Web Miscellany: Compilation #79

Hello dear friend! How are you? How has you week been? My partner’s ten-year-old nephew got banned from PlayStation for “erotic or pornographic images,” but he claims he just wrote penis a lot… I don’t buy it and am dying of curiosity. I’ve been experience anaphylaxis all week, though I can’t pinpoint the cause. My father-in-law may have cancer and my aunt may have Parkinson’s disease, and the waiting is a bit stressful. My department head put in her notice, so work has been frantic and demanding. All-in-all, it’s been a very long week.

What are your plans for the week ahead? I have no plans for this weekend, and I can’t wait. Except the library. I have more books ready for pickup because I can’t help myself.

I hope that your weekend and the week ahead are lovely and less blistering than Phoenix, and that you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and healthy. Here are a few links from around the web. Feel free to share anything interesting you’ve stumbled upon in the comments.


  1. Food for thought: “Writing isn’t so bad really when you get through the worry. Forget about the worry, just press on. Don’t be embarrassed about the bad bits. Don’t strain at them. … Writing can be good. You attack it, don’t let it attack you. You can get pleasure out of it. You can certainly do very well for yourself with it!” — Douglas Adams
  2. From the archives: We Need to Stop Trying To Protect Everyone’s Feelings. “Our lives are built of symbols. Books, statues, and people offer us new perspectives in the world as is was in the past, the world as it is at present time, and the world as it could be in an idyllic future. Every controversial relic contain wisdom, which each person has the power to distill and apply within their own reality.”
  3. An interesting obituary: “Claire [Weiner] was one of the first babies born during the Manhattan Project; the address on her birth certificate was a post office box.” My grandfather worked as a chemical engineer on the Manhattan Project, so I’ve always been deeply fascinated by the topic. Despite both coming from well-to-do families and having successful careers, my grandmother was denied a Sear’s credit card because she couldn’t answer the question, “What does your husband do?”
  4. On a millennials-old massacre: “Around 6,200 years ago, 41 people in what is now Croatia were killed and buried in a mass grave, and members of their own community may have murdered them, according to new analysis of the remains.” From Livescience.
  5. On human progress: Six key drivers of humanity’s progress—computing, communications, information, energy, water, and transportation—are headed toward zero cost. That means we can plan on being able to throw as much of these resources as we need to address any problem.
  6. An intriguing cuisine: Nikkei refers to Japanese people living outside of Japan. This term has been expanded to include the innovative cuisine that results when you merge traditional Peruvian ingredients and Japanese cuisine. I enjoy cultural fusions and would love to try this!
  7. On biometrics & architecture: “In this study, she used biometric software to reveal the hidden, pre-attentive traits that determine our architectural experience, showing how much pattern, color, areas of contrast, and different materials draw the eye instantly, which in turn directs our conscious behavior and experience of buildings.” Fascinating study: The Case Against All-Glass Facades. Similarly, the KunstlerCast podcast chats with architect and neuroscientist Ann Sussman about buildings, streets, and cities.
  8. On DIY lies: I love making things. It is a blast, and it is generally quite expensive… and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. 5 Lies About DIYing I’m Seriously Sick of Hearing from Bitches Get Riches.
  9. A sci-fi short story: Short, satisfying and mildly disconcerting story, courtesy of Reddit. Tangentially, have you read Andy Weir’s The Egg? I read it as it was posted back in 2009 and it still astonishes me. I’m currently reading The Year’s Best Science Fiction Vol. 1 anthology and I am simultaneously excited by the novelty and deeply saddened by the writers’ projections of future human (cruel, evil, and self-serving), though I suspect they’re correct in their estimations.
  10. On spontaneous synchronization: In this video, Veritasium explains why and how spontaneous synchronization appears all the time in the physical world. Fascinating!

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