Sep 13

The Weird Little Industry Behind a Mesmerizing Instrument -

Perhaps, like me, you didn’t realize that handpans have gone viral. But they have, so you’ll have to wait for months or years before you can get one of your own.

Some of the music that people are making with these things is, indeed, quite mesmerizing. Try this: Hang Massive - Once Again

Sep 01

Populaire ★★★★☆ -

A cute romantic comedy that suffers only from being a bit predictable.

For you young people, it can serve as a documentary about the all-important business tool of the 50’s through the 70’s: the typewriter.

Jun 22


Income inequality in the US by county [1835 x 1355]CLICK HERE FOR MORE MAPS!

Interesting one. The tan parts are apparently undesirable to the wealthiest.


Income inequality in the US by county [1835 x 1355]

Interesting one.

The tan parts are apparently undesirable to the wealthiest.

Jun 20

Maciej Ceglowski: The Internet With A Human Face -


I’m not even going to try to pullquote this fantastic, thought-provoking talk about data collection, privacy, and the Internet’s current, increasingly dystopian cultural moment. Obviously most of us in the tech business are conversant in the issues Ceglowski is raising here, but he has a talent for framing things in a way that makes you think about them differently (e.g. vast collections of behavioral user data as a kind of toxic waste). As someone who has devoted his career to developing technology but finds himself increasingly wary of my industry’s every new invasive development, I also appreciate Ceglowski’s thoughtful suggestion that privacy regulation might be a way not just protect the rights of individual users in this new era, but also a way to actually encourage creativity and innovation in the long run by setting parameters that make both developers and users feel protected.

A long but compelling talk explaining how the current financial model of Internet investment and innovation is driving the destruction of online privacy.

May 22

Monsters University ★★★★☆ -

This steady-but-not-amazing Pixar film grooms children for the realities they will face in college.

Apr 29


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Nov 14

Cloud Atlas ★★★★☆ -

If you can follow six essentially unrelated story lines from decades or hundreds of years apart while they are revealed in sometimes very short bursts before switching randomly to one of the other story lines, and you’re willing to give up any preconception that a main character played by any given actor in one story line has any relationship or “good-guy/bad-guy” correlation to that actor’s character in other story lines, then this is a kind of fun movie. If you challenge yourself to try to recognize all of the main actor’s characters in each story line, then it might even be a good drinking game.

I enjoyed the movie, and agree with what I think its main messages are (because it’s hard to avoid feeling that the movie’s story does have a message). But I have to admit that, being old and crotchety as I am, I almost felt dizzy trying to track the stories at one point near the middle of the movie where the scenes switched from era to era with maybe a sentence worth of dialog in each.

Nov 11

Top of the Lake ★★★☆☆ -

"Insanely beautiful scenery" sounds like a cliché or exaggeration, but the scenery in Top of the Lake is amazing and jaw-droppingly rugged at times.

And perhaps living within and around such rugged beauty produces some kind of mental pressure, because the vast majority of characters portrayed in this mystery are seriously dysfunctional.

Not that I have New Zealand travel plans, but I would really think hard before spending much time in any small towns there after watching this.