You Might Like … to Bide a Bit With Biking, Baseball, Breezes, Bookshops, Bestiaries, Bernina 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.

Toronto Standard – Pimp Your Bike – Síle Cleary – It’s that time of year when you have no excuse for failing to tune up the old two-wheeler and hitting the streets or the trails. Besides, gas prices are rising steeply. So check out the selection of gear on display here to trick out your ride: bike helmets that double as locks, iPad panniers, and, yes, that’s a six-pack you see dangling from the crossbar.

Visual Thesaurus – On Opening Day, Remembering How Baseball Begat “Jazz” – Ben Zimmer – Bikes are not the only spring thing beginning with ‘b’. The season has begun for the sole (major?) sport that is bilaterally symmetrical across only a single axis. Jazz? Now that’s something else again. Sometimes not even metrical. – Wind Map – Speaking of asymmetrical, nothing has more vagaries than wind. This is a stunning display of the breezes that are blowing across the U.S. as reported in near real-time by the various monitors across that land. (As ever, Canada is an imaginary land in this display and wind stops at borders.) – Panopticlick – Electronic Frontier Foundation – Wind may not leave traces, but you do. The EFF is concerned to show us how much information we disgorge when we visit a website, even if cookies are turned off. Click the “Test Me” button and see for yourself.

YouTube – B*tches in Bookshops (based on Jay Z and Kanye West’s “N*ggas in Paris”) – La Shea Delaney & Annabelle Quezada – Loving this video that pumps up books. Couple of great women with a great senses of humour. “Read so hard I got paper cuts.”

The New Yorker – The Song Machine: The hitmakers behind Rihanna – John Seabrook – And then there’s professional music (or else what would there be to parody?). The article dissects pop songs and reveals the central role played by Ester Dean in the crafting of today’s hits. Fascinating read.

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory – Nelson Mandela Digital Archive – Part of a much larger archive and expository website, this project aims “to locate, document, digitise, and provide access to all archival materials related to Nelson Mandela.” Half a dozen “chapters” each contain photographs and text dealing with a phase in Mandela’s life. – Got Medieval – Carl Pyrdum – In this blog a Yale grad student gripes about “how the mainstream media does not understand the Middle Ages…” And much much more, with humour. So if bestiaries and marginalia are your thing, go have a look.

The Palindromist – World Palindrome Championship Results – Mark Saltveit – Crossword maker Will Shortz hosted the recent “World Palindrome Championship” (could you have palindromes in Chinese? If not, is it fair to claim “world” championship?). Here are the rules and the winners, first prize going to the maker of this website and having to do (in part) with a trapeze and a yak.

Official Google Blog – Take a train through the Swiss Alps with Street View – Google – No yaks in Switzerland, despite the tempting presence of mountains. At least, none that I could see as I “street-viewed” my way along the tracks one click at a time. It took me a while (something about the rails) to realize that the point was to look around: lovely way to see Swiss scenery.


  1. My favourite part of the World Palindrome Championship? “There were seven competitors…”

  2. You were expecting 5 billion?