Things I've been thinking about
Does anyone have an uncomplicated relationship with their father?
Young woman with green eyes and purple hair, lounging on a bed
The global meanings of manga. I used this BBC Culture manga article as an excuse to read a lot of manga and watch a lot of anime. Princess Jellyfish (available with English subtitles on YouTube) is a delightful one. It's about a group of awkward geeky girls sharing a home in Tokyo. They're all shut-ins with niche obsessions and a physical horror of hipsters. So relatable. (Image: Laabstore)
Wikipedia article of the month: pseudobulbar affect, or emotional incontinence in (just slightly) less awkward language. This was prompted by reading a dryly hilarious article by Alan Bellows. 
Water and agriculture. I have mixed feelings, since I'm more in the preserving-biodiversity-and-indigenous-traditions camp than the defaulting-to-genetic-engineering one. This was assigned to me as a companion piece to a documentary, so there were certain subject areas I had to cover, limiting the space I could devote to lower-tech solutions and more sociopolitical dimensions. I did bring in a devil's advocate to champion some of those, but I regret not including a farmer from a low-income country. I tried, but it didn't pan out. Anyway, the multimedia piece looks fantastic. The design, which I didn't play a role in, is a real credit to the BBC Future team. (Image: Charlie Arnott)
Two fascinating, recently completed, wholly different podcasts: The Deca Tapes (a futuristic murder mystery) and Against the Rules (an exploration of why Americans are so resistant to regulators and referees).
Man with glasses in office, wearing black
Passport privilege. This Forbes article discusses how the common practice of holding international conferences in Europe and North America excludes people without powerful passports. (Turns out that Emirati passports are VERY desirable.) The article also suggests some alternative, more welcoming, locations: well, hey there, Bolivia.  (Image: Hamid Eghbal-zadeh)
This NYT Magazine article, about animal conservation in Australia, is incredibly informative. It asks about the value humans assign to different kinds of animal lives, and how arbitrary that is. Apparently Australians are very serious about insisting that cat owners keep their cats indoors to avoid preying on native wildlife, which is a concern taken less seriously in other parts of the world. I knew of cats' reputation as ruthless killers, of course, but I didn't realize until reading this article that cats are essentially programmed to be killing machines, regardless of whether they're hungry.
English's bonkers spellings. My first article while temporarily working for BBC Capital looks at the perennially unpopular movement to simplify English spellings. 
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