I like the Tom Wambsgans triple play theory of how Succession is going to end. (And remember, the first episode of the series featured....a softball game.)

Watch Tarkovsky's Best Films Online for Free

posted by Jason Kottke May 26, 2023

Mosfilm, one of the largest film studios in the USSR during the Soviet era, has put full-length versions of many of its most acclaimed and influential films on YouTube for free, including six of Andrei Tarkovsky's films: Stalker, Solaris, Ivan's Childhood, The Mirror, Andrei Rublev, and The Passion According to Andrei. Also available is Battleship Potemkin by Sergei Eisenstein. Several of these movies appear on Sight and Sound's 2022 list of the best 100 movies of all time. (via @irwin)

Finally, they've ported Tetris to a Chicken McNugget. The plastic nugget handheld is available at Chinese McDonald's restaurants for around $4.25.

The Fastest Maze-Solving Competition On Earth

posted by Jason Kottke May 26, 2023

Oh this is so nerdy and great: Veritasium introduces us to Micromouse, a maze-solving competition in which robotic mice compete to see which one is the fastest through a maze. The competitions have been held since the late 70s and today's mice are marvels of engineering and software, the result of decades of small improvements alongside bigger jumps in performance.

I love stuff like this because the narrow scope (single vehicle, standard maze), easily understood constraints, and timed runs, combined with Veritasium's excellent presentation, makes it really easy to understand how innovation works. The cars got faster, smaller, and learned to corner better, but those improvements created new challenges which needed other solutions to overcome to bring the times down even more. So cool.

Building a Scale Model of Time

posted by Jason Kottke May 26, 2023

The length of a human life is around 80 years. You might get 100 if you're lucky. The universe is about 13.7 billion years old. The vast difference between a human lifespan and the age of the universe can be difficult to grasp — even the words we use in attempting to describe it (like "vast") are comically insufficient.

To help us visualize what a difference of eight orders of magnitude might look like, Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh have created a scale model of time in the Mojave Desert, from the Big Bang to the present day. This is really worth watching and likely to make you think some big think thoughts about your place in the universe and in your life.

This is a followup of the scale model of the solar system they built and a video they made about people seeing the Moon through a telescope for the first time.

See also a behind-the-scenes: How We Built a Scale Model of Time. (via colossal)

The Tesla Model Y is now the best-selling car in the world, beating out the Toyota Corolla. The over-reliance on cars is still a big issue, but an EV topping the best-seller list right now is a small bit of good news re: the climate crisis.

Note: You can find more Quick Links in the archive.

A Day in the Life of a Woke Third-Grade Teacher, as Imagined by a Far-Right Politician. "I pull into the parking lot and say hello to the drag queen we recently hired as the school librarian."
From Slashfilm, a list of the Top 100 Movies Of All Time. More accurate to call this a list of favorite movies rather than the best ones...lots of crowd-pleasing comedies on here.

How Does Humor Intersect With Grief and Fear?

posted by Jason Kottke May 26, 2023

Last week, popular YouTuber, author, and science communicator Hank Green announced that he had cancer (very treatable Hodgkin's lymphoma). His video announcement was part of a series of back-and-forth videos he does with his brother John Green, popular YouTuber and novelist. John replied to Hank's video with a short one of his own, noting that humor is one way that people deal with grief but also a way in which we can accompany people through tough times.

To work, the humor has to feel like love rather than judgment, like inclusion rather than stigma, and like celebration rather than dismissal. And that's a tough balance. Sometimes well-intentioned people, including me, get it wrong. And it also depends on, like, who's saying it and the context.

Good luck and my warmest thoughts to the Greens and their family as they navigate this difficult time. And, you know, fuck cancer.

Target Removes All Towels From Stores After Soaking-Wet Lunatic Objects To Dryness. "The towels were never meant to force a bone-dry lifestyle on any sopping maniac..."
Tina Turner Brought Rock & Roll Back Home To Black Women. "Black women could be rock stars because Tina Turner said so. Black women could be country singers."
The Collectors Who Save Video-Game History from Oblivion. "The oldest video games are now about seventy years old, and their stories are disappearing."
Henry Kissinger turns 100 this week and he's still a war criminal. "Whatever his accomplishments, his legacy includes an enormous pile of corpses. This is a birthday that warrants no celebration."

Note: You can find more Quick Links in the archive.

Andy Warhol's early embrace of the Amiga computer for digital art creation hints at how he might have felt about generative AI tools.

Visualizations of American Household Types

posted by Jason Kottke May 25, 2023

Based on data from a 2021 survey, FlowingData made these cool infographics of all of the different types of households in the United States. Here are the ten most common:

infographic of the 10 most common household types in the US

Single homeowners are the most common but look at #9: inmate. Shameful.