NatGeo: Discovered dinosaur fossil still has skin, scales, and possibly remnants if its last meal

Amazing. A Canadian miner “stumbled upon the oldest Albertan dinosaur ever found, frozen in stone as if it had gazed upon Medusa.” This nodosaur, like other members of the ankylosaur family, was basically a living walking version of the cars from Mad Max, covered in armored plates and spikes. And this 110 million-year-old specimen is the best-preserved example we have found to date.



John Oliver’s Net Neutrality part 2

If you need a refresher: Net Neutrality is the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated the same, and is what keeps ISPs like Comcast from slowing down Netflix or YouTube in favor of Comcast’s own crappy video streaming service — something they have already been caught doing. Net Neutrality also prevents ISPs from setting up “fast lanes” where you have to pay more for your website to run faster, an expense that smaller websites may not be able to afford.

ISPs have been fighting against Net Neutrality for years, but more recently they’ve put a former Verizon employee at the head of the FCC, where he plans on killing it… unless enough people complain to stop him. It’s worked before.

No Caption Needed: Jackbook Ballet

I just discovered this blog about photojournalism called No Caption Needed. Ironically, there is text, though. For every post, Robert Hariman et al write artfully about what makes the featured image interesting. Here’s their post about a strangely beautiful photograph they call Jackboot Ballet.

Jackboot Ballet


How Long Would It Take To Read Kindle’s Terms and Conditions?

Spoiler Alert: It takes about 9 hours to read the full Kindle terms of service — not counting the law classes needed to really understand it — and the Australian magazine Choice paid an actor to read the whole thing, all 73,000+ words, including the full text of the Apache software license 10 times.

You can watch a summary trailer video, or you can watch each of the 9 episodes, or you can do what I did, and turn on all of the videos at once 😜. It’s worth it just to read the Star Wars-like episode titles.

How Long Would It Take To Read Kindle’s Terms and Conditions?


the Chronicle of Higher Education article: “50 Years of Stupid Grammar”

The Elements of Style, a very famous grammar book, recently reached its 50th anniversay, and some people are celebrating.

Which is weird. Even when I read it as a much younger writer, I don’t think I ever found anything especially eye-opening about the advice in it. I even vaguely recall finding points to disagree with. Celebration of this book seems even more absurd, though, when you realize that a lot of the information in it is patently false.

What’s wrong is that the grammatical advice proffered in Elements is so misplaced and inaccurate that counterexamples often show up in the authors’ own prose on the very same page.