And now for something completely different: Beta test

 

"Did somebody say 'Betta test?'"

I find and share so many good articles, cool pictures, funny videos, and interesting blogs on a daily basis that I feel like I need a better way to do it. I used to use Google Reader’s social sharing features for this, but since that functionality is all but gone from the service following its update (and what’s left in the API is being tacked back on by userscripts with the technical equivalent of chewing gum and twine). This has resulted in (among other things) the formerly nice-looking list of my recently shared items on the left column of my blog turning into something useless and illegible. I’ve also taken to sharing a lot of things that I used to “Note in Reader” on Facebook, which I keep much more private and locked down than my Reader shares. I could post more of these things on Twitter, but the fast-paced, pithy environment isn’t well-suited to some of the slightly lengthier context I occasionally like to provide, not to mention, the new(ish) feature of obscuring most links with the t.co shortener doesn’t help with the context problem, either.

My solution to all of this, as you may have gathered at this point since I’m blogging about it, is to post the best of the content I come across daily right here. The idea isn’t new, and I’ll admit that I was inspired by The Mary Sue’s daily feature “Things We Saw Today.” I probably won’t post daily (I’m not exactly getting paid to blog, and I do get busy with life and work sometimes), but I really am trying to ramp up how often I post and create a little more regularity and uniformity in my blog overall. I tried this once before about three years ago, made precisely one post, and never did it again. Hopefully I’ll do better this time.

And now for something completely different…

Lil’ Drac, the adorable orphaned fruit bat

Honestly, how could I not start out with this? Every time I watch this video, it’s the cutest thing I’ve seen all day.

“Led by the child who simply knew”

A long but interesting and heartwarming story from the Boston Globe about identical twins, one of whom is transgender. From the article:

Wayne and Kelly Maines have struggled to know whether they are doing the right things for their children, especially for Wyatt, who now goes by the name Nicole. Was he merely expressing a softer side of his personality, or was he really what he kept saying: a girl in a boy’s body? Was he exhibiting early signs that he might be gay? Was it even possible, at such a young age, to determine what exactly was going on?

Until recently, there was little help for children in such situations. But now a groundbreaking clinic at Children’s Hospital in Boston — one of the few of its kind in the world — helps families deal with the issues, both emotional and medical, that arise from having a transgender child — one who doesn’t identify with the gender he or she was born into.

The Ministry of Silly Pictures

How to grow a sysadmin.

 

Congress has authorized new toilet paper for the bathrooms in the Capitol.

Okay, this one may require some elaboration. Let’s talk about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) for a minute. I’ll likely post more about this later, but what you need to know is, this is a bad, bad bill. It’s blatantly obvious sponsorship by the RIAA/MPAA and similar Big Content lobbyists should be your first clue that SOPA isn’t meant to protect American jobs or industry, but if that’s not enough to convince you, then it is also worth noting that nearly every internet and technology expert will tell you that SOPA, as written will break the internet as we know it. However, when these experts sought to testify before the House Judicial Committee in a hearing on the bill, the members of the committee effectively stuck their fingers in their ears and yelled “LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” while filling the testimony schedule with media lobbyists.

The passage of SOPA has the strong potential of shutting down Youtube, Tumblr, Reddit, nearly every blog, Amazon, Ebay, and many, many other sites. Those that don’t shut down will move overseas, costing American jobs, and may very well be inaccessible from U.S. internet connections. That’s right; SOPA will allow wholesale censorship of websites in the U.S. at the word of Big Content. If you thought the DMCA was bad, just wait. If you find this at all distasteful, I beg of you, please contact your congresscritters. It only takes five minutes to write a short email or make a phone call telling your representative and senators to oppose this bill.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled silliness.

Bad, bad Doctor Who pun.

The gorgeous sunset that I could see from my window last night.

Ain’t no party…

Ain’t no party like a Pyongyang party, ’cause a Pyongyang party is ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY.

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