You Might Like… Entertaining Diversions on Queens, Cursing, Cash, Cops, Conspiracy and More

This is a post in a series now appearing regularly on Fridays, setting out some articles, videos, podcasts and the like that contributors at Slaw are enjoying and that you might find interesting. The articles tend to be longer than blog posts and shorter than books, just right for that stolen half hour on the weekend. It’s also likely that most of them won’t be about law — just right for etc.

Please let us have your recommendations for what we and our readers might like.

The Guardian – A portrait of Mary Peebles – Alexander McCall Smith – A fascinating, too brief tale by the author of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series about Mary Peebles, the body double for Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.

Rolling Stone – Show Me The Place – Leonard Cohen – Listen to a song off Cohen’s new albumn, Old Ideas, not due out until January 31. This is an overtly religious, I’d say Christian, piece. The guy still can’t sing, only more so now. But…

The Economist / Johnson – Swearing in Quebec: If you profane something no one holds sacred, does it make a swear? – M.D. – Staying with Quebec and religion, the author here muses about that province’s choice of profanity over obscenity when it comes to swearing.

The Globe and Mail – Canada, like Steve Jobs, should zero in on innovation – Roger Martin – If only. The dean of the Rotman School of Management makes a plea for “something unique that is in keeping with a century that is going to be more about innovation than we have ever seen.”

xkcd – Money – xkcd is “a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language,” a site you should get to know. But this huge graphic is no comic: it’s a chart that looks at what money can buy starting with hundreds and ending four fantastically detailed sections later with trillions.

The Atlantic – Why I Feel Bad for the Pepper-Spraying Policeman, Lt. John Pike – Alexis Madrigal – As most of the world knows by now, Lt. Pike used pepper spray on the faces of sitting student protesters at the University of California, Davis. This is a serious and informative look at the different strategies used by police since the ’60s when confronting protests.

International Herald Tribune – The Umbrella Man – Errol Morris – I hadn’t known, but apparently in the Zapruder film of John Kennedy’s assassination, and in other still photographs of the event, there’s a man in the crowd standing under an open umbrella—on a cloudless hot day in Dallas. This brief video uncovers what that was all about and in so doing, deprives conspiracy theorists of some pleasure.

FT Magazine – The forger’s story – John Gapper – This is a lovely, long piece on Mark Landis, art forger. And everyone loves the story of a successful forger, no? (Why is that, I wonder?)

Brain Pickings – How Darwin’s Photos of Human Expressions Changed Visual Culture – Maria Popova – This review of a book by Phillip Prodger, Darwin’s Camera, contains some wonderful photographs by art photographer Oscar Rejlander, the man hired by Darwin to capture shots of human emotions.

worrydream.com – A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design – Bret Victor – And what would this set of diversions be without a good rant to send you on your way all gingered up? Victor is not happy with the feel you get when you work your iPad, a technology he calls “pictures under glass” and asks why it’s the star in every vision of the future. Hands were meant for more than “slip sliding away.”

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