Thursday, August 31, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/31/17)

A good piece on last week's YA drama: A first-time author unwittingly exposed the house of cards beneath “bestseller” books

Ruby Ridge, 1992: the day the American militia movement was born

The Holy Grail of Video Game History Is Probably an Office Memo

Interesting: One Scientist May Have Finally Figured Out the Mystery of Why a Civil War Submarine Sank

Shabbat in Zimbabwe

Morning Coffee (8/31/17)

Oh no: Explosions Reported At Flooded Arkema Chemical Plant In Crosby, Texas

Some GOOD news: Federal Judge Blocks Texas’ Ban on ‘Sanctuary Cities’

Reports: Mattis froze the transgender military ban. Reality: no, he didn’t.

Nice! Canadian Passports Will Now Have a Gender Neutral Option

The race to rescue Cambodian children from orphanages exploiting them for profit

Stormfront: 'murder capital of internet' pulled offline after civil rights action

I love this: Thanks to Maggie Hassan, Little Girls in New Hampshire Think Only Women Can Be Governors

This headline was horrifying but then I saw it's what he WANTED: Terry Pratchett's unfinished novels destroyed by steamroller

Theft is bad but I would watch this heist movie: Thieves bore into cellar from Paris catacombs to steal €250,000 of wine

Found: The Remains of Chinese Laborers Interred on a Peruvian Pyramid

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/30/17)

This is great: Spies Like Us: A Conversation With John le Carré and Ben Macintyre

Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson and the Ways We Talk About Our Past

Wagner, Incest, and “Game of Thrones”

The Camera That Will Transform Our Understanding of the Universe

Yak Herders’ Vanishing Way of Life

Three Surprisingly Easy Recipes You Should Try Immediately

One of my personal goals for this year was to branch out with my cooking and try a lot of new recipes, and... well, I've done better at some times than others - cooking in the summer is terrible! - but it just so happens that I've tried THREE new-to-me recipes in the past week or so and they were all easy and delicious. So I figured I should share.

I was discussing kale salad with my friend Carrie, as you do, and she pointed me toward Melt In Your Mouth Kale Salad. Honestly, that title seemed a BIT hyperbolic for... kale. But. It is true. The big revelation here was that you put the kale IN THE FOOD PROCESSOR. I had never considered such a thing, and I sent Carrie approximately a million skeptical texts and she was very patient with me, and I just tried it... and it was great. The kale winds up very finely chopped and soaks up the dressing very well. (The only problem is that then you have to wash the food processor, which is always annoying.)

(I made a bunch of substitutions here: I used regular kale and parmesan because I live in New Hampshire and we do not have those fancy kinds at the grocery store. I used slivered almonds instead of pine nuts because I didn't have a spare $1000 sitting around. And I used dried cranberries instead of currants or raisins because ew.)

Smitten Kitchen is my favorite food blog; it has never steered me wrong. And this Simple Potato Gratin was no different. I had a bunch of yellow potatoes to use, and the end of some heavy cream, and this was the perfect solution. It's easy and ridiculously delicious. I was skeptical of the recipe's claim that it would make you feel like you're eating macaroni and cheese, but IT DID, and with way less cheese.

I ate at a P.F. Chang's at an airport recently and immediately became obsessed with their Shanghai Cucumbers, which was unfortunate because the nearest restaurant is an hour away. I figured I'd Google to see if anyone had posted a copycat recipe... and discovered that the actual restaurant posted the actual recipe! It's called Gluten Free Shanghai Cucumbers but don't let that scare you. ;) I had to buy a couple ingredients for this, but it was extremely easy to throw together and tastes exactly right. And now I have enough sesame seeds to last years.

Morning Coffee (8/30/17)

The Lament Of The Boko Haram 'Brides'

The Deadly Cost of Pregnancy for Migrant Women in Jordan

Why Joe Arpaio Deserves to Burn in Hell (A Laundry List)

Trump Associate Boasted That Moscow Business Deal ‘Will Get Donald Elected’

The Antifa Protests Are Helping Donald Trump

Who among us... Trump confuses two blonde Finnish journalists during press conference

Jeannie Rousseau de Clarens, Valiant World War II Spy, Dies at 98

What a headline: From Evelyn Waugh to Elizabeth I: Vivien Leigh's eclectic library up for auction

Ooh! Burt's Bees Will Be Expanding Their Makeup Offerings Soon

With a Simple DNA Test, Family Histories Are Rewritten

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/29/17)

This is fascinating: Degas’s Model Tells All

Solving a Murder Mystery With Ancestry Websites

This is QUITE SOMETHING: A Re-enactment of a Wealthy Woman Getting Dressed in 18th-Century England

Seersucker’s Curious Class Struggle

Fun: Periodic Table of Literary Villains

Morning Coffee (8/29/17)

This is tough but a well-researched, important read: How Police Cracked Canada's Largest Child Pornography Ring

Good for the ACLU: We Are Taking Trump to Court to Stop His Illegal and Cruel Ban on Transgender Service Members

Of course he is: Racist Ex-Sheriff Pardoned by Trump Is Now Talking About Running for US Senate

Two Bankers Are Selling Trump’s Tax Plan. Is Congress Buying?

A good step! India's Supreme Court Determines Freedom of Sexual Orientation Is Constitutionally-Protected Right

Sexual harassment and the sharing economy: the dark side of working for strangers

Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Oh no: France faces worst wine grape harvest since 1945

!!! Collection of letters by codebreaker Alan Turing found in filing cabinet

Gunpowder looks fun and I'm amused that they're using "Autumn is coming" in the marketing.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/28/17)

This is so interesting: Embroidering “Game of Thrones”

Good for her: An Eye for Talent, a Place in History: Making Her Mark in Baseball Scouting

The Strange, Contagious History of Bulimia

Every time I read about Barbara Pym, I think "I need to read Barbara Pym."

Daydreaming in the service of the East India Company

Morning Coffee (8/28/17)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week!

Joe Biden: 'We Are Living Through a Battle for the Soul of This Nation'

"Specifically, if the Sanders-Trump voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania had voted for Clinton, or even stayed home on Election Day, those states would have swung to Clinton."

What Makes a Terrorist?

Welp: Trump's cybersecurity advisors resign en masse

These quieter stories are very important: Is Anybody Home at HUD?

Wheee, new Taylor Swift video!

Shakespeare or Shakespear? That is the question surrounding USC's new statue in $700-million USC Village

Ooh: It's Snowing on Mars at Night, Research Suggests

Go Behind the Glass of Churchill’s Underground War Rooms

Friday, August 25, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/25/17)

I watched this saga unfold on Twitter yesterday and it was AMAZING. Worth a read, I promise: Did This Book Buy Its Way Onto The New York Times Bestseller List? (Yes.)

This series is always delightful: JD and Kate Visit the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

Pitch perfect: the best fashion of the new football season

For Centuries, Readers Annotated Books With Tiny Drawings of Hands

How the horse became the only living animal with a single toe

So I have this Patreon...

I do! You can find it here. I haven't talked about it much recently (and don't worry, I'm not going to start plugging it constantly or anything), partially because I haven't been doing much with it and have been struggling to keep up with the way I structured it. SO, I'm going to revamp it a bit, and I'm looking for some input, whether or not you've joined me over there!

If you are or have been a patron - what did you like? What parts didn't you care about? What rewards do you wish there were?

If you're NOT a patron - what are the kinds of rewards or blog content that might make you consider joining? What have you liked/not liked in other Patreons you've dealt with in general?

And because this affects ALL blog readers, not just patrons - the link posts aren't going anywhere, but what ELSE would you like to see around here? I've been having a hard time with book reviews because most of my book thoughts are going to my Tinyletter, so I'm thinking about other kinds of posts. What would you like to read about?

Morning Coffee (8/25/17)

Time for Friday happy links! Make sure you come back this afternoon for TWO posts, including the return of Friday afternoon links. I've got a doozy for you.


Eee, trailer for Strike, new show based on J.K. Rowling's mystery novels!

Whoa: Antares: astronomers capture best ever image of a star’s surface and atmosphere

I'm always so relieved when an author I like doesn't say anything terrible in her By the Book interview, and Louise Penny's is great.

Look at my friend Holly's elf ears in the New York Times!

Penguins Filmed Their Own Videos of Antarctica, and the Footage Is Incredible

YES I DO: 15 Next-Level Ice Cream Sandwiches You Need in Your Life

Netflix’s Latest Hit Series Is a Boring, Soothing Japanese Reality Show. I'm in.

Beatles Monuments in Unexpected Places

I have read bachelorette party instruction letters that sound JUST LIKE THIS: Tips for Emily’s Low-Key Destination Bachelorette! PLEASE READ

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/24/17)

This radio documentary about Voyager One and Two is fascinating: Space 1977

Not sure I'd call this SURPRISING, but: The Surprisingly Important Role China Played in WWI

How a board game about bitter legal struggles became a bitter legal struggle

This is cool: Real Madrid, Arsenal, LA Galaxy, Boca Juniors — In One Giant Power Ranking

Useful! Continental Army Major Generals: The Best Biographies

Morning Coffee (8/24/17)

Aaaah new Taylor album title and date!

A State Department science envoy resigns in a letter that spells out IMPEACH

"Who could have predicted it? Anyone, really."

This is interesting and such good work: With teamwork and hustle, Toledo Blade dominated after Charlottesville attack

A Running List of Confederate Monuments Removed Across the Country

And! Six Flags replaces Confederate flag with American flag

Ha: Crown Prince of Denmark banned from entering Australian pub due to not carrying I.D.

Ooh, Marcia Clark is making a TV show! I'm in.

X-Ray Reveals Ancient Roman Portrait Covered in Mt. Vesuvius Ash

Lotta goat news out of England recently: A 'murder' mystery with a toxic twist ... and pygmy goats

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/23/17)

I love this: Writing a Long Novel is a Feminist Act

Whoa: 'Don't talk about the goat wars': how a feral herd divided a Devon village

A Speedier Way to Catalog Human Cells (All 37 Trillion of Them)

Alsatian Wines Strike a Balance of Dry and Sweet

How 7 Sisters Made a Fortune off Their Rapunzel-Like Hair

Morning Coffee (8/23/17)

This Is What It's Like For Girls Growing Up In Gaza

Not sure this MEANS much, but it's kinda incredible that these kinds of stories are coming out this early in the administration: McConnell, in Private, Doubts if Trump Can Save Presidency

When Trump Was Jealous of Jerry Lewis

This is wild: Chinese Novelist Is Arrested in 4 Murders From 2 Decades Ago

!! Wreckage of U.S.S. Indianapolis, Lost for 72 Years, Is Found in the Pacific

Tech’s Damaging Myth of the Loner Genius Nerd

Aw, this is cool: To Hit a Passer and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’: A Linebacker’s Two Sides

Found: Ice From 2.7 Million Years Ago

When Milton met Galileo: the collision of cultures that helped shape Paradise Lost

I've heard mixed things about A Discovery of Witches but I'm all for Matthew Goode as a vampire.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/16/17)

Analysis of Roman coins tells of Hannibal's defeat and Rome's rise

Why Do We Sleep Under Blankets, Even on the Hottest Nights? Yeah, science, WHY DO WE? I just want it to be cold out so I can sleep again.

On the Rise of Scandinavian Crime Fiction

The Fuzzy History of the Georgia Peach

Aw, memories! HyperCard On The Archive (Celebrating 30 Years of HyperCard)

Morning Coffee (8/16/17)

Oh, good: Baltimore Removes Confederate Statues in Overnight Operation

Trump Gives White Supremacists an Unequivocal Boost

Donald Trump is offering comfort to racists and extremists

While Trump was distracted, North Korea calmed down. That’s not a coincidence.

And here's what's actually happening in Guam right now.

Seeking Greater Global Power, China Looks to Robots and Microchips

Oh hey, Hugo Award winners! Glad THAT process was less of a mess this year, at least.

This whole thing is kind of hilarious: Costco Owes Tiffany More Than $19 Million, Judge Rules

Hmmm: MoviePass Now Offers Unlimited Movies in Theaters for $10 a Month (From what I've read, their business model is a. selling your data [they were just bought by an analytics firm] and/or b. proving their worth enough to get theaters to "partner" with them in the future. I tried to join yesterday but their servers were overloaded - it's 2017, people, do load tests! - and then AMC said they're going to try to block it, so... I guess I'll wait.)

Antarctica’s Ice Hides 91 Newly Described Volcanoes

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/15/17)

How Driscoll's Reinvented the Strawberry

Todd is speaking my language here: "But in episode three, one big element of the show clicks into place: You realize that Manhunt is a series about catching a killer by playing word games."

This is an interesting read of the movie Marie Antoinette: Tragic Queendom

Identity Crisis: What do you do when someone who isn’t you shows up on the internet — and starts finding your friends?

The Hunt for a Missing Canadian Lily

Morning Coffee (8/15/17)

The Battle of Charlottesville

2017! Tiki Brand Does Not Condone the Use of Its Torches by White Supremacists

Of course he is: Trump says he’s considering pardon for Joe Arpaio

Alabama GOP Senate Primary Gets Even Strange-er After Trump Intervention

Thanks, Germany! An American tourist gave the Nazi salute in Germany — so a stranger beat him up, police say

GoDaddy and Google have refused service to a notorious neo-Nazi site

Aww: Big Ben to be silenced for four years for maintenance

GOOD. I am all for piracy arrests: Police Make Arrests in ‘Game of Thrones’ Piracy Case in India

Huh: Paramount Is Making a Leonardo da Vinci Biopic Starring Leonardo DiCaprio (No offense to Leo, but I'm not super-convinced by the idea of him playing a genius. HOWEVER, I hope this means we are a step closer to my dream of a Thomas Hardy adaptation starring Tom Hardy.)

Ooh! Major archaeological finds at Greenwich uncover lost Royal palace

Monday, August 14, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/14/17)

What a Fraternity Hazing Death Revealed About the Painful Search for an Asian-American Identity

The Women of Formula One

This is great: Explore Smiley's London

Time-Travelling with Merriam-Webster's Dictionary

The 1922 Eclipse Adventure That Sought to Confirm the Theory of Relativity

Morning Coffee (8/14/17)

Me elsewhere: The week's TV news.

Well, this was some shocking TV industry news to wake up to: Shonda Rhimes Says Farewell to ABC Studios and Hello to Netflix

The Washington Post story about Charlottesville is pretty comprehensive and well-done, if you want to catch up on what's happened.

Here's an interesting first-person account by a New York Times reporter in Charlottesville.

What a surprise: Alt-Right Media Framed Wrong Person in Car Attack, Labeled Him ‘Anti-Trump Druggie’

We need to stop acting like Trump isn’t pandering to white supremacists

This was well-articulated: I’m a White Man. Hear Me Out.

Russia-West Balancing Act Grows Ever More Wobbly in Belarus

Interesting: Words We're Watching: 'Record Scratch'

Almost Edible, 106-Year-Old Fruitcake Found in Antarctica

Friday, August 11, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/10/17)

I teared up reading this, so I'm sure I'll handle the actual book very well: John le Carré Goes Back Into the Cold

The Mystery of Sylvia Plath's Lost Novel

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Mammals Took to the Skies

The Strange, Sad Story of Joe Orton, His Lover, and 72 Stolen Library Books

Tourist Trinkets: The Medieval Pilgrim Badge

Morning Coffee (8/10/17)

"To most North Korea experts, Kim Jong Un is far from erratic. In fact, they say that if anyone is unpredictable in this scenario, it’s President Trump."

"What we do know is that in 1962, nuclear holocaust was averted in part because a president read a book and learned from it."

American mosques — and American Muslims — are being targeted for hate like never before

Mauritania has a new flag

Pregnancy can kill. No one should be forced to give birth against their will

And here's the very important ProPublica investigation mentioned there: Lost Mothers

The global politics of the biggest story in soccer

Women who are elite mathematicians are less likely than men to believe they’re elite mathematicians

Ooh, DRAMA: LeVar Burton Sued for Using His Reading Rainbow Catchphrase on His Podcast

Found: 20,000 World War Two Aircraft Blueprints

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/9/17)

An Ice Cream Maker’s Latest Recipe: Saving the Local School

I had NO IDEA: How Ice Cream Helped America at War

Chasing Shadows for a Glimpse of a Tiny World Beyond Pluto

Multilevel-marketing companies like LuLaRoe are forcing people into debt and psychological crisis

Lessons From a Victorian-Era Cat Dictionary

Morning Coffee (8/9/17)

Well. This is all pretty worrisome. Trump Threatens ‘Fire and Fury’ Against North Korea if It Endangers U.S.

Britain Is in the Grip of Its Most Turbulent Political Time in More Than 30 Years

Aww: One old minibus and 1,300 books: the mobile library for refugees in Greece

Why Is Donald Trump Still So Horribly Witless About the World?

How the Trump hotel has rewritten the rules of business — and politics — in Washington

The curious case of ‘Nicole Mincey,’ the Trump fan who may actually be a bot

Defendants Kept in the Dark About Evidence, Until It’s Too Late

Huh: Wish you were here: Europol releases set of postcards in bid to catch criminals

Sigh: Mary Beard abused on Twitter over Roman Britain's ethnic diversity

Interesting: Making old bones: Joint Mitnor cave reopens with replica fossils

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/8/17)

Interesting: Weaning Itself From Elephant Ivory, China Turns to Mammoths

Why Are There No New Major Religions?

Inside the Facebook Group Where N.F.L. Wives Share Anxieties and Advice

With Snowflakes and Unicorns, Marina Ratner and Maryam Mirzakhani Explored a Universe in Motion

Was an Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh a Giant?

Morning Coffee (8/8/17)

Scientists gave this to the Times because they feared the Trump administration would suppress it: Government Report Finds Drastic Impact of Climate Change on U.S.

This is, you know, terrorism, just so we're all clear: FBI: Explosive Device Detonated At Minnesota Mosque

Oh my God, you idiots, STOP LEAVING STUFF ON YOUR WHITEBOARDS IN PICTURES: The Trump agenda, as told by Steve Bannon's whiteboard

Find Out If President Trump Would Let You Immigrate to America Nope!

Hillary Wants to Preach

Bitcoin Has Split Into Two Cryptocurrencies. What, Exactly, Does That Mean? (Update: I still don't understand bitcoin AT ALL.)

Well, good: J.K. Rowling is the world's highest-paid author, Forbes says

This makes me SO ANGRY, I... should just give you the link and not get into it: The Toxic Drama on YA Twitter

Laura Dern Could Make History If She's Elected President of the Academy of Motion Pictures

Found: The Oldest Known Family of Asteroids in the Solar System

Monday, August 7, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/7/17)

The Art and Artistry of Double Dutch

We Analyzed 1,000 Fortune Cookies To Unlock Their Secrets

Strolling the ancient hillforts of southern England

HOW UPSETTING. Uh, I mean, cool? How One Brave Spider Floated Thousands of Miles to Colonize a New Continent

The Woman Who Collected More Than 25,000 Menus

Morning Coffee (8/7/17)

Me elsewhere: TV news for the week.

'Human life is more expendable': why slavery has never made more money

Sigh: An anti-immigrant group mistook empty bus seats for women wearing burqas

Italy’s ‘Lord of the Spies’ Takes On a Migration Crisis

Republican Shadow Campaign for 2020 Takes Shape as Trump Doubts Grow

This was both fascinating and moving and I kind of want to write a novel about it: The Loyal Engineers Steering NASA’s Voyager Probes Across the Universe

Ooh: Get a behind-the-scenes first look at Broadway’s Frozen musical

Somehow Women Still Make Up Less Than a Third of Speaking Characters in Top U.S. Movies SOMEHOW.

Nicole Chung talked to John Cho and it's great, as you'd expect.

I promise this is more interesting than it sounds: The Secret Life of the City Banana

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday chat: Summer TV!

Most of the summer TV has started, so... which of the new shows are you watching? Liking? Hating? I like The Bold Type and I'm Sorry. Somewhere Between was one of the downright weirdest pilots I've ever seen, like aliens who had read a book about humans once were trying to make a TV show. I only lasted about five minutes into Midnight, Texas. Will is definitely better than Still Star-Crossed when it comes to ridiculous Shakespeare shows. And I have a bunch of other stuff I haven't tried yet - Salvation, Snowfall, The Sinner, Loaded, The Guest Book, The Last Tycoon... anyone liking any of them?

Morning Coffee (8/4/17)

Time for some Friday happy links!

Wow: 8-year-old Becomes Youngest Female Ever to Summit Mount Kilimanjaro

Linda Holmes of NPR wrote a book and it sounds really good!

Ooh! PBS Orders New Series to Choose America’s Favorite Book

The Times' By the Book column has Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden this week! I love her.

Let's take a break to ogle the Bosworth Psalter.

This is truly the greatest act of self-care.

Whoa: Looking at Famous Buildings Through Water Droplets

!! You Can Take Dance Classes With Alpacas at This Canadian Farm

Ooh, let's go: V&A exhibition sets sail for glory days of luxury ocean liners

Sculpting Star Trek Characters With Butter at the Iowa State Fair

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/2/17)

This is perfect: Please Forgive Us at Blue Apron for This Week’s Meals. We’ve Been Having a Tough Time Lately

Oh cool: A Very Modern Map of Britain’s Ancient Roman Roads

Dear Match Book: Give Me Fictional Family Sagas, the Longer the Better

Frozen in time: the miraculous gold rush movies buried under the Yukon ice

The Fascinating, Regal History Behind Britain’s Swans

Morning Coffee (8/2/17)

This is long but worth reading (and really well written): Why the Scariest Nuclear Threat May Be Coming from Inside the White House

Ughhh: Nashua Telegraph’s Executive Editor Fired; City Editor Gives Notice "Bucknam said he was fired at 1:30 p.m. by publisher Heather Goodwin Henline for refusing to increase the hours of three salaried employees who are already each putting in about 60 hours a week to avoid paying overtime."

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ State Department considers scrubbing democracy promotion from its mission

Of course they are: "The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants."

This is important to understand, especially given the incorrect stuff going around: John McCain did not kill Obamacare repeal for good. It could still come back.

Success of North Korean Missile Test Is Thrown Into Question

Awful: Premier League youth players targeted by Snapchat groomers posing as agents

Finally some good news! Britain's Best Cook: Mary Berry to judge new BBC cooking contest

Interesting: Amazon's race to make Alexa smarter

Ancient statue unearthed at Cambodia's Angkor temple complex

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Afternoon Tea (8/1/17)

In Ancient Rome, Citrus Fruits Were Status Symbols

When Girls Studied Planets And The Skies Had No Limits

Solving the 55-Year-Old Mystery of the White Box That Fell From the Sky

Oooh: Infographic: The Most Iconic Book Set in Each Country in the World

The Wool Brigades of World War I, When Knitting Was a Patriotic Duty

Morning Coffee (8/1/17)

Welp. John Kelly, Asserting Authority, Fires Anthony Scaramucci

Oh. Trump dictated son’s misleading statement on meeting with Russian lawyer

Oh. White House officials tricked by email prankster

This doesn't sound important or anything: State Department head of diplomatic security resigns

This by Chris Murphy is definitely worth a read: Behind the Scenes of Last Night’s Health Care Vote

Sally Yates: Protect the Justice Department From President Trump

Interesting: Auschwitz: First travelling exhibition will visit Europe and US

The Hot New Thing in Guatemala, Land of Coffee? It’s Coffee

Uh... Steven Soderbergh's New Movie Writer Likely Doesn't Exist

Hilarious: 20 Literary Would-You-Rathers