Things I've been thinking about
Hopefully we're all safe from April Fools' now
Inevitably, Brexit. As much as anything related to Brexit can be fun, it was fun to delve into the linguistics of the term for BBC Culture. (Image (c) Simon Roberts, Flowers Gallery London)
Spyware apps. I’m demonstrating my with-it credentials by recommending an article that’s four years old, but I was shocked by this Gizmodo piece about spyware apps that facilitate stalking. (I came across the article after listening to the “A dark force for good” episode of the Audible series The Dark Web.) Even the so-called legitimate uses seem dodgy as hell to me. Should it be legal for parents to install untraceable monitoring apps on their kids’ phones, or for employers to do that with employees’ phones? My instinct is to scream no, but maybe parents of kids with special needs, carers for people with serious addictions or mental illnesses, and others, in situations I haven’t considered, would say otherwise. But the flagrancy of these apps’ advertising and even some of the self-satisfied comments below the article are disturbing, cheerfully spreading the idea that “well, she was being shady and I needed to know if I was being lied to, so I regret nothing.” If you want to get the taste of this out of your mouth, Broadly has a stalking series and campaign called Unfollow Me.
Ghanaian film posters from the '80s and '90s. These posters, from a Brunei Gallery exhibit I reviewed for Hyperallergic, are jaw-droppingly wonderful. 
Family estrangement. Takeaways from this article I wrote for BBC Future: estrangement is incredibly common, and it’s not necessarily helpful to insist on reconciliation. There may be damn good reasons to cut off ties with family members, even though the Confucian influence of my Korean ancestors would deem this idea horrifying.
Children's welfare, specifically in the foster care and adoption system. Maybe like many people, until recently I believed that child abuse was very common, and that separation from abusive parents might happen too seldom, if anything. But apparently a lot of what is classed as neglect is just related to being poor (see this brilliant article by Kathryn Joyce), and even when parents commit abusive acts, this doesn't make them irredeemable as parents. Outcomes in the care system might not be any better than staying with birth families, where kids overwhelmingly want to be. This doesn't even get into the complicated way that the word 'orphan' has been reshaped in low-income countries, where again it's mainly poverty, rather than the absence of parents, driving kids into institutional care (see another Joyce article). Sure, poverty reduction isn't the answer to every single social problem, but good god it would help.
London. I wrote about why it’s such a great city for writers for Literary Hub, which has a series called 5 Reasons A Writer Should Move to. Interestingly, the articles in the series, including mine, tend to hit similar notes; I mean, who doesn’t like diversity and a thriving literary scene? One difference I think is that the articles detailing why writers should move to St. Louis or Mumbai or Tacoma stress the low cost of living, whereas my entry is almost aggressively defensive about the fact that London is an expensive city. (There’s also a counterargument to be made that London, like New York, is oversaturated with writers, and an enterprising writer really should up sticks and head somewhere else. This would be good for media diversity as well.)
Wikipedia page of the month: List of sexually active popes. Interestingly, there's nothing here past 1829.
Development and science. I'm continuing to write about this for Forbes. If things like foodborne illness in East Africa and novel ways of diagnosing TB are your bag, have a gander! 
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