Sunday, March 19, 2023

Favorite Movies of 2022


Honorable Mentions:
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Avatar: The Way of the Water
You People


Ben Affleck on Air


The Hollywood Reporter - "Ben Affleck on ‘Air,’ New CEO Gig and Those Memes: “I Am Who I Am”"

"It’s been 25 years since Ben Affleck became the youngest person to win the Oscar for best original screenplay at age 25 for Good Will Hunting, which he wrote with Matt Damon; 16 years since he directed his critically acclaimed first feature, Gone Baby Gone; and a decade since he won best picture for Argo, a film Affleck directed, starred in and produced. His four features as a director — all thrillers and dramas instead of the kind of franchise films that drive the modern box office — have made nearly $450 million worldwide.

It’s an enviable filmmaking résumé, and one that pretty much nobody brings up when you say the name Ben Affleck. But while the world has been scrutinizing his marriage, his mood and his coffee order, Affleck has been quietly building a new production company, Artists Equity, with Damon, founded on the premise of profit-sharing among not only directors, producers and actors but also crewmembers such as cinematographers, editors and costume designers.


Their company’s first movie and Affleck’s latest as a director, is Air, the story of how Michael Jordan’s family and a group of executives at Nike revolutionized the business with one historic sneaker deal. Air, which Amazon will premiere at the South by Southwest film festival March 18 before releasing it wide theatrically April 5, stars Viola Davis as Jordan’s mother; Damon, Chris Tucker and Jason Bateman as execs at Nike; and Affleck as Nike co-founder and former CEO Phil Knight. Making Air was “an unbelievable experience that me and my husband and even my hair and makeup team still talk about to this day,” says Davis, whose husband, actor and producer Julius Tennon, plays Jordan’s father in the film. “Ben’s an auteur and so unbelievably kind and respectful. It was one of our top experiences of being treated the way we felt we deserved to be treated.”" 

World of Reel - "‘Air’ Screens to Positive Reviews at SXSW Film Festival"

"“Air” had been finished since last November and that Affleck was so high on the film that he pushed for Amazon to release the film in theaters in December and give it a last-minute Oscar push, sensing a weak Best Picture field. Amazon vetoed that, as the studio was planning a robust theatrical release given its high commercial hopes for Air — hopes that it didn’t want to see dashed by the December release of box office juggernaut Avatar: The Way of Water, which would surely have eaten it alive."

AIR (Feb. 2023)

Quentin Tarantino's 10th and Final Film—The Movie Critic


The Hollywood Reporter - "Quentin Tarantino’s Final Film Is Coming as Filmmaker Readies ‘The Movie Critic’ (Exclusive)"


Created by Josh Appelbaum & Bryan Oh
Starring Richard Madden, Priyanka Chopra, Stanley Tucci, Lesley Manville

Building the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art


New York Times - "The Lucas Museum Finds Your Lack of Faith Disturbing"

"Despite the name on the door and the pedigree, it will not be a museum devoted to Lucas’s film career. (If you want to see R2-D2, you can always head over to the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.) While the Lucas Museum will display some Star Wars-related pieces and other parts of the Lucasfilm archive, it has broader aspirations.

It is, as its name suggests, a museum devoted to art that tells stories — a rather imprecise label that includes a mix of works by artists ranging from Norman Rockwell to Robert Crumb (when was the last time you saw those two names in the same sentence?) along with pieces by Frida Kahlo, Maxfield Parrish, Jacob Lawrence, Judy Baca and many, many others.

The 300,000-square-foot Lucas Museum stands out even in a wave of cultural construction that has churned ahead in Los Angeles: the $650 million David Geffen Galleries at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, set to open next year; the 24-year reconstruction of the Hammer Museum that will be completed later this month; and the Academy Museum, which opened in 2021.

“It’s a very significant addition to the cultural scene of not just California but to the West Coast,” said Michael Govan, the head of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA. “You can start to feel the impact that such a huge gift is going to have. That’s the big deal. Since it’s not public money — whatever George wants to do he can do. It’s a beautiful thing and you can see it.”"

The Fight to Fix/Save Penn Station


New Yorker - "The Fight Over Penn Station and Madison Square Garden"

"Pennsylvania Station, in west midtown, is the busiest railroad station in the Western Hemisphere. It is also a shabby, haunted labyrinth. I was there recently with Vishaan Chakrabarti, an architect and city planner who has been involved for decades in efforts, most of them futile, to improve the station. We entered from Seventh Avenue, going down a narrow escalator with so little headroom that I flinched and ducked. On our left, a man was wrestling a baby carriage up a staircase, bumping step by step toward the street.

“It’s the architecture that tells you where to go in a train station,” Chakrabarti said. In Penn, the architecture generally tells you to go away. The area where we had entered resembles a dingy subterranean shopping mall, dominated by fast-food joints—Dunkin’ Donuts, Jamba Juice, Krispy Kreme. Three railroads and six busy subway lines converge in Penn Station, but from where we were it was hard to find your way to any of them. “Down here, the signage has always been a huge issue,” Chakrabarti said. His tone was equal parts earnest concern and professorial detachment; he was a professor at Columbia for seven years, worked as Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s director of city planning for Manhattan, runs a global architecture studio, and lives with his family about a mile from Penn Station, through which they are often obliged to travel. Chakrabarti is fifty-six, tall, with a well-trimmed white chin-strap beard.

Farther down, toward the platforms, there were more issues: cramped passages with no signs, wires spilling from missing ceiling panels. People slept on the floor, propped against columns, surrounded by their battered possessions. It was midday, off peak, so even the New Jersey Transit concourse known as “the pit” was not especially crowded. Later, passengers would cram into the tight, airless pink-and-beige space to watch for a track assignment, which would signal a stampede for a single escalator. “I’m always worried about safety here,” Chakrabarti said. “Very low ceilings and very congested space is a very bad idea.” In 2017, a Friday-night crowd panicked by rumors of gunshots left sixteen people injured. A few weeks later, a broken sewer line poured fetid water into a busy concourse.

How did it come to this? The original Penn Station building, a Beaux-Arts masterpiece, was knocked down in the early nineteen-sixties, after its owners struck a deal with a developer. The extensive rail operations below it were left underground. “They basically built this manhole cover and sealed up the station,” Chakrabarti said. We were in a dreary waiting room near Eighth Avenue. Above, on the manhole cover, rose Madison Square Garden, a twenty-thousand-seat arena. The arena opened in 1968, along with a bland new office block known as Two Penn. During the construction, hundreds of massive support pillars were driven down through the station, clogging the walkways and platforms, turning the whole place into a basement."

R.I.P. Masatoshi Ito, who expanded 7-Eleven to Japan


NPR - "Masatoshi Ito, who brought 7-Eleven convenience stores to Japan, has died"
BBC - "Masatoshi Ito, billionaire who made 7-Eleven a global giant, dies at 98"

"He died last Friday from old age, operator Seven & i Holdings said in a statement.

"We would like to express our sincere gratitude to him for his kindness during his lifetime," the firm said.

There are more than 83,000 7-Eleven stores around the world, with a quarter of them located in Japan."

Saturday, March 11, 2023

No Hard Feelings

June 23, 2023
Written by John Phillips, Gene Stupnitsky
Directed by Gene Stupnitsky
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Andrew Barth Feldman, Matthew Broderick, Laura Benanti, Natalie Morales, Scott MacArthur, Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Why everyone should play poker


Axios - "Why everyone should play poker"

Build a Frog Pond


The Atlantic - "You Should Build a Frog Pond"

@unknowndazza The Full Frod Story! It’s been a crazy journey from 0 to 60k people of Frodrick! Appreciate your ideas and support☺️ #Frodrick #startedfromthebottomnowwehere #FrodHouse ♬ Enemy feat. J.I.D. (from the series Arcane League of Legends) - Imagine Dragons

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom


Medium - "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: An Oral History"

Ke Huy Quan (Actor who played Short "Shorty" Round): “It was very different making movies back then versus making movies today. We shot a lot of the movie in London and they built these amazing sets. It wasn’t blue screen. Everything was built. Everything was fantastical, so for a kid to be a part of that was amazing. It was like a playground. The only thing I didn’t like as a kid was I was required to do a minimum of 3 hours of schoolwork everyday and there was a tutor on set. But every day I was so looking forward to going on the set and seeing how they make the movie. So, it was just fantastic. It was like play time. It was fun all the way.”

Indiana Jones 5 (Dec. 2022)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Jun. 2021)
Steven Soderbergh on Raiders of the Lost Ark (Oct. 2014)

South Africa's Gold Mining Underworld


New Yorker - "The Dystopian Underworld of South Africa’s Illegal Gold Mines"
By Kimon de Greef

Nigeria's Presidential Election


New York Times - "After 8 Lost Years, a Wide-Open Election in the Giant of Africa"

"Sorting out that mess is just one of the mammoth tasks the election winner will face. G.D.P. per capita has plummeted during Mr. Buhari’s tenure. Oil production fell last year to its lowest point in over three decades. The army is deployed all over the country, fighting Islamist militants, secessionists, kidnappers and communal clashes.

But the potential of Africa’s biggest democracy is perhaps greater than the challenges. Nigerians speak proudly of their country’s natural riches: As well as oil, it has profuse supplies of gas and solid minerals, as well as greater agricultural potential than almost any other African country because of its vast, fertile lands and abundant water.

And that is to say nothing of its human capital. The country’s unofficial motto, “Naija no dey carry last” — pidgin English for “Nigerians never come last” — speaks to their drive and creativity, on display in the booming tech sector, the Nollywood film industry and the global musical phenomenon that is Afrobeats.

Recently, however, the young people who drive that innovation have been leaving in droves, or are making plans to."

The NBA's Basketball Africa League (BAL)


The Guardian - " ‘The NBA has come to us’: inside basketball’s $1bn play for Africa"

Tetris Movie

March 31, 2013 on Apple TV+
Written by Noah Pink
Directed by Jon S. Baird
Starring Taron Egerton (Kingsman, Rocketman), Toby Jones

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Toyota Land Cruiser

"The Toyota Land Cruiser is a series of four-wheel drive vehicles produced by the Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota. It is Toyota's longest running series of models. As of 2019, the sales of the Land Cruiser totaled more than 10 million units worldwide. 

Production of the first generation of the Land Cruiser began in 1951. The Land Cruiser has been produced in convertible, hardtop, station wagon and cab chassis body styles. The Land Cruiser's reliability and longevity have led to huge popularity, especially in Australia, where it is the best-selling body-on-frame, four-wheel drive vehicle. Toyota also extensively tests the Land Cruiser in the Australian outback – considered to be one of the toughest operating environments in both temperature and terrain. In Japan, the Land Cruiser was once exclusive to Toyota Japanese dealerships called Toyota Store."

"The Balkans Boom"


The Ringer - "The Balkans Boom"
By Jordan Ritter Conn

"But the NBA’s Balkan boom spreads well beyond a few guys named Nikola. There’s Dragic, Nurkic, Saric, Marjanovic, multiple Bogdanovices, and many more. Players from Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro dot rosters all across the NBA. In all, 14 of the league’s 450 current players are from the former Yugoslavia. And the two most famous, of course, are Jokic and Luka Doncic—the Slovenian who seems all but certain to someday follow in Jokic’s footsteps as the next Balkaner to win NBA MVP.

These are small countries. If you combine the populations of the former Yugoslavian nations, they’re still smaller than the state of Florida. Yet it seems like you can’t watch an NBA game without seeing at least one player whose last name ends with “-ic.”

Which is the reason I’m here. To find out why."

The Athletic - "‘It was a crazy night’: How the Balkan Boys bonded in the NBA bubble"
By Jovan Buha

Settling in Austin, Texas


New Yorker - "The Astonishing Transformation of Austin"
By Lawrence Wright

"Aperson can live in many places but can settle in only one. You may not understand the difference until you’ve found the city or the town or the patch of countryside that sounds a distinct internal chord. For much of my life, I was on the move. I grew up in Texas, in Abilene and Dallas, but as soon as the gate opened I fled the sterile culture, the retrograde politics, the absence of natural beauty. I met my wife, Roberta, in New Orleans. She was also on the run, from the racism and suffocating conformity of Mobile, Alabama. In our married life, we have lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Cairo, Egypt; Quitman, Texas; Durham, North Carolina; Nashville; and Atlanta—all desirable places with much to recommend. We travelled the world. I have spent stretches of my professional life in the places you would expect—New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., all cities that I revere, but not places we chose to settle.

Unconsciously, during those vagabond years, we were on the lookout for home. I nursed a conception of an ideal community, one that combined qualities I loved about other places: the physical beauty, say, of Atlanta; the joyful music-making of New Orleans; an intellectual scene fed by an important university, as in Cambridge or Durham; a place with a healthy energy and ready access to nature, such as Denver or Seattle; a spot where we could comfortably find friends and safely raise children. I’m not saying that we couldn’t have been happy in any of the places I’ve mentioned, but something kept us from profoundly identifying with them.

In 1980, I joined the writing staff of Texas Monthly, in Austin. The population then was a little more than three hundred thousand—the current size of Lexington, Kentucky. Thirteen per cent of Austin residents were University of Texas students; another five per cent were faculty and staff. The only other significant presence in town was the state capitol. You could park free on most streets. Of the limited offering of restaurants in town, we favored the Raw Deal, a greasy spoon where, for five bucks, you could choose between the pork chop and the sirloin, accompanied by red beans and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Above the register was the surly admonition “Remember: you came looking for the Raw Deal—the Raw Deal didn’t come looking for you.”

Life in Austin was offbeat, affordable, spontaneous, blithe, and slyly amused, as if we were in on some hilarious secret the rest of the world was unaware of. Even then, the place had a reputation for being cool, but in my experience it was just extremely relaxed, almost to the point of stupor. There was a reason that the director Richard Linklater titled his 1990 portrait of the city “Slacker.” I was happy to be in Austin for a while: it embodied all the things I still loved about Texas—the friendliness, the vitality, the social mobility—yet it also stood against the mean-spiritedness of the state’s politics, despite being the capital city. Staying, though, violated my resolution to keep my distance from Texas. But Roberta declared that she was never going to live anyplace else."

TV's Best—Sunday Night Football


New York Times - "A 90-Second Cure for Existential Dread, Every Sunday Night"

"The “Sunday Night Football” song extols not the thrill of football, nor the value of sport, but the highly specific ouroboric pleasure of turning on NBC to watch “Sunday Night Football” on NBC on Sunday night. The most frequently recurring version of the song, “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night,” is set to the tune of Joan Jett’s 1988 single “I Hate Myself For Loving You.” I do not enjoy football, or any sport other than Olympic women’s gymnastics finals when the United States is in first place. My comprehension of the rules is nil and my desire to learn them would have to be represented by a negative number. Nor am I a fan — or nonfan — of Carrie Underwood. Yet, when I hear the first word of the song explode from her confident lungs — “Oh,” pronounced “Hohawhunhohhuhawnhohn” — my consciousness abruptly recedes. Mechanically, I sprint to the living room and stare, bewitched, until the segment’s conclusion


The sly genius of American football is that its accouterments — Super Bowl ads with feature-film budgets, stupefyingly cutting-edge bumper graphics — replicate, even or especially for those with no interest in football, the draw of football itself: a celebration of human aptitude and a diversion of attention away from anything more important. Through judicious application of Carrie Underwood and C.G.I. technology, the “Sunday Night Football” song offers a brief yet total respite from the horror of Sunday night."

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Copying the Internet


New Yorker - "ChatGPT Is a Blurry JPEG of the Web"
By Ted Chiang

"Obviously, no one can speak for all writers, but let me make the argument that starting with a blurry copy of unoriginal work isn’t a good way to create original work. If you’re a writer, you will write a lot of unoriginal work before you write something original. And the time and effort expended on that unoriginal work isn’t wasted; on the contrary, I would suggest that it is precisely what enables you to eventually create something original. The hours spent choosing the right word and rearranging sentences to better follow one another are what teach you how meaning is conveyed by prose. Having students write essays isn’t merely a way to test their grasp of the material; it gives them experience in articulating their thoughts. If students never have to write essays that we have all read before, they will never gain the skills needed to write something that we have never read.

And it’s not the case that, once you have ceased to be a student, you can safely use the template that a large language model provides. The struggle to express your thoughts doesn’t disappear once you graduate—it can take place every time you start drafting a new piece. Sometimes it’s only in the process of writing that you discover your original ideas. Some might say that the output of large language models doesn’t look all that different from a human writer’s first draft, but, again, I think this is a superficial resemblance. Your first draft isn’t an unoriginal idea expressed clearly; it’s an original idea expressed poorly, and it is accompanied by your amorphous dissatisfaction, your awareness of the distance between what it says and what you want it to say. That’s what directs you during rewriting, and that’s one of the things lacking when you start with text generated by an A.I.

There’s nothing magical or mystical about writing, but it involves more than placing an existing document on an unreliable photocopier and pressing the Print button. It’s possible that, in the future, we will build an A.I. that is capable of writing good prose based on nothing but its own experience of the world. The day we achieve that will be momentous indeed—but that day lies far beyond our prediction horizon. In the meantime, it’s reasonable to ask, What use is there in having something that rephrases the Web? If we were losing our access to the Internet forever and had to store a copy on a private server with limited space, a large language model like ChatGPT might be a good solution, assuming that it could be kept from fabricating. But we aren’t losing our access to the Internet. So just how much use is a blurry jpeg, when you still have the original?"

The Writing of Ted Chiang (Jan. 2020)
Arrival (Oct. 2016)

LeBron James Record


 - "LeBron James surpasses Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for NBA career scoring record"
ESPN - "LeBron's 38,390-point scoring record a triumph in longevity of mind, body"
New York Times - "The Story of LeBron James’s 38,390 Points, by Those Who Were There"
NPR - "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reflects on his strained relationship with LeBron James"

LeBron is 1,325 Points from the All-Time NBA Record (Oct. 2022)


Written by Alex Convery
Directed by Ben Affleck
Starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker, Viola Davis

Movie on Nike Sneaker Man Sonny Vaccaro (Apr. 2022)

Monday, February 6, 2023



Deadline - "Zazie Beetz & Tom Hardy Set For ‘Lazarus’, Early In The Works Series From Apple TV+, A+E Studios & Range"

"We hear that Oscar nominee Tom Hardy and Atlanta Emmy nominee Zazie Beetz are set to star in the Apple TV+ drama series Lazarus, which is still nearing development and closing deals. The project is a co-production between A+E Studios and Range Studios and being sold to Apple.

Lazarus is based on the Joona Linna book series by Lars Kepler (pseudonym for Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril), which has been lauded by such outlets as The New York Times, Washington Post and EW, selling more than 17M copies worldwide.

In the series, an emaciated young man is found wandering along a train track. Thirteen years earlier, he and his sister went missing, presumed victims of the notorious serial killer Jurek Walter. To find the sister, police detective Saga Bauer must go undercover in the maximum-security psychiatric hospital where Walter has been kept since his arrest years ago. Hardy will play Walter and Beetz will portray Inspector Saga Bauer, in what I hear is akin to Hannibal Lecter-Clarice Starling-type roles.

SNL - The Big Hollywood Quiz

Old Movie Studio Logos


Via @RICHARDLNEWBY: "I have a thing for modern movies using retro studio logos in the opening. Love it. Immediately hooks me."

Netflix Designs Own Font (Mar. 2018)

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Taco Time


Seattle Mag - "Washington’s Great Taco Time Divide"

"I arrived in Seattle 13 years ago, and even as a food writer, the chain never hit my radar as anything noteworthy. Sure, I drove past the gaudy mirrored location in Wallingford. Even ate at the Interbay one with a friend who’s a diehard fan. But Taco Time does little to stand out to folks who aren’t already familiar. For newcomers, these restaurants fade into a landscape crowded with other drive-thrus. Not to mention Del Tacos, Blue Water Taco Grills, and the ultimate in soulless Mexican food, Taco Bell. A white guy named Glen Bell founded that chain in a Los Angeles suburb in 1962—the same year a white guy named Frank Tonkin Sr. debuted the first Taco Time Northwest here in White Center. According to family legend, customers didn’t know how to pronounce their signature menu item, ordering them as “tay-cos.”"


"The usual, of course, was Taco Time. When he’s stateside, Coté eats chicken soft tacos and crisp burritos just about every week. His level of fandom once earned him a spot in one of the restaurant’s ad campaigns. In July 2018 he embarked on a project—which he calls simply “the quest”—to visit all 77 Taco Time Northwest locations.

The journey began when Taco Time introduced an app, and with it, the ability to see your purchase history. Coté had already logged about 10 locations, just going about his life. Today he keeps a meticulous spreadsheet that records details of his official visits—69 and counting. The rules: He must go inside to order and, ideally, eat in the dining room. Drive-thrus don’t count."

Bill Simmons's NBA Trade Value Rankings


The Ringer - "Bill Simmons's Trade value Rankings"

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
2. Luka Doncic (Mavericks)
3. Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)
4. Stephen Curry (Warriors)
5. Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
6. Ja Morant (Grizzlies)
7. Joel Embiid (76ers)
8. Zion Williams (Pelicans)
9. Devon Booker (Suns)
10. Kevin Durant (Nets)
11. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder)
12. Anthony Edwards (Timberwolves)
13. Evan Mobley (Cavaliers)
14. Tyrese Haliburton
15. Paolo Banchero (Magic)
16. Jaylen Brown (Celtics)
17. Jimmy Butler (Heat)
18. Anthony Davis (Lakers)
19. Bam Adebayo (Heat)
20. Darius Garland (Cavaliers)
21. Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
22. Donovan Mitchell (Cavaliers)
23. Jrue Holiday (Bucks)
24. Jaren Jackson Jr. (Grizzlies)
25. Franz Wagner (Magic)
26. The Rights To Any Probable Top-5 2023 Pick
27. Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves)
28. Pascal Siakam (Raptors)
29. Trae Young (Hawks)
30. Paul George (Clippers)
31. Domantas Sabonis (Kings)
32. Larui Markkanen (Jazz)
33. LaMelo Ball (Hornets)
34. Josh Giddey (Thunder)
35. Chet Holmgren (Thunder)
36. LeBron James (Lakers)
37. Desmond Bane (Grizzlies)
38. Brandon Ingram (Pelicans)
39. Dejounte Murray (Hawks)
40. Kawhi Leonard (Clippers)
41. Jamal Murray (Nuggets)
42. OG Anunoby (Raptors)
43. Mikal Bridges (Suns)
44. Marcus Smart (Celtics)
45. Cade Cunningham (Pistons)
46. Scottie Barnes (Raptors)
47. Jalen Green (Rockets)
48. Jabari Smith Jr. (Rockets)
49. Shaedon Sharpe (Trail Blazers)
50. Walker Kessler (Jazz)
51. Jalen Williams (Thunder)
52. Andrew Wiggins (Warriors)
53. De'Aaron Fox (Kings)
54. Jalen Brunson (Knicks)
55. Tyler Herro (Heat)
56. Tyrese Maxey (76ers)
57. DeMar DeRozan (Bulls)
58. James Harden (76ers)
59. Anfernee Simons (Trail Blazers)
60. Jarrett Allen (Cavaliers)
61. Khris Middleton (Bucks)
62. Jerami Grant (Trail Blazers)
63. RJ Barrett (Knicks)
64. Julis Randle (Knicks)
65. Kyle Kuzma (Wizards)
66. Zach LaVine (Bulls)
67. Bradley Beal (Wizards)
68. Jordan Poole (Warriors)
69. Chris Paul (Suns)
70. Rudy Gobert (Timberwolves)

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Live Sports Bucket List


GQ - "The 18 Best Live Sports Experiences on Earth"


The Ringer - "Throw Up Your Hands and Raise Your Voice! Monorail! Monorail! Monorail!"

Thirty years later, Conan O’Brien reflects on the making and legacy of “Marge vs. the Monorail,” one of the best ‘Simpsons’—and sitcom—episodes of all time"

Legendary Simpsons Writer John Swartzwelder (May 2021)

How to Keep a Great Magazine Going


Texas Monthly - "How to Keep a Great Magazine Going"

The Last Days of Sting


The Three-Body Problem


What's on Netflix - "‘The Three-Body Problem’ Netflix Series: Everything We Know So Far"

"Netflix has wrapped filming on its ambitious new sci-fi adaptation series of Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem trilogy, led by True Blood‘s Alexander Woo and Game of Thrones writers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. Here’s everything we know about the series coming in 2023 as of October 2022."

The Rise and Fall of The Boeing 747


Fat Tire's New Recipe


Gear Patrol - "Fat Tire's Recipe Is Changing for the First Time in 32 Years"

2023 Coachella Lineup


April 14-16 & April 21-23, 2023 in Indio, California.

Pitchfork - "Coachella 2023 Full Lineup Announced"

Coachella 2019 Lineup (Jan 2019)
Desus & Mero on Beyoncé at Coachella (April 2018)
Coachella 2013 Lineup (January 2013)
Coachella 2012 (April 2012)
Coachella 2012 Lineup (January 2012)
California Dreaming... (January 2010)

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Vancouver House by Bjarke Ingels Group


Bloomberg - "Vancouver Skyscraper Twists Around Zoning Restrictions"

Synthetic Ski Slope On Top of a Danish Waste-to-Energy Plant (Feb. 2020)
The Bjarke Ingels Group Plans for the Oakland Athletics (Nov. 2018)
Each Apartment Has Its Own Pool (Dec. 2016)
Two World Trade by Bjarke Ingels (Jun. 2015)
New Business Story (Sep. 2012)
Architect Bjarke Ingels (Oct. 2011)

You People

Written by Kenya Barris, Jonah Hill
Directed by Kenya Barris
Starring Jonah Hill, Lauren London, David Duchovny, Nia Long, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Eddie Murphy

Producing "Gourmet Cheeseburgers" that "can come from anywhere and be loved everywhere"


New Yorker - "How Much Netflix Can the World Absorb?"

"Bajaria told me that the ideal Netflix show is what one of her V.P.s, Jinny Howe, calls a “gourmet cheeseburger,” offering something “premium and commercial at the same time.” She praised the Latin American group for its recent track record of making slick telenovelas that draw large audiences outside Spanish-speaking regions."


"During Bajaria’s thirty-six hours in Mexico City, her meals were more of the white-tablecloth variety. She had breakfast at the Four Seasons with Carolina Rivera, a Mexican telenovela writer who worked on “Jane the Virgin” for the CW and now creates Spanish-language content for Netflix, and dinner at an upscale vegan-friendly restaurant with the five female leads of “Las Viudas de los Jueves” (“The Thursday Widows”), which was described to me as a Mexican “Desperate Housewives.” On her only full day in town, she delivered the keynote address at a Netflix-sponsored unesco luncheon on the grounds of Los Pinos, the former Presidential palace. Her private car rolled up to the turquoise gate at noon. Inside, the dangling fronds of massive Montezuma cypresses hid a sunken patio from view, but there was no missing the entrance, which was marked by a huge sign emblazoned with a scarlet “N.” In her address, which lasted exactly three minutes, Bajaria repeated a phrase that has become boilerplate for a globalized Netflix: “We truly believe that great storytelling can come from anywhere and be loved everywhere.”"

Mandalorian Season 3

March 1, 2023 on Disney+.

The Future is E-Biking


New Yorker - "Hell on Two Wheels, Until the E-Bike’s Battery Runs Out"

Inventing a Quantum Computer


New Yorker - "The World-Changing Race to Develop the Quantum Computer"

"A full-scale quantum computer could crack our current encryption protocols, essentially breaking the Internet. Most online communications, including financial transactions and popular text-messaging platforms, are protected by cryptographic keys that would take a conventional computer millions of years to decipher. A working quantum computer could presumably crack one in less than a day. That is only the beginning. A quantum computer could open new frontiers in mathematics, revolutionizing our idea of what it means to “compute.” Its processing power could spur the development of new industrial chemicals, addressing the problems of climate change and food scarcity. And it could reconcile the elegant theories of Albert Einstein with the unruly microverse of particle physics, enabling discoveries about space and time. “The impact of quantum computing is going to be more profound than any technology to date,” Jeremy O’Brien, the C.E.O. of the startup PsiQuantum, said recently. First, though, the engineers have to get it to work."

How NFL Receivers Run Routes


New York Times - "How N.F.L. Receivers Run Their Routes, Step by Step

Justin Jefferson (Dec. 2022)

Friday, January 6, 2023

The Rose Bowl—"a football castle in a forest clearing"


New York Times - "At 100, the Rose Bowl Has Seen Many Sunsets"

"Inside, the stadium is a canvas come to life. The grass is always the most lush green, and the end zones — painted the colors of the two teams — and the midfield rose are the most vibrant. In most years, as the sun sets late in the third quarter, the spectators — and the million homebound viewers shut in by a winter freeze — are treated (or taunted) by the sunlight dappling the San Gabriel Mountains hues of orange, pink and red.

The rest of the year the Rose Bowl is more than a college football centerpiece.

It has hosted four Super Bowls, World Cup finals for men and women, an Olympic soccer final, and concerts by Pink Floyd, U2 and Beyoncé. For the last 40 years, it has been home to U.C.L.A. football, and for longer than that a monthly Sunday flea market. Most days it is a fulcrum of the community — a place for joggers, bikers, swimmers and golfers.

Its future, though, is uncertain.

The expansion of the College Football Playoff means that this year’s game will be the last matching the Big Ten against the Pac-12 unless they’re pitted against each other through the vagaries of a playoff. The Rose Bowl game will be part of the playoff, but to do so it is giving up its prime New Year’s Day position.

The Rose Bowl will be a site for the 2028 Olympic soccer competition, but not for the World Cup in 2026, which will be hosted by Mexico, Canada and the United States. Instead, World Cup games will be about 20 miles south, at the glittering $4.9 billion SoFi Stadium, which will be the site of this season’s College Football Playoff championship game on Jan. 9."

"“I think it’s the greatest venue for a big game for football anywhere in the country,” Aikman said recently of the Rose Bowl. “I got to play there for a Super Bowl, but my biggest regret is I never played in the actual Rose Bowl game. It’s the most beautiful setting there is. It’s a magical place.”"