Written by

Chris Gonzales


Jiawei Zhao

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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🤒: Ed Yong’s piece for The Atlantic on the complicated (and often vexing) nature of the immune system’s response to COVID-19 is worth your time. At the very least, you’ll come away with a better layman’s understanding of what exactly goes on in your body when you get sick.

🕺🕺: Not that I needed a reason to link this video again seven months later, but once you’ve watched and been wowed by the original black-and-white version of Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers’ “Jumpin Jive” performance, check out the amazingly colorized version:

I can’t believe how good the quality is — you’d almost think it was shot yesterday.

🐡: I’m not the type of person who buys ceramic figures to have around at home — mostly because it’s a home-on-wheels and things tend to get jostled around on moving days — but these hilariously charming critters? Yeah, I’d be tempted.

🕸✨: I’ve said so many words over the years in these columns about my desire for the return of personal websites that aren’t…well, boring. It seems web developer and designer Max Böck agrees, because he has a project he calls The Whimsical Web that features various peoples’ websites that aren’t afraid to show some character, have a little fun, or get downright weird.

There are sites where you can strum guitar strings in the header, sites that clearly have love and personal attention poured into them, sites that rain emoji at the click of a button, sites with a “TL;DR” switch for all blog posts, and more.

This entire collection is right up my alley, is what I’m saying.

📖: According to writer and podcaster David Perell, “Modern dictionaries have lazy definitions that focus too much on simplicity at the cost of precision.” He recommends bookmarking Webster’s 1913 dictionary, which refers to itself as a “connoisseur’s reference to American English — a dictionary for writers and wordsmiths.”

Check out the page for ‘poison’ for example, which…look, I don’t know why that’s the first word I thought to type in, but it did bring up some pretty interesting info outside the basic word definition. I wouldn’t mind being able to install this as a dictionary in iOS/iPadOS.

🎧: Need a soundtrack with just the right vibe for your next big YouTube video or podcast? Unminus is a site aiming to be the Unsplash of music — they say as much right there in their tagline. From the description in the site’s sidebar:

All music published on Unminus can be used for free. You can use it for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from the creator or Unminus. Crediting isn’t required, but is appreciated and allows artists to gain exposure. Just try to create something new and incorporate the music in your own work like Videos, Podcasts, Apps, Intros, Outros, Background music, Soundtracks etc.

🚶‍♂️: Following their “Transfiguration” video from 2011 — which features an abstract figure strolling across the screen and shapeshifting between a variety of textures, materials, and forms — the Universal Everything artist collective has released an updated version for 2020 that uses the latest procedural visual effects software, along with some incredible foley-based sound effects. Put headphones on for this one.

It’s oddly calming, isn’t it? I can’t decide which form is my favorite, they’re all so fantastic.

🗣🏔: In stark contrast to the website I mentioned in my last column that offers views from other people’s windows, there’s another site that lets you scream your pent-up frustrations into the Icelandic wilderness. Extremely weird — and I think created by Iceland’s official tourism brand? — but maybe you’ll find it useful as this pandemic rages on.

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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.