Kickoff For June 25, 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 last seven days.

As you may or may not know, I host this site on Over the last few weeks, I’ve had several people ask why I use instead of WordPress since WordPress is better. I’ve used WordPress extensively in the past and it’s good. Very good. But having more features doesn’t make something better. I went with because of its simplicity, because of its minimalism. In that way, is better. At least for me and my purposes.

With that out of the way, let’s get this Monday started with these links:

Arts and Literature

How communist Bulgaria became a leader in tech and sci-fi, wherein we hear the tale of Bulgaria’s rise to being the IT hub of the former Eastern Bloc, and how that spawned works of science fiction that mixed the technological with the philosophical and satirical.

How LA Became a Destination on the Rare Book Trail, wherein we’re regaled with a tale of two booksellers in Los Angeles in the 1920s and 1930s, a time when the book trade was anything but staid and dull.

Exquisite Rot: Spalted Wood and the Lost Art of Intarsia, wherein we’re exposed to the true beauty of the woodworking discipline of intarsia, and the natural processes that make it so unique.


We Depend On Plastic. Now, We’re Drowning in It, wherein we discover the dangers of microplastics in the world’s oceans, and how they became that danger — not just to the oceans themselves but to life of all sizes in those oceans and, by extension, us.

Solid or Liquid? Physicists Redefine States of Matter, wherein we discover the very subtle differences between the two, and what those differences involve.

Fahrenheit 2017, wherein we read about the 2017 Thomas Fire, which devastated a swath of California, and learn of the human toll the disaster took on Ventura county.


He was one of millions of Chinese seniors growing old alone. So he put himself up for adoption, wherein we learn about growing old in China and how young people have abandoned the old model, but the government had yet to find a new system for senior care , creating a crisis in the care of the elderly.

The Weird, Dangerous, Isolated Life of the Saturation Diver, wherein we learn about the professional deep-sea divers who spend days or weeks living in giant tin cans, and the mental and physical pressures they face while working at depth.

8 Tips to Improve Your Handwriting, wherein those of us with horrible penmanship (a group that includes me) get some solid advice and some exercises to help make our scrawls more legible.

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

Scott Nesbitt