Previous “Links” posts

Candy Cannibalism 

I suppose Sour Patch Kids are the human version of this.

I believe a bear stole from a convenience store. The video shows that much.

Security camera footage from the store caught the bear casually walking in at around 6:30 a.m. on Monday, going through racks of chocolate bars before grabbing a 70-cent pack of gummy bears in its jaws and taking off — without paying.

But do we really believe it took gummy bears? That’s just too perfect.

Hey, Wanna Go to the Netflix Store? 

No. No, I do not.

I enjoy a good snarky headline, and “Netflix to open branded retail stores for some reason” is certainly a fine example.

The Rock Is Not Caucasian 

🎶 Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean 🎶

Years ago, I had the mischievous idea of going around the planet, burning down all the wax museums. They just seemed so pointless in the modern world. Something about the idea of turning the figures into puddles of wax, like so many melted candles, appealed to me. In 2023, with ubiquitous internet access that can provide videos that have better resolution than the real world, the idea of wax representations of celebritites seems even less necessary.1

And yet, like paper checks, wax museums persist long past the point of usefulness. It was with no small amount of amusement that I saw a recent wax museum controversy featuring a much-too-pale rendition of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at Paris’s Grévin Museum.

The museum’s website includes this:

• The star’s Samoan tattoos took the painters 10 days of painstaking work and a lot of research

• The eyes of Dwayne Johnson’s waxwork had to be redone 3 times to avoid too dark a tint making the star’s face too hard and erasing its warm aspect.

All that work, and yet apparently, no one noticed that they’d turned the Black and Samoan actor into a white man.


  1. As usual, the relevant video is archived. ↩︎

Crime Pays Mediocrely 

How did he afford all those spoils with this haul?

I am amused by this crime:

A German museum employee swapped out a painting with a fake and then sold the original to buy luxury goods, including a Rolls Royce and expensive wristwatches, according to a Munich court.

In addition to swapping out a painting, the criminal in question also simply took several from storage. It all feels like a real “I could totally just do this” kind of fantasy, of the type that one might dream up, but shouldn’t act on. Of course, given that the criminal bought a Rolls-Royce after his crimes only netted him about $65,000, he obviously wasn’t making the best decisions.

Get the Ruck Out of Here 

You have to add more weight than an empty bag before you call it “rucking”.

Recently, I’ve seen multiple news stories about rucking. Rucking is pretty straightforward, just walking with added weight on your back. It comes from the military, where ruck marching is both a way to train soldiers and a way to move infantry en masse. Recently, rucking has been adapted for civilian exercise. It’s a solid way to get exercise, as CNN reports:

One of the reasons rucking is growing in popularity may be due to the fact that it’s an easy, low-impact, all-body exercise that boosts cardiovascular and muscular health

What’s more, rucking torches calories. A person burns 30% to 45% more calories with weighted walking than when strolling sans backpack, Smith said. A 180-pound soldier carrying 35 pounds while walking 15 minutes per mile for 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) burns 680 calories, according to the US Army. Since, in general, the more you weigh, the more calories expended during any activity, that 180-pound soldier is burning calories at the rate of someone who weighs 215 pounds.

Another bonus: Since rucking is typically performed outdoors, it’s also good for your mental health.

That all sounds pretty good. So, how does one get started with rucking?

“Start with an empty backpack and walk a distance you’ve already done,” Stephenson said. “When you start adding weight to your pack, try something low, like 10% of your body weight. Adding weight is going to put more stress on your ankles, knees, hips and back, so do it gradually.”

Wait one minute. An empty backpack? That’s just walking!

The Onion Is Not Incorrect 

“[T]his editorial board doesn’t like getting yelled at”

When it comes to the recent horrors in Israel and Gaza, I feel completely unqualified to go beyond simple and earnest feelings of sorrow. It is, as the folks over at The Onion note, “a complex and multifaceted conflict that stretches back not just decades but centuries”. Rather than delving into the intricacies of that conflict, however, their editorial board has chosen a more expedient path.

Good Luck Explaining What You Do for Work 

“This is probably the most boring way to play a video game.”

Down in Australia, they’re using video games in an effort to combat invasive ant species:

Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and the University of Western Australia have used Age of Empires to simulate ant warfare, to figure out how to help native ant species fight their invasive counterparts.

OK, but have they validated their results using SimAnt?

No One in This World Deserves to Suffer 

Pete Davidson's father was a New York firefighter who died in 2001 at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Last week, following Hamas’s brutal terrorist attacks in Israel, it seemed like everyone wanted to make a statement about the situation. For at least two local universities and one porn star, it did not go well. Rather than ham-fisted attempts to comment on a complex situation in black and white fashion, perhaps more people should consider staying silent, listening, and learning.

Over the weekend, comedian and wildly-out-of-his-league dater Pete Davidson hosted “Saturday Night Live”. Somehow, he did what so many had failed to do, cutting to the heart of the matter when it comes to the recent atrocities with a brief, poignant monologue to open the show.

I saw so many terrible pictures this week of children suffering – Israeli children and Palestinian children – and it took me back to a really horrible, horrible place. No one in this world deserves to suffer like that, especially not kids.

The above link has a transcript of the whole thing, or you can view the monologue over on YouTube.

Buyer Be Scared 

A haunting isn’t guaranteed, but the odds are good.

If you’re trying to sell a funeral home that recently suffered a fire, you may as well have a little fun with it.

A funeral home for sale sign, with the tag “Probably Haunted”.

Out in Millbury, MA, one real estate agent recently put a placard reading “Probably Haunted” on the “For Sale” sign, and it certainly helped drum up some news coverage. If you were hoping to make a spooky purchase this Friday the 13th, however, I’m afraid it’s already under agreement.

Shrinkflation Warnings 

I’d like to see more like this, please.

Over in France, a major supermarket chain is pressuring manufacturers to reduce their prices:

French supermarket chain Carrefour (CARR.PA) has slapped price warnings on products from Lindt chocolates to Lipton Ice Tea to pressure top consumer goods suppliers Nestle, PepsiCo and Unilever to reduce inflation ahead of much-anticipated contract talks.

Carrefour is putting stickers on products that have shrunk in size but cost more even after raw materials prices have eased, to rally consumer support as retailers prepare to face the world’s biggest brands in negotiations due to start soon and end by Oct. 15.

Shrinkflation abounds, and it’s lousy. Anything that reduces its prevalence seems good to me.