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What We're Reading | 1.20.13

Each week, members of the WFPL news team spotlight interesting stories we've read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:Gabe Bullard:There's that old story about how the Americans spent millions upon millions of dollars during the space race developing a pen that would work in diminished gravity, while the Russians simply used a pencil. It's a lie. Pencils create dust.You don't want dust in space. Here is the very interesting story of the Space Pen, which I carry every day (what if the newsroom loses gravity?). Read The Fisher Space Pen Boldly Writes Where No Pen Has Written Before.Bonus: I also recommend this comic serial from BoingBoing, Brain Rot. The Hip Hop Family Tree story line is interesting to anyone who likes music or is interested in how a culture can spread. Read Brain Rot. Erin Keane:The artistic director of Russia's storied Bolshoi Ballet was the victim of an acid attack Thursday night. Sergei Filin was approached outside of his home by masked men who threw acid on his face, leaving him with third-degree burns and his eyesight at risk. In the U.S., arts company artistic directors aren't generally at risk of much more serious than a funding drop. But this New York Times piece about the attack on Filin reveals that stakes could be much higher in Russian ballet, as his colleagues reveal their suspicions that professional jealousy caused the attack. Read Bolshoi Ballet Director Is Victim of Acid Attack. Joseph Lord:Growing up in Jeffersontown, I'd sometimes end up in a tiny arcade near the movie theater with a group of friends, where we'd passively drop quarters reaped from our toils at Boston Market (I was very into J-town in the 1990s) until they ran out. Well, that arcade is no more. And this story in The Verge on the rise and fall of arcades argues well that I missed their heyday by years. Read For Amusement Only. Bonus: Just because I feel like dwelling on this topic, an easy argument can be made the Shigeru Miyamoto is has had more influence on the children of the '80s through today than any other person.He's the Nintendo executive who created Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda and the Wii and several other pop culture icons. This 2010 New Yorker profile of the secretive man is revealing. Read Master of Play.

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.