Linkszomania for September 2, 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.

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. After a successful collegiate basketball career at the University of Miami, being drafted in the first round of the 1999 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, and playing professionally both in America and internationally for nearly a decade… what did you expect Tim James to do once his playing days were done? Probably just enjoy retirement, right? How about joining the Army and going to Iraq? Yeah, you probably should read this story.
  2. We would like to thank everyone for their entries but it appears that the accepted name for our current decade is and will forever be “The Aughts”. Personally, I’ve always been a big fan of “The Ohs” but I will defer to the Internet, on this one.
  3. If there’s one aspect of music that really hasn’t been able to fully realize the medium’s foundational ideal of expressionism and individual character, it’s guitar straps. I suppose that’s what the good people at Strap Graphics had in mind when they founded their company. I want one that looks like notebook paper.
  4. All of Brian Ulrich’s consumer culture-centric photographs are obviously impressive (the man has work featured in museums from Chicago to San Diego) but his most recent series, “Dark Stores”, where he documents stores that are no more, reverberates as especially poignant. Looking at the empty shells of former centers of American retail is a much spookier experience than you’d think.
  5. Kill or Cure? is a fascinating tongue-in-cheek website developed by a guy who clearly was determined to present and categorize all the extrapolation being carried out by news outlets (in his case, particularly the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom) when it came to reporting on new causes and preventative measures for all forms of cancer. While rifling through the seemingly endless list, one can’t help but think of this comic from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, which summarizes most scientific reporting in a fantastic way.
  6. As of yesterday, businesses that prey on consumers with automated, unsolicited calls will be breaking a new Federal Trade Commission ban and, in doing so, will subject themselves to fines of up to $16,000. Take that, robot telemarketers.
  7. Just for clarification: you should not feed animals at the zoo, regardless of whether or not the zoo is closed (these places generally have security cameras, by the way) and especially if you’re feeding these exotic, expensive creatures with processed toaster pastries containing 17 grams of sugar and no conceivable nutritional value. In addition to it just being stupid and dangerous, this sort of idea can get you in some legal trouble.
  8. Jim Unwin is an illustrator, designer and “doer” who most notably worked on the Playstation 3 game Little Big Planet. However, I am here to tell you about his work in Venn diagrams –specifically the one he made with a friend, about mythical creatures.
  9. Crying, an evolutionary tactic possessed only by humans, has mystified the scientific community for as long as there has been a scientific community. A new theory out of an Israeli University offers up a theory… although, if we are to take the events of Terminator 2 as gospel (and I do), then we have to assume that this new theory must be wholly inaccurate or else the Terminator (who was from well into the future) would not have had to ask John Connor about the purpose of crying, as he would have been programmed with this information. Oh well. It’s still a new thought worth reading.
  10. Ever wonder just how much American money is in circulation? I do. I also would like to know the breakdown of exactly how many of each denomination make up that currency total. Hey, what do you know.
  11. This recent discovery in Spain isn’t enough to get me to re-think my teetotaling ways but it is a pretty interesting discovery, nonetheless.
  12. So, you know that giant lump of trash and plastic floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Yeah, it’s a lot bigger than we thought. This isn’t good.
  13. In what is arguably the nerdiest-yet-impressive thing I’ve ever posted on Linkszomania, one of the bloggers over at The Blazers’ Edge (one of the most well-run franchise-specific NBA fan-blogs out there) broke down – with video clips, diagrams, and commentary galore – a great deal of the offensive sets run by the Blazers, last season. If you’re as big a basketball geek as I am or want to learn a thing or two about the game, I implore you to spend an evening soaking in all of the man’s hard work. This is one of those things that reminds me why I love the Internet so very much.

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