No Complaints #107: Scrolling, Strangeness and Sound

It's been a dreadful week. I have nothing to say except: do what you have to do to keep doing.

Things to read

“Abdulfatah was casually scrolling through Twitter when he realised his profile picture had been stolen. 'Honestly, it was horrific,' he tells me – again over Twitter’s messaging service – 'I hope nobody has to go through what I did. Just imagine scrolling through Twitter only to find that some random person used your photo to claim you’ve gone missing in a bombing.'”

Another excellent story from my colleague Amelia - this time deliving into the weird, sick world of people who post fake "missing person" tweets after large-scale atrocities. Email to Pocket.

+ I also worked on this piece with my podcast pal Anna after the Manchester attack - she spoke to the Arianators about what their fandom means to them.


“Scott never heard that recording. We can only hear the scratchy, haunting, but recognizably human sounds of those recordings now because almost a decade ago some audio archaeologists created a computer program to play them. As strange as it seems, all the French inventor cared about was seeing what sound looked like.”

The pioneers of sound recording just wanted to look at their audio, not hear it (imagine how different podcasting would be if we still felt like this, lol). Email to Pocket.


“We can display all these bizarre Norse influences in a single sentence. Say That’s the man you walk in with, and it’s odd because 1) the has no specifically masculine form to match man, 2) there’s no ending on walk, and 3) you don’t say ‘in with whom you walk’. All that strangeness is because of what Scandinavian Vikings did to good old English back in the day.”

Some fascinating insights into why English is like it is. Email to Pocket.


“At the Band-Aid girl’s house, she picked up the bartenders from three states who she had fallen for, and at the humming boy’s house, she picked up a highway patrolman she’d spent a night with in Oklahoma City, back when they were both young. He was with a shrimp fisherman and a man who used to drive fire engines. They let him on the bus first, because they thought he had rank.”

A super short story by Elizabeth Gilbert. Email to Pocket.


“And so I found myself, last week, sitting in that room at Inner London Crown Court, nervously fidgeting with my witness statement, waiting to give evidence as a witness at his trial. When another woman came in and sat next to me, we glanced at each other and said a polite hello. Minutes later, a third woman joined us. 'I’m the one who got him on video,' she said.”

One woman's account of what happened after she reported her sexual assault. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

After a long day working on responses to the Manchester attack, I asked on Twitter if anyone could recommend anything really uplifting for me to listen to on the way home. I didn't mean uplifting necessarily in the emotional sense; I just wanted to be lifted up out of my own mind for a bit. There were lots of good suggestions on that thread, but the one that really worked for me was the "Missing" series from The Untold. Brief episodes, compelling subject, and very well produced, it did the job.


Things to watch

Go robot go.

I'm dead.

How Hollywood's made up languages are made up.


Things to attend

This is where I put details of upcoming IRL things I’m doing:

9 July, London – The next SRSLY pop culture quiz is going to be on this date, subject still TBC, at The Book Club in Shoreditch. If you want to be the first to get tickets, sign up for our podcast email alerts here.


Compulsory medieval thingamabob

Me on the internet


The guest gif

This is quite calming.

If you have a suggestion for something I should look at, hit reply to this email or talk to me on Twitter.

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THE END. See you next time!