Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 07/15/2015


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!

  • New Horizons has given us the sharpest portrait of Pluto ever, a stunning image considering our best approximation was previously a tiny smudge courtesy of the Hubble telescope (until we got somewhat clearer smudges as New Horizons made its approach, of course). By the time you’re reading this, we will probably have even closer looks at particular regions of the Plutonian surface; for now, enjoy this scientist’s insights from the new photo as well as a look at the New Horizons staff’s reactions as the image came in.
  • Shifts in the production and presentation of writing, from the printing press to the typewriter, have changed the way people write. Internet journalism might be having similar effects on the paragraph itself.
  • The Boy Scouts voted to be less bigoted, so good for them and anyone connected to them. The Girl Scouts continue to lead the way.
  • This Week in Pick-Me-Ups: four-year-old Lea goes on her first acrobatic airplane ride.
  • Also in flight: it’s important, before you take off, to be sure you know if there is a cat inside any of your wings.
  • Since our moon doesn’t have a magnetic field, compasses don’t work there, so astronauts had to use other means to navigate. Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field either, so we’re still using those same methods.
  • Dune, that sprawling tale of feudal lords and the wonders of drug-induced mystical experiences, is fifty years old.
  • As long as there have been movies, there have been trailers.
  • The dastardly El Chapo has escaped from prison, again.
  • Barbecue has a long tradition from Native Americans and African-Americans that’s worth remembering.
  • The Super Guppy is an amazing oversized plane built to haul spaceship components for NASA, a behemoth made with parts harvested from decades-old planes.
  • Some “ha ha dumb wrapping” sites have made much hay about the time someone bought bubble wrap from Amazon and it came wrapped in kraft paper. As with many things that seem strange, it does have a purpose.
  • Inside Out was a heartily fun and poignant film that you should go see, especially if you have kids (don’t be the creepy adult, all alone at the kids’ movie). It’s also, aside from a few points, a shockingly good allegory for the emotional mechanisms of actual people.
  • In the UK, a woman crashed her car into a seafood truck because she was furiously masturbating and the sheer pleasure took her eyes off the road. Understandable, really. And here I am worrying about crashing when I want to hold hands with the ol’ sweetums more than I want to keep both hands on the wheel.
  • Logical Fallacy Ref is here for the next time you want to be the more obnoxious person in a Facebook debate.
  • Batman and Robin, as well as the full coterie of Bat-villains, need to get down with some cocktails from time to time. Make mine a Mr. Freeze and keep ’em coming.
  • RIP Jonathan Sanders, murdered by a cop while exercising his horses.
  • The To Catch a Predator schtick is apparently something you can do on a vigilante basis, even though you and I probably shouldn’t. Hurrah for catching child predators, in any event.
  • In the US, the state of Texas buys so many textbooks for its schools that its editorial decisions wind up filtering out to the rest of the country to a large extent. Texan conservatives use this power to push a right-wing agenda that whitewashes the legacy and persistance of white supremacy in its history & social studies textbooks, in addition to creationist fiddle-faddle in biology.
  • A crucial discovery has been made: Keanu Reeves, it seems, is a vampire or some other sort of immortal. Do with this knowledge what you will.
  • Learn a little more about nails, and then nail some things.