And that’s when I really learned something.

Image for post
Image for post
Oprah drawing attention to an amazing work of fiction and coming under fire from the Hispanic authors community.

It wasn’t until I had finished devouring American Dirt and was on to the author’s forward, eager to learn more about how this tale had come into the world, when I realized this was the book getting so much negative press a few months ago. In general, I scroll by news that relates to “cancel culture” or “outrage” over someone’s success or attention with an eye roll. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Ilze Lucero on Unsplash

“We’ve seen viruses just blow apart,” says Bill Keevil, professor of environmental healthcare at the University of Southampton in the UK. Keevil seems to be the only person giving interviews about the anti-viral properties of copper; in all my online research his name keeps popping up again and again. As far as I can tell, he’s been shouting this at the world since about 2015. He even landed an opinion piece in Newsweek that same year that was just a reprint of an article he published on The Conversation. Not only has he tested every dangerous superbug on the planet like E. coli, and MRSA, he got his lab hands on a previous coronavirus, coronavirus 229E, before we even started dealing with COVID-19, and demonstrated copper’s disastrous effect on that bug as well. The description of what happens when copper comes into contact with these invaders under his microscope sounds more like what is happening in the nuclear fission lab than in any viral studies I’m reading about. …


Image for post
Image for post

My ‘Top 8 Favorite Documentaries That Aren’t Boring’

They can’t all be Tiger King

My love of documentaries began many years ago-the combination of history nerd and a short attention span for non-fiction narratives. While this list won’t impress any academics or film buffs, it won’t turn off any superhero movie fans looking for a good time, either. I was recently afforded the opportunity to executive produce a documentary film series about the fall of the USSR for an upcoming release date commemorating the 30 year anniversary. It is a real thrill for me and a genuine dream come true moment that all my hours of mindlessly perusing the iTunes documentary lists watching trailers and hoping for a hit are finally paying off. I would say for every great, entertaining documentary on this list, there are 20 or so that didn’t live up to their attempts — although I always appreciate the effort. Documentary filmmakers are a unique class of their own and I marvel at the time, effort and dedication it takes to attempt to explain something complex while also trying to entertain. …

About

Valerie Blondell

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