May 30, 2021

No ideas to explore

I have nothing to say. No stories to tell, no insights to share, no ideas to explore.

I’ve been sitting on this list of links for weeks now, waiting for inspiration to strike so I can write a nice preamble before posting the links, but I’ve come up empty. I have nothing to say.

In the interest of sharing these links and not having them sit in my bookmarks for weeks, I’m publishing this blog post now even though I have nothing to say here, in the introduction. I hope you find the links useful, and that you find yourselves with lots of stories to tell, insights to share, and ideas to explore in the coming weeks.

Two poems

Running Orders
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

They call us now,
before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
This is David.”
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass-shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think, Do I know any Davids in Gaza?
They call us now to say
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of
war-time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
Just run.
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
to nowhere.
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are.
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.

Fuck Your Lecture on Craft, My People Are Dying
Noor Hindi

Colonizers write about flowers.
I tell you about children throwing rocks at Israeli tanks
seconds before becoming daisies.
I want to be like those poets who care about the moon.
Palestinians don’t see the moon from jail cells and prisons.
It’s so beautiful, the moon.
They’re so beautiful, the flowers.
I pick flowers for my dead father when I’m sad.
He watches Al Jazeera all day.
I wish Jessica would stop texting me Happy Ramadan.
I know I’m American because when I walk into a room something dies.
Metaphors about death are for poets who think ghosts care about sound.
When I die, I promise to haunt you forever.
One day, I’ll write about the flowers like we own them.

Television producer Joel Gallen, director of the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame broadcast now famous for Prince’s guitar solo during While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” recently uploaded a re-edited version with more Prince.

Yahoo destroyed some of my favorite places on the internet—Flickr,, Upcoming, and Tumblr—where I spent most of my online time over the years. They are, perhaps, the villain of the internet as we know it.

Something I’ve been repeating all my life: it’s far better to grow up to be kind and caring than it is to be successful.

Working remotely for the last year has revealed just how much of office culture is accidental, arbitrary, and sexist.“

I’m fascinated by memory and how we remember things; how will we remember this pandemic, and what are the stories we’ll tell about it?

Two newish newsletters that speak to two of my deepest interests: walking in cities and tinned seafood. I feel as though I should be writing for both of these.

Why does architecture today feel so lifeless? How can we bring back the awe and joy and wonder that came from buildings before?

I think we’ve fetishized the idea that your job should be your passion. It’s ok for your job to just be a job. AMEN.

Why are volunteers being expected to deliver crucial civic services? / What kinds of issues come up when government abdicates its responsibility to citizen volunteers?

As more and more people are getting vaccinated, this interactive look at how Pfizer makes its COVID vaccine is fascinating and enlightening.

I got vaccinated last week, but I’m still taking every precaution before I do anything;. post-vaccination inertia is definitely real.

Why aren’t people getting vaccinated? All the reasons feel shallow and individualistic to me; if you want to make the world safer for the people around you, get the vaccine.

Desus & Mero go to the Met.

A comic on coping with pandemic numbness.

Maybe instead of chasing unhealthy levels of productivity, we should just embrace doing nothing for a little while.

Having, and raising, a baby in the pandemic has been really, really hard. We’re cherishing the moments, but can’t wait until things get back to some semblance of normal.

This is an important piece on how modern motherhood needs to change to better support women, but this line resonated with me because I have felt the same over the past ten months: I have felt as if I am failing every single day since my son was born 11 years ago.”

A map of the world’s lighthouses, showing the location, color, range, and flashing pattern of each lighthouse, where the data is available.

The world’s glaciers are melting at an ever-increasing pace, and this Guardian visualization makes that ice loss starkly visible.

The U.S. is a diverse nation of immigrants—but it was not intended to be.

If you ever had a Tamagotchi growing up, you may feel solidarity with people who refused to reset theirs and buried them instead.

I used to be much better at cultivating friendships across people of all ages, but haven’t done so well at that recently.

My nickname was Paddington” growing up, so naturally I love this project by Reddit user JaytheChou who is photoshopping Paddington Bear into one new movie scene every day.

I loved Nomadland, and this piece captures much of its appeal.

And an excerpt from a recent issue of griefbacon, Here Is The CDCs New List of Activities in Which Fully Vaccinated People Can Engage Without Masks,” because the whole issue is excellent:

Ordering two pizzas for two people because you can’t decide what kind of pizza you both want and having that brief, shimmering, utterly false sense that adulthood is about getting to do whatever you like, no parents and no rules and a pizza party every day, and then crashing back down to the reality that it is in fact exactly the opposite, and that things like ordering way too much pizza for two people just because you can are small and useless band-aids on the large wounds of a life inextricably and ceaselessly ruled by money and logistics, by filling out forms, by trying to gain the good favor of a faceless system that does not and cannot care about you, and that at every moment you are trying to run on a broken treadmill that is going too fast. Later the two pizzas will be a line item in a budget and the budget will be a hard conversation and the hard conversation will be part of trying to stop the overflow of an enormous river with your two tiny hands. Sometimes it seems like there is nothing to do about that unshakeable sense that everyone else except you has figured out how to live in something other than precarity, has figured out how to make a life for themselves with rest stops and guardrails, and you are so scared, every day, from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep, but now there are two pizzas and the boxes are warm and the cheese stains through in little spots and you put them down on the counter and your cat hops up and tries to sleep on top of one because it’s cardboard and it’s warm, and it’s not untrue that adulthood is a pizza party every day, it’s just that the pizza party is this tiny little island in the middle of all the fear and all the things that don’t work, all the corners that don’t line up. But you pick up your cat, who is now a little bit warmer on one side from the pizza box, and move them back to the floor, and open the box and pull out a slice and the cheese strings sing up unbelievably long like in a TV show, and you think how can a life be so difficult and cold in the aggregate and so warm and easy in the single moments of it, and you take two slices of pizza to the living room on a plate and eat them folded expertly with one hand, just like a pizza party.

This is stunning work by Elyse Dodge and I can’t stop looking at these pieces:

Pixelated landscape and mountains by Elyse Dodge

All the winners of the 2021 Sony World Photography Awards are incredible:

A woman dries trays of fish at Long Hai fish market

A comic strip that speaks to my soul:

Comic: Do you ever think? An excruciating amount, yes.

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