Written by

Chris Gonzales


Kirk Kurashige

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.

* * *

🌮: If you’ve spent any amount of time in the cooking-related corners of YouTube and Instagram this past year, you’ve probably seen and heard a lot about birria tacos. Tejal Rao of the New York Times did a deep dive into this phenomenon and the history of the dish — but I’m warning you, do NOT go into any of these links hungry.

  + Side note: You can read more about the birria in the hero image above in this 2013 blog post.

🤐: On the subject of deep dives, Josh Centers — who you may know as the managing editor of TidBITS and the author of those “Take Control of…” books — recently explored why YKK zippers have an unrivaled reputation for quality.

We’ve written about many a product where YKK zippers are a primary selling point, not an afterthought. You might think it strange, but try just one and you’ll never go back.

🏋️: Mildly NSFW for language This week I got back into the calorie-counting game, and am hoping to start some kind of workout routine soon. This video on “How to Get Averagely Ripped” is…weirdly motivating? It sure makes the whole thing seem a lot less complicated than internet fitness gurus make it out to be.


🎸: The Who’s 1968 performance of “A Quick One (While He’s Away)” during The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is the stuff of rock legend:


Apart from being a fantastic display of rock showmanship, the fact that the concert (which included a bunch of other big-name acts, including the Stones themselves) wasn’t released until 1996 has led many to speculate that Mick Jagger was so jealous of the Who’s performance that he couldn’t bear for it to see the light of day.

Whether that’s true or not, this oral history about the concert’s inception and making is a fun and interesting read.

🦠: Do you remember where you were when the pandemic first felt real to you? I wouldn’t blame you for not wanting to relive it, but the WIRED and BuzzFeed News retrospectives about those early days — linked by The Morning News and Jason Kottke — are kind of interesting to look back on now:

By Thursday, the national landscape had been undeniably altered, and Americans were panic-buying toilet paper. A whole new vocabulary—WFH, PPE, flattening the curve, social distancing, self-isolation, Zoom-bombing, and quarantinis—loomed ahead. Epochal events that had occurred just weeks earlier, from the Australian wildfires to President Trump’s impeachment trial to the drama of the Democratic primary, would seem instead to have occurred years ago.

🙌: This is going to sound crazy to anyone against the very idea of universal basic income or any other social safety net (for reasons I’ve never been able to wrap my head around), but as Annie Lowrey of the Atlantic recently pointed out, “The best way to get people out of poverty is just to get them out of poverty.” Mindblowing!

🗣: Interesting theory from David Perell that social networks are cities for the digital world:

Every city changes you. San Francisco tells you to be powerful, LA tells you to be famous, Boston tells you to be smarter, and New York tells you to be richer.


Now, the same thing is happening on social networks: each one whispers something. Twitter tells you to be witty, Reddit tells you to be clever, Facebook tells you to share your everyday life, Instagram tells you to be glamorous, and TikTok tells you to be entertaining.

😎: There’s some nice food for thought in Morgan Housel’s list of useful and overlooked skills.

📱⌨️: Few things are more relatable to me than Jason Snell’s lamentation that no perfect Markdown editor exists on iOS. I’ve tried them all as well, and for me, Editorial was ✨the one✨ for a long time, until it just…stopped getting any love from its developer and became buggier and buggier in the face of major iOS updates.

For now I’ve settled on 1Writer but it’s not perfect either, and sometimes I wish I could just *poof* the app I want into existence. Sigh, alas…

* * *

Neat Stuff We’ve Published Recently

* * *

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.