Le Linkage #8

Yes, it’s that time of the — well, whatever length of time between Le Linkage postings again. It’s time for another episode of Le Linkage, there. I’ve been trying to think of a good intro this time, but I can’t think of anything good, so just check out the links. At least those are good.

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The World’s Biggest Diamond Mine: Originally, this was supposed to be the “world’s biggest hole”, but as it turns out there are a couple of man-made holes larger than this one. (Insert “I used to work for a bigger hole than that” joke here. And no gay jokes, please.) This set of pictures shows exactly how big this thing is: it’s so big, flying over it has been banned because it creates such a powerful and large vortex of air over it. (You can replace “it’s so big” with “your momma’s so fat…”) What’s even more interesting is that this hole — about a mile wide and half a mile deep — is found right in the middle of a town in Russia.

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Let’s Complicate Some Issues: Don’t you hate it when some nutty left-winger comes up to you to tell you how wrong your conservative values are, and how obviously right they are because, let’s face it, it’s a simple issue? And what about when some nutty right-winger comes up to you to tell you how wrong your liberal values are, and how obviously right they are, because it’s a simple issues? In this essay, the author talks about the complexity of real life issues and why “the only way either liberals or conservatives can turn them into such exercises in obviousness is to omit big parts of the picture, [which] guarantees that we’re not seeing it accurately.”

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Comic Book Foreign Policy (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3): I’ve been following this set of articles for a little while now, and they’re pretty interesting. The author talks about how the comic book industry is making comics a serious ground for political and ethical debate using today’s real-life issues. A must read for anyone who enjoys comics and politics, pro-war and anti-war alike. (As of this writing only three parts have been written. There’s still a fourth one to come.)

//Edit: Part 4 has been published.

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Free Older Moves: The title says it all. Movies where the copyright has expired, which are now in the public domain, are made available here for download. (Bittorrent required.) Some greats and greatly bad are here, such as the infamous Plan 9 from Outer Space. I haven’t searched, but I don’t think Manos: The Hands of Fate has quite made it to this list. Yet.

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English as a National Language: Does it Require Protection? “The problem isn’t just restricted to schools and papers. There are places in THE US of FREAKIN A that you can go and feel like a feel like you just crossed a border. Not only will English not be the residents first language, you’ll be lucky if it is spoken at all.” With the election-year politics dominating Washington, puff-my-patriotic-chest amendments such as the one making English the official national language of the United States are being brought up (again) by one side or the other in order to get the votes of single-issue voters. But does English really need protection as the National Language? (By the way, if the quote at the beginning sounded good, you’re in good company: it sounded good to all the people who agreed with you back when it was first written — in 1890.)

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Chad Vader: What if instead of the Death Star, a dark lord of the Sith was in charge of your local supermarket? This hilarious Chanel101 Web series attempts to find out. Super hilarious!

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Carbon Calculator: Interested in living a “Carbon Neutral” life? Let’s face it: unless you’re blinded by politics, you know that human activity is severely affecting the planet’s climate, making creating what’s been dubbed a “climate crisis”. While your government (local or national) may not be doing much to help protect the environment, you can find out how much you’re affecting the environment on a personal basis, and how much it would cost you to invest in technologies to help you be as “carbon neutral” as possible.

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So, How Big is Earth Compared To…? If you’ve ever been in an astronomy class (or have ever been in an astronomy-themed conversation), you know that compared to Jupiter and the Sun, the earth is tiny. Do you realize exactly how tiny? The following images from 3D modeling software show how big Earth is compared to every planet from Mercury to Pluto (yes, I still count it as a planet) and the Sun, and how big the Sun is compared to other stars, such as Rigel, Aldelbaran, and Betelgeuse.

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An Introduction to Buddhism: When first learning about Buddhism, it’s easy to get confused with terms like “rebirth”, “karma”, “eight-fold path”, “Skandhas”, “noble truths” — you get the drift. But if you’re interested in Buddhism, or just learning what it’s all about, this page offers a number of essays to help you get started. (I recommend starting with the Five Minute Introduction.)

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