Lyse Links: Sex, Dementia, Crime


I’m at a wedding this week, supporting one of my best friends and enjoying the…cold rainy charms of Kentucky? Ok, maybe I’m not enjoying the weather so much, but I’m happy to be here! But it does mean we have a shorter Lyse Links than usual. Hopefully you won’t mind too much. (If you do, there’s a whole backlog of previous Lyse Links you can peruse!)

if you’re going to wax poetic about male pleasure, you had better be ready to talk about its secret, unpleasant, ubiquitous cousin: female pain.
It’s an astonishing and painful read. And stop to consider, if you read it, that the author’s whole point is only about removing female pain from sex, not actually making sex a pleasurable activity for women!
A gentle and multi-sided look at handling dementia care. Is it right to lie to those with dementia? Is is good for them? How deep do you go with the fiction?
Caring for elders is a hard and complicated thing in many situations, but especially when dementia is at play. I went through it with my own loved owns, and witnessed many others in the process. It can be heart-breaking, uplifting, confusing. Reading this article makes it a little easier to understand.
How do we understand the fall in urban violence? Well, first we have to be aware that there has been a decline in urban violence! In the age of news that moves at the speed of the refresh button, it can be hard to remember what things were like 10, 30, 50 years ago. Articles like this help us recenter and reflect.
Turns out, the National Park Service has its own investigative branch, like the FBI but smaller and maybe…hardier? Certainly more outdoorsy! When complex crimes occur on NPS land, they have to find the truth.
This may not be of general interest, but as a runner, I’m pretty interested in the idea that running–as a sport, a community, a hobby–is taking off in other lands. This long article covers a few long-distance races in China, looks at the businesses behind the races, and ruminates a bit on how running reflects changes in Chinese society.

Off to party!

That’s all from me, I’m off to wedding festivities! What are you up to this weekend?

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Lyse Links: Mafia, Marriage, and Media


Welcome to the weekend! You made it! Reset. Refresh. Reward yourself with some great reading!

Old and new, here are some of my favorite reads.
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Lyse Links: Labor Day Edition


Happy Labor Day, and welcome to the return of Lyse Links! Have I mentioned that this is my favorite thing to write? I’ve missed it terribly. So here are my best articles for this long weekend. Let them distract, inspire, and refresh you.

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Can You Say…Hero? This has been the year of Mister Rogers. Of documentaries and articles and reminisces. I have no Mister Rogers to reminisce. But this article piqued my interest months ago, and then I watched several of his shows, trying to not cry my eyes out on the couch with my tiny spellbound nieces. A snippet of this exquisite article from 1998:  Continue reading

Lyse Links: Apple to Zumba


Angela Ascendant: Apple’s head of retail is re-imagining the Apple store. For one thing, Apple no longer calls their retail spaces “stores.” Instead, they imagine them as “modern-day town squares.” (I think there are better modern-day examples, like libraries.) Find out how the wildly successful Burberry executive ended up at a tech company, and why the tables in Apple stores are still the same.

Baltimore: A Record-Breaking City: Some sociological problems seem insurmountable. Those of us who want to make a difference, or just be good citizens, should, at the least, be learning about the complex issues facing our cities.

Houston’s Baseball Experiment: Hindsight is a glorious thing. In light of the Astros winning the World Series this year, revisit this 2014 article analyzing the team’s phoenix strategy (burn it down and rise anew). The intro is astonishing:

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The Story of a Very Old Wolf: Where do wolves fit in a country dominated by human rules?

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The Reckoning: How do we begin to discuss the onslaught of revelations about sexual assault in our society? This essay is a good place to start. [Obviously, includes sensitive topics and strong language.] 

How to Sleep: James Hamblin is my favorite health writer and sleep is one of my favorite topics. This is worth reading. And, dare I say, sleep habits make a good topic to consider for 2018’s resolutions.

Running is a Unique Therapy for Depression and Anxiety: Isn’t that headline enough of an intro? Managing mental illness through activity is a fascinating idea to me.

I’ll Never Be Good at Running: Sometimes it is enough to just like a thing and not try to go faster or further.

Secrets from Tom Brady’s Personal Coach: Charlatan or magic-worker? (Also: a huge draw for his facility is surely because you can, as the author did, spot Gisele Bundchen and other celebrities during a session.)

From Chess Novice to Playing a Grand Master in 30 Days: Can a chess novice learn to beat one of the top masters in 30 days? I love challenges like this!

The Biggest Movie Star You’ve Never Heard Of: His name is unassuming, but his work is not.

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The Land Where Vendettas Go Forever: Blood feuds are part of life in Albania. This passage keeps poking me, talking about the deep code–unmoored from religion or government–that Albanians follow:

Before we hung up, Fox gently chastised me for using the word “lawless” to refer to contemporary Albania. “I’d be very careful using that term,” he said. “As long as people are following the Kanun, there is no lawlessness.”

The Brothers Who Bought South Africa: I don’t follow South African politics, so this caught my eye. Is an Indian family shadow-governing South Africa?

For Sale: Presented without comment.

Inside Zumba: I can’t help but feel the writer was just too skeptical to take Zumba seriously. I’ve never tried it, but it doesn’t seem worse than any of the other fitness “cults.” People found something they like, let them enjoy it. (For any of you marketing/business people: great read about brand building.)

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That’s it for this week! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you celebrate.

Have thoughts about any of the stories I shared? Drop them in the comments! I’d love to talk.

Lyse Links: Killers, Interrogation, and Paradise


Welcome to November! Lean into the coziness. These stories are a great way to occupy the cold darkness. (Also, light some candles. Or a fire. That helps.)

I didn’t sort today’s stories into sections. They read really well into each other and defy categorization. *shrug*

Pair Seven Days of Heroin Epidemic with A Prayer for Healing to get both a big-picture and very personal look at addiction.

The Sorrow and Shame of an Accidental Killer — How do you move past killing someone?

From Prison to PhD — Michelle Jones used her 20+ years in prison to become a respected scholar. Applying to graduate schools upon release, she’s sparked controversy at top universities. How should a person’s crimes affect public perception of them after they’ve served time? Is society unfairly prolonging their punishment?

The Newspaper That Bought a Bar — a great story of undercover journalism. Also an example of the type of shenanigans that I doubt would be successful in today’s tech-heavy world.

Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food — Many underdeveloped nations have gone from underweight to malnourished as food giants aggressively market unhealthy foods. How do you begin to fix a problem like this?

Pair The Scientists Persuading Terrorists to Spill Their Secrets with CIA Torture Black Sites for a look at changing opinions on interrogation techniques. Psychology tells us the first method is more likely to be effective, but it’s tough to change established patterns. The articles also deal with a fascinating aspect of interrogation–it’s extremely difficult for the interviewer. Traditional interrogation techniques are heavy on actions that make the imprisoning party feel good, but that’s effective for getting good information.

Golden State Warriors Revolution Starts with a Charcuterie Board — For something a bit lighter, the story of how Steve Kerr revolutionized the Warriors’ offense. I haven’t watched a single Warriors game and somehow I know more about them than any other basketball team.

Mattress Wars — You may not find this as interesting as I do, but it’s an intriguing business story. Are you inundated with podcast ads for Casper or Leesa? Behind the scenes is more complicated than you could imagine. (Also a good read if you’re interested in how bloggers/Internet influencers legally and successfully build brand relationships. It’s a changing world.)

How the Elderly Lose Their Rights — This is one of the scariest stories I’ve read in awhile. I’ll let this excerpt speak to why:

Parks drove a Pontiac G-6 convertible with a license plate that read “crtgrdn,” for “court guardian.” In the past twelve years, she had been a guardian for some four hundred wards of the court. Owing to age or disability, they had been deemed incompetent, a legal term that describes those who are unable to make reasoned choices about their lives or their property. As their guardian, Parks had the authority to manage their assets, and to choose where they lived, whom they associated with, and what medical treatment they received. They lost nearly all their civil rights.

The Paradise that Shouldn’t Exist — Cape Coral was built on lies. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. And it’s also one of the fastest-growing towns in America.

I felt oddly guilty reading this, because we moved to Florida this year. We’re smack-dab in the middle of a top-risk flood zone. But honestly, I’d think long and hard about leaving. People aren’t motivated by flood risks and ecological concerns. They’re drawn by this:

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Literally just my local park. There are half a dozen like it in 10 miles. 

The Mother of Forensic Science — Finally, the woman who introduced forensic science to police officers in the 1940s.

Let’s Talk!

What’s your favorite story? Do you disagree with any of them? Tell me in the comments.