December 2, 2015
"Capra knew that the only way to earn an ending this happy would be to send the audience through utter, bleak horror, so everything before George gets to live again is shot to maximize the sense of his confinement, before breaking loose into rapture. It’s the story arc the country itself had just lived through for the four years prior." It’s A Wonderful Life shows the unending cost of being good - Todd VanDerWerff, The A.V. Club
America's gun problem is completely unique: Why is it that for all the outrage and mourning with every mass shooting, nothing seems to change? To understand that, it's important to grasp not just the stunning statistics about gun ownership and gun violence in the United States, but America's very unique relationship with guns — unlike that of any other developed country — and how it plays out in our politics to ensure, seemingly against all odds, that our culture and laws continue to drive the routine gun violence that marks American life. [more inside]
Nick Offerman's 'Yule Log' Nick Offerman Drinking Lagavulin Single Malt Whisky for 45 minutes. [Warning for the ad adverse: The linked video is obviously advertising.]
I have been working with startups for most of the last 15 years, and one common pattern that I’ve seen is the startup that has a brilliant idea but terrible management. [...] I feel I can offer a real service by documenting my own experience and offering it up as a case study. I've spent the last 6 months working at Celolot, which falls into the "great idea/bad management" category. The idea is brilliant: Natural Language Processing as an interface to interact with big Customer Relationship Management tools such as SAP. The execution has been flawed. [...] All names have been changed except for mine.via HN
"Such was the heady moment when the taboo against Victorian art was lifted. It shows that a taboo is not necessarily a bad thing. By holding the entire Victorian era in brackets, as it were, and then revisiting it after a long interval, it became possible to see it with fresh eyes, to discover it as a vast and dazzlingly new continent." Michael J. Lewis, The new “Horror Victorianorum.”
I told myself:-- you mustn't write! But stubborn hands will not comply Vladimir Vysotsky was a Russian Actor, Poet, and Musician. He wrote over 600 songs before his death in 1980.
Before Pinterest and Evernote and Tumblr, there was the humble commonplace book, a space for gathering and reflecting on ideas, quotations, observations, lines from poems, and other information. "How and Why to Keep a Commonplace Book" is a brief introduction to a venerable tradition of idea curation. [more inside]
DJ Earworm's United State of Pop 2015 (50 Shades of Pop) is now available!
Believe it or not but Some Mothers Do Ave Em is reputed to be returning to our screens some time next year with the original cast. Michael Crawford is 73, so it's going to be a case of, Ooh Betty me knees have gone!!
Malaria diagnosis made easy with smart phone app Also Smartphone microscope can diagnose malaria Plus: Tracking malaria with cell phones
Over the last few years, Mitch Glazer, the screenwriter and producer, has watched with awe and bewilderment what has happened to Bill Murray. Glazer recently penned a Vanity Fair cover story on his friend, as well. "A Very Murray Christmas" premiers on Netflix on December 4th.
Genndy Tartakovsky is returning to his much-loved 2001-2004 cartoon Samurai Jack with a new season in development for 2016, Cartoon Network announced today. The original run of the series depicted the titular, time-displaced hero's quest to return to his own time and bring down the demon lord Aku. It was marked by Tartakovsky's unique art style, hand-painted backgrounds depicting a surreal future world, and storytelling that could deftly shift from parody to emotionally resonant drama to straight-up slapstick. [more inside]
"Inside Tumblr's Teen Shoplifting Rings." A huge online community of anonymous high schoolers is raiding malls across America and then blogging about it. [more inside]
Mork and Mindy was a tour de force, averaging 60 million viewers a week (a number that would beat the top three shows of the 2014-2015 season combined) and introducing the world to Robin Williams. And then it crashed, due to constant network retooling, as well as Williams' fame and feeling that his character had gone from childlike to childish. Charlie Jane Anders and io9 take us through the short but turbulent history of every '80s kid's favorite show. [more inside]
It’s no accident that Iowa, where the first transcontinental railroad began, is now home to a huge data-center industry.
The "SyFy" network has released the first episode of their space noir television adaptation of James S. A. Corey's The Expanse novels on YouTube: "Dulcinea." (region-restricted to US viewers only -- contains a scene that may be NSFW) [more inside]
In 1739, an English washer-woman named Mary Collier published a long poem called "The Woman's Labour" about the difficulties faced by working women. Her poem was a response to The Thresher's Labour by Stephen Duck, which mocked the poetic conceit that agricultural workers spend a pleasant time in nature, and took a few pot shots at women along the way: "Ah! were their Hands so active as their Tongues/ How nimbly then would move the Rakes and Prongs?" Collier refutes Duck's criticisms and describes women's added labour: [more inside]
Drive on certain streets that make up known prostitution zones and you could get an automated letter because you may be a John. But no worries if you're not!
It's winter in 2007, and there's been an ice storm in Oklahoma. Some of that ice is now adhering to portions of the 1619-foot Sinclair Television Tower in Oklahoma City. And then, bit by bit, some of it isn't. (SLYT)
The geometry of censorship and satire, Mark Ames
I first heard about Sergei Dorkeno’s theory on “vertical censorship vs. horizontal censorship” back in 2008, right around the time that the Kremlin shut down my satirical Moscow newspaper, “The eXile."
A Grim Bargain: Tax breaks, cheap land, and cheap labor make the American South attractive to foreign companies. Workers don't benefit.
It’s a Trap: Emperor Palpatine’s Poison Pill by Zachary Feinstein [.PDF]
In this paper we study the financial repercussions of the destruction of two fully armed and operational moon-sized battle stations (“Death Stars”) in a 4-year period and the dissolution of the galactic government in Star Wars. The emphasis of this work is to calibrate and simulate a model of the banking and financial systems within the galaxy. Along these lines, we measure the level of systemic risk that may have been generated by the death of Emperor Palpatine and the destruction of the second Death Star. We conclude by finding the economic resources the Rebel Alliance would need to have in reserve in order to prevent a financial crisis from gripping the galaxy through an optimally allocated banking bailout.via: Popular Science [more inside]
Mary Gaitskill and the Life Unseen by Parul Sehgal
12 games to play on Christmas day (or thereabouts), from Dr David King, a lecturer in games design and specialist in physical computing at the University of the Arts London. [more inside]