1. Why Are There No Biographies of Xi Jinping? – As head of the Communist Party since 2012, why don’t we know more about Xi? One reason – “In recent years, five Hong Kong booksellers associated with the publication of exposés on the private lives of Chinese leaders have been kidnapped and taken over the border to the mainland or, in one case, spirited there from Thailand.”
2. An Oral History of The Emperor’s New Groove – A wonderful look into Disney’s creative process and continual refinement of ideas.
3. Robinhood’s Customers Are Hedgefunds. It’s Users Are the Product – Like Facebook and big tech, the platforms are “free” to us, because we’re the commodity. “Robinhood may bill itself as an app for the little guy, but its platform, perhaps more than any other, is a great reminder that the stock market is a casino—which means you cannot forget that the house always wins.”
4. What Happens When You Breathe? – “In countless languages and religions, breath is a synonym for life, as well as for the spirit or soul. And for good reason. The Earth spent some two billion years without oxygen in its atmosphere, bereft of life beyond a few anaerobic microorganisms. Slowly, blue-green algae generated a buildup of oxygen, and so created the conditions that allowed for the grand explosion of biology on which nearly everything and everyone we know depends. “Life and respiration are complementary,” the English physician William Harvey wrote in the seventeenth century. “There is nothing living which does not breathe, nor anything breathing which does not live.”
5. Five French Sauces Everyone Should Know – “In the 19th century, Marie-Antoine Carême anointed Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, and tomato sauce as the building blocks for all other sauces in his work L’Art de la Cuisine Française au Dix-Neuvième Siecle. Later on, Hollandaise got added to the family. Since then, many people consider others sauces—sweet and savory from all around the world—as unofficial extended relatives of these five sauces.”