Written by

Chris Gonzales


Austin Prock

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

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Image: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

Image: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

Caltech Researchers Find Evidence of a Ninth Planet Lurking at the Edge of the Solar System »

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology announced Wednesday that there may be a giant icy planet lurking in the darkness of our solar system far beyond the orbit of Pluto, possibly having been flung out there long ago by the gravitational force of Jupiter or Saturn:

The researchers, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, discovered the planet’s existence through mathematical modeling and computer simulations but have not yet observed the object directly.

“This would be a real ninth planet,” says Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of Planetary Astronomy. “There have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third. It’s a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that’s still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting.”

Let’s all agree not to tell Pluto about this. He’ll never stop bringing it up at parties.


A Story of a F*** Off Fund »

The subject matter of Paulette Perhach’s piece isn’t something I’d normally put in a Quality Linkage column, but I feel it’s too important not to. (There is a lot of NSFW language and perhaps a few triggers in the article, so keep that in mind before clicking.)

You know what to do. You’re just shocked to find you’re not doing it. You are not telling him to f*** off. You are not storming out. All you’re doing is math. You have $159 in the bank and your car payment and your maxed out credit cards and you’ll die before you ask your dad for a loan again and it all equals one thought: I need this job.

“It’s ok,” you hear your voice saying. “Just forget it.” You scurry out of the room, survey the office half full of women, and wonder how many of them have secrets like the one you’re about to keep.

This comment by Stefanie Paige Gunning also caught my attention:

I am so thankful it’s a story both my mother and my grandmother told me, only they called it “walking money” — and walk I did, away from a bad marriage and a job I hated.

While I admire the courage of these women to write such words, we as a society can do better than placing them in situations where they even have to consider having “walking money.”

Little Online Moments »

On a more positive note, here’s Sarah Peck celebrating what makes the internet so wonderful:

This has happened before. I have found new friends on the internet, people I’ve never met, people I have come to adore. We speak through shared essays, we write notes to each other, we join in the conversation on Facebook. […]

In the online world, we can find each other’s voices and dig in. Listen in. Reach out, write to each other, find new people that say yes to the world in the same way that we say yes.

Painting: *[Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanderer_above_the_Sea_of_Fog)* by Caspar David Friedrich (1818)

Painting: Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich (1818)

How Can I Find Someone to Help Me? »

Nathan Kontny, writing for Signal v. Noise, encourages people (particularly entrepreneurs) to become the very things they seek rather than waiting on others to do it for them:

Everyday I bump into someone struggling to find someone else to help them with their project or career. They are business people looking for technical co-founders or people like me at Inkling looking for someone else to write about me.

Now, from all these years in business, I realize that Matt Damon had it right. Instead of looking for some executive producer to give him a starring role, he was just going to become the executive producer.

Graph: Tim Urban, Wait But Why

Graph: Tim Urban, Wait But Why

Horizontal History »

Tim Urban’s latest for Wait But Why shows that we should re-examine the way we think about notable people throughout history:

Normally, we learn about history’s storylines in isolation. We might have a strong sense of the history of physics breakthroughs or the progression of western philosophical thought or the succession of French rulers—but we’re not as clear on how each of these storylines relate to each other. […]

I might know that Copernicus began writing his seminal work On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres in Poland in the early 1510s, but by learning that right around that same time in Italy, Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, I get a better picture of the times. By learning that it was right while both of these things were happening that Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon in England, the 1510s suddenly begins to take on a distinct personality. These three facts, when put together, allow me to see a more three-dimensional picture of the 1510s — it allows me to see the 1510s horizontally, like cutting out a complete segment of the vine tangle and examining it all together.

He goes on to create a bunch of bar graphs depicting the overlapping lifespans of a bunch of famous historical figures. Fascinating to see which ones were contemporaries of one another.



It’s 2016 Already, How Are Websites Still Screwing Up These User Experiences? »

Troy Hunt is sick of your website’s crap:

This is fundamental web usability 101 stuff that plagues us all and makes our online life that much more painful than it needs to be. None of these practices – none of them – is ever met with “Oh how nice, this site is doing that thing”. Every one of these is absolutely driving the web into a dismal abyss of frustration and much ranting by all.


Allow me to totally lose my cool for a bit and tell you just what’s wrong with the web today:

Hear, hear.

I might be a little obsessed with both of these Kendrick Lamar live performances:

“Untitled 2” — The Tonight Show »

“i” — Saturday Night Live »

This guy is almost too good.

Photo: Christopher Thomond, The Guardian

Photo: Christopher Thomond, The Guardian

My Syrian Refugee Lodger / Me and My British Landlady »

Helen Pidd of The Guardian and Syrian refugee Yasser Al Jassem each share their perspective on temporarily living with one another. I found it a charming read, aside from the actual reasons for Yasser’s predicament.

Here’s Helen:

I thought having Yasser to stay would be a kind of atonement for mistakes I have made in my life, but his presence has made me feel guilty. Guilty for what I have, for the easy life I lead, for complaining about trivial things. One day I got in a tizz about how to fit a new curtain rail in my bay window. “In my country, people worry about whether a barrel bomb will hit their house. In England, you are worried about your curtains,” Yasser said, laughing at his own joke. “We all have our problems.”

And here’s Yasser:

Another thing that was unusual was the cookery books Helen has in her kitchen. In Syria your mum tells you how to cook, not a book. I also noticed people here wear their outdoor outfits even when they’re home. Why would anyone want to be in jeans when they don’t have to? The first couple of weeks were a bit strange for both of us, I think. Like the first few minutes in a football match, where both teams are a bit cautious of each other.

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Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.