Class reunions are age-old pageants for social comparison and preserving the status quo. But what is their social function in 2020?

Photo: Carlos Alberto Gómez Iñiguez/Unsplash

I am not American, but the idea of high school reunions has always fascinated me. In popular culture, the class reunion is more often than not depicted as an American tradition. Having grown up watching American film and television, I came to understand high school reunions as the quintessential product of an individualistic, status-seeking society like the USA, and as possessing a mysterious, norm-preserving function I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

When information becomes abundant, attention becomes a scarce resource” — Herbet A. Simon, economist, psychologist and Nobel Laureate.

The thumb. Small, mobile and often taken for granted, the pollical digit is arguably our most important anatomical tool for interacting with the world around us. The thumb is autonomous and structurally unique from its close neighbors, the largely uniform fingers. It enabled our ancestors to manipulate fine objects, grasp tools and wield weapons in ways no other animal ever had. A standout feature in primitive humans, the opposable thumb is our evolutionary advantage. Now, thanks to modern conveniences that relieve our hands of manual work, today’s thumbs are most prolifically used to command limitless reels of bite-sized electronic media.

Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash

I’ve been zoning out a lot lately.

Career limbo offers some surprising benefits.

Photo: Jude Beck/Unsplash

Ever been stuck in career limbo?

I finally found a job in my field, and my self-esteem took a dive

Photo: Alp Duran/Unsplash

I started a new job after an almost-twelve month hiatus, a break in my career I neither planned nor expected.

Photo by Yaroslav Danylchenko from Pexels

The pandemic has had some pretty strange effects on material culture, consumer behavior, and our relationship with stuff. From coronavirus-themed novelties and the material comforts of lockdown to the pandemic artifacts that are now stock-standard props in our daily lives, we’re rapidly defining a new, pandemic-era visual canon that pivots between the practical, the profound, and the smarmy.

When this year’s Norway spruce made its way to the Rockefeller Center in New York City to be hoisted and decorated for the annual switch-on, it drew scrutiny not only for its bedraggled appearance, but for its symbolism.

Photo by Nanxi Wei on Unsplash

The Allium family of plants contains some of the culinary arts’ most prized ingredients. Its most recognizable member is the onion, and in many ways, the whole clan is onionesque: they all have vertical grass-like shoots that stem from a subterranean bulb. Most have layers. Many are lachrymators in varying degrees of intensity — they irritate your eyes mercilessly, making you shed emotionless tears as you stand at the chopping board.

In 1838, scarcely a year into Queen Victoria’s reign, writer William Howitt predicted that a ‘leisure revolution’ would soon be underway in Britain. It came far sooner than he thought.

Edouard Manet’s ‘Luncheon on the Grass’ | WikiMedia Commons

After decades of hard toil building infrastructure and servicing a manufacturing boom that resulted in an industrialized Britain, the people were ready for some downtime. The Industrial Revolution had improved the general standard of living across society and the Victorians were about to reap the benefits. …

Aimee Dyamond

writing person | occupational therapist | never seen a ghost. I write about food, weird histories, human behavior, and our lives under late capitalism

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store