Sharpened Pencils & Holiday Cheer

Emily M. Keeler is a writer and the editor of...

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Lydia Millet’s reflection on animals, childhood, and extinction is a gratifying read.

Virginia Heffernan returns to writing in her own hand by way of an iPad app, and apparently Steve Jobs gave a real good John Hancock: “Funny that Steve Jobs was a calligraphy student, and such a gung-ho one, when Apple’s apps and devices sometimes seem designed entirely to push pens into obsolescence.” If writing on the physical page is kind of your bag, you might also like this slightly longer Kevin Hartnett piece on just that from The Millions, earlier this year.

Why don’t more newspapers and magazines have archive editors?

I recently heard someone say that Mariah Carey’s 1994 hit, “All I Want for Christmas is You” is likely the best loved Christmas song written so late in the second half of the 20th century. Here’s a delightful and sprightly recent take on her neo-classic carol. For my money though, The Pogues’s “Fairytale of New York” is probably loved just as deeply, if not quite as universally. The Guardian ran a piece on the tune’s origins last week.

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The West Versus the Rest
Current debates over pipeline routes, oil sands development and whether Canada is suffering from “Dutch Disease” are…