Hooray, the return! As promised, now that The Election is over, we can get back to linkage. (My reason for not doing these posts during The Election was one of self-control: I feared I would do nothing but link political stuff, and politics isn't the focus of this blog.)
Anyhow, linkage recommences...NOW!!!
:: Even at 19, I couldn't help but roll my eyes at lead guitarist Slash hiding behind that mop of hair and that dippy top hat, and lead singer Axl Rose is precisely the sort of scrawny little smart-ass who somehow manages to enrage me simply by breathing. (Heh! Like Jason, despite a general enjoyment of 80s hair bands, I never warmed to GNR. My reason was that I simply hated -- and hate to this day -- Axl's singing voice. I just find him spectacularly unpleasant to hear, no matter what the song is.)
:: That realization helped me define what I mean when I use the term Jump the Shark. Instead of a vague realization that I've simply lost interest in a series, the Jump the Shark moment has become the point at which the illusion is shattered and I realize the creators have no idea where the story is going. (I think that's a part of the very problem with series teevee: there's no guarantee that the show will be around long enough to tell 'the story', so I often think that in the beginning, there usually is no 'the story' to tell -- there's just writers spinning all manner of situations that they can mine later on. Only as 'the story' starts to emerge do they start thinking in those terms. There's an inherent problem to the very nature of season-based series teevee that's always at the heart of things, isn't there? At least for network stuff. You can have 'planned' series on cable, but then it's one long-form story told in discrete parts, not a 'series' at all. Hmmmmm....)
:: “I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this cosmos in which we float, like a mote of dust in the morning sky.” (Yes, that's Mr. Sagan himself, quoted in the rewatch of Cosmos that Tor.com is hosting. I watched the series again last year and remain convinced that it is one of the great creative achievements of the last fifty years.)
:: This is a cat post.
I'm writing about my cat.
It's so pathetic that it comes all the way back around again to "incredibly cool." (Nothing pathetic about it. According to legislation signed into law by President Gore, everything on the Internet must have a cat.)
:: Does this mean I'm going to let my daughter watch and/or read whatever she wants to? No. (Especially not now--she's not even seven yet.) But I'm aware that part of the ritual of growing up is me telling her, "You don't want to watch that movie. It's too scary for kids..." And the other part of the ritual is that she'll watch it when I'm not around. Because as sad as it makes me, she's going to stop being a kid before I'm ready for her to stop being a kid. (You know what the weird thing is? I never once snuck into an R movie as a kid. Never. I was never even really tempted to try it. I suspect that in today's megaplexes, it would be really easy, since most times they take the tickets pretty much as you're entering the building, and nobody's paying any attention to what you see. Heck, I sometimes think it would be ridiculously easy in some of these places to buy one ticket and hang out for three movies. Would they even care, so long as I bought multiple popcorns and buckets o'Coke?)
:: There are places that don’t get my business, or will ever get it, because I find their corporate beliefs or practices problematic. But I’m not going to stop going to the local ice cream shop because the owners put a Romney sign in their window. (Well, we could just go single-payer and eliminate all this nonsense, but...yeah, I know, that's crazy talk. Sorry.)
:: It’s amazing to me that places like Liberty Tool exist at all. It would be easy to be cynical and say he’s just selling tools, but I don’t believe that’s all he’s doing. Whether they mean to or not, Liberty Tool is preserving a history, promoting a level craftsmanship, and giving artists and workers a focal point to leverage their skill upon — both now and in the future. It’s a simple but powerful concept we don’t see much of today, and for that our hat is off to you, sir. (Go watch the video over there. It's only about 3 minutes long, but it's really nifty.)
:: Sea levels will have risen by at least one, and possibly more than ten metres worldwide. Large chunks of sub-Saharan Africa, China, India, Brazil, and the US midwest and south are going to be uninhabitably hot — that is, too hot for non-GM plants and organisms to survive in during heat spikes, and with heat spikes over 44 celsius at night lasting at least two weeks every year (sufficient to kill off anyone without air conditioning). As 80% of today's human population live within 200Km of a coast, there will have been mass migrations and resettlements: many of today's great cities will be lost. London, New York, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Mumbai — they're all going to be submerged, or protected by heroic water defenses and at comparable risk to today's Venice and New Orleans (both of which will be long-since lost). (Huh...probably shoulda ended on a more cheerful note than that....)
More next week! Huzzah!!!