Kickoff For September 17, 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.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had the stuffing kicked out of me mentally and spiritually. I’m not in any state of mind to tap out something pithy this week, so let’s get this Monday started with these links:


‘Nothing to worry about. The water is fine’: how Flint poisoned its people, wherein we learn the story of what happened with Flint, Michigan’s water supply — the mismanagement, the misguided austerity, and the incompetence that harmed residents but also spurred those residents into taking a stand against what was happening.

How Iconic Cookbooks Reflect the Politics of the World Around Them, wherein we see how changes to timeless cookbooks around the world reflected the social, political, and economic realities of the countries in which they were published.

Spain Exhumes Its Painful Past, wherein we learn how Spaniards are trying to create a memorial for the victims of fascism at the burial site of a fascist dictator, and the obstacles that they’re encountering.


The Murder That Exposed the British Class System, wherein we delve into the bizarre murder case involving British peer Lord Lucan, and the seemingly impenetrable wall erected by his aristocratic cronies that might have helped shield Lucan’s disappearance.

The Great Chinese Art Heist, wherein we learn about the efforts, both above board and not, to bring works of art plundered by foreign powers back to China.

Inside a Sleazy FBI Sting Involving Diet Clinics, Fitness Models, Money Laundering, and a Supposed Plot to Hire a Hitman, wherein we step into the bizarre, many-layered story of Operation Bo-Tox, an FBI sting targetting a group of small-time money launderers who were made into a bigger threat than they actually were.


A Beast for the Ages, wherein Michael Engelhard explores the fraught and often deadly relationship that humans have with the polar bear, and revels in the beauty and majesty of these arctic beasts.

The Water Wars of Arizona, wherein we learn how lack of regulation and industrial-scale farming combined to literally bleed the aquifers in parts of Arizona dry, and how the resulting water crisis is decimating affected regions and the people who live there.

Can These Simple Cargo-Hauling Bikes Save Our Cities?, wherein we’re introduced to a few members of New York’s Cargo Bike Collective who are trying to change the way we, and our goods, get around the city.

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

Scott Nesbitt