Photo by Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash

What We’re Reading: In defense of the ‘everyday risk’

Adrienne Gibbs
The Medium Blog
Published in
4 min readJan 20, 2024

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Hi everyone,

Celebrity photographer Tom Zimberoff has made a picture of everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger (who writes on Medium sometimes) to Ava Gardner (who, uh, does not). I’ve worked with a number of high profile photographers in my career, and every single one of them has capital S stories. Luckily for us, Tom’s storytelling prowess does not disappoint.

His tale of cold-calling and then photographing George Lucas at Skywalker Ranch is two things at once: A good, fun story and also a key part of Star Wars lore and fandom.

“I am certain George Lucas had no idea who ‘Mr. Zimberoff’ was. Maybe he didn’t screen his calls. Maybe his secretary was on a break. I pulled it together and introduced myself through my affiliation with the film festival and the exhibition, then launched nervously into my pitch.”

Zimberoff’s embrace of this everyday risk — a part of his job, really — worked out quite well. It’s the type of action applauded by Julie Zhuo, a management and career expert who is also a renowned technologist and former vice president at Facebook.

In her New Year message, Zhuo writes about how these risks make life more… colorful.

“This year, every single day, I want to take an everyday risk.”

This week’s list of suggested stories all center such a daily risk — those ordinary-yet-difficult tasks. I’m officially intrigued. What about you?

Thanks for reading.
Adrienne Gibbs, Director of Content at Medium

P.S. Respond to this post to recommend your favorite or most poignant Lunar New Year stories on Medium. And, if you write one, please be sure to let me know. We’d love to read it.

What We’re Reading

Image created by Midjounrey, featured in “Naysayer, Please…

Naysayer, Please…

Published by Glenn Jeffers

On Monday, in the hours leading up to Michigan and Alabama teeing off in the 110th annual Rose Bowl up the street in Pasadena, the crew of ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast decided to give us one of the funniest sound bytes of the new year but also an impromptu and damn near poignant discussion of the N-word that no one, literally no one, expected, least of all them.

Flowers for Algernon cover from Amazon // movie clip from Amazon Prime Video, featured in “Flowers For Algernon Sold 5 Million Copies Because It Is That Good

Flowers For Algernon Sold 5 Million Copies Because It Is That Good

Published by Linda Caroll in The Book Cafe

He falls in love, only to grapple with the thought that love and sexuality are a byproduct of intelligence because no one loved or wanted him when he was mentally challenged. Was he not a human deserving of love before?

This week’s Final Word goes to digital artist Nettrice Gaskins, whose provocative thoughts ask us to reconsider what we think we know. In the essay “The Algorithmic Nature of James Brown’s ‘Cold Sweat,’” she explains how the creation of Brown’s iconic music is another version of computational thinking.

“The reason I compare this to computational thinking is because of the following elements or concepts:

  1. Decomposition
  2. Pattern Recognition
  3. Abstraction — Brown was able to extract the most relevant information from each part of the song, which helped to define, or generalize what, exactly needed to be done to compose an entire song (through repetition or looping certain parts).
  4. Algorithmic thinking — Brown and his band used the process of defining a step-by-step solution to composing a song (problem) that can be replicated for a predictable and reliable outcome.”

Read this very thorough piece here.

What’s your favorite Medium story you’ve read this week? Let us know in the responses.

And share any Lunar New Year stories you come across! We’re planning to share them in a separate post.

Planning to write something? Head on over here.

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Adrienne Gibbs
The Medium Blog

Director of Content @Medium. Award-winning Writer. Editor. Mother. Featured on Beyoncé's year in review film.