You Might Like… Brief Bits on the Bard, Bolaño, Steak, Salvage, Taxonomy, Passports, and More

This is a post in a series appearing each Friday, 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.

Intelligent Life – Notes on a Voice #9: How to Write Like Shakespeare – Robert Butler – One trick is to have a friendly competition with a Kit Marlowe who is flinging out the good stuff just ahead of you.

The New Yorker – “Labyrinth” – Roberto Bolaño – An excerpt from the late Chilean writer’s book, The Secret of Evil, soon to be published in English (translated by Chris Andrews).

NYTimes Video – Seared Frozen Steak – Nathan Myhrvold – A clear demonstration of what is possibly the easiest way to cook a perfectly done steak. I like the blowtorch option.

Discover Magazine – Leave Los Niños Alone! The Mental Costs of Linguistic Assimilation – Julie Sedivy – The linguist, who grew up partly in Montreal, inveighs against those who would force a unilingual society—and has evidence of cognitive advantages to back up her support of bi- and multi-lingualism.

Saveur – Posh Nosh – Richard E. Grant and Arabella Weir – A delightful sendup of those snobby cooking shows one used to see more of before the frantic fight-to-the-death model spread like e-coli.


Wired Magazine – High Tech Cowboys of the Deep Seas: The Race to Save the Cougar Ace – Joshua Davis – An article from four years ago about salvaging a very large ship that’s been wrecked and is perched precariously on its side. (There’s a short video as well.)

Information is Beautiful – A Taxonomy of Ideas – David McCandless – An amusing plot of idea kinds on axes of “strength of functionality” and “quality of conceptual structure”. Where I live seems to be “strange” and “half-baked” alas. (There’s also a drop down list of many other graphic presentations of data.)

The Economist – Why does art have to be mainstream to be significant? – Jonathan Galassi – An interesting Q & A with this distinguished editor, publisher, and poet. “Poetry has a vital place in society, whether it’s granted one or not. It exists; it is something people perversely do.”

The Guardian – How to make perfect hot chocolate – Felicity Cloake – Verging ever so slightly on the “posh nosh” (see above) side of things, this article nevertheless gets you thinking about the greatest winter drink that isn’t Scotch.

The Economist – In praise of a second (or third) passport
– anon – “Multiple identities are natural. Citizenship laws should catch up.” Good luck with that in the era of shoes-off airport paranoia. Mind you, passports are only about a hundred years old, so maybe they’ll fade away altogether.

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