Linkszomania for September 9, 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. How difficult is it for someone to vanish in the year 2009 while still using services like Twitter and Facebook? Wired magazine writer Evan Ratliff wanted to figure it out. He aimed to hide in relatively plain sight between August 15 and September 15, offering $5000 to whoever could find him first. Well, the contest has ended and the details of the “hunt” (from the perspective of both Ratliff and those seeking him) are starting to trickle out – it’s pretty fascinating. Unless you’re paranoid about ubiquitous computing and Big Brother and whatnot, then it’s a little spooky.
  2. The “airplane graveyard” at the Mojave Air and Spaceport has been off-limits to the public since 2001 so, you should really treasure the pictures taken by the man lucky enough to be granted access.
  3. Josh Dean at Popular Science enrolled in the free online course programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (among others) to find out just how much one could learn for free. Spoiler alert: don't ball up that Ivy League acceptance letter just yet.
  4. Being able to grow fruit into certain shapes definitely favors objects or people shaped like Buddha.
  5. So it turns out that cutting down trees is essentially like cutting down minimal sources of electricity. Feel stupid now, don’t you, George Washington (or, at least, whoever cultivated the myth that he chopped down that cherry tree)?
  6. I feel like the scientific breakthroughs made in the field of combating prominent diseases are not nearly as big of headlines as they should be. People, we just discovered a chink in AIDS’s armor – let’s get excited.
  7. I don’t understand why the discovery that female gorillas use sex as a tactic to thwart rivals has any weight when it comes to discovering the root of human monogamy; humans (male and female), if nothing else, can be counted on to use sex to thwart rivals. We already knew this. Did these scientists not go to high school? Or college? Or ever watch any movie aimed at the 18-34 demographic?
  8. If you’ve ever had to endure the tragic experience of losing your go-to pair of jeans because of a tear in an inappropriate place, Denim Therapy is here to help. While their services aren’t cheap ($7 per inch of repair), it is a small price to pay when you consider the cost – both actual and figurative – of trying to find and break in a new pair of jeans.
  9. For economic reasons, the nation of Samoa has decided to start driving on the left-hand side of the road… good for them, I say. Hey, while we’re here: shouldn’t every country agree on a universal “side of the road”? I’m willing to switch, just to keep everything consistent.
  10. The Internet has given birth to a great many staples of modern culture but it also is secretly an assassin with a hit list longer than a Google Maps URL.
  11. Nobody is convincing me of UFOs in the 21st century without some professional-looking video, graphs, and/or charts. Sorry, China. I don’t care how many minutes of footage you have – blurry framegrabs aren’t getting the job done. If you had forty minutes, you could track down a relatively high-definition camcorder or still camera and give me something conclusive. Disqualified.
  12. If you’re a drunk on-the-go but want to keep the alcoholic paraphernalia hidden on a bookshelf or in a messenger bag, I have the perfect thing for you – courtesy of ‘Pommes Frites' on Etsy.
  13. I think, when it comes to Michael Jordan memorabilia (or, truthfully, NBA memorabilia in general), owning the hoop, backboard, and stanchion from Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals is the ultimate story-topper.

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