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Etcetera #41: Logging, Squid, White House

Matthew Culnane
Matthew Culnane
Hello. I strongly recommend the article about Romanian forests, Ikea and logging, particularly if you like to get all riled up about how stupid a species we are. Lars Horn’s essay about their artist mother is great too, and I’m pleased I had time this morning to watch Carlos Maza’s latest video before sending this out.
See you next time.

Ikea’s Race for the Last of Europe’s Old-Growth Forest
See also: Illegal logging has all but wiped out Peru’s mahogany supply, so loggers are turning to lesser known species critical to the health of the rain forest. You will likely be aware of many of these, but here are the ways that the Swedish escape room brand tricks you into buying more stuff.
My Mother Photographs Me in a Bath of Dead Squid
The Untold Story of the White House’s Record Collection
Etc.
  • Who drew that winking Italian chef that appears on boxes from most pizza places? What’s with the drawing of the pagoda and the ‘wonton’ font on Chinese-American takeout containers? Find out the hidden histories of to-go container art.
  • On a similar note, here’s a history of the 90s ‘jazz’ design: think teals and purples, scribbles and zig-zags, Saved by the Bell and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
  • Dirt Candy is a popular restaurant in New York closely associated with head chef and owner Amanda Cohen. In this culture of egotism in food, it’s great that the restaurant adds a line of attribution to items on its menu, crediting the member of its kitchen staff who come up with the dish.
  • A history of Peruvian potatoes. I knew that they were native to the Americas but didn’t know they could be traced back to what is now Peru and Bolivia. There are a lot of exclamation marks in this piece!
  • Trolling is taking a toll on science journalism, and newsrooms aren’t doing enough to help. One of the things that I think underpins this is a general lack of awareness among the public of how science progresses, which leads to science denial (see the last newsletter) and the sharing of misinformation.
  • Why Europeans colonised the Americas (which are far away) before Africa (which are much closer). The main answer is probably what you’d suspect—the Sahara being where it is—but there’s a little more to it.
  • Why not simply let the Leaning Tower of Pisa fall over?
  • A reminder that it’s incredibly difficult, expensive and time-consuming to make nuclear weapons.
  • An exploration of the narrowing of variance in popular culture that has resulted in so many more franchises, reboots and remakes.
  • “The Clash weren’t these punk rockers who were going to be trapped by that four-letter word. For a lot of us it was a ladder that you climbed up. Some got stuck on that first rung, but look at the difference between the first album and London Calling. Then London Calling and Sandinista, and then Combat Rock. The Clash were open to the world of music and everything it was offering. The Clash wasn’t just about changing your sneakers, it was about changing your mind too. Every record left that behind."—the always marvellous Don Letts.
  • An appreciation of The Monkees’ subversive, satirical and psychedelic cult film Head and its themes of reality, self, and authenticity. This is excellent.
  • Letterboxd and its community on the 30th anniversary of Sneakers, "an eerily prophetic early-’90s heist caper that bridges the analog-digital divide”. A nearly forgotten film that holds up brilliantly, imo.
  • Matt Zoller Seitz on Channing Tatum, a talented, versatile actor who is perhaps unfairly dismissed.
  • The fascinating story of Haddon Salt, the ex-pat Brit and would-be Colonel Sanders of fish and chips:
I Was the Next Colonel Sanders. KFC Had Other Plans. | 'Almost Famous' by Op-Docs
I Was the Next Colonel Sanders. KFC Had Other Plans. | 'Almost Famous' by Op-Docs
  • Using Charlie Kirk’s “Americafest” conference as a case study, Carlos Maza breaks down how “head empty” fascism works, and what we might be able to do about it:
The Rise Of "Head Empty" Fascism
The Rise Of "Head Empty" Fascism
The dreaded Tweets
Dan Hon
Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. https://t.co/CnLekTYzEh
slate
front facing eyes are a key indicator of a predator https://t.co/hsykpoUVKm
slate
front facing eyes are a key indicator of a predator https://t.co/hsykpoUVKm
Outro
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Matthew Culnane
Matthew Culnane @coldbrain

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