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.
Remember that “History of Japan” video Bill Wurtz put out over a year ago? The one that ended up becoming a sort of phenomenon, and is currently approaching 26 million views on YouTube?
Well, people have been clamoring for Wurtz to release more videos like that rather than the kinds of short snippets and silly songs he’s made since the beginning of his channel — which I think are great, actually, especially the full-on songs he sometimes releases; the man’s got talent — and a couple days ago, their wishes finally came true. This time, he’s covering the history of Earth, starting from the beginning of the universe.
This is 19 minutes of pure, weird bliss. Make some time to watch it today, but maybe not at work because there’s a lot of NSFW language.
Speaking of NSFW language, here’s an article that’s also got a lot of it. Sean Blanda of 99u is sick of all the self-proclaimed “experts” out there who peddle advice but don’t actually have the hard-won expertise to back it up:
Creative people often despise those that criticize work without having work of their own. Something Teddy Roosevelt referred to as “being in the arena.” We respect opinions from those that are in the trenches with us, doing the hard things that we try to do. But this creative expert class is worse than any critic, offering other people creative salvation in an attempt to find their own. We despise critics with no skin in the game but we’ve handed them the keys to our kingdom and the space on our library bookshelf.
You can view episodes by painting, learn how to get started with wet-on-wet painting, and even search by color to see what you can paint alongside Ross based on whichever colors you’ve already got on hand. What a weirdly wonderful resource.
Here’s one for you developers and interface designers out there: DiverseUI is a project that compiles user/avatar images featuring a diversity of people, which can be used in personal or commercial products.
From their about page:
We built Diverse UI because who we assume our users are, and how we represent that in our visuals, affects who those users turn out to be. We want those users to be diverse. For more information, we wrote a blog post about why we think diversity in UI mockups is important.
Christopher Orr, writing for The Atlantic, declares that the golden era of Pixar is over:
Pixar has promised that after the upcoming glut of sequels, the studio will focus on original features. But we’re grown-ups, and though the once inimitable studio has taught us to believe in renewal, it has also trained us in grief and loss. I’m not sure I dare to expect much more of what used to make Pixar Pixar: the idiosyncratic stories, the deep emotional resonance, the subtle themes that don’t easily translate into amusement-park rides.
I hate to say it, but he has a point. While I still love Pixar and the work they do, some of their more recent work — particularly their increasing penchant for sequels — has been lackluster. The upcoming Coco movie looks like it will have some of the ol’ Pixar magic, but beyond that… Cars 3? Toy Story 4? The Incredibles 2? (Okay, that last one could be awesome, but still.)
Since I’m apparently linking 🔥🔥🔥 Hot Takes™ 🔥🔥🔥 today, here’s one by Drew Magary of The Concourse that asks us all to stop idolizing chefs:
“I’m a ‘go f*** yourself’ kinda guy.” That’s [ramen master Ivan Orkin’s] opening salvo. Which, okay. Fine. I’m glad you’re a cartoonishly irascible New Yorker. Can I just have my f****** bowl of soup, please? Not everything I eat needs a story, man.
And yet, that’s exactly what the high-end food scene does now. Food can’t just be food. There has to be a mythology behind it (one new restaurant in Seattle has its own g****** encyclopedia). More important, there has to be a person behind it—an ICON—preferably some completely obsessive loon who simply won’t rest until he’s foraged for the exact right sized ramp for your chilled soup course. These chefs end up revered like tech bros and getting filmed and profiled well past the point of absurdity.
Again, a part of me agrees here, even though I do love watching Chef’s Table and its ilk.
Via J. Kenji López-Alt, who has the hottest of takes:
STRONG AGREE. @GuyFieri’s Diner/Drivein/Dives has done way more good for food than Chef’s Table has.
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.