November month-end wrap-up

05 Dec
December 5, 2011

Oh boy, has it really been three weeks since the last round-up? Turns out full-time work actually, uh, takes up your time.

Anyway, I’ve tried to organize these thematically because I still posted a lot of links to Twitter and G+, and three weeks of links is, well, you get the idea.

For those of you who are interested in that kind of thing, I’ve created a separate Occupy Wall Street related post here. This has been occupying a lot of my mental attention in the past little while and I figured it deserved its own post.

*

Social injustice extraordinaire:

The people of Attawapiskat have declared a state of emergency and the government doesn’t seem to care much. Canada, the land of multiculturalism? We don’t treat our Aboriginals too well, do we. Update here.

This is the most succinct and awesome explanation I’ve ever read about why rape jokes need to be taken seriously. And no, I will not lighten up.

The Salvation Army is not only vaguely annoying, but they also engage in really hateful discriminatory practices against members of the LGBTQ community. Give your money to someone more deserving. (United Way ain’t much better, either.)

Just when you thought you couldn’t hate the world more, you read about a 5-year-old with ADHD who was handcuffed, committed to a hospital without his parents’ knowledge or consent, and charged with battery against a police officer. I hope you’re proud, America.

China plans on eliminating undergrad majors that don’t hit a certain percentage of graduate employment rate. So much for education for its own sake.

Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail seems to think that rape accusations are largely products of “the grievance industry” and that “men behave much better [now]” and that we need to “acknowledge the good news”. Talk about a distortion of presented facts. For the record, this is how some elected officials talk about their fellow PMs:

*

Politics as usual:

Canada withdraws from the Kyoto Accord. Hurray for reneging on international promises and all that.

The Torontoist analyzes the rhetoric surrounding the discussions regarding Toronto’s 2012 budget. Lots of public services, including library funding, came under attack. The Grid provides an analysis that demonstrates that every service cut is offset by a tax break Rob Ford gave to businesses. Colour me unsurprised.

Michigan passes license to bully legislation. I guess that makes the emotional scarring okay.

Herman Cain withdraws from the presidential campaign. The New Yorker’s John Cassidy bids him farewell.

*

Techy, designy, and webby things:

WordPress unveils its own advertising network, WordAds, in collaboration with Federated Media. They take quite a few swipes at Google Ad Words, too, while they’re at it.

If you run a multi-contributor WordPress install, this bit of code might come in handy for contributors who want to keep tabs on when their posts are published.

Ars Technica reviews Amazon’s new Kindle Touch. The outlook seems favourable.

If you’re one of those people who texts while they walk, Britan’s first “text-safe” street might be a good place for you.

Jotunheim is a new iOS social media app that allows you to crosspost to different social media websites. Why should you use this above Hootsuit or Seesmic or any number of existing social media apps? Jotunheim supports full data liberation and gives you an immense amount of control over the data you post. Awesome.

The New York Times begins implemented moderated comments, with a tentative credential system of “trusted commenters”. Interesting to see where this goes.

*

Generally kick-ass things:

Here’s a timelapse video of the earth taken from space. However cool you think that sounds, this video is cooler. As Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell said once:

From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “Look at that, you son of a bitch.”

What’s the farthest distance you can get from a McDonalds while staying in the contiguous United States?

Gabe and Tyco of Penny Arcade are unwittingly drawn into a live-action version of an old-style text-based RPG adventure. It’s as hilariously awkward as it sounds.

Louis vs. Rick is the story of a man with no foresight who taught his cat how to IM. There are barely a dozen conversations up, but I love every one.

Did you spend your teens marvelling at how well the TV show Daria captured your bitter, misanthropic soul? Then you might enjoy this photoshoot of the most amazing and faithful Daria cosplays I’ve ever seen.

An oldie but a goodie, Neil Gaiman on why he doesn’t feel guilty enjoying the creative works of people he disagrees with politically.

The trailer for Studio Ghibli’s new film “The Secret World of Arrietty” based on Mary Norton’s 1952 classic The Pretenders looks so kickass.

*

Commentary from the blog:

But I Don’t Want An App For That: My thoughts on the drawbacks of the iPad as a productivity tool, and of the app-centric environment in general.

Links from the blog:

High Fantasy for Young Adults: The appeal of the fantasy genre for young readers, and the mythos of Tolkien.

Yo Dawg, I Heard You Like Supercuts: Andy Baio compiled a massive collection of supercuts and talks about the culture significance thereof.

The British Are Coming: On British expats adopting Americanisms, and vice versa.

It’s Raining Computers: The One-Laptop-A-Child program I talked about before decides to, uh, airdrop these laptops to those who need them?

Bella Swan, Everygirl: The Hairpin on why, even though Bella Swan is an awful role model in ever yway, maybe she reflects teen girl sentimentality more accurate than the more aspirational female role models like Buffy or Lisbeth Salander.

*

Elsewhere:

I got a new set of Shure SE215s, and here are some preliminary thoughts.

I may also have too many blogs. Here’s the rundown on Tumblr.