Linkszomania for October 28, 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. I didn’t know this was a breaking point for me but when a 20-foot shark bites a 10-foot shark in half… that’s when I completely lose interest in setting foot in the ocean, ever again. That bisection is nothing if not a harbinger of aquatic terror yet to come (a harbinger that coincidentally exists as an AWESOME visual).
  2. A few weeks back, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority published an extensively detailed report in preparation for a complete re-evaluation of their city’s parking meter system. It sounds really boring, I know, but this interview with esteemed UCLA professor Donald Shoup (the “world’s foremost parking expert,” which is an unbelievably nerdy-yet-prestigious title) actually illuminates the story in a pretty interesting way.
  3. I don’t think enough Americans realize just how inferior our broadband “smart grid” system is, in comparison to countries like Japan and Korea. On top of the vast difference in speed (average broadband speed in Japan is 61 megabits per second, nearly 13 times faster than the average American connection), Japan pays roughly ONE-TWELFTH AS MUCH FOR THEIR BROADBAND, PER MONTH. Let’s do something about this, yeah?
  4. Did you know that there are parrot-sized birds in the world that prey on sheep (yes, sheep) and are almost as intelligent as monkeys? Well, there are. It’s called a kea and it can be found in New Zealand.
  5. If you’re going to have a Star Wars-themed wedding cake, you now have to compete with this Luke Skywalker-inside-Tauntaun effort, which just secured its place atop the pyramid.
  6. Two scientists have devised a plan to achieve 100% sustainable energy by 2030 – even if you think you’re up to speed on the subject, spend a little while and flip through the colorful, interactive flash presentation of their ideas.
  7. I always hoped that something funny would happen during any newscast that used a live camera backdrop… and it finally did.
  8. Double “vermin-with-impressive-powers” linkage: the naked mole rat is impervious to cancer and cockroaches don’t have to pee. Wow. Maybe we shouldn’t be killing them? (Well actually, if they trespass, I am fully within my rights to murder either of these two creatures, super-powered or not.)
  9. The NewScientist constructed a map to exhibit just how connected our world really is: 90% of the world is less than 48 hours of ground-based travel from the nearest city with a population of 50,000 people or more. Even if you take the growth of ubiquitous technology out of the picture and just look at this geographically, it is quite difficult to isolate yourself on Earth.
  10. Need a cool belt? How about a completely unique Italian belt made from an old inner tube or bicycle tire? That’ll add some flair and street cred to your midsection.
  11. Because e-waste is a huge problem about which many people remain criminally under-informed (generally through no fault of their own), Engadget compiled a great list of the gadget-recycling resources that everyone should bookmark.
  12. Why do some proper names (those belonging to cities, countries, etc.) com equipped with “The” right up front? Slate investigates.
  13. Michael A. Salter constructs great, massive art installations centered around robots made out of Styrofoam packaging (“Styrobots” is the preferred nomenclature)… why are you still reading this? Go look at them now.

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