Friday, August 31, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/31/18)

Amandla Stenberg on ‘The Hate U Give,’ Beyonce, and Hollywood Diversity

I love this (and the book is great, go read it): SEAFIRE author Natalie C. Parker destroy’s the toxic myth of “not like other girls”

Inventing a Longer-Lasting Popsicle

To Kill or to Capture Bigfoot: The Great Cryptozoological Debate

Urban Fantasy Noir

Bonus Rec: Target Clog Clearing Gel

You are getting a second recommendation this week and it is . . . a cleaning product! Sexy. But seriously, if any of you have long curly hair like mine, you know that keeping the shower draining is a CONSTANT ONGOING STRUGGLE. I've tried the various products from the two big brands, mostly based on what was on sale or had a coupon, and never been happy with any of them. This week I grabbed the generic Target Clog Clearing Gel and . . . it worked?!?! I honestly did not expect that! So. Hot tip: buy the cheap Target version.

This sounds like an ad but it is not. I'm just REALLY EXCITED about it. But hey, if Target wanted to send me some for free I wouldn't object.

Morning Coffee (8/31/18)

Friday! GOOD NEWS ONLY.

Colin Kaepernick Wins a Ruling to Continue His Collusion Case Against the N.F.L.

Ayanna Pressley Already Broke a Double Glass Ceiling. Now, She's Running for Congress.

!! Watch Prince Harry sing part of Hamilton on stage with London cast

Ooh, trailer for My Brilliant Friend!

Hottest Heads of State updated and is hilarious as always.

Heh: 10 Ways You Know a TV Heroine Is a Real Badass Chick

Ooh, Go Fug Yourself has LOTS of fall floral dresses.

Bring it on (though to be honest there are other fall scents I prefer. I'M JUST HAPPY ABOUT FALL): The Bath & Body Works Fall 2018 Collection Has Over 40 Pumpkin Products

Quiz: Which Weasley Sibling from Harry Potter Are You? I got Ginny.

Oh no: Back to Hogwarts: Magical Harry Potter School Supplies

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/30/18)

In ‘Small Fry,’ Steve Jobs Comes Across as a Jerk. His Daughter Forgives Him. Should We? (Nope.)

This has some interesting stuff about how they made decisions for the movie: The True Story of "Operation Finale"

Why Don't More Boys Read Little Women?

How a Renegade Historian Unmasked an Imposter

Heh: We Checked 50 Years Of Sports History To Find The Team That Stands Out The Least

Morning Coffee (8/30/18)

Just so we're clear, THIS IS RACIST: U.S. is denying passports to Americans along the border, throwing their citizenship into question

SO IS THIS: Florida's Republican Candidate For Governor Just Said A Vote For His Black Rival Would "Monkey This Up"

Speaking of: Who is Andrew Gillum? Meet Florida’s history-making Democratic nominee for governor.

This is frightening: C.I.A. Officer-Turned-Candidate Says PAC Obtained Her Security Application

Don McGahn to Leave White House Counsel Job This Fall, Trump Says

And related: How the Trump Administration Is Remaking the Courts

Trump lawyer Giuliani got paid to lobby Romanian president (Not the point but it must be KILLING him that he's now just "Trump lawyer Giuliani.")

How Facebook Failed The Rohingya In Myanmar

In City Ballet Shake-Up, One Dancer Out and Two Suspended

5,500-year-old tomb in Meath the ‘find of a lifetime’

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/29/18)

An important look at allegations against Nixon: An Inquiry Into Abuse

How the Rise of Outdoor Influencers Is Affecting the Environment

Where Words Matter: Politics, Fiction, Romance, Scrabble

Laura Lee, Jeffree Star, and the racism scandal upending the YouTube beauty community, explained

Josephine Tey: A Crime Reader's Guide to the Classics

Weekly Rec: Expectations by Hayley Kiyoko

I was vaguely aware of Hayley Kiyoko as a Music Person but hadn't really paid any attention to her until I went to a Taylor Swift concert last month - which was GREAT, by the way - and Kiyoko was the surprise guest. She performed her song "Curious" with Swift and it was awesome and I made a vague mental note to look up her album, which I finally got around to doing . . . last weekend. So that took a while, but hey, the concert ploy worked.

And now that I've started listening to it, I can't stop. It's addictive summery pop with just a bit of an edge of something more in its narrative ambitious, and I love the juxtaposition of so much yearning and complicated feelings against a bright backdrop of sunshine and palm trees. "Curious" is probably still my favorite track - it's practically impossible not to sing along - but there's not a song a dislike, and the rest of the album has been growing on me steadily. Kiyoko is both a former Disney star and one of the few young out lesbian pop stars, and she's clearly still finding her footing a bit, but I'm eager to see where she goes from here.

Expectations is on Spotify and Amazon and presumably wherever else you're listening to music these days. Here's "Curious:"

Morning Coffee (8/29/18)

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny jailed for 30 days

Far-right rallies in Germany descend into violence

This from Jon Lovett is the best McCain take I've read: Mourning a Patriot Whose Politics You Hate

Betsy DeVos Says She Wants to Keep Schools Safe and Equitable. Her Policies Tell a Different Story

Kushner Companies Fined $210,000 for Filing False Documents: 'It’s Bare-faced Greed'

Louis C.K. chose the worst possible (but least surprising) way to return to comedy

Serena Williams's Tennis Outfits Defy the Sexist, Racist Norms Female Athletes Face

The recent Pelecanos one was EXTREMELY glaring: A Breakdown Of "By The Book" Columns Shows That Male Authors Are Four Times More Likely To Recommend Books By Men Than By Women

Roman coins found in Yorkshire revealed after years of secrecy

The Mysterious Green Orbs That Float by Day and Sink at Night

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/28/18)

This is a hard read, but very well done and important: We Saw Nuns Kill Children: The Ghosts of St. Joseph's Catholic Orphanage

Feminize Your Canon: Violette Leduc

Goop has exploited the medical establishment's failures on women's health

How Jane Eyre Helped Lead Me Out of Orthodox Judaism

Anglo-Saxon elephants

Morning Coffee (8/28/18)

Student Loan Watchdog Quits, Saying Trump Administration Is Harming Students

An important read from Lily Herman: After Jacksonville Shooting, Vote In Tuesday's Primary Like Your Life Depends On It

Washington Is Turning Into Moscow

Iran’s Parliament Removes Finance Minister From Office

This is great: Scotland to offer free sanitary products to all students in world first

What We Know About Voter ID Laws

Mike Pence’s Outer-Space Gospel

A Retirement Community Turned Away These Married Women

Ancient Burial Pits Reveal Sophisticated Rituals

Attempt to replicate major social scientific findings of past decade fails

Monday, August 27, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/27/18)

This was fascinating and made me want to learn way more about him: How Charles de Gaulle Rescued France

I'm sorry but I couldn't deal with this alone: How whimsical/horrifying! Here’s a book of clown faces painted onto eggs.

By Becoming Chefs, Stigmatized Women In Morocco Find Hope And Freedom

How a Stop-Motion Costume Designer Makes Tiny Clothing for the Big Screen

Crime Fiction in the Scottish Highlands and Islands

Morning Coffee (8/27/18)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

Neil Simon, Broadway Master of Comedy, Is Dead at 91

Horrifying: Nauru self-harm 'contagion' as 12-year-old refugee tries to set herself alight

Trump’s White-Nationalist Pipeline

This is worth reading for far more than the example given in the headline: Climate science proposals are being reviewed by Ryan Zinke’s old football buddy. Seriously.

Russian trolls 'spreading discord' over vaccine safety online

Half of Yeshivas Under Investigation Denied Entry to Education Officials, City Says

Another: In Serial Rape Case That Stumped Police, Genealogy Database Leads to Arrest

Whoa, this is fascinating: A Blended Family: Her Mother Was Neanderthal, Her Father Something Else Entirely

I was wondering when this would happen: Judge Issues "Comic-Con" Injunction

ADULTS TOO: Not all unkindness is bullying. Here’s why we need to teach kids to differentiate.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/24/18)

I loved this essay by a YA author marrying a politician: A good mayor is hard to find

If you're interesting in figure skating, this interview with choreographer Sam Chouinard is fascinating.

A New Vision of a John le Carré Classic

How to Dress Like Lara Jean Covey From “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before”

10 Romances That’ll Have You Wishing You Were Back In College

Morning Coffee (8/24/18)

Phew, we definitely need a break for Friday happy links.

Remember having a president who liked books? Here's Obama's latest reading list.

Eee, Outlaw King trailer!

I have never related so much to Rihanna: Here's Bridesmaid Rihanna Ducking Her Best Friend's Wedding Bouquet Toss

AMAZING: Natalie Portman To Direct And Star In Dual Roles In ‘Dear Abby/Ann Landers’ Biopic

This sounds neat: Yo-Yo Ma Celebrates Bach in Amazon Alexa Series

I'm listening: New Aldi Advent Calendars Have 24 Days of Wine and Cheese

I'm unsure about the new version of The Great British Baking Show, but at least now we know Netflix will carry it in the U.S.

Hmm: ColourPop Cosmetics Is Launching A Sister Skincare Brand, Fourth Ray Beauty

!! Twilight Is Coming Back To Theaters For Its 10th Anniversary And We Have Exclusive New Artwork

QUIZ: Which Of This Summer’s Rom Com Leading Ladies Are You?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/23/18)

The Great Chinese Art Heist

Posting Instagram Sponsored Content Is the New Summer Job

The Lazy Trope of the Unethical Female Journalist

The Women’s Bakery

The Hardboiled Crime Fiction of Central Asia

Weekly Rec: Two Great New Romcoms

Allow me to join the chorus of people telling you this: If you haven't yet seen Crazy Rich Asians and/or To All the Boys I've Loved Before, you should absolutely do that this weekend, because they are PURE DELIGHT.

Crazy Rich Asians, now in theaters, is the first Asian-led big box office movie since The Joy Luck Club, so I was eager to support it regardless, but it was GREAT. I loved Kevin Kwan's books on which it's based, and this adaptation made some changes but stayed very faithful to the spirit of the books. And it was just a joy in its own right. It's about a Chinese-American woman who goes home to Singapore with her boyfriend and discovers that his family is one of the richest in the world, and all the drama that comes from that. The cast, led by Constance Wu, Henry Golding, and Michelle Yeoh, is great, and the movie is just visually stunning as well as enchanting and hilarious. It's the first movie since Call Me By Your Name that made me think "I want to be watching this forever" while I was watching.

If you want to stay home, watch To All the Boys I've Loved Before on Netflix. It's a romcom based on the YA book of the same name by Jenny Han, and honestly? I liked but didn't love the book, but I loved the movie. It's about a teenager named Lara Jean who tucks away letters she writes to her crushes . . . and then they all get sent out. She winds up fake dating one in order to make another think she doesn't actually like him and, well, you can guess where that's headed, but how it gets there is AWESOME. This has a really interesting Asian-American heroine, close but complex family relationships, one of the best move love interests in a long time, and a great aesthetic - the fashion, the set design, the soundtrack. (I've listened to the soundtrack every day since I watched it.) This was an automatic favorite, a comfort movie I can see watching over and over.

Morning Coffee (8/23/18)

New York subpoenas ex-Trump attorney Cohen in Trump Foundation probe

DNC calls FBI after appearing to thwart hack of its voter database

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Donald Trump Just Admitted to a Federal Crime in ‘Fox & Friends’ Interview, Obama Ethics Chief Says

Mollie Tibbetts’ accused killer is in Iowa legally, his lawyer says, calling Trump 'sad and sorry' for weighing in

This is great: Space the Nation: Four theories for why Donald Trump believes in invisible planes

Greece’s Bailout Is Ending. The Pain Is Far From Over.

He sounds like a delight: Levi Sanders Is Not His Father. He Keeps Telling That to Voters.

Yay! 'Crazy Rich Asians' Sequel Moves Forward With Director Jon M. Chu

!! Ice found on moon surface, raising prospect of lunar colony

Prehistoric college football coaches are killing players. It’s past time to stop them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/22/18)

The Return of Simone Biles and the Costs of Gymnastics

This . . . did not exactly go where I expected! A New Wife, a Secret Past and a Trail of Loss and Blood

A New, Flourishing Literary Scene in the Real Shangri-La

Ode to Gray

Borges, Bioy Casares and the Dawn of Argentine Mystery

Morning Coffee (8/22/18)

Slow news day yesterday, huh? Hahahahahahahahaha.

Paul Manafort, Former Trump Campaign Chairman, Guilty of 8 Charges in Fraud Trial

The headline underplays this a little, as they were ILLEGAL payments: Michael Cohen Says He Arranged Payments to Women at Trump’s Direction

Sort of lost in the shuffle! Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter Indicted On Charges He Misused Campaign Money Remember when he was very briefly the Next Big Thing?

Cost of New E.P.A. Coal Rules: Up to 1,400 More Deaths a Year

Michigan Director of Health and Human Services to Stand Trial for Involuntary Manslaughter Over Flint Deaths

...of course: Kris Kobach’s campaign website cites a white nationalist writer who’s been involved in the Holocaust denial movement

Facebook Fueled Anti-Refugee Attacks in Germany, New Research Suggests

This is great: Kelly Marie Tran: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment

!! Veronica Mars revival starring Kristen Bell in the works at Hulu

Read N.K. Jemisin’s Historic Hugo Speech

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/21/18)

This is fascinating and I will definitely watch the movie that I'm sure is already in the works: Saving Lives With Tech Amid Syria’s Endless Civil War

The Greatest Upset in Quiz Show History

7 Spots in Singapore Every 'Crazy Rich Asians' Fan Needs to See

Crime [Fiction] in Closed Societies

Every time I watch a documentary I think "I should see more documentaries," so this looks useful: 18 New Documentaries to See in 2018

Morning Coffee (8/21/18)

Michael Cohen, Trump’s Ex-Lawyer, Investigated for Bank Fraud Over $20 Million

Korean Families, Separated for 6 Decades, Are Briefly Reunited

This study is fascinating: How Sexism Follows Women From the Cradle to the Workplace

Simone Biles wins every gold medal at U.S. Championships

Some great stuff here: Here are the winners of the 2018 Hugo Awards

Miss America: Leadership bullied, manipulated, silenced me

Aw, good for her. She was very good in Champions. My Name Is Josie Totah — And I'm Ready to Be Free

The caveats are important here, but this is still, you know, bad: Exclusive: Some Arctic Ground No Longer Freezing—Even in Winter

Ooh cool: A Walking Tour Discovered a Secret Section of the Berlin Wall 29 Years After Its Fall

Doctor Who Season Eleven Hires Diverse Group of Creatives, And We’re Thrilled

Monday, August 20, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/20/18)

What Does Immersing Yourself in a Book Do To Your Brain?

This is a great essay and I'm excited to try Dead Air this week: Rachel Caine: Dead Air, And Abstract Darkness

Finding It Hard to Focus? Maybe It’s Not Your Fault

I always love these: How I Get It Done: Samantha Bee

Ooh fun! All the World’s a Crime: Thrillers From Around the Globe

Morning Coffee (8/20/18)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

This is a big, important report: Ambushed at Home: Children poisoned by lead on U.S. Army bases as hazards go ignored

Putin Is Building a Bosnian Paramilitary Force

Nothing matters! “Truth isn’t truth”: Rudy Giuliani offers a new explanation of why Trump shouldn’t talk to Mueller

Appeals board says woman who disparaged Mexicans can't claim jobless benefits by citing Trump

The audience at my screening went WILD for this, as well they should: Crazy Rich Asians’ mid-credits scene is brief, but very revealing

Well this is terrible! New Service Promises to Manipulate Your Wife Into Having Sex With You

I don't usually watch talk shows but I LOVE HER: Busy Philipps' Talk Show Busy Tonight to Premiere Oct. 28 on E!

Where's The Beef? Wyoming Ranchers Bet On Blockchain To Track It

Interesting: Disney Finds It's Not So Easy to Sue Over Knockoff Characters at Birthday Parties

‘Death and Nightingales’: First-Look At BBC Two Period Drama Starring Jamie Dornan & Matthew Rhys

Friday, August 17, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/17/18)

Talk Nerdy To Me: Seven STEM Romances

Chocolate-Making Is Secretive. This Chocolatier Isn’t.

Bernstein on Bach

The Strange Infinities of e-Commerce

Signs of different times: French First World War posters

Morning Coffee (8/17/18)

Time to take a break for Friday happy links!

Okay, first one that isn't EXACTLY happy, but very hopeful: ‘City Of Joy’ Trailer: Netflix Documentary Looks At Remarkable Women’s Center In East Congo

This production sounds great: In This ‘Oklahoma!,’ She Loves Her and He Loves Him

Tyler Hoechlin is doing a rom-com with Alexandra Daddario!!

Look at these delightful new Georgette Heyer covers!

Ally Carter on a decade in YA and her advice-driven new book Dear Ally

You will enjoy this list of things people have asked for at a library circulation desk.

Has ever the name of a skin care product been so appealing? No. The New boscia Rosewater Mist With Witch Hazel Does It All

This is adorable: Seth Rogen’s Mom Is Twitter’s Ultimate Jewish Mother

The One 'Cure-all' Beauty Product Meghan Markle Always Packs Is Only $10

I'm not even into Hello Kitty but this Converse collaboration is very cute.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/16/18)

This report on how murders of trans people are handled is really important: Deadnamed

When a Stranger Decides to Destroy Your Life

Every word of this is true: Open floor plans are terrible for entertaining

The Most Daring Impostors in Fiction

Alewives: The Women Who Crafted Beer and Split Hell Wide Open

Weekly Rec: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I should start this by saying: Yes, I read the book. But I read it years ago, not long after it came out, which is really the best way to do the book/movie thing, I think: I remembered enough to know I liked it but not enough to get upset about any changes in adaptation.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, now streaming on Netflix in the U.S., is the story of a British writer just after WWII who starts corresponding by chance with a man on Guernsey and travels there with the intention of writing an article about the book club the Guernsey residents started while their island was occupied by the Nazis. It's a love story and a friendship story, a writing story, a story about war and community and secrets, about feminism and fulfillment and self-determination and creating family.

And in almost all ways, this adaptation was just delightful. The cast was great - yes, about half of it you've seen on Downton Abbey - with Lily James doing a good job in the lead and Matthew Goode (of course) particularly notable as her editor/longtime best friend. The score was beautiful, the scenery and cinematography gorgeous. And it all just worked together wonderfully; I watched this together long-distance with a friend, texting back and forth, and much of our obviously very erudite commentary was along the lines of "I JUST LOVE THIS SO MUCH???" It's that kind of movie. Give yourself a treat this weekend and take a few hours out of your life and watch it with a friend.

Okay:

There were two things that disappointed me, but they're both a bit spoilery, so this is your warning! Stop reading here if you don't want to know plot details!

1. There's a romance involving an occupying German soldier, and yes, I know that happened in real life, but I'd really rather we center stories that are NOT "hey look, a good Nazi," especially given, you know, everything.

2. In the book, a gay character has a partner, but that's taken away and he's single in the movie.

Morning Coffee (8/16/18)

These people should be arrested: Transgender Girl, 12, Is Violently Threatened After Facebook Post by Classmate’s Parent

Vermont’s Christine Hallquist could become the US’s first transgender governor

Ahahaha: FCC shuts down Alex Jones’ flagship radio station

How Bill Browder Became Russia’s Most Wanted Man

Ugh: Kavanaugh Could Unlock Funding for Religious Education, School Voucher Advocates Say

Of course: Trump offers White House staffers a special perk at his golf club

A Coup or a Couch? What’s Behind the Impeachment of West Virginia’s Supreme Court

We Looked At Hundreds Of Endorsements. Here’s Who Democrats Are Listening To.

Climate Change Threatens Midwest's Wild Rice, A Staple For Native Americans

Friendly Foxes’ Genes Offer Hints to How Dogs Became Domesticated

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/15/18)

This is long and a bit tricky but worth it: The Scientist Who Scrambled Darwin’s Tree of Life

How Maori-owned small businesses are reshaping New Zealand

The Search for the Oldest Cheese in the World

The Art of the Heist

Unlocking the Mystery of Ten Revolutionary Generals’ Signatures

Morning Coffee (8/15/18)

SO HAPPY ABOUT THIS: Federal Judge Strikes Down N.H.'s 'Signature Mismatch' Absentee Voting Law

Report Reveals Widespread Sexual Abuse By Over 300 Priests In Pennsylvania

Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians

Donald Trump and the disturbing power of dehumanizing language

Cuban 'acoustic attack' report on US diplomats flawed, say neurologists

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Picks a Very Strange Fight with Canada

Sounds secure: An 11-year-old changed election results on a replica Florida state website in under 10 minutes

This is amazing: Guernsey resident halts roadworks with ancient plea

This whole thing is bananas: 'Doesn't believe in contracts': Literary agent sues bestselling author

Oh good: Simone Biles’ former coach’s gym new home for U.S. women’s gymnastics

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/14/18)

This whole thing is fascinating: How a Notorious Gangster Was Exposed by His Own Sister

A Songwriting Mystery Solved: Math Proves John Lennon Wrote 'In My Life'

An Ancient River in Syria Sections Off a Modern War

TV's writers' rooms have a mother of a problem

1921 · 1946 · 1984 · 2018 A Genealogy of the Totalitarian Novel

Morning Coffee (8/14/18)

This is evil: Aurora parents fighting to stop legally adopted 4-year-old daughter from being deported

FBI agent Peter Strzok fired over anti-Trump texts

GOP lawmaker's son blasts father's role in Strzok saga, wants to flip his seat

Of course: White House Takes Aim At Financial Protections For Military

Trump Foreign Policy Held Back by Struggle to Grasp Time Zones, Maps

The Connecticut governor’s race, a rare 2018 opening for Republicans, explained

Stephen Miller Is an Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I’m His Uncle.

...yep: Anti-immigration Norwegian minister resigns over Iran holiday security fears

Behind Hollywood’s A-List Bidding War for a McDonald’s Monopoly Article

More young footballers dying of heart problems than thought, FA study finds

Monday, August 13, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/13/18)

Inside the Radical, Uncomfortable Movement to Reform White Supremacists

Searching for the French Psychic Behind a $200MM Scam

25 Writers On The Books That Inspired Them To Write

Science’s search for a super banana

A Very Brief History of the Manx Language

Morning Coffee (8/13/18)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

The old left and the new anti-Semitism

What Sunday’s Unite the Right 2 rally tells us about the state of the alt-right in America

With Brett Kavanaugh, Trump Has Found a Way to Repay the NRA

I'm curious to see how this ballot situation sorts out: GOP Uncertain as Rep. Chris Collins Ends Re-election Bid

The FCC Blamed a Cyberattack When Its Comment System Crashed Before Net Neutrality Repeal. The Real Culprit Was John Oliver.

Welp: Russians Flock to Trump Properties to Give Birth to U.S. Citizens

The demographic info at the end of this is fascinating: Quiz: How well can you tell factual from opinion statements?

It's terrible that this is necessary, of course, but it's a great idea: Hotel housekeepers call for panic buttons amid sexual harassment

Traces on George Orwell letter suggest he caught TB from Spanish hospital

JEOPARDY is Now Streaming on Hulu (It's a selection, not all the current episodes. But still!)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/10/18)

I love this piece: How World War One Gave Rise to the Traditional Mystery

Why a Belgian sourdough librarian flew to Canada for yeast

Myths, monsters and the maze: how writers fell in love with the labyrinth

Worshiping the False Idols of Wellness

Viking Women: Weaving History and Progress

Morning Coffee (8/10/18)

OKAY, time for some happy Friday links!

This is great! Rashida Tlaib, With Primary Win, Is Poised to Become First Muslim Woman in Congress

Starbucks stores are already receiving Pumpkin Spice Latte supplies, and people think they've figured out the PSL's return date

!! Natalie Dormer joins the Potterverse as A History of Magic narrator

Aah, new The Nutcracker and the Four Realms trailer!

In very different movie news, the Lizzie trailer also looks great.

Wisconsin Just Broke the Record for the World’s Largest Cheeseboard

'Cat Person' breakout writer is back with debut book: Read the first excerpt

Ooh, look at all the cute rainbow things!

Of course it does: So cheesy: Burlington airport has a 7-foot block of cheese and matching maple syrup

Announcing Three New Novels From Annalee Newitz

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/9/18)

Warning: This is horrifying but also fascinating: Schlitterbahn's Tragic Slide

Relearning How to Read in the Age of Trump

I'd read other pieces about this murder, but this one had some interesting thoughts: The Strange Case of Jean Harris

Racism at American Pools Isn’t New: A Look at a Long History

How Shanties and Songs of the Sea Helped Me Weather the Storm of Depression

Morning Coffee (8/9/18)

This is astonishing, even by Trump administration standards: The Shadow Rulers of the VA

WHEE: Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) charged with insider trading, federal prosecutors announce

A Nail-Biter in Ohio Is a Democratic Triumph

These people are just despicable: Alex Jones’ Lawyer Seeks To Make Sandy Hook Parents’ Home Addresses Public

By not banning Alex Jones, Twitter is making a political choice

Beyond family separation: Trump’s ongoing war on asylum, explained

Deluge of opposition to Israel’s nation-state law builds with new court petition

GOOD: Phone Calls From New York City Jails Will Soon Be Free

BAD: Oscars Won't Televise All Awards Live, Adds "Popular" Film Category

Bones found at Stonehenge belonged to people from Wales

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/8/18)

I can't wait to see this: The Stakes Are High for 'Crazy Rich Asians' — And That's the Point

A Preacher, a Scam, and a Massacre in Brooklyn

This is cool: Murder, Politics and Architecture: The Making of Madison Square Park

What Authors and Editors Wish They Could Say to One Another

Cheesemaking on Spain’s Canary Islands

Weekly Rec: The Bletchley Circle: San Franciso

I'm here to recommend the new Bletchley Circle spinoff, but it occurs to me that I should point out that if you haven't seen the original The Bletchley Circle, you should rectify that immediately. It's about Bletchley Park codebreakers who are pushed back into traditionally female roles in post-war British society; bored and frustrated with this, they start . . . solving murders with the skills they honed during the War! It's DELIGHTFUL.

The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco is BritBox's first original show; as always with a spinoff of something I really like, I was a bit wary of what they'd do, but so far I'm really liking it. Two of the women from the original series travel to late-1950s San Francisco when they read about murders there they think are linked to the wartime murder of a girl they knew at Bletchley. There they meet up with some of their American counterparts and continue solving crimes.

The spinoff has all the charms of the original as well as frank explorations of race and class and gender issues of the late fifties. The new American characters include a black woman whose family is fighting gentrification, a Japanese-American woman who talks openly about how she needs to work twice as hard and behave twice as correctly to keep her job, and a female engineer who has left a rural area for the city and is great at her work but has trouble with social cues. So far, at least, it's doing a better job with the time period than most American shows manage.

There are two episodes streaming so far with a new one premiering each Wednesday! Go watch!

Morning Coffee (8/8/18)

WHOO: Missouri voters just blocked the right-to-work law Republicans passed to weaken labor unions

And yay! It’s official: women have been nominated for a record number of House seats

Yeah, I think we all figured this was coming: Now the Trump administration wants to limit citizenship for legal immigrants

This is awful: ‘There’s No Law’: Political Crisis Sends Nicaraguans Fleeing

There's a good, readable explanation in here of exactly what was going on with Manafort, Gates, and Ukraine: The Ultimate Betrayal of Paul Manafort

63 years after his murder, a memorial to Emmett Till is riddled with bullets -- again

How white supremacists split a quiet Rust Belt town

!! Body found on Wales beach in 1985 identified as missing Irish man

Ancient Roman Woman Packed Her Makeup and Mirror for the Afterlife

Huh: Plain White T's Song "Hey There Delilah" Is Being Turned Into a TV Series

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/7/18)

What a story: Overlooked No More: Beatrice Tinsley, Astronomer Who Saw the Course of the Universe

The Ethical Dilemma of Highbrow True Crime

Incels’ Obsession With Looks Is Based on Fake Math

Whoa: Dell Mapbacks: A History: The Art of the Back Cover Murder Mystery

The Cheese Man of Aran

Morning Coffee (8/7/18)

Rick Gates just testified that he committed crimes with Paul Manafort

This isn't SURPRISING but seeing it all laid out there is... big: AP investigation: Yemen war binds US, allies, al-Qaida

Good for them: Transit Union Refuses to Bring White Nationalists to 'Unite the Right' Rally

...of course? Sen. Rand Paul goes to Moscow and invites Russians to Washington in unofficial bid to boost ties

The US has reimposed sanctions on Iran. Here’s what that means.

YouTube Bans InfoWars Following Removals From Apple, Facebook, and Spotify

MoviePass Cuts Plan to Three Movies a Month

I'm so glad Moulin Rouge got a great review in the Times.

The Book Everyone in the Netherlands Is Talking About Is Finally Coming to the U.S.

Indian warrior king's rocket cache found in abandoned well

Monday, August 6, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/6/18)

A siege. A bomb. 48 dogs. And the black commune that would not surrender

When Crime Comes for the Crime Writer

Why the era of Peak TV is the era of the disappointing second season

The Titanic Wreck Is a Landmark Almost No One Can See

Interesting: My New Obsession: Alternate Universe Filipino Romance Novels

Morning Coffee (8/6/18)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

“This was a meeting to get information on an opponent”: Trump changes his story on Russia meeting

Shifting Federal Policies Threaten Health Coverage For Trans Americans

Are young voters going to sway the midterms? New data shows that’s not very likely.

In Latest Concession to Conservative Trolls, New York Times Blames Bigotry on Many Sides

CBS says it takes the Les Moonves allegations seriously. Its actions don’t inspire confidence.

Welp: A Japanese medical university lowered women’s test scores because it was a “necessary evil”

This seems . . . low? One in Five Book Biz Women Surveyed Reports Sexual Harassment

WHOA, this is wild: A small-town couple left behind a stolen painting worth over $100 million — and a big mystery

I was wondering who would grab this: Fox, Ben Affleck & Matt Damon Win Hot Package On Multi-Million Dollar Theft Of McDonald’s Monopoly Game

Fascinating: Bodies Keep Shrinking on This Island, and Scientists Aren't Sure Why

Friday, August 3, 2018

Afternoon Tea (8/3/18)

White threat in a browning America: How demographic change is fracturing our politics.

Amen: No, you probably don’t have a book in you

Ceramics Aren’t Enough. Bring on the Spaceships, Italian Town Says.

What Do Forensic Scientists Think of the True-Crime Boom?

War Horses Gone Astray

Morning Coffee (8/3/18)

Time for some Friday happy links!

Eeee! Hillary Clinton, Steven Spielberg Bringing Women's Voting Drama to TV

!! A 10-year-old named Clark Kent beat a record that Michael Phelps held for 23 years

This book was great and this is very exciting! ‘The Kiss Quotient’: Pilgrim Media Group Acquires Book Rights For Film & TV

In what role??? Sony’s ‘Little Women’ Adaptation Adds ‘Flatliners’ Actor James Norton

This is adorable: Topher Grace Recut ‘The Hobbit’ Trilogy as a 2-Hour Movie to Clear His Head After Playing David Duke

It's Friday. Let’s Just Gaze Upon Sam Heughan For a Bit

Huh, H&M has a collection with GP & J Baker.

Ooh interesting: New BBC documentary about Princess Margaret in the works

Canadian Eatery Puts Tiny Chairs Around the Little ‘Table’ That Comes Inside Pizza Boxes

Who Would You Be In a YA Fantasy Novel?

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Weekly Rec: Moulin Rouge

Last weekend I went to see Moulin Rouge in its new stage musical form in Boston, and WOW. It was VERY GOOD. I've only seen the movie once, so I wasn't a huge fan going in, but I loved it anyway. The whole cast was great, and stars Karen Olivo and Aaron Tveit completely blew me away. The show kept most of what I liked from the movie and added roughly 3000 additional songs. No, really. Every song is now in this. Particularly delightful were the additions to "Elephant Love Medley" and the new "Bad Romance" sequence. This show is an amazing spectacle - the sets and the costumes are breathtaking, and there are so many of both. But it's also very solid, and the dancing, especially, is truly impressive. And the story is a tragedy, of course, but this version is also extremely funny, and that's a combination that works very well for it.

Of course, this is a pre-Broadway tryout run, and there are some tweaks that are clearly still needed: the pacing feels a bit off in the second act and Satine needs to be sicker earlier. Much as I love Florence, the "Shake It Out" number just doesn't work here. And there's a trans woman character played by a cis man (so far as I've been able to find out) and I really hope they change that.

It's playing through August 19th, so if you're in the Boston area, get on that! Otherwise, watch for it when it makes its way to Broadway.

Afternoon Tea (8/2/18)

This from Todd VanDerWerff is great: James Gunn’s firing shows we’re still living in the Gamergate era

And this is so devastating and true: How to Cry at Work Without Crying

Slavery and America’s Legacy of Family Separation

As Memes Evolve, Apps Are Struggling to Keep Up

Lorrie Moore on Rachel Cusk: The Queen of Rue

Morning Coffee (8/2/18)

A Migrant Boy Rejoins His Mother, but He’s Not the Same

Thousands Attend Mega Arabic Lesson in Tel Aviv to Protest Nation-state Law

What he has done to the Sandy Hook families (among others) is despicable: Alex Jones, Pursued Over Infowars Falsehoods, Faces a Legal Crossroads

2018! Judge in Manafort trial tells attorneys to 'rein in' their facial expressions

Trump tried to defend Paul Manafort by ... comparing him to Al Capone

Trump is leading a ‘hate movement’ against the media

Trump Says Since Americans Must Show ID to Shop at the Grocery Store, They Should Need ID to Vote. What?

THIS IS BAD, obviously: In ruling against Planet Fitness, Michigan court concludes trans women aren’t women

Crime author sentenced for murders that inspired his novels


'Spectacular' ancient public library discovered in Germany