Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Can't Watch This

Without my heart rate skyrocketing, my breathing getting shallow and goosebumps of the non-thrilling variety beginning to break out on my chest and neck. My fingers and toes get cold, my skin feels cool and damp.
So it must be fun, right?

More Surfing Videos

This is not your average surfing video. This astounding footage was shot on August 27th, 2011 by cinematographer Chris Bryan at Teahupo’o, a small village off the coast of Tahiti. At the time these guys hit the water the French Navy had declared the day a double code red prohibiting and threatening to arrest anyone entering the water. Watch and you’ll see why. This is probably the most terrifying yet beautiful surfing video I’ve ever seen. (via stellar)

Weather, Weather All The Time

Weather is the safest and most common subject of human conversation. No, I can't prove that, but you know it's true.
Then why, pray tell, do we know so little about it, we being you and me, not the people who actually know something about weather. I say it's because weather is science and, frankly, most of us avoid science like it was, well, the plague. Which is also science.
So although the Northwest winter is often like this give or take a few degrees and inches of rain, the rest of the country is having really warm weather this winter.
Here's why.
Not once, not once in the whole article did they say La Nina, although they had to bring up climate change, which turned the comment thread into a shitstorm as usual.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

1s And 0s

In the first place, my tongue always slips when I try to say digital, and it sounds like Chinese Portugese for watercress sandwich.
In the second place, I once asked a science-minded colleague over lunch what digital meant and he said, "I always think of it as 1s and 0s."
Stopped conversation for five minutes and then I let him talk about baseball, which I never, ever do.
So, yeah, I don't understand anything about the following New York Times article about the latest in nano research, but it sounds important and maybe you can translate.
No, never mind.
Don't write. Don't call. Thank you.
Okay, wait, they're exploring biological generation of this stuff? Am I on Mars?

Jeebus Was Not A Socialist, But Newt Is

UPDATE: There's a nice discussion going on over at MeFi about the Mitt video and I particuarly liked this comment:
Well put together. Some touches I particularly appreciated:

- They never mention that he's a Mormon (could be controversial) but... they do a slow pan over a Timecover that mentions it. Time is so middle of the road and boring that this couldn't possibly cause trouble and they manage to sneak it in.

- Clips of him speaking French (with an atrocious accent) as part of an Olympics promotional thing for the SLC event. Perfectly lines up with the image his enemies want to project.

- This one late middle aged woman they 'cast' (and that is what they did, the aggrieved ordinary people here were meticulously curated) hits this perfect note at some point when her voice almost but not quite cracks. Fantastic! I bet they did a fist pump in the editing bay when they saw that footage.

- The rest of the casting was great too. Instead of being artistically lazy and having someone talk about their military service, they had him wear a Vietnam baseball cap, somebody was paying attention when they were taught to show rather than to tell!

I don't know what's more fun, watching Newt now promising to stick to criticizing Obama and the backer of the Newt SuperPAC, Sheldon Adelson, say he just wrote a $5 million check and had no say on that devastating Mitt hit piece (second video), ...or knowing that they are providing the Obama campaign with the greatest gift since Osama was killed.

As one TPM commenter put it, "never get in a stink contest with a skunk."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

And Spit On Their Graves

Frederica outlived 'em all. Oldest Honorary Contrarienne so far.

One of Frederica Sagor Maas' scripts launched Clara Bow. Maas eventually quit the movie business in disgust and much later wrote a scathing book about the industry.
And while we're at it, throw in Eve Arnold, too. Although she only lived to 99.