Links: Late January 2014

Below are a few links for your entertainment, but first, a few words on my plans for the blog this year.

As described in a comment on a blog post by Irina, I want to do a thorough clean-up of my archives. I’ve already started editing old posts, and later I intend to restructure my category system. Meanwhile I have plenty of ideas for blog posts — many of them light and whimsical — but the archive cleaning is something I’ve been procrastinating on for ages and therefore a higher priority.

In recent years I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time reading, evaluating and sharing links, so I need to cut back on that. I’m currently inclined to share more links on Twitter but fewer links here on the blog. (Paradoxically, sharing more links can save time, because it means less time spent evaluating them to decide which are most worthy.) So if you want more links, follow me.

I think that’s all. On with the links.


  • Do super-earths have continents? It’s one of those questions to which every model gives a different answer, but this one says yes, and I hope they’re right. (Related: another article on super-earths that I linked to in 2009).
  • Responses to the question “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?“. I’ve barely read a fraction of it so far, but I’m sure it will prove worthwhile.


  • Fun website utility (via here) for making your own mock Jackson Pollock paintings. There is, unfortunately, no gallery, and the only way to save your work is with Printscreen, but please do save, upload and share if you feel up to it. A million monkeys splashing paint will eventually produce something of genuine aesthetic merit, so if you can create something more aesthetically pleasing than this (which is the best I could do), I’d love to see it.
  • For your musical entertainment, I give you this followed by this. The former isn’t really my musical style, but is very impressive as art. The latter is one of Youtube’s related video recommendations for the former. Together they complement each other nicely. (Themes: astronomy and mythology.)
  • For more astronomy, here’s a very nice Mars flyover. I think the background music is mood-appropriate.
  • Interactive tool that translates a word into various languages on a map of Europe. (Powered by Google Translate. Note disclaimers.)
  • Classic art, animated. Very impressive.
  • Planets. Fictional ones this time. Do you have a favourite? (Try #9.)

You are welcome to add your thoughts.

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