June 16, 2017

Written by

Chris Gonzales


Sawyer Bengtson

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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5 Questions that Reveal if a Company Has a Healthy Workplace Culture »

Know Your Company CEO Claire Lew, writing for Basecamp’s Signal v. Noise blog, offers five questions to ask your next job interviewer:

If you’re on the job hunt, try a few of these questions at the end of your next interview. You’re bound to learn so much more than asking, “What’s it like to work here?”.

But if you’re not — if you’re an employer who’s actively recruiting new hires — ask yourself these questions.

Do you like your own answers to them?

Your company culture may not be as healthy as you’d like to say it is.

Answers to the first question alone would be quite illuminating.

Check Your Schadenfreude »

Evan Puschak’s latest Nerdwriter video discusses how feelings of schadenfreude are something of a drug — ones that should be kept in check, particularly when it comes to the world of politics.

Real Words that are Also Valid CSS HEX Colors »

This neat website called #c0ffee is the color — cleverly named after a funky song by Roy Ayers — lists a bunch of CSS HEX values that happen to be (or in most cases, look like) real three- and six-letter words. For example: B00B00 (“boo-boo”), #F1E57A (“fiesta”), #1D1075 (“idiots”), 7055E5 (“tosses”), #71D1ED (“tidied”), etc.

The site is currently a bit janky with some devices/orientations because it doesn’t display full HEX codes until you tap one a couple times to bring up a text cursor, but it’s fun nonetheless. I emailed the creator to give them a heads-up about it.

Two idle thoughts:

  1. I’ve dealt with HEX values many times and never stopped to consider what colors would be made using actual words. What is wrong with me?
  2. This is kind of like a modern version of that thing we did as kids by spelling out “0.1134” on a calculator and turning it upside-down to reveal a “hello” message. (Yes, I also know the naughtier one but this is a family-friendly website you guys.)

(via @kottke.)

The Batman Complex »

Here’s a fun video for fellow Batman fans: Somebody took clips from a bunch of films and brilliantly edited them into a concept trailer for a film where Bruce Wayne is merely a mentally ill man who dreamt up the entire thing and must be rescued from his delusion. Super clever and interesting to think about.

+ In response to being summoned to a Reddit thread about this video, u/Luna_LoveWell began writing a multi-part story called “The Batman Delusion” to flesh these concepts out, and I’ve found it very compelling so far. Here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

The Mammoth Pirates »

I had no idea there was a market for ivory harvested from woolly mammoth fossils, but check out this story and series of images by Radio Free Europe photographer Amos Chapple (which he also posted on Reddit yesterday):

With the sale of elephant tusks under close scrutiny, “ethical ivory” from the extinct woolly mammoth is now feeding an insatiable market in China. This rush on mammoth ivory is luring a fresh breed of miner — the tusker — into the Russian wilderness and creating dollar millionaires in some of the poorest villages of Siberia.

On condition that he not reveal names or exact locations, RFE/RL photographer Amos Chapple gained exclusive access to one site where between bouts of vodka-fueled chaos and days spent evading police patrols, teams of men are using illegal new methods in the hunt for what remains of Siberia’s lost giants.

While this is all fascinating, I find it appalling that these people take what could be very important additions to the scientific record and just sell them off to get carved into glorified ornaments for the ultra-rich of China, not to mention the environmental impact of all that hydromining (which Chapple details in “Part Four: The Damage”).

Trigger warning: One of the photos in this article is of Amos’ foot covered in mosquitos. I’m still squirming over here.


Remember that silly Flash Screen toy Nickelodeon sold in the 90s, where you’d flash a small strobe at photo-luminescent fabric to create shadow art?

Filmmaker/cinematographer Jonah Haber felt inspired by that idea, so he ordered a roll of glow-in-the-dark paper and had his friend dance in front of it to create a sort-of music video for Yes We Mystic’s song, “Working for the Future in the Interlake”. The result is stunning and somewhat haunting.

Fun fact: The video’s dancer and choreographer is Niamh Wilson, who’s been on Degrassi and a couple of the Saw movies.

In a brief interview, Haber explained the video’s concept:

“We wanted the video to be a visual diary of sorts — rather than showing Niamh express her thoughts and feelings using words on paper, she does it with movement through dance,” Haber adds. “The glow wall is the paper of her diary. As the video progresses and Niamh releases her feelings onto this wall, she completes her ‘diary entry’ and walks away, leaving fading shadows as the only evidence of the intense emotion she felt.”

Diagram: Sasha Trubetskoy *(MMXVII)*

Diagram: Sasha Trubetskoy (MMXVII)

A Subway-Style Diagram of Major Roman Roads »

Cool project by geographer and data nerd Alexandr “Sasha” Trubetskoy:

Creating this required far more research than I had expected—there is not a single consistent source that was particularly good for this. Huge shoutout to: Stanford’s ORBIS model, The Pelagios Project, and the Antonine Itinerary (found a full PDF online but lost the url).

The lines are a combination of actual, named roads (like the Via Appia or Via Militaris) as well as roads that do not have a known historic name (in which case I creatively invented some names). […] The biggest creative element was choosing which roads and cities to include, and which to exclude. There is no way I could include every Roman road, these are only the main ones. I tried to include cities with larger populations, or cities that were provincial capitals around the 2nd century.

If you want to make a poster of this, you can send Sasha $9 via PayPal to receive a PDF version for printing.

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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.