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. Do you have a link you want to see featured in next week’s Wednesday Walk? Email Glenn!
- This Week in Christmas Celebrations from Around the World: The Nazis didn’t want to support the whole “peace on earth and goodwill toward men” thing, and celebrating the birth of a Jewish character from a book mostly about Jews would have been pretty awkward. The solution, of course, was for Nazi ideology to assimilate Christmas the way Christian ideology assimilated the winter-solstice celebration in the first place. Recast Santa as a white guy descended from the pagan gods, celebrate the Führer, and celebrate the Reich!
- We all know how to celebrate Christmas the proper way, of course. (Not being a Nazi is only part of it!) And that’s by taking in a performance of A Klingon Christmas Carol. You haven’t heard Dickens until you’ve heard him in the original Klingon.
- Another way to celebrate it, of course, is to not. Happy Thursday. But even if you don’t believe, you can rest easy that the defense infrastructure has its eyes on Santa.
- Craig Ferguson has ended his late-night show after a decade on the air. He was many things, including someone to point to as a recovering alcoholic with a successful career. Careful, Icarus.
- Rick Derringer is all old now, and probably should not be doing new performances of “Real American.” Is this what it’s like for someone who really loves the Stones to see footage from a new concert?
- The snow drawings of Colorado are a profound reminder that our forebears’ artistic vision was grand and wide-sweeping, and a sign of the mystery that remains in our world. Some see them as a sign of alien influence, assuming that nobody could have made them with their feet on the ground. They’ll remain an enigma for generations, or until spring.
- Anderson Cooper recently found out that his great-great-great-great-grandfather was beaten to death with a farm tool by one of his slaves, and his reaction is spot on: “He had twelve slaves. I don’t feel bad for him.”
- The Lions have won every game they’ve played since a security camera caught a couple of fans rimming in the parking lot (NSFW). It’s good luck for everyone!
- Amazon briefly removed a book from its site because it had too many hyphens. I now know I can never sell a book on Amazon.
- One for the comics crew: a sexy Aquaman pinup! (NSFW, maybe? There’s no nudity, but plenty of beefcake.)
- Lots of people who ought to know what they’re talking about don’t think North Korea was behind all this Sony business. And really, the people saying North Korea did it are…the FBI? How’ve they been doing with international intelligence in the last fifteen years or so? (Standard disclaimer: I don’t actually know anything; I’m not a conspiracy theorist; I’m just some douche on a website.)
- The Curiosity rover has found what NASA geologists think are signs of an ancient Martian lakebed.
- This Week in Music: Greensleeves, as performed by three terrifying, tuneless, inhuman child-mouths.
- Meme people: where are they now? Have no fear, the “how many does it cost” guy still looks like Quentin Tarantino.
- A class-action lawsuit claims that Apple deleted songs from people’s Ipods if it wasn’t bought from Apple.
- This Week in Data Crunching: the most unique words in the titles of top selling songs, broken down by decade. Just halfway through, the 2010s are already humming along with the excellent “Hell yeah, we die, fuck.” Look at past decades, though. We have hardly any songs about the moon any more, or old uncle Reuben.
- Sanora Babb was a journalist who saw her hometown turned upside-down by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, worked with struggling farmers, and in her private time made notes for a novel about her experiences. But her boss shared her notes with John Steinbeck behind her back, and by the time Babb had finished her novel whose Names Are Unknown, Steinbeck had completely ripped her off and written The Grapes of Wrath.
- This Week in Our Horrifying World: Nepalese migrant workers building facilities for the 2022 Men’s World Cup are dying at a rate of one every two days; factor in deaths of workers from other places and that rate would be even higher. Tanisha Anderson’s family is still trying to get some solution from the legal system after her death at the hands of the Cleveland police.
- On a lighter note, if you need a conversation piece for holiday parties, make up a batch of cookies with cuneiform text carved into them.
And now, the third installment of the Wednesday Walk whirlwind tour of the best of the wednesday Walk in 2014:
- Hey, remember the giant armadillos who were hunted to extinction by humans ten thousand years ago because their shells were big enough to take shelter in? Wild stuff.
- John Howe and Alan Lee have had their crack at production design for The Hobbit. When they reboot the J.R.R. Tolkien Cinematic Universe in ten years, how about they take the Soviets as inspiration?
- Don’t Google yourself.
- The popular consciousness has forgotten a lot about the murder of Kitty Genovese.
- There’s another installment of this best-of navel-gazing coming next week, but I can’t go another week without bringing back the ballad of Shia LaBeouf. It’s incredibly beguiling; two months after its debut it still occupies the mind with many delights that demand repeated returns. Legendary fight with Shia LaBeouf — normal Tuesday night for Shia LaBeouf.
Happy Wednesday, PTB Nationals!