Fathom Mag

Conduits of Conversation

The Fathom editors discuss their thoughts and findings this week.

Published on:
March 9, 2017
Read time:
31 min.
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Have you ever contacted your senator? Forty-five took office and now getting in contact with the government officials who represent you in this republic of ours is borderline trendy.

All the cool kids are doing it. And Love Letter America created beautiful postcards to help you do just that. A coalition of artists from all over the country, and even the world (including my favorite, Oliver Jeffers), have designed postcards that depict the things about America that we love and want to support.

Michael K. Williams Asks: Am I Typecast?
Question Your Answers, The Atlantic

You can download and print them for free. That’s right, zero dollars. They are beautiful and the messages on each card encourage you to interact with your representatives with respect and grace. They even have all the information you need to send them linked right on their page.

What do you think when I say, “The Message Bible”? I come across a lot of people who harbor disdain for The Message, that oh so readable translation of the Bible, and even more so for its creator, Eugene Peterson. I once was one of these people. But as I’ve learned more about that translation and its creator I’ve changed my ways. This month I invite you to meet Eugene Peterson, get to know him a bit. This interview in Image Journal or this conversation with Krista Tippett will introduce you to a man whose wisdom is palpable, and not only will you let The Message off the proverbial hook, but you’re going to want to read scripture like the man who created it.

Are you sure about that? No one does video like The Atlantic. Their production arm that handles video, Atlantic Studios, creates some of the most riveting and engaging videos out there, and the series “Question Your Answers” may be one of the best yet. Start by watching Michael K. Williams wrestle with his own question: Is he being typecast? It’s unsettling in all the ways it should be.


Do you like nature films? I just found this creative project called studiocanoe. They produce amazing films and I’ve been hooked on all their work lately.

Is it music season? This has been a very musical month for me. I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music and this TED talk on classical music and learning to be a “one-cheek player” is pretty fantastic and well worth your time.

I’ve also been obsessed with Chance the Rapper and Ed Sheeran lately. Ed just came out with his new album a few days ago and it is miraculous.

Are LEGO for Adults? I saw The LEGO Batman Movie, and it was pretty hilarious. I love how they incorporate clever adult humor into it so I don’t have to feel that guilty for going to a movie about LEGO when I’m twenty-five years old. 

I hate horror movies more than anything else in the entire world. The scariest movie I’ve ever seen is Signs (which wasn’t all that scary, I’m told) and it haunted my dreams for years. That scene where the alien walks across the alley during the birthday party—pure horror. That said, I am very tempted to go see Jordan Peele’s movie Get Out. The reviews are amazing and everyone I know who saw it said it was one of the best movies they’ve ever seen. Ugh. Why did it have to be horror!

“The Transformative Power of Classical Music”

What are you reading? The latest issue of Christianity Today was impeccable. One of my favorite issues.

I just finished a Zadie Smith novel and am now reading Swamplandia by Karen Russell. It’s a strange book, but good so far.

#BachelorUpdate: I’m writing this before The Bachelor season finale is going to be broadcast. You heard it from me first: Raven is going to win. And I feel sorry for her. . . .


Your next Netflix series: If you’re looking for something new on Netflix, check out Abstract: The Art of Design. It’s like Chef’s Table, but playful, following everyone from Nike’s chief shoe designer to a superstar architect to Chrysler-Fiat’s global head of design. Each episode takes on the personality of its designer, giving the whole series a binge-worthy magnetism.

What’s better than ESPN? Malcolm Gladwell as a guest on Bill Simmon’s podcast, that’s what. ESPN has become inane sports gossip and bloviating. This is a completely different animal. Gladwell may seem like a strange guy for a sports podcast, but he fits perfectly sparking conversations about how segregation affected (and still affects) the NBA. If you’re at all interested in professional sports to any degree, you will love this. This beats ESPN every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Why does home feel like “home”? You may not realize it, but the places you love have been designed to make you feel that way. Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness, which sounds like a ridiculous self-help book, is an insightful, humorous, and thoughtful look at the sociology, psychology, and design of architecture. 

As a former barista, what is something you wish everyone knew about coffee? Your choice of beverage will not affect the amount of coffee in your cup. A latte (~10oz) is significantly larger than a cortado/macchiato (~4oz), but they each have only 2oz of espresso. The rest is milk. Your coffeehouse choices are primarily about how much milk you want with your coffee.

Kelsey, Brandon, Jon, Drew
Photo by Courtney Halligan

Thanks for reading.

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