Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 10/19/2016


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!

  • In order for a national election in the US to be well and truly rigged, someone would need a ridiculously large conspiracy in a large number of states, encompassing local governments administered by both of the parties that matter. You don’t rig an election on election day — at the most, you influence elections by deciding who does and doesn’t get to vote, and think for a minute about who passes laws restricting the right of racial minorities to vote, or restricting access to absentee or early voting for people who can’t afford to leave work or school to vote on a weekday.
  • This Week in Music Archives: the internet is a glorious place where the sum of all human knowledge is splayed out before you, including most human achievements in the arts, such as digitized archives of K-Mart muzak cassettes.
  • This Week in Fan Art: the Voltron lions, as lions. Sweet.
  • In the case of tortoise v. hare, history repeats itself.
  • I do love small questions that turn into long answers, such as the question of who painted medieval armor turning into a history of heraldry. And an army of Darth Vaders.
  • Half of US dermatologists in one study report that they were not trained to spot melanoma on black people, because so much medical training treats white folks as the default, the same way that symptoms of heart attacks in women often go unnoticed because doctors are trained to spot men’s symptoms.
  • Green’s Dictionary of Slang not only gives you definitions, but all of the historical research and background detail of a well-researched dictionary…for subscribers.
  • The first known use of indigo dye is on square pieces of cloth in Peru.
  • This Week in Spoopy Stories: who’s creepier than a child?
  • This Week in Computers: on the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” principle, if your Commodore 64 is still serving your auto shop all right, rock on with your Commodore 64.
  • Spotted in the wild in an article about the engineering of Oreos: “Shatterproof glass and batteries are other good examples of material systems that are mechanically analogous to Oreos.”
  • There may be such a thing as bad publicity: sometimes you trade in your truck and leave your business’ sticker on the door; sometimes that truck gets shipped to Turkey and sold to militants. Whooooooooooooooooooops!
  • The 2016 finalists for the Wildlife Photography Awards are worth a moment of your time.
  • Stories of people whose memories work differently from the norm, either remembering everything or only certain types of information, illuminate how much or how little our memories make us who we are.
  • Everyone has a hot take on Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize. The man himself, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to care very much. I get cultivating an air of too-cool-for-school-itude, but you’ve got to cultivate that pretty well to blow off the King of Sweden.
  • Ryan Lochte doesn’t know what Yom Kippur is. Ryan Lochte doesn’t know what a lot of things are. I kind of wish that after he theorized that it was “Jewish Thanksgiving,” someone had tried to explain Sukkot to him.
  • I’m never quite sure how to frame stories about assisted suicide and the right to die. More people need to think seriously about death; more people need to laud the bravery and compassion of those who risk prosecution and imprisonment to give people better deaths than their diseases would. There needs to be less of a stigma surrounding depression as a “cowardly” thing and more recognition of it as a result of some terrible kinds of illness. (I do, however, quite loathe the phrase “death with dignity.” I’ve seen a little bit of death and there’s no fucking dignity in it. But other people have had experiences that I haven’t, as tends to happen.)
  • This Week in Leaving on a Calming Note: I didn’t know the hammered dulcimer was particularly challenging (aside from the challenge of any instrument, I mean), but it is beautiful as hell.