Sunday, August 11, 2019

Climate and Food



New York Times – "Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns"


Santana's Set at Woodstock






































New York Times – "How Santana Hallucinated Through One of Woodstock’s Best Sets (His Own)"

Q: I assume that in 1969, Jerry Garcia’s mescaline was pretty potent.

A: Oh, it was. I’d been dosed by them a year before. It took me two to three days to coordinate after that one. I’d been baptized into consciousness expanding, I’ll call it, so that didn’t scare me.

We knew already they had a reputation for dosing other bands and since we were opening for them in Las Vegas, I made sure to carefully wash this Coca-Cola can I was going to drink. But what I didn’t know is, they knew how to put a syringe in the soda can. So we played our set and left, and on the way from the airport to the plane, the hall kept getting longer and longer. The colors in the carpet and in the wall started oozing like lava. I said, “Uh oh, they got me.” When I sat down on the plane, I looked out the window as we were taking off, and the Vegas lights looked like Aztec hieroglyphics. [Laughs] I said, “This is going to be intense.”

Q: When you were onstage at Woodstock, were you hallucinating?

A: Oh totally. You can tell by my body language. I’m wrestling with the guitar — not wrestling in conflict, but like a surfer, wrestling to maintain and sustain a balance. That’s the key to everything in life. Whether you’re straight or on mescaline, maintain your composure and your balance.

...

Q: Who played the best sets at Woodstock, and where does Santana rate?

A: There was only three bands I recollect that were putting it all on the line. You’re playing like Buddy Rich or Miles Davis; you’re playing for your life. Sly and the Family Stone for me is No. 1. Jimi Hendrix is No. 2. Everybody else has to fight with us for No. 3.

What we brought was basically African rhythms and melody. After Woodstock, every band all of a sudden started getting congas. Miles had congas. The Rolling Stones had congas. Because they saw that mixing congas with guitars is a win-win situation — especially with women!

Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

























"Jia Tolentino is a peerless voice of her generation, tackling the conflicts, contradictions, and sea changes that define us and our time. Now, in this dazzling collection of nine entirely original essays, written with a rare combination of give and sharpness, wit and fearlessness, she delves into the forces that warp our vision, demonstrating an unparalleled stylistic potency and critical dexterity.

Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly through a culture that revolves around the self. In each essay, Tolentino writes about a cultural prism: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the advent of scamming as the definitive millennial ethos; the literary heroine’s journey from brave to blank to bitter; the punitive dream of optimization, which insists that everything, including our bodies, should become more efficient and beautiful until we die. Gleaming with Tolentino’s sense of humor and capacity to elucidate the impossibly complex in an instant, and marked by her desire to treat the reader with profound honesty, Trick Mirror is an instant classic of the worst decade yet."

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Super Bowl






Odell Beckham Jr. to GQ:

"Who does not get into this game to be 11-and-5 or 12-and-4 every season, to win their conference, to win the championship, to go to the Super Bowl? What else would you do this for? Every year at the Giants, when they'd ask me, "What are your goals this year?" I would say to win a Super Bowl. There's no sugarcoating it. Even if you feel like your team can't do it, the goal is to win the Super Bowl. I don't understand what else I'm playing for. Playing to have a good season? No, bro. I'm trying to win the Super Bowl."

We were born to run






































GQ – "Meet Joe Holder, Creative Director of Your Better Self"

"“Human bodies are made to move. So for me, being able to run—moving my body as one unit, without pain—is the best indicator of physical proficiency. We've gotten so far from what our bodies are meant for. When you had to start running from a lion, you weren't like, ‘All right, guys, let me warm up my hammies.’ Obviously we're not worrying about predators much anymore, but you should be able to run down a cab without hurting yourself. That's what being in shape is. It's not just about body composition or how you look. It's: Can you move? That's why I believe everyone should have a base level of running. It will help you be in the world.”"

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Irishman



Q4 2019
Written by Steven Zaillian
Based on I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci

Inglewood Basketball & Entertainment Complex























Los Angeles Times – "Clippers reveal renderings for proposed 18,500-seat Inglewood arena"

Related,
The Planned Venues for the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Olympics

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Internet on Language





















New Yorker – "Is the Internet Making Writing Better?"
































Wall Street Journal – "Yes, You Actually Should Be Using Emojis at Work"

Did we ever really need cars?






































New Yorker – "Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake?"

"For years, I counted this inability to drive as one of many personal failures. More recently, I’ve wondered whether I performed an accidental kindness for the world. I am one of those Darth Vader pedestrians who loudly tailgate couples moving slowly up the sidewalk, and I’m sure that I would be a twit behind the wheel. Perhaps I was protected from a bad move by my own incompetence—one of those mercies which the universe often bestows on the young (who rarely appreciate the gift). In America today, there are more cars than drivers. Yet our investment in these vehicles has yielded dubious returns. Since 1899, more than 3.6 million people have died in traffic accidents in the United States, and more than eighty million have been injured; pedestrian fatalities have risen in the past few years. The road has emerged as the setting for our most violent illustrations of systemic racism, combustion engines have helped create a climate crisis, and the quest for oil has led our soldiers into war.

Every technology has costs, but lately we’ve had reason to question even cars’ putative benefits. Free men and women on the open road have turned out to be such disastrous drivers that carmakers are developing computers to replace them. When the people of the future look back at our century of auto life, will they regard it as a useful stage of forward motion or as a wrong turn? Is it possible that, a hundred years from now, the age of gassing up and driving will be seen as just a cul-de-sac in transportation history, a trip we never should have taken?"

Queen & Slim



November 27, 2019
Written by Lena Waithe (Master of None)
Directed by Melina Matsoukas
Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Chloƫ Sevigny

Hustlers




September 13, 2019
Written & Directed by Lorene Scafaria
Based on "The Hustlers at Scores" by Jessica Pressler
Starring Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Lizzo, Cardi B

Friday, July 26, 2019

Prescribing Time Outdoors






















Outside Mag – "The Nature Club – Inside the Health Revolution That Could Change Your Life"

"For health care providers, there are two reasons to prescribe nature. The first has to do with what it may do for us. Exposure to nonthreatening natural stimuli, scientists have discovered, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress-hormone levels, promotes physical healing, bolsters immune-system function, raises self-esteem, improves mood, curtails the need for painkillers, and reduces inflammation. One leading theory is that these stimuli—the scent of plants, the sight of trees swaying in the breeze, the sounds of birds, streams, and rustling leaves—combine to activate the unconsciously controlled “rest and digest” functions of our bodies, which are regulated by our parasympathetic nervous system. These functions are suppressed when a threatening stimulus, whether a venomous snake or an aggressive work e-mail, triggers our sympathetic “fight, flight, or freeze” system. If that response stays active long enough, our immune, digestive, reproductive, and psychological health suffers. In an increasingly urbanized world, in other words, nature cues our brains to shift us from a depleting to a restoring state. “The environment of our original adaptation is all outdoors,” says Chao-ying Wu, a pediatrician in Bellingham, Washington. “It just makes sense.”"

Aaliyah 2001

























Pitchfork – "Aaliyah - Aaliyah – 9.3"

"Internally, there was a concern that her career would flounder, that she would not be able to match Kelly’s production and songwriting elsewhere. But with members of the Supafriends—Timbaland, Missy Elliott, and, eventually, the late Static Major—by her side, Aaliyah easily eclipsed her work with Kelly. “Tim and I were new producers," Missy told Rolling Stone in 2001. "From day one, she had that much faith in our music that she treated us like we already sold a million records, when we hadn't sold anything yet. She really helped make us what we are today.” The gamble paid off. Where Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number was defined by Kelly’s rote new jack swing and carried by her vocal depth, One In A Million was clever, fun, and forward-thinking. A couple of years later, “Are You That Somebody,” a single made for the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack, changed everything: Aaliyah wasn’t just sweet and sly; she revealed herself as endearingly weird and aspirationally cool—over a bizarre drum pattern and the sample of a baby’s coo, at that.

Aaliyah took that many steps further. By the time she began working on the album in 1998, she had developed an interest in both the experimental and traditional, and her collaborators on the album—the Supafriends as well as producers signed to her family’s Blackground record label—were up to the task. She veers wildly, but cohesively, between the futuristic, triple-time experimentation of singles like “We Need A Resolution” and “More Than A Woman” and the throwback soul of “Never No More” and “I Care 4 U.” It was Aaliyah’s voice that strung it all together. Her falsetto had earned an edge, and her multi-part harmonies, arranged ingeniously, added grace and texture. Even Timbaland’s grating, awkward raps and ad-libs are softened.

This time, Aaliyah had added Static, who’d cut his teeth working with Ginuwine and in the R&B group Playa, as a writer. The result was something that diverged from the pop language du jour, yet somehow remained in conversation with it. Though Aaliyah hadn’t yet become a writer, she was inordinately good at picking songs, absorbing them, and interpreting through her bright, wispy soprano. The album’s singles—“We Need A Resolution,” “More Than A Woman,” “Rock The Boat,”—are among her best, boldly off-kilter, imaginative, and alternately mellow and razor-edged. But the deep cuts are just as solid. “Never No More” is an emotional song about enduring and then rejecting abuse at the hands of a partner, “U Got Nerve” and “I Refuse” are formed around a similar suspicion and self-assurance. Her primary currency was an effortless cool matched only then by Janet Jackson and, all these years later, by Rihanna."

 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Randy Moss's Rookie Season


























The Athletic – "‘This isn’t going to be fair’: An oral history of the arrival of Randy Moss"

The Origins of TC






































Quora – "What does the "C" in the Minnesota Twins logo mean?"

"When Calvin Griffith moved the Washington Senators to Bloomington, MN, the key to getting all area sports fans interested in the team was if they could bring the long time rival Minneapolis and St Paul citizenry together. Griffith wanted to name the team the Twin Cities Twins. Major League Baseball didn’t like that idea because teams before then were named for one particular city, not a region. So, a compromise was had and the Twins became the first professional sports team to take the name of an entire state to be their home.

But before the name was settled, the Twins has their uniforms designed for the Twin Cities Twins, with the interlocking TC as the cap insignia. Also a move as to not alienate the citizens of either city, the team kept the TC logo. An “M” for Minnesota was considered, but the local sports folks were afraid the people of St Paul would be offended, thinking the M stood for Minneapolis. The interlocking TC stuck until 1987 when an M design was adopted. In the 2000s, the TC was brought back because of nostalgia and because the Twins were courting Minneapolis and St Paul and a few suburbs to build them a new stadium.

Another story I’ve heard was that, from the time they moved to Minnesota until they sold the team in 1984, the Twins were owned by the Griffith family, most notably the brother and sister team of Calvin and Thelma. Some over the years have speculated the TC was kept all those years for these two folks."

Frank Lloyd Wright's Gas Station of the Future



























Atlas Obscura – "Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station"

Related,
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Legendary LA Mansion, the Ennis House 
Arnold's House

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Creative Gateway of Hollywood


























New York Times – "‘The Town Hall of Hollywood.’ Welcome to the Netflix Lobby."

Related,
NY Post – "Eddie Murphy, Netflix close to $70M deal for standup comeback: report"
Netflix Designs Own Font

Self-Help and "the line between IRL and URL"


The Ringer – "The Twitter Account That Wishes You Well"

Never Seen Gone With the Wind

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Collecting 1984 Olympics Artwork




















Sothebys – "The Hobby of Collecting: the 1984 Summer Olympics"

"For sure, I think that I was also obsessed with the identity. The designer, Deborah Sussman, passed away a couple years ago. She was the creative director and spearheaded the whole identity, and one of the pieces I have in my collection is the original style guide, the brochure that shows the full design language of the Olympics. The columns, the pedestals, the colorways, the flags, it was just so wild and funky and eighties and kind of Memphis-y. I loved it, and it encapsulates that time so well. It's a period piece."



























Related,
The 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics
The Planned Venues for the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Olympics

The New NBA: Pick-Up Duo Friends

























The Ringer – "Are We Witnessing the Death of Dynasties in the NBA?"
By Dan Devine

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

Monday, July 8, 2019

Bowling Alone





















New York Times – "Will Gen-Z Save the World?"
By David Brooks

"There is some sort of hard-to-define spiritual crisis across the land, which shows up in rising depression rates, rising mental health problems. A survey that the Pew Research Center released late last year captures the mood. Pew asked people to describe the things that bring meaning to their lives. A shocking number of respondents described lives of quiet despair:

“I no longer find much of anything meaningful, fulfilling or satisfying. Whatever used to keep me going has gone. I am currently struggling to find any motivation to keep going.”

“It would be nice to live according to my being rather than my blackness. I will never know how a totally worthwhile life will feel because of this.”

“Drugs and alcohol are the shining rays of light in my otherwise unbearable existence.”"

...

"The Pew survey reveals a large group of Americans down the income and economic ladders, who are suffering from economic scarcity, social scarcity and spiritual scarcity all at once. Less educated people were less likely to say that friendship was a source of meaning in their lives. They were less likely to say hobbies were a source of meaning, nor was learning, nor good health nor stability.

When people overall described the sources of meaning in their lives, they stuck close to home. Nearly 70 percent identified family as a source of meaning, followed by career, making money, and practicing a spirituality or faith. Only 11 percent said learning added meaning to their lives. Only seven percent said that helping others was a meaningful part of their life.

If you ask philosophers how people fill their lives with meaning, they usually point to some version of serving a cause larger than self. William James said that meaning was found in tireless struggle on behalf of some sacred ideal. Susan Wolf says that meaning is found in active engagement in important projects.

But the meaning of meaning seems to have changed. When people in this survey describe meaning, they didn’t describe moral causes or serving their community, country or God. They described moments when they felt loved, satisfied or good about themselves. They described positive personal emotions. As one respondent put it, “It’s easy to forget what’s wrong in the world when you are pretending to be a puppy with your daughter.”

It’s as if people no longer see life as something that should be organized around a specific vocation, a calling that is their own way of doing good in the world."

The TWA Hotel at JFK






























New York Times – "Martinis at the Bar. Sinatra on Repeat. The TWA Hotel Sells a Jet-Age Fantasy."

Related,
The Boeing 747 ... “the powerful symbol of global civilization”

Numerology


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Sunday, July 7, 2019

World Cup Champions


























Previously,
U.S. Women's National Team's Discrimination Lawsuit Against U.S. Soccer

Hallway Series






































From Arash Markazi: "When @STAPLESCenter opened @LeeZeidman had a wish list. As the arena gets ready to celebrate its 20th anniversary he might finally get to cross the last thing off his list. “I want to see a ‘Hallway Series’ between the Lakers and Clippers in the playoffs.”"

Los Angeles Times – "Lakers, Clippers have Staples Center dreaming of a ‘Hallway Series’"

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

I'm a Dragon

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Chernobyl



May 6 - June 3, 2019

The Future of [Movies/TV/Content]






















New York Times – "How Will the Movies(As We Know Them)Survive the Next10 Years?"
By Kyle Buchanan

The Lakers New Dynasty Attempt






































The Ringer – "LeBron James Needs to Hold Up His End of the Bargain"
Jonathan Tjarks

"LeBron has already put an incredible number of miles on his body. He is no. 15 in NBA history in career minutes played in the regular season (46,235) and no. 1 among active players. No. 2 is Vince Carter (45,491), and no. 3 is Pau Gasol (41,001). LeBron is in uncharted territory; Michael Jordan retired at no. 28 (41,011) on the career minutes list. He will pass Kobe Bryant for no. 7 (48,637) in his 69th game next season if he averages the same number of minutes (35.2) he did last season. And all of those minutes don’t count the playoffs, where he is no. 1 (10,049) among all players, active and retired. LeBron has made the Finals nine times and has never lost in the first round in 13 appearances. It shouldn’t be possible for him to keep up his same level of play for much longer. But it will be fascinating to watch him try.

Jordan and Kobe never got the chance to compete for a championship in their late 30s. LeBron pairing up with AD is like if Jordan had played with Tim Duncan after his final title with the Bulls, or if Dwight Howard had been healthy and in his prime when he teamed up with Kobe. The only players as old as LeBron is now who have been stars on a championship team are big men like Duncan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. LeBron, as a perimeter player with the size of a big man, might be able to age more like those two 7-footers than MJ and Kobe. He’s as big as Karl Malone, who started on a Finals team at 40. The Lakers are hoping that LeBron and Davis will flip the dynamic between Magic and Kareem on its head. Kareem was 37 when he won a title with Magic, then 25. He won two more at 39 and 40 because Magic was 27 and 28.

The odds are against the Lakers’ new duo. It’s hard for players, even ones in their primes, to stay healthy after making deep runs in the playoffs every season. Look at how banged up the Warriors are after five straight trips to the Finals. LeBron knows that better than anyone. Wade was 29 and Bosh was 26 in their first season with LeBron. Love was 26, and Irving was 22. All four have dealt with significant injuries after so many trips in the playoffs next to him. LeBron has never formed a Big Three with anyone close to as old as he is now. He didn’t risk his prime by pairing up with an older star. Davis is risking his. Forcing his way onto the Lakers was a huge gamble for a superstar who could have picked any team. LeBron sold Davis on being his costar. Now he has to live up to his end of the bargain."

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Match System Instead of the Draft



















ESPN – "Let Zion Williamson choose where he wants to play next"

"There are any number of environmental or chemical factors present in "unhappiness" -- social media is certainly one, mental health conditions that go undiagnosed and untreated are likely another. One less obvious feature present in the lives of young NBA players is that the vast majority of them are playing in cities, for bosses, with co-workers and on behalf of brands they had zero influence in choosing.

In the NBA, a first-round pick who shows promise is effectively under the control of the team that drafted him for the first seven seasons of his career. This means that in the most formative years of their professional development, the most talented young men in basketball are given no agency to decide what most of us take for granted: where we will live, work and put down roots in our adult lives."

...

"Proponents of the draft generally maintain that it's the only way to ensure fairness in a 30-team league in which some of those teams are far more appealing homes than others. When a prodigy like Zion Williamson declares himself eligible to play in the NBA, the fairness of allowing him a say in where he'd like to play must defer to the fairness of giving the league's failing teams an infusion of talent.

Williamson, though, might entertain ideas about what kind of coach he'd like to play for, or the kind of city he'd like to live in, or the types of teammates he'd like to share the court with. Given that Williamson is a player with uncommon force whose output will need to be managed carefully, he might not want to entrust his body to just any medical and performance staff.

In a league where the product is the talent, why do employers get to interview the potential employees, but not the other way around? As Williamson embarks on building a global brand for himself over a career whose prime will come and go in about a dozen years, he might even have certain standards about what kind of person or businessman an NBA owner should be. Why is disqualification a one-way street, whereby no team has to employ a player whose character it finds questionable, but no incoming rookie has the right to dismiss an owner he and his family might think is sketchy?"

...

"Imagine a system in which incoming rookies enjoyed the power to choose -- say unrestricted free agency. Critics contend that such a setup would concentrate the best young rookies on established and/or sexier franchises. But in a restrictive salary-cap system, a capped-out team doesn't have the resources to offer Williamson what he'd command in free agency. The Warriors would be every bit as hamstrung in pursuit of Williamson, Ja Morant or any other top-five pick as they are in chasing Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving.

Would the Lakers be assured a top-three talent every year by virtue of being the Lakers? Who knows, but under the current system, the most recognizable brand in North American professional sports drafted the No. 2 pick three years running from 2015 through 2017, and are slated to pick fourth this season. If rookies were free agents, the Lakers would not only have to win prospects with the power of persuasion, they'd also have to pay them something close to market value."

...

"For those who believe that unrestricted free agency would be too punitive toward the NBA's doormat teams or less alluring markets, the league could develop a "matching system," like the National Resident Matching Program (or NRMP or "The Match"), which labor economists continue to regard as a remarkably effective model for assigning incoming talent to employers who need it.

How does it work? Every year, graduates of medical school -- the nation's future doctors -- rank the places where they'd like to be resident physicians in order of preference, while the medical institutions rank the graduates they most want to hire. An algorithm then processes the choices and issues the matches. The most talented young doctors are frequently paired with the most prestigious institutions, because there's often mutual interest.

But as Alvin Roth, who directed the redesign of the NRMP in 1995, writes in "Who Gets What -- And Why," The Match is a system in which "no applicant and residency program not matched with each other preferred each other to their assigned matches.""

The Fame of NHL and NBA Players
























Deadspin – "The NHL Offseason Is Off To A Roaring, Boring Start"