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Etcetera #46: Tomatoes, QR Codes, Hedges

Matthew Culnane
Matthew Culnane
Hello. Here’s the latest set of links. The first article about tomatoes is, I think, something of an ideal article for this newsletter—it covers history, geography, botany, etymology and much more to illuminate a seemingly mundane, everyday thing. I really liked it and I hope you do too.
See you next time.

Unhealthy, Smelly, and Strange: Why Italians Avoided Tomatoes for Centuries
The Modern QR Code Life
How Hedges Became the Unofficial Emblem of Great Britain
Grieving, dreaming and 'Drinking in L.A.'
  • Alexander Iadarola lists the 21st century content creator’s most important characteristics. I cannot immediately tell how serious this post is—it straddles that line between actual theory and ironic commentary—but I agree with the majority of the points he makes.
  • “Books continue to flourish as a commodity, but to other purposes: as vectors of conversation, signalling and setters of agenda. Don’t worry about cheating the author of their impact. Writing a book is mainly about conferring a degree of status on the author, getting her invited to literary festivals and onto Front Row. Hearing it talked about is all that matters.” On pretending to have read books. See also: antilibraries.
  • The natural resonant frequencies of Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation’ could cause laptops to crash.
  • How the wide variety of ketchups (or catsups) narrowed to just one. See also: ketchups are non-Newtonian fluids; to best extract them from a glass Heinz bottle, hit the ‘57 Varieties’ label.
  • I’m working my way through a few of the Trash Theory videos I’d saved to watch later. This one is particularly good, taking in all of power pop from the early 1960s onwards:
Before My Sharona: How Power Pop Became Power Pop
Before My Sharona: How Power Pop Became Power Pop
The dreaded Tweets
one of the best now-deleted tweets of all time
Marc Masters 🌵
Siri, show me basically my entire 90s in one picture.
The thing with screen readers, yeah? They sometimes say 'capital letter' out loud before every capital letter, so while this meme is legit funny, it can be painful for anyone using screen reading technology, so I'm just gonna talk directly into your ear canal, alright?
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Matthew Culnane
Matthew Culnane @coldbrain

Interesting & in-depth articles on lots of topics with added context & further reading from my archives.

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