odds and ends / 1.22.2018

From top to bottom:

The prettiest electric kettle (lucky Europeans).
A detail from Fairfield Porter's Lizzie at the Table, courtesy of Katie Merchant's moon list.
Pentominoes socks (pattern by Marlene Pipjersknitted and photographed by fun9): filed under things that make me wish I was a knitter.

Blogging, that much-maligned pastime, is gradually but surely disappearing from the Internet, and so, consequently, is a lot of online freedom and fun ... Blogs are necessarily idiosyncratic, entirely about sensibility: they can only be run by workhorses who are creative enough to amuse themselves and distinct enough to hook an audience ... who work more on the principle of personal obsession than pay.

Jia Tolentino, "The End of The Awl and the Vanishing of Freedom and Fun From the Internet." The New Yorker, 1/18/2018.


The (divisive, corrosive, democracy-poisoning) golden age of free speech.


Santiago Ramón y Cajal's drawings of the brain: 'they describe a fantastic netherworld of floating forms, linear networks, bristling nodes and torrential energies. They posit the thing between your ears as an immense cosmic universe, or at least one of the most intricate of all of nature’s creations.'

(There is a book for those of us who won't make it to the exhibit.)


Landscapes of the mind.


Cosmic latte: the average color of the universe.

As Laurie Penny recently wrote, for The Baffler, the risk of promoting individual self-care as a solution to existential anxiety or oppression is that victims will become isolated in a futile struggle to solve their own problems rather than to collectively change the systems causing them harm. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that beneath the face masks and yoga asanas, many of the #selfcare posts sound strangely Trump-like. “Completely unconcerned with what’s not mine” is a common caption. So is “But first, YOU,” and the counterfactual “I can’t give you a cup to drink from if mine is empty.” I recently spotted another hashtag right next to #selfcare: #lookoutfornumberone. The image was an illustration of a pale, thin girl with a tangle of wildflowers growing from the crown of her head, reaching up with a watering can in one hand to water her own flowers.

Jordan Kisner, "The Politics of Conspicuous Displays of Self Care." The New Yorker, 3/14/2017.

... I brought you
to this world, and I do not regret it.
The sky's still blue, for now.

Amit Majmudar, 'Of Age.'