Carbon, Books, Prudence, Bach, Navy

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The Messy Truth About Carbon Footprints

Sami Grover | Undark | 9th September 2021

The idea of the personal carbon footprint has fallen out of favour of late. Critics argue that once fossil fuel interests co-opted the technique as a form of greenwashing, scrutinising one person's impact on the environment became meaningless. But self examination is never a bad thing, and having a way of knowing what lifestyle changes make a difference does matter (1,054 words)

Italy’s Book Doctor

Luisa Grosso | Craftsmanship Quarterly | 9th July 2021

Conservator Pietro Livi is in high demand with flooded archives and museums. He studied book restoration with Benedictine friars and over his decades of work has put together "a kind of Renaissance workshop" of different artisans who can, between them, save a priceless manuscript. They have been working non stop since the Venetian flood of 2019, which damaged 25,000 texts and scores (899 words)

Help! I Keep Writing Fake Agony Aunt Letters

Bennett Madison | Gawker | 13th September 2021

Writer confesses to submitting dozens of fictional letters to an advice column. They were regularly published and nobody seemed to realise or care that they were invented. "I learned that a good letter is defined by two opposing values: it must be plausible, but it must also be ridiculous." He targeted just one column — Dear Prudence at Slate — and considered the columnist his nemesis (1,953 words)

Video: Eight Levels Of Bach | Shutian Cheng. An aspiring concert pianist plays eight extracts from different works by Bach, each more difficult than the last. Onscreen annotations explain the techniques demanded by each piece (6m 39s)

Podcast: The Missing Ships, 1944-45 | The Kraken Busters. The US Navy has a surprising history of conflicts with supposedly mythical creatures. This episode tells the story of how one such incident went down during WW2 (23m 33s)

Interview: Steve Randy Waldman writes about finance, economics, and politics at He talks to Baiqu Gonkar about wading in the river of intellectual life, the dynamics of capitalism, and the evolution of the blogosphere
(24m 15s, or read the transcript here)

"Of all the qualities that enable Kant to achieve so much, one is inconsistency"
Derek Parfit

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