Sunday, January 30, 2022

New Music


The Atlantic - "Is Old Music Killing New Music?"
By Ted Gioia

"Never before in history have new tracks attained hit status while generating so little cultural impact. In fact, the audience seems to be embracing the hits of decades past instead. Success was always short-lived in the music business, but now even new songs that become bona fide hits can pass unnoticed by much of the population."


"The apparent dead ends of the past were circumvented the same way. Music-company execs in 1955 had no idea that rock and roll would soon sweep away everything in its path. When Elvis took over the culture—coming from the poorest state in America, lowly Mississippi—they were more shocked than anybody. It happened again the following decade, with the arrival of the British Invasion from lowly Liverpool (again, a working-class place, unnoticed by the entertainment industry). And it happened again when hip-hop, a true grassroots movement that didn’t give a damn how the close-minded CEOs of Sony or Universal viewed the marketplace, emerged from the Bronx and South Central and other impoverished neighborhoods.

If we had the time, I would tell you more about how the same thing has always happened. The troubadours of the 11th century, Sappho, the lyric singers of ancient Greece, and the artisan performers of the Middle Kingdom in ancient Egypt transformed their own cultures in a similar way. Musical revolutions come from the bottom up, not the top down. The CEOs are the last to know. That’s what gives me solace. New music always arises in the least expected place, and when the power brokers aren’t even paying attention. It will happen again. It certainly needs to. The decision makers controlling our music institutions have lost the thread. We’re lucky that the music is too powerful for them to kill."

What's old is new again (December 2020)

Pegasus and Phantom


New York Times Magazine - "The Battle for the World’s Most Powerful Cyberweapon"
By Ronen Bergman and Mark Mazzetti

The Rise of Trucks and Potential of EVs


New Yorker - "America’s Favorite Pickup Truck Goes Electric"
By John Seabrook

Ford F-150 Goes Electric (May 2021)
Petro Masculinity (March 2021)

Permafrost Thaw


New Yorker - "The Great Siberian Thaw"
By Joshua Yaffa

New Normal


Thursday, January 27, 2022

Pat Mahomes In-Game Data


From @joepompliano: @PatrickMahomes wears a @whoop while playing & the data from last weekend's game is incredible.

His average heart rate was 144 bpm during the game, but it was higher when the Bills had the ball & it dropped when he went back on the field.

Ice in his veins.

(h/t @bobbystroupe)

WHOOP released data from the entire game.

He burned 2,347 calories & had a strain of 20.4 (0-21 scale), but the most impressive part came in OT.

Mahomes got his heart rate down to 150 BPM right before the game-winning TD pass, and then it shot up to 169 BPM while he celebrated.

Here's his heart rate data for the entire game. - "Patrick Mahomes' Heart Rate and Strain Data from Historic Playoff Win"

Themed Cubicle


From @mikebeckhamsm: Recently one of our newest team members asked if he could decorate his cubical. When I said yes, I wasn't expecting this...

"The biggest play of the game"


From @kirkgoldsberry: Biggest play of the game.

From @RapSheet: How much of an advantage is winning the 🪙 toss in overtime? Via @NFLResearch … 🧐🧐🧐

 - "Andy Reid empathizes with Bills after overtime loss: 'I wouldn't be opposed' to OT rules change"

The Shanahan Coaching Tree


New York Times - "What We Learned in the Divisional Round of the N.F.L. Playoffs" 

"Mike Shanahan’s pupils are everywhere.

The leaders of three of the four teams in the N.F.C. divisional round came from the Mike Shanahan coaching tree, and two, Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay, will face off in the N.F.C. championship game.

Since McVay became the Rams’ head coach in 2017, Los Angeles and San Francisco have won the N.F.C. West in four out of the five seasons — McVay holding a 3-1 edge. Including the Packers’ Matt LaFleur, the three coaches have seven division titles, and the last four N.F.C. title games have featured at least one of the them. This coaching tree is guaranteed a spot in the upcoming Super Bowl, and with the Bengals’ Zac Taylor in the opposite bracket, there’s a chance of an all-Shanahan system game.

Each of these head coaches were molded in the same scheme and terminology, but they all have their own flavor of offense. Kyle Shanahan, the only one raised in this system, is still true to the two-back offense his father implemented on his way to three Super Bowl titles, two as a head coach. McVay was pretty close to the original intent of the offense, but mixed in motion and jet sweeps to add another element of misdirection. With quarterback Matthew Stafford in tow, McVay has fully embraced empty sets and the drop back passing game.

The Shanahan system is like a good smartphone: it can do anything you want it to. Need to quarterback-proof your offense? Jared Goff and McVay showed the way. Looking for a downhill run game? Kyle Shanahan has you covered. For those more interested in the spread, Taylor’s embrace of vertical passes and run-pass options are the guide.

The system provides instant offense everywhere it has gone, and this postseason has confirmed that Shanny-ball will continue to branch out across the league. When the 49ers and Rams face off, expect a great stylistic difference: San Francisco’s run game against the Rams’ air show, both executed at a clinical level.

Armchair offensive coordinators around the world, rejoice."

The Ringer - "The Intertwined Evolutions of Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay"

Monday, January 17, 2022

The 49ers Boxing Entrance

Moon Knight

March 30, 2022 on Disney+
Starring Oscar Issac, Ethan Hawke

There Will Be Blood


New York Times - "The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century So Far."
By Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott

There Will Be Blood
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007

“There Will Be Blood” tells the story of an American oilman, Daniel Plainview, who persuades the locals in a California ranching town to let him drill on their land. He also establishes an uneasy rivalry with a preacher, Eli Sunday, and the two men, each selling his own brand of faith, enact the timeless battle between God and Mammon – though who is on what side is not always clear.

Manohla Dargis
Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” is a 21st-century masterpiece about love, death, faith, greed and all the oil and blood gushing through the American 20th century. It distills a harrowing story through a prospector – played with demonic intensity by Daniel Day-Lewis – who pursues a savage, hollow dream. He embodies the best of the United States only to become the very worst of it.

The film offers a profound and deeply unsettling vision of the country, but it’s also a testament to one of this nation’s sublime achievements: the movies. The story creeps alive in 1898 with Plainview digging in a hole like a primordial creature, a sequence that invokes the dawn-of-man opener in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” A brilliant two and a half hours later, “There Will Be Blood” closes around 1927 by making good on its ominous title (it’s a gusher!) and nodding at “Citizen Kane,” a masterwork that ushered in a new American cinematic age.

A.O. Scott
While I am endlessly fascinated by what this movie is about – the dynamic, infernal spirit of American capitalism; the dialectic of faith and greed; the invention of California; the melodrama of modern masculinity – I am perpetually astonished by what it is. It is stranger than any of its themes, mightier than its influence and bigger than any of the genres it explores.

That opening sequence lasts almost 15 minutes before the first line of dialogue is uttered, and it sets the table (or stirs the milkshake) for the many bravura set pieces that follow, like the explosion of the drilling rig midway through. The grandeur of Mr. Anderson’s vision is matched by the precision of his technique. At no moment do you doubt that anything happened exactly how he is showing it, even as he takes abundant liberty with the historical record and his literary source (Upton Sinclair’s novel “Oil!”). But you are also aware of his artistic self-confidence, and the way he has marshaled the talents of his cast and collaborators (notably the cinematographer Robert Elswit and the composer Jonny Greenwood) in the service of his ideas.

I never tire of thinking about “There Will Be Blood.” But every time I watch it, I find it outruns all my thoughts. Not many films do that.

It’s still fascinating to see how Mr. Anderson drew from two traditions to make the film: classical Hollywood cinema and European art film. “There Will Be Blood” is as pleasurable – and rewatchable – as an old-studio masterwork like “The Big Sleep” and his impeccable craft is of course one reason. Yet much as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola did in their greatest movies, Mr. Anderson took all that he’d learned from Hollywood to create work of radical, intensely personal vision.

It’s a creation story about love and labor – Plainview’s and Mr. Anderson’s – one tragic, the other glorious. Among everything else that “There Will Be Blood” takes on is a question that rests, I think, at the heart of the United States: how could something as astonishing as the movies (or democracy) emerge amid so much horror?

And therefore, like so many films about ambition and enterprise, it’s to some extent an allegory of its own making. Not that Plainview is in any literal way Mr. Anderson’s alter ego: he’s a creature of his own time, a self-made man from the American heartland. He’s both demon and demigod, able to tap into the essence of the earth itself and driven to dominate and corrupt his fellow men – Mephistopheles and Faust rolled into one. A movie big enough to contain him could only be the greatest of its time.

Great Ad Tagline


YouTube - "Detectives | Cinematic mode | iPhone 13 Pro | Apple"

Buffalo Wings Culture


New York Times - "Lemon Pepper Makes Everything Better — Especially Wings"

"The peach is famously the state’s fruit, but lemon pepper is the city’s soul. (As the former mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms once told a reporter, “Lemon-pepper wings are Atlanta.”) It took a recent trip back to my hometown — a northern suburb of Atlanta — to realize how much of that soul I took for granted growing up."

Bills Mafia Take (via @darrenrovell: "This is the nastiest thing anyone from Buffalo can say about anyone")

Film Composer


New York Times - "Jonny Greenwood: First Radiohead, Now Orchestras and Film"

The Former QB Now Coach


Norway and Electric Cars


Modernizing the Chinese Language


New Yorker - "How the Chinese Language Got Modernized"

Sunday, January 2, 2022

The Northman Trailer

Written by Sjón, Robert Eggers 
Directed by Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse)
Starring Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Björk, Willem Dafoe

The Lost City Trailer

Directed by Aaron and Adam Nee
Starring Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Brad Pitt 

The Batman Trailer

Written & Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes)
Starring Robert Pattinson (Batman), Zoë Kravitz (Catwoman), Paul Dano (The Riddler), Jeffrey Wright (Commissioner Gordon), John Turturro (Carmine Falcone), Peter Sarsgaard (Gotham district attorney), Andy Serkis (Alfred Pennyworth), Colin Farrell (Penguin) 

Euphoria Season 2 Trailer

Bad Bunny and The Simpsons - "TE DESEO LO MEJOR"