Sunday Suggestions 27-01-2017: A Compendium of Curiosities

A Compendium of Curiosities || Sunday Suggestions 29-01-2017: a round up of things to read, watch, listen to and do ||

This week’s #sundaysuggestions is a compendium of curiosities, a motley assortment of interesting tales sourced from across the Internet – so I’ll launch straight in to the list.  Enjoy, learn and share!

The blog I’d like to highlight this week is Mind the Gap by David Baker.  Baker is a UK academic who spent time in the US last year on a Fulbright scholarship.  His research focus is death after police contact, although the blog also incorporates his observations on US life more widely.  Definitely worth a read, especially in light of recent political developments.

A couple of weeks ago this column cited a review of Jackie.  This week I spotted an article by Veronqiue Merley, the film’s set decorator, about how they accurately recreated the Kennedy era White House.  I wonder what decor changes are afoot now?

Jackie Kennedy Onassis was supposedly the most photographed woman in the world, as was Princess Diana a couple of decades later.  Now the celebrity scene has changed beyond recognition, including’influencers’ emerging from social media.  The LSE blog ‘Parenting for a Digital Future’ has included a post by Crystal Abidin, a sociology scholar in Singapore, about ‘Micro-microcelebrities: famous babies and business on the internet‘.  Intriguing issues raised about when celebrities make their own babies and young children into celebrities in their own right.

A once famous figure who you now may not have heard of is yachtsman Bernard Moitessier.  I first heard his story about a decade ago but it doesn’t get any less bizarre with time.  I won’t say anything other than read this account of his life and adventures.

A history of Harper's Bazaar editors || A Compendium of Curiosities: from barcodes to Moitessier via The Gambia || Things to read and watch online || Sunday Suggestions 29-01-2017 ||
Part of the gorgeous spread on influential Harper’s Bazaar editors by Justine Picardie in this month’s UK issue – check out the online article cited in today’s suggestions

From bizarre to bazaar: Harper’s Bazaar is 150 years old this year.  The magazine’s history is littered with a number of powerful and pioneering female editors both in the UK and the US.  The current editor of the British edition, the brilliant writer Justine Picardie, has written about these women, both in the current issue and also for The Daily Telegraph.

You can read the latter here, although I’d recommend buying the celebration edition if you’re at all interested in the history of magazines (if you’re *really* interested in this subject then you might like to invest in this collection of essays edited by me!).

One of Harper’s rivals on the newstands both sides of the Atlantic is Vogue.  Their US website this week featured a good read by Marjon Carlos about ‘How Clothes Helped Female Leaders Convey the Struggle for Civil Rights‘.

Brits are often amused and/or baffled by the difficulty that other nations have in deciphering our accents, yet truth is that many in the UK can’t identify voices from different regions either.  This light-hearted tour of seventeen British and Irish by actor Siobhan Thompson provides a helpful guide.

Ever thought about the story behind the development of barcodes?  No, me neither but Tim Harford’s article for the BBC website provides a fascinating insight into how this technology came about.

Why 'The' Gambia & not just Gambia? || A Compendium of Curiosities: from barcodes to Moitessier via The Gambia || Things to read and watch online || Sunday Suggestions 29-01-2017 ||
Why ‘The’ Gambia & not just Gambia? BBC R4 has the answer

Also from the BBC, this time Radio Four, is this short clip explaining why we put ‘the’ in front of ‘The Gambia’ and some other countries but not others.  Fascinating!

In my group therapy session this week, we each mindfully contemplated a coffee bean for several minutes.  This led to the realisation that none of us really knew how they were grown or what the coffee plant was like.  I wonder who many of you don’t know this either?  If you would like to learn more, check out this article from the ever-helpful Wikipedia.  You can always rely on Wikipedia for a good read.  Maybe next week I should have a Wiki special feature…

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