Kickoff For April 16, 2018

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I’ve found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the seven days.

Last week went by quickly, didn’t it? With winter coming to the southern hemisphere, I’m looking forward to days (at least the weekdays) to whiz by like that. Even though it doesn’t snow here in Auckland, winter in the Land of the Long White Cloud’s biggest city can be a bit numbing at times.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


How to use the em dash correctly, wherein we learn about an overused and often misused piece of punctuation, and how and when to use it.

A look at the evolution of headline writing, wherein the folks at Al Jazeera explore how news headlines have evolved from their humble origins in the 19th century to their current forms (both good and bad) today.

You think writing’s a dream job? It’s more like a horror film, wherein we learn some of the realities of being (or trying to be) a professional writer. Trust me when I tell you that Tim Lott knows what he’s talking about.

Science and Technology

Digital Media and the Case of the Missing Archives, wherein it’s revealed how quickly and completely writing (or anything) can disappear from the web, never to return.

How Einstein Lost His Bearings, and With Them, General Relativity, wherein the legendary physicist’s moment of losing the plot a crucial point in his career is revealed, as are the lasting consequences of that moment.

Students with complete control over their laptops? For one district, it hasn’t been a disaster, wherein the open source powered student technology initiative spearheaded by my buddy Charlie Reisinger is examined. If you want to learn more about this story, read Charlie’s excellent book The Open Schoolhouse.


Japan’s Prisons Are a Haven for Elderly Women, wherein we hear the sad tale of Japanese women turning to petty crime to go to prison so they can both have companionship and afford to live. This is part Tokyo Story (a wonderful film, by the way), and part a result of Japan’s declining birthrate and rising population of the aged.

Rebuiling Mosul, Book by Book, wherein we learn that it can sometimes take more than erecting buildings to bring a devastated city back from the brink.

Re-Hermit, wherein writer Warren Ellis asks us to ponder and describe how our brains work in an effort to to surface the problems, and perhaps the ways to solve them.

And that’s it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt