LRB: Thomas Chatterton Williams reviews ‘Between the World and Me’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
“The acceptance of this pessimistic assessment means that forty million people must be seen as permanent victims.” Of note; make time to read through.
Tangential: I find that accepting ‘victimhood’ forces one to accept a whole host of maladies that one doesn’t actually experience (reference to my own speech issues through life). So I don’t. Accept ‘victimhood.’ I’m not a ‘victim’. America leans way to hard on ‘victimhood’. I’m a bloody survivor, and damned proud of it.
Crooked Timber: What We Owe the Students at Princeton.
Certain days ...
I skim through the articles in my aggregator on days like today, and think “We (America) must look like an insane person to those outside the country ... ripping off clothes, screaming like a banshee, slamming into trees, running through frozen ponds, eating handsfuls of autumn leaves and growling ... totally batshit crazy. Some want to help, but they don’t dare - this insane person’s got nukes, the largest military in recorded history, and a sensitivity for outrage that’s dialed to 11.”
Maybe I need to avoid my “Politics” channel for a while ...
Links in the afternoon again ...
Just busy. Tootle along, I’ll be back soon.
Crazy day. Links as I can.
That time o’ the year. Everyone needs stuff done before the holidays start ... and during ...
And cold. Roads are still icy. School’s shut, some state offices. Sun’s out though, so things should clear up soon.
Autoweek: Nurburgring gets safety fixes, set to go full speed next March.
Bucket list drive, that.
NY Times/Letter of Recommendation: The ‘Death in … ’ Books.
“In their defense, there are indeed lessons to be learned from other people’s tragedies: Don’t pitch your tent at the edge of a cliff if you plan on getting drunk; don’t try to befriend the buffalo. Still, no one buys a book with a skull on the cover because they’re hoping for edification.” You will learn loads. Mostly that ill-preparation is a game of chance with Mother Nature, and she often wins.
Atlas Obscura: Lower Trenton Bridge.
“In fact, Washington’s famous Crossing of the Delaware was also somewhere near there.” Who writes the crap? I mean, really Atlas Obscura. You can do better than this. Greenwood Pottery in Trenton supplied the US Navy with china in WWI, enriching some of my ancestors. And there is a Washington Crossing State Park, where Washington *actually* crossed. More likely the Hessians put in where the Old Trenton bridge resides.
It’s not I who keeps cutting off titles. This old version of Expression Engine has a limit to title length. For some reason, titles “be gettin’ longer.” And I seem to have less time at this moment, so I overlook the mistake. It eventually gets repaired. Thanksforyourpatience.
Every day, I seem to come across another link with a jetpack video. Flying with planes. Flying with cranes. Flying with statues. Flying with other jetpacks. Enough.
NM Museum of Art, B/W.
Beneath the Underground: New CD - “The 512EP” available November 12th.
Jeremiah’s got a new EP rolling out in days.
Gotta hustle this morning.
Have to get the rental D810 back to Fedex, and handle a few nits. Blog posts a bit later on.
“Do you write original work, or do you copy others?”
What a question! Another reason why blog-advice sites make me go postal. Why blog, if you’re going to rephrase others? I know an answer, but it’s an answer that I don’t accept. Tell your own stories. Period.
Blue, blue skies.
Kicking the tires on a Nikon D810 for the weekend. So far, the dynamic range is stunning compared to the Canons I’ve used. Kicks the 5D Mk II, Mk III to the curb. The only thing saving the 5DR(s) is that huge resolution, which can make up for shadow noise when reducing resolution to normal commercial print sizes (8.5x11, for instance). However - if you overexpose even a smidge, you’ve lost everything. And the post-processing requirements are huge, whereas the D810 works right out of the camera with just a couple of tweaks.
NPR: From ‘Book Strap’ To ‘Burrito’ - A History Of The School Backpack.
I carried a Sacs Millet climbing rucksack throughout the ‘70s. Great, great bag. Today? They should be using Ospreys, with proper back panels and waistbelts. Today’s terrible unconstructed shopping-bag-shaped nightmares must be painful as hell. Then again, you only see less than 1% of kids ever hoofing it home. Most sling the pack into the parental SUV and get driven home ... like the rich kids of my generation.
Later: Similar to mine. The crampon tie area turned out to be very handy.
JSTOR: Linguistic Anarchy! It’s all Pun and Games Until Somebody Loses a Sign.
Paywalls, now modal dialog boxes that require an email address ...
I’m running into more and more sites using the modal dialog box as a ‘do not enter until we get your email’ barrier. They completely deny access to the page. Sorry, no. My attention is not a commodity, and I will not gift it to you so carelessly.
PS Mag: Why We Love the Myth That Americans Believed the ‘War of the Worlds’ Broadcast.
Ever asked someone who listened to the broadcast at the time? Didn’t think so. You can’t look at it through a modern lens - or a single study. “The Wizard of Oz” was released the next year, and for the majority of rural America it was the very first color film Americans had ever seen. The BW/color transition from Kansas to Oz was a near-religious experience. These kinds of nuances you only get from listening to those who experienced the event - you’ll be hard-pressed to find it on the internet.
Along these period lines - and I’ve told this story before - my grandmother remembered when the first aeroplane flew over her little Smoky Mountain hamlet in the 1920’s. Everyone ran to the church, thinking it was an harbinger angel of the Second Coming.
“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”
Serendipita: Rodalber Felsenwanderweg.
Kasha-Katuwe, in Germany? Cool.
Salon.com: Wil Wheaton is right: Stop expecting artists to work for free — or worse, for
I’ve always admired the phrase, “Work for free, work for your rate ... but never work for cheap.” I’ve always felt I’ve had control that way.
The Atlantic: Unions Are Basically Dead and That’s Really Bad.
“Because unions tend to benefit workers so much, corporate executives seem to have it in their heads that those benefits must, by definition, amount to drawbacks for companies.” This is the same old schtick, rehashed. I’ve seen both the benefits and the detriments. The unions of Las Vegas, NV were some of the worst I ever encountered. For every skilled A/V tech we brought, we had to hire a duplicate (at union rates) locally, even when their skillsets were nowhere near what we needed - limiting the needed overtime, because of the double-cost rates. A group of union thugs sat and watched what we did all day, every day, drinking all our coffee. One would come back and check the ballroom after hours to make sure noone was working - because if even one person was working, the whole crew was contractually set up to be paid their overtime rates. Those costs racked up damned fast. Someone made a mistake and didn’t include my role (video graphics) in the agreement. And I was working stupid amounts of overtime. They were NOT happy. Efforts were made to destroy my equipment and harm my person. So in spite of the benefits, the downs are pretty significant, too. Unions need to modernize. For all their benefits, their modus operandi isn’t supposed to be Mafia-like.
10,000 unread items in Reeder.
I so hate to do it, but I think a “Mark all as Read” is in order. Hey, here’s a thought. I wish they’d enable a “Mark all previous to today as Read” as a feature.
Later: Reeder has “Mark Below as Read” ... that’ll do. Manual.
Bit Later: Thanks to the previous, 10,000 turns into a more manageable 900.