This Week in Links 42

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:

  • Let's start by taking a look back at 2014. At Grantland, Rembert Browne has created a bracket to determine who or what won 2014, which is a good look back at a shitshow of a year. (I had a good year personally, as did many people! But I think we can all agree that news wise, this year was bullshit.)
  • We lost Stuart Scott yesterday, so so far, 2015: you are also pretty bullshit. Scott pioneered most of the things you might actually like about sports journalism, and was, from all accounts, a kind, warm, upstanding man. Rich Eisen's beautiful tribute to him on the NFL Network is a three-hanky video.
  • This io9 piece gets at a lot of the problems with the "smartest guy in the room" trope we're overdoing right now: His contempt for less intelligent people, mixed with adorable social awkwardness, and his magic ability to have the right answer at every turn, have become rote. (And follow that up, at the suggestion of friend of the show Madhuri Shekar, with the very NSFW Key & Peele sketch "Sex Detective.")
  • This roundup of Stephen Colbert nerding out about Tolkien will give you both heart and pants feelings. 
  • Fellow olds, did the youths start using a lot of words you're not sure of the meaning/proper usage of? Well, sure, Vox seems like a good place to figure that out, I guess.
  • There's a music video for "Harlem Hopscotch," a song from an album of Maya Angelou poems set to music, and it features a lot of really great dancing.
  • BookRiot suggests some picture books that could be turned into movies (apparently we're soon to be treated to a live action Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day). These suggestions are pretty on point, really.
  • Laurie Penny has a raw, brave piece at the New Statesman on nerd entitlement, and it's a tough read, especially if she's talking about your adolescent experience, but it's great stuff: This is why Silicon Valley is fucked up. Because it's built and run by some of the most privileged people in the world who are convinced that they are among the least. People whose received trauma makes them disinclined to listen to pleas from people whose trauma was compounded by structural oppression. 
  • Giant armadillos from Cenozoic Era helped the avocado evolve into the delicious food we know it as today, and that's pretty wonderful, really. So long, giant armadillos, and thanks for the guacamole.
  • That Was The Easy Part.