#63: Plot of the sandwich

Speed cakes, library sleepovers, curious contraptions, birth of a squid, etc.


Lovely Linky Bits

Thoughtful reads and so forth.

Descartes on Wonderment
“When our first encounter with some object takes us by surprise, and we judge it to be new, or very different from what we have previously experienced or from what we expected it to be, this causes us to wonder at it and be astonished. And because this can happen before we have any knowledge of whether the thing is beneficial to us or not, it seems to me that wonderment is the first passion of all. And it has no contrary, because, if the object that presents itself has nothing in itself to surprise us, we are not moved by it in any way and we consider it without any passion.”

How the Sandwich Consumed Britain
“The most obvious – and ambitious – plot of the sandwich industry is to make us eat them throughout the day. People in the trade, I noticed, rarely talk about breakfast, lunch or dinner. They speak instead about ‘day parts’, ‘occasions’ and ‘missions’, and any and all of these is good for a sandwich. In 2016, the British public carried out an estimated 5bn food-to-go ‘missions’, and these are spread ever more evenly across the day parts. In recent years, the biggest development in the sandwich business has been its successful targeting of breakfast. And the next frontier, logic dictates, is dinner – or, as it was described to me at Adelie Foods, ‘the fragmentation of the evening occasion’.”

The Digital Ruins of a Forgotten Future
“Perhaps Second Life inspires an urge to ridicule not because it’s unrecognizable, but because it takes a recognizable impulse and carries it past the bounds of comfort, into a kind of uncanny valley: not just the promise of an online voice, but an online body; not just checking Twitter on your phone, but forgetting to eat because you’re dancing at an online club; not just a curated version of your real life, but a separate existence entirely. It crystallizes the simultaneous siren call and shame of wanting an alternate life. It raises questions about where unfettered fantasy leads, as well as about how we navigate the boundary between the virtual and the real.”

Curiosities & Delights

Some things to be glad about.

Teeny weeny street art.
The insides of fireworks.
Here comes Krampus.
Supermoon of the year.
Library sleepovers in Wales.
Parking lot camping at Walmart.
100 questions to spark conversation.
How writers organise their personal libraries.
‘Speed cakes’ and other North Korean snacks.
And a little lace fence.

Moving Pictures

Video treats upon which to press play.

How a squid is born.
Beautiful chemical reactions.
A guide to words for waters.
Matt Smith’s curious automata contraptions.
The synchronised swooping of starlings at dusk.