Bogota, Xi, Dads, Bridges, Cellini


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My Sensational Drama Queen

Juli Delgado Lopera | Stranger's Guide | 28th March 2021

Diary of a Saturday afternoon in Bogota. "Señoras in full rulo realness checking the ripeness of avocados on the fruit stand in the corner. Y siempre the altiplando cundiboyacense as our backdrop, the sabana cradling our bodies. Underneath the paved cement, the history of our home whispers its violence as the wheels of the bus continue: Bogotá is Muisca, Bogotá is indigenous land" (1,800 words)


Xi Jinping And Stalin

Geremie Barmé | China Heritage | 9th June 2021

Chinese leader Xi Jinping is following the example of Stalin and Mao in making "struggle" the organising principle of his dictatorship. Xi preserves his own supreme power by engineering conflicts among potential rivals. "When an individual penchant for purblind tyranny is informed by a sophisticated political theory, a breathtaking and deeply troubling vista unfolds" (16,100 words)


Evolution Of The Dad

Elizabeth Preston | Knowable | 15th June 2021

Human fathers are rare among mammals in taking part in the care of their young. This strategy is part of our evolutionary success — it allows more children to be born closer together — but it is far from clear why other animals don't do the same. Post birth, some fathers today experience reduced testosterone levels, "which may help them be more nurturing to their newborn children" (2,034 words)


Audio of the Week: A Bridge Too Far

Episode: "The Beautiful Bay Bridge Frank Lloyd Wright Never Got To Build" | Podcast: Bay Curious | 11m 17s

Frank Lloyd Wright designed dozens of buildings for San Francisco but only a handful of them were built. Among his unused projects is the "Butterfly Bridge", a proposal for a second bridge across the bay inspired by the curved lines of an insect's thorax. Built from concrete, his bridge would have had a central hanging garden where motorists could pull over and commune with nature (11m 17s)


Book Of The Week: The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini

by Benvenuto Cellini | Courtesy of  Five Books

Autobiography of an Italian Renaissance artist, with everything you might hope to find: Cellini drinks with Michelangelo (always referred to as 'the divine Michelangelo'), orchestrates murders, and even the leads defence of the Castel Sant’ Angelo, on the battlements alongside the Pope. And finally, wonderfully vivid descriptions of the process of bronze sculpting (504 pages)


Afterthought:
"I don't believe in anything you have to believe in"
— Fran Lebowitz


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