No Complaints #12: Beethoven, the Baroness and breakfast's beginnings

This quite late, I know. I'm sorry. Thursday night is normally newsletter-writing night, but this week I had to make a brief (musical) trip to the year 1765 for an article I'm writing about Mozart and there wasn't time to do this as well.

Things to read

“Hosting that butt is an impressive feat. You can’t just put Kim Kardashian nudes on the internet and walk away —that would be like putting up a tent in the middle of a hurricane. Your web server would melt. You need to plan.”

Bear with me, this is totally brilliant (especially if you care about how the internet actually works). A layman-friendly and detailed explanation of how you get your magazine's website ready to host pictures of Kim Kardashian's bum without breaking the entire internet in the process. Email to Pocket.
“Ten years later [in 1511] the 5th Earl of Northumberland and his countess sat down each fish-day morning to the following repast: two manchets (high-quality white loaves), two pints of beer, three pints of wine, two pieces of salt fish, six smoked herrings, four white herring or a dish of sprats. On meat days they replaced the fish with a neck of mutton or boiled beef.”

The Tudors invented breakfast as we know it today. Or at least the timing and function of it. I certainly can't manage that much wine in the mornings, I don't know about you. Email to Pocket.

“You do realise I have not seen daylight in over thirty years, right? I live with a preserved cake for god’s sake. Do you know what kind of mould grows on that? News flash: it is not penicillin. I am pretty sure I am going to die of a spore infestation. That, or a vitamin-D deficiency. Seriously, no one should be this pale. I am like a naked mole rat here.”

When McSweeney's gets it right, it gets it very, very right. I enjoyed Miss Haversham's application for disability benefit. Follow with a chaser of the best thing on the internet ever, ever (which I will not stop pushing on people until I am dead). Email to Pocket.


“Common themes include death, murder, or military service, and many of the songs featured are from the ’50s or ’60s. Slutsky has also started mapping Sad YouTube, based on locations mentioned by commenters. He says about half the comments on the site mention a specific place, city, or country.”

A journey into the comments under music videos on YouTube, and all the sadness to be found there. Email to Pocket.


“I’m meant to excrete the lining of my womb discreetly, fragrantly and silently. I’m certainly not supposed to use the word “bleed” or “blood”. According to most advertising, I am meant to excrete a thin blue liquid, and to keep it to myself. One way or another, periods take up women’s attention for up to 10 days a month, whether it’s bleeding or mood changes. Yet nearly all advertising for sanitary products encourages us to hide this chunk of our lives – three thousand days for most women – by preventing leaks that might embarrass us and everyone else; by ensuring we don’t, God forbid, smell of menstrual blood; by putting menstruation behind locked doors and safely enclosed in euphemism.”

The only thing worse than talking about periods is not talking about periods. Email to Pocket.


“Having taught a particularly rigorous course of magical study to children and teens for quite some time now, Minerva McGonagall had become accustomed to certain things. Students who didn’t listen. Students who did rude things to the mice when they thought she wasn’t looking. Students who accidentally turned a frog or a raven into a flock of starlings or a school of strange slimy South American fish (and tried to solve the immediate problem by filling the classroom with two feet of water, neglecting to consider the gap under the door). Students who tried to transfigure their noses into a more appealing shape and wound up in the hospital wing regrowing their nostrils.”

A great bit of Harry Potter counterfactual. What if Professor McGonagall had discovered that Peter Pettigrew was hiding as a rat much earlier, eh? Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

Death, Sex and Money is a great radio show from New York, and this is my favourite episode they've ever done: an extended interview with Jane Fonda (which covers all three of their titular concerns). She's just so competely honest when she answers every question - even to the point of admitting that she doesn't really want to have to care for her partner at some point down the line (he has Parkinson's) and that sex is way, way better when you're older and are willing to just say what it is you want.


Things to watch

Compulsory medieval thingamabob

Grumpy cat.

The guest gif


THE END. See you next time*!
*Next time will probably be next Friday. If you want to suggest things I should include in the next one of these, please do reply and send me links.