You Might Like … a Little Learning About Cricket, Bears, Scotch, Jargon, Cashiers, Pono 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.

ESPN – Test of Time: In Defence of a Game that Lasts Five Days – Wright Thompson – Everybody’s exemplar of the [silly] [boring] [incomprehensible] [colonial] game, cricket gets a fair shake here from the American reporter. It’s on the rise in Canada, so start learning the rules now.

International Union for Conservation of Nature – State of the Polar Bear – Polar Bear Specialist Group – Also wearing whites are everybody’s favourite bear — which are on the rise in only one portion of the circumpolar world, as this dynamic chart shows. Happily for us that portion is Canadian.

TubeChop – Tom Waits Recites “The Laughing Heart” – Charles Bukowski – Also growling bear-like is the voice that reads this short poem by the poet whose work was familiar with bites and claw marks. (What’s been excised, courtesy of the helpful TubeChop is Bono reciting another of Bukowski’s poems.)

Forbes – Jargon Madness – Brett Nelson – The opposite of poetry is not so much jargon (which has a poetry of its own) but rather cliché, which is really what this Forbes is about. They ran a contest last year to see which “ridiculous expression” used by business people bothered their readers the most. Curiously, none of the winners involved the word “forward.”

Esquire – Scotch Pronunciation Guide: Video of Scotch Brand Names – Brian Cox – Perilously close to becoming a cliché, Scotch whisky (no ‘e’ please) is rescued by its inestimable intrinsic value — and it’s Gaelic names. Here the Scottish actor pronounces the names of 50 of the best so that you can pose as an expert.

NPR – The Peanut Butter Cure Moves From Hospital To Snack Room – Dan Charles – Peanut butter doesn’t go with Scotch (and besides it makes it hard to pronounce the Gaelic). But it goes very well with life-saving efforts directed at malnourished children. At least, that’s the hope in Haiti, though some now have doubts.

SoundCloud – Cashiers, Loblaws St. Clair Ave West, Toronto – SIGHUP – In Canada you might get your peanut butter (but not your Scotch) at Loblaws – where this soundscape was recorded. We seldom stop to listen to the noise around us, something that soundscape recordings try to remedy. What we do with what we learn this way, well, that’s something else again.

New York Times – Two Presidents, Smoking and Scheming – Maureen Dowd – From President’s Choice to choice presidents: Here Dowd imagines a conversation between Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing creation, President Jed Bartlet and real true life President Obama. She’s captured Sorkin’s style perfectly.

Vanity Fair – Saroo’s Google-Earth Quest: How an Orphaned Boy Found His Way Home as Grown Man – David Kushner – Stranger than fiction is this story of how a young man in Australia, lost at the age of 5 in Calcutta, somehow found “his birth home, using ingenuity, hazy memories, and Google Earth.”

Rolling Stone – Neil Young Expands Pono Digital-to-Analog Music Service – Patrick Flanary – Technology isn’t always as beneficial as Saroo found it: just ask Neil Young, who has railed for some time against the crappy sound quality produced by digital compression. He’s planning an audio system that will give us back the full beauty of music (and no doubt make us pony up a considerable sum). Methinks he might want to come up with another name, because “pono” is a favourite typo for “porno” as anyone who tries will learn.


  1. So we sniff at Everybody’s exemplar of the [silly] [boring] [incomprehensible] [colonial] game

    ESPN in North America doesn’t seem to recognize that the centre of gravity of Cricket is now in India, that the games of the India Premier League are more popular globally than baseball, and that the pace of the new game is faster than baseball too.

    ESPN’s sister site gets it.

    Since it’s a weekend let me recommend the two best cricket movies, Iqbal and Lagaan