I can think of another word that begins with a capital C

I’ll give you a pass on the xenophobia and historical revisionism, but can you at least rhyme?

Posted in Happy Valley Hoedown | 1 Comment

Middlebrow Megachurch Infotainment

Benjamin H. Bratton on TED talks:

Let me tell you a story. I was at a presentation that a friend, an Astrophysicist, gave to a potential donor. I thought the presentation was lucid and compelling (and I’m a Professor of Visual Arts here at UC San Diego so at the end of the day, I know really nothing about Astrophysics). After the talk the sponsor said to him, “you know what, I’m gonna pass because I just don’t feel inspired… you should be more like Malcolm Gladwell.”

At this point I kind of lost it. Can you imagine?

Think about it: an actual scientist who produces actual knowledge should be more like a journalist who recycles fake insights! This is beyond popularization. This is taking something with value and substance and coring it out so that it can be swallowed without chewing. This is not the solution to our most frightening problems — rather this is one of our most frightening problems.

What bugs me about most TED talks is that they seem designed to make the listener feel special somehow, as though we’ve done something good simply by hearing the talk, like “I know you’ll understand, you’re one of the smart ones.” It’s the same way Principal Skinner talks to Lisa Simpson.

Posted in Scathing Social Commentary | 2 Comments

What Christmas movie are you watching?


From Mandatory

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This is one of those stories where . . .

. . . you sit in the car long after you’ve arrived at your destination, listening because you can’t turn off the radio.

The astounding and tragic story of Fritz Haber, who had a hand in both feeding and murdering millions.

How do you solve a problem like Fritz Haber? from Radiolab

Posted in Scathing Social Commentary | 2 Comments

Cell Phone Crashing at the Airport

From Mediocre Films:

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Your Christmas Shopping Guide

Sorry I’ve been AWOL – here’s something to help guide your shopping.

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“. . . but they were two things that I thought were very important in my life—the ice cream and the Creature”

Guillermo del Toro talking to the Onion A/V Club about his early love for the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Still, to this day, I think it’s the perfect creature suit. In the history of film, there are two perfect creature suits: that and the Xenomorph in Alien.

Looking forward to reading his notebook as soon as someone gets it for me for Christmas.

Annex - Chapman, Ben (Creature From the Black Lagoon)_01
Photo: Dr. Macro’s High Quality Photo Scans

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