More Tabs, Please #10: Dust Kings, Fake Bars, and Leningrad
By Joshua Boyd on February 9th 2018Read this article on our full site
Now at number ten, this week's More Tabs, Please brings the usual mix of longreads, bizarre articles, and art. Check it out to read about the siege of Leningrad and sting operations.
Well, here we are at number ten. Arbitrary, but it’s a milestone all the same. This week’s More Tabs, Please has got a couple of big pieces – perfect if you’ve been snowed in, or this cold snap has left you stranded somewhere.
This week’s listen-a-long album is Jackson C. Frank’s self-titled 1965 folk classic:
A corrupt official walks into a bar…
Journalism is having a bit of a rough time. Even digital publishers like Buzzfeed are laying off staff left, right, and centre. Nowadays a huge investment into investigative journalism is a story in itself.
But back in the 1970s, even a local paper had the resources to, say, create a bar from scratch for the sole purpose of sniffing out corruption.
And the Chicago Sun Times in 1977 did just that. Their 25-article series, ‘The Mirage‘, is an impressive account of what they did and what they uncovered.
Is that a ghost dog or a ghost cat?
What happens when you move to a remote country house on a near whim in the middle of winter?
‘Living In A Plague Village In The Early 21st Century‘ tells this story. While filled with fears of ghosts, the piece is incredibly funny and almost makes you want to live high up in the Peak District yourself.
Special mentions goes to the writer’s father who talks in all-capitals, and deserves a book written entirely about him.
A state’s worth of farmland
From snow, to sand. The next piece looks at Stewart Resnick, the richest farmer in the United State of America.
‘A Kingdom from Dust‘ follows him from leaving New Jersey, the son of a bar owner, to a farmer using 400,000 acre-feet of water every year. Los Angeles meanwhile uses 587,000.
And entwined with this story is the story of his, and previous farmer’s, control over water. Something that recent droughts have made much harder.
Grab a big mug of coffee for this one.
Hire This Person: Daniel Ido
This week our featured artist is Daniel Ido, an illustrator and designer based in London. I stumbled upon his work on the Illustration subreddit, with his Sherlock Holmes work catching my eye.
I’m a big fan of his style, particularly his work in colour, which is lively and arresting. Ido’s work draws on a number of influences, leaning more into some for specific types of work, but his overall approach and styles always comes through.
Go hire him.
Taken From The Timeline
One of the best things about Twitter is the proliferation of weird comedy ideas that you and your mates would joke about in the pub somehow getting tens of thousands of followers. A prime example is Titular Lines.
The premise is simple. Take the name of a film, create a fake quote for the film using it’s title, then put the quote on top of a screen shot from the film. Voilà:
DUNKIRK (2017) pic.twitter.com/W2tEOS3ghK
— Titular Lines (@Saythetitle) January 26, 2018
Art, data, and disease
It’s easier than ever to make your own data visualizations these days. That means when someone creates one that’s entirely unique in approach and execution, you can’t ignore it.
‘Bruises — The Data We Don’t See‘ is the story of how a data visualization and piece of art was made, using the experience of a mother charting her daughter’s illness.
An excellent story on its own, it also gives a great insight into creativity process and the unexpected ways it can present itself.
History hiding just beneath the surface
In every city and town there are small landmarks and signs that hint at history that we can easily ignore or miss.
In ‘The search for Leningrad’s wounds‘, we get to see a bunch of these from what is now known as St Petersburg.
The article focuses specifically on the Siege of Leningrad, wherein hundreds of thousands died, including looking at the “Soviet Anne Frank”, Shostakovich, and the many unnamed who perished.
Personal memoirs or fictitious fantasy?
Another long one this, so get your second giant mug of coffee before diving in.
‘Is This Story Real?‘ is really two stories in one. The first is the heroic and galavanting adventures of a Hungarian Jew who escaped the Holocaust. The second is the investigation into if any of the first story was really true.
Whether fact or fiction, this incredibly engrossing piece paints the picture of an extraordinary man and an even more extraordinary story.
Watch And Listen: How I Built This
This week is the a great podcast that is really interesting. How I Built This from NPR, looks at the lives and inventions of successful innovators, including the creation of companies from Virgin to Crate & Barrel.
The industries they cover ranges too, and there’s no better example than the episode about Nolan Bushnell who started Atari and Chuck E. Cheese which is embedded below.
You can find all the other episodes here.