Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 01/22/2020

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 informative.

  • Netflix gave Gwyneth Paltrow a whole ding-dang TV show to hock her brand of claptrap and snake oil, which thankfully at least one reviewer hate-watched so no one else has to.
  • Also in junk science, for hundreds of years people believed that salamanders were fire-proof, including Pliny the Elder, who tossed one in a fire, disproving the idea which still survived for centuries longer in his preserved writing.
  • Dear friend of the Walk Steve Wille brings word of J! Archive, a treasury of hundreds of thousands of Jeopardy! answers and clues. Y’know, in case you need a way to spend the rest of your year.
  • Steve, bless him, also brings our optimistic note of the week: There’s always the hope that if you’re being assaulted in public, someone will help you, or if you see someone in trouble that you’ll be the kind of person who knows how to step in and actually does it. These noble furries are an example for us all.
  • As far-right hate groups swarm, more people have to shoulder the responsibility of documenting and tracking them for the sake of both contemporary comrades’ safety and a better historical record.
  • There are so, so many things that if we’re going to be fair cannot still hold up, and yet still hold meaning for people. For something like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is so problematic and yet deeply resonated with a lot of people in a way not a lot of other things did, that’s worth examining seriously…especially during this transitional period before Disney yanks the movie from midnight showings.
  • We’ve talked about a lot of the horrors wrought by techbro firms and the corporate miscreants of the internet. Google hosts conspiracy theorists on YouTube and sends people spiraling toward radicalization down the related video algorithm. Twitter has moved from coddling GamerGate terrorists to coddling actual factual neo-Nazis. Uber does all it can to screw over its employees, including not considering them employees for tax purposes, but doesn’t care when they rape or harass passengers. Facebook convinced all of our elderly relatives (and our more elderly-at-heart contemporaries) that the groups they hate are definitely coming for them through the modern equivalent of chain letters (I bet most people won’t post this). SpaceX is little but a wankfest run by a dilletante with delusions of Galthood. They all collect whatever they can glean about you, especially the ones you carry devices for or send your DNA to. So there’s a lot of competition when it comes to counting down the most evil tech companies.
  • Casper Mattresses’ business model may be transferring money from venture capitalists to podcasters.
  • This Week in Music: How better to improve your favorite album cover than taking the people off and replacing them with cats? I scrolled down looking for Nevermind, and I was indeed rewarded with Nevermind.
  • This Week in Medical Malpractice: Look, we all love happy-dappy fun-time meme videos where people are doing fun stunts and the like, but maybe you shouldn’t be standing on a hoverboard while pulling someone’s tooth.

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