blackface and brownface in pop ‘princesses’

Cult Plastic gives a run-down and some of us (namely me) discover that Ariana Grande is not actually Latinx, with an excellent discussion on how appropriating blackness is used to widen the appeal of white pop stars (h/t @rrpivet).

Blackface and pop princesses: a brief genealogy by Anh Vo at Cult Plastic.

Baking as the opposite of the Internet

In these efforts to self-soothe, I made a life-changing discovery: Making sourdough bread is the opposite of using the internet.

Read more: Opinion | I Wanted a Dog. I Bake Bread Instead. – The New York Times

when cartoon characters are attractive

I especially found it interesting that the contributor’s friend is an acclaimed musician (Will Wiesenfeld, Baths) but HuffPo seemed more interested in their personal connection because of a possible hot/unusual take in regards to what we can find ‘attractive’?

Read more: A Conversation With My Friend Who Really Wants To Have Sex With Mr. Incredible – Maxwell Strachan for Huffington Post.

Why airlines won’t be making the switch to VR

If you have a messy desk or office, I bet you probably still know where everything is. And if someone dared to rearrange it—or worse yet, clean it—you would lose your mind. Your workspace isn’t just a workspace: It’s an extension of your brain, and a lot of what you know is stored there. Cockpits are no different. Ed Hutchins, a pilot and cognitive anthropologist at the University of California–San Diego, believes that cockpits are that desk idea taken to the limit. “There’s all this embodied knowledge in the cockpit,” says Hutchins, who writes about the many ways pilots use their physical surroundings to store knowledge.

Read on: The airline industry is sticking with its old flight simulators.

Justice for chicken rendang!

Rendang originated from the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra in Indonesia, who cooked it with water buffalo – an important animal in Minangkabau culture – not chicken or beef for which the dish is probably best known. The meat of the water buffalo is tough, sinewy and perfectly suited to the long cooking time required for rendang. In fact, the word rendang itself comes from merendang, which means slow cooking. Traditionally, the dish is cooked for between three and seven hours over a low heat on a wood fire.

Really lovely piece on the origins of rendang. Hat tip Erin Cook!

Read more:  How an outrage over crispy chicken united South-East Asia

Indonesian fashion influencers pushed back in the closet

Other queer men working in the influencer world told me that they were told to tone down their “flamboyant,” personalities, their fashion choices, and to keep their political views to themselves. Valerie MS, another pseudonym, got a job as an influencer for a cigarette company, but he was told that he needed to act “tough and macho”—the exact opposite of his fashion-focused image. The tobacco company said it hired him because he “represents the boldness in society,” but they then took great pains to tell him that he couldn’t be too bold.

Read on: In the Age of Influencers, Queer Indonesians Still Can’t be Themselves – VICE

The amazing psychology of Japanese train stations

After the Freeplay 2018 festival and conference this last weekend, it was interesting to read about how the public and individuals think of and use space/s, and interestingly, Japan engages with its transit system’s uses and related spaces very differently to that of Australia, and perhaps other Asian countries and cities. Fascinating stuff! People collecting stamps that are unique to each train station for the mere joy and fun of it?! And stations having distinct ‘boarding’ melodies, of seven-second duration!

Read more (please note that this does discuss suicide and methods of execution) – Citylab – the amazing psychology of Japanese train stations