Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 08/02/2017

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.

  • This year’s World Bonsai Convention had some beauties to behold.
  • This Week in Music: In a rarity for me, I recently heard a new song by a current band and was utterly entranced. The lyrics, the rhyme structure, the percussion…listen, I’m not good at writing about music; “entranced” is the word I keep coming back to. Check it out. The album it comes from is being released this Friday. (Also from the same band: keep getting Stranger.)
  • New research may have revealed more about the biological roots of schizophrenia.
  • (Warning: NSFW) Here’s Something I Learned Today: Catherine the Great had custom furniture festooned with wangs and vulvae, in a move that tragically has not caught on with plainer folk.
  • This Week in Street Art: In Chicago you can find free bird seed!
  • This Week in Reasons to Never Trust a Cop: Dozens of criminal cases are being thrown out, and dozens more reexamined, after a cop was caught planting evidence. It’s actually a pleasant surprise that a lot of cases are being dismissed and not just chalked up to some sort of grotesquery along the lines of “they were probably guilty of something anyway.”
  • The official sport of the Wednesday Walk is now Basketball Connect 4. (Via PTBN’s very own Andrew Riche)
  • This Week in Headlines: 300,000 Bottles Of Wine Live In This Old, Underground Rolls Royce Dealership. That’s seriously some Bond-villain business.
  • This Week in Baby Steps: It’s been something of a phenomenon to see people languishing in prison for pot-related “crimes,” or dealing with probation & felon stigma, while their states legalize pot. (With the requisite racial disparities obvs.) Oakland, for its part, is trying to make amends by giving people formerly convisted of pot-related offenses licenses to open legit businesses.
  • Trent Reznor’s been through some phases. There was young skinny Trent, emo journaling Trent, overdosing Trent, sober Trent, buff muscled Trent, Academy Award-winning Trent…but what I’m fascinated with now is the snippet of this interview that teased PTA Trent. Like, imagine you’re at your local PTA meeting talking about the next bake sale to raise money to expand the school library or some such (sorry PTB Parents Contingent) when Trent Reznor walks in talking about all of the things he wants to make sure the school can do for little Lazarus and Balthazar.
  • It turns out that McSweeney’s is still going strong, now with hot Blue Apron goofs for those of us who listen to too many podcasts. I’m not going to go see if they have something about Casper mattresses.
  • You know, now that we all live in an unending maelstrom of horror featuring new attention-grabbing headlines whirling toward us every five minutes, it’s easy to miss the full extent of some things. For example, remember a few weeks ago when we found out that the Hobby Lobby dude was buying ancient Cuneiform tablets from looters in Iraq? I feel like it may be worth swinging back around to that one for a second. Choice pullquote: “We’ve all experienced a loss here. Because people like Green are willing to buy these things, the rest of us lose a massive amount of interesting information about the ancient past. These tablets have no context. Were they bits and pieces looted from many sites? Were they all one library? Did the looters trash crumbly tablets that weren’t pretty enough for the market but, in the hands of archaeologists and epigraphers, could have told us marvellous and ground-breaking things? What else was WITH the tablets? We don’t get to know because a rich guy felt his desires were more important than history and heritage.”
  • One ancient artifact from Iraq that wasn’t stolen by the founder of a particularly deplorable US corporation, but was instead taken to the US to be displayed in a museum, is a three-thousand-year-old fidget spinner. Y’know, before anyone gets all Kids These Days.
  • There’s a lot of hubbub about the Dunkirk score and the use of the Shepard tone, an auditory illusion, to create the sense of ever-increasing, never-resolved tension. Ever-increasing rarely-resolved tension was pretty much the calling card of the movie, so it was successful in that respect.
  • Asset forfeiture now seizes more from US citizens than burglars. Cops literally steal more than robbers do.
  • Let the art deco toaster from the 20s serve as a reminder that anything can be made beautiful.
  • Might as well make it Music Week here in the ol’ Walk. Way back in the bygone era of 1999, when the world was young and before the oceans drank Atlantis, we were told that the choral text of “Duel of the Fates” was a Sanskrit translation of a Welsh poem. My friends, I am here to report that we were misled, sold a false bill of goods, because only now have the true lyrics been revealed.
  • I dearly hope that this news reaches you in time to still enjoy during swimming season this year: the only thing you should be floating on in your pool or at your local beach this summer is the inflatable coffin. (I know that’s not what the description says it’s for. Make your own rules. YOLO!)
  • Sometimes you come across the perfect marriage of music and visuals.
  • Is the trendy new ingredient to use in your slow cooker a pile of forks?
  • Next time you take a bath, try this falcon’s bathing method.

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