Sunday, February 16, 2014

Internet Wading: Miscellany

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these Internet Wading posts—and yet there have been so many small stories that I wanted to comment on, though not enough to do a whole post about them. So, here’s a new batch, even more random than usual.

First up, I have to say how pleased I am that this time I wasn’t pwned. A story cropped up last week about a homophobic response to an invitation to a little girl’s 7th birthday party. While it sounded plausible, as such stories always do, I was nevertheless sceptical (many times bitten, finally shy, perhaps…). Turns out that, of course, it was all a hoax. Score one for caution and scepticism! And, yes, I think the radio hosts should be fired.

Roger Green wrote about the Everly Brothers. It was an interesting post, but somewhat diabolical: I found myself in a YouTube spiral of their videos, and then I had to find out who’d done a cover of their 1961 hit “Walk Right Back”. I could almost hear the cover version in my head (turned out it was from Anne Murray’s 1978 album Let’s Keep It That Way). At any rate, I don’t think I’d appreciated how important the brothers had been to pop music, in part because their original career was already waning by the time I got to school.

Speaking of pop culture, you know that “debate” held recently between Bill Nye and the head of the Creation Museum? I didn’t watch it, but the reactions have been… interesting. Buzzfeed asked self-described creationists at the debate “to write a message/question/note to the other side,” which it published as “22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In Evolution”. Not terribly enlightening or even useful, to be honest—until, that is, Science of Sarcasm Podcast posted the photos (with a few sarcastic alterations) to their imgur as “Creationist Questions Translated”. Many of these altered images were funny, a few were snotty, but several made excellent points.

Pride Propaganda has “repurposed Soviet propaganda in response to Russia's ban on LGBT propaganda.” Well, that’s a creative response, I suppose.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key may actually be a shape-shifting alien. At the very least, he can’t prove he isn’t one. It could explain a lot.

Scientists are looking to sequence the entire genome of Richard III (portrait above), who died on the battlefield at Bosworth in 1485, the last English king to die in battle. This would be "the world's first complete genome sequence for a named historical figure". Such techniques have been used to find out more about ancient peoples, for example, but this could shed new light onto written history. It was only last year that the body found under a Leicester carpark was confirmed to be that of the king, whose body had been lost for centuries.

Also in science, it could be that Pacific winds "pause" global warming. If we don’t sort things out, though, “Giant Rats To Inherit The Earth”, maybe after they bring us a new strain of the Black Death.

The work-related dreams/nightmares of men and women are becoming quite similar. Also, people study this.

That’s enough for now. Pleasant dreams!

The portrait above is of Richard III at the top was painted about 1520 from an earlier, lost version. It is by an unknown artist; uploaded to wikipedia by Silverwhistle (Richard III Society website via English Wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.


rogerogreen said...

Diabolical? Wasn't the intent. Interestingly, this guy who had interviewed me for something, and had become my Facebook friend used my piece in an argument with someone who believed that the Everly Brothers were not all that big a deal. That other person is nuts! Its like saying the Beatles werent important, whether or not you like them.

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

It certainly wasn't the first time I got sucked into the vortex that is a YouTube spiral, and it won't be the last. But everything that causes such a tempest is diabolical by definition.

Liking something isn't necessary for understanding its importance. Putting aside prejudice and personal taste is, however. Let the facts speak for themselves!