We Made You a Mix Tape

Who wants a playlist? Ten great songs picked by ten great people you’d want to be friends with if you knew them IRL.

When folks join Pipe Wrench as barter members, we ask them if they’d mind sharing their favorite song — because we want to learn more about our members, yes, but mostly because we want to discover new music. There’s no better way to do that than by asking people whose opinions you trust what they can’t stop listening to, and there are no people whose opinions we trust more than Pipe Wrench members. We’re been compiling those tracks into playlists, and we’ll share a new one with you each month. Discovery for all!

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Deep Pockets

No, literally. Y’all have deep pockets in your outerwear.

As part of our Issue Five launch National Popcorn Day observance, we asked several thousand of our best friends on Twitter:

We can’t help but admire both the extent of the smuggling and the commitment to the bit in this response. Other excellent answers included:

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Native Land Search: A Free Plugin for WordPress Sites

Those of us who live in the Americas and Oceania are almost certainly living on Native and Indigenous homelands. Those of us who are not ourselves Native or Indigenous probably have little idea whose. Knowing who lost their homes and lives in the creation of the countries we now call home has always been crucial, and only becomes more critical as the ongoing impact of violent colonization and severity of the climate crisis become clearer and clearer.

Native Land Digital maintains extensive maps of Native and Indigenous homelands and communities worldwide. Now WordPress sites can embed a search tool using their data into any post or page with a free plugin.

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Snakes on a Chthonic Plane

We regularly ask you to reply to us — We get every email! We respond to every one! We miss you! — and you send us everything from one-liners to play-by-plays of your in-depth snake dreams THANK YOU READER DARYL and we get excited about every single one. But what you may not know is that Pipe Wrench readers are also here for each other: If you, like me, have been sitting at home wondering what’s going on in Daryl’s psyche, fellow Pipe Wrench reader Kelly has your back.

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Embrace the Sky Rats

Pigeons! “Pigeons” is what we mean.

We know that at least 70% of the people reading this who live in urban areas think of pigeons as sky rats. We also know that self-reflection and change are never impossible, especially when folks like Shanna Tiayon and Rosemary Mosco are leading the way. So OF COURSE Shanna’s story about the Roller Men of South Central was recommended by Longreads and Longform and Roxane Gay, and OF COURSE Rosemary’s pigeon comic took #birdtwitter by storm, and OF COURSE we had to make some pigeon stickers to give public expression to our newfound pigeon respect.

For the birders, the “I contain multitudes” drawing is also available on a notebook — hardcover or spiral, lined or blank — for all your birdwatching notes. And of course, we had to make a Pipe Wrench sticker while we were at it:

a drawing or a feminine hand holding a large pipe wrench, in white on a black background

The world needs more smoochy pigeons. Do something good for the world.

The world also needs more joyous feelings. Reply here with happy pigeon thoughts. Tag #birdtwitter!

The week in Pipe Wrench, other than pigeon.

  • You might have noticed we weren’t in your inbox last week. We’re trying this wacky new thing where we don’t send email if we don’t have something new, useful, interesting, or funny to say.
  • The stories for issues four and five are a steaming ahead and we’re starting to brainstorm contributors while we put the finishing touches on issue three’s lineup. Y’all: there are so many interesting people in the world. So. Many.
  • Catherine and Michelle each used the phrase “text stack” independently of one another, prompting each of them to have a small-scale existential crisis and question what they know about language.

P.S. from the Editor in Chief

If you use Twitter and you’re not following @probirdrights, you are making an error. Or as Julia Roberts circa 1990 might say, “Big mistake. Big. Huge!”

(We will fully encourage grassroots caption contests — tweet your favorite sticker with a caption in the style of @probirdrights and balloons will fall from the SKY.)

Before You Ask What the New Thing Is About

Maybe what you need next is a surprise.

I am not great at chit-chat at the best of times, but I’m most challenged when someone asks me “What do you do?” By which they mean for paid work, because wealth-generating labor is the only labor that counts and the point of chit-chat is to figure out what someone can do for you and therefore how nice you should be. (Anything else is conversation, not chit-chat, and conversation is great.)

Whew, that was developing a tone. What I mean is: when people ask “What do you do?” and I say, “I edit a magazine,” the next question is always, always the same: “What’s it about?” The question I answer is never the one they asked.

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