Home > Links, Weekly Link Dump > This Week 01: October 4th, 2009

This Week 01: October 4th, 2009

This is essentially a weekly link-dump of personal highlights/lowlights from around the web.  This week we have, among other things, Carl Sagan, World of Warcraft, Twitter, Google, manslaughter, Windows 7 and pigs.  Read on!

This week I loved:

(via Pharyngula)

There are some great Carl Sagan quotes in there, but I’m particularly fond of the ‘chorus’:

A still more glorious dawn awaits,

Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise,

A morning filled with four hundred billion suns,

The rising of the Milky Way.

I was amused by:

11 Things Google Should Atone For on its 11th Anniversary – It’s mostly a collection of auto-suggest and AdSense blunders – suggesting “white people stole my car” should be “black people stole my car”, or associating a World of Warcraft search with male virgins – but it’s funny all the same.

I was entertained by:

Leaking moon water was all Twitter’s fault – Essentially journalists knew about the discovery of water on the moon some time prior to the news getting out, but they all agreed to keep it embargoed to coincide with an official announcement.  Curious internet users were able to piece together the news that a big announcement was coming with which scientists were attending, and took to Twitter to share their deductions.  It does seem to suggest that embargoing news for carefully managed reveals may no longer make sense in the always-on internet age.

I was saddened by:

Parents jailed over baby’s death (via Ben Goldacre Delicious feed) – The story itself is a little older, but they’ve just been sentenced for it (six years for the father, four for the mother).  Steadfastly clinging to homeopathy while your child lives in perpetual agony (until, of course, she stopped living) is just horrible, and actually unthinkable.  Even if you view it as making a metaphorical deal with the devil (though viewing medicine and doctors in such a way is fairly daft), it shouldn’t matter if it will save your child.

Hell, even if it was a literal deal with a monstrous, red-skinned demon, with horns upon its head, flames billowing from its mouth and the ground visibly corrupting beneath cloven hooves, it’s something you should probably still consider if it would spare your child agony and then death.

I was boggled by:

(via Chewing Pixels, where it was cheekily presented as being a video of the PC-centric Rock, Paper Shotgun team)

Even putting aside the cheesiness and phony nature of it all, the idea of holding a Windows 7 launch party for all your friends is just bizarre, and I say that as somebody who has never used a Linux or Mac operating system.  I liked the bit where they recommend installing it days in advance and making use of Microsoft’s support, as it’s practically an admission that it is still a Windows OS and you shouldn’t do anything crazy like assume things will work first time.

Sad news for pigs:

First They Came For the Pigs That Cairo committed the mass slaughter of pigs in a misguided attempt to thwart swine flu isn’t news itself, but the way the city has become filled with rubbish as a result of their absence is.  A big quote:

At a more demotic level, it is said that pigs are unclean because they even eat their own excrement. They are not the only creatures that will resort to this, but it is certainly their omnivorousness that makes them such an amazing trash patrol. Not to notice this about pigs is to miss the point of them. We might also observe that they have skin and organs that can be transplanted onto and into humans, that they have high intelligence and an impressive body weight to brain weight ratio, some family values, and other interesting traits. (It’s no coincidence that, in all societies that do not inculcate prejudice against them, baby pigs are regarded in a cousinly light by the folklore of human children.) A city or society without pigs is barely imaginable: A world without pigs would be a world in which humans had destroyed some close kin and some very serviceable fellow creatures.

Sad news for (virtual) pigs:

How Many More Must Die? (Until I Level) – A basic calculation of how many boars – one of the first creatures you fight, and which appear in many zones throughout the game – must have been killed in World of Warcraft, making some general assumptions about player activity.  It’s a lot.

Game of the Week:

The Sims 3

Film of the Week:

Stardust

TV of the Week:

True Blood (season one finale)

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