More Tabs, Please #2: Turkey Gangs, Mathematical Athletes, and Rainforest Healthcare Culture

By Joshua Boyd on November 24th 2017

Here we go with number two of More Tabs, Please. We’ve got another six articles, an artist, and a YouTube series for you. Grab yourself something to drink (it’s Friday, just have a whisky already), settle down, and have a nice, good read. You deserve it.

Your accompanying album this week is The Number Ones by Irish power-pop band The Number Ones. 90% of this album will be stuck in your head till next week.

“Human-turkey conflicts are on the rise.”

A close up of two turkeys looking a bit menacing

The slightly comical, slightly terrifying ‘The Turkeys Not on Your Plate: They’re Out Back, Climbing the Roof‘ from Kirk Johnson takes a look at the rise of wild turkeys. All 6.2 million of them. A whole Rio de Janeiro of them, give or take.

Johnson raises images of roaming gangs of feral game terrorising humans, taking over their homes and scaring their children. It all sounds hilarious.

But the article has a serious side as it discusses manmade attempts to influence nature and the unpredictability of it all.

Considering wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone Park ten years after this whole turkey business started, it might make sobering reading.

A new way to tell stories

A black and white photo of a person wearing a huge and out-of-date VR headset

Remember when virtual reality technology was a joke? The Virtual Boy. Those massive visors that made you look like the robot from Power Rangers. A ton of hype and a ton of failure. How things have changed.

VR as a technology is moving forward quickly and, with any medium, people look for new and interesting ways to use it. ‘Storytelling in virtual reality‘ looks at how VR can be used to immerse ourselves in stories in ways film and books can’t.

This tech is still a way off being commonplace, while there’s still plenty of scope for advancement. Either way, it certainly won’t be the flop it once was.

A sinking ferry in the Baltic Sea

This story is one of my favourite pieces of journalism ever. It’s 13 years old, talking about an event that happened ten years before that, but I still come back to read it every so often.

A Sea Story‘ chronicles the tragic sinking of the MS Estonia, a ferry carrying 850 people across the freezing Baltic Sea. At near 9k words long, the detail is painstaking.

As well as being one of the best written pieces of work I’ve read, it’s one of the most terrifying. It might put you off travelling over water completely.

Hire This Person: Amanda Lenz

This week’s featured artist you should all hire is Amanda Lenz, an illustrator and a designer with a distinct and inciting style.

Nature is clearly a big influence on her work with lots of animals, landscapes, and plants featuring heavily.

A great collection for this time of year is her Colorado in Winter illustrations, depicting humans and animals dealing with the cold weather in their own ways.

Lenz is also a skilled designer, with her website featuring a number of projects including product packaging design and infographics.

Now that you want to hire her, check out Amanda’s website, TwitterBehance, and Instagram.

“Save the people, save the rainforest.”

When we think of loggers threatening rainforests, it can be easy to think of heavy machinery and armies of men in hardhats tearing down tonnes of trees day after day.

But what if some loggers are just lone people trying to raise money to survive?

How to save the rainforest: build a health centre‘ looks at efforts being made in places like Indonesia to improve the lives of people in order to protect the rainforests on their doorteps.

This incredible piece from Mosaic, published by Wellcome, is an illuminating read on a world many of us know nothing about.

Drawing culinary borders

A black and white photo of a family having Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is done for another year. Being a Brit who had their first Thanksgiving meal yesterday, it’s obvious why the food is such a big deal.

Considering the size of America, it’s no surprise that the traditional foods will vary from place to place and, I imagine, cause huge arguments over what ‘traditional’ even is.

Enter FiveThirtyEight and their piece ‘Here’s What Your Part Of America Eats On Thanksgiving‘.

How does their map analysis match up with your meal?

From pigskins to equations

John Urschel while playing American football

It’s pretty well ingrained in us to assume athletes aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. TV and film are chock full of dumb jocks, furrowing their brows in a vain attempt to understand anything.

Obviously it’s an unfair assumption to make (mostly), with John Urschel, an ex-professional American football player, being another in a long line of talented athletes with brains to match.

A Calculated Decision: Why John Urschel Chose Math Over Football‘ is a fascinating and in-depth interview covering his swap from football to academia and everything before and after.

Watch and Listen: Leo Takes A Look

How do you make a YouTube series about games stand out these days? How about having a deadpan way of speaking, an off-beat and dark sense of humour, and barely reviewing the game you’re playing?

Jackpot.

Leo Take A Look is a Kotaku series created and produced by Leo Wichtowski (find him on Twitter here).

His videos are bizarre and surreal, more a meandering thought process imposed over footage of various games being played. And after watching just one video, you want to watch them all.

You can find the full series here. Here’s one video for the road as Leo builds a school with a mega-classroom. Enjoy.

Joshua Boyd

Josh is the blog and community manager for Brandwatch. Along with heading up the social channels, Josh otherwise spends time worrying about Whitehawk FC and creating pointless maps.