Press "Enter" to skip to content

Category: Books and Movies

Tuesday links

  • Uber and Lyft are not just disrupting longstanding “taxi control” in New York City. They’re disrupting lenders who have profited from the insane medallion fees.
  • Ha ha ha. You know all those well-heeled people who are always spouting about how everybody should pay higher taxes? Well guess what happens when they’re invited to volunteer more of their own dough?
  • This planet’s a crazy place. When it’s time to leave, is it feasible to terraform Mars?… 14 Comments
  • Brandy (aka that black dog I keep mentioning)

    Well, there she is, that black dog I’ve been going on about. Brandy. I’ve wanted to draw or paint a dog resting on colorful cushions. I have photos of Ava and the late, lamented Robbie to work from, but the project always daunted me. Then a friend took me up on a longstanding offer to do a portrait of his dog (in thanks for many favors over the years) and when he sent pix, among all the poses of her standing and sitting and roaming his yard, there was this: Not only complicated cushions, but (ulp!) a black dog. As…

    18 Comments

    Friday links

  • Was “bad training” responsible for Jeronimo Yanez murdering Philando Castile? this article by David Kopel is good, as always. But “bad training” doesn’t excuse the “reasonably scared cop” rule.
  • Now here’s a cop who would surely be drummed out of any militarized U.S. police force. Good thing he works in Thailand.
  • The harm of unpaid internships (especially for “creatives,” whose work tends to be undervalued both by potential employers and ourselves).… 18 Comments
  • It’s those little things

    My cover gets blown The other day I was depositing the house-loan money in my local bank with a teller I didn’t recognize, a vacation sub who travels from branch-to-branch. We got to chatting, then when I went to leave, she said, “May I ask you something?” “Sure.” “Are you a writer?” I keep my professional life and my town life separate and try to avoid letting locals know what I do. If somebody must know I tell them I’m a totally obscure blogger who does “political and lifestyle” content. Then I change the subject. “Um … yeah. Why do…

    19 Comments

    I demand to be oppressed!

    So. We have this big hit superhero movie. Directed by a woman. Staring not only a woman but a minority woman. And everybody loves it. Audiences flock to it. It had the biggest-ever opening weekend for a movie by a female director. Critics lavish praise upon it like relish on a summertime hot dog. And DC Comics breathes a huge sigh of relief that their otherwise dismal movie franchises are suddenly revived. By Wonder Woman You’d think the Speakers of the Feminist World would be over-the-moon delighted. That is, you would think so if you did not already understand that…

    25 Comments

    Midweek links

  • In another triumph of automotive “security,” BMW’s new rental-car service manages to halt three Seattle ferries on a single evening.
  • Oh, such a relief. Apparently the cultural-appropriation pecksniffs are trying to find ways (however illogical) to “allow” writers to go on creating characters who aren’t exactly like their authors.
  • Looks as if Cleveland was looking for a reason to can the cop who murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice. They found one, easily enough. Hardly a substitute for the prison sentence the creep deserved, though.… 10 Comments
  • Beat (and a Survival Mom book deal)

    Yesterday was the trip to the Actual Big City. It was long, tense, exhausting, but ultimately productive. I’ll write more about that later. For now I can only say I was literally staggering with both mental and physical tiredness when I got home and this morning I feel as if I could sleep all day. Sleeping all day isn’t in the cards, however, as the trickiest part of the Great Foundation and Screen Porch Project begins today and I will be on minion duty. In this phase of the project I might not be contributing much labor, but the Monk…

    4 Comments

    Tuesday links

  • Closer to confirmation: mysteriously murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was indeed in contact with Wikileaks, and the emails “hacked by Russians” may have instead been leaked by him.
  • Leonardo da Vinci invented an odd musical instrument (on paper). A modern instrument maker has built it. (Use the “cc” option on the video to get English subtitles.)
  • The governmental stupid gets thicker and thicker in California. Now dumb law threatens small, independent booksellers — as if they weren’t already threatened enough. (H/T M)

    9 Comments
  • Johatsu — “evaporated people”

    Killing time while waiting for The Wandering Monk to arrive and begin the foundation project, I found something absolutely fascinating. Johatsu. A Japanese word meaning “evaporated people.” Not dead. Not suspiciously missing. But people who’ve chosen to disappear out of their existing identities into new, perhaps off-grid ones. A French couple have been tracking this phenomenon for years and now have published a book: The Vanished: The “evaporated people” of Japan in Stories and Photographs. PRI has done a story on the johatsu and the French pair who became obsessed with them, as has Business Insider. Oddly, it turns out…

    10 Comments

    Saturday links

  • You may have heard about the Garadget flap, in which a petulant CEO “bricked” a complaining customer’s app. The key line from this article: “… when a device gets connected to the internet—whether it’s a cellphone, a thermostat, or a tea kettle—it’s no longer yours.”
  • And given the way the ‘Net is going, this might be good news to some of you old hands and privacy buffs: a 1986 BBS is back online.
  • This real-life heist has the makings of a movie. Except that Cary Grant’s dead and Sean Connery’s too old. Maybe one of the Ryans — Reynolds or Gosling — could handle the role of the suave criminal mastermind. Great mystery carried out in a rarified intellectual world.… 6 Comments