Quick Links for October 2021

The FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11.  fda.gov
Meet a few of the people keeping the tradition of cemetery headstone carving alive. (The last name of one of the artisan families profiled is "Coffin".)  atlasobscura.com
Just sent out the first @kottke newsletter in awhile. Read it here!  mailchi.mp
Fun thread of "you look like Tony Hawk" celebrity encounters. The Dave Matthews fans moving furniture with Dave Matthews & "Kimberly Deal like the Breeders" stories are the best.  twitter.com
Facebook changes its name to Meta. Yep. Meta. So dumb. No one is going to call it that. As for bringing the metaverse to life...good lord.  about.facebook.com
Using paper airplanes, a smoke-filled room, and a slow motion camera is a great way to observe wake turbulence, a phenomenon that happens with even the largest airliners.  youtube.com
"That SARS-CoV-2 could be with us forever is a dark thought. But pulling that mental lever may be just what we need to organize effectively for the very long haul, dramatically improve our pandemic response and embed safeguards into our everyday lives."  nytimes.com
Maria Popova's Brain Pickings blog just turned 15 and now has a new name: The Marginalian. "A challenge arises when we make something over a long period of time."  themarginalian.org
Poll Finds Most Americans Would Swap Democracy For $100 Best Buy Gift Card.  theonion.com
Notable Native People, a book that profiles "50 indigenous leaders, dreamers, and changemakers from past and present", including Tommy Orange, Jim Thorpe, Twyla Baker, and Wilma Mankiller.  bookshop.org
If you end up on the 404 File Not Found page on the Financial Times' website, you get economics jokes.  ft.com
David Grann has adapted his excellent Killers of the Flower Moon for middle grade readers. You can preorder now – it ships in mid-Nov.  bookshop.org
A new variant of SARS-CoV-2 has evolved: Delta Plus. It's slightly more transmissible than Delta, "a marginal difference that experts say is more of a headache than a devastating gamechanger in the scope of the pandemic".  statnews.com
Before he became a famous actor, Timothée Chalamet had a small YouTube channel where he showed off custom paint jobs he did for Xbox 360 controllers. No, really!  vice.com
Hmmm, new Kindle Paperwhite. Bigger screen, USB-C charging, faster, adjustable light. There's also a "Signature" version that can charge wirelessly.  amazon.com
The Beishan Broadcasting Wall in Kinmen, Taiwan was a massive three-story speaker system built to broadcast anti-Communist messages to China.  bbc.com
Wow, Photoshop in a web browser. It's a beta and only works in Chrome, but still.  web.dev
FDA advisory panel recommends emergency authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine for kids aged 5-11. So many parents I know are waiting for authorization...  theguardian.com
MSCHF bought an original Andy Warhol drawing for $20,000, created 999 copies, and sold all of them for $250 each. One lucky buyer will get the original but "any record of which piece within the set is the original has been destroyed".  moforgeries.org
I've been enjoying dipping into Gastro Obscura, a globetrotting food guide from the folks at @atlasobscura. "Take a whirlwind tour of more than 500 unexpected dishes, unique ingredients, and fascinating culinary traditions from around the world."  bookshop.org
A helicopter tour of Antarctica, from McMurdo to the Dry Valleys.  youtube.com
FYI, you can now post photos to Instagram from your desktop web browser. (Only to your timeline, not to Stories.)  9to5mac.com
The cult-like following around Tesla is becoming a problem.  slate.com
It's the 50th anniversary of the debut of The Electric Company on PBS. Here's a look back on the show's genesis and impact. I *loved* The Electric Company when I was a kid.  npr.org
The best bike is the one that's ridden.  vimeo.com
Let's get rid of loud & wasteful leaf blowers. "Hydrocarbon emissions from a half-hour of yard work with the two-stroke leaf blower are about the same as a 3,900-mile drive from Texas to Alaska in a [Ford F-150] Raptor."  nytimes.com
Sloths just want to have fun.  twitter.com
The original 1851 reviews of Moby-Dick. "This is an ill-compounded mixture of romance and matter-of-fact. The idea of a connected and collected story has obviously visited and abandoned its writer again and again in the course of composition."  lithub.com
Here's how to spot the methods of moral panic journalism. "Thousands upon thousands of words dedicated to the same arguments, the same low-stakes anecdotes, the same tortured historical analogies."  michaelhobbes.substack.com
Quiz: Marvel character or font?  marvel-or-font.web.app
Parents in Barcelona are cycling with their children to school en masse – they're calling it bicibús (bike bus). "What a simple, light-weight way to convert existing streets into bike infrastructure."  twitter.com
How To Recognize When Tech Is Leading Us Down a 'Slippery Slope'. Such arguments are often BS, but if technology makes something significantly cheaper/faster/easier and incentives for misuse are high, then maybe it's time to pay attention.  onezero.medium.com
How finger counting gives away your nationality. "In parts of the Middle East like Iran, they begin with the pinky, whereas in Japan they start with the fingers extended in an open palm, drawing them in to make a closed fist."  bbc.com
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who defined and popularized the psychological concept of flow, has died at the age of 87.  facebook.com
The Art of Not Taking Things Personally. Emotional generosity ("the ability to see past behaviours that we don't understand and proactively look for compassionate ways to explain them") seems difficult to practice these days.  medium.dave-bailey.com
The Case for Quitting. "There is a significant penalty that comes with staying the course. Powering through is often passive. What you're doing is avoiding the harder thing, which is confronting the uncertainty of change."  nytimes.com
The Moon is very slowly ghosting the Earth. "About 600 million years from now, the moon will orbit far enough away that humankind will lose one of its oldest cosmic sights: total solar eclipses."  theatlantic.com
Visualization of how the longest running TV shows were rated by viewers over time. IMDB rankings are notoriously inconsistent, but this is still interesting.  flowingdata.com
An interesting look by @zeynep of the unvaccinated in the US. A leading indicator is not politics or conspiracy thinking but regular access to healthcare and health insurance. For 65+ folks, Medicare access beats Fox News scaremongering.  nytimes.com
In-N-Out is pushing back on SF's vaccine mandate for indoor dining. "We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government." Oh please...businesses enforce all sorts of govt rules related to customers – over 21 for alcohol, etc.  sfchronicle.com
Ricky Jay's collection of magical memorabilia is going up for auction later this month. "In keeping with his interest in fraud, for example, Jay also collected spirit photographs..."  nytimes.com
"Facebook is planning to change its company name next week to reflect its focus on building the metaverse..." Metaverse? In this economy? Did they move April Fools to mid October?  theverge.com
The 75 Best Movies of the 1920s. Buster Keaton, Luis Buñuel, Fritz Lang, and Teinosuke Kinugasa all figure in the top 20.  pastemagazine.com
The Calm Line. "A new hotline in Bogotá takes calls from men struggling with jealousy, control and fear – and challenges long-held assumptions about masculinity."  nytimes.com
Some of the oddest and most interesting electric vehicles for sale on Alibaba, including a fake Lamborghini, a 60mph standing scooter (of death!), a duck boat, a mobile house, and a submarine.  electrek.co
A fully vaccinated Colin Powell, who had blood cancer, has died of Covid-19. "Powell's death doesn't illustrate the futility of vaccines...but the importance of everyone getting vaccinated to protect society's most vulnerable."  slate.com
Ibram X. Kendi on The Second Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Ever since his death, King's work has been twisted into justifying actions and agendas he strongly opposed.  theatlantic.com
The 200 Best Albums of the Last 25 Years, According to Pitchfork Readers. Radiohead, Kanye, Kendrick, Lorde, LCD Soundsystem, Wilco, and Fiona Apple are all in the top 25.  pitchfork.com
A series of simulations that show how tiny differences in how women are undervalued in the workplace result in huge disparities in executive representation. It's basically the idea of compounding interest working against them.  nytimes.com
Here are the reasons for the "supply chain issues" plaguing the global economy. "A combination of Covid and bad luck has contributed to a complex mess that has no parallel in recent economic history."  bloomberg.com
Netflix & David Fincher are releasing a new series of "visual essays for the love of cinema". I'm excited because Tony Zhou & Taylor Ramos of Every Frame a Painting are involved!  engadget.com
On self-managed abortion using mail order medication. "Even in states with the strictest abortion laws, pregnant people have a safe, inexpensive option to terminate their pregnancies. But few know about it."  theatlantic.com
Estimating what Covid-19 is going to look like in the coming years – "perhaps 40k or 100k deaths per year in the US from COVID at endemic state".  twitter.com
Some thoughts from Nick Mohammed, the actor who plays Nathan Shelley on Ted Lasso, on his character's season two arc, which some viewers didn't buy (spoilers). "in my head Nate was transforming into José Mourinho!"  twitter.com
The Great Escape. "Follow Aaron Rolph's 2700km bikepacking trip up the United Kingdom, taking anything but the shortest route."  vimeo.com
Hollywood Age Gap: the age difference in years between love interests in Hollywood films. (Search "Woody Allen" for an unsurprising correlation.)  hollywoodagegap.com
In a "regret lottery", everyone is automatically entered but when the drawing happens, only people who took a certain action (like getting vaxxed) are eligible to actually win.  npr.org
Updating Disaster Films to Be More Realistic. Like Independence Day: "Humans continue to fight one another up to the moment that they are annihilated by hostile space aliens."  newyorker.com
The 9090-piece Titanic is the largest Lego set ever built (and retails for $630). "You can be blasé about some things, Rose, but not about Titanic. It's over 1500 more pieces than the Millennium Falcon and far more luxurious."  lego.com
Wendy's is teaming up with Kellogg's to release a breakfast cereal that "evokes the irresistible taste of a Wendy's Frosty".  foodbusinessnews.net
"'Black Lady Therapists' are still a TV trope. But now they have more depth." Thoughts on recent seasons of Ted Lasso, In Treatment, and The White Lotus.  npr.org
Making various things out of HTML checkboxes, including games, famous logos, animations, and real-time video filters. This is nuts!  bryanbraun.com
Holy crap, Michael Hobbes is leaving You're Wrong About. Epic, epic run...good luck w/ your future endeavors @RottenInDenmark!  buzzsprout.com
From David Remnick's new profile of Paul McCartney, the Beatle's appraisal of the Rolling Stones: "I’m not sure I should say it, but they’re a blues cover band, that’s sort of what the Stones are."  newyorker.com
This Is Your Kid's School and Even Though the Emergency Contact Form Lists Your Husband, We Need You, the Mom.  mcsweeneys.net
This was actually pretty entertaining.  twitter.com
A NY state drinking law prompted the creation of the world's worst sandwich. "It would be served to a guest with their beer or whiskey, then whisked away and given to someone else. A single Raines Sandwich might last the day, or even the whole week."  openculture.com
Feeling down in the dumps? Maybe go experience some awe. "Awe can reduce stress, help inflammation, increase creativity and sociability and make you happy."  theguardian.com
Here it is: the world's Worst Tweet Ever.  twitter.com
Remarkable trees from around the world, including the redwood, dragonblood trees, rainbow eucalyptus, and a massive rhododendron.  mossandfog.com
Pfizer officially asked the FDA to approve the use of their Covid-19 vaccine in kids aged 5-11. Loooottts of parents I know have been waiting impatiently for this.  apnews.com
The pop/rock singers with the biggest vocabularies include Bjork, Patti Smith, Thom Yorke, and Billie Eilish.  word.tips
Typing "random Pokemon curve" into Wolfram Alpha will return a plot of a Pokemon character and the equation for generating it.  wolframalpha.com
After 30+ years, legendary ski resort trail map painter James Niehues is retiring. "A good design is relevant for a few years, maybe even a decade. But a well-made map is used for generations."  jamesniehues.com
Flickr announces the Flickr Foundation to "to properly preserve and care for the Flickr Commons archive...and plan for the very long-term health and longevity of the entire Flickr collection".  flickr.org
Good news: the WHO has approved the first-ever malaria vaccine.  nytimes.com
A four-part series on How to Make Comics from MoMA and comics scholar Chris Gavaler.  moma.org
Bewilderment is Richard Powers' first book since his Pulitzer-winning The Overstory. "At its heart lies the question: How can we tell our children the truth about this beautiful, imperiled planet?"  bookshop.org
The first part of an FT series on "how the electric vehicle market is rapidly taking off" (in Europe). The charging situation in cities is going to need to get a lot better for widespread adoption of non-hybrid EVs.  ft.com
Incredible photo of the Milky Way shot on an iPhone 13 Pro Max. Indistinguishable from magic, etc.  twitter.com
I am pretty skeptical of this assertion about the pandemic in the US: "Barring something unexpected, I'm of the opinion that this is the last major wave of infection." I hope I'm wrong but the winter could be pretty tough.  nytimes.com
Sign o' the times: Google Maps is adding a permanent fire layer that will allow folks to "view the exact boundaries of a wildfire just as easily as you can look up the current traffic patterns".  arstechnica.com
Why Are Americans Still – Still! – Wearing Cloth Masks? "Much of our approach to the pandemic has changed in the past 18 months, our approach to masking largely has not. So why are we still strapping pieces of fabric to our face?"  theatlantic.com
A collection of James Bond animated GIFs.  giphy.com
Pitchfork went back and rescored some of their old reviews. Grimes got bumped down while Rilo Kiley and Daft Punk got bumped up.  pitchfork.com
A proposed Richter scale for network system outages. "2.0. Facebook down, Gmail down, Apple App Store down, HSBC contactless cards not working on London transport. Duration of shorter than a day."  interconnected.org
The three types of difficulty encountered when playing video games (roughly: rule comprehension, hand-eye coordination, strategy).  clivethompson.medium.com
The teaser trailer for HBO's new Game of Thrones prequel series, House Of The Dragon.  youtube.com
How many episodes should you watch of a new TV show before it fully reveals itself? (I've found that some of my favorite shows clicked in the third episode, incl. The Wire & Mad Men.)  theatlantic.com
When it comes to storms, hurricanes, and flooding, "water will go where water has always gone".  nytimes.com
On the Internet, We're Always Famous. "Never before in history have so many people been under the gaze of so many strangers."  newyorker.com
The official US death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic reaches 700,000, making it the deadliest pandemic in US history.  apnews.com
Live bird migration maps. Love looking at these every year.  birdcast.info
What's the weirdest question someone's ever asked you? "A guy once emailed me about how hard you'd have to fan a tornado to make it start spinning in the other direction..."  gallusrostromegalus.tumblr.com
During WWII, the staff at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens buried all of their statues and other antiquities. When the Nazis arrived to loot their treasure, they were greeted by an empty museum.  pappaspost.com
The Stories Behind 20 Inventions That Changed the World, including toilets, duct tape, radio, x-rays, and birth control pills.  mentalfloss.com
September 2021 Archives »