to Get Your Shit Together, which I definitely need to do). This is awesome. A few months into this slow-motion hackathon, we were celebrating my birthday. Friends put spitting smokey sparklers on cupcakes, trying to be festive. A disembodied voice from the ceiling started booming "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!" which, as it happens, is a line from the Bradbury story. As we extinguished the sparklers and I scrambled to figure out how to stop the yelling, the phone started ringing. A man's voice at the other end asked me for a password. This is how I learned that the house had an alarm system.
What a surprise: walking outside is good for your mental health. Now I feel all righteous, since I took TNG out for a good walk when I got home from work.
Oh, it's Wednesday. Cool.
Current reading: Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay, on audiobook. I last read this at least 15 years ago, and it was in my memory as one of the last non-annoying books he wrote. And it is definitely less annoying than his later work--rather less ponderous foreshadowing and so forth. But woe, is it overwritten. Every passing thought of each character gets multiple paragraphs of explication of their history and personal traumas, loaded with emotion and meaning. Nothing--and I mean nothing--is left for the reader to figure out. And when characters aren't obsessing over their own/their people's traumas, they're focusing obsessively on the interpersonal dynamics of their friends. Every little glance is noted, usually with a comment on how the glance is full of meaning that the onlooker can't interpret. It's just too much. Does Kay have no respect for the intelligence of his readers?
Argh. I want to edit this thing. It would be really good, if it lost about 30% of the unnecessary verbiage. But I can't even skim, because it's an audiobook. I hope I can persevere, but I'm wondering why I should bother...
Just finished: Texts from Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg. Which is just what you think it is. Fun and lighthearted and occasionally surprising, full of Mallory's gleeful misandry, and just enjoyable to read. It's not exactly long, but it doesn't need to be.
Up next: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, by Mark Twain. Last read this in college; it will be interesting to see if I remember any of it. For book club, naturally.