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Wesley Yang | Year Zero | 12th August 2021
Notes on the rise and fall of emotional support animals. US airline regulators finally decided in December that all pets, however supportive, must travel as cargo. "The move came after a year of lobbying by the airlines in the wake of zany news stories such as the case of the emotional support peacock that was forbidden entry on to a flight, and the 80-pound pig that defecated in the aisles" (1,630 words)
Karina Chow | Gitconnected | 30th July 2021
Glossary. Five tech idioms deserving wider currency. I knew about bikeshedding and dogfooding. Rubber-duck debugging and bus factors were new to me. Yak-shaving had long puzzled me, and now I understand: It means roughly the same as going down a rabbit hole — when one task leads to another, and then to another and another, taking you ever further from your original objective (1,900 words)
Marc Ribot | LitHub | 13th August 2021
A noise guitarist writes in praise of distortion. He loves to push an amplifier as far as it will go, and then some more. "The truth about playing really loud is this: on a really good night, nothing hurts — not howling volume, not airless rooms at sauna temperatures, not bleeding callouses, not a fever of 103, not a bottle in the head, not a recent divorce. Nothing much. Not till later" (1,940 words)
by Thomas Barfield | Courtesy of Five Books
A cultural and political history of Afghanistan, notable for how accessible and witty it is. Originally published in 2009, this single volume has since become a reference point for Afghanistan both among scholars and among officials in the US Army (408 pages)
Browser Interviews | 14th August 2021
Laura McInerney is an education journalist, app founder and former high school teacher. She was once taken to court by the UK government for asking a question. This week Laura and Baiqu discuss teaching teenagers, how the London Olympics brought people together, and tornados in Missouri (32m 18s, or read the transcript here).
"Life without industry is guilt. Industry without art is brutality"
— John Ruskin