Kickoff For December 3, 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.

I’m finding it hard to believe that the first week of December has rolled around. I mean, I’m still trying to figure out where June went …

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


Blood and Oil, wherein we discover how Mexican drug cartels have been moving into the very lucrative business of stealing gasoline, and learn how brutal and cutthroat that business is.

How the Great California Dispensary Heist Went Horrifically Wrong, wherein we’re told the shocking story of how the owner of a cannabis dispensary was set up, and the aftermath of a kidnapping and robbery that went very, very wrong.

He Won $19 Million in the Lottery — And Became a Bank Robber, wherein we hear the sorry tale of Jim Hayes who, after blowing a $19 million lottery win, became a homeless junkie and bank robber, and ended up doing a three-year stretch in prison.

Arts and Literature

Are Audiobooks As Good For You As Reading? Here’s What Experts Say, wherein we discover that the differences between audiobooks and print books are probably “small potatoes”, but that reading has the overall edge over listening.

Why dictators can’t resist writing books, wherein Lucy Hughes-Hallett examines the book Dictator Literature by Daniel Kalder, and comes to some interesting conclusions about the literary lives of despots.

Where, Exactly, is the Overlap Between Storytelling and Technology?, wherein we get an analysis of the book New Dark Age which explores a present that has come unhinged from linear temporarily.

Odds and Ends

I Was a Chinese Helpline’s Number One Caller. I Had a Problem, wherein Audrey Murray describes her cycle of dependence on a very convenient service in Shanghai, how helpless that dependency made her, and what it took to break that cycle.

The Long, Knotty, World-Spanning Story of String, wherein we learn how the humble, woven cord helped shape the modern world and has pervaded all aspects of our lives (whether we realize it or not).

The Wings Won’t Fall Off, wherein we follow a fearful, yet intrepid, writer on her journey to try to conquer her phobia of airports and airplanes.

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

Scott Nesbitt