I have no particular preamble this week. Here’s some stuff I like:
Album: “Run the Jewels” by Killer Mike and El-P
Doing something I don’t usually do: posting this without actually having listened to most of it yet. But the Miller Mike album, which El-P produced, was one of the best records of 2012, so I have no doubt this will be good as well. Free to download in exchange for your email address.
Article: “The Myth of the Komodo Dragon’s Dirty Mouth” by Ed Yong
I am posting this in part because I have been not only a believer but of propagator of the titular myth. I heard on some Animal Planet special years and years ago that the Komodo Dragon, while not actually venomous, had a mouth so full of bacteria that its bite was effectively poisonous anyway (assuming of course that you lived long enough for the infection to act&emdash not at all a likely bet), and I have told many people this. But, it turns out, their mouths are not especially rich in infectious microbes, and they are, in fact, actually venomous. So, I was wrong&emdash but then, so were most scientists.
Article: How We Got Pukka by Josephine Livingstone
This is a review of a newly-republished dictionary of Anglo-Indian slang— that is, words used by British people living in India in the colonial period. The book, compiled by two colonial officials in the middle of the nineteenth century, sounds really interesting, and there are quite a few good nuggets in the review as well. For instance, “pajamas” means, literally, “leg clothing,” and the word “compound,” used to describe a set of buildings or structures, is probably a corruption of a Malay word having nothing at all to do with “compound” in the chemical sense.
This is a little bit of a cheat, since I posted the first set of entries for this a few weeks ago, but there are some really great images here (again). You should definitely look at them all, but I’ll post this one here, since it is a shot of Chicago: