#41: From when we were small

This letter contains more flamingos than usual.


Lovely Linky Bits

Thoughtful reads and so forth.

Traces of Time Lost
“The period of infancy to early childhood is one of the most crucial stretches of one’s life for forming the self. Brain connections are pruning and taking root. Lasting values are laid down. Foundations of identity are instilled. Language and personality develop at rapid speed. There is something bittersweet about the fact that we cannot access that essential time from when we were small. When I think of my own daughter, it is becoming harder for me to accept all that she will forget.”

The Hidden History of the Laundry Chute
“A laundry chute is a mythic domestic space. It’s an unwatched door to nowhere, the open throat of an old home. Its reputation has as much to do with convenience as with the early recognition that a house is not solid through and through. The laundry chute is a place where stains and embarrassing odors go to be erased, and dropping linen down the chute is a mnemonic for forgetting those embarrassments, for making such accidents invisible. Most of a laundry chute is sealed behind walls, and this covert quality draws people to encounter such items that laundry chutes are built explicitly to contain.”

When Things Go Missing
“This entanglement becomes more fraught as we grow older. Beyond a certain age, every act of losing gets subjected to an extra layer of scrutiny, in case what you have actually lost is your mind. Most such acts don’t indicate pathology, of course, but real mental decline does manifest partly as an uptick in lost things. Dementia patients are prone to misplacing their belongings, and people with early-stage Alzheimer’s often can’t find objects because they have put them in unlikely locations; the eyeglasses end up in the oven, the dentures in the coffee can. Such losses sadden us because they presage larger ones—of autonomy, of intellectual capacity, ultimately of life itself.”

Curiosities & Delights

Some things to be glad about.

A tale of two flamingos.
A history of library penmanship.
The making of an alien alphabet.
The curious collections of a fictional crypto-naturalist.
The snuggle songs of ravens.
Nevertheless, persistent jewellery.
A quietly helpful new tab.
History’s most compelling speeches.
Mr Bloggs: literal moneymaker.
Magnificent underwater photography.
Also, Loubie is a very huggy dog.

Moving Pictures

Video treats upon which to press play.

Where are the baby dinosaurs?
The birdwatcher who sees with sound.
Turns out slime mold is smarter than it looks.
Brahms vs. Radiohead and other orchestral mashups.
And ten hours of ambient icebreaking.