Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 04/19/2017

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? Comment on the Walk post at the Place to Be Nation Facebook page, or find Glenn on the social media platform of your choice!

  • So here’s a thing I learned this week: About 6 million years ago, Gibraltar closed up the Mediterranean plain and the sea evaporated into a dry basin; a little more than 5 million years ago, Gibraltar opened up and the Mediterranean was filled again in a deluge 1000 times as powerful as the Amazon river. Some intrepid time travelers are rushing to ride those rapids.
  • I hate it when history is lost. Web archives going down without backups because hosting archives isn’t profitable enough to keep a corporation interested, museums in warzones falling victim to one side or another, eyewitnesses to historical events aging and dying (see also Holocaust minimizers & deniers coming into power as the people who survived the camps–and the veterans who liberated the camps–die off)…or simple equipment malfunctions melting precious Arctic ice cores.
  • There’s a word for any complicated emotion, and it’s probably German. It turns out that fremdsch√§men is what I’ve been calling secondhand embarrassment, aka the reason I get uncomfortable during a LOT of movies/TV shows/podcasts/friends’ stories.
  • This Week in Oral Histories of Everything: Has everyone finished Golden Girls since it showed up on Hulu? Thought so.
  • Folks are now protesting the US president in space.
  • Sometimes you really really need to play basketball, so you make the space you have work for you.
  • It’s always nice to read some good Star Wars meta-analysis about why so much Star Wars analysis is so bad. When there are actual factual real-deal Nazis milling about, it’s worth remembering that all of the Nazis you grew up watching in movies are the bad guys.
  • It’s easy to think that when a baby starts saying mama or dada, they’re starting to refer to their parents, when actually it’s the opposite — “ma” and “da” are among the easiest sounds for a child to make, so parents took them (and similarly simple phonemes) as nicknames.
  • Folks have now found a living specimen of the baseball bat-sized shipworm, so that’s just great.
  • Barbecue is a very political food, especially when a popular restaurant chain was founded and run by a virulent white supremacist. I kind of understand the folks who don’t want to condemn the family members who were very warm and nice to them (because they’re white), but…maybe you should condemn horrifying family memberes? Maybe you should condemn horrifying family members.
  • Genetically engineering astronauts is an interesting/horrifying idea — I did read a Star Trek novel about it some years back, but in that one they replaced their legs with more arms to better take advantage of microgravity.
  • Friends, I bring you into this week’s Cuddly Animal Ending with the tiniest bat.
  • Jeff Goldblum likes a lot of photos of an Italian poodle on Instagram. Thanks, internet.
  • Miami sports saw its most exciting moment of the year recently when a cat started scaling the Marlins stadium walls.