FIndings, David Lynch, London Food, Teju Cole, Khrushchev

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Rafil Kroll-Zaidi | Harper's | 27th September 2016

News from the world of science. “Reading Harry Potter books worsens Americans’ attitudes toward Donald Trump. Native Amazonians are indifferent to dissonance. The hedonically inclined have a larger left globus pallidus. Nanog reactivates stem cells in progeriacs. An Indian snake charmer attempted suicide by cobra. Scientists now know the reasons for concrete creep but do not know whether garlicky breast milk influences babies’ preferences later in life” (520 words)

The Eraserhead Baby From Space

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky | AV Club | 27th September 2016

Revisiting David Lynch’s Dune, a critical and commercial fiasco when released in 1984. “Lynch is an avant-garde filmmaker who has always been fairly accessible, and yet his one early attempt at a mainstream hit qualifies as one of his most esoteric films. The proverbial average viewer understands that movies like Eraserhead and Lost Highway are meant to evoke a state of nightmare. But what the hell is going on in Dune? It is grotesque and decadent, silly in spots, often hypnotic” (1,390 words)

No More Daily Bread

Bee Wilson | London Essays | 21st June 2016

Nineteenth-century Londoners, rich and poor, were united at least in the food that they ate. Almost half-a-million sandwiches were sold on the London streets in 1851, and “all of them were ham”. Billingsgate market sold ten million eels and eight million herrings per year. Bread was the same everywhere — a four-pound loaf made with boiled potatoes. “There were 2,500 bakers making and selling this quartern bread in London in 1853; a single flavour and texture uniting rich and poor” (2,100 words)

Far Away From Here

Teju Cole | White Noise | 24th September 2016

In Switzerland for a writer’s residency, Teju Cole reaches for his camera: “As I shot more and more, I saw that I was drawn to signs, to mirrors in the landscapes, to maps and globes. I became less interested in populating my images and more interested in traces of the human without human presence. I used deep shadows less frequently than I had in the past. I learned how a number of tightly argued photos should be followed by one or two that are simpler and more ventilated” (4,682 words)

The Jones Project

Ross Ufberg | Lapham's Quarterly | 27th September 2016

Ousted from power in 1963, Nikita Khrushchev dictated his memoirs and smuggled them out of the Soviet Union via a KGB-linked literary agent, for publication in the United States by Time Inc. Strobe Talbott, then a young Rhodes scholar, was asked to write a reader’s report on the manuscript. “After ten hours, Talbott emerged with a summary of the manuscript that blew Schecter and the editors from Time Inc. and Little, Brown away. Talbott was hired to translate it” (3,900 words)

Video of the day: Master Procrastinator

What to expect:

TED talk. Tim Urban, of Wait But Why, explains why he never gets things done until the last moment (14’03”)

Thought for the day

For the process of destruction, all false arguments are valid
J.W. von Goethe, on argument

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