I read a lot. This is a selection of what I read the past week (3/8/2021 through 3/14/2021) that I think you should read, too.
*Alex Fox’s How the Brainless Slime Mold Stores Memories for Smithsonian Magazine: Slime molds are seriously some of the coolest organisms on the planet, and more people need to know about how incredible they are! They have the ability to remember the location of their food using a process of dilating and compressing their tendrils. Why? Because slime molds are seriously some of the coolest organisms on the planet.
*Quinn Myers’ How Selling CutCo Knives Became a Rite of Passage for American Boys for Mel Magazine: Multi-level marketing, direct marketing, and – let’s call them what they really are – pyramid schemes – typically target women, but CutCo made a name for itself by targeting high school and college men as their sales reps. This article goes into their recruitment strategies and what life is like inside the machine.
*Osita Nwanevu’s The Democratic Party Has a Fatal Misunderstanding of the QAnon Phenomenon for The New Republic: Dismissing cult members as uneducated completely ignores the reality that vulnerability to conspiracy theories isn’t connected with how much schooling believers received. You can’t beat the danger without understanding who buys into it, and the current approach to Q isn’t working because of its deeply classist perspective.
As always, my weeklies/weeklies-ish:
*Huda Fahmy’s Yes I’m Hot in This
*Phylecia Miller and Jules Rivera’s Hi, Phylecia!
*Taejoon Park’s Lookism
*Jules Rivera’s Mark Trail
*Linda Sejic’s Punderworld
*Jessi Sharon’s The Sea in You
*Rachel Smythe’s Lore Olympus
*Sensaga’s Ham and Mat
*Steenz’s Heart of the City
Ned Barnett posted a brief comic on Twitter about going back to his office to clean during the first December after the pandemic forced him into working from home. A couple of uneaten chocolate bars he had to throw out encapsulates the disappointment and lost possibilities experienced by so many of us.
Still working through The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8. Lee. One of the most illuminating chapters focuses on a Fujianese family split up between China and the United States, then throughout the latter. They purchase a Chinese restaurant in a tiny Georgia town, with a population less than a thousand people, and for years have to deal with the stresses of racism, language barriers, and cultural misunderstandings on top of the 24/7 strain of owning and operating their livelihood. The restaurant tears their family apart and leads to a series of tragedies, but it has an ending. Lee isn’t sure it’s a happy one, but she also figures since they never contacted her again after her time working as their translator that it almost certainly is.
While what happened with the family she followed isn’t inherently the same story across the world, it does illustrate some of the challenges first- and second-generation Chinese-Americans face in the restaurant industry.
See you next week, fellow bookish buffs!
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