Kickoff For April 1, 2019

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.

This week’s Kickoff comes to you from the upper part of New Zealand’s South Island. I’ve been touring around here with my family since late last week. It’s been fun and interesting, but I can’t wait to head home tomorrow.

And if you haven’t already done so, feel free to subscribe to my weekly newsletter. Every seven days, you’ll get a short-ish essay that will amuse, inform, stimulate, and maybe even infuriate you. If you don’t want to subscribe, that’s fine. You can read past editions on this blog.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:

Arts and Literature

Rambling Reflections: On Summers in Switzerland and Sheffield, wherein we amble on foot with some philosophers and writers from the past, and learn how integral those walks were to their writing and thinking.

On not overanalyzing your own work, wherein we get a glimpse into filmmaker John Carpenter’s creative process, which is more practical than ephemeral.

Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction, wherein we look back at Sven Birkerts’ book The Gutenberg Elegies and reflect upon what reading was and what it has become.


Möbius Strips Defy a Link With Infinity, wherein we’re introduced to some mind-bending mathematics, which challenges what laymen define as infinity.

Does Scrabble Need to Be Fixed?, wherein a mathematician argues that that there are “lucky” tiles in Scrabble and that the popular word game needs to be changed to reflect a player’s skill.

How the Brain Creates a Timeline of the Past, wherein we learn how research in mathematics and neuroscience has come together to create a model of how brains perceive and map out the passage of time.

Odds and Ends

Kitchen Tales, wherein Wendy Jones Nakanishi describes how her attitude towards, and relationship with, food and cooking changed after she moved to Japan and married a farmer.

The Mad Scramble to Claim the World’s Most Coveted Meteorite, wherein we learn how three professional meteorite hunters rushed to Peru to try to find a recently-crashed space rock, and what awaited them when they got there.

Oh God, It’s Raining Newsletters, wherein Craig Mod examines the recent resurgence email newsletters, and why that resurgence could be the perfect antidote to social media and a focused alternative to blogging.

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

Scott Nesbitt