Sunday Reading

Sunday Reading: Great Writing From The Past Week – 5/17/2015

B.B. King

This is a photo I took of B.B. King back when I was living in Mississippi. Sorry to hear of his passing, he really was an incredible musician. I was fortunate to see him play live at a venue where I clearly was able to see him play up close and personal. There’s a great story about B.B. King among the links below.

My latest post of some of my favorite reads from the week. All the following are highly recommended.

Shameless Self-Promotion

First, some media outlets that mentioned some of my work or spoke with me this week. If coal news is not your thing and/or you don’t care to hear my voice, skip these.

The Latest Casualty In Energy’s Hardest Hit Industry – Yahoo! Finance,

What is Thermal Coal? – KOUW, an NPR affiliate in Seattle

Why Consol has less at risk when it comes to power plant retirements – Pittsburgh Business Times


We Should Use Brands, Not Love Them – Pacific Standard

Into the Body of Another – The Atlantic

Racial segregation returns to US schools, 60 years after the Supreme Court banned it – The Conversation

The insults of age: A one-woman assault on condescension – The Monthly

Black Girls Should Matter, Too – The Atlantic

Business and Economy

Autonomous cars will destroy millions of jobs and reshape the US economy by 2025 – Quartz

In Mathematics, Mistakes Aren’t What They Used To Be – Nautilus

Unless you are Spock, irrelevant things matter in economic behavior – New York Times

Warning: too much finance is bad for the economy – The Economist

Disenfranchised: Why Are Americans Still Buying Into the Franchise Dream? – Pacific Standard


“If you want to use music, you’ve got to pay for it” -Vox

Podcasting and the Selling of Public Radio – The Awl

How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics – Social Science Research Network

B.B. King was the blues – The Atlantic

Netflix is the new HBO, YouTube is the new MTV, and everything new is old – Digital Trends

Meet the man who wants to help journalists with numbers – Columbia Journalism Review

Ralph Steadman’s Rare and Rapturous Illustrations for Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 – Brain Pickings

What’s the most beautiful paragraph or sentence you’ve ever read? – Reddit


8 Wild Creatures We Never Knew Existed Before This Year – New Scientist

Mountain Mama: Take It In The Face – Blue Ridge Outdoors

In the beginning – Aeon Magazine

Fruit flies are shown to enter a fear like state – New York Times

Mother plants tell their seeds when to sprout – Scientific American


Sunday Reading: Great Writing From The Past Week – 5/10/2015

So, in an effort to alleviate the intense amount of overshare on Facebook and Twitter, I thought it might be easier to share my favorite articles from the week in one spot. Here are some of my favorite reads I’ve come across since last week.

Ain’t that America?

Some of my favorite types of reading include those on subcultures we may know nothing about. This is why I am loving the New York Times feature on why the price of having “nice nails” is generating all sorts of problems for certain folks. Meanwhile, concierge medicine is meaning awesome healthcare… for a very small amount of us.

Speaking of segmented societies… Did you know our system of identifying sexual predators is creating whole communities of scofflaws? If it escapes you immediately, don’t worry. There’s a whole bundle of white folks ready to explain society’s ills to you.

 Who we were and what we’re becoming

Then again, just blame it on our love of fire. Sure we’ve gotten better at spreading our stories, but are we perhaps just using our new tools to increasingly study the stories that we are already familiar with?

Understanding one another

What do we really know about the motivations of others, say to turn to jihad or maintain an irrational love with public transit? What does a middle class white bald guy such as myself know about buying an island or dealing with the mess of having the hair of a black woman? Could I myself learn to turn on bat senses or cover up a deep depression via Instagram? What sort of America is both buckling down for racial strife at the same time its richest are preparing for the apocalypse?

Oh, and don’t miss this excellent profile of legal burden from Duke Magazine.

Rockin’ out

What if it was okay to embrace my emo phase? Or if it was finally acknowledged that hip hop has played a crucial role in the evolution of music? Why, despite the awesome role female rock critics have played in the genre, do we still see a disparity in female-led groups at music festivals?

Politics and the people who talk about it

Why do journalists take such a small role in covering policy, instead taking on horse race style narratives on politics? Will they stand up to the increasing role churches are seeking to take over in the policy discussion?


Data-dieting: Moving toward optimizing our food purchases


Click to read the full article.

As our lives have become increasingly data-driven, it comes to me as quite the curiosity our decisions regarding food remain based on some of our most basic motivations.

Sure, we engage in a limited analysis on a product-by-product basis. At the grocery store, we even are often given — albeit in small print — a per unit price so we know exactly how much is saved by selecting, say generic slices of American cheese over Kraft singles. And everyone knows how to find basic information about the calorie content of the food we buy.

But what if we didn’t stop there? What if instead we consider every potential food item and its associated nutritive value in terms of a complex marketplace in which we can calculate precisely the food that provides ultimate value on the dollar for our bodies? Of course, it’s not as simple as the calories you get for your dollar. There’s a whole array of considerations to be weighed including other macronutrients, micronutrients and perhaps most importantly — tastes and preferences.

Read the rest of this post on Medium.