Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 10/08/2014


Welcome to the Wednesday Walk Around the Web, where we weave & wind through weblinks weekly. Hopefully you will find the links on offer amusing, interesting, or, occasionally, profound. Do you have a link you want to see featured in next week’s Wednesday Walk? Email Glenn!

  • Next time you get a spam text message, turn it back on the spammer with a vengeance. This works great IF the spammer texting you isn’t a bot.
  • How many common myths & misconceptions & portmanteaux of the two have you not busted yet? I did not know that the salted water was bunkum (or, rather, a flavoring technique rather than a heating technique), and I’m fascinated by the Korean fear of fans, since the autumn has to get really cold before I’m broken of my bedside fan habit.
  • The original USS Enterprise shooting model, under the care of the Smithsonian, is being refurbished as part of the process of incorporating it into a larger exhibit. Good; the 1991 paint job is, as they say, not great.
  • Despite whatever you may read, Pluto still isn’t a planet. Look, I used to be hung up on this too, but it’s just not, and neither is Eris.
  • Via so many people: this weekend was the first one without any Saturday morning cartoons.
  • Endangered or dying languages are pressing and important issues, especially for conquered peoples. The Chickasaw nation is now trying quite desperately to save its language after its use has decreased.
  • Maybe we could stand to be more honest about the games we play.
  • This may be hard to hear, but The Beatles never existed. You’ve got to go where the evidence takes you! Just look at Paul’s eyebrows. Erm, I mean “Paul.”
  • History, boy, I don’t know: one of the things that spurred wildlife conservation movements was the bird hat fad.
  • Lost is ten years old, so let’s try to wash the taste of the finale out of our mouths for a moment and remember it as it was when each of us liked it most, which is probably a different point for each of us (or none at all). Personally, I’ll always have my score CDs and my memories of the feeling that the show could do basically anything and make it work, embodied in the dear departed frozen donkey wheel. Carlton Cuse says that it’ll inevitably come back, and while I guess I get it on an economic level, in terms of story, no. Just, no.
  • Speaking of things that didn’t turn out so great in the end, the Matrix sequels would probably be much improved with 8-bit soundtracks.
  • One writer theorizes that most citizens of the Star Wars universe are functionally illiterate, though he needs to assume a lot of things to get there.
  • There’s a new series of James Bond comics coming in the new year.
  • It’s looking quite a lot like the dude from 7th Heaven and Star Trek I is a child rapist.
  • The history of baseball has quite a lot of Jews in it, spanning MLB as well as the Negro Leagues.
  • When you set out to make a comprehensive database of police murders, one thing you learn is that a lot of people don’t want there to be one.
  • One 89-year-old World War II veteran stayed in touch with his Scandinavian roots and received a true Viking funeral.
  • It’s pretty easy to give Shakespeare’s tragedies happy endings, kind of like how the true solution to any love triangle is polyamory. (Perhaps this isn’t far removed from looking at the star of a tragedy and saying “Well hell, just stop having your tragic flaw!” Buck up, Hamlet! Calm the hell down, Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth! Stop being the cruel pawn of fate, Oedipus!)
  • There’s a custom-made RNA sequence that can edit the DNA of HIV out of human cells. HIV/AIDS treatments are getting better all the time.
  • A lot of people reading this probably have huge student loan debt, either as a terrifying force looming on the horizon or a terrifying force grinding people into the dirt right now. In the US, the best thing we’ve managed to accomplish lately has been Occupy buying up debt and eliminating it. Meanwhile, in Germany, there is no longer such a thing as college tuition.
  • We all know bats use clicks for echolocation, but there’s a little more to bats than that.
  • In the US, thirty percent of us don’t drink. The top ten percent, though, have more than ten drinks per day. If you go deeper than that, to the top five percent or one percent, you can imagine the numbers some serious alcoholics must be putting up.
  • The NFL will now test for HGH. I’m sure the use and application of this policy will be entirely above reproach.
  • John Williams is starting to work on the next Star Wars score in two weeks. So no matter what else happens, at least there’ll be that.
  • Set your table right this Halloween (or Thanksgiving, or birthday, or whatever) with the patches-of-flesh tablecloth!