Cleaning up again

Time to share some of the stuff that is clogging up my browser and has yet to find a home in one blog post or another, but which I can’t bear to just throw away.

In other words, this is the sort of post I do to prevent myself from becoming a link hoarder. I am pretty sure I could never be a hoarder not because I am any good at being neat and organized and minimalist or anything. I totally am not.

It’s just that I do not get very emotionally attached to objects, and so I have no problem throwing stuff away or giving it away if it becomes a hassle.

Anyhow, on with the links!

First off, there is this interesting piece about the simultaneous rise and fall of Wikipedia.

On the one hand, Wikipedia has never been bigger, better, more comprehensive, more trusted, more used, or more ubiquitous in our lives. It is the reference desk of the Internet, the go-to repository for all human knowledge for the entire human race. I cannot over-stress how amazing, important, and powerful that is. Wikipedia is beyond the dreams of scholars past and truly represents a new frontier in human thought and human understanding.

But, as the article points out, the original concept of Wikipedia as “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit” has mostly been eclipsed by the realities of human nature and Internet life.

Theoretically, anyone can still edit and contribute, but when you combine the stringent rules that they have had to implement to keep quality up and more important to keep the random defacers out, and then add the very real possibility of having your contributions rejected by the community for not meeting its standards or covered in other people’s edits, it is no wonder that actual number of contributors has declined sharply over the years.

And that is not even getting into the fact that human knowledge is, in fact, finite, and therefore over the years fewer contributions are actually needed. Eventually, it is all in there, more or less, and it is harder for a potential contributor to find an area that is not already covered.

So all that is needed is people to update the entries that are open to updating, and that will always take far fewer people than the initial rush of documentation did.

But that does not make Wikipedia worse. It is still the most amazing knowledge tool ever. I Wiki thinks all the time.

It just does not require millions of participants any longer.

On a completely different note, a man walking his dog on the beach discovered something which might be worth nearly 100,000 pounds, or about $155K in Canadian bucks.

But it was not a golden treasure chest or a casque of ancient brandy.

It was a big lump of ambergris, otherwise known as whale puke. And it’s worth a fortune.

That is because, hard to believe as it might be, it is highly sought after by perfume makers, who use it as the base for (I assume) very expensive perfumes.

See, here’s the thing. I knew about ambergris. I knew what it was and where it came from and what it was used for. It did not even surprise me that it was worth money.

But the picture in the article seems to imply that this find is around the size of a standard turtle, and that implies that the stuff is worth more than truffles or gold.

So even if it took only a tiny bit to make perfume more wonderful, I am guessing you will not find any of it in your cheap bottles of Lady Brut.

Surely, we have an artificial substitute by now.

Sticking with the animal kingdom, we have this, Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad for this year.

Awwwwwwwww! That just about melted my heart and made me cry. Budweiser did something amazing and made a one minute horse movie for men and it totally, totally works.

And yes, as the Jezebel article where I got the link says, it is obvious and cheaply manipulative and designed entirely to pull at your heartstrings in order to make your beer money come out.

But I do not care. Sure, it is obvious. So are horse movies for chicks. And it’s predictable, but they cleverly counter that by having it all happen so quickly and smoothly that your cynicism and jadedness can’t quite keep up.

Sure, you know what is going to happen, but it doesn’t matter, because you are looking forward to it and the ad does not give you a chance to get bored.

Of course, I am gay, and an animal lover, so I might be easier to engage on this subject than your average manly heterosexual type.

But I don’t think so. Men have their sentimental side too, and I bet this ad will go over like gangbusters with the beer crowd.

And hey, chicks watch the Super Bowl too. And they will fall for this ad like the Berlin Wall.

I am not sure it will make people want beer, but what the hell, you can’t have everything. Some ads are more about the brand than the product.

And this certainly will give people a warm happy feeling about the Budweiser brand and their iconic Clydesdale horses in general.

And often people buy the product that makes them feel good. See : politics.

Lastly, I think I might have linked this before, but it bears repeating : this is totally my favorite Bad Lip Read that they have done recently.

Something about it just works better than their usual stuff. Maybe because the quick cuts let them do more with context than their usual “so random LOL” type humour, which gets old pretty fast.

I think my favorite moment is “I encompass, and I eclipse. ” It’s just so magnificently unexpected after all the goofy random crap. It really takes the comedy to the next level.

And that level is where genius lives.

Seeya tomorrow, folks!

Leave a Reply