Linkszomania for November 11, 2009

Every Wednesday, I’m going to take you on a whirlwind adventure of 13 links chronicling the news throughout the geek world I inhabit. Whether it’s movies, music, art, politics, gadgets, science, sports, grammar, or superheroes… nothing’s out of bounds and everything’s interesting.

Let it begin…

  1. Scientific American asks a question I frequently ponder and still cannot definitively make up my mind, as to where I stand: if intelligent aliens do exist (and they totally do), would they look like humans?
  2. Photograper Tom Baker combined his camera and his computer to figure out what Los Angeles would look like without cars – the results are pretty cool.
  3. The opportunity for great lion photos at the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Victoria, Australia sadly does not come close to completely outweighing the sweat my palms would produce the entire time I was there (I don’t care how thick the glass is).
  4. A few years ago, the idea of a space elevator seemed extremely far-fetched (truthfully, it still does) but as of last week, NASA is working towards making this fiction into fact.
  5. Something tells me that even with the existence of the world’s first historical thesaurus (translation: a book about vernacular through the years), movies and television series set in the past still will continue to employ anachronistic terms and phrases. Regardless, I am very interested in the book. The $300+ price tag? That's a bit of a turn-off.
  6. That infamous, presumed-doctored image of Lee Harvey Oswald holding a rifle and a Communist periodical actually might be real, after all. The real news: seriously used a “bullet in their arsenal” metaphor in the first line of the article regarding the picture, in a reference to the John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy. Whoops.
  7. The founders of Skype have assembled a Justice League of new media engineering/designing superheroes to help them develop their newest venture: Rdio, a subscription-based digital music startup about which very few details are currently known. I think we can just assume the best and expect Rdio to cure every disease with rock and roll.
  8. Wannekes is a very cool, respectable online store with a lot of great products but their most uniquely designed offering is easily the Pangolin backpack which, though costly, has a lot going for it (most notably: it looks like an alien attack dog).
  9. As a nice gift for the holidays (from November 16 through January 15), Google is paying for free Wi-Fi for all passengers in 47 American airports (as well as all Virgin America flights). Not to be outdone, Yahoo is offering free Wi-Fi in Times Square for the rest of 2009 and through all of 2010. Hopefully, this escalation leads to the internet just being completely free worldwide by 2011.
  10. If you were always unsure about just how small an atom or a the HIV virus or a human egg were, compared to things like a coffee bean and a grain of rice, the University of Utah has constructed a great and simple interactive animation to put all the little things into context.
  11. Earlier this month, Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling agreed to pay an incredible $2.73 million to settle a federal lawsuit that accused him of pretty abhorrent social behavior. While this most recent instance of being a slimeball was worthy of attention by itself, Deadspin also went ahead and gave us another dozen legitimate reasons why the owner of one of the worst franchises in the history of professional sports should not be allowed to keep his job.
  12. The design of crutches has remained the same largely since their inception despite the fact that they’re uncomfortable, inconvenient, and can really inhibit one’s ability to go about their normal life while recovering from an injury. The Forward Mobility brand has unveiled what they believe to be the evolutionary version of crutches, with the Freedom Leg. It looks so cool, I want to use it while perfectly healthy.
  13. A lost part of the healthcare reform discussion is just how much money, time, energy, and paper could be saved if most medical records and medical transactions were done electronically. The answer, in short: a lotGOOD breaks it down.

Have a week!

Justin Brown

Justin Brown is an artist and writer living in Virginia. He channels most of his enthusiasm into making things for his online art shop, Artness! by Justin Brown. You can keep up to date with him, his worldly adventures, and his dogs by following him on Instagram and on Facebook