Welcome back, ladies and gentlefolk! I’ve been trapped labouring in a
Colombian salt mine for the past four months, but after a daring escape
which my lawyers have advised me not to speak of, i’ve returned to
safety to provide you all with yet more content®™.
Some links i’ve had sitting around gathering mothballs to start you off:
I hate this sort of thing, you hate this sort of thing, let’s get it out
of the way. In addition to capturing old web pages, the Internet Archive
is also home to untold thousands of old videos, games, and books — each
of the latter of which correspond to a real, physical book in their
collections. They lend them out like a library, for only one person at a
time… until the pandemic, when they made the perhaps ill-advised
decision to lift the borrowing limits for that limited time. Publishing
companies, who weren’t too happy with that, pushed the nuclear button,
sued them over the entire idea of digital lending, and
now a federal court’s decided against them. They’re planning to take the fight as high as they can go —
and they could use your donation.
As i said, i hate to do this — you don’t need me to tell you about all
the ways the world is fucked up — but i’m willing to make an allowance
when it affects me in particular. So many pieces of internet history,
even on this site, now only exist as digital ghosts in their machines
(hell, i even had to replace one of the links here with an Archive.org
link after the author was suspended from Twitter). And i can’t count the
number of musty out-of-print books that i would have never been able to
access here from my comfy chair in England if it weren’t for the IA
preserving them for a new generation.
The Stem Projector
is the kind of ridiculous gadget i’d think up when i was seven, with
no regard for any practical value or market — haptic channel
surfing! Instagram filters for movies! Automatically-generated mood
boards! Just complete nonsense and i want it now.
I found out that Mark Toney’s1, in Newcastle,
serves Dutch-style apple pie, and it immediately gave me flashbacks to
my childhood like the critic in Ratatouille. I honestly started
crying. Delicious stuff. …Sorry, what’s that?
Apologies for the interruption; my legal team have informed me that i
have to actually put links in my link roundups. Who knew‽
I was originally going to post this excerpt from William Shatner’s new
memoir, printed in Variety, alongside the usual link roundup,
but something about it touched me enough to give it its own post.
Mr Shatner, in his own words, on his first trip to space:
I continued my self-guided tour and turned my head to face the other
direction, to stare into space. I love the mystery of the universe.
I love all the questions that have come to us over thousands of
years of exploration and hypotheses. Stars exploding years ago,
their light traveling to us years later; black holes absorbing
energy; satellites showing us entire galaxies in areas thought to be
devoid of matter entirely… all of that has thrilled me for years…
but when I looked in the opposite direction, into space, there
was no mystery, no majestic awe to behold … all I saw was
I saw a cold, dark, black emptiness. It was unlike any blackness you
can see or feel on Earth. It was deep, enveloping, all-encompassing.
I turned back toward the light of home. I could see the curvature of
Earth, the beige of the desert, the white of the clouds and the blue
of the sky.
It was life. Nurturing, sustaining, life. Mother Earth.
Gaia. And I was leaving
It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever
The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm
nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every
day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of
Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and
fauna … things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly
we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind.
It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a
celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.
Upon returning to earth, and trying to put his story into words for the
first time, he was, as you may remember, bluntly cut off by Jeff Bezos,
asking for more champagne: