This Week in Links 24

 Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week.

  • xkcd spells it out for us. Preach, Randall.
  • The Toast's piece "So You've Decided to Go to Library School" is hilarious and devastatingly on point: The absolute best thing about library school is your peers. You will all have a Leslie Knope-ian intensity about something. It may be Star Wars, hockey, astrophysics, or that damn rock wall, but everyone brings some kind of obsession to the table. There is sure to be someone who will be a little too into board games. People will regularly discuss Weasleycest and Tami Taylor’s hair at parties, because if there’s one thing librarians get, it’s an enthusiast. We are all punk-ass book jockeys, and we want you to read our favorite book.
  • Muppet Christ Superstar is everything I never knew I needed. Gonzo singing "Heaven on Their Minds." Holy shit.
  • Speaking of things that are totally my jam, the DuckTales theme song as a slow jam. Bad and good luck tales, ooh ooh.
  • Tamara Keith is NPR's new White House Correspondent (she's great, but America still loves you, Ari Shapiro!), and she got to ask her first question of Obama recently. She has a great inside baseball story on how press briefings work.
  • FastCo has a chart showing which sitcom characters could actually afford their homes. Surprise: it's not many of them.
  • Continuing with TV, a linguist at an Australian university crunched the numbers on (American) TV opening credits. I am pro weird and pronounced credit sequences, personally. 
  • As goes Waffle House, so goes a post-disaster region of the United States, according to the dude who's now the administrator of FEMA.
  • Here's a post at Bookish about learning to love romance novels.
  • The Los Angeles Book Review has a great piece on "sheikh romances," a subset of the romance genre that feature romances between Middle Eastern men and (almost exclusively) white women, that explores the ways stereotypes take hold on us: The books rely on a curious mix of cultural stereotypes and a flimsy critique of them. Nearly all that I’ve read end in a union between the sheikh and the white woman. That is, most of the books make a positive statement about cultural difference (even if some differences are misrepresented or elided). They tell us that we can love each other despite allegedly grave cultural divides. And I must confess that I want to believe in this story.
  • The LA Book Review also has a fantastic piece on the Dead Girl Show, the TV show whose primary mystery surrounds a dead (beautiful, white) teenage girl: Murder is something on the air, like a demon — and make no mistake, this is a kind of victim blaming.
  • New Jay Smooth video! First one in forever! On the Donald Sterling tapes. Jay Smooth, forever my Internet boyfriend, very much at the top of his game.
  • So it turns out the Smithsonian Natural History Museum has never actually had a real T. rex skeleton -- theirs is a replica. But they're getting one now, and NPR has a great story about the process of getting it there. (Also, Matt Carrano has the best job title in the entire world): Johnson gives the dinosaur's arm bones, which are Velcro-ed into a white plaster cradle, his measured scientific opinion: "Wow. Wow. Wow." This was the first complete T. rex arm ever found. 
  • I have never really gotten the point of Vines, but then I watched this one of a llama hopping to DMX and now I have seen the light.