Skip to content

stress by numbers

2 min

So I had this whole idea for a multipart series exploring the ups and downs of being a fan of Vanderpump Rules and even posted the first part of that series months ago, right? And then shit went down on the show because following the Black Lives Matter protests, fans of the show reminded sponsors and Bravo of some pretty racist stuff that two main cast members, Stassi and Kristen, had done—namely that time they openly bragged about harassing and calling the cops on Faith, a Black former castmate. Stassi and Kristen were fired, which was long overdue.

2020 has not spared Bravo. On the trivial end, it’s led to zoom reunions and self-filmed confessionals with bad audio. On the less trivial end, it’s led to an attempt at a reckoning for how Bravo shows have enabled and even celebrated racists. I held off on writing about this series of events a few months ago because I wanted to see what else would happen, and whether there would be any additional sense of consequence or accountability for other castmembers who have been racist.

lol of course not. That would require an actual reckoning with how Bravo shows get made.

But this whole saga and its inevitable anti-climatic end relates to some of the things I wanted to talk about with Vanderpump Rules, so I’m going to be returning to that series in the next few weeks. But I want to mix things up and space things out with some recent science reads, so here goes….

Recent Science Reads

My usual process for picking out recent science reads is to scroll through my saved reads on Instapaper. So I tried to do that, only to find that all my recent saved science reads are articles about COVID that I keep putting off engaging with until the science underpinning them has become outdated.

So for now, I’m going to post the one saved COVID-related article I have read: this ProPublica guide by Caroline Chen and Ash Ngu titled “How to Understand COVID-19 Numbers”. One of the most challenging things about the pandemic is how much it’s required us all to be much better at statistics than our education actually equips us to be. Even talking this out loud with scientists from a number of different fields makes it clear that we are all figuring out what all these numbers mean and how to use them.

This article is on the lengthier side for a COVID guide, which is probably why I appreciate it. It’s divided into clear takeaways, but then it goes into more detail with interviews and figures to explain what these takeaways actually look like in practice. If you have a friend or family member (who could also be you, no judgment) who is fixated on numbers but with no clear notion of where to go with them, I think this article is a useful guide to make this all a little bit less overwhelming.

Recent Things I’ve Done

I had kind of a wild July, but I’ve managed to start posting reviews on my channel again.

First up is a review of Something To Talk About, a recently published romance novel written by Meryl Wilsner that unfortunately did not go particularly well for me. And related, I talked a bit about a recent crisis I’ve been going through about posting negative reviews on my channel, as well as some additional thoughts about book tubers (and other book reviewers) talking about books outside their community.

Tomorrow (August 8th), I’m going to be live-streaming at 5 pm ET with Nicole Sweeney to talk about Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side by Eve L. Ewing. Join us on Nicole’s channel!


Subscribe to receive the latest posts in your inbox.