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  Quick Links for January 2020

The 50 best car commercials of all time. About half of these are for Volkswagen.  twitter.com
An immersive multimedia presentation of the Sherlock Holmes adventure, A Scandal in Bohemia. "To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name."  sherlock.paravelinc.com
The 1917 trailer but with Spongebob Squarepants  youtube.com
The World Health Organization declares coronavirus a global health emergency, but they "warned governments not to impose travel or trade restrictions on China".  theguardian.com
A list of the brand-new emoji characters, including disguised face, beaver, pinched fingers gesture (yo @AOC), fondue, toilet plunger, and transgender flag.  unicode.org
Royalty Exchange is an online marketplace for buying and selling the rights to music royalties. A 10-yr contract for Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys just sold for $190,500.  royaltyexchange.com
In 2019, more Americans went to the library than to the movies. "Visiting the local library remains by far the most common cultural activity Americans engage in."  lithub.com
The logo for the US Space Force is an embarrassing amalgam of Star Trek's Starfleet logo and elements copied directly from the NASA logo.  underconsideration.com
John Gruber: The iPad Awkwardly Turns 10. "Great though it is in so many ways, overall it has fallen so far short of the grand potential it showed on day one."  daringfireball.net
Men’s legacies vs women’s safety. "If Bryant’s fans are looking for a way to reconcile their love and grief with the accusation, one way would be to consider this apology as a sign of someone who seemed to be taking stock of the hurt he caused."  gen.medium.com
"For growing numbers of people the weekend is an emotional wilderness where interaction is minimal and social life non-existent." Much of this resonated with me.  theguardian.com
What the...? Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway (and many other more useful inventions), also invented the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine (the one w/ 160+ flavors)?!  probiotic.com
The Spotted Pig is closing. Am I reading between the lines correctly that Friedman is closing it down so he doesn’t have to pay his victims?  grubstreet.com
"Due to its 220km/sec orbital motion around the milky way, the solar system is now over 1200 years younger than the center of our galaxy."  twitter.com
Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna have died in a helicopter crash. The former NBA star was 41.  theguardian.com
Test your current events geography knowledge: Can you point to Ukraine on this map?  observablehq.com
Horrible news: the entire collection of the Museum of Chinese in America in NYC's Chinatown is feared lost in a fire – "85,000 items, some dating to the 19th century, told the rich story of the Chinese migration to the United States..."  nytimes.com
I'm not going to say anything about this video other than it's quite NSFW and a look into a subculture that's not often represented on this site.  youtube.com
Are You Ready to Have Friends With Kids? "Once you have friends with kids, your life is no longer about you. It’s about your friends’ kids."  newyorker.com
Clayton Christensen, most well-known for his theories about disruptive innovation, has died aged 67. I had a brief chat w/ him several years ago; he was a genuinely nice person.  theverge.com
Despite all its issues, YouTube is a nearly unmatched repository of humanity's accumulated knowledge – you can learn about everything from quantum mechanics to re-keying door locks.  a.wholelottanothing.org
The NY Times profiles 21 people who have quit something (job, sex, cars, church, friendships). Quitting things is underrated.  nytimes.com
Some advice on escaping the trap of "losing weight" and how to approach the issues you have with your body in a more healthy way.  vice.com
Google's ads look just like the search results now. The company hasn't been a "search engine" for a long time now, but the takeover of the company by biz dev & sales folks is complete.  theverge.com
Updates on and an explainer about the Wuhan coronavirus, which has infected 600+ people and killed 18 so far. This is the not-fun part about being in Asia right now...  nytimes.com
“PBS NewsHour co-founder Jim Lehrer, a giant in journalism known for his tenacity and dedication to simply delivering the news, died peacefully in his sleep at home on Thursday, at the age of 85.”  pbs.org
Teens are swapping AirPods and "talking" to each other during class using text-to-speech  boingboing.net
Low carbon travel: going from Hamburg to Vancouver by cargo ship & train  theguardian.com
A list of 1000 audiobooks that are free to listen to  openculture.com
Boing Boing is celebrating 20 years online. 20 years! Congrats @frauenfelder @doctorow @xeni @beschizza and the rest of the gang!  boingboing.net
An ant colony has memories that its individual members don't have. Ants are fascinating.  aeon.co
As a society and as parents, we still don't know how to talk to teenage boys and young men about sex (and therefore they don't know how to talk about it w/ their partners).  nytimes.com
Billy Joel is not a big fan of We Didn't Start the Fire: "a terrible piece of music...it's like a dentist's drill".  twitter.com
"There are striking similarities between new-generation machine-learning technologies and how children learn skills in the absence of formal education."  blogs.scientificamerican.com
The 100 Most Popular Free Online Courses of 2019  classcentral.com
The National Archives admits they modified an exhibition photo of the 2017 Women's March by blurring out references to Trump and women's body parts (e.g. "This Pussy Grabs Back") on signs. No defense for this whatsoever.  washingtonpost.com
Season 3 of Slow Burn, hosted by @byjoelanderson, is about the murders of Tupac and Biggie. They made a playlist of music from the show on Spotify.  open.spotify.com
"Which of these 2020 Democrats agrees with you most?" I got Warren, followed by Sanders and Yang.  washingtonpost.com
The first in a year-long photo series on each of the 50 US states: Wyoming. The Beartooth Mountains, Devil's Tower, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Bighorns, Wind River...Wyoming might be the most beautiful state in the US.  theatlantic.com
Some photos of the daily life of a wilderness camp cook in Montana  imgur.com
Hank Azaria will no longer do the voice for Apu on The Simpsons  slashfilm.com
Charts depicting the growth of Apple over the past decade. In terms of revenue, "the Apple of January 2020 is roughly six times the size of the Apple of January 2010".  sixcolors.com
The simple joy of f***ing up in the kitchen. "The eight survivors from the original band of 40 [soup dumplings] were mediocre at best, a quiet final salvo in an unmitigated kitchen debacle."  actioncookbook.substack.com
The Tyranny of the Rocket Equation. "If our planet was 50% larger in diameter, we would not be able to venture into space, at least using rockets for transport."  nasa.gov
How New York's Bagel Union Fought – and Beat – a Mafia Takeover. "The union handled the Mafia the same way that it handled nearly all extreme issues with management: full public confrontation."  grubstreet.com
Concrete made by photosynthetic bacteria is alive, so it can theoretically repair itself  nytimes.com
Queens native Awkwafina to be the voice of the No. 7 subway train for a week. "This is 69th St, which is definitely, definitely not funny in any way."  nydailynews.com
Muji has taken their website offline for an entire month for "maintenance". The company's stock price has dropped sharply in the last month as well.  twitter.com
Season 3 of Mindhunter has been put on "indefinite hold" and the cast has been released from their contracts as David Fincher focuses on other projects. :(  deadline.com
Every Restaurant Playlist. "If you're eating even one small plate, you'll be hearing these songs."  open.spotify.com
Where you can buy the fake meats made by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods (grocery stores & restaurants)  vox.com
A collection of videos about the benefits of boredom. "When you're bored, you tend to daydream, and your mind wanders, and this is a very, very important part of the creative process."  openculture.com
The ten different types of movies, based on the posters. Includes "orange and blue action" and "leaning couple".  twitter.com
Yandex Image Search tool isn't just doing a reverse image search (like Google)...they appear to be using facial matching, allowing you to upload a photo of someone (even a non-public one) and determine their name.  nelsonslog.wordpress.com
This video is completely juvenile and inappropriate but also I laughed really hard  youtube.com
Recent discovery: the oldest material on Earth is literal stardust that's "as much as 7.5 billion years old"  bbc.com
10 pairs of British tabloid headlines comparing Meghan Markle to Kate Middleton. Markle, a woman of color, gets dragged for the same things that Middleton is praised for.  buzzfeednews.com
Alcohol is one of America's biggest public health & safety threats. Why isn't it treated as such? "Alcohol is the one drug almost universally accepted at social gatherings that routinely kills people."  theatlantic.com
Gallup poll: Only 84% of Americans say it's very or extremely important for parents to vaccinate their kids. And 46% are unsure if vaccines cause autism.  news.gallup.com
In 1992, a football rule was changed: the goalkeeper couldn't pick up a backpass from a teammate. This small change revolutionized the game. Keepers & defenders became more skilled w/ the ball & possession gained importance.  99percentinvisible.org
"People worry about how much land we'd need to supply the US with clean energy...[it's] roughly comparable to the area we currently use for maple syrup or golf. A square about 100-120 miles per side."  twitter.com
How one librarian effectively banned Goodnight Moon from the NYPL for 25 years. "If Anne Carroll Moore didn't like a book, she could effectively kill it."  slate.com
Ice fishing in Kazakhstan with a trident/pitchfork  twitter.com
Why does every website now ask you to accept its cookies? And is this helping improve our online privacy?  vox.com
Criminals are using virtual goods in games like Counter-Strike to launder real money. "Buying and reselling digital goods is a popular way for financial criminals to cash out from identity theft."  theguardian.com
Gaming nerds: the code for VVVVVV has been open sourced  distractionware.com
Adam Driver is a national treasure  youtube.com
An exploration of The Boys Who Wear Shorts All Winter, a subset of the widespread tween/teen practice of underdressing for winter.  theatlantic.com
"Putting 3-D glasses on a cuttlefish is not the simplest task ever performed in the service of science."  nytimes.com
A continuously updated list of longreads from the editors of The Morning News  themorningnews.org
If you don't run across many folks who identify as nonbinary, today's trending #IAmNonbinary tag is a good way to meet some. Thanks to those sharing their stories!  twitter.com
An HBO adaptation of Bong Joon Ho's Parasite is in the works. "It is unclear if the limited series will be some sort of follow-up to the movie or an English-language remake."  hollywoodreporter.com
Twitter plans on allowing people to limit who can reply to certain tweets.  theverge.com
Around 700 speakers of the rare Nepalese Seke language remain in the world and roughly 50 of them live in one apartment building in Brooklyn.  nytimes.com
Sequin, an iOS app that "lets you touch/brush colorful sequins". You can change the sequins' colors and turn photos into sequined patterns. $0.99.  apps.apple.com
The New-York Historical Society has acquired Robert Caro's papers. "I want people to be able to see how I gather my material and how I turn it into books, how I write."  nytimes.com
Foster Kamer worked the soulless job of "taking reservations for a gaggle of top-tier Manhattan restaurants" but managed to create just a little humanity & tenderness along the way.  gossamer.co
The incredibly long CVS receipts, but make it fashion  etsy.com
An imagined report from 2030 on how we ended the climate emergency. "We will finally reach peak global emissions. We will finally stop accelerating towards our own destruction."  thecorrespondent.com
I think this is a 3D video constructed entirely from photographs (photogrammetry) and it is stunningly detailed.  twitter.com
Photos of Kennecott Mines, an Alaskan ghost town that was abandoned after the copper mines were depleted in 1938  theatlantic.com
A collection of "giant glowing musical seesaws" have been set up in the middle of the street on Broadway in NYC Garment District for people to ride until Feb 3rd.  gothamist.com
Kylo Ren's fractured helmet and the Japanese art of kintsugi (broken pottery repair with visible "scars"). "The idea is to treat the breakage of the piece as a part of its history, instead of something to hide."  nerdist.com
Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation, has died of complications of cancer at the age of 52.  washingtonpost.com
A visit to the Uncut Gems pop-up store in the Diamond District. They had the gem Furbys, bottles of water, and movie merch for sale. Really wish I coulda seen this.  youtube.com
"If women have made so many substantive gains in the last 50 years, why are we less happy?"  vox.com
My pal @craigmod loves to walk. Recently, he walked 600 miles across Japan on a quest for old-style Japanese cafes and their signature dish, pizza toast (which Mod calls "a hug produced in a toaster oven").  eater.com
1923 is a zine publication of works from that year that have entered the public domain due to copyright expiration. "If we don't engage with the public domain, we can't truly feel its value."  1923.press
Current listen: the trippy wonderful soundtrack to Uncut Gems  open.spotify.com
TIL that Billie Eilish and her brother/musical partner were homeschooled. "I never went to school, so popular was never a thing for me. I don't understand peer pressure."  austinkleon.com
10 Bathrooms You Should Pee in Before You Die  atlasobscura.com
An analysis of which emoji scissors close finds that most of them won't actually cut anything.  wh0.github.io
A well-annotated list of @heyitsnoah's favorite reads of 2019  noahbrier.com
Eat a Peach is a memoir by chef David Chang that will be out later this year. "David Chang opened a noodle restaurant in Manhattan's East Village that should not have survived its first, misbegotten year."  amazon.com
A physicist from Caltech is closing in on a grand unified theory ... of snowflakes. "Although ice is especially weird, similar questions arise in condensed matter physics more generally."  quantamagazine.org
Open Culture has a good roundup of all the music, books, and movies that entered the public domain on 1/1/2020, including Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Forster's A Passage to India.  openculture.com
IRS Reforms Free File Program, Drops Agreement Not to Compete With TurboTax. Good on ProPublica for their reporting pressuring the IRS into this.  propublica.org
It's 2020. You're old. "Remember when Jurassic Park, The Lion King, and Forrest Gump came out in theaters? Closer to the moon landing than today."  waitbutwhy.com
"The fire – which we have used in our homes for over 400,000 years – remains the most versatile and sustainable household technology that humanity has ever known."  lowtechmagazine.com
My Half-Hour with Einstein. "So you're studying at Princeton. Would you like to meet Einstein?"  rhromer.people.amherst.edu
Always a good read from @austinkleon: 100 things that made my year (2019)  austinkleon.com
December 2019 Archives »