Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 01/09/2019

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.

  • Our home galaxy may collide with the Large Magellanic Cloud far, far ahead of our scheduled date with Andromeda. Bring it ON already!
  • If you find yourself planning a funeral, whether yours or someone else’s, this is one way to make the proceedings a lot more interesting.
  • Forget lorem ipsum, next time you need a little filler text go for the Goldblum.
  • This Week in Security Theater: UnCaptcha feeds audio CAPTCHAs into speech-to-text services, including ones run by the sites running the CAPTCHA runarounds in the first place.
  • RIP Nicolette Green and Wendy Newton, two patients who were being transported to a hospital but died on the way due to the negligence of the cops transporting them, who ignored warnings and drove through a flooded route, then were unable to open the locked back compartment when their van was inundated.
  • Accounts of the very oldest people always seem to have some amount of malfeasance about them.
  • As machine learning becomes more relevant and important to us, it’s important to remember what those with a good education or interest in the humanities can offer in terms of contextualizing and understanding new developments.
  • If you go to a museum and see an ancient carving, it can be hard to make out what it’s really picturing, if historical context and physical features (like paint and maybe fine detail) are lacking. But a well-designed light projection can fill some of those physical features in without touching the priceless artifact at all.
  • This Week in Sleep Techniques: One writer says a visualization technique taken from the US army might actually help. And honestly, picturing yourself in a boat on a river is probably the least bad thing the US army has ever proposed.
  • Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett are singing “Stayin’ Alive” and “Bad” so yes, your argument is invalid.
  • (Warning: Nazis) You can’t turn around without bumping into one of the multitudinous flavors of internet Nazi these days. Apparently they’re in NASA now, naming a distant rock after an obscure part of old-school Nazi mythology…so they can laugh with their buddies about how they’re seeding their mythology, or something? Or so they can show how deeply they’re embedded seemingly everywhere.
  • SJ Clarkson’s Star Trek 14 seems to have lingered too long in contract negotiation hell, and the director’s moved on, along with the two Hollywood Chrises Paramount doesn’t want to pay. It’s a pity, especially since there are still looming rumors about freakin’ Tarantino getting his mitts on the franchise, and I would take almost literally anyone’s Trek 14 over that.
  • I have no idea what we’re going to call the generation of kids growing up now, or what ludicrous bullshit we’re going to blame them for. No small amount of it will probably have something to do with kids finding the sometimes-ridiculous amount of personal photos and stories their parents post about them, asking their parents why they violated their privacy without consent so thoroughly before they had any concept of privacy or consent, and getting self-righteous, pearl-clutching op-eds in response.

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