Link Dump

As per usual, interesting links from the depths of ye olde internets:

  • The Stats of the Furious – A thorough accounting and visualization of a series that only kinda-sorta-deserves this kind of scrutiny. Also of note, Sonny Bunch’s ranking of the Fast/Furious films. All of which is to say, these are fun films, but let’s not overthink it.
  • The Silence of the Lambs as a Romantic Comedy – This sort of thing is old and I don’t think anyone will ever approach the already-produced Platonic ideal of Shining, but this one works pretty well.
  • seriously, the guy has a point – You know that “Fearless Girl” statue that appeared in front of the famous “Charging Bull” on Wall Street? It turns out that it’s a cynical advertising ploy, while the original “Charging Bull” was actually guerrilla art.

    In effect, Fearless Girl has appropriated the strength and power of Charging Bull. Of course Di Modica is outraged by that. A global investment firm has used a global advertising firm to create a faux work of guerrilla art to subvert and change the meaning of his actual work of guerrilla art. That would piss off any artist.

    Indeed. This is one of those questions that has many answers, all right. Art doesn’t exist in a vacuum, but you can detach it from its context to interpret it in interesting ways. The “Charging Bull” is an interesting example, most people interpreting it in ways the original artist didn’t intend. Similarly, the “Fearless Girl” seems to have taken on a life of its own. But origins are origins, and I don’t think either piece should ultimately be able to shake their context completely, which is a good thing.

  • Dyatlov Pass Incident – The mysterious unsolved deaths of nine ski hikers in Russia under suspicious circumstances.

    One victim had a fractured skull while another had brain damage but without any sign of distress to their skull. Additionally, a female team member had her tongue and eyes missing. The investigation concluded that an “unknown compelling force” had caused the deaths. Access to the region was consequently closed to amateur hikers and expeditions for three years after the incident (the area is named Dyatlov Pass in honor of the group’s leader, Igor Dyatlov).

    As the chronology of events remains uncertain due to the lack of survivors, several explanations have been put forward as to the cause; they include an animal attack, hypothermia, an avalanche, infrasound-induced panic, military involvement, or a combination of explanations.

  • The Incredible Intuition Of Professional Chicken Sexers – Some professions are weird:

    …the strange nature of chicken sexing. This is the valuable process of separating female and male chicks as soon as possible, because each sex has different diets and endgames (most males are just destroyed). The mystery is that when you look at the vent in the chick’s rear, some people just know which are female. It is impossible to articulate, so the Japanese figured out how to teach this inarticulable knowledge. The student would pick up a chick, examine its rear, and toss it into a bin. The master would then say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ based on his generally correct observation. After a few weeks, the student’s brain was trained to masterful levels.

    A lot of what we do comes down to intuition, and I’d be curious how much of it could actually be more formally defined. This is going to be a thing in the next century, as we all start training our robotic AI overlords how to do stuff like chick sexing. Or maybe our intuition can’t be replicated. Only one way to tell, and I guarantee someone will do so in the nearish future…

  • The Black Knight satellite conspiracy theory – I’m generally not too keen on conspiracy theories, and this one doesn’t exactly change my mind, but it’s a pretty fun one. Basically, there’s a satellite in a near-polar orbit of the Earth that UFO enthusiasts believe is of extraterrestrial origin. Tons of stuff out there about this, most of it unconvincing… but fun! At the very least, a good way to see how conspiracy theories work…

And that’s all for now…

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