This is a post in a series appearing each Friday, setting out some articles, videos, podcasts and the like that contributors at Slaw are enjoying and that you might find interesting. The articles tend to be longer than blog posts and shorter than books, just right for that stolen half hour on the weekend. It’s also likely that most of them won’t be about law — just right for etc.
Please let us have your recommendations for what we and our readers might like.
ofralapid.com – Broken Houses – Ofra Lapid – The artist takes photographs (by someone else) of decaying houses and uses them to create models, which are then photographed isolated from their environments. They have the appeal of miniatures; and the full-size photos show amazing detail.
Rolling Stone – The Odd Couple: Romney vs. Gingrich – Matt Taibbi – Speaking of decaying houses, here's a tart analysis of the current candidates from the right. (A real language warning.) Taibbi's prose is juicily over the top: e.g. "…like watching a cruel experiment involving baboons, laughing gas and a forklift. No matter how many times you ring the bell, those poor animals are never going to figure out how to move that pallet of bananas."
YouTube – Better Lighting? – LilGiantsConstrCo – When it comes to moving that pallet, you want to call on this guy. He's digging out his basement using remote-controlled models of the big earth-moving machines. This is geekdom at its peak. If, perchance, you're smitten with this, he's got a whole channel of videos of the enterprise.
Philosophy Bites – Jeremy Bentham's Utilitarianism – Philip Schofield – Had it with the miniatures? Time to get serious? Here's Jeremy! … channelled by the head of the Bentham Project, who talks about the great man's contribution to moral philosophy.
YouTube – Librarians' Parade – Yale University – Here's a film from 1930 showing Yale librarians moving the 1742 Collection from the Old Library to the then brand new Sterling Memorial Library. A delightful "crocodile" of librarians carrying precious books with a festive air. (The 1742 Collection comprises 70% of the original 2,600 items in the the Yale Library in 1742.)
New York Times – The Undiscovered Country – Frank Jacobs – An exploration of border and boundaries, particularly the one known as Zomia, which a huge stretch of land running over Pakistan and India and down along the east coast of Vietnam. It's about city versus country — among many other things.
The Atlantic – How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy – Kathleen Mcauliffe – This is not for hypochondriacs. "Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?" Answer seems to be "maybe."
mental_floss – How Apple’s ’1984′ Ad Was Almost Canceled – Chris Higgins – Now that the Super Bowl is over (it is, isn't it?), we can take our time looking at an ad that's taken it's own time—28 years—to mature. The company that made Super Bowl commercials into phenoms, kicked it all off with this flick.
New York Times – Do Thrifty Brains Make Better Minds? – Andy Clark – "Perhaps we humans, and a great many other organisms, too, are deploying a fundamental, thrifty, prediction-based strategy that husbands neural resources and (as a direct result) delivers perceiving, understanding and imagining in a single package?"
Official Google Blog – Brazil’s Carnival goes social with Google – Today is the start of Carnival, a time of excess and abandon — but not in Canada. Don't despair, though. Google promises that through the magic of YouTube you can follow carnival live in Brazil. I can tell you it works. Never mind that you don't speak Portuguese; just listen to the rhythms and sigh at the fact of summer in the south.