My Favorite Links of 2020

On The Weekly Click, I collected the most interesting links each week.  I’ll be resetting The Weekly Click in a week or two, so if you want to see the full list you’d better hurry. In the meantime, here’s a collection of my favorites of this past year, one per week.

Alone In A Crowded Milky Way
The Earth as “galactic archipelago.”

John Mulaney is Not So Square
I really like these Q&A profiles in The New Yorker.

The College Football Championship Was All About the Crowd — and Trump
”In the end, as with everything else in 2020, it was all noise.”

Illinois walks into Mackey Arena and out-toughs Purdue
This team has figured it out. I’m waiting patiently when The Athletic adds Illinois to it’s list of dedicated schools.

Ayo Dosunmu is here, and his time is now
Easily one of the best Illinois basketball players in a couple of decades, this kid is fun to watch, especially over this stretch of games. I hope he turns head when the NBA scouts come calling.

The Story of Huey Lewis Is Not a Tragedy
What a strange turn of events. I read this story twice before realizing Dave Holmes wrote it.

Macaulay Culkin Is Not Like You
I’m impressed with the fact that he’s just this guy. Yeah, he was in that movie you watch every Christmas, but he’s not one of those former child stars.

Ben Affleck Tried to Drink Away the Pain. Now He’s Trying Honesty.
There is so much to unpack in this profile. The headline is not misleading, Affleck really does lay it all out there.

Where Is My Mind?
Ben Gordon’s battle with anxiety and mental illness is something I never knew before reading this essay. When you read it, it just flows out. He was obviously just stream of conscience outputting it all onto the page and it reads heavy. It reads like someone telling the story of his mental illness and nobody was understanding, let alone himself for the longest time.

Neil Postman’s Advice on How to Live the Rest of Your Life
Some interesting ideas.

One Big Idea 
Dave Perell is a must read. He believes everyone has a unique view of the world and the world is full of opportunities. He’s not wrong.

The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do
Great video on this whole pandemic.

Sexy Man Falls
This video made me laugh so hard I think my family might have been a tad worried about me.

Ted Chiang Explains the Disaster Novel We All Suddenly Live In
Never going back to normal and that might be a good thing.

Jesus Christ Do I Miss Sports
Me too.

Journey-Separate Ways (Heller Quarantine Edition) Side by Side
The Heller family made a shot-by-shot recreation of Journey’s “Separate Ways.” So much fun.

The Coronavirus in America: The Year Ahead
This eye-opening NYT piece by Donald G. McNeil Jr. outlines how this is going to go. It’s mostly about the long miserable slog it’s going to be, with one bright spot. “In the movies, viruses become more deadly. In reality, they usually become less so, because asymptomatic strains reach more hosts. Even the 1918 Spanish flu virus eventually faded into the seasonal H1N1 flu.”

The Cancer in the Camera Lens
David Roth is one of the best writers working today.

Wealth, shown to scale
Jeff Bezos’s wealth gave me carpal tunnel syndrome.

Good Things
Melanie Richards made a personal compilation of good sensory things in life. Nice to be reminded of a few things as we live in the darkest timeline.

I’m pretty sure there’s no way a new version of Justice League, even with an additional $20M SFX budget, is going to be anything but a goddamn trainwreck. There’s no finding the diamond in the rough here. Maybe I’m wrong. I certainly hope to be pleasantly surprised and everything the peeps want will show up. I do hope they make it something else like a six episode mini-series instead of a movie. 

Former NASA Engineer Builds a Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course to Stop Nut-Stealing Backyard Squirrels
This is the internet content you came here for and it delivers. It delivers mostly nuts, but you’ll see.

An Oral History of Clerks: The Animated Series
It can’t all be the world is on fire posts… Seriously, the best thing in this story is the TV pilot for the failed Clerks: The Sitcom which I have never seen and, boy, is it atrociously bad.

Roger Goodell’s Black Lives Matter Moment Is a Sign of Trump’s Weakness
Will Leitch has some good points here. Not surprising.

Juneteenth Has Always Been Worthy of Celebration
Time to make Emancipation Day a national holiday is overdue.

Remembering the Glam-Rock Bars of the Sunset Strip in the 1980s
If I had a time machine, I’d go back to the Strip in 1977 and watch Van Halen, then jump ahead to 1981 and stay there until Nirvana showed up in 1991.

Doomscrolling Is Slowly Eroding Your Mental Health
“Each swipe through the timeline marks the end of a day of reckoning—for the state of the world at large and for the person attached to each appendage doing the scrolling.”

Stairway To Gilligan’s Island
Puddles Pity Party, the golden-throated sad clown, has an amusing mashup song using the lyrics from the Gilligan’s Island theme with the soundtrack of the Led Zeppelin song “Stairway to Heaven.” It’s magic.

Hackers Tell the Story of the Twitter Attack From the Inside
Shocking. Bottom line: the hack exposed Twitter’s internal security and it’s going to change how high-profile celebrities, politicians and “blue checkmarks” use the platform.

In Defense of Our Teachers by Dave Grohl
As a high school dropout and self-proclaimed “terrible student,” Dave Grohl is the last person you’d expect to defend teachers caught up in the contentious debate of reopening schools amid the pandemic.  Of course, you don’t know about his mom.

Release the… Great Branding?
The Seattle Kraken have some decent marketing and design peeps working for them and it shows.

Attack of the $30 Rental: Why Disney’s Mulan Strategy Just Might Work
For a family of four to watch a family film at the theater, $30 seems downright cheap. 

2020: An Isolation Odyssey
This is way more than just a shot by shot bit with 2001. Stay for the credits, then visit her website.

Illinois rapid saliva test for COVID-19 now operating under FDA Emergency Use Authorization
This is how we win.

The Saga of My Driveway Racetrack
“Every night I would get an alert from my driveway security camera, and at first I was a bit annoyed, but then I found myself looking forward to the evening alert. And then inspiration struck, in the form of my wife giving me this great idea. What transpired has turned into the best part of an otherwise dreary pandemic summer.”

Trump’s Cloud of Gossip Has Poisoned America
David Roth… one of the best columnists working today.

A College Town Without College Football
Pat Forde’s article about Champaign and Illinois Football is really good.

Buying Myself Back
What a creepy story by supermodel Emily Ratajkowski. The only sliver of light in this incredible shitstorm of misogyny and shamelessness is that she appears to be getting the last word.

Fast Times At Ridgemont High | Virtual Table Read for CORE
The whole thing is bonkers. Shia is high as a kite. Just fast forward to 37:35 for the best part. Well… one of the best parts.

The Go-Go’s – We Got The Beat (Live From The Today Show / 2020)
Just a totally infectious song played perfectly.

Inside the Lincoln Project’s War Against Trump
This is a decent breakdown of what they are trying to do.

A Society That Cannot Figure Out How To Wear a Mask Correctly Perhaps Does Not Deserve to Continue
“I often worry about how to best describe in words the overwhelming dumbness of living through this time in history. But I might not need words at all. I can just show photos of people from this time.”

Wear a Mask at the Drive-Thru
I wear a mask when I enter a store, but I admit to not wearing one at the drive-thru or for deliveries. I guess I should even though the chance of infection in this situation is pretty low.

AOC’S Next Four Years
I don’t think she’ll run for President in 2024. Basically, if Biden wins 2020 and does not run in 2024, I think Harris is the obvious choice to run for President, especially against someone like Haley who I definitely think will run in 2024. AOC will run in 2028.

How Stacey Abrams Made Georgia the Center of the Political Universe
Will Leitch lives in Athens, GA. He’s seen all of this first-hand.

Let Us Never Have to Celebrate a Presidential Election Like This Again
“There is a very real possibility that, after January 20, 2021, there might be a whole day where I wake up, go about my daily business and then go to sleep without once thinking about something truly horrible the President of the United States had done that day. It’s going to be incredible.” Yes.

‘The Mandalorian’ is the Way of Star Wars
I’m with Mr. Siegler and also think The Mandalorian is better at Star Wars than the most recent Star Wars movies. The reason is Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, who I would guess will be creating a new Star Wars trilogy in due time.

How to make an AC/DC song in 30 seconds
“What’s that? Look out! Dog on the road!”

Ready Player Two Is a Horror Story but Doesn’t Know It
“From the perspective of anyone but Wade, Ready Player Two is a horror story that thinks it is a fantasy, narrated by a monster who thinks he is the hero.” I can guarantee I’m going to enjoy Ready Player Two way more than Laura. However, I think her position here has plenty of merits.

We Had the Vaccine the Whole Time
This story just floors me. The speed of this is unprecedented.  

What If You Could Do It All Over?
Easily my favorite link this week. What a cool story and concept.

Weird Al Reunited With His 9th Grade Crush, and She Still Has the Portrait He Drew of Her at Age 12
This is a sweet story.