Kickoff For June 1, 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.

Let’s get this Monday, and a new month, started with these links:


Why working from home might be less sustainable, wherein we discover the toll on the environment that working away from the office, in our own spaces, can take on the environment and learn about some ways to mitigate that toll.

People hate flight shame – but not enough to quit flying, wherein we learn how hard it is to not take an airplane, and that measures (often of the token variety) that both passengers and airlines take don’t do as much to offset carbon use as they think or claim.

Japan’s ancient way to save the planet, wherein we learn about the concept of mottainai, and how embracing this age-old admonishment we might be able to reduce the amount of waste we generate.


How to write well, wherein irina dumitrescu ponders how we learn to write, how to recognize good writing, and how teacher can do a better job of molding students into good writers.

Sure, Plot is Good, But Have You Tried Talking About Story Shape?, wherein we learn that when writing fiction, you might need to focus on the overall story before you start plotting and writing.

When Dorothy Parker Got Fired from Vanity Fair, wherein we learn how Parker landed a job as a writer at the famed publication, how working there helped her hone her legendary wit, and how by taking a theatre review a bit too far she lost her job but gained a career.

Odds and Ends

Eyam, UK: How a village destroyed itself to save a nation, wherein we learn about the measures a 17th century English village took to quarantine itself to prevent the bubonic plague from spreading to neighbouring towns and villages.

The Knowledge, wherein Barclay Bram takes us into the world of people studying to get their London cab driver’s license, and we learn how that industry is coping with a number of existential threats.

The Astonishing Rise of “Blair the Flair”, wherein we hear the story of boxer Blair Cobbs’ surreal, obstacle-filled, and often dangerous path to realizing his dream of being a top-ranked professional pugilist.

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

Scott Nesbitt