Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 04/01/2015


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!

  • Get your daily dose of science and wonder with the Astronomy Picture of the Day.
  • Pac-Man enthusiasts can now play the game in any neighborhood through the magic of the Googly Maps.
  • Also in video games, Höme ImprovisÃ¥tion challenges you to assemble flat-pack furniture on your computer. Get cracking and finish that table before dinner’s ready!
  • Millennia ago, the Egyptians were rolling this d20, presumably trying to land a saving throw in the newest pyramid-crawler.
  • Speaking of millennia ago, the Judean date palm grown from a two-thousand-year-old seed recovered from Masada is reproducing!
  • This Week in Making Fun of People’s Photoshop Skills: some self-made ebook covers could use a second draft.
  • In an RPG, there are continuous rules and immediate rules.
  • It’s long been theorized that Proto-Indo-European — the ancient language that spawned over 400 languages across Europe and parts of Asia — was originally the language of the steppe peoples, and there’s more evidence mounting for that.
  • If you’re looking to get away from it all, try the lovely El Caminito del Rey, the most dangerous trail in the world.
  • This Week in Clean Energy: thanks to heavy rainfall, Costa Rica has been able to power itself almost completely with hydroelectric power for the last few months.
  • This Week in Bad Cookbooks: taste-testing Microwave Cooking for One. This is for, like, Bizarro Me, as I use my microwave about seven times a year and four of those are to soften butter during wintertime. (Also I occasionally like food with texture and flavor.)
  • Horizontal gene transfer happens when an organism acquires genes from other organisms in its environment.
  • Reversible lanes can be disorienting for drivers, but really save paving space. At least check out the video of the Zipper Truck shifting the Jersey barriers, which are of course the cleanest ding-dang Jersey barriers I have ever seen or heard of.
  • Class up your life by giving your junk food artisinal packaging.
  • When Russia “freed” its serfs, things worked out pretty well for the Tsar, and for the nobles, but of course it didn’t go very well for the serfs.
  • NASA used a special antenna to record vibrations in space and translate them into sound. Finally we can hear that the other planets are yelling at us across the void. Yes — including Uranus.
  • A Florida church has lost its tax-exempt status due to the small issue that it’s actually a nightclub. Not that people don’t have spiritual experiences at nightclubs.
  • No matter what their size, all mammals take about the same amount of time to pee.
  • In 2003, a political reporter interviewing San Francisco mayoral candidates used the opportunity to administer the Voight-Kampff Test. That’s the sort of hard-nosed reporting we could use some more of.
  • Cyborg cockroaches are in the works, for jobs like crawling through wreckage and debris to look for survivors. If the building I’m in falls down around me and the only way out comes thanks to cyborg cockroaches, I’m not altogether sure that’s an improvement to my day.
  • In Euclid, Ohio, one homeowner has been dealing with more than a hundred eggings. Either that guy really pissed someone off, or he happens to be the target of a particularly surly child.
  • The Road Runner, like any hero, operates according to hard and solid rules. (Alternatively: good birds don’t need rules; today is not the day to find out why Road Runner has so many.) (Alternatively: Wile E. Coyote, following Sisyphus, is the next great absurd hero.)