It’s been a hectic month with some travel and a move to San Francisco finally materializing. As a result, I haven’t had time to do much reading.


  • We Need to Talk About Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs [Teen Vogue] – This was something I had been thinking about from time to time, but of course this article articulately talks about the implications of non-black people overusing GIFs of black people online. It draws a parallel with minstrel performances of the early 19th century where blackface was a commonly used tool to caricature black people.

  • The case against free speech for fascists [Quartz] – A complicated debate that has gained extra attention because of the recent events in Charlottesville. The American absolutism around rights like free speech is certainly being challenged hard.

  • His Kampf [The Atlantic] – A revealing profile of white-supremacist Richard Spencer, that offers some insight into how he thinks. Written by a former high-school classmate of his.

Movies and TV Shows

  • Angry Indian Goddesses – A photographer invites her closest friends to vacation at her family’s home in Goa in celebration of her upcoming marriage. This is a rare Indian movie that is solely centered on female characters and their relationships beyond just trauma or suffering, with a wide variety of intersections. I thought that the story fizzled out after a point but there were many beautiful moments.


  • Portland – I traveled to Oregon once again, this time to see the total solar eclipse. It was spectacular.


  • Miles of Ice Collapsing into the Sea – An interactive series in three parts that tracks the flow of Antarctic ice as more of it melts and flows into the ocean. I like it particularly because it gives a sense of the scale and impact of climate change on Antarctica beyond just the rhetorical “warming climate and rising sea levels”.

  • Emma – The AI boom is here. Emma is a self-learning algorithm that monitors, analyses and understands How People Write. I haven’t tried it yet but the application seems useful.

  • Rachel Rostad - “To JK Rowling, from Cho Chang” (CUPSI 2013 Finals) – A critique of JK Rowling’s treatment of Cho Chang in the Harry Potter books. It’s provocative and powerful. The poet (Rachel Rostad) also responded to some of the critiques of her own video here.

  • South Asia Is Also Experiencing The Worst Flooding In Decades And The Photos Are Horrifying – I’ve felt particularly disturbed at the death and destruction by flooding in multiple parts of the world all at the same time. These photos from South Asia are disturbing. There are more from Bombay and before/after illustrations from Houston.

  • The Bail Trap Game – I’m a big fan of using video games as experiential tools, because they might be one of the best options we have out there for reliving someone else’s experience. This is a tiny 8-bit game but worth checking out if you believe that the criminal justice system is fair.

- nRT