Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 01/02/2019

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.

  • The Umbrella Man shows that no matter what seemingly obviously sinister tidbit of a conspiracy theory you seize on — and there seems to be no conspiracy theory with more bits poking out at all angles than the JFK assassination — someone can probably provide an anodyne explanation that’s weirder than you expect. (Autoplay video)
  • This Week’s Wednesday Walk Top Tip: If you’re thinking about getting a pet that will require you to buy live crickets to feed it, let this writer’s experience wash over you and consider not doing that.
  • Traffic lights with poles that also light up would be an absolute godsend for those of us who stop at the line and then have to hunch over to catch a glimpse of the light (especially during the daytime when the light doesn’t noticeably reflect off your dashboard).
  • Watching Harry Potter with this Dad among Dads is both fanciful and a glimpse of my own personal hell.
  • Whenever anyone talks about a minimum wage increase (or indeed when the minimum wage was instituted in the US 80 years ago), capital and its hangers-on crawl out of every gutter shadow to declare it’ll be the! death! of! employment! It’s always been a lie. Onward and upward!
  • You ever stop at an intersection only to find out that the two trucks in front of you are fidgety transformers?
  • When I think of analog ASCII art, I mainly think of printing out regular ASCII art, like in that early X-Files episode, or the early pioneers in the days of typewriters. But it turns out you can also make an analog ASCII portrait using thousands of dice.
  • 2018 was a garbage year full of garbage people doing garbage things. Those of us who made it out — which is way lower than the number of people who should have, despite a lot of garbage human beings who’re still hanging on — bear the scars of experiencing it and the responsibility of working to repair everything that’s gone so, so wrong. (It’s tikkun olam again: you are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.) Anyway, as far as year-end roundups go this summary of science news has more limericks than I’ve seen anywhere else.
  • This is a thread of some of the only wholesome things that happened in 2018.
  • One area where 2018 didn’t disappoint was archival film score releases, a genre that’s been of consistent high quality for years.
  • RIP Nancy Grace Roman, NASA astronomer and mother of the Hubble telescope.
  • Queer men will soon be able to donate blood in Denmark…if they haven’t had sex in four months, or are in a monogamous relationship. It’s not perfect — everyone’s blood gets tested anyway, and focusing HIV stigma on queer men is a long-standing bigoted trope — but it’s better than policies in the US (where the deferral period was recently shortened from forever to one year) and other countries.
  • I’ve felt like this poor unfortunate man way too many times. Cue up the Benny Hill theme.

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