Put Some Nice Things In Your Easter Bonnet And Smoke Them
Happy Pagan Spring Fertility Festival Coopted by the Medieval Church And Merged With Bits of Passover Day, America! May your eggs be brightly dyed, your chocolate bunnies tasty, and your virtual gatherings free of glitches. Let's do some niceness!
Stay-At-Home Birthday Goodness
Sportsball writer Jody Smith wanted to celebrate his son Brandon's 12th birthday, but with the lockdown orders, couldn't take Brandon out for mini-golf, his usual birthday activity. But Brandon is big on geography, so Dad took to Twitter to ask for help with a little project: Say "happy birthday" to Brandon, tell us where you live, and Brandon will add you to his hand-drawn map of the world:
As you can see from the number of likes and replies, the post blew up, and by Saturday afternoon, "Brandon" was the top trending topic on Twitter.
"I thought it would be fun to get 50 — maybe 100 — people to reply from around the world, and most would be in the U.S.," Smith told The Washington Post by phone Saturday. "That's really what my expectations were."
Instead, responses to Smith's request came in by the thousands: Pictures of oceanside views from Trinidad and Tobago, shots of downtown Sao Paolo in Brazil, and nighttime scenes from Istanbul. Even accounts like BMW in Germany sent Brandon a birthday greeting from Munich.
Brandon also heard from a few Big Names, like the San Francisco Giants, the Toronto Blue Jays, Colin Crooks (the British ambassador to North Korea), and actors Mark Hamill, Katee Sackhoff, and Josh Gad, the voice actor for Olaf the snowman in Frozen.
By early afternoon, the map had dots all over the place:
Jody Smith said Brandon was really tickled to get a hello from Tasmania, and from Ascension Island, drawn larger than scale as that little dot halfway between South America and Africa. Smith also promises more photos of the map later today.
Brandon also got a hello from Bradley Whitford, who I hope can get Brandon an honorary membership in the Organization of Cartographers for Social Equality. After all, Brandon's map avoids the Eurocentrism of the Mercator projection. We're sure they won't mind if he chose to focus on land masses more than oceans.
Gall--Peters Projection youtu.be
Another Update On Wonkette's Invasion Of The Slog's Book Club
Our project to invade The Slog's Quarantine Club, which is discussing Albert Camus's The Plague, has gone rather oddly. As I confessed last week, I didn't actually comment on Part Three of the book, and then on Tuesday, when the discussion of Part Four was supposed to go up, the Slog's Christopher Frizzelle said he was running late himself.
SO! Frizzelle posted the Part Four discussion Friday, and I plan to head over and join in right after I get Nice Things posted. If you want to catch up, you have time, because that delay means he won't be doing the final part of the discussion, Part Five, until next Friday, the 17th, hooray! And the Quarantine Club discussion of Part Four is likely to continue for a few more days, too. (If you want to catch up, here are the posts for Part One, Part Two, and Part Three, also too. So let's all go and get existential, shall we?
Time For Twitter Stuff Already!
This is so wonderfully cool.
We especially like the aerial views, even if it's a little redundant to document a bagpipes performance with (ahem) a drone.
I freaking love this one. You may need to click on the photo to find the pug, which is definitely there. If you can avoid spoilers in the comments, try to avoid spoilers, or at least hide 'em with the Disqus spoilers tag, which puts up a little gray bar that can be clicked to reveal the text. Like so: <spoiler> Your secret text here </spoiler>.
Happy fox 1, from my new favorite YouTube account:
It's me Finnegan! Come outside! youtu.be
Happy fox 2, possibly the best thing on the internet ever. I love the way the fox giggles / pants as it runs away with the phone. Every single moment of this video is the best part.
Dixiedo fox runs away with my phone. Tries to bury it www.youtube.com
The quarantine, like other social disruptions, has resulted not only in hardship, which is real and not to be dismissed, but also in a flowering of creativity. Like this:
Also, true confessions. ("TIFU" is Today I F'd Up -- there, just keeping Nice Things okay to forward beyond our usual potty-mouthed readership.)
I freaking LOVE the "nature is healing" parody trope, I really do:
This is pretty amazing.
FOX IN SOX | Dr. Seuss Raps over Dr. Dre Beats youtu.be
(All cats now fall into two categories: Looks Like Thornton, and Doesn't Look Like Thornton.
She looks like Thornton.)
You should follow Nour Hadidi! Just stay six feet away for the time being.
Excuse me, everyone, but the Platonic Ideal of puppy has been found. (I kid. All puppies are the Platonic Ideal of puppy.)
Rory is literally wearing the cat's pajamas. Twenty-three skidoo!
Adorbs kitten, with a chaser from AI Weirdness blogger Janelle Shane.
Did someone say Normal Cat Pictures? This one almost worked. It's a spherical frictionless cat in a zero-g environment, for simplified physics calculations.
I love the bizarre AI-generated cats, and I love the resulting fan art.
Obligatory Terry Pratchett joke.
And yes, all the "Drinking Problem" gifs from Airplane! were posted in reply to this next one. The original poster notes in a reply that Saint does know how to drink water just fine, but sometimes prefers playing.
It's Sunday, and that means Historians at the Movies! Fire up Netflix and Twitter, start watching The Social Network tonight at 8:30 Eastern, and follow the conversation with the hashtag #HATM.
Now go relax and leave the news off until tomorrow, all of yez! This is your OPEN THREAD.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.