Good Reporting Everywhere

Hello internet friends!

Good news, everybody: Sperm count drop ‘could make humans extinct’
(And also, come on. We’re this close to getting science to a point where we don’t need sperm anymore anyway. (Or are we at this point already? I’m not really up-to-date on reproductive science.))


Just in case you wonder how that is like: Spending a Week in the Nude
This is good reporting right there.


Talking about good reporting: I watched in bewilderment while a man tried to return butternut squash because he thought it was cheese


A: Yes.
Q: Is Schlager Music The Most Embarrassing Thing Germany Has Ever Produced?


Even if you’re not into podcasts, you might want to make an exception for that one: Long Distance by Reply All.
These people went ahead and decided to research who is behind a tech support scam call.


This is weirder than what most writers of thrillers come up with: The Hijacking of the Brillante Virtuoso
What a name for a tanker, too.

And oh. Don’t watch the Emoji movie.

This Newsletter Is Problematic

Hello internet friends,

yes, obviously it is problematic but The Fifth Element is easily one of my favourite movies. (Just so you know, your fave is problematic.) And it’s not just the visuals, it is actually the story, too.


Citymapper announces ‘hyper-local multi-passenger pooled vehicle’ – which is, as you might have guessed, a bus. With all the hullabaloo around self-driving cars and on-demand mobility in the end a proper, well-working and affordable public transport is probably still the best solution for most cities. And it is actually a smart move by Citymapper to use their data to identify demand for this line and use the desire path.


By now we know that dinosaurs had feathers and made duck-like sounds. (If not, news flash: they had feathers and made duck-like sounds.) And the most fearsome of them, the gigantic feather, quacking Tyrannosaurs Rex wasn’t even that fast, either: Tyrannosaurus Rex Would Break Its Own Legs if It Chased Jeff Goldblum IRL.
Good news for Jeff Goldblum, I guess.


We may have cracked the mystery of Stonehenge. “May” being the word here. And while that “may” is still a “may” let’s look at videos instead. For example: Decoding the ancient astronomy of Stonehenge Or you know… that one.


This guy, more than anyone in the world, should be thankful that CGI was around when they made the Star Wars prequels: How the Guy Who Played Jar Jar Binks Survived the Fandom Menace

🎶 What’s the meaning of stone-heeeenge… 🎵


[Umbrella Emoji]

Hello internet friends,

after years of being pretty loyal to iPhones, I might have finally found a good reason to switch to Android: Apple rival Huawei debuts KFC-branded Android phone in China


If you’ve been diligent about clicking on every emoji link I posted in these emails, especially the more technical ones, you know that certain emoji are a ligature of two other symbols. Now this dude decided that things are not far enough down that road, so here are some ligatures he invented and some interpretations he got from Twitter: The emoji ligature Rorschach test


Ah, it has been everywhere but when I first saw the article I just knew I had to include it here: Umbrella-sharing startup loses nearly all of its 300,000 umbrellas in a matter of weeks
We all laughed but by now we should know what happens when the umbrella corporations have to look for other fields of business, right?


Now you might have just read that last paragraph and had a little nerd chuckle. But more likely you were wondering what I was going on about. And apparently I just made the mistake that is The Single Reason Why People Can’t Write, According to a Harvard Psychologist.
(You don’t have to click. The single reason is that writers assume that every reader knows as much as they do and hence use jargon and in-jokes.)
((In-jokes aside – do you dare doing an image search for the header of this section?))


I’m not sure if they are the greatest per se but it is an interesting, fun article – even though it is a listicle: The 100 Greatest Props in Movie History, and the Stories Behind Them



Hello internet friends,

what a week we had, with absolutely weird and infuriating news from all over the world. And as things go we’ll just ignore everything for just this email and look at some other random stuff.


I am a big fan of science doing science things. I also don’t mind a nice drink once in a while. So obviously I’m quite in favour of science answering this question: Why does gin and tonic taste so good?

Roll out!

Science also includes the humanities. So obviously I’m also rather happy about this series of video essays: Film Studies through a Lens of Transformers
(Meanwhile ‘Transformers 5’ isn’t doing so well: Has Pandering to Chinese Audiences Hurt ‘Transformers 5’?)


John le Carré has some thoughts on Why we should learn German.
My rather selfish reason for all of you to learn German would be that I don’t have to write this bloody newsletter in English.


I’m always in awe of people who take an okay joke and turn it into something bigger, just because. There was literally no reason for the people who write Silicon Valley to actually create one of the apps that appear in that TV series. But they did. And that’s how they did it: How HBO’s Silicon Valley built “Not Hotdog” with mobile TensorFlow, Keras & React Native


Maps, Miss, Love, Roll

Hello internet friends,

apparently if you were born between 1977 and 1983, there’s a new name for you. And for some reasons it’s not “being dangerously close to middle age.”


Maps are awesome. Looking at maps is fun. Drawing maps is fun, too. But – how did the whole idea of maps came about? Well, here we go: From Ptolemy to GPS, the Brief History of Maps
(Yes, very brief. And obviously there have been maps before Ptolemy.)


This is an utterly baffling view into a world I do not understand: Mr. Miss Universe: Meet Jeff Lee, Professional Beautiful-Woman Coach
It is even more baffling why it is in the category of “Sports”


One of – if not the – best[1] song of the disco era turned 40 this year and it still sounds like the future: I feel love: Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder created the template for dance music as we know it


It is quite fun to take photos of things that rotate very fast with most modern cameras – because of the way they work, we get weird effects. This is called rolling shutter and this video explains why and how it happens.

That’s what I have for you today.

  1. Debate me!  ↩