Link Roundups & LinkDumps

Friday Linkdump

First up, two very cool things you should definitely check out. One: Bill Watterson – yes, that Bill Watterson, the Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist – and John Kascht wrote a short book called The Mysteries that’s due out in October this year. Keep an eye out for that. Two: Here’s a cool review of a gas-powered car, written as if electric cars had come first and were the norm. It’s pretty amusing.

Secondly, I have a pile of interesting links saved up. You can keep yourself busy this weekend catching up on the news.

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.

Link Roundups & LinkDumps

Quick Links: Jan. 13

Today: climate change, the Trump Organization, RIP Lisa Marie Presley, the debt limit, and homelessness.

  1. The Guardian: Revealed: Exxon made ‘breathtakingly’ accurate climate predictions in 1970s and 80s – Remember how it turned out that tobacco companies knew cigarettes were giving people cancer for years and years, and just denied it the whole time? Makes you wonder what else these assholes are lying to us about.
  2. CNBC: Trump Organization hit with $1.6 million fine for criminal tax fraud scheme – It’s good for a start. Now prosecute ’em for everything else.
  3. AP: Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies at 54 – “Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley and a singer-songwriter dedicated to her father’s legacy, died Thursday after being hospitalized for a medical emergency.”
  4. NBC News: U.S. to hit debt limit next week, Yellen warns Congress – “Yellen said that the Treasury Department would begin taking ‘extraordinary measures’ in order to avoid default.”
  5. Curbed: Two Supportive-Housing Projects Make the Case for Building Many More – “Ending the homelessness of any one person — or a dozen, or 100 —is straightforward: Give them a decent place and surround them with competent people who are eager to help.”
Link Roundups & LinkDumps

Quick Links: Jan. 12

Today’s links cover a special counsel over those classified documents at Biden’s house, expunging Trump’s impeachments, falling inflation rates, decaf coffee, and the California floods.

  1. CNN: Former US attorney named special counsel in Biden document probe – They’ve appointed a special counsel to look into that handful of classified docs found in Biden’s house. Biden’s cooperating fully, obviously.
  2. Washington Post: McCarthy says he’s willing to look at expunging a Trump impeachment – Oh for fuck sake.
  3. AP: US inflation eases grip on economy, falling for a 6th month – Inflation has fallen for the sixth month in a row.
  4. Slate: Can Science Finally Create a Decent Cup of Decaf? – No. Because it’ll still be decaf.
  5. BuzzFeed News: California Floods: Aerial Images Show The Scale Of Damage Across The State – Yikes. 😬
Link Roundups & LinkDumps

Quick Links: Jan. 11

Today’s links talk about abortion rights, the GOP’s attacks on governing, unions, and alternatives to animal testing.

  1. Washington Post: House Republicans form committee to investigate the government – This is the Insurrectionist Caucus’ little pet project to get even for Donald Trump not getting elected in 2020 and for people daring to investigate Trump’s many crimes.
  2. AP: GOP opens long-promised investigation into Biden family – Here’s another Insurrectionist Caucus attack against the government. It’s basically Benghazi, but for Biden. 🙄
  3. Reuters: U.S. Supreme Court considers narrowing federal protections for unions – Ah, yes, exactly what we needed. Weaker unions.
  4. Wired: The US Just Greenlit High-Tech Alternatives to Animal Testing – “Lab animals have long borne the brunt of drug safety trials. A new law allows drugmakers to use miniature tissue models, or organs-on-chips, instead.”
  5. Politico: Next frontier in the abortion wars: Your local CVS – These people will not be happy until all women are again imprisoned in kitchens, subject to every whim of some man, and doing nothing but gruntin’ out babies and cleaning house.