Morning coffee: a pile of links for mid-November

I have a couple dozen browser tabs open that I need to clear out, so here goes…

Amazon’s Kindle Fire is not getting rave reviews and mine is already in the mail. Crap. I need a drink.

Oh, good. Slate has a long article about the history of the Old Fashioned (and accordingly cocktails in general) that had me pining for some rye whiskey.

This Vanity Fair article from 2005 about “Rapper’s Delight” (and accordingly the origins of hip-hop in general) is simply excellent.

NBC's Community is still must-watch television, and their “Remedial Chaos Theory” episode a few weeks back was among the best they’ve ever done, an episode which was able to throw all the characters in a little room and explore their relationships in depth while telling seven stories and still bringing constant laughs. A real marvel, that one. You might also be interested in lead writer Dan Harmon's whiteboards from the writing room for that episode. Also, AHHH RUN AWAY!!!

I did not know that an octopus was so adept at camoflage.

I support this (fake) effort. Do also take a look at the pictures. Language is moderately NSFW.

Hyperbole and a Half, the most tragically infrequently updated blog on the web, is back with this heartbreaking/heartwarming look at what it feels like to be depressed. This is probably the best thing you'll read this month. (That one's via Robert Krulwich)

I could pick apart some of the facts here (for example, a college education is still far from ubiquitous), but this article on the grievances of Occupy Wall Street is still an interesting read. (Via Drew Magary)

Even if you don't work as a programmer software developer, this article has many useful nuggets of career advice. It touches on corporate culture, the interview process, how to sell yourself, how your job does and doesn't define who you are, negotiation, and more. If you do nothing else, take a look at your resume and cover letter and for every bullet really think about how your actions either reduced costs or increased revenue. If you've got a good story about either of those, you'll be in a much stronger position. (Via Marco Arment)

Want to be better at life? Take a look at these seven lessons. It’s a little preachy, but they won me back with a Seinfeld reference. Yes, I’m that easy.

Want to be the best at something? Read this article on elite achievers and repeat the conclusion:

Do less. But do what you do with complete and hard focus. Then when you’re done be done, and go enjoy the rest of the day.

If you want to be the best at the internet, too bad because this blog already exists.

While you're pondering whether that blog is the best thing or the best best thing, consider this excellent article about social networking that posits that an online social network could never adequately describe real social networks. It concludes that Facebook has added no original culture to the web. Although I thought The Social Network was an excellent movie.

Even with Alzheimer’s, my grandfather was an intellectually curious person person up to the second that he died. So I did a little fist pump when I read Matt Ufford’s brief send-off for Andy Rooney. Although I understand that the man had an audience, and it must be nice to get paid by CBS to sleep at your desk, I hope I’m not like that when I'm older.

You might also enjoy Ufford's epic, hilarious rant about #firstworldproblems. Language is NSFW. Biggest laugh for me:

But I’m not bitching about how hard it is to find a milliner who makes top hats with sufficient velvet. I’m trying to joke about small annoyances that might resonate with other people. It’s already understood that it’s a first-world problem. That’s why I’m sending it out on Twitter, and not calling UNICEF.

My wife just got braces, and they do make her look younger (definitely not safe for work).

So… that Penn State thing happened. Worth re-reading Taylor Branch's unrelated but epic article ”The Shame of College Sports” from a few months back, and then gargle that down with Charles P. Pierce’s analysis of the Penn State situation (via The Morning News), and then go cry for several weeks. There's a lot of excellent writing about the scandal, but I can’t stand to link to much of it. How truly awful.

This might make you feel better: a collection of movies of dogs welcoming home veterans.

Am I doing it wrong?

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