Things of note for the week ending Sunday September 4th, 2016.
Monochromatic edition. Because why not?
Come on in, the water’s lovely.
THING ONE: DARK
“Itâ€™s been seven months since Emma died and two weeks since I started building a bot from her texts. Iâ€™m feeding every word she sent me into the system, every thought, every feeling.”
If you’re reading this near to someone, read the whole thing aloud.
It’s dark, poignant, and beautiful.
THING TWO: LONG READS
It’s been two weeks since the closure of Gawker.com (if you know nothing of what I speak – start here with this New York Times report in May, then read this follow up piece, and then finally this round up from The Guardian) and, irrespective of your opinion who was in the ‘right’ on this one (most people are either: Tech billionaire throws tantrum! or Gawker invade privacy!), in its 14 years of history, Gawker has published some hella amazing articles.
Buzzfeed asked its own staff for their favourite Gawker pieces and pulled together a fantastic list (NOT a listicle) of Stories to Remember Gawker By.
Some seriously fantastic writing.
THING THREE: NOT COOL
Frith Hookway writes:
‘In a similar vane as name dropping, name bombing is when someoneâ€™s name is used as a catalyst for getting something done faster.
For example, in an email or meeting we might say â€œso-and-so has asked for this by the end of the dayâ€ or â€œIâ€™m doing work for you-know-who so really need everyone to pitch inâ€.
Without even thinking about it, I know Iâ€™m guilty of this. Many of us probably are.’
You’ve probably done this. I definitely have.
It’s not cool. I’m going to stop.
THING FOUR: SPACE, MAN
Next on this week’s list of things, is ‘Never go to space it’s terrible omg‘(yes, that’s the actual title). A brilliant piece from Leigh Alexander that delves into the physical and psychological challenges that lie ahead for any ambitions star-travellers among us.
A sobering read (and bizarrely reminiscent of my recent play time on No Man’s Sky (if there’s one thing that this game manages to do it’s capture the real feeling of insignificance in a truly inconceivably large universe)) it looks at how much work our astronauts have to put into surviving the most hostile environment you can possibly imagine.
The known knowns are interesting.
The unknown knowns blow your mind (the Buzz Aldrin about halfway in, for example).
The unknown unknowns are the things that’ll literally stop us dead.
Our planet will attempt a manned trip to Mars in my lifetime. This piece goes some way to explain just how hard that’s going to be for those that will be onboard.
THING FIVE: DIE DRAGON DIE
One of the wonderful (and yet super hard to communicate clearly) things about gaming online is the huge sense of camaraderie that can come from achieving a seemingly insurmountable feat. With death at hand, a clutch victory in the closing seconds of any match can go down in legend among your fellow players and, in many cases, forge life-long friendships along the way.
I speak from experience.
With that in mind, I read this story this morning about a band of brothers and sisters who put aside their differences to defeat an undefeatable creature and, in doing so, triggered a chain of events that had the senior management at Sony Online Entertainment sit up and pay attention.
Even if you’re not a gamer – this is an excellent read:
Bonuses this week are as follows –
- Weird short vines/gifs.
- I laughed harder at this than I should’ve done.
- Got a smashed screen on that iPhone? I like these.
- I can’t stop watching this amazing queue control.
- Steward and McKellan are coming back to the West End.
And finally, a couple of years ago I went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and, with my good friend Robbie, caught 18 different shows/performances/plays over the course of three days.
The very last one we saw was a one woman show by Pheobe Waller-Bridge.
The name of that show? Fleabag.
In my post-Fringe write up I wrote:
And it was.
Utterly, utterly brilliant.
That was three years ago.
Today, Fleabag is back. Waller-Bridge has adapted it for TV and you can find it on BBC iPlayer and, I believe very soon, on Amazon Prime. It is superb.
So superb that it gets its own separate section in this weeks THINGS.
Talk to others about it.
Then go and read all the other amazing things that have been written about it.
Waller-Bridge deserves every success off the back of this.
That is all.
Right, I’m outta here.
Thanks for reading.
If you could do one thing for me this week it would be to tell a friend about this newsletter.
Until next time…