This Week in Links: February 3-February 9

But first!

新年快乐! happy chinese new year!

新年快乐! happy chinese new year!

I’m sure you’ve heard: it’s the year of the Snake. So if you were born in 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, or 2001, hooray, it’s your year, but I regret to inform you that this is actually an unlucky truth. You should wear something red every day this year to keep away the evil spirits and misfortune. If you’re interested in more information about this year of the snake, click here. (And yes, I know that New Year’s Day is actually tomorrow, but it’s already tomorrow in China, which means its already horrifyingly polluted air has been doubled in potency from the smoke of a myriad firecrakers that have already been set off. Again, on account of the spirits.)

Moving on. Dear Old Dad’s responsible for my first link: the page for a Discovery Channel series titled Africa, a video from which he shared with my brothers and me at the start of the week. The treacherous tale of a quarter-sized baby turtle fighting desperately to overcome the deadly obstacles he faces is both scary and sad, but as Dad pointed out– a testament that we can never, never, QUIT! (That’s his favorite quote.)

"baby turtle battles ghost crab"

“baby turtle battles ghost crab”

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/africa/videos/baby-turtle-battles-ghost-crab.htm

In a similar vein, my new favorite “About Us” page from a UK animal charity (I’ll remind you I have to look at these for work, and that I don’t make a hobby of scouring the web for UK animal charities.):

royal veterinary college act about ushttp://www.rvc.ac.uk/act/about-us

Because I’m a Canada-phile, and because even as a big fan of old Honest Abe, I have to say I’m all for it.

canada bids its penny goodbye; should the us?

canada bids its penny goodbye; should the us?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/02/04/171069240/canada-bids-its-penny-goodbye-should-the-u-s

My parents and I were revisiting that ancient “Did Gaga rip Madonna off with “Born this Way“?” debate last week and Dad made the accurate assertion that they do sound an awful lot alike. I tried to remember Gaga’s quote about the chord progression being a standard disco progression that’s been used over the past fifty years; she’s not a plagiarist, she’s “smart.” (I’m paraphrasing as the verbatim quote contains a few more expletives than I feel comfortable using in this forum, but feel free to read it in its entirety here.) Dad’s next question was, “Well then why aren’t there more that sound the same?”

He was probably referring to songs sounding the same as those exact two songs, but nevertheless I found this website posted by a friend on Facebook to be relevant. It’s compiled a whole collection of songs that have very similar riffs, chord progressions, or vocal arrangements and allows you to listen to them side by side. Many of them will have you wondering how you never noticed before (and yes, Gaga and Madonna made the list.)

sound just like radiohead beatleshttp://www.soundsjustlike.com

Another fun, interactive site sent to me by a coworker pits you against a computer set to either novice or vetaran in a very entertaining game of rock-paper-scissors. You can see how the computer learns how the moves work and then tries to anticipate your moves. Pretty interesting. And I’m still in such teacher-mode, I always find myself thinking, “Oh that could turn into some sort of English game!” or “Oh the kids would love that!” This was one of those moments.

rock-paper-scissors: you vs. the computer

rock-paper-scissors: you vs. the computer

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/science/rock-paper-scissors.html

On a completely unrelated note (but keeping with the theme of a three-way battle, I suppose. Although rock-paper-scissors is still only two-way so nevermind.), another New York Times article comparing the strong central government (but weak civil society) of China against the weak central government (but strong civil society) present in India. It discusses the pros and cons and implications of both scenarios and then, for good measure, holds them up to Egypt, in which both the government and civil society are weak. I just thought it was an interesting perspective on the comparisons and assumptions that are constantly being made about the world’s two largest nations.

india vs. china vs. egypthttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/opinion/friedman-india-vs-china-vs-egypt.html?src=recg&_r=0

And to end on a light note, a point of attraction for any Archer fans (or… really any women/gay men I would imagine. I mean, look at that bone structure…):

real models for archer characters

i was always under the impression that aside from h. jon benjamin the characters were modeled somewhat after their voice actors but i guess not.

http://www.vulture.com/2013/02/archer-characters-real-life-models.html

One year ago: Recipes” Update
Three years ago: Funtime!

This Fortnight in Links

Because I never miss an opportunity to use the word “fortnight”?

And also I was too busy editing video last Saturday to follow through with my “important” “weekly” installment. Anyway, here’s fun stuff I’ve come across on the web this fortnight.

It wasn’t a disappointing fortnight at work, that’s for sure. I worked on accounts for all kinds of animal charities, which always delights me to no end. I asked my boss if it would be possible for me to work specifically on accounts concerning animals and she said they’d create a new position for me. I’m waiting on further information.

As always all photos link to their respective pages.

every company's 'people' page should have mandatory pet presence

every company’s ‘people’ page should have mandatory pet presence

http://www.woodgreen.org.uk/about/people

This page prompted my friend to make a remark about how he wishes he could have a donkey in his photo for his work ID. Which made coming across this one a few days later just that much more gratifying:

couldn't believe my eyes

couldn’t believe my eyes

https://spana.org/about-us/our-people

Actually now that I think about it, it was actually a brilliant fortnight for donkeys at work, because my co-worker also sent me this little motivational gem:

it'll bring tears to your eyes

you get only this teaser line. you know you want to know the rest of the story. it’ll bring tears to your eyes, this.

http://www.wonderfulinfo.com/stories_motivational/donkey_in_the_well.php

Though I’ve only been on the job for a month (two fortnights, if you will), I’ve already learned that in an office even the most mundane things become entertaining or noteworthy. Such as the fact that I came across an Annual Report in Comic Sans font, which warranted a big face-palm. And inspired me to revisit the archives of a friend’s Facebook page to track down this hilarious (if a bit vulgar) monologue, issued by Mr. Comic Sans himself. I think we’ve all been underestimating this font, world.

mcsweeneys comic sans
http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/im-comic-sans-asshole

I also learned that McSweeney’s was started by Dave Eggers, which is exciting to me because What is the What? was one hell of a book and I’ve been meaning to patronize more of his projects.

I wasn’t actually able to find the Comic Sans article and had to resort to actually establishing communication with said friend in order to find it, but all was not for naught; my efforts were rewarded by this:

"tales from the international spy and advertising agency." i don't think i could think of a marriage that would make me happier than that of 'mad men' and 'archer.' this tumblr is pure gold, guys.

“tales from the international spy and advertising agency.” i don’t think i could think of a marriage that would make me happier than that of ‘mad men’ and ‘archer.’ this tumblr is pure gold, guys.

http://sterlingarcherdraperpryce.tumblr.com/

Facebook also hooked me up with this fascinating piece about people’s post-Sandy dreams, on the page of an old friend whose dream was actually used in the article (she’s the one who “found herself floating on top of a Tyrian purple lagoon: ‘none other but the imaginary “Broadway Canal.””)

harper's sandy and the sandman
http://harpers.org/blog/2012/12/sandy-and-the-sandman/

And in that article was a link to this… amazing site: http://remcloud.com. You just… post a brief explanation of your dream, and you can see if people are having similar dreams to you. I haven’t tried it yet because I think it’s going to really freak me out, but I’m working my way up to it mentally. I’ll get back to you.

What else, what else? Oh right, so when driving back from NYC on New Year’s Day, Kathy’s friend (and our gracious chauffer) had us listen to Lil Wayne’s deposition and… I mean, just watch. It’s well worth the six minutes of your life.

So it was hilarious enough that we felt we needed to share it at our gathering last Saturday night, and everyone loved it so much that we decided to move onto the next logical thing: Tupac’s deposition. Whereas Mr. Carter went in there blazed out of his mind and proceeded to bring the lolz by avoiding and/or repeating every question asked of him (and then threatening the lawyer who was questioning him), Tupac sat there and, to quote the top comment, “They expected an illiterate dope to come in and self-incriminate himself with broken English and thug logic but instead they got an intelligent human being who was able to defend his music as artistic expression…”

In other words, not very funny. As we felt the need to inform them:

it hasn't generated any activity yet.

it hasn’t generated any activity yet.

(In fact, I made a point of going to Copyright School on YouTube after NBC really pushed the law on me after uploading that video of Jenna Maroney and Paul L’astnamé singing “O Holy Night” on 30 Rock for my Christmas post on account of that comment. I wasn’t able to leave comments until I went and promised not to use any more copyrighted material :(. I thought I had it all figured out, that getting-around-copyright-ish business!)

Oh yeah, and then a co-worker showed me this which… kind of is beyond what I’m capable of describing to you. Like… Lil Wayne fan-fiction or something, but I don’t think it’s meant to be understood as such. Are you under the spell of the demon to whom Lil Wayne sold his soul in order to assure the success of Young Money?

lil wayne's secrethttp://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Lil_Wayne’s_Secret

If you’re in the mood to do some reading about the debt bias, I really liked this post that was Freshly Pressed a while back:

he calls it 'econ for poets' haha... even i could understand it!

he calls it ‘econ for poets’ haha… even i could understand it!

http://yourbrainonecon.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/the-debt-bias-or-how-good-reforms-do-bad-things-to-good-people/

If you’re feeling nerdy in that kind of language-exploration kind of way that I know affects so many, you may find this of interest:

bbc english

favorite part: “Hinglish is a blend of Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and English and is so widespread that it’s even being taught to British diplomats… In Hinglish, a co-brother is a brother-in-law; eve-teasing means sexual harassment; an emergency crew responding to a crisis might be described as ‘airdashing’, and somewhat confusing to football fans, a ‘stadium’ refers to a bald man with a fringe of hair. There’s even a new concept of time – “pre-pone”, the opposite of postpone, meaning “to bring something forward”.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20332763

Kathy sent me this article that I really had to drag myself away from after reading the first page at work, and I’ll admit to not actually getting around to reading the rest of it. But I found it to be wonderfully written and it stirred up nice memories of my wandering past. Do check it out.

twenty somethings new yorker

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2013/01/14/130114crat_atlarge_heller#ixzz2HKnhJuwk

Big news for board games: (Thanks Emilie.)

they best leave that shoe alone...

they best leave that shoe alone…

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2013/01/08/monopoly-board-game-tokens-change/1805387/

Another co-worker wants to spring a few of us from work for however long a Rickshaw Run takes and I’ve offered to assist his friend make a movie about it. If everyone just wanted to start sending out positive intention that this becomes a reality, I’d appreciate it.

i dream of it

i dream of it

http://www.theadventurists.com/the-adventures/rickshaw-run

Oh another work discovery: a gallery of awesome wildlife shots, most notably this fox, naturally because it reminds me of Ollie, my Thai Domestic Goat Fox.

ollie's mouth isn't quite that big.

ollie’s mouth isn’t quite that big.

http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/exhibition/british-wildlife-photography-awards-2011/exhibition-chapter/the-british-wildlife-photography-awards

I feel the need to include this because I think it’s memorable and important. He’s not making any gun control argument you haven’t heard already, but he’s doing it in a way only Jon Stewart can… Well done, sir.

i couldn't find a still where he WASN'T making a ridiculous face

i couldn’t find a still where he WASN’T making a ridiculous face

http://mtvnmobile.vo.llnwd.net/kip0/_pxn=1+_pxI0=Ripod-h264+_pxL0=undefined+_pxM0=+_pxK=18639+_pxE=mp4/44620/mtvnorigin/gsp.comedystor/com/dailyshow/TDS/season_18/episode_040/ds_18040_02_1280x720_3500_h32.mp4?tds_mobile_web

And because this La Roux playlist made my morning yesterday I’ll throw it in too. The opening track is my new jam:

One year ago: Lemony Herbed Potato Salad (I need to make this again! I used to love that ish.)
Two years ago: October 21: The Apex!
Three years ago: Laura’s Trip to Beijing