Kickoff For July 30, 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.

Storytelling has been on my mind a bit over the last couple of weeks. Specifically, what a good story is and how it’s structured. One example of a well-told story is the late Chris Squire describing the night he met Jimi Hendrix. Squire, a legendary bassist and founder of the band Yes, tells a fun (though sometimes rambling) tale that has all the elements of a good story. It’s also a fun peek into a bit of musical history.

I’ve been meaning to break down that story for a while, and still might. Stay tuned.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:

Arts and Literature

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.

She Caught Bullets with Her Bare Hands — and Made Magic’s Glass Ceiling Disappear, wherein we’re told the story of Adelaide Hermann who, due to circumstances and necessity, went from magician’s assistant to headliner, and in doing so changed the world of stage magic.

Early Modern Memes: The Reuse and Recycling of Woodcuts in 17th-Century English Popular Print, wherein we learn about woodcut illustrations and how they were reused, making some of them the stock photos and meme photos of their day.


Tax-Free Storage Wars, wherein we get a glimpse into the world in which the mega wealthy stashes its valuables, and the benefits (even if they’re overhyped or non existent) of the facilities they use.

The Crimes That Fueled a Fantastic Brazilian Museum, wherein we’re exposed to how Brazilian businessman Bernardo Paz’s shady business practices, and even shadier accounting, helped him create a highly-regarded art museum that was carvedout of his country’s jungle. and the Rise of Shipping From China, wherein we learn about the potential joys of buying directly from Chinese manufacturers via sites like, and the potential problems that come with ordering cheap (in price and quality) goods online.


How an Army of Suffragettes Helped Save America From Starvation, wherein we learn about the Women’s Land Army of America which helped feed the country in the waning days of World War One and how those efforts helped lead to the vote for women.

The Tower, wherein Andrew Hagen tells the harrowing tales of some of the people caught up in horror of London’s Grenfell Tower fire. It’s a long, gripping, beautiful piece of writing soaked in sadness and tragedy.

The Lost Lingo of New York City’s Soda Jerks, wherein we get a glimpse into the lost world of the American soda fountain, the people who worked behind the counter, and how they slung not only refreshing drinks but also clever turns of phrase peppered with a unique slang.

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

Scott Nesbitt