Saturday, August 27, 2016

Signs point to yes

"Camera HOF"


Let's play!

Older than. Not older than. Let's play!

Best Buy?
I am older than Best Buy. Wah!
Best Buy kicks off 50th birthday with 50 deals for 50 hours



And let me sneak this one in here. Capitalism!

Capitalism QOTD
Transform any toilet into a nightlight!
www.glowbowl.com


Dark Matter

Book: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Review: 4 bill-stars (out of 5)... very exciting!
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1740354718

Let me get the weirdness out of the way. Titling this book Dark Matter is a bad/odd choice because there's nothing in the book about dark matter. The plot has physics in it, but it's quantum mechanics and superposition, Heisenberg and stuff like that. Also, the title choice is bizarre because there's a graphic novel just published in 2012 called Dark Matter: www.goodreads.com/book/show/14288627-dark-matter. And that Dark Matter is so popular that it's currently a TV show on SyFy: www.syfy.com/darkmatter. So, the title's a head-scratcher. The sour cherry on top: the hardcover artwork is bad too. (ha!)

But the book is very exciting! The setup is very similar to the first books I read by Crouch, the Wayward Pines trilogy. Crouch says to us readers, "Hey, accept this crazy premise, and I promise you a wild ride." So, the premise here: a scientist figures out how to travel between multiverses. OK, that's fun. Crouch then delivers on the suspense and the action. His short, staccato writing style is perfect here.

QOTD
It's morning, and they're getting ready for their respective days.
She's brushing her teeth, he's brushing his, and when he catches her staring at him, he gives a toothpaste-foamy grin and winks.
She wonders —
Does he have cancer and isn't telling me?
Is he taking a new antidepressant and isn't telling me?
Lost his job and isn't telling me?
A sick, hot feeling erupts in the pit of her stomach: is he having an affair with one of his students and it's her that's making him feel and act like a brand-new man?
No. None of that feels right.
The thing is, nothing is obviously wrong.
On paper, they're actually better. He's paying her more attention that he ever has. They haven't talked and laughed this much since the beginning of their relationship.
It's just that he's... different.
- Dark Matter
There are plenty of holes in Dark Matter. And there's some hokey nerd violence: a pet peeve of mine. But who cares? Crouch overcomes. I can't grumble too much because I enjoyed the book. It's a real page-burner.

A great read!



Signs point to yes

There's an online Magic 8 Ball. (of course)
www.ask8ball.net

I'm skeptical. Let's test this sucker out.
Amazing!



I like the BIG headline on this weak-ass Wapo story on Crooked Hillary.


It's been fun. And funny. It should get even better as we get closer to the election.

New low - I saw a new low in presidential politics, at least that I've seen. Crooked Hillary put out a faux ad of some guy dressed up in full KKK regalia talking about how much he loves Trump. The ad also says something about how a lot of Trump supporters are racists. I lost track because I was laughing out loud (or LOL, in the parlance of the times). It's a faux ad because it's never actually run on TV, just plopped out there so CNN can churn on it for a couple days. I hope the Trump boys are learning. There are no rules. None. No. Rules.

Wiki-Election - The Wikileaks guys say that more Crooked Hillary crookedness will be released soon. I saw some item where they asked the Wikileaks guy, Assange, why he doesn't release any Trump dirt. And he said something like: The stuff Trump says is wilder than anything we can find to release about him. (snort)

Bye Dr. Drew - A little collateral damage... goofy magoo, Dr. Drew, dared open his mouth about Crooked Hillary, and CNN promptly canned him.
‘Dr. Drew’ show canceled days after host’s negative speculation about Hillary Clinton’s health
They should have gotten Trump to do it: You're Fired! (he he)
peace... yow, bill


Friday, August 26, 2016

Turtlesaurus


"Turtlesaurus"

This ex-turtle lives at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, www.dmns.org.


PMOC

Not BMOC, PMOC... Positive Man On Campus.
This Dean publicly rejects political correctness at the school.

College QOTD
Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.
- University of Chicago Dean of Students John Ellison letter to the 2020 freshman class, link
He adds: "Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn, without fear of censorship. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort." (reason mag and tweet of his original letter)

As I wrote about earlier this year (williamt post), North Central College chooses censorship and "safety" (in quotes!) over academic and political freedom. Maybe I should get a part-time gig at U of Chicago? (he he he! dammit, that's funny... sorry)

What will happen to this guy for speaking out? I guess we'll see. The writer of that article from Reason magazine was so taken aback that he thought the letter was a fake or a prank or something... he emailed Ellison to confirm it was actually him. (ha)

Huzzah to you John Ellison!




Shosty's 7th, Leningrad

Three recommendations for you.

1. Read these notes. It's only a couple pages/minutes... the incredible story behind Shosty's 7th Symphony, Leningrad.
Mark’s notes on Shostakovich Symphony No.7

2. Listen online here to this incredible version of Leningrad by Kurt Masur and the boys in the NY Phil.
https://youtu.be/jh0cnrQMLkk

3. Buy this masterpiece at Amazon or wherever.
https://amzn.com/B00C0NGMRA


Aneka Jansen #5

Book: The Greatest Heights of Honour by Niall Teasdale
Review: 3 bill-stars (out of 5)... good
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1736057948

The Aneka Jansen series is a fun, easy formula: sci-fi + a little T&A. This 5th edition follows this pattern to a tee. The middle of the book has a pretty big slow patch as we get a Star Wars-esque treatment of pre-war politics. The battle chapters at the end are a highlight.

QOTD
Senate Grand Forum, 1.1.529 FSC. 
'As this old year turns and the new one begins, we give thanks for all that has been, and look forward to all that is to come. The Long Dark is gone and we look into the light. Let this First Day be the first of many where we strive to be the best we can be and fight to keep the darkness as bay.' 
Ollander raised the glass she was holding and drank from it. The words of the Renewal had never felt quite so important.
- The Greatest Heights of Honour

A good read.
thanks... yow, bill

PS - Mark Wigglesworth is the guy wrote those Shosty notes above. I found his version of Leningrad on Amazon and scooped it up. It's good, but there's a wide gulf between the quality here and the NY Phil. Also, the dynamics of the recording aren't very well done.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Uncle Bill

This is my photo of a photo. It's a classic from the Awkward Family Photos exhibit at the History Colorado Museum: www.historycolorado.org. He he!

"Uncle Bill"


Kindle + Goodreads = WOW!

Now, you can see your Kindle notes on the Goodreads website. Um, wow!!!
www.goodreads.com/blog/show/677-share-your-kindle-notes-and-highlights-with-your-friends-beta
It looks like Goodreads will let you decide what is public and what it not. That's cool.
I sometimes highlight new words when I'm reading. If that's on Goodreads now, then I can pool them together into a new words list or web page if I like. That's cooler.




Alone Together, 5 years later

I really liked Sherry Turkle's book Alone Together. Five years ago, I gave it 4 bill-stars: williamt review.

Turkle has a Ted Talk related to her book. It has 3.5 million views, and... it's pretty bad. Here, four years after her talk, Turkle's notions are old and stale. Her talk is basically irrelevant.

QOTD
We expect more from technology and less from each other.
The illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.
- S Turkle, ted talk in 2012
In her conclusion, Turkle advises that we need to stop and really listen to each other. She warns that we're spending evenings on a social network rather than spending time at a pub with friends. Jeez, that's a done deal... a ship that sailed away a long time ago. 

Like Turkle, I'd love to tell you that cellphones are bad. Facebook is a pariah. Blah blah. But that opinion is completely irrelevant. Nothing will stand in the way of this trend. In 5-10 years, people will be spending much more time engaged in these technologies and whatever else new comes along as well.

I don't know where we're gong with all this. Good or bad... no one does. I'm just saying that my participation will be limited. I value time away and disconnection from the hive. I don't carry my cellphone around with me everywhere. When I am conversing with you, I am not texting. I expressly control my consumption of new technologies, limiting it to the things that I enjoy. For example, I like sitting next to you on a barstool. (ha)

But the solution for a 54 year-old guy (or Sherry Turkle) means nothing to younger generations being transformed by this technology. My solution is important to me and my well-being, but it's irrelevant to tech trends in society overall.




Pol stream

This goes first.
It's an excellent Trump snippet from this week. (source)


Repeat in bold.
More than 2,600 people have been shot in Chicago since the beginning of the year, and almost 4,000 killed in President Obama's hometown area since his presidency began.
8 years as president... and 4,000 mostly black people dead in Chicago. It's surreal. And how has President Obama reacted to and combatted this scourge? What are his programs? What legislation does he advocate? What speeches has he made? When has he visited his "hometown" (guffaw) to speak out against black-on-black violence?
It's not that Obama has failed these communities. It's that he hasn't even tried.


Crooked Hillary is incompetent too. That's a nice combo.

QOTD
The transition to democracy in Syria has begun, and it’s time for Asad to get out of the way.
- Crooked Hillary as Sec of State, 5 years ago on Aug 18, link 
And today, 5 years later, the Pentagon wags its finger and warns Syria not to bomb us. (snort)

QOTD
The Pentagon warned Syria on Friday not to conduct air strikes near its own forces in the country a day after it scrambled jets to defend against attacks by Syrian government aircraft.
- news blurb

Trump is America's Brexit. He gets it.


You can still go to google news most days and find an article detailing how Brexit voters were losers, idiots, morons, racists.

I'll wrap with some negativity, but it's important negativity.

QOTD
Trump supporters were forced to run a “gauntlet,” with many, including elderly women, being punched and pelted with garbage.
terrible video link
Don't click on that video link. It's not worth it. But it is important to know that violent leftie protests are happening, and they are not being reported on... and btw, where are the cops in all this?
The bottom line:
  • Violence is one-sided in American politics. Lefties own exclusive rights to violent, bullying protests in America.
  • The media does not report acts of violence against righties/Trump supporters. Can you imagine the firestorm if Hillary protestors had to "run a gauntlet" and were beaten up and harassed? 
A vote for Trump is a vote against leftie violence and against a media that won't report it.
cha... yow, bill

PS - Capitalism = marketing! You know this, man.
It's tough to get people in Miami to hit a ballgame. So the Marlin Marketing Men are working it: Star Trek, zombies, wrestling, and Star Wars. www.marlins.com/specialevents