Linkdump for November 29th through January 2nd

Sometime between November 29th and January 2nd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • 365 IETF RFCs: a 50th anniversary dive: "April 7th, 2019 is going to be the 50 year anniversary of the first ever Request for Comments, known as an RFC. These documents started out in 1969 as a way for ARPANET engineers to keep track of notes and discussions on their project. In honor of this anniversary, I figured I would read one RFC each day of 2019, starting with RFC 1 and ending with RFC 365."
  • Is Grover swearing? No, it’s in your ears.: “As a phonetician, these types of misperceptions are sometimes fun because they force you to carefully listen to what people (in this case, Grover's voice) are doing as they produce speech very quickly. Phoneticians focus on the transcription and, more often, careful analysis of speech. Speech is fast, speech is messy, and when the conditions are right, one can misperceive one sound for another.”
  • Against Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old”: "Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old is…a stunning technical achievement made by a filmmaker and producer at the top of their form. […] But…I can’t help but refuse and reject this picture in the strongest possible terms. It is a brilliant film that is also, unfortunately, a total mistake."
  • On radical kindness (another aspect of hopepunk): “i will say this again: we are all going to die. the universe is enormous and almost entirely empty. to be kind to each other is the most incredible act of defiance against the dark that i can imagine.”
  • The opposite of grimdark is hopepunk:: “The world is the world. It’s really good sometimes and it’s really bad sometimes, and it’s sort of humdrum a lot of the time. People are petty and mean and, y’know, PEOPLE. There are things that need to be fixed, and battles to be fought, and people to be protected, and we’ve gotta do all those things ourselves because we can’t sit around waiting for some knight in shining armor to ride past and deal with it for us. We’re just ordinary people trying to do our best because we give a shit about the world. Why? Because we’re some of the assholes that live there.”

Oscar the Adults-Only Grouch

The original Sesame Street episodes are being released to DVD (Vol. 1, Vol. 2)…just don’t show ’em to your kids.

According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, “Sesame Street: Old School” is adults-only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”


I asked Carol-Lynn Parente, the executive producer of “Sesame Street,” how exactly the first episodes were unsuitable for toddlers in 2007. She told me about Alistair Cookie and the parody “Monsterpiece Theater.” Alistair Cookie, played by Cookie Monster, used to appear with a pipe, which he later gobbled. According to Parente, “That modeled the wrong behavior” — smoking, eating pipes — “so we reshot those scenes without the pipe, and then we dropped the parody altogether.”

Which brought Parente to a feature of “Sesame Street” that had not been reconstructed: the chronically mood-disordered Oscar the Grouch. On the first episode, Oscar seems irredeemably miserable — hypersensitive, sarcastic, misanthropic. (Bert, too, is described as grouchy; none of the characters, in fact, is especially sunshiney except maybe Ernie, who also seems slow.) “We might not be able to create a character like Oscar now,” she said.

I’ll freely admit to leaning to the left politically and socially, but this level of über-sensitive, overwrought ‘Political Correctness’ is absolutely ridiculous.

Were I ever to have kids (or spend some time babysitting any nieces or nephews — consider yourselves warned, Kev and Emily, Noah’s in trouble with me!), I’d be more than happy to give ’em a full dose of Sesame Street and the Muppets both (that is, during one of the few times we plopped ’em down in front of the TV instead of with a book or a game or outside play or other such things).

This world just gets weirder and weirder some days.

(via /.)

The Sesame Street Theme…in Klingon


Sunny day
Sweepin’ the clouds away
On my way
to where the air is sweet.
Can you tell me how to get,
how to get to Sesame Street?


pem Hov jaj.
Haw’choHnIS ‘eng ‘ej Haj.
ghoch vIghaj;
‘ej pa’ muDmo’ jIbel.
chay’ Sesame He vIghoS?
SIbI’ jIHvaD ‘e’ yIDel.

Translation of the Klingon:

A day of the daytime star.
The clouds are compelled to commence fleeing, and are filled with dread.
I have a destination;
and there, because of the atmosphere, I am pleased.
Describe to me immediately
how to go to Sesame Street.

And there’s two more verses at the original location. This is so wonderful!

(via MeFi)

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

Sesame Street's original cast

Wow — Sesame Street has been around for 35 years.

My two most present memories of Sesame Street (see if you remember them too…)

“Yup, yup, yup, yup yup yup yup yupyupyupyupyupyupyup TELEPHONE!”

“Around…around…around…around…over, under, and through!”

There’s even a 35^th^ anniversary trivia game on their site, which I did horribly at.

This entry was brought to you by the number 7.

iTunes: “Sesame’s Treet (12″)\” by Smart E’s from the album Sesame’s Treet (1992, 5:12).

HIV-positive muppets?

Aside from the many, many obvious jokes than can be made about this (and, admittedly, I could come up with quite a few without even trying), I think this may be one of the coolest news reports I’ve read in a while. According to an AP story on Yahoo! News, “The first HIV-positive Muppet will soon join the cast of ‘Sesame Street’ in South Africa to educate children about the deadly virus that infects more than 10 percent of the country.”

The report goes on to say that “…the Muppet will associate freely with the show’s other characters as a way to fight stereotypes and dispel myths about people living with the virus, said Yvonne Kgame of the South African Broadcasting Corp., which airs the program.”

I could easily see this as being one of the best and most effective ways to get some real HIV education out to children — and I can also, unfortunately, fairly easily assume that there is absolutely no way this would ever happen in the US. Can you imagine the uproar that would hit if news of this happening on Sesame Street in the US? Too bad, too — I think this is a great step.