The usual interesting links from the depths of ye olde internets:
- Killer Rabbits in Medieval Manuscripts: Why So Many Drawings in the Margins Depict Bunnies Going Bad – Bored medieval monks in the process of copying manuscripts by hand would doodle in the margins as a way to escape the tedium. These drawings were generally goofy, and one of the things they engaged in… was evil bunny rabbits. It’s a humorous juxtaposition that has influenced more modern takes on sinister rabbits (like Monty Python and the Holy Grail or perhaps even, most recently, Us).
- Hooking Up and Using the John: Why Do We Use So Many Euphemisms? – This exploration of euphemisms contains this gem about bears:
…what makes us uncomfortable changes with time. Our ancient ancestors were so worried about bears, they didn’t even want to name them because they feared [the bears] might overhear and come after them. So they came up with this word — this is up in Northern Europe — bruin, meaning “the brown one” as a euphemism, and then bruin segued into bear. We know the euphemism, but we don’t know what word it replaced, so bear is the oldest-known euphemism.
Bears were the first Voldemort.
- Criterion’s Kindergarten Cop – April Fools’ Day jokes are mostly awful and unfunny, but a few years ago, the Criterion Collection hit the perfect note. On the other hand, I’d totally buy this if it was real.
- The search for the saddest punt in the world – Ever want to spend an hour watching a statistical analysis of punting? Surprisingly interesting…
- Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, and the Quest to Kill eBay – Steve Yegge’s story of how what started as Amazon Auctions evolved and morphed into something more useful over time. Glad to see Yegge writing stuff like this again, even if it’s still pretty rare these days…
- Buran, the Soviet Space Shuttle – Convinced that the U.S. Space Shuttle couldn’t possibly be as poorly designed as it was, the Soviets assumed that there was some secret use-case that would totally redeem the program… so they build an exact replica of the Space Shuttle.
- billy corgan rides a rollercoaster – Genius.
And that’s all for now.