Friday Night Links

Collected from here and there about the networks, for your amusement or edification,

  • I would really like to believe the story of Denny & Peach is a vignette that accurately captures a bit of the wonder of the world. But even if it’s a fiction, it’s a lovely little one. Also, SWORD CANE!
  • Same thing with this “big catch” story. I prefer to believe I live in a world where this could happen.
  • Remember when the Chretien Liberals were just about to decriminalize pot? Think about that while reading this headline.
  • Reading about the marshmallow test, and how it correlates to success in later life only validates all my theories about the need for parents and the education system to focus more on teaching the connection between cause and effect, and the predictable consequences of our choices. It also gives me some license to taunt my child with future marshmallows.
  • You know what else the education system should focus on–providing an adequate basis for full participation in the public sphere. The primary goal should not be to produce people who are employable, but rather to produce citizens, in the full sense of that word, with their employability being a necessary byproduct.
  • Reading a librarian’s carefully thought out, but strong, explanation of why he was rejecting a bigot’s request to remove a book from his library has restored a tiny bit of my lost faith in humanity. Librarians–you gotta love ‘em.
  • More Hubble space porn.
  • I’m fascinated with this Youtube video of an Italian cellist’s performance for two reasons: it’s a great performance of the piece, and the video is the work of 5 months of desktop video editing. I love that putting together something like this is a matter of basic video equipment, time and a desktop computer, not requiring access to special purpose tools or editing suites, etc. Someone sufficiently dedicated could do this as a hobby.
  • Just in case it hasn’t sunk in yet that there’s more content available on the Internet than anyone could hope to consume a fraction of, go browse around the Free Music Archive.
  • Of course there’s lots of different kinds of free content–you can’t possibly listen to everything that archive, but you can absolutely view at least thumbnails of all the sleazy paperback covers in this collection, or all the labels in this collection of vintage poison labels, or all the images in this collection of 20s French Art Nouveau images from a particular book, and you could even conceivably look at all the images in the Museum Of Bad Album Covers.
  • I wish I had known where to find the Philosophy Pick Up Bar back when I was single.
  • Today’s xkcd doesn’t make me feel particularly old–I might actually be too old for the optimal response to that–but there’s a story in Rolling Stone that really, really does.
  • Sure we can pretend it’s all about getting people to do a little more exercise, but I’m all for it just from a perspective of putting a little art and fun into people’s lives. I especially like the idea of doing it as a transient feature–a bit of surreality that adds a tiny bit of beauty to the day.
  • Apparently the Kindle is finally going to be available in Canada and lots of other countries, kind of. I was already not interested, just on the DRM basis alone, but even if I had been tempted I think Charlie Stross would have ended that for me.
  • Yeah, I’m putting this story in my back pocket for use in comedic teasing of my Australian comrades when we all meet up in Boston next month.

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