Kickoff For April 5, 2021

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.

That tempus does fugit. I’m still not believing that April’s rolled into town. While that’s happening, down here in New Zealand summer seems to be trying to hold on for dear life. What a wacky world we live in.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


What shaped E P Thompson, historian and champion of working people?, wherein Priya Satia explores how a historian with quite the cosmopolitan background became a proponent and chronicler of history from below.

The Hidden History of the First Black Women to Serve in the U.S. Navy, wherein we learn about the Golden Fourteen, a group of black women who worked in the US Naval Reserve in World War One and how their story has almost been forgotten.

The Future Encyclopedia of Luddism, wherein we’re treated to an alternative history in which the Luddites succeeded and how that might not have been a bad thing.


The New History of the Milky Way, wherein we learn how scientists, using new data, were able to paint a sharper, more accurate picture of our galaxy’s history.

Apes, robots and men: the life and death of the first space chimp, wherein we learn a bit about how animals were used as proxies during the early space race, and how that fuelled an ongoing battle among both Soviet and US astronauts about how much autonomy they would have as pilots.

Mars is a Hellhole, wherein Shannon Stirone outlines why humans shouldn’t colonize the Red Planet.

Odds and Ends

It’s time to retire the Doomsday Clock, wherein Shannon Osaka argues that the famed warning published by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has outlived it purpose and usefulness.

Pellet Ice Is the Good Ice, wherein Helen Rosner pens a paen to ice — not the stuff that comes out of our freezers and mundane ice makers, but the really good ice at the pinnacle of which she places pellet ice.

On Running, wherein Larissa Pham ponders why she runs and her relationship with the act of rapidly putting one foot in front of another.

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

Scott Nesbitt