Sunday Almanac

"Historical Map American Expeditionary Force" by Ezra C. Stiles

“Historical Map American Expeditionary Force” by Ezra C. Stiles

For the past weeks I have been so engrossed in the first volume of Shelby Foote’s three-volume history of the American Civil War that I have started to develop a perverse hope that the war never ends so that the book won’t have to either. For whatever Foote’s failings as a historian (the work lacks footnotes or citations) he is an unequaled dramatist.

But now for some lighter reading.

  • I saw this video showing off the human-like dexterity achieved by Honda’s Asimo robot on reddit a few months back. I was impressed but didn’t consider the ramifications of that achievement until I saw Burritob0t this week.
  • I don’t think that this piece in Kotaku by Stephen Totilo succeeds at getting you to see things from the point of view of a Battlefield 3 cheater (I think he just comes off as a spoiled, entitled manbaby) but it’s an unusually broad window into the service economy that has grown up to service those cheaters.
  • An ad agency shilling a shower gel for ladyparts drew a sizable volley of fire when they failed to find the moxie to actually use the term “vagina” in their marketing copy, opting instead for “froo-froo”, “va-jay-jay” and other words that sound as though one is speaking to a toddler or perhaps, a puppy. I link to this not to call attention to the ad agency’s condescension (not exactly news, that) but rather to point out to the reader that this product even exists. That 300,000-odd babies were born this morning strongly suggests that vaginas work just fine without the intervention of special shower gel.