1) "American Fiasco" is the story of the slow-motion failure of the United States in the 1998 World Cup. Great storytelling by Roger Bennett of the "Men in Blazers" podcast brings color and drama.
2) "I Delivered Packages for Amazon and It Was a Nightmare" is a contemporary version of a long tradition in journalism: trying out a new or dangerous kind of work and reporting on the inside story. This time it's Alana Semeuls working for Amazon Flex, which allows people to deliver packages "the last mile" to customers from their own vehicles. The costs, barriers, and challenges were unexpected and, yet, somehow expected:
"And then there was the fact that the Flex technology itself was difficult to use. Flex workers are supposed to scan each package before they deliver it, but the app wouldn't accept my scans. When I called support, unsure of what to do, I received a recorded messaging saying support was experiencing technical difficulties but would be up again soon. Then I got a message on my phone telling me the current average wait time for support was "less than 114,767 minutes." I ended up just handing the packages to people in the offices without scanning them, hoping that someone, somewhere, was tracking where they went. (Amazon says it is constantly taking driver feedback into consideration to improve Flex.)"
3) "Damsel," a new western, stars Robert Pattinson as a lovelorn man on a mission to meet up with the woman with whom he plans to spend the rest of his life. He brings with him a preacher (so they can marry instantly) and a miniature horse, Butterscotch ("a conversation piece.") It's beautifully shot, casually brutal, and occasionally silly. Mia Wasikowska plays Penelope, the love interest at the center, and when the film's narrative arrives at her doorstep, she takes the film over from her hapless would-be husband.
4) Big Stone Mini Golf is 15 years old. Get out to Minnetrista and tee up! It's a sculpture garden and mini-golf. The holes are both fun to play and Instagram-ready. Also: Goats and chickens.
5) Listen to something simply astonishing. Saxophonist Raak Hekkema playing Bach's Partitas for Violin for his own reed instrument.