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.
This week, NASA released a composite image of Saturn’s largest moon Titan, constructed from photos taken by the Cassini spacecraft during a flyby on November 13th, 2015. To the naked eye, Titan normally appears to be a yellow, hazy orb due to its surprisingly heavy atmosphere, but thanks to Cassini’s infrared imaging, we now have a broad “view” of the moon’s Earth-like surface, albeit a false-colored one.
To be clear (heh), this is not the first view we’ve had of Titan’s surface. Back in January 2005, Cassini sent a probe called Huygens down to the moon’s surface and took a bunch of photos along the way. Here’s a video rendering of that descent:
David Heinemeier Hansson (known more colloquially as “DHH”) on the reality of being a millionaire vs. the way he’d envisioned it:
For the first few months, I barely touched any of the money. Sure, I bought a big screen TV and more DVD boxsets than I could hope to consume, but it wasn’t like I couldn’t have done that anyway. It wasn’t until near the end of that year I finally drew down on the account of cliched purchases: A yellow Lamborghini! While all very nice, very wonderful, it didn’t, as we say, really move the needle of deep satisfaction.
What kept moving the needle, though, was programming Ruby, building Basecamp, writing for Signal v Noise, taking pictures, and enjoying all the same avenues of learning and entertainment my already privileged lifestyle had afforded me for years in advance.
While I’ve been considering an upgrade to an iPad Pro, for the past two months or so I’ve been trying to use my iPad Air 2 as much as I can and my MacBook as little as I can. What I’ve found is that there’s a lot that you can get done on the iPad, so much so that I feel comfortable traveling with it as my sole “work” device. Of course, you have to be organized and you have to be crafty to do this effectively, as some things that come easily on OS X require jumping through hoops on iOS.
He goes on to list several design-related improvements he’d like to see come to iOS. I’m not even a designer and I agree with him on the need for custom system fonts — I would love to have them in Pixelmator if nothing else.
After the recent passing of one of its most beloved community members, Food52 decided to memorialize her and share some of her best recipes:
Kukla’s recipes were hugely well received with the rest of the Food52 community, too: Enthusiastic notes from other cooks fill the comment sections of her recipes—and Kukla would answer nearly all of them, wishing them the best, thanking them for cooking from her recipes, and often offering helpful tips. (Just look at the exchanges on her recipe for Lemon-Ricotta Bars.)
Very cool of them to do this.
Earlier this week Gavin Aung Than of Zen Pencils published this excellent comic adaptation of Robert Herrick’s poem, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time. It’s a celebration of love (in whatever form it takes), acceptance, and seizing the day while one has the chance.
You’ll probably recognize the first line from Robin Williams’ classic speech in Dead Poets Society:
This week was the 50th anniversary of James Baldwin taking down William F. Buckley in a historic Cambridge University debate on the question, “Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?”
I don’t need much of an excuse to revisit this debate, as it’s one of my all-time favorites. If you’ve never seen it before, though — or even if you’re like me and have seen it half a dozen times — make time to watch it. Hard to believe we’re still dealing with the kinds of societal issues that were being debated back when my parents were toddlers.
Tim Urban of Wait But Why visually charted out his life expectancy in a variety of ways. Some charts show how many (or rather, few) books he is likely to read before he reaches 90 years old, how many winters he may experience, how many more times he will swim in the ocean, and most importantly, how many days he probably has left with his parents.
He reaches a somewhat startling conclusion:
When you look at that reality, you realize that despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life. If I lay out the total days I’ll ever spend with each of my parents—assuming I’m as lucky as can be—this becomes starkly clear:
It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end.
You may come away from this article rethinking the amount of quality time you spend (or don’t) with those you love.
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