Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 02/17/2016


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. Do you have a link you want to see featured in next week’s Walk? Email Glenn!

  • Radio telescopes looking through the plane of the Milky Way, the density of which obscures visible light from whatever lies past it, have found hundreds of galaxies containing billions of stars.
  • Social robots can cut through loneliness and make people feel like they have a friend, but does the non-genuine manner of that friendship undercut the benefit?
  • Speaking of automated deceptive positivity (hoo boy, let’s just put most of my outward persona in that category, but aaaaaaanyway), you can sign up for personal affirmations via text!
  • Adult women are the largest demographic in gaming. Dudebros can quit throwing tantrums about it any time now.
  • Antonin Scalia is dead while we yet live. While I do tend to consider it a bad thing when anyone dies, certainly for their friends & family (Justice Ginsburg apparently considered him a dear friend despite a laundry list of legal & ideological disagreements, and it would be a dark day indeed were any of us to cross The Notorious RBG), one might also consider the fact that Scalia was a multifaceted bigot who often used his lifetime appointment to a position of great power to prevent and/or roll back social progress. In the short term, votes cast by Scalia on pending cases are now void. In the medium term, as nice as it may seem to introduce a topic that’s actually substantive into the presidential campaign, now we get to watch as all the candidates kick the topic of the next Court appointment around…while some of the Republicans running the Senate might just try to burn the place down rather than allow the appointment of a successor in the next year. Or maybe the obstructionism will crumble for once. What do I know.
  • Carpool karaoke with James Corden & Elton John is as cool as it sounds.
  • Grab some maps of Mars and plan your next road trip.
  • Just how infallible is the pope? How infallible were the people who invented papal infallibility? How infallible were the people who invented the papacy?
  • Won’t someone help the poor lost Nigerian astronaut? Monetarily?
  • Tetris is everywhere, even on military elites.
  • It has been brought to my attention that in Canada, they get celebrities to butcher the national anthem at sporting events just like they often do in the US. That seems even worse, since Canada has a vastly better national anthem than the US does.
  • No matter what problems or frustrations you have in life, throwing an alligator through a drive-through window is not the solution. Please think again.
  • Against Big Bird, the Gods Themselves Contend in Vain.
  • In doing research for a highly detailed 3D model of the Apollo 11 command module, the Smithsonian discovered graffiti left by the astronauts who used it.
  • Speaking of impromptu hand-made works, some pages of Darwin’s original On the Origin of Species manuscript only survive because his kids drew on the back.
  • There was an important breakthrough regarding gravitational waves recently, and it’s important to understand what it means and why it’s important.