Kickoff For March 2, 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.

Welcome to March. We’re supposed to be heading into autumn in the southern hemisphere, but it still feels like summer. Shades of 2012, it seems. I’m not going to complain.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


Adriano Olivetti, Industrialist, Typewriter King… Antifascist?, wherein we discover how the Italian industrialist collaborated with the Office of Strategic Services to undermine Mussolini and his crew during World War II.

The Untold Story of the Secret Mission to Seize Nazi Map Data, wherein we’re told the tale of the work of an U.S. army intelligence unit whose mission was to collect information that promised not only to hasten the end of the war but also to shape the world order for decades to come.

Picturing a Voice: Margaret Watts-Hughes and the Eidophone, wherein we learn how a nineteenth century Welsh singer created a device to measure her voice, and how that device morphed into a tool to explore visual forms created by human voices.


Idleness, wherein Charlie Tyson ponders what idleness is, why we’re against it, and whether or not idleness can be something positive.

Jonathan Ledgard Believes Imagination Could Save the World, wherein we learn about some of the work of journalist and novelist Jonathan Ledgard, who believes that wild ideas, sometimes the wilder the better, are the key to making the Earth a better place.

Pico Iyer on the Infinite Silences of Japan, wherein the essayist and novelist explains how silences are a key component of the Japanese language and of the Japanese countenance.

Odds and Ends

How to repopulate rural Spain? Sell its villages, wherein we learn about a woman who is selling abandoned villages in Galicia in an attempt to save them.](

Inside the secret world of America’s top eavesdropping spies, wherein we get a brief glimpse at the Special Collections Service, a shadowy U.S. intelligence unit that uses technology and sometimes, sheer chutzpah, to collect information about America’s enemies and allies.

The gore, guts and horror of an NFL fumble pile, wherein several retired American football players recount some scary tales about one vicious aspect of their sport, an aspect that some players embraced.

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

Scott Nesbitt