You Might Like … to Be Diverted by Space, Etymology, Pompei, Birding, Seamus Romney, Mayonnaise, 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. – OMG Space – Margot Trudell – A Torontonian conquers space! Trudell, an OCAD graduate, has modelled the solar system in HTML, as it were. Things are to scale, which means there’s a whole lot of scrolling between planets — unless you hop on the wrinkle in spacetime found in the menu at the bottom of the screen. Even then, it takes a while to make it to Mars.

OUPblog – Puzzling heritage: The verb ‘fart’ – Anatoly Liberman – From space to that which is likely to clear some space for you. But it’s the Oxford University Press, people, so no grade four giggling here. – Graffiti From Pompeii – B.K. Harvey (?) – Of course, as soon as people learn to write, they start scratching on bathroom walls. Here they’re doing it in Latin (shades of Life of Brian: see the video of the Romani ite domum scene). And, yes, they’re saying exactly the same sort of thing as you’ll read nowadays.

Rolling Stone – Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math – Bill McKibben – Of course, arithmetic’s another thing entirely, and one that we seem not to be able to grasp. “June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States.”

Mother Nature Network – The world’s most stunning treehouses – Laura Moss – Makes you want to run away and live in the woods? Here’s a score of nests that will tempt you even more to flee to the treetops.

berfrois – Guiding Birders – Thomas Dunlap – Where you’ll find a host of winged creatures — all of which have been named in one or another field guide discussed in this piece on the history of birder books. Helps to know your neighbours.

The New Yorker – Mutt Romney Blues – Ry Cooder – And to treat our animal friends well. Here the legendary Ry Cooder sings about the legendary Romney dog, Seamus, that was strapped to the roof for a 12-hour drive. There’s a good piece in the magazine about Cooder and his new albumn, from which this song comes.

Kieran Healy – America Is a Violent Country – OECD – None of which should have surprised Seamus, living as he did in the US. These graphed stats from the OECD are clear and disturbing.

Salon – “Slave genes” myth must die – Amy Bass – Just in time for the Olympics, a historian takes apart the notion that a slave heritage has endowed some American athletes with superior bodies.

Intelligent Life – A Gourmet Emulsion – Simon Hopkinson – You don’t have to be French to make your own mayonnaise. Here’s paean to the product and a failsafe recipe. “The result should shine, and have a wobbly look when spooned from the bowl.”

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