Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in December: dealing with perfectionism, the art of the supervillain, misinterpretations of historical photographs, hand exercises for artists, and more.
Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in October: stories that are neither character- nor plot-driven, the good guy/bad guy myth, thoughts on digital privacy, the history of women’s restroom lounges, and more.
Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in September: finances of book deals and self-publishing, China’s effect on Hollywood, thoughts on Instagram and Like buttons, how commuting has shaped cities, and more.
Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in March.
Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in November.
Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in September.
• Debut Advice: Self-care, Reviews, and Shifting from Reader to Writer by Paper Kyoko: “But in my experience, the sooner you put up boundaries and make a permanent mental shift from reader to writer, the better.”
• Strictly analogue: Polaroid’s past, present and future – a photo essay by Christian Sinibaldi and Mee-Lai Stone: Guardian photographer Christian Sinibaldi tours the world’s last Polaroid film factory, in the Netherlands, the only remaining factory still making film for the much-loved instant cameras
• Procrastination: It’s pretty much all in the mind by Nazima Pathan: “Experts say the study, in Psychological Science, underlines procrastination is more about managing emotions than time.”
• (Deliberate) practice makes perfect: how to become an expert in anything by Aytekin Tank: “And for most areas in our lives, a baseline level of skill is enough. But if we want to truly excel, we have to push past this complacency and out of our comfort zone.”
• Captain Marvel, explained by the people who reimagined her by Susana Polo
“Carol falls down all the time,” DeConnick says, “but she always gets back up — we say that about Captain America as well, but Captain America gets back up because it’s the right thing to do. Carol gets back up because ‘Fuck you.’
• The Victorian Cards That Explained How to Use a Book to Flirt by Natasha Frost: “Young people wanted to flirt with one another; the cards were just one very small part of what the pearl-clutching Morning Oregonian, in 1871, called “apparently innocent indulgences” that paved the way “to ruin.””
What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?
Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in June.
• The Key Book Publishing Paths: 2018 by Jane Friedman: a downloadable chart detailing the most common publishing options
• The 430 Books in Marilyn Monroe’s Library: How Many Have You Read? by Ayun Halliday
• A study on the financial state of visual artists today by The Creative Independent: “With this report, we hope to paint a clearer picture of how structures of the art world work (or don’t work) to grow artists’ careers, help them earn a living, and satisfy their overall human needs.”
• The Perfect Photo: Myth or Reality? by Emily Ludolph: “As creators, we can spend hours fine-tuning the tiniest details until we deem our end result “perfect.” But is there really such a thing as perfection when it comes to creativity?”
• Why photojournalism matters by Elodie Mailliet Storm: “This image is the result of ten years of John’s work documenting the U.S. Mexican border, way before it increasingly became “news” under the new Administration.”
• How Instagram’s algorithm works by Josh Constine
• Why Photography’s B&W vs Color Debate Is No Debate At All by Lars Mensel: “Just as black and white now looks reduced to our eyes, color must have seemed gaudy to the photographers of the 1950s: It looked like embellishment.”
This setup is perfect for people motivated primarily by diversion and duty — anyone with an internet connection has access to more high-quality information sources than Harvard professors 50 years ago could have dreamed of. It turns out that there just aren’t many people who want to take advantage of that; most of us are more into drama and display.
• #BotSpot: Twelve Ways to Spot a Bot by Ben Nimmo: Some tricks to identify fake Twitter accounts
• You Have to Fail a Little by Melissa Baumgart: “When I am flailing in my writing, certain I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, I put on Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse to remind myself that however bad it gets, it’s not as rough as being Francis Ford Coppola on the set of Apocalypse Now.”
• The Hidden Queer History Behind “A League of Their Own” by Britni de la Cretaz: “By not including a gay character’s story in “A League of Their Own,” the film does to the history of the league what the owners tried to do its existence—erase lesbians from the narrative.”
What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?
Every month, I put together a list of everything that caught my attention. Here’s April.
• How to read poetry like a professor an interview with Thomas Foster by Jake Nevins
• How Social Media Perpetuates Cliché Photography by Graham Hiemstra: Three key influencers discuss originality, the rise of copycat photographers, and the future of Instagram (via Goodbye Instagram, hello Ello by Samuel Zeller, which is also a very interesting read.)
• Can Instagram keep its nose clean? by Gian Volpicelli: “… it’s hard not to feel that Instagram lucked out, effectively airbrushing its public image amid Facebook’s whirlwind of scandals.”
• Nikon versus Canon: A Story Of Technology Change by Steven Sinofsky
• What’s the difference between a camera and a human eye? by Haje Jan Kamps: Or: What’s the ISO of a human eye?
• What about the Breakfast Club? by Molly Ringwald: “How are we meant to feel about art that we both love and oppose? What if we are in the unusual position of having helped create it?”
• Queens of Infamy: Eleanor of Aquitaine by Anne Thériault
Richard joined Eleanor after a few years, since she was ostensibly ruling in his name and he would one day have to take over as Duke of Aquitaine, and during this time the two became very close. You know that scene in Disney’s Robin Hood where a disconsolate Prince John mutters “mother always did like Richard best”? If that is not the truest line in any Disney movie ever, I don’t know what is.
• Style Is an Algorithm by Kyle Chayka
We find ourselves in a cultural uncanny valley, unable to differentiate between things created by humans and those generated by a human-trained equation run amok. In other words, what is the product of genuine taste and what is not.
I thought that this was going to be a new monthly feature for the blog, but it’s really just a revamp of one that I let slide two years ago. This time, instead of sharing one cool thing every week, I’ll be doing a monthly roundup of all the things (articles, videos, et cetera) that I can’t stop thinking about. Enjoy!
• Learning to Write Fluffy, Glittery Violence from My Little Pony by Seanan McGuire
You could get away with anything, if you made it fluffy and pink enough. You could destroy the whole world, as long as you were willing to cover it in glitter first.
Oh, this was going to be fun.
• Do You Want to Be Known For Your Writing, or For Your Swift Email Responses? by Melissa Febos: How Patriarchy Has Fucked Up Your Priorities
• The Organized Writer by Antony Johnston
• Meet the original single lady, who wrote the book on living alone by Laura Smith: Marjorie Hillis was the “spinster-in-chief” who showed women that they could make it on their own
• Frances Glessner Lee revolutionized forensic science by building mini crime scenes an excerpt from ‘BRAZEN: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World’ by Pénélope Bagieu
• I Choose My Pearls: On Feminism, Fashion, and Disneyland by Tabitha Blankenbiller
Women don’t need laws to repress their fashion, comfort, identity, or preference. Our society’s deft ability to shame does all the heavy lifting. Frontierland Feminist didn’t dismantle a patriarchal demand to regulate clothing; she picked up the baton.
• Losing its sparkle: the dark side of glitter by Ellie Violet Bramley
• Twitter’s Great Depression by Mike Monteiro
• The Incredible Possibility of a Year by Paul Jun
• You’re Most Likely to Do Something Extreme Right Before You Turn 30 by Daniel H. Pink (via The Art of Non-Conformity)
What allowed me to change and prosper was the freedom to grow apart and lose touch with people. It’s hard to change yourself if you’re stuck in the same social orbit. There’s a gravitational force that pulls you into repeating the same circular pattern over and over again. Breaking out of that takes tremendous force.
• My inner 15-year-old just found her new favourite band:
Around 1856, Virginia Oldoini, the Countess of Castiglione and mistress to Napoleon III (and ‘secret agent’), began working with the photographer Pierre-Louis Pierson. Over the next several decades, the two produced over 700 photographs—taken by Pierson, but better classified as self-portraits by the Countess. She obsessively directed each detail of the photographs, from angle and lighting to final approval on the prints.