Friday, January 20, 2017

La La Land (2016) ***

Well crafted homage to the traditional Hollywood musical succeeds on nearly all counts but can't overcome the uninspiring and unconvincing leads. Too bad.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

There is nothing inevitable or natural about chronic disease | Aeon Ideas

Indeed, evidence suggests that lack of chronic disease in these groups flows from how they live, how they move, how they eat. Diet looks to be an especially powerful driver – adoption of a Western diet, rich in processed foods, has mirrored the development of chronic disease worldwide, and prospective studies with healthy and diabetic subjects have documented the powerful influence of food on health.

The Debt as a Share of GDP Joke | Beat the Press | Blogs | Publications | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

Of course the interest burden of the debt is just one way that we make commitments for future generations. When the government grants patent and copyright monopolies it is allowing companies to charge prices that are far above the free market price for their products. This is effectively a privately collected tax. The sums involved are quite large. In the case of prescription drugs alone we pay $430 billion a year for drugs that would cost around $60 billion in a free market. The difference of $370 billion is almost 2.0 percent of GDP, a sum that is more than twice as large as the interest burden on the debt.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The case for eliminating sugar. All of it. - Vox

The other point you make is also very important. Clearly there are people who live very long, happy lives eating significant amounts of sugar. Maybe it even makes them healthier, who knows. Anything is possible. I get emails from these people regularly now, often explaining that they are living proof that my theory, as one such [correspondent] put it two days ago, is bullshit. If I’m in a punchy mood, I write them back and say something along the lines of, “My Uncle Max smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, lived to be in his nineties, and died of old age. Does that mean cigarettes don’t cause lung cancer?”

And the same logic holds. The fact that some people clearly tolerate sugar, if not thrive on it, is simply not evidence that those of us who are obese and/or diabetic didn’t get that way because of the sugar we, or our mothers, or our mothers’ mothers consumed.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Joy (2015) *

A strong lead performance and an all star cast are not enough to overcome this poorly written and over-directed attempt at a modern fable. Frustrating.

The Edge 20th Anniversary Annual Question

However, one lesson from substrate-independence is already clear: we should reject carbon-chauvinism and the common view that our intelligent machines will always be our unconscious slaves. Computation, intelligence and consciousness are patterns in the spacetime arrangement of particles that take on a life of their own, and it's not the particles but the patterns that really matter! Matter doesn't matter.

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 In Review: Movies

**** Manchester By The Sea
**** Too Late
**** The Lobster
*** Love And Friendship
*** The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years
** Arrival
** Cafe Society
** Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
** Finding Dory
** Hail, Caesar!
** Inferno
** Mascots
** Pee-wee's Big Holiday
** Star Trek Beyond
** The Conjuring 2
** The Jungle Book
** The Nice Guys
* Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice

2016 In Review: Music

**** Lush - Blind Spot EP
*** Basia Bulat - Good Advice
*** Bob Mould- Patch The Sky
*** Bun E. Carlos - Greetings from Bunezuela!
*** Cate Le Bon - Crab Day
*** Charlie Hilton - Palana
*** Colleen Green - Colleen Green EP
*** David Bowie - Black Star
*** Eleanor Friedberger - New View
*** Fascinations Grand Chorus EP
*** Flyying Colours - Mindfulness
*** High Violets, The - Heroes And Halos
*** KT Tunstall - KIN
*** La Sera - Music for Listening to Music To
*** Ladyhawke - Wild Things
*** Monkees, The - Good Times!
*** Muncie Girls - From Caplan to Belsize
*** Nada Surf - You Know Who You Are
*** Posies, The - Solid States
*** Pretenders - Alone
*** Shonen Knife - Adventure
*** Tacocat - Lost Time
*** Teenage Fanclub - Here
*** Trashcan Sinatras - Wild Pendulum
*** Travis - Everything At Once
*** We Are Scientists - Helter Seltzer
*** Yeasayer - Amen & Goodbye
** Beau - That Thing Reality
** Case Lang Veirs - Atomic Number
** Cheap Trick - Bang Zoom Crazy Hello
** Cotton Mather - Death of the Cool
** Joy Formidable, The - Hitch
** Maria Taylor - In The Next Life
** Marika Hackman - Wonderland
** of Montreal - Innocence Reaches
** School Of Seven Bells - SVIIB
** Sting - 57th & 9th
** Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat To Earth

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Why Obama waited 8 years to take on Netanyahu – Mondoweiss

As Elise Labott said last night on CNN, Obama did not push the settlements/Palestinian state issue before the election out of deference to Hillary Clinton. Labott was saying, without saying it, that Clinton was so dependent on the Jewish establishment and large Jewish donors, that she could not “undermine [the] party’s fundraising capabilities” (as the National Journal says) by saying a word against Israel. Today on NPR Daoud Kuttab said very much the same thing: that presidents take these actions in their last months when they are freed of “domestic, political, lobbying” pressures. This is a central truth of our politics that ought to be explored. But NPR promptly brought on Aaron David Miller to refute it; Miller said it was a “myth” that lobbying affects US policy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Jeff Fisher knew in 2012 that Kroenke was moving to LA | Ben Frederickson | stltoday.com

"I was very fortunate to have some options," said Fisher, referencing his return to coaching in 2012. "I decided on L.A., or St. Louis, at the time, knowing that there was going to be a pending move. More importantly, I took the job because of Stan, and because we had a quarterback in Sam Bradford. That's how you win in this league, with a good owner and a quarterback. So, Stan gave me the opportunity. To answer your question, I'm disappointed. But I didn't win enough games. I get that part."