Saturday, September 24, 2016

Internet Wading for September 2016

These Internet Wading posts are all about sharing: I share links to things that catch my eye in a given month, things that would almost certainly never end up in a blog post otherwise. They may be interesting, profound, silly, or even stupid, but they’re all unique enough for me to check them out, and then share them.

I’ve noticed that these Internet Wading posts have recurring themes, especially history, art and creativity, and pop culture, among other things. That’s probably because outside of politics and religion, they’re the topics I’m the most interested in. Obviously.

Let’s begin this month with something topical: “Battling billboards” talks about the billboards/signs used in Auckland’s local government elections, casting a critical eye over the design, layout, and even colours. I know the author in real life, and I think he does a good job critiquing the various efforts. I do the same thing less formally whenever I see the signs, and have had very similar conclusions.

I have to admit, titling an article, "Smooth": 7 questions about the song you were too embarrassed to ask” didn’t exactly draw me in. While I liked the song (video above), I wasn’t aware of having any questions about it, but, even if I had, I doubt I’d be embarrassed to ask them. Nevertheless, it turned out to be surprisingly interesting—not the first time that’s happened to me.

Was Oscar Wilde’s "De Profundis" “one of the greatest love letters ever written”?. Maybe, but the treatment of Wilde was certainly a sad tale.

Speaking of marginalised people, Rob Tannenbaum tells us a long form story of “The life and murder of Stella Walsh, Intersex Olympic Champion”. It’s certainly a story I’d never heard, and it's one that deserves to be known.

Tannenbaum himself, meanwhile, recently became the focus of social media attention when he published a series of Tweets  talking about shady dealings of the Trump Foundation, the first person to do so. Since then, journalists began taking an in depth look—as he'd urged in his Tweets.

Jonathan Shaw wrote in Harvard Magazine that human beings may have been “Born to Rest”. This could explain why do many people have trouble exercising regularly.

On the other hand, a “Study suggests exercise can offset perils of alcohol”, which is a pretty good reason to exercise. Once we’re done resting, of course. Or drinking alcohol.

We know that humans and Neandethal’s had sex, because their DNA is present in modern humans (my own DNA is about 2% Neanderthal). But the question some researchers are trying to work out is, “Was it for love?” Apparently, part of the answer may come from working out the direction that the genes were transferred. There’s even some conjecture about Neanderthal penises, something that I’d never actually wondered about.

In more “recent” history, scientists have been learning a lot about “Otzi”, the 5300 year old frozen mummy discovered in the Alps 25 years ago this past week. In a Daily Mail article reprinted by the NZ Herald, I found out several things I didn’t know, like the fact that an arrow was found in Otzi’s shoulder in 2001, and that’s likely what killed him, or that scientists hope that bacteria found in his stomach may help cure modern diseases.

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That’s it for this month’s potpourri of stuff from the Internet.

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