Link Roundups & LinkDumps · TV & Movies

Spy balloons, COVID, Roman concrete, homeschooling Nazis, & The Last of Us

So, a few quick things…

🎈 China apparently sent a “spy balloon” our way, which caused an American diplomat to cancel a scheduled trip to China. China claims the spy balloon (an objectively hilarious phrase, btw) was actually a civilian weather balloon. The balloon is the size of three busses, according to the linked article, and was floating along over fairly important stuff – “sensitive sites” and whatnot.

🦠 Older news, but some scientists studied the waste water on a bunch of flights and found COVID in 95.7% of the flights. This is from back six months ago or so, but still, not great. Have you been flying without wearing a mask? Stop that.

🏗️ Hey, so, one of those history mysteries that you hear about every once in awhile is about how Roman concrete lasts forever and no one has been able to figure out why. Like for real, ancient Roman concrete, the stuff they built roads and buildings and aquifers and whatnot from, just lasts and lasts. Some of that stuff is still being used today. And no one knew why their concrete lasted so long. But they just figured it out! How cool is that?

🏫 Here’s a phrase that’ll make your sphincter slam shut: “US Neo-Nazi Homeschool Network With Thousands of Members.” Yeah, so, that’s a thing. Why the fuck do we still allow home schooling? Like, the percentage of times that actually works, is good for the students, and results in a decent education has got to be in the decimal points, right?

🍄 The Last Of Us‘ third episode was absolutely amazing. It told this sweet, funny, heartbreaking little love story about a gay couple. I could gush for an hour about how good this episode was. The acting. The writing. The directing. The set dressing. The filming. Everything. It was so good, you guys. So of course some bunch of dicks online are mad about it.

I think we’re all aware by this point that there’s that one demographic, this cohort of jerks who show up to be loudly angry every time there’s someone besides a straight white dude in some nerd movie, TV show, game, or comic. I’m genuinely surprised I haven’t heard more about these jackasses being mad that Pedro Pascal is playing the lead, Joel, who’s a white dude in the game the show is based on. These are the same yahoos who were mad about the Captain Marvel movie and mad about the Star Wars sequels and mad about The Last of Us 2 (first game’s sequel) and mad about some other game I can’t remember the name of because the lead woman in the game wasn’t hot enough and just… my gawd these dudes are exhausting.

And the thing about them is, I don’t think think it’s a genuine demographic. Like, I’m sure there are plenty of little assholes out there who are mad there’s a trans person in their comic book or whatever, but I don’t think there’s this many, or that they’re this organized. I think this is more bot-supported “culture war” bullshit.

Y’all remember how that whole “Snyder Cut” Justice League bullshit turned out to be mostly bot-generated? Yeah. I think that’s happening a whole lot more often than we think it is, and I think that’s the reason why we keep having to hear these same dumbass arguments every time there’s a new nerd movie/TV show/game/comic with a woman/gay person/trans person/non-white person in it.

Anyway, if you’re not watching The Last of Us on HBO, you probably should be. It’s been pretty frickin’ amazing so far.