Discover more from Follow Friday
Baby Racing, The Most Exciting Sudoku Ever, and Why I'm Not Linking to Twitter Anymore
Plus: Samin Nosrat gets some Normal Gossip, some tips for saving the rainforest, and a good SVB t-shirt meme.
Welcome to Follow Friday, which is brought to you this week by the leftovers from an at-home viewing party of All the Beauty and the Bloodshed. Kind of weird to be munching on chips during such a heavy film, but as my SF readers will know, Papalote salsa is also dangerous and unregulated. Anyway, normalize letting your dogs poop on any property owned by the Sackler family and not cleaning it up.
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The single best thing I saw online this week: This nail-biter of a baby race at a UNC basketball game. I would have been more invested in this than the actual game:
Huge kudos to the announcer for making a meal out of this. “LILAH! FOR PETE’S SAKE!”
The best podcasts I’ve heard this week
OK, imagine one of those memes of Vince McMahon reacting to something: “There’s a new episode of Normal Gossip!” (Vince smiles); “It’s more than an hour long!” (Vince’s smile intensifies); “The guest is SAMIN NOSRAT” (red eyes, screaming, etc.) Anyway yeah I love hearing Samin in anything, so her surprise appearance on one of my favorite-favorite shows was especially delightful. Fair warning that the first 20 minutes or so is a little depressing, but the actual gossip story she gets into with Kelsey McKinney, about farmer’s market drama, is superb.
I’ve been filling many of my available podcast hours with shows about Succession, including the official podcast and Decoding TV (both great). But I really loved last Tuesday’s episode of Vulture’s Into It in which Sam Sanders and Hunter Harris delve into why everyone is so obsessed with this show. As Sam points out, once the fourth and final season concludes, we will have no shortage of TV shows about awful rich white people, but it’s an open question whether any of those will take root in the same way.
Ironically, another of my favorite pods this week came from a media outlet owned by IRL Logan Roy: On The Journal, WSJ reporter Jon Emont joined Kate Linebaugh to talk about how Indonesia has reined in rainforest deforestation in a big way in under 10 years. Unlike Cousin Greg, I was actually happy to hear Greenpeace mentioned in this story.
help i’m obsessed with this sudoku video
I remember being super into this Sudoku video when it first came out, in May 2020, and I had a thought this week: “Was that actually good, or was I just desperate for distractions during the scariest part of the pandemic?” The answer is yes, to both. I started this with the intention of stopping it after a few minutes, and OOPS. I rewatched the whole thing. No regrets.
A very good t-shirt
The latest from LightningPod
On Grit, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and former Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston spoke with Joubin Mirzadegan, live on stage at a recent event he hosted in San Francisco. Topics covered include Alex and Shaun’s career-threatening leg injuries, imposter syndrome, and the hard road to recovery after a setback.
A great TikTok about Beethoven
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The best thing(s) I’ve read this week
I’ve said it before: The best time to quit Twitter is yesterday, and the second-best time is today. The site continues to worsen under Elon Musk; this week, in addition to falsely labeling NPR as “state-affiliated media” (the same label applied to propaganda outlets like Russia Today), the Mad King blocked users from engaging with tweets containing the word “substack” in a link URL, and prevented Substack writers like me from embedding tweets. This time, he’s afraid of competition from Substack Notes. But I 100% expect he will one day levy the same censorship tools against tweets linking to nytimes.com, or any other media outlet that pisses him off.
Anyway, those are just a couple reasons to drop Twitter, but as Casey Newton writes in Platformer, most tech and media professionals haven’t hit the doors yet. One of the reasons, he speculates, is inertia:
Journalists spent more than a decade building up their presences on Twitter, and they were never going to abandon the site collectively overnight. As long as they can still drive traffic to their stories, discuss those stories in public with their peers, and grow their audiences, they have little reason to leave. Some, like Big Technology’s Alex Kantrowitz, even see opportunity amid the decline: if big publishers won’t pay for Twitter Blue and the potentially bigger audience that comes with it, he will — and, he reasons, his own work will stand out more.
Musk cannot be allowed to win this. To quote Dan Gillmor at Techdirt: “I implore the journalists and journalism organizations, above all at this crucial point, to rethink what they’re doing — and move starting today to reclaim independence. I also ask well-resourced outsiders to help make this happen, especially when it comes to the many journalists and news organizations that lack the bandwidth or money to do this themselves.”
Dan logically concludes that Mastodon is the obvious place to relocate, because it’s similar to Twitter in some respects but can’t be ruined/censored by one shitty dude at the top. I’ve resisted joining thus far (RSS + Discord + Substack is still scratching the itch for me), but we shall see …
Here is a screenshot of a great tweet because I don’t want to link to Twitter anymore
Palate cleanser: When you get a cat and a golden retriever at the same time
This video would have been adorable no matter what, but Mama Cass sends it over the top:
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That song, btw, is “Make Your Own Kind of Music”: