You Might Like … Some Distraction by Facts, Colour, Conversion, Variations, Panic, Tardigrades 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.

Esquire – Obama by the Numbers: Obama Presidency Facts – Mark Warren and Richard Dorment – Headed into the stretch the numbers are flying and many are landing well shy of the bullseye of truth. Here’s one effort at accuracy (which isn’t always the same as truth in journalism, of course). Lots of charts and graphics to make the facts comprehensible.

YouTube – “I’m Dreaming of a White President” – Randy Newman – Some facts are true but irrelevant, like skin colour. Here the man who’s opined “Short people got no reason” and “Let’s drop the big one and see what happens” goes after the racists with very edgy satire. Read the Slate interview about the song.

Data Pointed – His And Hers Colors: Popular Color Names By Gender Preference – Stephen Von Worley – Colour is indeed a tricky matter, and particularly when it comes to putting names to it. Throw in sex-variation in our rods and cones, and you’ve got, well, this interesting animated graphic that makes clear the paucity of the male vocabulary, at least. Just can’t get men to say “dusky rose.” “Off pink,” maybe.

BBC News – World’s first colour moving pictures discovered – anon – So where would we be without colour? Watching black and white movies, that’s where. Though not for as long as we in fact did, if this English inventor, Edward Raymond Turner, hadn’t died early, in 1902. See the footage via the above link, and then read more here. – Temperature Conversion, Weight Conversion and Length Conversion – France Property Shop – Of course, if everything English had succeeded we’d still be doing things in miles and pounds. This French site (understandably) offers a rather attractive and simple conversion tool so we can make certain that all of their base 10 belongs to us as well.

New York Times – 30 Variations and a Microphone – Paul Elie – Glenn Gould wore a beret, but that didn’t make him French. This excerpt from the book “Reinventing Bach” treats both the young Gould’s time in the studio, recording his first Goldberg Variations, and the second time at the end of his life.

BuzzFeed – Why Music Gives You the Chills – Sean T. Collins – If Gould doesn’t do it for you, then maybe Springsteen or, gulp, Bieber does. The “it” is a peculiar neural thrill (Attention Induced Head Orgasm or Attention Induced Euphoria) that’s hard to prove in the lab but seems common enough to be real.

The Morning News – The Wolf Is Waiting – Gila Lyons – What will give you the chills — the grues, the fantods, the jim-jams — is a panic attack. The author takes us into her “anxiety disorder” in an attempt to convey just how awful this affliction is. And telling her to “Chillax” just won’t help. – Le Tote Launches the Netflix of Fashion So You’ll Always Have Something Fun to Wear – Lesley Scott – Distracting yourself with shopping might assist, and if your anxiety has given you agoraphobia you can avail yourself of this service, which mails you a tailored selection of gear each month while you mail back the gear from the month before.

And since this Friday feature is all about distraction, here are three strange creatures recently in the news that are bound to distract you, all of them truly beautiful in their way: Cercopithecus lomamiensis, Hypsibius dujardini, and Glaucus atlanticus.

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