Previous “Links” posts

“Looters” and “Rioters” Yes, “Victims” No 

Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

A victim is, per Merriam-Webster, “one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions”. A crime is not required for there to be a victim. Indeed, that’s why we have the more specific phrase “victim of a crime”. It seems Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder is in want of a dictionary.

I Get It 

Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

In Colorado, a hiker who’d been reported lost ignored phone calls from rescue workers because they came from an unknown number.

The Braindead School 

Monday, October 25th, 2021

Down in the swamps of Miami, the “Centner Academy” has a preposterous new policy:

Last week, the school made another startling declaration, but this time to the parents: If you vaccinate your child, they’ll have to stay home for 30 days after each shot.

This follows an earlier policy, where they prohibited vaccinated teachers from contact with students. It’s clear that the leadership at Centner is not comprised of the sharpest spoons in the drawer. The best part about all this, however, is the accompany image:

An awning reading “The Centner Academy - The Brain School

I suppose they didn’t claim to be “The Working Brain School”.

We’re All Fennec Foxes Now 

Friday, October 22nd, 2021

The best thing the internet did was give everyone a voice. This is also the worst thing the internet did. In milliseconds, we can now be exposed to the thoughts of billions of different people around the globe. Frankly, very few of them are actually worth hearing. Last month, Chris Hayes had a long essay in the New Yorker that examines how the internet is impacting us all:

The most radical change to our shared social lives isn’t who gets to speak, it’s what we can hear.

In the past two decades, we’ve built incredible systems that enable almost anyone to be heard. However, almost no progress has been made to ensure any quality or meaning in what occupies our attention. If only there were any money in that.

It Really Only Moves in One Dimension 

Thursday, October 21st, 2021

For at least the last 20 years, the self-driving car revolution has been just 10 years away. That may or may not stay true forever. Either way, while we wait, here’s a self-driving train. I certainly couldn’t build such a thing, but still, it’s not quite as impressive as what we’re hoping for.

Zebras on the Run 

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

For almost two months now, zebras have been running wild in Maryland. Slate has a solid run-down of this bizarre breakout.

Firing the Wizard of New Zealand 

Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

For over two decades, the city of Christchurch, New Zealand had an official wizard. Sadly, the wizard has been sacked.

He’ll Never Forget Those Directions 

Monday, October 18th, 2021

One week ago, Marcel Hug won the men’s wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon, earning himself a $25,000 prize. Hug also nearly set a new course record, which would’ve netted an additional $50,000 in prize money. Alas, he missed a turn near the finish line, forcing him to double back and costing him precious time. This is a shame. However, there are two things to note.

First, this is Hug’s fifth title in Boston, along with a third place finish in 2019. At a minimum, he had raced this course five times prior to last Monday.

Second, Hug’s error occurred when he initially failed to turn right onto Hereford Street. This is perhaps the single most famous portion of one of the world’s best-known marathon courses. “Right on Hereford, left on Boylston” is a very well-known phrase for all who compete in the Boston Marathon. In fact, a company by the name of “Right On, Left On” sells a wide assortment of merchandise with this exact phrase emblazoned on it:

A shirt reading “Right on Hereford Street, Left on Boyslton Stree”

Nevertheless, Hug missed his turn, and lost at least the seven seconds he needed to set a new record. Though he was upset, he made no excuses, blaming only himself. Here’s to his pursuit of a new record next year.

Plausible but Also Ridiculous 

Friday, October 15th, 2021

In the past few years, I’ve found myself skimming an assortment of advice columns published by Slate. I don’t really need any parenting advice, as I have no children, but it’s still an interesting way to see other perspectives. It’s also a great way to occasionally be horrified by other people and their relationship problems, financial issues, and sex lives. Some humans really seem to be downright deranged!

Now thanks to writer Bennett Madison, the next time I read something truly awful, I can always fall back on the hope that the letter might be a complete fabrication.

No Police Action Was Taken Against the Pair 

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

What do you picture when you read the headline “Rogue grandma breaks bones on slide after sneaking into water park at 2am”? Me, I see a blue-haired biddy who has possibly broken out of her nursing home. Apparently, that was very much not the case!

UK woman Claire Vickers, 46, and friend Barry Douglas, 44, were stuck in a water slide flume for two hours with fractured shins and shattered feet before they were rescued. The pair had snuck into Aldershot Lido water park early August.

The drunken duo splashed water down the slide from the top in a bid to generate lubrication and speed before stepping into the side. But their drunken ride soon became a nightmare when they slammed into a barrier towards the bottom.

Now, that is downright horrific. And I’m curious why a closed waterslide needs a barrier at the bottom. But more to the point, even if a woman happens to have a child who has a child, describing a 46-year-old as a “rogue grandma” is just misleading.

Update (October 17, 2021): Friend-of-the-site Lex F. pointed out that the “boozy gran” in question is suing the water park. That is really something. Also, these dopes really should not have been given a platfom (in this case, a morning talk show).