You Might Like … an Acquaintance With London, Anarchists, Death, Opera, Murder, Mercator, 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.

The Atlantic – Views From the Night Sky: London and the U.K. – Jason Hawkes – The photographer snaps London from the open door of a helicopter with a gyro-stabalized camera. Obviously, he has no fear of heights. As a bonus, there’s a video at the end of the 30 pics that’s moody enough to make London look as though it’s Blade Runner. Kill the sound, though.

Torontoist – Historicist: Throwing Intellectual Bombs – Kevin Plummer – A brief accounting of the formidable Emma Goldman’s time in Toronto, which provided her with a more or less safe haven when the US refused her entry. The great anarchist died in Toronto May 14, 1940.

The Chronicle of Higher Education – Is Death Bad for You? – Shelly Kagan – The Yale philosophy prof does what philosophy profs do: she takes an obvious thought and unpacks it until you find yourself scratching your head and saying, “Wait a minute…!”


The New Yorker – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Favorite Classical-Music Records – Alex Ross – She’s an opera lover, so if you’re going to argue at SCOTUS you may want to sing your plea. These are not just favourite pieces but in fact favourite performances. Here’s a link to 90 seconds on iTunes from Dvořák’s “Rusalka” with Renée Fleming and Canada’s Ben Heppner.

Intelligent Life – More Than a Big Meringue – Simon Hopkinson – While we’re on about powerful women (Ruth, Emma, London . . .), we might as well take a look at Anna — Pavlova, that is, the celebrated ballerina. The writer extols the desert created in her name and gives you a method to make it right.

Vimeo – Style in the Wire – Erlend Lavik – From meringues to bangs now. In this half hour essay, Lavik analyses the style of TV’s most lauded show, helping explain in part at least why you like it as much as you do.

Guernica – Mercator Turns 500 – Michelle Legro – Now to different wires, those that slice up the globe, and to a short history of Mercator, whose mathematics made navigation easier for sailors — and continues to irritate irredentists and those who don’t like to see so much of Greenland.

The Junket – Language Turned Convict – John Gallagher – Along about the same time the Merc was messing with time and space, one Thomas Harman was blowing the gaff on cryptolects. This is a look at the secret languages — cants, slangs and argots — used by criminals and other unacceptable groups to keep us out. Better than PGP, perhaps.

Vimeo – The Tell Tale Heart – UPA (1954) – This is an old but great animated retelling of the Edgar Allan Poe story narrated by James Mason, one moral of which may be that there is no such thing as privacy when it comes to wrongs, at least those we feel guilty about.

The Economist – Making no cents – anon – Speaking of murder, the world takes notice that we’re killing the penny. A good way to refresh your understanding of seigniorage, and to prepare for what will doubtless be an increase in prices.

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