Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 08/14/2019

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 informative.

  • This Week in Music: Pianist Nahre Sol does a magnificent job showing 16 levels of musical complexity and compositional techniques by manipulating “Happy Birthday” over and over again.
  • I’m a big believer in controlling your inputs, which in our media landscape (including social media) involves limiting your exposure to myriad bigotries, educating yourself about them, and finding things you enjoy that rejuvenate your stores of kindness and empathy. Not flinching and looking away from horrors, but also exposing yourself to things that will recharge you instead of reinforcing the hateful garbage that our culture is built on. Things like this anti-hate pop culture syllabus are very helpful for this last point.
  • One man in Iowa was recently fined for checking queer-positive children’s books out of a local library and performatively burning them, in case you’re wondering whether we’re at the book-burning stage over here.
  • This Week in Video Games: After more than 20 years, it’s finally time to celebrate Dune 2000.
  • For those of us in the US, if you want to see who in your community is donating to the president’s reĆ«lection campaign, go here and search for your ZIP code. (You can also clear the candidate filter to see what other donations are coming from your region.) It’s not the only or even the best way to find out which of your neighbors you can’t trust, but it’s one way to start.
  • Composer Alf Clausen scored the first five thousand seasons of The Simpsons, until he was unceremoniously fired in 2017. Now he’s suing Fox for age and disability discrimination in his firing.
  • Were I to write a horror anthology about chilling and terrifying nightmares set in the workplace, one of the stories would absolutely be about your boss asking to go over your household budget.
  • In Virginia, one mysterious resident with a television for a head deposited dozens of TVs on people’s porches. It’s always thrilling to see the birth of a new cryptid, haunting the surveillance devices some folks planted on their front doors.
  • This Week in Good Dogs: Who’s a good dog? Service dogs are good dogs.
  • This Week in Possibilities: We have the technology to put the Golden Girls into every movie, and frankly it’s a travesty that we don’t use it. If we can slam-jam the shambling corpse of Peter Cushing into Star Wars movies, dammit, we can put Bea Arthur in them too.
  • I know next to nothing about tarot; I tend to mentally file it in the same category as astrology. However, if you’re doing tarot readings using the Star Trek: The Next Generation Collectible Card Game, you absolutely have my attention. You know, now that I think about it, I am a little bit like the crystalline entity.
  • This Week in Fashion Tips: Adversarial Fashion is designed to be picked up by license plate readers, as a very small way to jam up systems that use license plates to track people.
  • Friend of the Walk Brad Hindscrooge brings word of a massive bubble forming in video game collecting, where mint-condition boxes and cartridges for Nintendo games are skyrocketing in speculative value. If you still have anything in decent condition rattling around, you might as well relieve someone who has way too much money of a portion of their holdings.
  • A couple of years ago, the US Navy destroyer USS John S. McCain crashed into a Liberian oil tanker, spawning a wide array of theories about how such a thing could happen, ranging from incompetence to miscommunication to exhaustion due to lack of sleep. A new report seems to indicate that it was mostly caused by a terrible user interface for the navigational controls and confusion arising from people at multiple workstations trying to take control at once(!).
  • Is a possessed Big Mouth Billy Bass just a god who tries to break into our world by the shortest path?

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