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.
Following the results of the recent US election, Marco Arment — currently known for his podcast and being the developer of Overcast — wrote an open letter to kids, encouraging them to hang in there and keep pushing for progress:
[…] when you average it out over time, progress tends to only go in one direction: people being healthier, better educated, and better to each other. We have ups and downs, and we don’t end every year better than the last, but in the long run, we come out ahead.
Speaking of young’uns pushing for progress, here’s meteorologist and climate watcher Eric Holthaus, writing for Slate about Our Children’s Trust, a group of 21 children and young adults (ages 9 to 20) who are suing the US government for its role in climate change:
In the groundbreaking decision, announced on Thursday [November 10th, 2016], U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken ruled in favor of […] their suit against the federal government. In denying the government’s motion to dismiss, Aiken, based in Eugene, Oregon, opened a path for an eventual court-mandated, science-based plan to bring about sharp emissions reductions in the United States. The case, Juliana v. United States, will now go to trial starting sometime in 2017 and could prove to be a major civil rights suit, eventually finding its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Here’s what Judge Ann Aiken herself wrote about the case (as quoted by Holthaus later in the article):
I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society. Just as marriage is the foundation of the family, a stable climate system is quite literally the foundation of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress. […] To hold otherwise would be to say that the Constitution affords no protection against a government’s knowing decision to poison the air its citizens breathe or the water its citizens drink.
I’m fascinated by this trial and I truly hope they succeed. If you’d like to help out, their donation page is here.
James Gleick, in an op-ed for the New York Times (which published just before the daylight savings time-shift earlier this month):
Let us all — wherever and whenever — live on what the world’s timekeepers call Coordinated Universal Time, or U.T.C. (though “earth time” might be less presumptuous). When it’s noon in Greenwich, Britain, let it be 12 everywhere. No more resetting the clocks. No more wondering what time it is in Peoria or Petropavlovsk. Our biological clocks can stay with the sun, as they have from the dawn of history. Only the numerals will change, and they have always been arbitrary.
I mean, we already have a worldwide calendar system where combinations of seasons and months vary by location — for example, November being Autumn here in the US but Spring in Australia — and we deal with that just fine, so why not do the same for timekeeping?
Video above contains some NSFW language.
Now, personally I would have made the video’s editing a little tighter, maybe added some variety to the developer lineup. ★☆☆☆☆
(I’m kidding, of course. Mostly.)
As Jason Kottke describes, this is a short video of the most unsatisfying things in the world. Only watch this if you want to hate everything for a while.
During the summer of 2016, We created and directed a video about unsatisfying situations: the frustrating, annoying, disappointing little things of everyday life, that are so painful to live or even to watch.
We quickly realized that there are a lot of other situations that would be fun to see animated, so we decided to run an animation challenge around this idea.
After watching this, I had to cleanse my palate with a little trip over to /r/oddlysatisfying.
The team at Atlas Obscura have assembled the “definitive map of the world’s extraordinary sights”:
Thanks to all of you, there are now more than 10,000 incredible hidden wonders shared in the Atlas.
To celebrate, we’ve put them on all one map. The possibilities are vast, from the Icelandic witchcraft museum to the tree goats of Morocco, to Galileo’s middle finger, to the Skeleton Lake of India and thousands of other strange wonders across the world’s continents and oceans.
A couple months ago, when Merlin Mann shared the story behind one of his favorite quotes — “Every day, somebody’s born who’s never seen The Flintstones” — educator and writer James Michie wrote this excellent post about how it should apply to teachers:
This simple and somewhat obvious line is so important, particularly for educators. Far too often, I hear colleagues exclaim their disbelief about a child’s lack of general knowledge. I have been guilty of this too. However, what I have come to realise is that we should not make assumptions when it comes to educating young people.
Look at what you are teaching and assume nothing. Where you feel that your students should have prior knowledge, test this early on and plan to plug the gaps.
Applies to a bunch of other fields too. As a writer, I sometimes struggle with the concept that not everyone has heard/read/seen/learned all the exact same stuff I have, particularly when I’m writing one of our guides.
For every instance where I’ve wondered to myself, “Is this actually useful to anyone?”, readers have reached out afterward to let us know that yes, these articles are actually helping them learn and discover new things, regardless of how obvious they might seem to me or the rest of the team.
So, yeah. Every day, somebody’s born who’s never seen The Flintstones. A useful mantra, that.
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.