Baking as the opposite of the Internet

In these efforts to self-soothe, I made a life-changing discovery: Making sourdough bread is the opposite of using the internet.

Read more: Opinion | I Wanted a Dog. I Bake Bread Instead. – The New York Times

Why airlines won’t be making the switch to VR

If you have a messy desk or office, I bet you probably still know where everything is. And if someone dared to rearrange it—or worse yet, clean it—you would lose your mind. Your workspace isn’t just a workspace: It’s an extension of your brain, and a lot of what you know is stored there. Cockpits are no different. Ed Hutchins, a pilot and cognitive anthropologist at the University of California–San Diego, believes that cockpits are that desk idea taken to the limit. “There’s all this embodied knowledge in the cockpit,” says Hutchins, who writes about the many ways pilots use their physical surroundings to store knowledge.

Read on: The airline industry is sticking with its old flight simulators.

Justice for chicken rendang!

Rendang originated from the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra in Indonesia, who cooked it with water buffalo – an important animal in Minangkabau culture – not chicken or beef for which the dish is probably best known. The meat of the water buffalo is tough, sinewy and perfectly suited to the long cooking time required for rendang. In fact, the word rendang itself comes from merendang, which means slow cooking. Traditionally, the dish is cooked for between three and seven hours over a low heat on a wood fire.

Really lovely piece on the origins of rendang. Hat tip Erin Cook!

Read more:  How an outrage over crispy chicken united South-East Asia

Indonesian fashion influencers pushed back in the closet

Other queer men working in the influencer world told me that they were told to tone down their “flamboyant,” personalities, their fashion choices, and to keep their political views to themselves. Valerie MS, another pseudonym, got a job as an influencer for a cigarette company, but he was told that he needed to act “tough and macho”—the exact opposite of his fashion-focused image. The tobacco company said it hired him because he “represents the boldness in society,” but they then took great pains to tell him that he couldn’t be too bold.

Read on: In the Age of Influencers, Queer Indonesians Still Can’t be Themselves – VICE

Sunshine, ten years on


As the movie goes on, the crew of the Icarus II becomes increasingly convinced that they’re going to die out there, millions of miles from home. More than in any science fiction movie I’ve seen — maybe any movie — Sunshine‘s characters face this knowledge with a kind of fatalistic grace. They don’t pretend to be anything other than doomed, but they carry on anyway. That grace seems worth remembering, and celebrating, as Sunshine turns 10. It seems increasingly important as we move into a turbulent future — and toward the individual endings that we know are coming.

A favourite of mine, and not just because it has Cillian Murphy at peak twink.

Read on: Ten years later, ‘Sunshine’ remains one of the bleakest and most beautiful sci-fi movies ever made | TechCrunch

Writing the working class

Dorothy Allison: I went off and won scholarships. I applied for scholarships at church and ladies’ circles. They’re always service organizations run by middle-class women who are generous and kind to the poor. You win those awards by being humble and grateful. Gratitude can eat the heart out of you, because the first thing you have to do is acknowledge that you aren’t as good as the people you’re begging help from. That’s one of the reasons why a lot of the very successful working-class kids who win scholarships drink themselves to death or shoot themselves in the head.

I’ve been thinking a lot about class lately. There are Australian commentators whose constant banging on about being working class — Van Badham, I’m looking at you — stakes a claim to a political and cultural high-ground, a ‘Leftier-than-thou’ stance I’ve never seen taken by anyone actually engaged in the building of class consciousness and solidarity. I can’t claim that, myself, because I was raised in a welfare-class family with middle-class aspirations — more chip than shoulder. Mum’s family saw education as the pathway to middle-class status confirmation; when my parents separated, my Mum’s eldest sister met with my Dad for lunch and expressed the sincere concern that divorce would mean the kids can’t go to Xavier College. And this was true: I was too dumb for Xavier — or perhaps, unwilling to beg sincerely enough. So this quote in particular resonates powerfully with me.

Read on: Dorothy Allison: Tender to the Bone – Guernica

State of play: UK politics at the theatre

Our conversation kicks off with an argument about the relationship between politics and theatre. In The Absence of War, George Jones implies there is an affinity, saying to another politician: “You don’t go to the theatre, you’re missing out there, everyone in politics should.” In Quiz, Paul, a TV producer, comments: “Some people say that politics is just performance.” But Hare declares that the list of theatregoing politicians is short: “Neil Kinnock was exceptional in being a theatregoer. George Osborne, in a way that was incomprehensible to me, was a theatregoer. Tony Blair was a theatregoer.”

Some interesting reflections here on camp as a political mode.

Read on: State of play: David Hare and James Graham talk drama and politics | Stage | The Guardian