You Might Like … to Cast Glances at McDonald’s, Eurythmics, Poppins, Hipsters, Tortoises, and More

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.

Luminous Landscape – Photography in Space – Alan Poindexter – A series of photos by the commander of the penultimate mission of space shuttle Discovery. In addition to the always moving shots of objects in space, there are a lot of interesting shots of the crew inside, being normal without gravity.

NYTimes – How McDonald’s Came Back Bigger Than Ever – Keith O’Brien – And though there weren’t photos of astronauts eating Big Macs, there might have been. Nothing nutritionists or environmentalists can say or do – - or a failed attempt to game Twitter — can hold back the advance of that clown’s biz. Lovin’ it?

Rdio – Radio Time Machine – The online music service offers up nostalgia hooks to catch your ears. Snippets of pop music are arrayed along a timeline from 2012 to 1940, letting you slide the dial to the year of your choice. Got to say it hauled up some memories and the odd wince. I mean, Bobby Vinton?

Ideas Illustrated – Visualizing English Word Origins – mkinde – Snippets of text, now, analysed and coloured according to their etymologies. Interesting how pink (Old English) all the selections turn out to be. Law is pretty parti-coloured though, but medicine is a real riot.

BBC – An 86-year-old, real-life Robinson Crusoe – Simon Reeve – Speaking of old English, this octogenarian Yorkshireman bought himself the island of Moyenne in the Seychelles, where he has lived alone for decades in the company of 120 giant tortoises, which he breeds and fosters. No internet, though. Just turtles, all the way down.


Patrick Stevenson Keating – On Our Way to the Impossible – Patrick Stevenson Keating – Meanwhile, another Englishman built himself a particle accelerator in two weeks from “cheap, common components” — to help us see the connection between physics and everyday life. Clicking on the photos takes you through a slideshow of the object.

USGS Water Science Photo Gallery – All of Earth’s Water in a Single Sphere – It’s a little shocking to see how little water there is on the planet. We imagine the oceans to be more massive than in fact they are. And let’s not even talk about fresh water.

Visual Thesaurus Word Routes – Tracking Down the Roots of a “Super” Word – Ben Zimmer – Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is the word. Seems it’s not so clear who actually made up that agglomeration. This trip down nonce-word lane was prompted by the recent death of Robert Sherman, composer of the songs for Mary Poppins.

Vimeo – The Hipster Hunt – Julie Percha – We’re encouraged to turn our scorn on them (no longer hep to be hip), but who exactly are these egregious folk? This film tracks a French immigrant’s attempt to answer that question. Seems it has something to do with shoes.

The Millions – The Poetry of Mental Unhealth: Philip Larkin – Stephen Akey – A discussion of this difficult man’s not so difficult poetry. A money quote from the analysis: “Readers have a perfect right to regard Philip Larkin, as I do not, as a complete shit. But if they consider his personal failings indistinguishable from his poetry, I think the loss is theirs.”

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