Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/31/17)

This is so interesting: Myanmar Is Restoring Temples to Rebuild its Heritage

I want a 3D pasta printer! Shapeshifting Food Could Make Novel Haute Cuisine While Reducing Shipping Cost

!!! Colonial Williamsburg Has a Luxury Historical Spa

Why America’s First Spanish-Language No. 1 in Decades Is Likely to Be the Song of the Summer

Heh: The unwritten rules of waiting several years to throw a baseball at Bryce Harper

Morning Coffee (5/31/17)

Oh, Germany, WE'RE ALL PERPLEXED, I promise: Germans perplexed as Trump escalates feud

Congress expands Russia investigation to include Trump's personal attorney

Shocker: Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies

James Mattis Is the Last Adult Standing in Trumpworld. That’s Unsettling for a Lot of Reasons.

Get ready for tears: The Place Where Letters To Hillary Clinton Go

The Republicans' War on Medicaid

11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida

This is WILD: The Knife of Aristotle Isn't Just a Fake "Fake News" Site—It's a Cult

Oh interesting: The Ringer, Bill Simmons’s Site, Will Switch Its Host to Vox Media

Two WWII Bombers Have Officially Been Found Off the Coast of Papua New Guinea

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/30/17)

Robin Wasserman is smart and great and worth reading as always: Kodak Moments: The Art of Nostalgia in the Digital Age

Can you imagine having to work for this nonsense man-child? The boss who lives as a medieval knight

Mail that baby: A brief history of kids sent through the U.S. Postal Service

In The Age Of Digital Medicine, The Humble Reflex Hammer Hangs On

Huh: Most of the World’s Bread Clips Are Made by a Single Company

Morning Coffee (5/30/17)

Not all that surprising, unfortunately, but still horrifying: Ordered to Catch a Warlord, Ugandan Troops Are Accused of Hunting Girls

Africa’s new slave trade: how migrants flee poverty to get sucked into a world of violent crime

At NATO Headquarters, Trump Fails Another Leadership Test

A Top Mar-A-Lago Employee Is Quietly Doing Government Work For Trump’s Foreign Trip (She's the one married to the felon who pretends to be Secret Service.)

The Single Greatest Witch Hunt in American History, for Real

The 7 Signs That Someone Might Be Running For President In 2020

Here’s the Secret Backstage Trump Drama at Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents

Sad news: Frank Deford, NPR's Longtime Philosopher Of Sports, Dies At 78

And in stupid and infuriating sports journalism news: Sportswriter Tweets That Japanese Indy 500 Winner Makes Him ‘Uncomfortable’

My friend Libby is very brave: Wonder how you'd do on 'American Ninja Warrior'? Watch our reporter brave the course

Friday, May 26, 2017

Morning Coffee (5/26/17)

Well, this has been... a week. Clearly we need some Friday happy links. Then I'm heading off for the long weekend, so morning posts will continue as usual but afternoon will return on Tuesday.

!! Cornell University reveals name of new Joe Biden ice cream flavor

Today in things I wish were relevant to my life right now: A Definitive Guide to the Best Macarons in Paris

Uh, Norway, what's going on over there?? Crown Prince Haakon Strangely Shaves His Beard During Gala Dinner

News you need: Chris Pine Wore 3 Summer Suits in One Day

Aw: Queen Elizabeth Has Been Wearing the Same $9 Nail Polish Since 1989

This How revolutionary are you? quiz is very pretty but it told me I'm BENEDICT ARNOLD.

I totally fell for this ridiculous clickbait but they were RIGHT, I would NOT have guessed: You'll Never Guess Who Natalie Wood's Daughter Married

You Absolutely Need These Prosecco Popsicles This Summer (I ABSOLUTELY DO.)

The Dozen's dozen: our pick of this season's best Premier League photos

This 27-year-old Scottish lad wants to be the first person to bagpipe in every country

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/25/17)

Juicy! LuLaRoe's Consultants Are Furious With the Brand

Let's go IMMEDIATELY: This Shop Will Cover Your Ice Cream in Edible Pearls and Flowers

TV is better than ever — yet we talk endlessly about the same tiny handful of shows

This makes really important points: Who Gets to Be Low-Maintenance?

Norway teens say their graduation blowouts beat them all (This is an ongoing plot on Skam and it is CRAZY.)

Morning Coffee (5/25/17)

This is horrifying (and was wild to watch play out on Twitter last night): Greg Gianforte, Montana G.O.P. Candidate, Is Charged in Attack on Reporter (He'll probably still win the election today.)

Important to note: The reporter he attacked broke this last month: GOP candidate has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies

Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer

How a dubious Russian document influenced the FBI’s handling of the Clinton probe

What a shock: AG Sessions did not disclose Russia meetings in security clearance form, DOJ says

I can't believe he's making us side with THERESA MAY: Manchester attack: May to tell Trump to stop intelligence leaks

The Czech Republic got a new name, but few people seem to have noticed yet (I had forgotten about this until I saw this story. I AM PART OF THE PROBLEM.)

!! Found: A Hidden Vault Door Beneath the Rhode Island State House

A bitter legal battle in California is blocking everyone from eating sweeter strawberries

Interesting: Netflix viewers like comedy for breakfast and drama at lunch

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/24/17)

The Battle Over Susan B. Anthony

I'm much more interested in Kim Kardashian's business empire than any of her actual shows/products, so this was FASCINATING: A Day In The Life Of Kim Kardashian's Right-Hand Woman, Stephanie Shepherd

A Psychic Healer Tried to Hypnotize Soviets to Distract From the Fall of Communism (I was thinking "How Rasputin!" and then got to the part where they actually call him the spiritual heir to Rasputin, SO.)

Science is wacky: These Baby Mice Were Born From Sperm That Went to Space

I'll always show you Medieval book curses.

Morning Coffee (5/24/17)

Michael Flynn may have lied to officials about his Russia ties, congressman says

“People who go along a treasonous path do not know they are on a treasonous path until it is too late.”

Trump Budget Based on $2 Trillion Math Error

45 million Americans rely on food stamps. Trump wants to gut the program.

Clinton: Trump budget shows ‘unimaginable’ cruelty takes DNA ownership rights from customers and their relatives

This is so interesting: Building a Vision of Heaven for Thailand’s ‘God’

This is an amazing sentence: "It was like a chop shop of stolen bees."

Aw, I always love these stories: Mom who went to classes with quadriplegic son gets MBA

What weird coincidental timing: ‘Watergate’: History Sets Documentary Series On That Other Presidential Scandal

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/23/17)

I love this store: How the Owner of the Greatest Mystery Bookstore Pulled the Genre Out of the Muck

How a 13-Year-Old Boy Brought Down L.A.’s Most Notorious Serial Killer

Selling the Apocalypse: The Second Coming Of Televangelist Jim Bakker

I may be occasionally annoyed by limited menu options, but at least I'm not getting arrested: “Pork It Is, Then”—Confessions of an Underground Vegetarian

When Women Crowdfunded Radium For Marie Curie

Morning Coffee (5/23/17)

The bombing at the Ariana Grande concert last night was just horrifying. Here's the Guardian's live coverage.

Michael Flynn Misled Pentagon About Russia Ties, Letter Says

Wow: Justices Reject 2 Gerrymandered North Carolina Districts, Citing Racial Bias

Mayor Landrieu's address on the removal of Confederate monuments was very good and worth a read.

Wow, good for him: Hong Kong bookseller abducted by China vows to reopen shop in Taiwan

Trump isn’t a toddler — he’s a product of America’s culture of impunity for the rich

‘Straight out of the Nazi playbook’: Hindu nationalists try to engineer ‘genius’ babies in India

#1000BlackGirlBooks Founder Marley Dias on Writing Her Own Book and Inspiring Other Young Girls

Ooh: 'Spectacular' Roman mosaics on display in Leicester

Spotting Mysterious Twinkles on Earth From a Million Miles Away

Monday, May 22, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/23/17)

Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf are fascinating: The Painter and the Novelist

Superstore, TV’s best workplace comedy, destroys its workplace in the season 2 finale

Heh: An AI invented a bunch of new paint colors that are hilariously wrong

How World War I Changed Weather Forecasting for Good

The Mysterious Death of the Namesake of the Douglas Fir

Morning Coffee (5/22/17)

Me elsewhere: The week's TV news.

Inside Russia’s Social Media War on America

Any Half-Decent Hacker Could Break Into Mar-a-Lago. We Tested It.

Report: Trump’s Team Tricks Him Into Reading by Preying on His Narcissism

She fixed Ukraine’s economy -- and was run out of her job by death threats

How To Remember Roger Ailes (As A Liar And Enabler Who Hurt Women)

Fun: What White House Correspondents Pack

I love the spoiler alert on this one: King Arthur: not just a man of the sword?

I think anyone who texts at the movies should be immediately thrown in jail, so I'm kinda siding with this guy.

Ooh: 3D-Printing ‘Archinaut’ Spacecraft Will Assemble Massive Structures in Space

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Morning Coffee (5/20/17)

Hahahahaha where to start? Yesterday's big scoops, I guess...

Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation

Russia probe reaches current White House official, people familiar with the case say

When I bookmarked this link it was about members of Congress saying they were told the probe now includes a possible White House cover-up, but the news cycle is moving so quickly that the story has been updated and has a new headline that's also worth mentioning: Comey agrees to testify in public as Trump-Russia probe heats up

Israeli Intelligence Furious Over Trump's Loose Lips (And that barely cracked the top five big stories yesterday afternoon!)

Exclusive: Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians: sources

This is so embarrassing: "Foreign officials and their Washington consultants say certain rules have emerged: Keep it short — no 30-minute monologue for a 30-second attention span. Do not assume he knows the history of the country or its major points of contention. Compliment him on his Electoral College victory."

I'm sure this will go well: Stephen Miller Is Writing the Big Speech on Islam That Trump Is Delivering in Saudi Arabia

Meanwhile: Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz To Leave Office At The End Of June

MEANWHILE: Hundreds of Thousands Strike in Greece as Cuts Near Approval

2017! CBS Boss Defends Lack of Women in New Fall Slate

Okay, something fun! Pippa Middleton got married today (or the reception's going on right now, I guess) and the Fug Girls wrote her a hilarious toast.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/19/17)

A wild read for your Friday afternoon: The Mad King of Juice: Inside the Dysfunctional Origins of Juicero

Fascinating: India's Lost Party Mansions

The Forgotten History of American Working-Class Literature

Amazing: Every Color Of Cardigan Mister Rogers Wore From 1979–2001

The Sad History of Hydrox Cookies, Which Were Probably Doomed Because They Were Called Hydrox

Morning Coffee (5/19/17)

Okay, time for some happy Friday links. Back to our regularly scheduled insanity tomorrow.

Me elsewhere: Here's the CW fall schedule.

Ooh: Longman-History Today Book Prize 2017: The Shortlist (I want to read them all, obviously.)

The Smithsonian has the hard-hitting headlines we need this week: Spring Brings a Wave of Baby Animals to the Zoo

Neat! New types of coffee, parsnips and roses among 1,700 plants discovered last year

Masterpiece is making a movie that will BE IN THEATERS, and it's - a lot. Elizabeth McGovern! Julia Goldani Telles! Julian Fellowes! Dancing! Secrets!

Delightful: Dutch king reveals double life as an airline pilot for KLM

I'm not a big Airbnb fan, but I'd make an exception for Julia Child's Provencal cottage. Let's go!

I'm excited for this movie too: First Look: Lily James in Mike Newell’s ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’

F Scott Fitzgerald's favourite hotels: party like it's 1929

These Stunning, Less-Visited Castles in Europe Are Straight Out of a Fairy Tale

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/18/17)

Ooh! Return of the Campbell, an Ornate Grand Central Bar

Heh: People Are Mad ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Doesn’t Respect Scrabble Rules

Ancient Astronaut Aryans: On the Far Right Obsession with Indo-Europeans

The Mystery of the 2,000-Year-Old Iron Beads

American Trees Are Moving West, and No One Knows Why

Morning Coffee (5/18/17)

Me elsewhere: Here's the CBS fall schedule.

Robert Mueller, Former F.B.I. Director, Is Named Special Counsel for Russia Investigation

Why It’s Hard to Have an Independent Russia Investigation

See also: GOP blocks House vote on independent Russia-Trump investigation

Trump Team Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation Before He Came to White House

House majority leader to colleagues in 2016: ‘I think Putin pays’ Trump

I'm not getting my hopes up or anything, but it's still good to see that a few of them maybe have some vague sort of integrity or at least self-preservation: First Republicans In Congress Use the I-Word: Impeachment

GOOD: New Hampshire Lawmaker Behind Misogynistic Reddit Forum Resigns

Oh: Turkish Dictator's Suited Thugs Beat Up Protesters on Embassy Row

New Star Trek: Discovery trailer!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/17/17)

There's been a lot of talk about whether this should have been published, but I think it's definitely worth reading assuming you read critically and thoughtfully: My Family's Slave

Teen magazines have always covered more than fashion. You just didn’t notice.

Eleanor Roosevelt: “Can a Woman Ever Be President of the United States?”

Interesting: Germans Are the World’s Most Discerning Seltzer Connoisseurs

Ooh: A Rare Public Display of a 17th-Century Mayan Manuscript

Morning Coffee (5/17/17)

Me elsewhere: I'm rounding up the fall TV schedules at The Televixen: ABC, FOX, NBC

Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation

Donald Trump has committed the exact offense that forced Richard Nixon to resign

Israel Said to Be Source of Secret Intelligence Trump Gave to Russians

“The president wasn’t even aware where this information came from,” Mr. McMaster said. “He wasn’t briefed on the source or method of the information either.”

What Pepe The Frog's Death Can Teach Us About The Internet

Whoa: Girl Scout Troop Leader Indicted For Stealing Around $20,000 Worth of Cookies, Remains at Large

Aww: A British man needs help finding the last photo ever taken of his late wife

!!! John le Carré to make rare public appearance to discuss new novel

This sounds amazing: Ben Whishaw, Alan Cumming, Russell Tovey to Headline BBC’s ‘Queers’

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/16/17)

What I REALLY want him to do is write a productivity book: Greg Berlanti on the Cusp of Making TV History

Ricardians are hilarious: Defenders of Richard III Furious at Plan to Stage Shakespeare's Richard III Next to His Grave

Red velvet is NOT A FLAVOR: Don't Ever Bring Me Red Velvet Cake

Hmm. Blue prosecco? I'd try it.

From Buffy to Oprah: Weird and Wonderful Celebrity Cookbooks

Morning Coffee (5/16/17)

Me elsewhere: Lots of TV news this week.

Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador

And BuzzFeed has corroboration: Trump Revealed Highly Classified Information To Russians During White House Visit

Uh: When President Trump’s bodyguard revealed Jim Mattis’s private cellphone number

How Trump Gets His Fake News

This is wild and SO VERMONTY: FBI: Theft from [Cabot] cheese company for maple biz

Ooh, 2016 baby name data is out!

Aw, this is why this kind of thing actually matters: Rise in Veterans Seeking Help After Prince Harry’s Mental Health Confession

Well, this is quite a statement of Kelly Clarkson's feelings on the return of American Idol.

Ooh: Christie's to auction the Rockefeller emerald: a potentially record-breaking stone with a prestigious provenance

Friday, May 12, 2017

Morning Coffee (5/12/17)

(I'm traveling, so this was written ahead of time and may not reflect current events. Back on Tuesday!)


First, an important Public Service Announcement.

This is GREAT and has so many writers I like in it: Why the 1980s Anne of Green Gables Is Such a Hard Act to Follow

I read a lot of book contracts for work, so I was very interested to see this: John Milton's publishing contract for Paradise Lost

This is not particularly relevant to my life but I WISH it were: Where to get the absolute best baguette in Paris

This new Picturing Places project from the British Library is really cool.

The Bloomsbury Bohemians in the British Countryside

Here's a fun Friday topic: What's the Dumbest Movie You Saw Just Because It Had a Hot Lead? (Cloned? Probably. The real question, now that I think about this, is why I've seen so many Alex Pettyfer movies EVEN THOUGH I DON'T THINK HE'S HOT.)

Duchess Kate Meets Tiny Adorable Farm Animals!

31 Vintage Posters That Demand You Pick Up a Book

Hee! The Queen is spotted taking her security guard for a spin

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/11/17)

Today in "I want to read this as a novel": The Real Wives of Jamestown

I've never read Elizabeth Strout but this profile makes me want to.

I still miss The Toast every day: Patricia Lockwood & Mallory Ortberg on Religion, “Daddy,” & Bananas

If we're electing random unqualified celebrities now, we could do worse: Dwayne Johnson for President!

A New Path, A New Dawn: Women’s Magazines in 1920s Soviet Uzbekistan

Morning Coffee (5/11/17)

There is SO MUCH LEAKING happening: Inside Trump’s anger and impatience — and his sudden decision to fire Comey

How Every Lawmaker Has Reacted to Comey’s Firing So Far

Uh, you think? Presence of Russian photographer in Oval Office raises alarms

After Trump fired Comey, White House staff scrambled to explain why (Make sure you read all the way down to the Editor's Note on this one.)

Lots of people don't seem to get this: "Trump will be impeached and removed from office if a critical mass of members of Congress want him to be, and not otherwise. There are no formal criteria."

Oooh: ACLU sues New Hampshire for rejecting hundreds of absentee ballots

Uganda's Punishment Island: 'I was left to die on an island for getting pregnant'

So much exciting Clinton book news this week: Curtis Sittenfeld is writing a novel about Hillary Rodham not marrying Bill Clinton

Hm, NBC is doing Jesus Christ Superstar live. On Easter. I look forward to the uproar about it being sacrilegious. (Actually, the one time I saw it, a woman was playing Judas, so now I always have to remind myself that's not how it was written.)

This Human Relative May Have Lived Alongside Our Species in Africa

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/10/17)

Hero: The Woman Who Stood Between America and an Epidemic of Birth Defects

I need to read more about the Mitfords: When Adolf Hitler confidante Unity Mitford came to stay

If you like reading about crazy literary feuds, have I got the article for you: The Book That Scandalized the New York Intellectuals

When Science and the Occult Went Head-to-Head on a German Mountaintop

Hee: Hottest New Novels to Buy at the Airport (I JUST realized as I was pasting in the link that this is old, but I'm leaving it because I think we all need a giggle today.)

Morning Coffee (5/10/17)

I don't agree with the way a lot of people are talking about this - Comey's no martyr! He deserved to be fired! - but obviously the situation is CAUSE FOR MUCH WORRY: F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump

And this morning! CNN exclusive: Grand jury subpoenas issued in FBI's Russia investigation

Wisconsin’s Voter-ID Law Suppressed 200,000 Votes in 2016 (Trump Won by 22,748)

So! Only One State in the U.S. Is Succeeding at Gender Parity in Government. Here's How to Change That (Spoiler: It's New Hampshire.)

But also (on the same site)! NH Lawmaker Who Created Misogynistic 'Red Pill' Forum May Still Be Commenting Under a New Alias (Spoiler: The same thing allows both of these seemingly conflicting outcomes: the state legislature is huge and part time and basically unpaid, which helps people see it as work for women and a fine opportunity for crazy men.)

In a Fight for Land, a Women’s Movement Shakes Morocco

Is the Gig Economy Working? (No.)

Ooh: One of the first books ever printed in England discovered by university librarian

‘Baby Louie’ Solves Dinosaur Development Mysteries

Mystery of Emperor Caligula’s Party Ships Could Be Revealed After 2,000 Years

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/9/17)

How African-Americans Disappeared From the Kentucky Derby

This is great: We Accidentally Spent a Wild Evening with the World's Biggest Fifty Shades of Grey Fans

A Culinary Renaissance in the Israeli Countryside

A Refuge for Liberal Values Beneath a Stern Victorian Gaze

The Queen's Encomium

Morning Coffee (5/9/17)

This seems normal and fine: White House advisors called Ottawa to urge Trudeau to help talk Trump down from scrapping NAFTA

SIGH: Obama Warned Trump Against Hiring Mike Flynn, Say Officials

What a shock: Macron hackers linked to Russian-affiliated group behind US attack

"A spokesman for the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate."

'Nobody Dies Because They Don’t Have Access to Health Care,' Says Elected Idiot

!!!! Bill Clinton and James Patterson are writing a novel

A group of Obama veterans are banding together to invest in tech that can help Democrats win

Whoa: After a 33-Year Absence, a Lost Beach Returns to Ireland

Huh! Wolves Have Returned to Denmark After Two Centuries of Absence

Found: An 18th-Century Asian Sword Fished From a Welsh River

Friday, May 5, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/5/17)

THE COOLEST JOB EVER: How to Decode an Ancient Roman’s Handwriting

The West Indian Island That Shaped Alexander Hamilton

This is lovely: A Life in Focus: Remembering Antony Armstrong-Jones, the First Earl of Snowdon

This method might be worth a try: How I Slowed the Flood of Library Holds

The 17​th​-Century Moon Mission That Never Got Off the Ground

Morning Coffee (5/5/17)

I think we all need some happy Friday links this week.

Good news!!! Hillary Clinton to launch political group as soon as next week

Also! You can now buy a new story by Rainbow Rowell and help the ACLU!

This is a fun interview (by Andrew Rannells!) and your Friday could probably be improved by looking at his face: Matt Bomer: The King of Summer TV

What the world needs now: Dorie Greenspan Gets a New York Times Magazine Column and It’s All About Dessert

I assume you want to see Justin Trudeau dressed as a firefighter (kinda).

In Praise of Agatha Christie's Accidental Sleuths

This is GREAT for those of us who like poring over genealogical tables in history books: Royally Connected

Speaking of, Princess Charlotte had her birthday this week and she's very cute.

The Most Ridiculous Jeans Styles of the Year, Ranked

Let's go! New 'Downton Abbey' Exhibit Lets You Walk Through Mrs. Patmore's Kitchen and More

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/4/17)

'Girls on Fire' author Robin Wasserman sees parallels between '90s and today in politics and women's empowerment

That Solo Travel Blogger? She Just Wants a Vacation (I would read a million novels about the secret lives of various kinds of social media celebrities.)

I'm not sure this is TRUE but I found it comforting, as I DO keep reading books I hate: Why You Should Read Books You Hate

The Murder of Colonel Dooly Of Georgia: A Revolutionary War Mystery

Pushing the envelope: Siam’s stunning stamps

Morning Coffee (5/4/17)

Last night Twitter was full of rumors that someone had died, because Buckingham Palace called an emergency staff meeting, so I'm relieved to find the news is no more tragic than the retirement of a very elderly man: Prince Philip to step down from carrying out royal engagements

This is (among the reasons) why Trump being buddy-buddy with Russia is a big deal: Chechnya’s Anti-Gay Pogrom

U.N. Documents Syrian War Crimes, but Prosecution Moves Slowly

Sigh. Of course he is: Trump Is Expected to Relax Tax Rules on Churches Endorsing Political Candidates

The US Department of Justice is literally prosecuting a woman for laughing at Jeff Sessions

I'd forgotten about this but OF COURSE: Ivanka Trump Was In Gossip Girl Because Of Course She Was

How Ingrained Is Sexism in Silicon Valley? Ask the Women Trying to Get Funding

America's First Offshore Wind Farm Shutters Diesel Power Plant

Off with their heads: 3D scans reveal Lord Nelson and PM Pitt's secrets

Oh, interesting: Amazon expands its literary horizons, making big imprint in translation niche

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/2/17)

The U.S. Gymnastics System Wanted More Medals, And Created A Culture Of Abuse To Get Them

Whoa: Found: The Hoof of Napoleon’s Horse, Hiding in a Cottage Drawer in England

Transylvania Cave Offers a View Into Europe's Past Climate

The Professor and the Jihadi

One of the Earliest Industrial Spies Was a French Missionary Stationed in China

Morning Coffee (5/2/17)

Strike averted! Writers Guild Of America Reaches A Tentative Deal With Studios

Wilbur Ross Says Syria Missile Strike Was ‘After-Dinner Entertainment’ at Mar-a-Lago

Fact Check: Could Andrew Jackson Have Stopped The Civil War, As Trump Said?

Trump’s Volatility in Asia Distresses a Longtime U.S. Ally: Australia

Tunisia’s Truth-Telling Renews a Revolution’s Promise, Painfully

How factions in South Sudan’s war took shape on British campuses

Congressional Credentialing Committee Deals Breitbart A Devastating Rebuke

Interesting: Ryan Seacrest Tapped as Kelly Ripa’s Permanent Co-Host on ‘Live’

The Company Behind "The National Enquirer" Just Bought "Us Weekly" — Here's Why That Matters

I Grew Up In A Fundamentalist Cult — ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Was My Reality

Monday, May 1, 2017

Afternoon Tea (5/1/17)

Wellness, Womanhood, and the West: How Goop Profits From Endless Illness

This interview with historian Helen Castor is a delight.

Ooh, the Times has a new advice column for book lovers!

Heh: The Religious Feud in England Over Asparagus

The Women Warriors of the Russian Revolution

Fandom Tea: Game of Thrones Sampler (Part II)

As I mentioned in the previous post in this series, Adagio sent me some free fandom-themed tea to review. You can read post one, which includes some general thoughts on the packaging, etc., right here.

One of the items I picked was this Game of Thrones sampler. I liked the art and the flavors sounded interesting - lots of spice. The six tins came together in a cardboard box that was also decorated with the art for each flavor along with a general banner, as you can see here with my House Stark mug:

I really like the way the art incorporates the description of each flavor - not all of the fans who make the blends choose to do that, but it's helpful not to have to go look up what's in what. As you can see, I opened these all up and sniffed them; they were all pleasant and all spicy, as the descriptions suggest. I took the picture with the tins partially open so you can see how each tea looks different, which is good - who wants a sampler that's all similar? - and I was surprised by how different the different teas tasted. I'd been worried that they'd all just taste like spice, but they were quite distinct. The way the flavors and art adhere cohesively to thematic elements would make this sampler a nice gift for the Game of Thrones fan in your life who already has all the standard merch.

And now some specific thoughts on two houses and one dragon:

Stark Winterbrew - I love how smoky the scent of this one is, but unfortunately I didn't taste the smoke very much. It is dark and strong, as Stark winter tea should be. It could use some more spice, though - the flavor was a bit flatter than the others.

Lannister Royal Tea - This one gets extra points for the pun, obviously. It's very smooth - the almond helps there - and the spice is more of an undercurrent, as seems appropriate for a refined court tea. (Murdery and incestuous, I guess, but refined.)

Rhaegal's Fire - This is a green tea, but honestly just read as "pleasantly spicy" to me. As a dragon tea should be! The green-ness does make it a bit lighter, which is nice, and as I'm not a huge green tea fan in general I was just as happy that that taste was not dominant.

Next time: Detective teas!

Morning Coffee (5/1/17)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

How Modern Tyrants Use Terror Management to Consolidate Power

Foes on the Run as Erdogan Makes Power Personal

The Lessons of the Chibok Kidnappings, Three Years Later

Brexit and Britain’s delusions of empire

The ‘Goddess’ Yi Wan Ka: Ivanka Trump Is a Hit in China

This whole saga is amazing. (The last sentence is the best.) I Worked at Fyre Festival. It Was Always Going to Be a Disaster.

Ahahahahaha: Fyre Festival Head Billy McFarland: 'We Were a Little Naive'

Of... course he is: James Patterson is writing a true crime book about Aaron Hernandez

This sounds cool: Game of Thrones language class coming to UC Berkeley this summer