Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Chat: Ridiculous party themes

I had a 1920s British country house murder mystery party for my birthday last weekend, and while my mom and I were poking around for ideas, we found some CRAZY but seemingly earnest lists of party themes. (Anna Karenina, anyone?) I started brainstorming joke party themes for some of my favorite shows and books but got stuck on these two really good ones and didn't end up making a post out of it. What are YOUR ideas?

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Party - Give each guest a cup of tea and a section of newspaper and have them read silently while occasionally making meaningful eye contact. Later, make everyone file into your dining room decorated as a conference room, where they will say as little as possibly as cryptically as possible.

Grantchester Party - Dance with your crush to one really upbeat, fun song, then go home and lock yourself in your room listening to jazz and drinking whisky.

What else??

Morning Coffee (7/28/17)

I usually avoid political stuff in the Friday happy posts, but OH MY GOD WE WOKE UP TO GOOD POLITICAL NEWS AND I DON'T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE IT. The night John McCain killed the GOP’s health-care fight

Speaking of things I don't know how to handle: THE TOAST CAME BACK FOR ONE DAY. That's a link to one post but there's a whole day of content, go read it.

This was GOING to be the one good news story of the week, but it's still pretty great: Woolly jumpers: rabbits ride on sheep to stay dry in flood

These people are speaking my language: The Best Part of 'Dunkirk' Is the Sweaters

Aw, we've got a new picture of Prince George for his fourth birthday.

!!! Game of Thrones' Hot Pie Opened A New Bakery Called 'You Know Nothing Jon Dough'

I love looking at luggage and the Fug Girls have a nice roundup.

Related: The golden age of luggage labels – in pictures

The Most Enticing-Looking Desserts From Starbucks Locations Around The World Let's go!

Ooh: Over 60,000 Plants Bloom Inside the World’s Largest Orchid Garden

Whoa, look at this glow-in-the-dark library.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/27/17)

This look at a true crime convention is fascinating: DNA or It Didn’t Happen

Back from the Front: Tracking down WW1 grave markers

The 19th-Century Lithuanians Who Smuggled Books to Save Their Language

The Lady Anatomist Who Brought Dead Bodies to Light

The Fiercely Precise World of Competitive Table-Setting

Morning Coffee (7/27/17)

Slaves of Isis: the long walk of the Yazidi women

They kept us as slaves: AP reveals claims against church

I am SO ANGRY about this: Trump Says Transgender People Will Not Be Allowed in the Military

The Senate Health-Care Vote and John McCain’s Tragic Contradictions

Sen. Susan Collins Said Some Real Good Shit on a Hot Mic

SIGH: Having a woman on your team ruins your chances for VC funding

Australian Football Becomes an Unlikely Force in the Gay Rights Movement

This happened at my friend's library! Librarian Finds Live Civil-War Artillery Shells on Her First Day

Found: The ‘Cell’ of a 6th-Century Monk in Scotland (They're burying the lede here: They think it's St. Columba's!!)

An Experiment in Zurich Brings Us Nearer to a Black Hole’s Mysteries

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/26/17)

Does It Really Matter How You See Dunkirk?

England’s Centuries-Old Fascination With Carving Giant Horses Into Hillsides

The Commodification of Orthodox Judaism

Goodnight, Too-Large-to-Be-Astronomically-Accurate Moon

This Japanese Scroll Was Re-Printed a Million Times—700 Years Before Gutenberg

Morning Coffee (7/26/17)

This is a big deal: 111 N.F.L. Brains. All But One Had C.T.E.

Senate Democrats can’t stop a health care vote. Here’s what they’ll do instead.

Wow: In 47 states, a smaller part of the population now approves of Trump than voted for him

Whatever You Do, Do Not Take Your Eye Off Trump’s War on Science

Anti-Semitism among so-called progressives is something that deserves more attention.

Oh cool: World's first floating wind farm emerges off coast of Scotland

How to make $100,000 a month in China, live-streaming your life

Tech giant SAP is probing its South Africa office for kickbacks paid to president Zuma’s cronies

Churchill tried to suppress Nazi plot to restore Edward VIII to British throne

Ooh: Why champagne sorbet might be illegal

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/25/17)

This is HILARIOUS: I watched in bewilderment while a man tried to return butternut squash because he thought it was cheese

Crime and the City: A Sleepy Little Murdertown Called Reykjavik

Which Country Reads the Most? A Guide to Global Reading Habits

This series is always great: JD and Kate Visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

How Hoop Skirts Led to Tape Measures

Morning Coffee (7/25/17)

Where are the bodies buried in North Korea? Investigators try to prepare for future trials.

At 15, she joined ISIS after converting to Islam. Now this German teen wants to go home.

This is fascinating: The Female Warlord Who Had C.I.A. Connections and Opium Routes

Behind a Chinese Powerhouse, a Web of Family Financial Ties

I just... as a friend said this morning on Facebook, I honestly thought Trump would do better at the purely performative aspects of the job like, say, giving non-political speeches to Boy Scouts, but... no: The 14 Most Inappropriate Moments from Trump’s Speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree

Well. The Coach From The Blind Side Just Resigned Over a Scandal Involving Escorts, Bongs, and a Man Named Houston Nutt

!!! An Obituary for Microsoft Paint

This is so cool: Want to tour the International Space Station? You can now use Google Street View

Let's go: Monet's UK parliament paintings to feature in Tate Britain exhibition

Huh, interesting concept: A Spy Novel Whose Clues Are Found on New York Landmarks

Monday, July 24, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/24/17)

Jezebel's new advice column has started!

In praise of mediocre summer reads.

Watch How (Slowly) News of the Declaration of Independence Spread in Real Time

Hahahaha: Jane Austen Gives Your Weekend Safety Brief

The Rare-Book Thief Who Looted College Libraries in the ’80s

Morning Coffee (7/24/17)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

What a surprise: Trump team seeks to control, block Mueller’s Russia investigation

Interesting: Where Trump has been for every minute of his first six months as president

I really hope these kids are okay and have safely defected to Canada, if that is indeed their goal: Burundi Robotics Team Vanishes After U.S. Competition

Crying forever: An Artist Turned Hillary Clinton’s Election-Night Confetti Into a Giant Snow Globe

This is quite a story, and also basically the plot of 45 Years: Bodies of Swiss Couple Buried in Glacier for 75 Years Are Identified

Most female homicide victims are killed by husbands or other intimate partners, new report shows

Well, good: Amid Pay Gap Criticism, BBC Says New 'Doctor Who' Actress Will Be Paid Same as Current Star

Huh: YouTube Starts Redirecting Searches for Terrorist Content to Anti-Hate Videos

Whoa: Researchers 3D-printed a soft artificial heart that beats like a human one

Humans First Arrived in Australia 65,000 Years Ago, Study Suggests

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Chat - Birthday Cake!

I'm off to celebrate my birthday with my family this weekend, so... what's your traditional family birthday cake? Ours is devil's food cake with cream cheese frosting and coconut.

Morning Coffee (7/21/17)

Time for a break for some happy Friday links!

Your Friday absolutely needs John Boyega's GQ cover story.

Your Friday may also need adorable royal children. Go Fug Yourself has great coverage of the Cambridges' trip to Poland and Germany - start here.

Need another cute baby pic? Adult Justin Trudeau held his namesake Baby Justin Trudeau.

Ahhhh, I hope this comes somewhere nearby! Christmas in the Wizarding World to bring Harry Potter magic to holiday shopping

I'm so excited about the new books about the history of magic in the Harry Potter world.

I want to go to Disney's space restaurant!

Ooh, this sounds good and I hope they expand it to all locations: Starbucks Just Added A New Vegan Lunch Option

I AGREE: You Should Be Making (and Eating) More Icebox Cakes

Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" Finalists Are Here & They Are Wackier Than Ever (I want to try the everything bagel and cream cheese one, at least.)

Need some escapism? 17 of the Most Over-the-top Hotel Suites in the World

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/20/17)

IMPORTANT: I Know How to Push the Button for the Elevator

When Progress Ebbs: Career Women at the Turn of the 20th Century

“From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” Fifty Years Later

Mapping Dante’s Inferno, One Circle of Hell at a Time

When 1980s Satanic Panic Targeted Procter & Gamble

Morning Coffee (7/20/17)

'People are getting poorer': hunger and homelessness as Brazil crisis deepens

A much-feared Taliban offshoot returns from the dead

Sad news: John McCain has brain cancer.

Sure, that doesn't sound important or anything: War Crimes Office May Be Closed in State Dept. Reorganization

Ugh, this guy: Citing Recusal, Trump Says He Wouldn’t Have Hired Sessions

Trump can’t make a health care deal because he doesn’t understand health care

This was very interesting and informative, and I now have a ticket to see it in IMAX 70mm. Dunkirk is playing in a lot of formats. Here’s how each affects your viewing experience.

BBC Publishes Pay of Top Stars, Revealing Gender Gap

!! 258-year-old cannonball unearthed in Quebec City may still be explosive

This Cave Holds a Spectacular Record of 5,000 Years of Tsunamis

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/19/17)

Cool: More Than Bread: Sourdough As a Window Into The Microbiome

Why Are We So Unwilling to Take Sylvia Plath at Her Word?

Where the Cocktail Party Came From (A Waugh pops up in that story, of course.)

The Revival of John Quincy Adams

Take a Stroll Through Jane Austen’s England With This Interactive Map

Morning Coffee (7/19/17)

Afghanistan More Deadly for Women and Children, U.N. Says

Trump Is Showing The World What A Weak American Presidency Looks Like

3 GOP women were left out of the Senate’s Obamacare repeal effort. They just tanked it.

Obviously what this story needed was a money launderer: Eighth person in Trump Tower meeting is identified

Parody but JUST BARELY: It’s Time for Hillary Clinton to Gracefully Bow Out of Public Life, Along with All Other Women

Here's the new Jane Austen banknote!

A New Front in the War Over Reproductive Rights: ‘Abortion-Pill Reversal’

This story is wild: An overdose, a young companion, drug-fueled parties: The secret life of USC med school dean

!!! Mysterious Sheet Music Confirmed to Be Lost Work of Gustav Holst

Tintagel excavations reveal refined tastes of medieval settlers

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/18/17)

This is amazing: The American Experience in 737 Novels

Huh, cool: Resurrecting Ancient Wines That Can Survive Climate Change

Buried in Beads 4,000 Years Ago, This Chiefly Family Lives Again

I promise this is more interesting than it sounds: What the Enron E-mails Say About Us

The Hidden Rules of the Puritan Fashion Police

Morning Coffee (7/18/17)

Fingers crossed that this sticks... Health Care Overhaul Collapses as Two Republican Senators Defect

UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials

Trump lawyer: Secret Service let the Russia meeting happen. Secret Service: Nope.

You should care about the Trump-Russia scandal

This awesome secret resistance project that I've been helping with was finally announced yesterday! (That goes to a PDF, just to warn you.)

Ooh: Comey’s Writing a Book, and Publishers Are Eager to Pay Big Money for It

R. Kelly Is Holding Women Against Their Will In A “Cult,” Parents Told Police

Aw, good for Colin Baker: I was the Doctor and I’m over the moon that at last we have a female lead

I kinda can't believe there wasn't a sandwich already: Apple previews new emoji coming later this year

The Secret Engravings Found on a Neolithic Rock Formation

Monday, July 17, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/17/17)

Fiery Heaven, Bastard Earth: The Cosmology of “Game of Thrones”

The Long, Storied Controversy Over Cheese on Apple Pie (I am in favor.)

This is fascinating: Death and Taxonomies

The Word Choices That Explain Why Jane Austen Endures (And this actually isn't all about Austen - there's some interesting stuff about the evolution of language in novels in general.)

This 1797 Impeachment Has Never Been Fully Resolved

Morning Coffee (7/17/17)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

Aaah, A Wrinkle in Time trailer! It looks amazing.

Ooh, at long last: Our new Doctor (as in Doctor Who) is Jodie Whittaker!

This seems fine: White House Publishes Names, Emails, Phone Numbers, Home Addresses of Critics

Whoa: A Font Is at the Heart of Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s Legal Troubles

This profile was an unending delight: Meet the Next President Kennedy (I have, in fact, met him, and he was impressive in person as well.)

The Alt-Right Branding War Has Torn the Movement in Two

Key takeaways on how Americans view – and experience – online harassment

Are people and apes the only ones that can plan ahead? Quoth the raven ‘nevermore.’

Toscanini, Trump, and Classical Music as a Tool of Power

The Site of the Salem Witch Trial Hangings Finally Has a Memorial

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Chat: Summer Dinners

What do you eat when it's hot out??? I guess the right answer here is "salad" but I hate making salad for one person. What are your other summer go-tos?

Alternatively: Why isn't it fall yet?

Morning Coffee (7/14/17)

Okay, let's take a break from current events for some happy Friday links!

Yes please: Steal Your Summer Reading List From Hillary Clinton

Whoa: Celebrating 20 years of The Philosopher’s Stone inside the mini-Hogwarts in New York City

This is pretty much my favorite headline ever: A Song of Ice and Fire and Soup

I'm very excited about the Game of Thrones touring exhibition. Please come to Boston!

If you'd like to look at some pretty and some TERRIBLE dresses, the Fug Girls have the Highlights of Paris Haute Couture Week.

Yay! The Ask a Manager book is coming!

I feel like this is THE BEST thing to be named after a five-year-old, really: New train to be named after Princess Estelle

I don't understand why Haribo isn't making their Prince Harry candy generally available. Don't they like money??

!! 29 Adorable Photos Of Babies Who Already Love Harry Potter

Let's run off to the Lake District.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/13/17)

In Praise of Daphne du Maurier

A Baker’s Crusade: Rescuing the Famed French Boulangerie

Ooh! Religion in American History: A Short Syllabus

Heh: The Welshest word on the planet – and nine other phrasebook essentials. Hŵre!

When it Comes to Historical Markers, Every Word Matters

Morning Coffee (7/13/17)

"Beyond the criminal and moral issues at stake, this incident should make us doubt the basic competence of the people the president has chosen to advise him and help run the country."

This piece is so good and important: Hating Trump Doesn't Make A Man A Feminist

All the President's Lawyers

Hee: How to Talk to Your Teen About Colluding with Russia

Not that this will really matter to anything but: Exclusive: House Democrats introduce new plan to fix Obamacare

Aaaaaah! A Wrinkle in Time first look: Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and more ("And more" includes Chris Pine JUST SAYING)

There’s a lot of bias in astronomy — and women of color are hurt the most

In Poland, a Battle for the Fate of Europe’s Last Ancient Forest

Useful! Lots of ‘craft’ beer is brewed by Anheuser-Busch. Here’s how to spot the real stuff.

Found: Three Cases of Madeira Bought for John Adams’ Presidency

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/12/17)

This is really neat: 22 Ambassadors Recommend the One Book to Read Before Visiting Their Country

The Secret (Lunch) Lives of Remarkable Women

Silenced by the Rest Cure: A history of the psychological treatment for nervous women

This Unremembered US-France ‘Quasi War’ Shaped Early America’s Foreign Relations

How Literature Helped My Father and I Survive Life in a Cult

Morning Coffee (7/12/17)

UGH: New Hampshire Law Toughens Voting Registration Requirements

Russian Dirt on Clinton? ‘I Love It,’ Donald Trump Jr. Said

What Donald Trump Jr. did was wrong and maybe illegal. But it wasn’t treason.

Donald Trump Jr.’s legal problems

3 Lawsuits Filed Against White House Panel on Voter Fraud

A Secretaries of State Meeting Used to Be Friendly. Then the White House Asked for Voter Data.

!!! This is always traumatic: Kermit the Frog to get new voice after 27 years as puppeteer steps down

This was fascinating: ‘I Have Passed the Point of Reacting’: How the Watergate News Cycle Reads Today

Huh: Saint Teresa's famous blue-rimmed white cotton sari trademarked

OH GOOD: Drinking more coffee leads to a longer life, two studies say

Oh cool: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone finally arrives in Scots translation

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/11/17)

Cool! Royal Shakespeare Company to Monitor Heart Rates at ‘Titus Andronicus’

Zelda Fitzgerald's Ballet Years

The Glamorous Pearl Earring King Charles I Wore to His Execution

This is so interesting: Why People From Manchester Are Mancunians, Not Manchesterians

I need to read more Philip Kerr: The Third Reich's Good Cop

Morning Coffee (7/11/17)

I almost can't believe it's so blatant: Trump Jr. Was Told in Email of Russian Effort to Aid Campaign

Iraqi forces declare victory over Islamic State in Mosul, but fighting continues

What Iraqi Women's Lives Look Like After ISIS

NY Mag has quite the Steve Bannon profile: Attack, Attack, Attack

The National Enquirer's Fervor for Trump

Interesting: This Chart Shows How Your State Government Is Funded

Nice! Sesame Workshop Debuts New Male Afghan Character Zeerak

I am skeptical, the Guardian: Author of mysterious Voynich manuscript was Italian Jew, says scholar

Skeptical! Newly discovered photo reignites Amelia Earhart conspiracy theory

Ancient Romans made world’s ‘most durable’ concrete. We might use it to stop rising seas.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/10/17)

This is your brain on Disneyland: A Disney addict's quest to discover why he loves the parks so much

How Archaeologists Crammed 1500 Years of Roman History Into One Map

“On the Side of the L-law”: Boris Akunin’s Russian Detective

Aww: For Teammates in Love, an Island Oasis

This is both good advice and a joy to read: “How do I have the ‘is this a real relationship?’ talk with someone without messing up the relationship?”

Morning Coffee (7/10/17)

Me elsewhere: The week's TV news.

U.S. officials say Russian government hackers have penetrated energy and nuclear company business networks

Trump’s Son Met With Russian Lawyer After Being Promised Damaging Information on Clinton (AND ADMITTED THAT WAS THE REASON, just to be clear.)

Life in Bangladesh’s Former Caliphate

State Department Tries to Start “Fake Twitter Feud,” Understands Neither Feuds nor Twitter

We Need to Stop This “Andrew Cuomo 2020” Nonsense Immediately

Sigh: A Muslim activist referenced jihad and the right freaked out because they don’t know what it means

Heh: Scientists are about to change what a kilogram is. That’s massive.

This Agatha Christie miniseries is casting everybody I like. Thanks!

I really cannot blame him: Edward Albee’s Final Wish Was for His Unfinished Work to Be Completely Destroyed

Found: Evidence That Humans Have Been Eating Potatoes in North America for Over 10,000 Years

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday Chat: Advice Columns!

I love advice columns. I've never written to one, but when they're well done, they're such good reading. People display such an unimaginable range of crazy behavior that other people have to deal with! Do you also love advice columns? There must be some great ones out there I don't know about. What are your favorites??


Dear Prudence, of course - I read it before but now that's it's written by the great Mallory Ortberg it's a constant joy.

Ask a Manager might be mostly of interest to those of us who work office jobs, but it's surprisingly fascinating.

Captain Awkward is good general advice that is particularly attuned to people with a variety of characteristics that might not make them the "typical" person for traditional advice columns - lots about questions of coming out, dealing with abusive or just unhealthy family relationships, navigating a social life with disabilities or health challenges, etc.

What awesome ones am I missing??

Morning Coffee (7/7/17)

Time for our customary happy Friday links!

Ooh, more casting for the new Little Women, finally!

This is the kind of hard-hitting international news I want to see right now: Shetland Pony tries to eat The Queen’s flowers

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Made the Queen of England Laugh (That was kind of him. Do you think we could get him to start traveling around making all of us laugh? That sounds useful.)

I know the person who sent me this amazing link yesterday TRULY LOVES ME: Use a Packing Grid to Ensure You Have Everything You Need for a Trip

This one I will absolutely try: Oreo Is Doing A Coffee-Flavored Collab With Dunkin' Donuts

Aw! This Aquarium Has a 'Naughty Penguin of the Month' Board

Let's go make some slab pie.

The Joy of Reading About Cooking

This is some impressive latte art: South Korean coffee artist recreates Munch's The Scream in cream

Heee: Artist Reimagines All 50 States As Food Puns

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/6/17)

In Neanderthal DNA, Signs of a Mysterious Human Migration

This was an interesting, important, moving read: Shakespeare's Cure for Xenophobia

The Times has an interesting feature on the proliferation of new Oreo flavors. I'm sometimes a purist about this kind of thing, but in this case, as long as they're not taking the original Oreos away, I'm all for it.

Women's Voluntary Services records reveal grassroots wartime life

Ooh, let's go: Renovated Museum Wing Delves into Untold Chapters of American History

Morning Coffee (7/6/17)

‘Scarred and broken’: children escaping Isis in Mosul suffer waking nightmares

WHAT A SHOCK: White House gender pay gap more than triples under Trump

Months of Russia controversy leaves Trump ‘boxed in’ ahead of Putin meeting

The Media’s Unacceptable Silence on the Republican Health Care Bill

What happens to America if Justice Kennedy retires

This was quite something: NPR’s tweet of Declaration Of Independence angers Trump supporters

Tchaikovsky Hated The ‘1812 Overture,’ Which Sucks Because He Also Wrote It

Oh interesting: Tolkien Estate and Warner Bros. Settle Lawsuit Over Licensing

Ooh: British Museum to bring back Reading Room as part of revamp

Ha, poor kid: Sophie Turner Says She Found Out About Oral Sex From Her Game of Thrones Scripts

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Afternoon Tea (7/5/17)

The Surprising Space Ambitions in Colonial America

The ‘Rewilding’ of a Century-Old Cranberry Bog

When the Goodness of a Woman Was Judged By the Bread She Baked

Cool: 1930s cities from the air: the aerial photographs of Walter Mittelholzer

The guilty pleasure of reading Hollywood memoirs

Morning Coffee (7/5/17)

Experts: North Korea’s missile was a ‘real ICBM’ — and a grave milestone

The Billion Dollar Cost of Child Marriage

Aww: Taoiseach Varadkar wears Canada socks for Trudeau visit

Well. A Fake Story Tricked Trump Supporters Into Protesting For No Reason, Then One Of Them Accidentally Shot Himself

Today in "sadly unsurprising, but good to have evidence" research: Study: Black girls viewed as ‘less innocent’ than white girls

Well, that's something: Court Blocks E.P.A. Effort to Suspend Obama-Era Methane Rule

Historians Uncover Slave Quarters of Sally Hemings at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Whoa: Lawsuit Reveals Gauguin Painting Was Not World’s Most Expensive

Interesting: Listening to the Piece That Made Chopin’s Career

You can now snort chocolate — but should you? Um, no. What? Why.