Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 12/12/2018

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.

  • All of the articles I’ve seen about Hawaiian monk seals snorting dead eels are very judgmental, and I would just like to say that I respect the seals’ aesthetic choices and think they look just great.
  • This Week in anniversaries, this week marks 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s still up to all of us to live up to its ideals.
  • Also in anniversaries, it’s been 50 years since Earthrise was taken.
  • Also ALSO in anniversaries, this week also marks 25 years of DooM. John Romero marked the occasion by announcing the upcoming release of his own personal nine-level wad file, joining the fan-modding community that never stopped making new content.
  • Also also too in anniversaries, 50 years (and a few days) ago, Douglas Engelbart demonstrated a lot of the fundamental aspects of how we interact with computers today, and what they do for us.
  • The shifting retro trends that’ve brought us the 21st-century vinyl resurgence might as well do the same thing for water beds. Why not?
  • Every time someone tries to intercede in the food-identification debates, they muddy the waters further. Let this be a lesson in lexical inflexibility. According to this schema, a hot dog isn’t a sandwich…it’s a taco.
  • Honestly, a lot of jobs would be a lot more fun if they were more like they are in stock photos. Mine, for instance, seems very exciting!
  • Any given jigsaw puzzle manufacturer will usually use the same die-cut pattern for all of their puzzles — which makes the pieces hot-swappable between different puzzles. Which means that an intrepid artist can bring us puzzle montage.
  • In 1861, an illustrated history of the US revolution was published in Japan, and it’s kind of amazing. The page where John Adams pulls out his sword to fight a giant snake makes me think that a large-scale anime adaptation of the founding of the US might be the next natural step in historical recontextualization following the success of Hamilton.
  • This Week in Linguistics: If you took the vowels in English, all of which have multiple pronunciations depending on context, and forced them into consistency by choosing one pronunciation for each, what you get is very interesting, nearly incomprehensible without subtitles, and…a vaguely Scandinavian accent? Or maybe vaguely French at times?
  • We often romanticize artists who suffer and/or die for their art, which we really shouldn’t. (If you haven’t already, go open Netflix and look up Nanette for Hannah Gadsby’s record-correcting on Van Gogh and other artists. It’s one of the least important reasons to watch Nanette, but hey, whatever gets you in the door.) Gillian Genser has spent 15 years creating sculptures out of mussel shells she ground into shape, unaware that water pollution made the shells toxic, and they were slowly depositing debilitating doses of heavy metals into her body.
  • It seems it’s time for all of us to be done with Neil deGrasse Tyson. In a slightly better world we’d be replacing every abusive creep with the people they bullied out of their professions.
  • I refuse to believe that this is a video of a bubble freezing. Obviously it shows the creation of a crystal ball that turned out to be too powerful to sustain itself on our plane. Like, come on now. Someday one shall be born who can summon and harness it.

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