A link dump for your weekend

A bunch of interesting things have gathered in my tabs lately, so here are a few for your weekend enjoyment.

First, go full screen and enjoy this gorgeous time lapse of 30 different European locations…including Lisboa and what looks like Algarvean cliffs. Makes me want to pack a bag and go. Photographer Stan Chang says:

One family, 2 cameras, 30 countries, 60 flights, 1000+ time lapse videos, 200,000+ images – almost 20 terabytes of data! This is a compilation of time lapse videos shot over the last two years when I travelled Europe with my wife and son. I’m excited to share some of my favorite clips. I think that everybody needs to take a trip and have their eyes opened to just how beautiful the world is.

Did you know that British Pathé, “one of the leading producers of newsreels and documentaries during the 20th century” according to Open Culture, is putting its entire historical collection on YouTube? That’s 85,000 newsreels and documentaries, of every important event you can think of and a whole lot more you’d never have imagined. This could keep a person busy for months. Read more about it on Open Culture, which links to many of the videos and embeds several more, including the newsreel announcement of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Slate has an amazing article written by high school junior Antonia Ayres-Brown, on her attempt to get McDonald’s to stop gender discrimination in its Happy Meals. Her story begins:

In the fall of 2008, when I was 11 years old, I wrote to the CEO of McDonald’s and asked him to change the way his stores sold Happy Meals. I expressed my frustration that McDonald’s always asked if my family preferred a “girl toy” or a “boy toy” when we ordered a Happy Meal at the drive-through. My letter asked if it would be legal for McDonald’s “to ask at a job interview whether someone wanted a man’s job or a woman’s job?”

When McDonald’s denied her allegation, she did what any smart 11-year-old would do: she collected evidence. This is a great story and worth your time.

The biology world is abuzz (ha!) with the news of the discovery of four species of Brazilian cave-dwelling insects in which the females have penises and the males have a vaginal analogue. But since the non-biology world would freak out at the idea of a female penis, it’s called a gynosome instead.

Besides, this really is kind of a scary penis:

[W]hen it’s time to mate, the female mounts the male and penetrates his vagina-like opening using her gynosome — the term used to designate her female-penis. This mating behavior lasts for an impressive 40 to 70 hours, thanks to the female’s inflatable, spiny penis that anchors itself to the male’s internal tissues. During this time, the female Neotrogla gathers large quantities of sperm that she uses to fertilize her eggs. “Because the female’s anchoring force is very strong, a male’s resistance may cause damage to his genitalia,” Yoshizawa said. “Therefore, it is very likely that entire mating processes are controlled actively by females, whereas males are rather passive.”

And finally: I want this desk.

About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in biology, culture, science, travel, video. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A link dump for your weekend

  1. Lisa Shaw says:

    Tsk. And I call myself a photographer. *shakes head* That first video is astonishing. Nearly every frame could be a desktop wallpaper. It almost makes me want to pack a bag and go, too. First stop: Loulé. We’ll take the Grand Tour from there. 😉

  2. xenatuba says:

    You are evil. You have just sealed my next several months of free time with watching newsreels. Holy cow!

  3. Ana_ñ says:

    I’m impressed with the smart girl. This paragraph of the article made me realize that her achievement is more important than I first thought:

    “McDonald’s is estimated to sell more than 1 billion Happy Meals each year. When it poses this question—“Do you want a boy’s toy or a girl’s toy?”—McDonald’s pressures innumerable children to conform to gender stereotypes. Retailers don’t need to use girl’s and boy’s categories when they can just describe the toys that are available and let kids choose the ones that appeal to them most.”

    And I’m really impressed with the female bug scary penis. What an extraordinary discovery!

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