Treasure Box

Treasure Box: December 2017

Well, we did it. We have arrived to the end of 2017. As we await the New Year, here’s my final Treasure Box of the year, with lots of seasonal and end-of-year goodies:

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♥ Alright, starting things off with a trio of some pretty serious articles. First up is a report of why Dr. Bennet Imalu, the doctor who discovered the extent of CTE in football players, resigned from his post as San Joaquin County’s chief forensic pathologist, accusing Sheriff Steve Moore of tampering with death investigations in which law enforcement was involved. I don’t know why this story hasn’t been shared more widely.

♥ In a related vein, here’s “I Was Tortured by the Chicago PD“, which happens to be the last article that Robert Evans wrote for Cracked before the recent layoffs. I used to be a pretty big Cracked reader and I’ve especially admired Evans’ Personal Experience articles, so I’m sorry to see him go; he did a lot of great work like this.

♥ Speaking of great work, ProPublica did an absolutely essential series with NPR, “Lost Mothers,” which explores why the U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world and why black mothers are particularly vulnerable.

♥ Here’s a fun holiday read on the forgotten seasonal tradition of Christmas ghost stories!

♥ Throughout this month, Atlas Obscura did a “Year in Wonder” series to spotlight the magical spots in an otherwise bleak and maddening year. My favorite is this roundup of newly discovered species in 2017, which includes such wonders as electric blue tarantulas, an orchid that smells like champagne, and a monkey named after Luke Skywalker (WHO RULES IN THE LAST JEDI).

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♥ A couple of BirthMoviesDeath pieces on storytelling that I really like. First, a fantastic critique of “mystery box” storytelling and fan consumption that seems remarkably prescient in light of the (BAD AND DUMB) Last Jedi fanboy backlash.

♥ I also really like “The Myth of 3-Act Structure” by Film Crit Hulk.

♥ Here’s a super-extensive breakdown of differences between portrayals of male and female comic book characters (with graphics!) The data comes from analyzing 34,476 DC and Marvel characters on the online database ComicVine, so unfortunately it only focuses on binary gender differences as other data isn’t as instantly accessible, but there are still some pretty interesting data, from representation on superhero teams to gendered names to how superpowers reflect sexist stereotypes.

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♥ As we ring in the New Year, here’s a wonderful essay on weight loss and self-love by my indescribably lovely mentor, Hayley Chewins.

♥ As a final gift, after a year of hate, here’s Sylvan Esso’s cover of “There Are Many Ways to Say I Love You” from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Here’s to believing in love in 2018.

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