in A Day in the Year

Reading – April 2018

Collections is an attempt at keeping a monthly record of the pieces of writing/art/media that I’ve found valuable and interesting. More about the series here.

// The Quest for the Next Billion Dollar Color (World)

“YInMn blue (pronounced YIN-min) is an amalgam of yttrium, indium oxide, and manganese—elements deep within the periodic table that together form something unique. YInMn was the first blue pigment discovered in more than 200 years…

The world lacks a great all-around red. Always has. We’ve made do with alternatives that could be toxic or plain gross. The gladiators smeared their faces with mercury-based vermilion. Titian painted with an arsenic-based mineral called realgar. The British army’s red coats were infused with crushed cochineal beetles. For decades, red Lego bricks contained cadmium, a carcinogen.”

Really unexpected and interesting read.

// The Evolution of Trust (Art / Tech)

Nicky Case makes some of my favorite interactive pieces on the web. The Evolution of Trust is an interactive game that explores various “approaches” to trust and cooperation. Beautifully explained, it ended up leaving me with more questions than answers.

// I Recognise the Holiness of Death, an Interview with Amy Tan (Social)

“There’s the first breath, there’s the last breath, and everything that goes between. What we put in there as people and what we’ve left, what we’ve given. Not these pages in a library. This legacy. I think it’s false to count your symbolic immortality on published books. It has more to do with what you give to the world that lasts forever…”

This small interview has a lot of wisdom.

// The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma (Social)

“Not enough pages in the world to describe what it did to me. The whole planet could be my inkstand and it still wouldn’t be enough. That shit cracked the planet of me in half, threw me completely out of orbit, into the lightless regions of space where life is not possible.”

Junot Diaz is in my top 3 favorite writers and the powerful force and beauty of his writing is visible in this unfortunate personal story.

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