May 19, 2017

Written by

Chris Gonzales


Francis Taylor

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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The Great Barrier Reef is Probably Doomed No Matter What »

Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic wrote about a startling new study published in the Nature Climate Change science journal earlier this week, which predicts the doom of the Great Barrier Reef even if we keep global warming to 1.5°C (and even that would require the world to halt all carbon emissions by 2021):

The summer of 2016 remains one of the most severe coral bleaching and die-off events ever observed—a level of devastation that scientists didn’t expect to see until the 2050s. A new study argues that it will not remain a rare event for long. Even in simulations of the most hopeful global-warming scenarios, modern climate models suggest that ocean temperatures around the Great Barrier Reef will regularly surpass the devastating warmth of 2016.

In other words: A once-in-a-lifetime event will soon become the new normal.

As Meyer said on Twitter, it’s hard to overstate how grim this study is.

iOS 11: iPad Wishes and Concept Video »

Federico Viticci and Sam Beckett of MacStories just published their iOS 11 wish list, which includes the awesome concept video embedded above. (I suggest watching it in 1080p or 4K.) The main difference with this year’s wish list is that it focuses exclusively on the iPad’s shortcomings:

iOS for iPhone is, I believe, at a point of sufficient maturity: aside from particular feature additions, I don’t think there’s anything fundamentally missing from the iPhone.1 The iPad now bears the proverbial low-hanging fruit of iOS. There are obvious areas of improvement on iOS for iPad, which is, effectively, two years behind its iPhone counterpart. The iPad’s lack of meaningful software advancements allows us to explore deeper ideas; thus, in a break with tradition, I decided to focus this year’s iOS Wishes exclusively on the iPad and where Apple could take its software next.

Lots of great ideas here. I approve of everything, especially the Apple Music-style overhaul to the App Store UI.

  • Federico, Stephen Hackett, and Myke Hurley also recorded a special episode of their Connected podcast where they discuss the wish list and more.

Photo credit: Colin Lane

Photo credit: Colin Lane

The Last Moment of the Last Great Rock Band »

NSFW for language.

Remember how famous The Strokes got in the early 2000s after their debut album Is This It dropped? I was 16 when I first heard “Last Nite”, and I remember everyone’s general attitude afterward, like these guys were going to be the biggest thing in music for years to come. It turned out to be a short-lived phenomenon.

This excerpt from Lizzy Goodman’s book, Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City, 2001–2011, tells the oral history of how the band got in the way of their own success, as told by the people who lived it. Here are a couple of my favorite bits:


Fabrizio Moretti (drummer, The Strokes): That’s the house of cards that is being in the Strokes. There were a lot of emotions that were kept secret but were so evident. We didn’t know how to process them, (a) because we were children and, (b) because it’s hard to process subliminal subconscious volcanic emotions. We were kids that wanted to conquer the world, but we had no idea that we were going to be given the chance.


Laura Young (blogger): To me, the Strokes’ first album is one of the greatest albums ever. But they represent such a moment in time that it’s hard to break out of unless you really reinvent yourself. Unless you’re the Beatles and you make Sgt. Pepper, you’re not going to break out of that mold of “Oh, this is that band that came out of the early 2000s and defined a moment.” Nothing they do will ever be as cool as that first album.

Now excuse me while I go relive my high school years.

Timelapse of a Full Cloud Inversion Filling the Grand Canyon »

You know that SKYGLOW book/film I wrote about a couple days ago? This video from the project’s creators showcases a neat trick of nature:

Millions of visitors a year come to Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the most visited national park in the western United States. However, on extremely rare days when cold air is trapped in the canyon and topped by a layer of warm air, which in combination with moisture and condensation, form the phenomenon referred to as the full cloud inversion. In what resembles something between ocean waves and fast clouds, Grand Canyon is completely obscured by fog, making the visitors feel as if they are walking on clouds.

Graph: Owen Phillips, The AwlData from The Neighborhood Archive

Graph: Owen Phillips, The Awl

Data from The Neighborhood Archive

Every Color Of Cardigan Mister Rogers Wore From 1979–2001 »

Using data from Tim Lybarger’s The Neighborhood Archive — an archival website devoted to all things Mister Rogers — Owen Phillips of The Awl charted the color of every cardigan sweater Fred Rogers wore on his PBS show between 1979 and 2001:

Some sweaters were worn once and then never again, like the neon blue cardigan Rogers wore in episode 1497. Others, like his harvest gold sweaters, were part of Rogers’ regular rotation and then disappeared. And then there were the unusual batch of black and olive green sweaters Rogers wore exclusively while filming the “Dress-Up” episodes in 1991. To this day, members of the Neighborhood Archive message board claim those are the only sweaters Rogers wore that were store bought. The rest were hand knit by his mother.

Notice how the colors of Rogers’ cardigans gradually got darker as the show went on. (via Jason Kottke)

  • Ed. note: I take issue with this bit at the end of the article:

    (Ed. note: Fred Rogers’s questionable ess-less possessive has been honored throughout.)

    It’s not questionable at all sir!

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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.