+

The best of the Web this week includes an explanation of "mansplaining," an amazing art project in China, 61 things you didn't know about hoboes, five tricks Facebook uses when dealing with your privacy, and more. Enjoy!


Arts and Culture

The Problem With Men Explaining Things / Rebecca Solnit / Mother Jones

This piece floored me. You should read it, especially if you're a man. Or a woman.





Obituary: Neil Armstrong / The Economist

An amazing man and story: "The original landing area turned out to be full of large boulders. ... By the time he found his spot, there was only 25 seconds of fuel left in the thanks."




61 Things I Learned At The National Hobo Convention / Matt Stopera / BuzzFeed

A wonderful story, animated by curiosity and genuine interest. Lots of gems, including: "6. When a hobo dies, they are said to have 'caught the Westbound.'"




Green Pedestrian Crossing In China Creates Leaves From Footprints / Christopher Jobson / Colossal

Art and advocacy meet in this clever and beautiful campaign.




Politics and World Affairs

I'm Right, You're Wrong And Other Political Truths / Ramesh Ponnuru / Bloomberg

Finally, something people from both parties can all agree on!




Fear Of A Black President / Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic

A searching and sobering consideration of race relations in America, and of the poignant mixture of disappointment and pride Coates finds in Obama and his administration.




What I Learned At Bain Capital / Mitt Romney / The Wall Street Journal

Romney makes the case for how his business experience has equipped him to turn around the economy.




So, Mitt, What Do You Really Believe? / The Economist

Ouch: "A businessman without a credible plan to fix a problem stops being a credible businessman. So does a businessman who tells you one thing at breakfast and the opposite at supper." (via Maurice)




The Reality Of Trying To Shrink Government / Lawrence Summers / The Washington Post

Important perspective: "For structural reasons, even preserving the amount of government functions that predated the financial crisis will require substantial increases in the share of U.S. economy devoted to the public sector."




Business and Economics

The Cheapest Generation / Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissman / The Atlantic

Car and home ownership are down significantly among millennials, with many interesting explanations and implications. One insight: "young people prize 'access over ownership.'"




The Acqui-Hire Scourge: Whatever Happened To Failure In The Valley? / Sarah Lacy / PandoDaily

Interesting and well-argued piece. "Everyone loves to say that Silicon Valley's great strength is an acceptance of failure." But widespread acquisitions may be undermining this.




The Case For Spending A Little More Sometimes / Carl Richards / The New York Times

Simple advice: Avoid the temptation of cheap and disposable, and invest in things that are worth owning for the long haul.





Tootsie's Secret Empire / Ben Kesling / The Wall Street Journal

A fun story on the candy company's secretive, and aging, CEO. Plus, this great lede: "How many licks does it take to get to the center of Tootsie Roll Industries? No one really knows."




Smart Service Design Needs A New Language For Anonymity / Jan Chipcase / Co.Design

Some interesting nuggets on the value, and dangers, of personal recognition in customer service. (via @dbkahn)




Science and Technology

Digital Scarcity / Tuhin Kumar

Soon enough, digital "... will replace physical as the primary dimension in which we spend our time. ... We need to find a better way to tell others what is worth their time."





5 Design Tricks Facebook Uses To Affect Your Privacy Decisions / Avi Charkham / TechCrunch

Side-by-side comparisons show a concerted effort to make it less clear what permissions you're granting.




Apple V. Samsung Verdict Is In: $1 Billion Loss For Samsung / Joe Mullin / Ars Technica

Interesting context: "Apple's ultimate target is Google," whose Android operating system so enraged Steve Jobs that he promised "thermonuclear war."




The Worldfalls / Oliver Morton / Heliophage

A short, vivid mental image that will change the way you think about energy, from the author of a book on photosynthesis called "Eating the Sun."




* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sign up to receive the Best of the Web in your inbox each week.




Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

Keep ReadingShow less

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

Keep ReadingShow less