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  Quick Links for August 2021

Tim Carmody on what Amazon is allowed and not allowed to do with their Lord of the Rings prequel series. "Amazon's series will have to be consistent with the Tolkien canon, while...drawing on the vaguest, least detailed portion of it".  amazonchronicles.substack.com
Teen saves bumblebee, who becomes her friend. "She's so fluffy and I love our friendship."  cornwalllive.com
My COVID Parenting Has Reached Peak Inconsistency. "Honestly, I have no idea what I'm OK letting my kids do anymore." Same same. And it's not just Covid precautions – it's devices, bedtimes, food, sports practices, schoolwork...  slate.com
A short chronology of the early days of the telescope. (Spoiler alert: Galileo didn't invent the telescope and wasn't even the first to use it for astronomical purposes.)  thonyc.wordpress.com
Love seeing this sort of accuracy in headlines: "South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem Joins Fellow Republicans in Quest to Kill Her Constituents".  vanityfair.com
Textile Artists File Their Nails in Tiny Grooves for Traditional Japanese Weaving Technique. Functional body mods.  thisiscolossal.com
An interview with Philip Glass about original compositions that were generated by an AI trained on a corpus of his music. "I think this is not a disaster. It's the beginning of something. It's the beginning of something."  auderdy.com
Gastropod did a fascinating two-part series on cannabis and edibles, covering everything from the early history to criminalization to decriminalization to attempts at increasing equity in the US cannabis industry.  gastropod.com
The Open Insulin Foundation has developed a process for producing insulin at scale for around $6 a vial but faces "potentially insurmountable legal and regulatory hurdles" in producing it.  hackaday.com
The theory of evolution is now accepted by a majority of Americans. Over the decade ending in 2019, the number increased from 40% to 54%. (GOP: 34%, Dem: 83%)  news.umich.edu
"I recently made a physical object that defies all intuition. It's a square of acrylic, smooth on both sides, totally transparent. A tiny window. But it has the magic property that if you shine a flashlight on it, it forms an image [of a cat]."  mattferraro.dev
Hospitals and Insurers Didn't Want You to See These Prices. Here's Why. "Hospitals are charging patients wildly different amounts for the same basic services: procedures as simple as an X-ray or a pregnancy test."  nytimes.com
Great question: which died-too-young artist would you grant 50 more productive years to? Basquiat? Aaliyah? Mozart? Robert Johnson? Janis Joplin? River Phoenix? Selena? Notorious BIG? James Dean?  twitter.com
Trailer for Foundation (Apple+ series). "Based on the award-winning novels by Isaac Asimov, Foundation chronicles a band of exiles on their monumental journey to save humanity and rebuild civilization amid the fall of the Galactic Empire."  youtube.com
The remains of Josephine Baker will be reinterred at the Pantheon in Paris, the final resting place of many French luminaries. She'll be the first Black woman to be so honored.  apnews.com
Which players carried their teams the most during the NBA Finals? (Do you even need to guess it's LeBron?)  pudding.cool
Zeynep Tufekci is joining the NY Times as an opinion columnist. Her pandemic coverage has been essential.  nytco.com
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has received full approval from the FDA.  fda.gov
An Oral History of Adam Sandler, Pickup Basketball Legend. "Literally, it looked like he had them clothes since the 1990s, like literally the 1990s."  melmagazine.com
This new astronomy museum in Shanghai looks spectacular. "The museum features stunning projections and display work, and a starry sky interior that makes you feel like you’re floating in space."  mossandfog.com
A short piece on what non-sports folks might appreciate about sports, like the chance to "closely observe people being incredibly (like world-outlier-level) intense about something".  cold-takes.com
I'm not into the schadenfreude about people tragically duped by media grifters, craven billionaires, and opportunist politicians, but this is a sobering collection of folks who were anti-mask, anti-vax, etc. and then died of Covid.  reddit.com
A visualization of dialup modem sounds. (Did anyone else lip sync along with the modem when connecting back in the day? I...often did.)  twitter.com
What I Learned While Eavesdropping on the Taliban. "I spent 600 hours listening in on the people who now run Afghanistan. It wasn't until the end of my tour that I understood what they were telling me."  theatlantic.com
Delta's rise is fuelled by rampant spread from people who feel fine. "People infected with the Delta variant generally do not have COVID-19 symptoms until two days after they start shedding the coronavirus."  nature.com
The trailer for King Richard, a biopic about the life of Richard Williams (Will Smith), the father of Venus & Serena Williams.  youtube.com
Legendary actor and martial artist Sonny Chiba has died of complications from Covid-19. He was 82 years old.  variety.com
Fun online quiz series from the New Yorker: Name Drop. "Can you guess the notable person in six clues or fewer?"  newyorker.com
The Highbrow Neanderthal. "Long before we arrived on the scene, Neanderthals were making artworks, developing elaborate rituals, and having adventurous sex."  growbyginkgo.com
It appears as though the Coen brothers are done making movies together, at least for now. "If these films were the product of a true, across-the-board collaboration, what essential element will be lost when Ethan is gone?"  thebulwark.com
Study: So far, vaccines have prevented nearly 140,000 COVID-19 deaths in the US.  nia.nih.gov
Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses, as E-mailed by Your Passive-Aggressive Co-Worker. "Just circling back to suggest that you maybe take a few minutes to ask yourself if you're a part of the problem?"  newyorker.com
This 3700-year-old tablet shows that the Babylonians were using Pythagorean calculations for the dimensions of right triangles 1000 years before Pythagoras was born.  interestingengineering.com
Parents in Mask-Free School Districts Are Freaking Out. A working single-parent friend is homeschooling her under-12 kid to start the year because her community is relatively low-vax and anti-mask (and school is unconcerned). Total shitshow.  theatlantic.com
This Is Not the Taliban 2.0. "Those who wish to avoid being force-fed their own testicles should probably not read too much into the kinder, gentler Taliban initiatives currently being implemented in Kabul."  theatlantic.com
Take a Trip to the LSD Museum, the Largest Collection of "Blotter Art" in the World.  openculture.com
Trees, a children's book written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Tiffany Bozic. Looks gorgeous!  bookshop.org
"In M.L.B.'s Beat the Streak game, fans build virtual lineups in hopes of topping Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. After 20 years, no one has won."  nytimes.com
The Living Wage Calculator from MIT. "We developed a living wage calculator to estimate the cost of living in your community or region based on typical expenses."  livingwage.mit.edu
Moderna is recruiting people for initial human trials for their mRNA-based HIV vaccine.  them.us
"Maki Kaji, a university dropout who turned a numbers game into one of the world's most popular logic puzzles and became known as the 'Godfather of Sudoku,' died on Aug. 10 at his home in Tokyo. He was 69."  nytimes.com
Your Holiday Gatherings Should Have Vaccine Mandates. "Your unvaccinated relatives should not be invited to Thanksgiving."  slate.com
US government will offer Covid vaccine booster shots 8 months after the second shot to bolster immunity vs. the Delta variant.  nytimes.com
An interview with Beyoncé, on the cusp of her 40th birthday. "I'm at a point where I no longer need to compete with myself. I have no interest in searching backwards. The past is the past."  harpersbazaar.com
An appreciation of the board game hit Wingspan. "The game has really tamped down my competitive drive. I've found that during the hour or so it takes to play, I rarely have any sense whether I'm winning or losing."  slate.com
"Lorde's phone, set to grayscale, now has no internet browser; she is locked out of her social-media apps, with others handling the passwords; and a coder friend even made YouTube inaccessible on her laptop."  nytimes.com
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Don't Be a Schmuck. Put on a Mask. "Many people told me that the Constitution gives them rights, but not responsibilities. They feel no duty to protect their fellow citizens."  theatlantic.com
Rio Ferdinand explains why Premier League players will be taking the knee before matches this season. "Racism never went away."  premierleague.com
Based on data from the NOAA, "July was Earth’s hottest month on record".  noaa.gov
If Restaurants Can Build a Sidewalk Shed, They Can Accommodate Disabled Diners.  eater.com
"He says statistic that makes you feel better. But then he says — and here's the kicker — statistic that makes you feel worse. 0.01%. But then 5%. You are high on the toilet at the bar. You are desperately sad."  twitter.com
If the Delta variant means that almost everyone will get Covid at some point (even if vaccinated), we should be much more concerned about long Covid.  theguardian.com
NextDraft's Dave Pell wrote a book about hellish and historic 2020 news cycle: Please Scream Inside Your Heart.  bookshop.org
I've been watching episodes of the original Iron Chef on this Twitch channel. Allez Cuisine! (Are they available on streaming anywhere else?)  twitch.tv
This is not-so-good news: the results of multiple studies indicate "waning immunity for mRNA vaccines vs Delta infections". There are caveats; read the thread for details.  twitter.com
Nestflix, a faux streaming service of fake movies and TV shows that only appear within other movies and TV shows. Like Angels with Filthy Souls (Home Alone), McBain (The Simpsons), and The Dirk Diggler Story (Boogie Nights).  nestflix.fun
So You Think You Can Dance, baseball edition. This is one of the smoothest athletic moves I've ever seen.  twitter.com
"Writing didn't serve the purpose I wanted it to, which was to fix the fundamentally broken relationship between myself and other people. Reading – slowly, over decades – did."  newyorker.com
"Small rural communities high in the Andes, many of which do not have regular access to law enforcement to resolve disputes, settle their scores once a year in a public arena, with their fists."  nytimes.com
"A toast sandwich is a British sandwich made with two slices of bread in which the filling is a thin slice of toasted bread, which may be heavily buttered. An 1861 recipe says to add salt and pepper to taste." WT Actual F?  en.wikipedia.org
Ohio Court Sentences Black Woman to 18 Months in Prison the Day After Giving White Woman Probation for Same Crime. The white woman stole $238,000 and the Black woman $40,000.  theroot.com
A guide to the rocks and minerals of Minecraft.  mindat.org
This morning I'm channeling the good vibes of this 73-year-old daily skateboarder.  instagram.com
Hyperobjects are "objects that are so massively distributed in time and space as to transcend spatiotemporal specificity, such as global warming, styrofoam, and radioactive plutonium".  en.wikipedia.org
Serious Eats' Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice With White Sauce. Might try this one of these days; I miss my occasional Rafiqi's meal.  seriouseats.com
VaxYes is a free, secure, verified vaccine passport that you can add to Apple Wallet on your phone. (You need an ID and your vax card...I just did this and it took less than 5 minutes.)  gogetdoc.com
In a recent comparison of the health care systems of 11 high-income countries, the US came in last "despite spending far more of its gross domestic product on health care". Embarrassing and deadly.  commonwealthfund.org
Take this divergent association test. "Please enter 10 words that are as different from each other as possible, in all meanings and uses of the words."  datcreativity.com
It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers: now in book form!  bookshop.org
Fingerspelling – learn the signs for the ABCs in American Sign Language with the help of machine learning (it analyzes your hand shapes via webcam). This works really well!  fingerspelling.xyz
50 out of 50.  buzzfeed.com
What should be the next amendment to the Constitution? Removing the "punishment for crime" exception of the 13th Amendment would be a good start.  nytimes.com
A panel of boomers answers questions from gen Z. "Do you think young people are overly sensitive and privileged?"  theguardian.com
"The Atlantic Ocean's current system...could be weakening to such an extent that it could soon bring big changes to the world's weather." (The Day After Tomorrow is a documentary.)  reuters.com
Bauhaus poster generator.  tool.graphics
Useful rule of thumb: It's Not a Self-Driving Car Unless You Can Sleep In It.  groundtruthautonomy.com
Taking some Italians to an NYC Olive Garden. "'There is an Italian phrase,' said Marco after we ordered our food. '"Li ti avvelenano", which translates to "there they will poison you." This is my prediction for the night.'"  tripout.online
Epidemiologist Ellie Murray runs through the math to see how various interventions will fare in the US w/r/t to the delta variant of Covid-19. The much higher R0 for delta is the driving force here.  twitter.com
"The very role and meaning of libraries relies on their right to own books, because books that can expire are books that can disappear permanently — books that can be taken away."  thenation.com
Wow, Lionel Messi is leaving FC Barcelona (confirmed by the club).  fcbarcelona.com
Why medieval city-builder video games are historically inaccurate. "Any gameplay loop that tells a story of linear settlement growth is incongruent with how a medieval economy worked."  leidenmedievalistsblog.nl
Is the Viral "Red Dress" Music Video a Sociological Experiment? Performance Art? Or Something Else?  openculture.com
"It's just that trees are super fuckin queer."  twitter.com
If you need a little break today, may I suggest watching this video of a single kidney bean that belonged to Charles Darwin being meticulously cleaned for conservation?  twitter.com
I Appreciate When Men Interrupt Me Even If I'm Trying to Tell Them There's a Fire.  mcsweeneys.net
Black Cyclists Are Stopped More Often Than Whites, Police Data Shows.  bicycling.com
Kate Winslet Says 'Some Very Cool Ideas' Now Exist for 'Mare of Easttown' Season 2. Quoting Han Solo: "I got a bad feeling about this."  indiewire.com
Juliette Kayyem: Flying is not a right and unvaccinated people should be on the no-fly list. "While flying, vaccinated people should no longer carry the burden for unvaccinated people."  theatlantic.com
According to a KFF poll conducted in July, 75% of Americans who say they definitely won't get the vaccine believe that getting the vaccine is riskier than becoming infected with Covid-19.  kff.org
Narrative nonfiction master Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City, The Splendid and the Vile) is coming out with his first work of fiction, an audiobook-only novella called No One Goes Alone.  nytimes.com
There are three different types of fun. "Type 2 fun is miserable while it's happening, but fun in retrospect."  rei.com
The diamond-water paradox in economics. We need water to live so it's more valuable but diamonds are more expensive. Why is that?  npr.org
Flying toasters in CSS.  bryanbraun.com
Mark Rober built a robot that can set up dominos really quickly.  youtube.com
Here's where we're at with space elevators. "The Space Elevator has been a dream of scientists for centuries. A new design may finally make it a reality — at least, by the next century."  mashable.com
Since the January 6th attack on Congress, four police officers who responded to the insurrection at the Capitol have died by suicide.  nbcnews.com
paint everything everywhere! This is a super-fun little game.  puzzlescript.net
For many, the belated realization that Covid will be ‘a long war’ sparks anger and denial.  statnews.com
The new Tesla Plaid Model S is so so ridiculously fast. As my son would say, "it's OP".  youtube.com
Pro tip: always close your font sizing HTML tags.  web.archive.org
John Oliver on "the long history of housing discrimination in the U.S., the damage it's done, and, crucially, what we can do about it".  youtube.com
This is important to keep in mind: "Who Are the Unvaccinated in America? There's No One Answer."  nytimes.com
Cookie Monster Chase is a Pac-Man-style game available to play on the official Sesame Street site.  sesamestreet.org
New climate study: heatwaves are going to get more likely. "From 2051 to 2080, those prolonged, record-breaking events are expected to become three to 21 times more probable than they were in the past."  theverge.com
"Dogs tend to poop aligned north-south. [...] How do the scientists know? Because during magnetic storms, dogs poop any which way."  interconnected.org
July 2021 Archives »