Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 06/04/2014


Welcome to the Wednesday Walk Around the Web, where we weave & wind through weblinks weekly. Here you may find some things that amuse, some that titillate, and the occasional link that provokes. Do you have a link you want to see featured in next week’s Wednesday Walk? Email Glenn!

  • RIP Dr. Maya Angelou.
  • Reading Rainbow is the latest institution of our generation (surely it’s more of an institution than Veronica Mars) to subject its future to the collective judgment of Kickstarter, and By Grabthar’s Hammer what a positive judgment we’ve rendered. Take a look. It’s for a book.
  • Lots of notable authors weren’t published until they’d lived half a century on this rock we call home. Lots of older students get advanced degrees. I have a friend who met the love of her life when she was in her fifties, got married as soon as marriage was legally permitted, and has spent the last several years living happily ever after. It’s not over. It’s not over. By the Beard of Zeus (sorry Hera), someone tell me it isn’t over.
  • Our moon is getting broadband.
  • A fortuitous bit of amber has revealed a 15-million-year-old tick carrying Lyme disease, and possibly rocky Mountain spotted fever. The prehistory of disease is one of those fields I’m certain is breathtaking and fascinating, and know almost nothing about.
  • It seems that in 2025 Christians might return to Nicaea to figure out what Christianity is. That’s my impression of what the Council of Nicaea was, anyway; perhaps I’m not the best person to be writing about theological summits. Wouldn’t such a thing have to include the Baptists and Mormons and Pentecostals and Anglicans too, or are they working on one schism at a time? (Now I’m picturing a Cowboy Goes to Class-like series, with Jordan Duncan giving me a guided tour through church history. Goodness gracious.) Apparently bringing the eastern and western churches back together is “the prayer that Jesus had,” which is news to me, since in the US it seems “the prayer that Jesus had” has a lot more to do with whom we sleep with and when. Or was that just Paul’s fetish? Again, theology. Goodness gracious.
  • The Cathy animated series is wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it’s not for the timid.
  • Last week the Wednesday Walk brought you word (and a hearty endorsement) of the solar roadway. James Grimmelmann, who appears to know far more about the engineering challenges of such a project than do I, chimed in this week with some very important-sounding objections.
  • Thunderstorms are great to listen to and see from a distance (as long as they don’t knock out your power). As it happens, they’re beautiful too.
  • From Cracked: Godzilla sure does enrich any cinematic experience.
  • If dogs could text.
  • The Best Optical Illusions of the Year is apparently a contest that happens. And what finalists!
  • Some of us love video games that mirror our inner demons.
  • Congratulations, Harriette Thompson!
  • There’s been some stunning analysis of England’s chances in the coming World Cup by Stephen Hawking.
  • This Week in Maps: The Washington Post has brought us a neat map showing what’s directly across the ocean from any coast in the Americas. I particularly appreciate the parts of Chile where the next land across the ocean is the opposite coast of Chile. Next time I’m at the beach I’m going to forsake Long Island and say hello to the folks in Portugal.
  • The list of the longest disambiguation pages on Wikipedia reveals that the font of all human knowle — erm, the font of whatever information its editors consider “notable” — has over four hundred pages detailing various artists’ greatest hits albums. Just think of all those hits. (And all those Communist parties!)
  • When Leonardo da Vinci was in his thirties, he applied for a job working for the man who would later commission The Last Supper, and so, naturally, he had to write a résumé. His CV emphasizes his skills in the arts of war before concluding, oh yeah, if you don’t need my expertise in the use of cannon I’m also the greatest painter alive and can make a mean sculpture too. In case that might be useful, your lordship.
  • ISEE-3/ICE is a spacecraft that was sent out in 1978 and is soon to fly past Earth after its long mission, but times have changed since it was launched and NASA doesn’t have the vintage hardware around to communicate with it, nor the funds to recreate it. So, obviously, a project sprung up from outside NASA to put together the knowledge & hardware necessary, and the team recently announced that they’ve contacted ISEE-3/ICE. Well done, folks. second star to the left, and straight on ’till morning.
  • Laura Bridgman was Helen Keller before Helen Keller.
  • Maybe some of you who are into the pop music can tell me how funny it is to add Kanye west to everything. I’ll just say I’m used to reading about bois in a completely different context.
  • This Week in Fine Art: beautiful landscapes made of mold.