Thursday, May 19, 2022

Leo Messi to Inter Miami in 2023


Miami Herald - "Inter Miami officials, Messi’s agent deny report that Argentine star has deal with team"

Underused Words


Axios - "Underused words for your repertoire"

Some 75% of our daily speaking comes from just 800 words, BBC estimates.

The big picture: We all fall into language patterns and ruts, so we asked Axios' staff to give us their favorite cool, underused words to lengthen our vocabulary lists.

Here are some fun ones worth elevating — and their Merriam-Webster definitions:

  • Apricity: the warmth of the sun in the winter

  • Protean: "displaying great diversity or variety," like an actor who can do both comedy and tragedy
  • Doyen: a person considered to be uniquely skilled and experienced in a certain field
  • Petrichor: the pleasant smell of the earth after a rainstorm following a long dry period
  • Spindrift: sea spray
  • Susurrus: a whispering or rustling sound (it sounds like what it means!)
  • Avuncular: "suggestive of an uncle especially in kindliness or geniality"
  • Frabjous: wonderful, extraordinary, joyous (Fun fact: Axios chief financial correspondent Felix Salmon used frabjous in a story once.)

The bottom line: We can always expand our vocabularies to communicate our ideas with more precision — or just find new words that make us smile.

Motorcycle Chariots

The Battle of Alberta

The Oilers and Flames' second-round series begins tomorrow, marking the latest chapter in Edmonton and Calgary's centuries-old "Battle of Alberta," Jeff writes.

Why it matters: This is the sixth postseason matchup ever — and first since 1991 — between two cities roughly the same distance apart as Boston and New York.

  • 1991: Oilers won 4-3 (first round)
  • 1988: Oilers won 4-0 (second)
  • 1986: Flames won 4-3 (second)
  • 1984: Oilers won 4-3 (second)
  • 1983: Oilers won 4-1 (second)

Context: Alberta is the fourth-most populous of Canada's 10 provinces (~4.5 million people). More than half of Albertans live in either Edmonton, which is the capital, or Calgary, which is the province's largest city.

The backdrop: The Edmonton-Calgary hockey rivalry dates back to the 1890s and both cities had teams in the short-lived Western Canada Hockey League in the 1920s.

  • The rivalry found new life when teams from both cities joined the NHL in the 1970s and took the league by storm. Every year from 1983 to 1990, one of the two made the Stanley Cup Final.

  • While Edmonton holds the edge in the playoffs (20-10), Calgary leads the regular-season series (130-111-19). They've fought 265 times in their 290 games — evidence of bad blood.

The big picture: Not only is this the first Battle of Alberta in 31 years — it's also just the fifth all-Canadian playoff series this century (not counting 2021's COVID format). The other four were all Maple Leafs-Senators in the early 2000s.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

R.I.P. iPod


 - "The music lives on"
BBC - "Apple to discontinue the iPod after 21 years"
The Verge - "Our memories of the iPod"
Rolling Stone - "RIP, iPod: A Tribute to the Device That Revolutionized the Art of Music Fandom"

The Verge - "The iPod is dead, but the podcast lives on"
Sotheby's - "Karl Lagerfeld's Ipod Nano Collection"

Connecting Internet


Rest of World - "Sea Change: Google and Meta are now investing fortunes into building massive subsea cables, bringing internet infrastructure to millions"

2022 NFL Schedule


Season Opener
Thursday, 9/8 - Buffao Bills @ LA Rams (NBC)

Sunday Night Football (NBC)
Mike Tirico (Play-by-Play), Cris Collinsowrth (Analyst)

9/11 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys
9/18 - Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
9/25 - San Francisco 49ers @ Denver Broncos
10/2 - Kansas City CHiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
10/9 - Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
10/16 - Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
10/22 - Pittsbrugh Steelers @ Miami Dolphins
10/30 - Green Bay Packers @ Buffalo Bills
11/6 - Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs
11/13 - LA Chargers @ San Francisco 49ers
11/20 - Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
11/27 - Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles
12/4 - Indianapolis Colts @ Dallas Cowboys
12/11 - Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos
12/18 - New England Patriots @ Las Vegas Raiders
12/25 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals
1/1 - LA Rams @ LA Chargers

Thanksgiving - Thursday, 11/24
Buffalo Bills @ Detroit Lions (CBS)
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (FOX)
New England Patriots @ Minnestoa Vikings (NBC)

Monday Night Football (ESPN)
Joe Buck (Play-by-Play), Troy Aikman (Analyst)

9/12 - Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks
9/19 - Tennesee Titans @ Buffalo Bills
9/19 - Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles
9/26 - Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants
10/3 - LA Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
10/10 - Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs
10/17 - Denver Broncos @ LA Chargers
10/24 - Chicago Bears @ New England Patriots
10/31 - Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
11/6 - Baltimore Ravens @ New Orleans Saints
11/14 - Washington Commanders @ Philadelphia Eagles
11/21 - San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
11/28 - Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts
12/5 - New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
12/12 - New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals
12/19 - LA Rams @ Green Bay Packers
12/26 - LA Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts
1/2 - Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals

Thurday Night Football (Amazon Prime)
Al Michales (Play-by-Play), Kirk Herbstreit (Analyst)

9/15 - LA Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
9/22 - Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
9/29 - Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals
10/6 - Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos
10/13 - Washington Commanders @ Chicago Bears
10/20 - New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals
10/27 - Baltimore Ravens @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
11/3 - Philadelphia Eagles @ Houston Texans
11/10 - Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers
11/17 - Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers
12/1 - Buffalo BIlls @ New England Patriots
12/8 - Las Vegas Raiders @ LA Rams
12/15 - San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
12/22 - Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets
12/29 - Dallas Cowboys @ Tennessee Titans

Super Bowl LVII (57) (FOX)
Glendale, Arizona
Kevin Burkhardt (Play-by-Play)
Sunday, February 12

Avatar 2: The Way of Water Teaser Trailer

Directed by James Cameron
Starring Sam Worthington Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement

Fruit Sticker Artistry


Atlas Obscura - "The Surprising, Overlooked Artistry of Fruit Stickers"

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Scholar-Athlete Intelligence and Leadership Program (SAIL-P)


Sportico - "Military Mulls Massive Recruiting Plan to Enlist College Athletes"

"The U.S. military is actively discussing an initiative, proposed by a defense contractor, to fund athletic scholarships for tens of thousands of college athletes each year in exchange for their mandatory service.

Over the last seven months, the proposal, which would not include football and basketball players, has reached military and civilian leaders throughout the Department of Defense and key members of Congress. It has been pitched as a solution to inefficient recruiting within the armed forces—which spend billions on recruits who fail basic training—and financial unease in college sports, where athletic departments face increasing cuts to non-revenue teams like tennis and wrestling.


Last month the Pentagon requested a record $773 billion budget for 2023. That includes about $1.32 billion in “recruiting and advertising” costs across the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force, and billions more for the basic training of those recruits. By comparison, the 100-plus public FBS schools reported spending $653 million in scholarship costs outside of football and basketball in 2020-21, according to Sportico’s college financial database.


Jack Swarbrick, athletic director at Notre Dame, was initially “shocked” when a reporter described the proposal, but suggested he would be open-minded if it gained steam.

“We happen to have one of the more vibrant ROTC programs in the country, so we’re already involved in the military,” Swarbrick said. “I have about 101 questions, but would I listen? Sure.”


The average D-I men’s lacrosse team, for example, fields 49 athletes, but the NCAA only allows schools to offer 12.6 scholarships for the sport. Most men’s lacrosse players are on fractions of a full grant-in-aid, if they are receiving anything at all. Should the government adopt this plan widely, across multiple departments, branches and intelligence communities, Maloney said its scope could eventually cover hundreds of thousands of college athletes each year."

Social Media in American 2010s


"What would it have been like to live in Babel in the days after its destruction? In the Book of Genesis, we are told that the descendants of Noah built a great city in the land of Shinar. They built a tower “with its top in the heavens” to “make a name” for themselves. God was offended by the hubris of humanity and said:

Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.

The text does not say that God destroyed the tower, but in many popular renderings of the story he does, so let’s hold that dramatic image in our minds: people wandering amid the ruins, unable to communicate, condemned to mutual incomprehension.

The story of Babel is the best metaphor I have found for what happened to America in the 2010s, and for the fractured country we now inhabit. Something went terribly wrong, very suddenly. We are disoriented, unable to speak the same language or recognize the same truth. We are cut off from one another and from the past.

It’s been clear for quite a while now that red America and blue America are becoming like two different countries claiming the same territory, with two different versions of the Constitution, economics, and American history. But Babel is not a story about tribalism; it’s a story about the fragmentation of everything. It’s about the shattering of all that had seemed solid, the scattering of people who had been a community. It’s a metaphor for what is happening not only between red and blue, but within the left and within the right, as well as within universities, companies, professional associations, museums, and even families."

Athletes & Celebrities Choosing-What-to-Wear (vs. Paid to Do It)

ESPN - "Why NBA players are hoarding Kobe Bryant's Nike sneaker line"

"KOBE BRYANT'S SIGNATURE Nike sneaker had become unquestionably the most popular shoe for NBA players in recent years. During the 2019-20 season, more than 100 players were wearing the Kobe 4 Protro, a retro re-release of a sneaker Bryant originally wore in 2008. Today's players love the design, the feel and the statement of the Kobes.

"This generation looks at Kobe like our Jordan," says Chicago Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan, known in the league as the dean of the Kobe shoe devotees. "It's a great shoe to wear. Guys really fell in love with it."

In the Orlando bubble in 2020, just months after Bryant's tragic death, nearly one-third of the 330 or so players were wearing a version of Kobe's signature shoe, and that figure was growing. Over the past two years, a number of players who'd previously been with Under Armour and Adidas did not have their sneaker endorsement contracts renewed, a trend that was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the new sneaker free agents went looking for Kobes. It all adds up to a large contingent of players who now have a source problem for their Kobe needs.

There are still supplies on sale at some retailers, but not in great numbers in the sizes NBA players typically need. The scarcity of larger sizes has driven a pricing boom on secondary shoe resale websites such as StockX, GOAT and eBay.

NBA players who wear size 14 or larger are looking at spending at least $800 for the most basic models of Kobes, and that's not what they typically wear. But the players are paying, with several telling ESPN they've spent more than five figures buying supplies of Kobes on the secondary market since last spring and summer."


New York Times - "That Vintage Dress on the Red Carpet? There’s More to the Story."

"Just before the pandemic, Kim Kardashian wore a museum-quality Alexander McQueen dress, also from 2003, to Vanity Fair’s Oscar party. One year earlier, Cardi B emerged from a seashell-inspired Thierry Mugler gown at the Grammys, circa 1995, and Gwyneth Paltrow attended the Emmys in a black-and-white feathered gown by Valentino, circa 1963.

“More and more people are aware that what we see on the red carpet is paid for — a branding opportunity,” said Cherie Balch, a vintage collector who owns the store Shrimpton Couture. In 2008, for example, a lawsuit revealed that the actress Charlize Theron had been paid $200,000 to wear Chopard jewels at the Academy Awards two years earlier.

“So when someone chooses to wear vintage, they’re kind of saying: I’m an individual here. I’m wearing this because I really love how it looks on me. I don’t care that it’s not sponsored by somebody.’ That feels more authentic to a lot of people in a very branded world,” she said.

Vintage garments have long had a presence on the red carpet: Consider the 1950s Dior dress Reese Witherspoon wore to the Academy Awards in 2006, or Julia Roberts breaking the rules of Oscars fashion by wearing a 1992 Valentino to the 2001 ceremony.

But collectors, including Ms. Balch, say current demand has never been higher (even with major events being continually postponed or Zoomified in the pandemic). They are reaching new consumers, thanks in part to more celebrities and stylists crediting them on social media, and reshaping how they do business."



New York Times - "I’m a Fashion Editor, and I Shop at the Dump"

"When I began thrifting and scrounging my way to some semblance of personal style, there was still something shameful about admitting that your clothes had a past, unknowable-to-you life. I’ve spent a decade and a half covering fashion (I’m Elle’s fashion features director now), and over that time I’ve seen the industry awakening to sustainability and reuse. Luxury brands that once destroyed and even burned unsold merchandise are now thinking of ways to reinvent it. Salvage and resale have become antidotes to the conveyor belt of fast fashion, wherein clothing behemoths like Shein offer thousands of new styles every week, social media users display their latest avalanche of purchases in “haul videos” and Instagram influencers post themselves in new outfits multiple times a day. When some have so little and others are drowning in a surfeit of options, the flaunting of abundance — so long the central driver of our screen-based existence — starts to feel like bad manners."

Googie Architecture


From Axios What's Next on 5/3:

Long before there was Google, there was "Googie," a style of architecture born in Southern California that symbolized futuristic aspirations and modern cool, Jennifer learned during a visit to Los Angeles last week.

  • Popular from the 1940s-1970s, the style features "Space Age designs symbolic of motion, such as boomerangs, flying saucers, diagrammatic atoms and parabolas," per Wikipedia.
  • The name comes from Googie's Coffee Shop, which was at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Crescent Heights until 1989. The term "Googie architecture," meant as a pejorative, was coined in a 1952 article in House and Home magazine by Douglas Haskell, who apparently found it tacky.
  • Jennifer made it to two Googie landmarks during her trip — Pann's Coffee Shop, above, and Swingers, below — but didn't have time for others, like the oldest surviving McDonald's, in Downey, California. (Next time!)

Googie icons located outside California include the Seattle Space Needle, the old Eero Saarinen TWA Terminal at JFK Airport in New York and the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign in Sin City.

Additional Links:
Wikipedia - Googie Architecture
Eater Los Angeles - "A Pilgrimage to the World's Oldest Surviving McDonald's"
Master Class - "Guide to Googie Architecture: 13 Iconic Googie Buildings"
Curbed New York - "Preserving an icon"

Maradona's “Hand of God” Jersey Sells for $9.3 Million


AP - "Goal! Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt sets auction record"

Countdown to the Copa del Mundo - "Shadowed by the Hand of God" (June 2014)
Diego Maradona Documentary (August 2019)

$34.99 for 1st Century Roman Bust at Goodwill


New York Times - "Goodwill Sold a Bust for $34.99. It’s an Ancient Roman Relic."

House of Dragons Trailer

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Wooden Skyscraper


New Yorker - "Transforming Trees Into Skyscrapers"

CNN - "Has the wooden skyscraper revolution finally arrived?"
Vox - "The hottest new thing in sustainable building is, uh, wood"

The NFL Draft Hat


Sports Logos - "NFL, New Era Unveil 2022 NFL Draft Hats"

New York Times - "How do players get the correct draft hats?"

Promo Marketing - "What the 2022 NFL Draft Hats Tell Us About Current Headwear Decoration Trends"

"Sort of like how Pantone's Color of the Year gives us clues about what graphic design and fashion might look like in the following year, the NFL Draft hat gives us a little bit of insight into what people want on their decorated apparel and headwear.

The first clue is that subtlety is not the most important thing in the world. The layered look creates sort of a busy atmosphere for the main panel, but the contrasting colors give your eyes a chance to make heads or tails. (Although, the Browns brown-on-black-on-orange is a little tough to handle.)

The hats also show that multiple decoration areas are definitely "in." In addition to the front-panel graphic, the hats feature an NFL logo in the team's colors on the side panel, as well as a team logo on the back of the hat. So, while your clients might think they just want a logo on the front, it might be that that's the only option they know about.

The front graphics are also decidedly retro, with the front-panel decoration in particular evoking '90s sports fashion. Nostalgia has been a big influence on style trends since, well, forever, but the '90s are especially hot right now.

Finally, the hats showcase what you can do with a brand's color palette. After all, a professional sports team is a brand, too. Using a brand's colors in different ways and allowing them to interact on a hat as they do on signage can turn a small object into a big branding creation."

American Steakhouse


Esquire - "The New Golden Age of the American Steakhouse"

"The table is laden with slabs of beef, trays of oysters, and copper pots of pommes aligot. A waiter in a tux, tossing a Caesar salad. Iceberg’s in the air. Diners grinning at the show. One, a doubting Thomas, cuts into his rib eye, scarlet under char, and wonders, “Is this really rare?” Limbs are limber, eyes shine bright, the Barolo is empty. If Caravaggio were alive today, there is no doubt he would take his talents to a steakhouse. There is no other restaurant that better captures all that is primal, all that drama twixt life and death, all the revelry mankind can summon, all the pleasure mankind can feel, than a steakhouse.

And yet the past few years have not been kind to the American steakhouse. The plant-based revolution not only threatened its relevance but also triggered an existential crisis: Should these temples of beef even exist when it’s a known cause of climate change? The pandemic didn’t help, either. Steakhouses were hit hard. In Chicago, the unofficial capital of steakhouses, they closed at twice the rate of other types of restaurants. But the institution has persevered, and today the American steakhouse is experiencing a renaissance. Across the country, ambitious chefs are returning to the steakhouse to rejuvenate the genre, balancing virtuosity and fidelity, theme and variation. These restaurants are worth traveling to. Not just because hot damn if a skirt steak and a strong cocktail aren’t one way to achieve satori. But, more profoundly, because there’s something hopeful about how vibrant and vital an old idiom can still be.

The modern steakhouse emerged from all-male beef banquets of the mid-nineteenth century, wherein men devoured endless steak with their bare hands, often squatting on beer barrels and singing songs like “Sweet Adeline.” The first wave of proper steakhouses sought to capture this spirit, but with utensils and actual chairs—places like Old Homestead, Peter Luger, Gallaghers, and Keens, all in New York. Women were allowed in 1920, and steakhouses evolved into something classier, with salads, oysters, and cocktails. The caveman pantomime persisted and fermented into the Mad Men–era decadence of places like the Palm (near Manhattan’s East Forty-fifth Street, known as Steak Row), Bern’s in Tampa, and Gene & Georgetti in Chicago. The steakhouse was swept up in franchise madness and disseminated nationally in the form of Ruth’s Chris (the most confusing of all possessive names), Shula’s, Mastro’s, Morton’s, Del Frisco’s, and more. Around the turn of the century, in an effort to modernize, steakhouses got a makeover. They transmogrified into their second wave: the big-watch untz-untz establishments of the nineties and early aughts. The main culprit, STK, a self-described “vibe dining experience,” spread nationwide like a plague. Generally speaking, this was not a good time in the steakhouse game."

The Return of the Martini


GrubStreet - "Wellness Is Dead. Long Live the Martini."

"“I think it is a perfect pressure valve for everything people are feeling,” Cecchini predicts. “Everywhere you look you see war, you hear ‘keep your mask on,’ or ‘don’t keep your mask on’ — people are tired of toeing lines. They’re just like, ‘Give me something that transgresses the bounds.’” Cecchini, too, knows that ordering a martini is an attempt to capture some sort of classic romance: “The martini harkens back to so many things that were so solid and representationally correct. You don’t have to think about it. It’s a big solid punch in the face and sometimes that’s just what you need.”"

Finding Endurance




Variety - "Margot Robbie’s ‘Barbie’ Sets 2023 Release Date, Unveils First-Look Photo"

July 21, 2023
Written by Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach
Directed by Greta Gerwig
Starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Kate McKinnon, Alexandra Shipp, America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Hari Nef, Will Ferrell

Friday, April 22, 2022

Thor: Love and Thunder

Written & Directed by Taika Waititi 
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Chris Pratt, Jaimie Alexander, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Jeff Goldblum, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper

Hyundai's Retro-Futuristic EV



Movie on Nike Sneaker Man Sonny Vaccaro


Hollywood Reporter - "Ben Affleck, Matt Damon Team for True Life Story of Nike Sneaker Man Sonny Vaccaro (Exclusive)"

"Affleck will direct, write, co-star and produce the untitled sports marketing drama, while Damon will star and also write and produce. Mandalay Pictures, the banner run by Peter Guber and Jason Michael Berman, will produce as well.

Damon will portray Vaccaro while Affleck plays Nike co-founder Phil Knight in a story around Nike’s long-shot effort to sign rising superstar basketball player Michael Jordan to its shoe company in the mid-’80s, an endorsement that seemed impossible at the time but, thanks to the maverick sneaker salesman, would become the most significant relationship between an athletic brand and an athlete. The deal launched the global, multibillion-dollar contemporary sneaker industry and also helped the sport do the same."

Sunday, March 27, 2022

2023 Oscar Movies


IMDB user's early predictions for the 95th Academy Awards:

Plot: Rumored to be set in period Hollywood.
Directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land, First Man)
Starring Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Tobey Maguire, Eric Roberts, Olivia Wilder, Spike Jonze, Jean Smart, Flea

The Northman
Plot: An action-filled epic that follows a young Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father's murder.
Directed by Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse
Starring Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Ethan Hawke

Don't Worry Darling
Plot: A 1950's housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community begins to worry that his glamorous company may be hiding disturbing secrets.
Directed by Olivia Wilder (Booksmart)
Starring Florence Pugh, Olivia Wilder, Chris Pinne, Gemma Chan

Red, White and Water
Plot: A US soldier suffers a traumatic brain injury while fighting in Afghanistan and struggles to adjust to life back home.
Directed by Lila Neugebauer
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Brian Tyree Henry, Linda Emond

Untitled David O. Russell
Directed by David O. Russell (Three Kings, The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook)
Starring Zoe Saldana, Christian Bale, Anya Taylor-Joy, Margot Robbie

Killers of the Flower Moon
Plot: Members of the Osage tribe in the United States are murdered under mysterious circumstances in the 1920s sparking a major F.B.I. investigation involving J. Edgar Hoover.
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring Jesse Plemons, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brendan Fraser, Robert De Niro

Bones and All
Plot: Maren, a young woman, learns how to survive on the margins of society.
Directed by Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash, Call Me by Your Name)
Starring Timothee Chalamet, Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbarg, Chloe Sevigny

The Fabelmans
Plot: A semi-autobiography based on Spielberg's own childhood growing up in a post-war Arizona, from age seven to eighteen.
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Paul Dano, Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, David Lynch

Poor Things
Plot: The film will be a Victorian tale of love, discovery, and scientific daring, Poor Things tells the incredible story of Belle Baxter, a young woman brought back to life by an eccentric but brilliant scientist.
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Favourite)
Starring Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Emma Stone

Asteroid City
Plot: Rumored to be a love story set in Europe
Directed by Wes Anderson
Starring Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie, Scarlett Johansson, Rupert Friend

Three Thousand Years of Longing
Directed by George Miller (Mad Max, The Road Warrior, Mad Max: Fury Road)
Starring Idris Elba, Tilda Swinton, David Collins, Angie Tricker

Next Goal Wins
Plot: Adaptation of the 2014 British documentary. The story of the American Samoa soccer team, who suffered the worst loss in World Cup history, losing to Australia 31-0 in 2001.
Directed by Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit)
Starring Rhys Darby, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Elisabeth Moss

Revisiting Miami Vice (2006)


The End of Movies


New York Times - "We Aren’t Just Watching the Decline of the Oscars. We’re Watching the End of the Movies."

By Ross Douthat

Questlove on Collection


New York Times - "Questlove: Collecting Is an Act of Devotion, and Creation"

"A collection starts as a protest against the passage of time and ends as a celebration of it."

Star by James Webb Space Telescope


NPR - "The James Webb Space Telescope is working as well as astronomers dreamed it would"

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Tokyo Vice

April 7 on HBO Max
Executive produced by many, including Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice)
Starring Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe

Baz Luhrmann's Elvis

Written by Baz Luhrmann, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, Jeremy Doner 
Directed by Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby)
Starring Austin Butler (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Tom Hanks

Science "Espionage"


New Yorker - "Have Chinese Spies Infiltrated American Campuses?"

"There is a long-standing conflict between scientists, who see themselves as citizens of a cosmopolitan republic of unrestricted inquiry, and the state, which is likelier to assign a property value to knowledge. Benjamin Franklin held that “science must be an international pursuit” in service of the “improvement of humanity’s estate.” He never sought to monetize his inventions, and shared the fruits of his research with friends and rivals alike. But what looked to some like the magnanimous diffusion of progress looked to others like theft. During the Industrial Revolution, Britain declared the emigration of skilled artisans and the export of specialized machinery treasonous. Alexander Hamilton, unimpressed, paid bounties to anyone who could deliver British manufacturing secrets, and espionage drove the growth of the American textile industry.


I asked Mario Daniels, the historian, why, if we already have the tools we need, there is so much hand-wringing about China now. He suggested that what’s new is a pervasive unease about America’s decline. “The difference between now and the early Cold War was that back then the Americans always thought they were more or less the uncontested leaders,” he said. “And that has changed.”


The deeper issues, though, are less likely to be resolved with the prosecution of individual actors than with a revision of our national priorities. Zuoyue Wang, a historian of science, told me that two historical episodes might guide our way forward: “One was the news of the first successful Soviet atomic-bomb test in 1949. Which spies gave them the secret? Klaus Fuchs was arrested, and that fed into the Red Scare and McCarthyism. The other was the launch of Sputnik, in 1957, and there was more introspection then. That debate led to massive investment in science, education, and technology.” He continued, “There are global problems that affect American interests, like climate change and public health and nuclear weapons, and we need international scientific collaboration to solve them.”


When I visited Tao, Peng brought out fifty dumplings she had made for lunch, but she and Tao took only a few. “We’re in big debt now,” Tao told me. They had borrowed money from several of their friends at church and received donations on GoFundMe. “If I were at Notre Dame now, faculty members’ kids get fifty per cent of their tuition paid anywhere,” Tao said. “My kids are going to hate me in the future.” Peng told me they are likely to lose the home they bought to anchor themselves in the community. She has put her licensure efforts on hold indefinitely. “I have a dream, too,” she said. “I want to be a doctor.” She looked over at Tao, who looked down at his uneaten dumplings. “He should be doing his research. It’s such a waste—it’s unfair to him, and to America. He could make so much more of a contribution, and I don’t know how they can’t see that.”