Kickoff For January 27, 2020

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.

Another Auckland Anniversary Day has rolled around, which means a day off. Not that the entire day will be me with my feet up with a drink and a book. I’ve got things to do, and will be doing them. Well, most of them …

A quick note of thanks to the folks who recently pledged support. While not expected, it is appreciated.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


How Facebook Bought a Police Force, wherein we read the tale of how the social media giant paid the city of Menlo Park to form a special unit that patrols its campus and the area around it, and the negative effect that’s had on residents of the area.

Amazon’s Next-Day Delivery Has Brought Chaos And Carnage To America’s Streets — But The World’s Biggest Retailer Has A System To Escape The Blame, wherein we discover that the way in which the ecommerce giant treats its warehouse workers extends to the delivery drivers it contracts, with dangerous and sometimes lethal results.

Bally Sente: Saviour of the Arcades?, wherein we learn about videogame pioneer Nolan Bushnell’s grand plan from the 1980s to inject new life into the then-flagging arcade game business, and how those plans never came to fruition.


On Tastelessness, wherein Adam O’Fallon Price argues that short fiction doesn’t need vague endings, and that great short fiction is usually unsubtle, pushing through a potentially decorous finale with all the rude impatience of a business traveler catching the red-eye home.

Making, wherein Esther Rutter contrasts the creativity involved in both knitting and writing, and concludes that the power of my hands and head are interlinked.

Don’t Be a Jerk to Your Online Humor Editor, wherein we learn a little more about how freelance writers should properly care for and feed editors of all stripes, and why that’s care and feeding is important.

Odds and Ends

Stone Wall, wherein Winifred Bird pens a short paen to the meticulously hand-built stone walls that dot the Japanese countryside, walls which are slowly crumbling and being replaced.

The ‘King of Quarters’ Defends His Video Game Records, wherein we get a peek into the (overly) competitive world of arcade videogaming, how one record-setting player was accused of cheating, and how he’s trying to clear his name and reinstate his records.

Hospital checklists are meant to save lives — so why do they often fail?, wherein we learn that checklists in any environment (not just in hospitals) require careful introduction, shepherding, advocacy, and implementation to be successful.

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

Scott Nesbitt