I’m home today with a cold, and I have loads of interesting news chum links that have no coherent theme, so let’s just get them out there (h/t to Andrew Ducker for a few of these). Oh, and with each, you’ll get a little bit more.:
- Shuls Struggle with Gender Pronouns. In Judaism, one of the traditional honors is to be called up to read Torah. The way you are called is very stylized and structured, and… gendered (i.e., “son of, daughter of” etc.). Here’s a new problem shuls (at least progressive shuls) are facing: How do you call someone who is not gender normative to the Torah? Truly an interesting read. As a little bit extra: Here’s a neat piece on a webcomic on a woman dealing with her transition.
- Chemical Elements. There are lots of elements on the periodic table. But how well do you understand your interaction with them? Here’s an interesting graphic that shows the most common way that people interact with each chemical element. As a little bit extra: The Chemistry of Frozen Desserts.
- Understanding Amazon Prime. This week brought us Amazon Prime Day, where Amazon was trying to convince everyone to sing up for Amazon Prime. But have you ever really thought about the impact of Amazon Prime? The Verge has, and they have posted an interesting opinion piece on why they will never sign up for Amazon Prime. So has Ken Davenport of The Producer’s Perspective Blog, who sees Prime for what it is: a way to keep consumers using your service. Both perspectives are quite interesting. As a little bit extra: Here’s an interesting non-Amazon purchase: Cirque de Soleil is buying Blue Man Group.
- Toxicity. Here’s a real interesting article with a list of the traits of toxic parents. It is something I suggest everyone read: if you are a parent, you can learn about things to avoid; if you are a child, you can learn if there is a toxic parent to which you need to say “Buh Bye”. Remember: It is OK to look out for yourself and fire a toxic parent. As a little bit extra: It looks like everyday chemicals are linked to chronic diseases in men (and presumably women, but they never test that).
- Animals. If you’ve ever bought a book from O’Reilly Press, you know the animal woodcuts on the covers. I didn’t provide the history section to the Perl book; I provided it to the Camel book. Here’s an interesting history of the O’Reilly Press Animals. As a little bit extra: What is not quite an animal, and not quite human: The Animaniacs, and they might be coming back.
- Compression and Video. The Emmy awards came out today, and many were for TV that was being distributed by streaming services. But have you ever thought about how that video is transmitted? Here’s a great tutorial on H.264, the technology that enabled video to be compressed so that streaming is even possible. You’ll even learn how Color TV works in a way that was compatible with Black and White TV. As a little bit extra: Compressed video takes us to compressed music, and here are 10 Great Music Podcasts (although they miss the wonderful Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour).
- Fraudulent Data. We’ve all been taught the mantra: a calorie is a calorie, and if you spend more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. Not so fast. It turns out that almost everything we’ve been taught about the calorie is wrong, and its not so simple (a post based off of the excellent Gastropod podcast). And a little bit extra: Not only are calories a fraud, but our recent election might have been. Alas, it isn’t quite clear what can be done with a fraudulent election after the fact.