Written by

Chris Gonzales

Welcome to this week’s edition of our 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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🎧: Longtime T&T contributor Tyler Hayes wrote a piece for The New York Times’ “Smarter Living” section that has tips for making the perfect music playlist. At the end he links to a playlist he made just for the article, which I’m currently listening to as I write this.

📖💫🧸: I haven’t been listening to podcasts much in the past year or so, but yesterday I made time to check out this 2018 episode of Joy Clarkson’s Speaking with Joy show, wherein she discusses the wisdom and value of whimsy in our lives, particularly as conveyed through the works of various writers, musicians, and artists:

Take a look through the extensive show notes for this episode for some excellent quotes, illustrations, and more.

  + I feel I should mention for any fellow nonreligious listeners that Clarkson does examine these ideas primarily through the lens of her Christian faith, which she doesn’t shy away from one bit. However, she doesn’t spend the episode bashing you over head with it at all. The lessons she’s sharing here are delightful and absolutely worth hearing, regardless of your faith (or lack thereof).

🥩📹: J. Kenji López-Alt has been doing a bunch of POV cooking videos on his YouTube channel lately, which are excellent for picking up tips and concepts you might not hear elsewhere, because he just sort of drops them in a stream-of-consciousness way while he works. It’s like being a guest at his house and getting an impromptu cooking lesson (which I bet he could actually charge money for, and make a killing).

Anyway, this one where he cooks a prime ribeye steak is full of stuff like that. I came away with a better understanding of the actual science behind surface moisture and proper salting.

🎮🧰: Getting your hands on a Nintendo Switch is a bit difficult right now — probably out of some combination of home isolation and the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, not to mention scalpers (😡) — so Imgur user ‘sarbaaz37’ put together a photo gallery with detailed instructions on building your own Switch out of spare parts.

It’s not exactly the prettiest thing you’ll ever build, but man, what a cool project. Could double as a homeschool lesson on electronics tinkering with your kid(s).

🍩🛹😯: There’s probably no real point in this other than being extremely impressive, but here are a bunch of Simpsons characters coded purely in CSS. They even blink, for crying out loud!

🐙🎐: I had no idea there were so many interesting things to know about jellyfish. Also, I know neither of those emojis is a jellyfish, but that combo is the best I can do and we’re all just gonna have to live with that fact together.

🎨🥴: There are many design competitions in the world, but not many encourage you to design the worst possible logo. Yes, this is real, and yes, there are real prizes to be won. There are some absolutely brilliant entries to laugh at here, all for a fictional client/corporation named Smorts 😂

Even the website itself is “terrible” in the best way, with funny little details sprinkled throughout.

🎼🎻🎺🐺: My 8yo son and 6mo daughter were getting on each other’s nerves this morning, until I put on this “Pierre et le Loup” — aka “Peter and the Wolf” — animated orchestral video that managed to calm both of them down and kept their attention all the way though.

📈: If you’re somewhat into browsing Reddit but feel like discovering new subreddits could be easier than it is, this project on Github can help. Plug in whatever subreddit you like, and it’ll draw you a map of related ones with the most relevants ones prominently highlighted for easy browsing.

💥🎞: In case your mind isn’t already spinning from all the sensory input available to you in the world today, here’s a minute-long video that Jason Kottke accurately describes as a “Rube Goldberg-esque video montage made up of cleverly arranged stock video footage.”

📀: For all you vloggers, podcasters, game developers, and other makers out there, AudionautiX is a sweet resource full of 100% royalty-free production music for you to use in your projects, all courtesy of composer/producer/engineer Jason Shaw:

With the exception of guest composers, I create all of the music here on the website, mostly from scratch. I play multiple instruments, but I also use sound samples, loops, drum machines, software synths, and whatever is handy. I can read music but mostly compose by ear.

Some of the pieces here are background to talk over, while some are full blown pieces suitable to sit and listen to. I love sharing this music with you, and hope it helps you in your life in some small way to complete a project, or brightens your day.

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Neat Stuff We’ve Published Recently

Here's another lovely piece of art by Breezy Brookshire, the same illustrator (with a fantastic name!) behind the hero image above. Be sure to buy her prints on Etsy!

Here’s another lovely piece of art by Breezy Brookshire, the same illustrator (with a fantastic name!) behind the hero image above. Be sure to buy her prints on Etsy!

  • Speaking of whimsy, Ravensburger’s “Bizarre Bookshop 2” jigsaw puzzle is a perfect example.
  • Another example? These “Drippy Pots” ceramics by Brian Giniewski.
  • If you’re going to get into espresso as a hobby, there are two perfect entry-level grinders we’ve recently talked about: the electric Baratza Sette 270 and the manual 1Zpresso JX-Pro.
  • You’ll feel like Alton Brown every time you pick up the RSVP Endurance salt server. (You old-school Good Eats fans know what I’m talking about.)
  • Three Mountains’ yellow sriracha sauce is a bit sweetier and tangier than the red rooster sauce you’re probably familiar with, but with a richer and more complex flavor profile.
  • Tweezerman’s “Slant” tweezers are the ideal tool for both removing hard-to-get-at splinters and shaping eyebrows.

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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.