Efforts to understand, improve, or do less harm to the world around me.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A better left vs. right

An excellent conversation on American conservatism and liberalism with Jon Stewart and Charles Krauthammer.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Addressing the war on the poor

The "war on" headline isn't just provocative, they're the words of a GOP governor from Ohio in a refreshing appearance of Republican centrism.  I saw a resurgence of this during the Bush Jr. administration where Republicans were increasingly talking about helping the poor as part of their religious beliefs (usually Christian), but largely this has faded with the push by Tea Party conservatism.  It's nice to see again.  Thank you, Mr. Kasich.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Where fear noises come from

Horror movies have been evidently leaning on one major instrument for years now.  Somewhat of a let-down.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Joke science

Even though I'm not a huge Seinfeld fan, I really enjoyed this.  The analysis of how rhythm, style, and awareness of it's fundamental unimportance all really help underscore what we all know about comedy, but probably couldn't describe.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Mos Def goes through force-feeding procedure

I really thought it was intravenous - I had no idea they inserted a tube in your nose and, apart from being humiliating, it's also very painful.

In the scope of bad and worse, I don't want people to die, but it helps make clear that force feeding people is not a reasonable long-term plan for prisoners.  It's the sort of thing that wears away at your humanity and definitely wouldn't build empathy and gentleness in those among us who are most violent and angry.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Why Star Trek - Into Darkness blows

I hated this movie. Spoilers!
  • Flashing lights, loud noises, and things exploding!  Oh dear me!
  • Chris Pine exudes authority like a scrappy dog: didn't feel he cared about anything even when he pulled a muscle trying to act like he did.  I think the two dimensions I got were "sad" and "risk taker".
  • At no point did I feel the villain was anything but a tool.  Spock was boring.
  • Everyone's flying out of the destroyed ship into space and nobody seems to give a f--k.  The Enterprise used to be the center of the show and now its something we can smash up like it's made of legos.
  • Only person I cared about in the whole move was Captain Pike, who they killed off pretty quick.  The only person I really liked was Simon Pegg (Scotty).

Worst moments:
  • After the ship get tossed and turned and everyone's flying around like confetti, 10 seconds later everything's normal again and looks at Spock like "what's he in a hurry about?"
  • No efforts or energy put into plugging these massive leaks that should kill everyone.  No efforts to triage or even address the hordes of more-or-less dead people.  Oh except that pretty blonde girl?  Let's heal her up!
  • They surgically removed a sequence from the first movie and inserted it this movie (radiation leak, main character sacrifices life to save the ship).  The first JJ Abrams movie just made a horde of references to the previous series, but ultimately went it's own way.  This one recycled and entire plot sequence.  I'm not sure it it was *exactly* the same because I walked out.

Anyway, this was all a big, stupid lark built from a whole bunch of other scripts, some from movies that had already been made.  I didn't care about the characters and didn't feel like anything took place anywhere other than a soundstage in Burbank.  In that sense, the painfully low-end budget old series beat them out here.  I really thought they were in space or on some other planet once in a while.

Now my personal message to JJ Abrams: For god's sake, hire a script supervisor or someone to work on continuity.  I get that Gore Verbinski can smash up a pirate ship and not really go back and address anything, but the assumption there is that pirates are disposable and these guys can take a knife or two in the gut.  I don't expect you to tie up all the loose ends, but pick 3 or 4.  Also, while we're on the topic, you should apologize for the final season of Lost.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Experimental Electronic: Uncertainty Principle by Current Value

Having searched for something genuinely unique in music, I came across some experimental drum and bass that really shocked me back into the new.  Wonderful stuff from German producer Current Value.

Yes, the above paragraph is a reference to this.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

National Security Letters ruled unconstitutional

Thank fucking god.  These letters were the worst sort of intimidation and secret police bullshit that should never have happened in the US.  Sigh of relief goes here that ANY movement has been made on this.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Good and Evil mix

I've been wanting to post about my old mix for years now and Soundcloud finally gave me a forum to make it available.  Although it draws from a variety of music styles, it has a distinctly electronic vibe, along with movie soundtracks, IDM, and ambient tracks.  I spent over a year making it and 3 more years trying to finish it in a satisfactory way.  Enjoy.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Disney Princesses vs. Miyazaki

This article puts words to something I've thought about many times: women defined by beauty and a man's love rather than having some kind of external identity.

Endless war

Some surprising actions by Rand Paul surrounding current military authority associated with the US War on Terror.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Firefox persona

I almost always setup one of the Firefox "skins" and then discard it after a few days because it's too distracting or too dull.  May have found one that works perfectly: Stormy Sunset.

Meteorite video

The British presenter is a dope, but the footage is incredible.  I never thought I'd see a meteor on film like that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Antibiotic use in meat still increasing

Haven't heard anything good about factory farming in the last few years so this wasn't a surprise. The concern is that creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria hurts everyone.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The cat tells u what's up

Thanks cat.

(Note, this is a "GIF sound," which traditionally tends to fail after a few months.)