Two years on from the big Christchurch quake that still casts a very very long shadow over this country. I’ve decided that this is the perfect occasion to check my emergency preparedness kit every year. I’ve been encouraging people to join me, mostly via Facebook – your Like would be welcome, but what I really want is for you to check your kit, too. Here’s the government’s advice site.
Stephanie left this in comments last week:
A photographer called Steve McCurry took the last roll of Kodachrome film made by the Kodak factory and turned it into a special project. Well worth a watch.
What is James Bond’s actual favourite drink? A loving and exhaustive article (that still manages to mis-spell whisky). (via Pearce)
Couples switch clothes. A photo series. (via Dylan)
The extraordinary science of addictive junk food – if our biological system is like a computer, junk food makers are like hackers.
Run, Tom Cruise, Run (via David R)
Candyman: the David Klein story – feature documentary about the guy behind legendary American candy ‘Jelly Belly Jellybeans’, made by Wgtn’s own Costa Botes, music by friend of this parish Tom McLeod, and a good watch. It’s on Hulu so you’ll need Media Hint or something to watch it from outside the US. (also via David R) (Here’s my review from when I saw it at film festival – basically, a fascinating character study, very good film, but too long for me to call it great)
Dangerous Minds has the rundown on the Harlem Shake – what the meme is, where it comes from, what it means, and why the people of Harlem think it’s dumb. Sorry, Harlemites, this is bigger than you. Dale Cooper is doing it.
That writer who said those mean things about Our Kate the Princess – read what she actually said, guys. It’s smart stuff. You might not agree, but the media storm over this is embarrassing. (via Marie)
Animated GIFs that do something other than make you laugh: they look amazing. (via Tim Denee)
Strategic blunders in the Battle of Hoth. Comments are good, too.
And carrying on the Jared Diamond attacks, here’s a piece from Slate. I have never read Diamond, but to the best of my knowledge this kind of attack is absolutely in line with the general academic view on his works, but it seems like it really hasn’t escaped that sphere – I’ve seen scientists and other smart people writing off this stuff as sour grapes, even. It’s worth knowing that there’s controversy around him.
Middle-earth linguist, who created languages for Peter Jackson (starting from Tolkein’s baseline), starts a blog.
Goats yelling like humans (via Darshi, and lots of other people)
Alasdair wrote something very cool about short stories and novels and Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett. If you like writing or reading or detectives, read it.
Mosh pits: just like particle physics, apparently (that’s one for all the bogan physicists out there)
Jet Jaguar, aka friend of this parish Michael Upton, has released a 3-track EP: Single-Digit High – the first of a bunch to be released this year. Listen to it, download it, pay something if you like. I’ve only listened once so far but it was good. There are beats in it. Give it a try.
And finally, via James Dodwell – the cutting edge of fairground rides is quite scary stuff. This piece starts out a bit dry but it is absolutely worth it to see the breathtaking rare footage within.