Written by

Chris Gonzales

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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Just 90 Companies Are to Blame for Most Climate Change, Says ‘Carbon Accountant’ »

Douglas Starr, writing for Science Magazine about illuminating research by geographer Richard Heede that shows how narrow the list of guilty parties behind most climate change really is:

Heede’s research shows that nearly two-thirds of anthropogenic carbon emissions originated in just 90 companies and government-run industries. Among them, the top eight companies […] account for 20 percent of world carbon emissions from fossil fuels and cement production since the Industrial Revolution. […]

The results showed that nearly two-thirds of the major industrial greenhouse gas emissions (from fossil fuel use, methane leaks, and cement manufacture) originated in just 90 companies around the world, which either emitted the carbon themselves or supplied carbon ultimately released by consumers and industry. As Heede told The Guardian newspaper, you could take all the decision-makers and CEOs of these companies and fit them on a couple Greyhound buses.

To be clear, climate change is the fault and responsibility of everyone, not just the companies on Heede’s list.

As consumers, our collective lifestyle choices are what allow these massive fossil fuel companies to become what they are, not the other way around. Even if such organizations are responsible for misinforming the public, not to mention impeding (and often even stamping out) developments in greener technology, we are all complicit in giving them so much power to wield.

Still, this list could be useful as a means of getting consumers thinking about what they buy and who they buy it from, as well as a good starting place for where political leaders can start directing their attention in terms of policies and restrictions.

It won’t be easy to undo over a century of political manipulation, behind-the-scenes scheming, and outright crimes against nature, BUT, we can do it. It will take all of us, and the sooner the better.

What a Tesla Looks Like After 100,000 Miles, a 48-State Road trip, 500 Uber Rides, 20 Rentals, and 2 AirBnB sleepovers »

On a somewhat greener note, Tesla car enthusiast Steve Sasman ran a major experiment with his new Model S:

Most $100,000 cars are babied by their owners. Never taken out except on a warm Sunday. Garaged and kept with extremely low mileage. Only driven by the owner, not even allowed to be driven by a spouse, much less a stranger.

Not my poor Tesla.

I’ve worked that thing like a rented freaking mule.

The best bullet point comes later, in a list of repair maintenance costs:

  • Oil Changes: Hahahahaha

Kanye West Deconstructed: The Human Voice as the Ultimate Instrument »

A few months ago, Vox’s Estelle Caswell deconstructed the best hip-hop rhymers of all time. This time, she examined Kanye West’s catalog and realized that his greatest musical weapon is the way he employs the human voice.

Here’s a transcript of her concluding summary in the accompanying video (starting from the 8:03 mark):

Kanye started his career as a producer known basically for one thing: those pitched-up vocals. Almost nobody would put him at the top of the list of “Best Rapper Alive”, but ever since his decision to rap with his jaw wired shut, he’s used the human voice as his weapon to bring hip-hop into a completely new space, and he’s still looking for the edge of where he can push the human voice.

Great analysis, as usual. I hope she keeps making these.

How to Seal Foods Air-Free Without a Vacuum Sealer »

After posting about J. Kenji López-Alt’s “perfect steam-boiled eggs” recipe in last week’s Quality Linkage, I started browsing the Serious Eats YouTube channel out of curiosity, and found this 1-minute video on how to seal food using the water-displacement method. It’s so simple yet brilliant.

  • As a nerdy side note, I just created a TextExpander snippet for J. Kenji’s name, since I’ve ended up referring to his work so often in these columns. Also, I just found out he’s got his own YouTube channel and immediately subscribed.

Finished, Not Perfect »

In this minute-and-a-half long video, artist Jake Parker makes the case that “Finishing a thing is way more important than having something that’s perfect, but not finished.”

Agreed! And it applies to a lot more than just art. Comedian Mike Birbiglia offers similar advice:


Write. Make a short film. Go to an open mike. Take an improv class. There’s no substitute for actually doing something. Don’t talk about it anymore. Maybe don’t even finish reading this essay.

Apple Notes is the Most Innovative Thing Apple Did in the Last Two Years »

Matt Haughey wrote an ode to his favorite app, Apple Notes (which would’ve been an odd statement to make two years ago):

For years I’ve heard that creative people that we regard as geniuses say they always make a point to capture their ideas with something close on hand, but nothing ever stuck for me. I often forgot to carry a Field Notes and pen with me everywhere. I tried syncing desktop todo text files to dropbox to iPhone apps, but it didn’t always work. But I’m always near a screen and all of them can run Notes, so I’ve finally started capturing everything. […]

For the first time in my life, whenever I have a good idea, there’s a place for me to quickly jot it down and let it leave my head. […] Notes removes every bit of friction I ever had that kept me from tracking ideas.

I haven’t hopped back on the Apple Notes bandwagon — I’ve been a Simplenote man for a good while now — but I may have to give it another shot soon. It sounds like everything I used to love about Evernote before it got all bloated and weird.

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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.