You Might Like … to Have a Butchers at Bukowski, Beluga, Breaking, Black Boxes, a Bi-Bookerist and Beyond

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.

Letters of Note – People simply empty out – Charles Bukowski – A letter sent in 1986 by the poet and novelist to the man who fifteen years earlier sprang him from the workaday world with the offer of $100 a month for life.

BBC News – Beluga whale ‘makes human-like sounds’ – anon – Weird because it does indeed sound like garbled human speech. I think I hear the whale, whose name is NOC, saying “You don’t have to pay me $100 a month, just spring me.”

New York Times – The Island Where People Forget to Die – Dan Buettner – It’s called Ikaria and here the daily grind doesn’t sound so bad. Says he resident medic, “We wake up late and always take naps. I don’t even open my office until 11 a.m. because no one comes before then.”

Wired – Why Things Fail: From Tires to Helicopter Blades, Everything Breaks Eventually – Robert Capps – Elsewhere than on Ikaria, that is. This is a detailed examination of the failure curve of products undertaken at the Ford plant, where they know a thing or two about product failure.

Visual News – An Amazing Japanese Contact Juggler – Benjamin Starr – At the 2012 Japan Juggling Festival Championship a man wows the crowd with three white orbs that look as though they’re stuck to his body, even as he moves them around. Nothing breaks during these six minutes.

The Boston Globe – Patriots no-huddle relies on power of one – Greg A. Bedard – Speaking of sports, we go from juggling to American football — where they’ve come up with a way to speed the game up, though I suspect that viewer ennui wasn’t the motivating force.

Popular Science – Can Andrea Rossi’s Infinite-Energy Black Box Power The World–Or Just Scam It? – Steve Featherstone – Staying with the power of one — one cold fusion machine, that is — we get a glimpse of the disordered world of low-energy nuclear reaction devices, the perpetuum mobile of our age.

Metropole Tweetphony – Tweetphony – Metropole Orkest – Compose your brief piano piece and puzzle your friends by tweeting it to them. If you do a good job early enough today, the Metropole Orchestra might even play your composition. Some of the inventions on the site aren’t all that bad.

berfrois – Paradoxes of Pigmentation – Nina Jablonski – Tones still, but of the skin kind now: the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University explores the vexed business of our visible colour.

The Guardian – The Long QT – Hilary Mantel – A short story by the two-time Man Booker prize winner. This time she’s writing about the present.

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