Syllabus: January 29th

A list of interesting things new and old that I’ve read or experienced this week. I do not endorse or even necessarily agree with anything on the other side of these links.

Articles

Broderick, Ryan. “Happy Birthday, Guy Fieri,” at Garbage Day. — Because after I had read or heard about eighty GameStop and wallstreetbets explainers this week I was thrilled to read: “It is both terrifying and liberating to look clear-eyed into the meaningless void at the heart of modern life and accept it for what it is.” This looks like a decent mailing list, actually.


Cho, Adrian. “The cloak-and-dagger tale behind this year’s most anticipated result in particle physics,” at Mel. — If the wild intro that uses the R.E.M. song about the beating of Dan Rather in 1986 as a way to start an article about particle physics doesn’t grab you, perhaps the science will. Bonus: fans of Bruno Latour and the anthropology of science will definitely nerd out on the breathless description of laboratory heroics.


Grimm, David. “Ice age Siberian hunters may have domesticated dogs 23,000 years ago,” at Science. — Fuck it, I like dogs and I wanted to include this one.


Klee, Miles. “Everything you Never Wanted to Know about the ‘Sigma Male.'” — Machines turn inputs into outputs. The internet is a machine that transforms time into ever more toxic forms of masculinity.

Video

Pahokee. Directed by Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan. 2020. A beautiful documentary on four high school students in the titular town, a small (by South Florida standards) farming community down on Lake Okeechobee. The link goes to Kanopy. If you have a library card you can probably watch the film for free and then choose a few more to watch gratis, too.


Vast of Night. Directed by Andrew Patterson. 2020. — Look, this isn’t Spielberg, but it captures a little tiny bit of the magic from Close Encounters while imparting its own awareness of space, pace, and light. It’s a memorable film on Amazon Prime.

Music

If you like the ’90s you will probably enjoy this playlist of songs from a 1996 compilation called This Is… Trip Hop. I found this CD at Goodwill and love it.

Art

Florida landscapes by Eleanor Blair at Signature Art Gallery in Tallahassee.

Aryo Toh Djojo’s “Transmission” @ Wilding Cran Gallery.

Books

Clarke, Susanna. Piranesi. New York: Bloomsbury, 2020.


Cheryl Dumesnil, Showtime at the Ministry of Lost Causes. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016.

Other

If you were struck by the ineffable urge this week to point your phone out into the cold, lonely void and project an image of Bernie Sanders sitting in a chair somewhere out there, you might like this Sitting Bernie AR Meme. Use your phone and press “AR” to enjoy yourself for a few seconds.


I was inspired by Nicely Small, a curated list of small businesses in Vancouver created by the design firm Engine Digital. Tallahassee needs something like this.

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