Kickoff For September 16, 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.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


The Troubling Business of Bounty Hunting, wherein we enter the world of the bail enforcement agent, and learn that chasing down criminals for bail bond firms isn’t the high-octane adventure many people imagine it to be.

King of the Snitches: The Fashion Photographer Who Duped Drug Lords and the DEA, wherein we enter the world of Baruch Vega who played a dangerous game with the American authorities and Colombian narco trafficantes, and how he almost won that game.

Year of the Mad Bomber, wherein we learn about Sam Melville who, in the late 60s and early 70s, changed the face of radicalism in the United States through acts that got him sent to prison but which gained him the admiration and respect of some of the more aggressive leftist movements of that era.


When pirates studied Euclid, wherein Margaret Schotte chronicles how navigation went from something learned through on-the-job training to being an area of serious classroom study and something of a science.

The Rocket Scientist Who Had to Elude the FBI Before He Could Escape Earth, wherein we learn about Frank Malina, an almost-forgotten pioneer of American rocketry, and about the political and legal trouble that dogged him because of his politics.

The Parachuting Female Photojournalist Who Dove Into War Headfirst, wherein we learn the remarkable story of photojournalist and war correspondent Dickey Chapelle, who bucked the attitudes of her age and who never really got the due that she deserved.

Odds and Ends

I Spent My Childhood Helping My Mom Sell Dead People’s Junk, wherein Cameron Maynard recounts growing up in his mother’s estate sale business, and the moment he decided to separate myself from an ecosystem that constantly recycled the detritius of other people’s lives.

There Are Some Fires That Get Put Out, and Some That Don’t, wherein two years after the tragic Grenfell Towers fire Erica Eisen looks back on the event and how it’s been difficult (if almost imposssible) for the former residents to get anything resembling justice.

Memory and Empathy in a Japanese School Lunch, wherein we learn of a new ritual at some Japanese schools: special meals on the March 11 anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, and how those meals might help students remember empathy for their fellow man and the capricious nature of life.

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

Scott Nesbitt