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Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


The unfun parts of self-care are important too.


Buffalo by Spencer Hall: I cannot recommend these beautifully written musings on football, bison, violence, and race too highly.

➝ Also lovely is this article by Jonah Sutton-Morse about telling the story of The Hobbit to his young daugher. Instead of reading from the book, he retells it from memory, which results in some details being changed -- some for clarity, some from memory lapses, and some from personal preference such as making Bilbo Baggins into a girl (and he's not the first person to do that). I enjoyed Sutton-Morse's thoughts on the oral tradition of storytelling as well as the sweet image of generations connecting through stories.

➝ On Tor.com, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro writes in praise of the reset button on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Although I tend to prefer serialized storytelling (one of the many reasons that Deep Space Nine is my favorite flavor of Trek), Zinos-Amaro makes a good case for why having less continuity worked well for ST:TNG, both for storytelling and practical reasons.

➝ I've been enjoying Pornokitch's Villain of the Month series. In September, Erin took on Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones, mostly from the viewpoint of the books but also informed by the show, especially Lena Headey's performance. Erin argues that Cersei's villain origin is basically the patriarchy, a stance with which I have long agreed.


The science world is freaking out over this 25-year-old's answer to antibiotic resistance. I've known so many people who've had hospital infections so this news is great!

➝ I missed the Skittles disaster mostly because I was busy. I caught up when I saw this article about the source of the photo Trump Jr. tweeted. This election, y'all. This election.
The photo featured in the tweet was taken, without permission or credit, from a man named David Kittos.

And Kittos tells the BBC he was once a refugee himself.

The photo in question — a striking shot of a white bowl of Skittles against a white background — was posted on Flickr more than six years ago. Kittos said he was experimenting with a DIY macro photography setup when he took the shot. It's marked with a copyright note: "All rights reserved."

➝ Keywords: "Viola Davis" and "heist thriller". SIGN ME UP.

The all-female spinoff of Ocean's Eleven will be coming out in 2018!!! ECSTASY.

Book Acquisitions

Added TBR: Treading on Thin Air: Atmospheric Physics, Forensic Meteorology, and Climate Change: How Weather Shapes Our Everyday Lives by Elizabeth Austin, The Secret Poisoner: The Victorian Age of Poisoning by Linda Stratmann, Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America by Gail Jarrow, Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid, A Traffic of Dead Bodies: Anatomy and Embodied Social Identity in Nineteenth-Century America by Michael Sappol, Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils by Lydia Pyne, The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth's Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Anil Ananthaswamy, The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics by John Pollack, Butter: A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova, Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online by Bailey Poland, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore, The Mother of All Questions: Further Reports from the Feminist Revolutions by Rebecca Solnit, Political Suicide: Missteps, Peccadilloes, Bad Calls, Backroom Hijinx, Sordid Pasts, Rotten Breaks, and Just Plain Dumb Mistakes in the Annals of American Politics by Erin McHugh, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29775585-the-unbeatable-squirrel-girl-vol-4 by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, & Rico Renzi, The Great Suppression: Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy by Zachary Roth, Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt, The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue by David Sax, Saga, Vol. 7 by Fiona Staples & Brian K. Vaughan, Descender, Vol. 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire & Dustin Nguyen, Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab, Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! Vol. 2: Don't Stop Me-Ow by Kate Leth, Brittney L. Williams, & Megan Wilson, Time Travel by James Gleick, Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister


➝ So, you remember how I reviewed that book where I spent like a thousand words complaining about Gay For You as a homophobic and bi-erasing trope without actually knowing the word? (Thank you to lovely commenter Marfisa for letting me know what that trope was actually called.) Well, Jenny Trout sits down with the major arguments defending the trope and explains why no, this trope is still bi/pan-erasing.

➝ The caption is "tfw your folks replace the (perfectly sevicable!!!) old hoover with a roomba and you don't have a god damn clue how you're gonna fly the thing" and the art it describes is exactly as delightful as that makes it sound. It's cute and colourful and animated and I really like it! Bonus: has art of the suggestions of how one flies a roomba.

➝ One of my sisters came to visit me and introduced me to the delight that is Lounge Kittens; I have somewhat hypnotised by their cover of Alice Cooper's Poison, they've managed to turn Aerosmith's I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing into a tango, and I can't stop giggling over their cover of Bounce by System of a Down.

Date: 2016-10-06 06:14 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Renay, re the medical breakthrough: This is why we need feminism, dammit! Imagine if she'd been chased out of the field by misogynist assholes, which happens to all to many women who start out with STEM interests.

Susan: Is Jenny Trout her legal name or a nom-de-blog? And if the latter, is it a conscious homage to the character in Fallen Angels by Niven/Pournelle/Barnes or merely a coincidence?

(Capsule review of the book: The worldbuilding sucks rocks, but if you just read it for the roman-a-clef factor -- and you're old enough to get the in-jokes -- it's a decent romp.)

Date: 2016-10-06 09:49 am (UTC)
spindizzy: Cougar from The Losers smiling and holding a gun. (I like you)
From: [personal profile] spindizzy
I think Jenny Trout is a pen name and she used to write under the name Jennifer Armintrout, but I could be wrong on all counts!

Date: 2016-10-07 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingtheend.com
Lots of good points about self-care -- I kind of wish the author hadn't made the extra points arguing that depression is tied to life circumstance. I know that family of origin stuff and other exterior factors can make it worse (which is true of a lot of illnesses, not just mental ones), and I just always worry a lot about unmedicalizing mental illness.

(I worry about overmedicalizing it too. I can never be satisfied, satisfied.)

Date: 2016-10-12 05:52 am (UTC)
calissa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] calissa
Renay: I'm definitely adding Treading on Thin Air to my wish list.

Also, non-fiction really likes its long titles, doesn't it?


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