Kickoff For August 27, 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.

About a week and a half ago, a reader asked if I’d consider including foreign-language articles in my weekly recommendations. That’s a good question, and answer to that question is No. I’m a poly-not, not a polyglot. English is my only language, and unless I can read and understand an article or essay, I can’t recommend it.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


Data! Data! Data!, wherein D.L. Dusenbury examines the idea of data in the contect of Sherlock Holmes stories, and how Holmes was the fictional prototype of the observant machines which began appearing in the 20th century.

Terraforming Ourselves, wherein Alexi Sargeant ponders the development of science fiction, how it has always sparked generational battles between authors, and how (in many cases) it failed to deliver a promised future.

Isaac Asimov: Becoming Educated, wherein we get a few very important lessons from the legendary, polymathic author who shows us the value of continually educating ourselves, and the importance of including fiction in that education to further open our minds.


I Worked in Biology for 17 Years… Then I Became a Writer, wherein Grace Dane Mazur chronicles her journey from scientist to scribe, and how she learned that Visual Arts, Biology, and Writing are all different forms of getting at that necessary activity: Paying Attention.

You don’t have to live in public, wherein Austin Kleon makes the case for creative people (not just writers) to step back from social media and focus on creating.

When Poets Write Novels, wherein we’re treated to a list of the 10 best novels written by people who are or were better know for writing verse.


‘Day Zero’: From Cape Town to São Paulo, large cities are facing water shortages, wherein we learn how close to a crippling water crisis many large cities around the globe are (or were), and are presented with a few ways to fend off such crises.

They Meet Up in Motels Across America … to Trade Old Beer Cans, wherein we get a glimpse into the world of people (mostly men) who collect beer cans and beer bottle tops, and delve into their passion for that hobby.

There are two ways to read, but one is useless, wherein we discover that reading doesn’t need to be the academic chore we learned it was, and that the way you read plays a major role in what you take away.

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

Scott Nesbitt