Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 09/14/2016


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!

  • This Week in Self-Plugging: my newest podcast product is a fun conversation about Stranger Things, so do check that out. Also on the Stranger front, the kids continue to be the most precious things.
  • Humpback whales are off the endangered species list as several sub-species have repopulated. Thanks, Star Trek!
  • Also in animal life, the last remaining wild horse species is being reintroduced to the steppe.
  • Ancient Roman concrete is notoriously stronger and longer-lasting than any modern formula, and we’re still trying to figure out why.
  • This Week in Scientific Discovery: genetic analysis of giraffes reveals that they’re actually four distinct species with significant variations.
  • So, I read some years ago that progressive hearing loss takes high tones away from adults; I read this in the context of teens using high-pitched ringtones to keep teachers and professors from detecting their cell phones. Fair enough: you win this round, teens. As often happens when crusty adults decide to fight back against Kids These Days, things get pretty gross when folks use high-pitched mosquito-deterrents to keep kids away from a library. One, using sound to disperse people has a pretty gross history. Two, adults deciding to break up groups of kids has a pretty gross history. Three, you’re trying to keep kids away from the library?
  • This Week in New Realizations: y’all, Edgar Allan Poe was definitely a time-traveler. He definitely absolutely for sure transcended our paltry normal spacetime and wrote about the big bang and Phineas Gage without mentioning the Civil War at all. He may even walk among us still, a man unmoored from time, such exotic modern tintinnabulations ringing in his ears…
  • Friends, we have sequenced the tardigrade’s genome. What a time to be alive. It seems that the humble water bear’s extraordinary tenacity comes in part from the large amount of DNA it’s picked up from other organisms, showing us how important that sort of gene transfer can be. (This link brought to the Wednesday Walker by my boss, which I guess means I’m making the right impression.)
  • From PTBN hefe JT Rozzero: Harambe lives on as Harambe McHarambeface, except not really. The quest to name something after Boaty McBoatface continues — keep hope alive, never give up!
  • This Week in Troubles on the Horizon: watch time-lapse video of bacteria evolving antibiotic resistance. Eep.
  • This Week in We’re-Fucked-Right-Now: lots of people are going gaga over xkcd’s global climate change chart/essay. (Plus bonus shot at the Proto-Indo-European language…suck it, Proto-Indo-Europeans!) Meanwhile, soil reclamation is the latest in a line of possible patches on the problem that would require the wholesale retooling of major industrial sector — of course, global catastrophes brought on by ongoing industrial exploitation are going to lead you there anyway.
  • It’s obvious that no degree of murder, depravity, or mayhem can get a cop fired or effectively prosecuted. In West Virginia, meanwhile, cops get fired for NOT shooting citizens; got to get that body count up to appease the bosses.
  • In Syria, as anywhere probably, war means that objects are looted and looted again.
  • (Warning: animal abuse.) Apparently developing a photo from the retina of a recently-deceased creature’s eye is actually a thing, within severe limitations, and not wholly a sci-fi invention.