A Classic Rock Literature Quiz and More Critical Linking

Critical Linking is sponsored today by Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer:


[W]e bring you the Classic Rock Literary Quiz. Featuring rock giants such as Jim Morrison, Rick Wakeman, Ozzy, Maiden and Led Zeppelin, we challenge you to identify the ways in which the books and authors they loved shaped their music.

This is really, really tough. I . . . got one right on a wild guess.


Researchers at MIT have developed a way to read a book without ever cracking it open. AsGizmodo reports, their new camera uses terahertz radiation to penetrate the cover of a book and detect the text inside.

The imaging system, which is detailed in a recent issue of the journal Nature Communications, depends on complex algorithms and software to function. Terahertz radiation, which falls between microwave and infrared radiation, is unique in that different chemicals will produce specific frequencies upon coming in contact with it. The frequency signature emitted by ink, for instance, is distinct from the one emitted by a blank page. Algorithms process this data as it’s transmitted to the camera, allowing researchers to identify letters on a page in a way that’s not possible with X-rays.

I wondered at first when I started reading this why such technology would be useful. The article explains and it’s neat.


Nigeria is the English-speaking world’s Scrabble superpower. Africa’s most populous nation is home not only to the global Scrabble champion, but team Nigeria ranks as the world’s top Scrabble playing nation — ahead of the U.S. in second place.

I wouldn’t have guessed that but I loved reading about this.




If one of your most prized possessions is the wand you purchased during your last vacation to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, you’ll want to pre-order Pop Chart Lab’s latest poster. The data visualization pros collaborated with Pottermore to create “Magical Objects of the Wizarding World,” a poster that catalogues the many magical objects mentioned in the books.

Oh, fun!


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