Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 11/28/2018

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. Views expressed in the Wednesday Walk do not necessarily reflect those of anyone but the writer.

  • If you want to see a lot of people being very happy about an extremely cool thing, watch NASA flight control getting the news that InSight landed successfully. You can check out a longer livestream from the landing here.
  • It is time, yet again, for the great (northern hemisphere) winter tradition: arguing with every other Jew about how to spell Hannukah in English.
  • Scorpions glow under black light, just like your sad uncle’s old Scorpions posters!
  • There are so many reasons why texting 911 is a great idea that needs to be better and more widely implemented, from emergency situations in which people wouldn’t want to talk out loud, to anxiety disorders in which people don’t want to talk out loud.
  • Before glasses were invented in the 13th century, what did people do? Interestingly, while there were options for farsighted people since magnifying lenses were known and somewhat available, just not in a form you could attach to your face, nearsighted people (hi!) just kind of…worked jobs that didn’t require good long-distance vision.
  • The demographics of film composers are rather depressingly close to what you’d expect, in most respects. The gender graph in particular is dispiriting.
  • Time to alternate focus between ongoing unremitting horrors and blessed distractions. (Warning: white supremacist violence.) First off, US border patrol thugs are lobbing tear gas at toddlers and other asylum seekers, which you might think might provoke war since they’re firing it across the border into another country, but fuck it I guess, YOLO. Meanwhile, other state-sponsored terrorists are separating families at the border and cutting corners on background checks for the people they hire to staff the concentration camps they’re stuffing kids into. Which means there are people who have no business being in the presence of minors being put in charge of detaining minors. I mean, anyone who sees a concentration camp full of kids and decides it’s an awesome job opportunity is a priori unqualified. Still, they can’t even bother running people’s prints through a database of, say, sex offenders.
  • This Week in Protecting and Serving: In Detroit City USA, undercover cops trying to entrap drug dealers tried to arrest other undercover cops posing as drug dealers.
  • This Week in The Great British Bake Off: One of the underrated elements of the show is the artwork presented for every bake, created by Tom Hovey, who of course bluffed his way onto the staff and then found his niche.
  • However, recently I watched the episode of GBBO where they’re making “plaited bread,” which is fine and all, but did make me wonder whether the folks on the show had heard of challah or, indeed, met a Jewish person. (Ideally a kindly Jewish grandma, though my foremothers were more into latkes and kugeln.)
  • Hopepunk is truly an aesthetic for our times. It’s incredibly hard, but it’s necessary if any of us is going to survive with any semblance of physical and/or mental stability. These things can be reinforced through the media we consume — I guess this is where I tell y’all that I just watched The Good Place and everyone else needs to watch it too — including some hopepunk podcasts. I can vouch for Love and Luck in particular.
  • Also hopepunk, possibly: a moment of responsible kindness, often withheld by adults, from a sixth grader.

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