This Week in Links 29

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week.

  • This summer, the National Literary Trust is putting 50 benches decorated with scenes from famous children's books around London. The Guardian has a quiz to identify some of them. I did... not as well I would have hoped.
  • Our vocabulary is way, way more gendered than we ever realized: While men indulged in souped-up military wet dreams, women apparently grew up in a Victorian beauty salon, wherein they flitted about in petticoats and worried if future husbands were taking notice of their domestic skills.
  • It turns out the world's biggest collector of Alamo artifacts is Phil Collins. Yes, that Phil Collins. And he's donating it all back to the Alamo, which is awesome. Also, it means I keep thinking of this scene from 30 Rock.
  • Get ready to lose hours of your life to the website Your Secret Slang, which documents the origins of different slang words and phrases: Interestingly enough, peeps was documented back in 1847, as in a prayer from the Michigan Legislature: ‘O Lor! Bless de peeps and their servant de representatives. May dey make laws for de peeps and not for demselves amen"
  • Here's a great infographic illustrating Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science, a system we here at TWiL are fans of.
  • Rolling Stone has a fascinating article on the rise of Neo-Nazi hipsters, or "nipsters," in Germany, and the ways the extreme right is co-opting youth culture to reach new audiences.
  • BookPeople, Austin's amazing independent book store, is starting an awesome new project, the Modern First Library, which is committed to supporting and promoting diversity in children's literature. I foresee a lot of baby shower and birthday gifts coming from this collection. (Grace for President and Niño Wrestles the World, both in the first collection, are TWiL forever favorites.)
  • Here's a term you'll probably find depressingly useful: "Columbusing."
  • The Hairpin takes a look at the archetype of the female trainwreck: In reality, the ideological sword of the “trainwreck” cuts two ways. It perpetuates the idea that women can’t take care of themselves. Sure, these characters are often just “figuring it out,” but there is a palpable note of infantilization inherent in this motif. 
  • The Toast has a great tribute to Jessica Fletcher, one of the finest detectives to ever grace your television.