Hannah Pearson
By on August 23, 2014 in Recommended
Read time: 2 minutes | No Comments

The thinking drone’s pick of longform: August 23

After a summer break, we’re back with more longreads recommendations! This week, we feature the superkitty Lil BUB, a viewpoint from the real Larry of Orange is the New Black fame, the highs of sugar addiction, why it’s so difficult for us to spot our own typos and what exactly Gross National Happiness means. Happy reading!

1. What does Gross National Happiness actually mean for Bhutan?

The Happiness Metric | Tricycle | Fall 2014 | Madeline Drexler

In Bhutan, every conversation about GNH became at some point definitional. Can a nation be happy if individuals are not? Can individuals be happy if others suffer? Will the country’s traditional foundations of happiness erode, to be replaced by a surfeit of stuff?

2. How the cat Lil BUB became a superstar and why she captivates us

Corporate Cats Still Suck: The Improbable Tale of Indie Superkitty Lil BUB | Spin | 29 July 2014 | Camille Dodero

As it would turn out, Lil BUB is extraordinary — “one of nature’s happiest accidents,” as Bridavsky likes to say. Her green eyes bulge. Her pink tongue almost always sticks out. She doesn’t meow, but dictates her own onomatopoeia of squonks and
squirggels. She has a pronounced case of dwarfism, which makes her legs disproportionately stubby, and osteopetrosis, a rare disease that causes a typically debilitating bone density. She has four extra toes, one on each foot, and an underdeveloped lower jaw, which causes her tongue to droop perpetually.

3. The taste of sweet sugar addiction

Sweet Words | The Smart Set | 16 July 2014 | Joan Marcus

Now I felt like throwing up — the sugar-induced nausea was like a fist swelling in my chest — but somehow I convinced myself against all reason that a second mint piece would settle my gut. It occurred to me as that sticky bolus went down my throat that I’d always believed Turkish delight would sort of melt away to nothing in the mouth. That eating it would be a kind of mystic experience, like grasping the ungraspable.

4. What makes it difficult for us to spot our own typos?

What’s Up With That: Why It’s So Hard To Catch Your Own Typos | Wired | 12 August 2014 | Nick Stockton

You have finally finished writing your article. You’ve sweat over your choice of words and agonized about the best way to arrange them to effectively get your point across. You comb for errors, and by the time you publish you are absolutely certain that not a single typo survived. But, the first thing your readers notice isn’t your carefully crafted message, it’s the misspelled word in the fourth sentence.

5. The real Larry from Orange is the New Black

My Life With Piper: From Big House To Small Screen | Matter | 15 July 2014 | Larry Smith

As the actual sentence neared, we began what felt like both a coming out (“I’m a convicted felon…”) and a farewell party (“…who will be going away for a while”) as we told our larger circle of friends. We spilled the story to gaping looks, uncertain questions, and supportive hand squeezes. If we seemed calm, it was because we were both ready for her to get in and then out of prison and move on with our lives. 

Have you checked out our latest post yet? On earworms, music and memory – read it here.