Whew, what a month. What a year! I’m too brain dead from holiday malaise and probably too much wine (cheers!) to be clever about an introduction, so let’s get to it. I hope you’re still on holiday break, because here comes...
Let’s see what the internet had to offer this month? Starting on theme with...
How about the annual edition of the hater’s guide to the Willams Sonoma catalog? If you’ve extra time to kill, know that this year was relatively tame compared to the reclaimed wood chicken coop in the 2012 edition. File this under “things I won’t be purchasing with my Christmas stocking money.”
This year, if you can believe it, I have not watched Love Actually. The wine-with-movie-while-trimming-the-tree tradition was supplanted by the raising-a-toddler-while-interviewing-for-faculty-jobs chaos of 2015. But I got a taste of it from the Lindy West article “I Rewatched Love Actually and I Am Here to Ruin It for All of You”. The title doesn’t lie. But I still love it, Lindy, sorry.
But if I do get around to extending the Christmas season and watching it, perhaps I’ll enjoy it with this pomegranate manhattan from Shutterbean. I mean, there are twelve days of Christmas, folks.
Moving on to the usual...
If you haven’t already figured it out, my usual go-to for finding good longform journalism is Longreads. And they’ve compiled a ton of year-end reads for you, but I of course am partial to the Longreads Best of 2015 Science reads. If you’re still lazing around your relatives’ houses looking for some intellectual stimulation, fall down the Longreads wormhole!
Pope Francis is reiterating the church’s stance that Jews can go to heaven (and in the last few days, atheists too). Some people may roll their eyes about the “mysterious” nature of it, but I’ll be honest, this is exactly what I love about faith. Sometimes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is the answer.
Have you ever noticed the “Medical ID” button on your phone? Me neither.
If you’ve ever wanted your phone to serve as a sort of ID bracelet in case something goes wrong for you, this is your chance. Get the directions for how to input it here! Note that all the info is available without your passcode, so don’t give TOO much away, but just what you need!
Finally, if you’ve ignored the Pottermore website like me (and after all that hype years ago!), you might also be happy to learn that J. K. Rowling has been writing a ton for it. And of course, it’s gold. If you click on one article like this one, there’s bound to be a link for more at the bottom. When you emerge from the Longreads wormhole, slip down this one next!
Let’s be multimedia this month! Here’s a collection of gorgeous videos from the annual Nikon Small World competition. My work looks pretty cool under a microscope, but these are almost powerful enough to make me jealous!
And did you watch the SpaceX launch and, more importantly, landing? Here’s why it was so amazing, and here’s the whole thing you can watch for yourself. (By the by, that's my childhood friend/teenage boyfriend explaining stuff around the 16 minute mark. My brush with fame!)
This month’s maps
Just one collection this month, and it’s unfortunately a depressing counterpoint to the rocket launch excitement: This is what your city would look like if all the world’s ice sheets melt. It seems a lot more real after that 78-degree walk we took on Saturday in Memphis!
And finally, let’s cut to the usual...
If you’re still in a Harry Potter mood, here’s a few reasons why Harry Potter will never die. (After all this time? Always.)
Here are the awards I’ll be collecting next.
I guess I missed McCalls Pattern Behavior when it blew up in March, so if you missed it too, you really must catch up.
And finally, let’s end this month and this year the best way I know how: with RED PANDAS.
That’s all I’ve got, dear readers! Rest up now for 2016!