Some spillover links from CAE #32 + personal updates
That's right, there's more.
Every month when I sit down to write CAE, I hem and haw over the length of the email digest. It is hard to narrow down which reads to include because there is truly so much good writing out there. Inevitably, I end up cutting out a few, but this month I had several that didn’t make it before I got the dreaded “this post is too long for email” pop up from Substack.
So this month, I’ve decided to send over an extra newsletter.
That’s right, it’s time to open more tabs in your browser.
Some of you have asked me to start offering paid subscriptions and send out a mid-month spillover digest for those subscribers. I’m not sure I can do so; I’m still so unwell that I worry I wouldn’t be able to manage it consistently. Still, I appreciate the support, and for now will direct you to my Patreon (less links; more editorializing) instead.
Based on feedback, though, it does seem that many of you want more editorializing in CAE, too. Most of your emails say you’d be happy for less links but more of my thoughts about each piece. I will take this onboard for CAE #33, but please do let me know your thoughts, either by replying or in the comments.
Either way, for October a spillover you shall receive! The links they were plentiful.
First, some happy news: I won a VeryWell 2023 Health Impact Award for my writing and advocacy with spinal CSF leak, celiac disease, and the other alphabet of conditions I deal with day-to-day. I had no idea I was nominated for this award until they wrote me, and it’s an honour to have received it. On the same list are such well-known advocates as Nick Jonas (Type 1 Diabetes), Padma Lakshmi (Endometriosis), Steve Gleason (ALS), and more. And me?! I don’t know what I’m doing there, but I’m grateful. You can read about the award and see the winners here. A screenshot from part of their write up:
Also, two days later (November 11th), I spoke at a conference about living with a spinal CSF leak long term. The first part of my talk focused on acceptance — both toxic positivity, and what ‘acceptance’ means when you’re not getting better. The second part was about the practical: the modifications for my home that I’ve put in place with a long term leak. Among them, an automatic door slide, electric blinds, a step to get into the shower, grabber devices, sink faucet extenders, and much more. I put all of these items in an article so patients can easily read about them. The conference was unique in the leak world because it was an opportunity to hear from both patients and providers together. I was very grateful to have been asked to speak. The video of my talk will be available in a few weeks, and I’ll share it here when it’s out.
And finally, the article about accessible home tips above is not to Legal Nomads but to a new, personal site. I decided to move some of the medical content (my mast cell page, my 10-week free “intro to meditation for beginners” post, my post about chronic pain) to a new site, and put the leak piece there too. I’ll be continuing to update LN with gluten free guides and life after law stuff, or travel information when I can. The new site is where I’ll keep the health / mental health or posts about my journey with chronic illness. We tried to match it to the look and feel of LN. While it’s the last big step to acknowledging these big life changes, it feels right. The wonderful Ella F. Sanders who did the logo for LN and CAE also did so for the personal site. We kept Arthur the Raven to tie it all together:
It’s exactly what I wanted, and I love Ella’s work as always.
Extra reads from October
To the reads!
When Lions Were Kings. Across the ancient world, people adopted lions as sacred symbols of power and protection. This piece is a deep dive into how those ancient cultures—from Greece to Rome to Mesopotamia and more — saw the majestic cats as a source of peace and kinship. Archaeology
The Protagonist Is Never In Control. “Even at four, you know what he is. He is a bad man. He is a man who likes to make little girls feel scared. And you know that he is a man who gets away with everything.” Powerful essay. In the author’s words, about “the hell that was my childhood,” and how systems of power and abuse are created—and upheld. Guernica
Related to the rats piece from Hakai I featured in CAE 32:
I learned in researching more about them after reading it that the province of Alberta basically has no rats. What?! I had no idea. This is great in theory, but apparently this month, the rats they have returned, specifically to eat at stuff in recycling factories.
Also on the rats train: a very cute article showcasing unusual working animals, including landmine-sniffing rats and bat librarians (batbrarians?).
Is There Sunken Treasure Beneath the Treacherous Currents of Hell Gate? Legend has it that beneath Hell Gate—a tidal channel off the coast of Astoria, Queens—lies a considerable sum of Revolutionary War-era gold from a ship that sunk in 1780. Atlas Obscura
Slovakia's Election Deepfakes Show AI Is a Danger to Democracy. Fact-checkers scrambled to deal with faked audio recordings released days before a tight election, in a warning for other countries with looming votes. WIRED
If you want to live a life rich in meaning, first you must learn how to do nothing How do we find meaning, connection and joy? I found this an interesting read as someone who had to learn to find all three again after life took away the things that used to provide me with them. For some people, even asking this question is frustrating; for others it's disempowering. This short piece encourages using mindfulness to accept the 'what is' instead of the 'what should be'. The Guardian
Pink diamonds erupted to Earth's surface after early supercontinent's breakup. Western Australia’s Argyle Mine is famous for its rare pink diamonds, and used to produce more coloured gems than any other place on earth. But why? Scientists think that a tectonic collision followed by the breakup Nuna, an ancient supercontinent, triggered volcanic eruptions 1.3 billion years ago. As these changes happened, the diamonds bent and twisted, which changed their colour. (When Nuna split apart, it dragged the diamonds up from the mantle, where they were formed. Volcanic eruptions then brought the diamond-bearing melt to the surface.) Scientific American
The secret life of Jimmy Zhong, who stole - and lost - more than $3 billion. A profile of a then-22-year old hacker who became billionaire after he stole Bitcoin from an illegal dark web marketplace. The article goes into the heist, as well as how he was eventually caught almost a decade later. CNBC
Saturday morning cartoons died on this day in 1992. So long, Smurfs. Adios, Alvin and the Chipmunks. Hello, "Saved by the Bell instead. (The day the cartoons died, if you’re curious, is September 12th, 1992). Yahoo
The ego-consciousness of the feathered fowl. A new study suggests that roosters might recognize themselves in the mirror. 58 roosters took part in the experiment.
Why do superheroes wear Spandex? Why do they wear such tight-fitting clothes? “Those costumes still have that same effect of showing strength and sexuality through musculature and tight-fitting costumes”, says this light read. Inverse
Hackers modify online stores 404 pages to steal credit cards. The skimmer loader either disguises itself as a Meta Pixel code snippet or hides within random inline scripts already present on the compromised checkout web page. Bleeping Computer
The fastest ever human-made object keeps breaking its own speed record. At top speed, NASA's Parker Solar Probe could zoom from NYC to LA in just 20 seconds. Popular Science
Toll rises to 8 dead, 63 hurt from Louisiana interstate pileup blamed on dense fog, marsh fire smoke. I'm including this piece because I had never heard of superfog before, and it may be a thing we sadly will experience more of. “Superfog forms when cool, saturated air mixes with smoke and moisture from wildfires—especially burning damp materials like brush, leaves, and trees—intensifying the fog's density and coverage.” At least eight people were killed and many others injured after a wall of superfog reduced visibility to near zero on an interstate in southeastern Louisiana, causing a 168-car (!) pileup. AP News
The Creepy New Digital Afterlife Industry. “The datafication of our lives means that we now must confront the fact that data about us will very likely outlive our physical selves.” IEEE Spectrum
Zombie Viruses Are Waking Up After 50,000 Years as Planet Warms. A French virologist’s discoveries are raising fears that thawing Siberian permafrost could bring ancient outbreaks back to life, and he says he won’t be returning to Siberia, irrespective of the outcome of the war. He says he has made his point that the danger exists, and expeditions to uncover more secrets buried in those frozen depths would be folly. I’m no scientist, but I can’t say I disagree with him! (Bloomberg, as syndicated to Yahoo)
Featured artist for this spillover edition is illustrator Anne Le Guern, who drew this art for the Guernica essay above.
Featured “awesome thing a friend made”
My friends Dalene and Pete have designed and built a super fun travel game called Trip Chaser, and I think it may appeal to many of you. I love seeing friends build cool things, and wanted to celebrate them here.
Hope to see you next month for CAE # 33, the best things I read in November.