I have to get this out of the way:
Dang. These stories are still out there! Now, some stories you may have missed but shouldn’t:
I’m delighted to start today’s link post with one of my own: my CityLab debut, “Why Do Passengers Insist on Crowding Around Subway Doors?“ This was legitimately a classic “This thing really gets my goat, I wonder if I can write about it?” And I learned a lot about the psychology of manspreading, sidewalk rage, game theory at crosswalks and the effects of carpool lanes on congestion, none of which made it into the final article — but I’m pleased to be able to talk about environmental psychology on public transit, with some help from Dr. Richard Wener of NYU’s Sustainable Urban Environments program. Want to be part of the solution, or just learn the secret to a more comfortable commute? Read on!
- Terry Gross is a master class in interviewing all on her own. I only just started listening to Fresh Air after a podcast subscription binge (thanks, Sampler!), but I was riveted by her conversation with Sue Klebold, the mother of one of the two Columbine mass shooters. Both women discuss the most difficult, unimaginable topics with grace, honesty and compassion.
- Pacific Standard recently highlighted one underreported problem within environmental conservation movements — its advocates keep being murdered.
- With the Zika virus and microcephaly making headlines, conspiracy theories about its origins are sure to follow. On the Media took 10 minutes and some good science reporting to dispel the notion that eternal bogeyman Monsanto is behind this particular outbreak.
- The new vacancy on the Supreme Court has inspired immensely bad behavior from many leaders in the Republican party, leading to some very dark responses. The Atlantic posits this showdown may finally provoke the correction against extremism the GOP as a party and the nation as a whole desperately needs.
- Fast Company looks at how to build a nuclear bomb — with a Rolodex.
This would have been such a different list if I had gotten it out on Friday like I intended. But then I would have missed the chance to write about the straight-up nuclear bombshell that was the death of a major and polarizing Supreme Court justice immediately before a GOP presidential debate. Instead of streaming it online, I chose to watch the Roberto Mendoza episodes of The West Wing while checking in on Twitter. Edward James Olmos is still magnificent, and we should be so lucky to get a jurist like Mendoza next. Meanwhile, in South Carolina…
There were a lot of good takes and funny tweets, and everyone has their collection, I’m sure. For those of us certain that the hot takes are only going to get hotter as the year drags on, here are some links that have nothing to do with Scalia, the debate or even the polar vortex currently confining me to my 1BR in Brooklyn.
- There’s still room for thoughts about “Formation,” right? It’s only been a week, and Beyoncé’s video is, of course, rich fodder for The Discourse. Jesmyn Ward wrote a stirring celebration of the bama identity for NPR, while Maris Jones for Black Girl Dangerous took the singer to task for her use of Hurricane Katrina imagery.
- It’s also been a week since the Super Bowl, which means you ought to read Gabriel Thompson’s first-person investigation into the workers who staff these events. One beer costs more than they make per hour, and that’s just the start of it.
- You may have heard that scientists finally confirmed a 100-year-old theory about gravity by Einstein. This is an actual big deal! Try watching the New York Times video explaining it all and not getting a lump in your throat. The New Yorker‘s long behind-the-scenes narrative is next on my reading list.
- Okay, there are still some politics things I want to share. In October, the Nation wrote about how the GOP’s “current crackup” is the inevitable end result of Nixon’s Southern strategy. Somehow Ohio Gov. John Kasich is emerging as the “most sensible” of the Republican lineup, but plenty of Ohioans (myself among them) have a very different perspective. Here’s an Atlantic profile from last spring. If you’re sorry Scott Walker is out of the mix, this may be the guy the for you.
- An uplifting note to end on: I just read James Fallows’ long summary of crisscrossing the United States in a small airplane to study how cities and towns of all sizes are pulling themselves together outside the hysteria of The Discourse. A good read on a lot of levels.
Okay, I keep lying about being done. But this ties everything together so nicely, and I just can’t resist: