Have you ever flown on a magic carpet? No? Well, neither have I. Let’s commiserate by perusing some cool links together, shall we?

  • There’s been a recent trend of inane listicles along lines of “13 Signs that You’re an Extrovert” or “22 Signs that You’re Secretly an Introvert” or “17.8 Signs that You’re an Introvert Pretending to Be an Extrovert in Order to Impress Your Fellow Introverts.”  Bob Powers, Shira Rachel Danan, and Johnny McNulty of Happy Place are fighting back against that trend with a mocking list of 15 signs that you’re neither an introvert nor an extrovert.
  • Michael Bloomberg’s tenure as Mayor of New York City is drawing to a close. The New York Times looks back on his mayoralty with an interactive infographic about how the city changed while he held the office. He sure presided over a heck of a lot of construction. (Credit to Ford Fessenden, Tom Giratikanon, Josh Keller, Archie Tse, Tim Wallace, Derek Watkins, Jeremy White and Karen Yourish.)
  • I’ve wanted to write a piece like this for a while, but Sophia McDougall of New Statesman beat me to the punch. In a piece provocatively titled “I hate Strong Female Characters,” she explains how highlighting the so-called “strength” of female characters in fiction serves to illustrate just how few female characters there are compared to male characters and how poor those female characters’ representations can be. One point that the piece doesn’t emphasize much, though, is that our tendency to only value “strength” in female characters is implicitly dismissing women who don’t display that quality as inferior or not worthy of consideration in fiction. That’s pretty sexist, if you ask me.

That does it for this week. Sorry I couldn’t provide you with a magic carpet ride.