Intro / Preface / Extra Words
...and virus stuff just to clear the queue a bit. And Christmas music because SANTA IS COMING!?
Also we're including more of the good stuff than usual because you're probably not working as much or at all and need some sweet sweet content to fight back the tyranny of the moment. Consider this a semi-trash-fire issue, if you're into considering these sorts of arbitrary and unimportant distinctions (like we are).
Ben Caplan - O Holy Night
O Holy Night in a minor key sung by one of the weirdest and deepest voices I've heard. Stunning. -B
Welcome To The Christmas Parade - Mariah Carey vs. My Chemical Romance
Complete opposite end of the spectrum but tasty. -B
Why Asparagus Makes Pee Smell
Courtesy of Wes B. I ate white asparagus in Germany once. Well more than once. It was offered at every meal for the entire week I was there as apparently it was in season at the time. They are really proud of their white asparagus in Germany. Eventually I had to make clear I didn't want white asparagus in my omelets. -B
You Fancy, Huh
Kelly Slater's perfect wave machine in the middle of the desert
I went surfing once in Portugal. Even with a wetsuit the water was so cold it took your breath away. I wasn't a very good surfer. -B
Why Is Mystery Russian Spacecraft Cosmos 2542 Suddenly Stalking a U.S. Spy Satellite?
And here's another followup article on a supposed satellite weapons test from the same satellite. Apparently satellites with guns is a thing now. -B
Sweet Meteor of Death 2020
On the correlation between solar activity and large earthquakes worldwide
EvErYThiNg iS ConNecTed Maaaannnnnn - C
CDC COVID Data Tracker
Daily update on how many vaccines have been administered. After a year of bad stats this one is an absolute joy. -B
A Twitter thread about the world's first vaccine against smallpox
I find this more than a little gross. - C
Why COVID-19 infection curves behave so unexpectedly
This reminds me of how poorly I scored on the "science" portion of the ACT. - C
Indycar's Virtual Race Crashes Sparked Real-World Controversy Among Drivers
I don't watch racing, but this article is interesting to me because of the confusion generated by trying to recreate etiquette and behavioral instincts in a digital environment where they don't necessarily have to exist. Suspension of disbelief only works if everyone agrees to suspend it together I guess. - C
Doordash and Pizza Arbitrage
This reminds me of something I used to do that isn't totally related but has the same vibes. If I ever had to go do anything online with Comcast, I was usually in a bad mood because they raised prices or opted me into something I didn't want, so I would search for their name even though I knew the website. That would display several Google ads for their website, and I would click all of them in new tabs over and over. I don't know why it made me feel better that they probably had to pay a fraction of a penny for my angry clicks, but it did.
Also, if you're ordering from a local restaurant please just get in your car and go pick it up. Don't use the stupid delivery services. - C
Tweet by Prof Darrel Francis
Recently there was a kerfuffle over a Danish random controlled trial seeking to evaluate the actual efficacy of mask wearing to prevent carona spread. The study ended up fairly inconclusive (you can read it yourself here) which of course meant everyone decided it indicated exactly what they previously believed.
The linked thread from twitter by a cardiology professor explains why proving whether masks work or not is insanely difficult. Enjoyable and educational! -B
I love technology (and science)
The AI Girlfriend Seducing China’s Lonely Men
Skynet is here and way cuter than expected.
iPads in Space: Star Trek’s Internet-Free Future
My ancient iPad is actually a single-purpose device at this point because it's so slow. It's an Angry Birds game shaped like an iPad. - C
How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results
Skynet is here and messing with your mind, man. Dons tinfoil hat
That's right, two Skynet references in one issue. Deal with it.
Automate the Boring Stuff with Python
I know someone who also uses this here newsletter writing software who used Python to automate tasks related to publishing his newsletter. I should probably take a little time to learn this language, but I should probably also learn a foreign language. - C
How Steno Works
I love these little deep wormholes. There's a whole art / science / skill behind typing 200+ words a minute and its different than I expected. -B
Photic sneeze reflex
I have this. My dad has this. We walk out of a building together and we both sneeze. Twice. -B
Did a migrating Jupiter turn Venus into hell?
Jupiter is a bully planet. - C