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 |

"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."

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sugar is a toxic agent that creates conditions for disease | Aeon Essays

The sugars and refined grains that make up such a high proportion of the foods we consume in modern Westernised diets trigger the dysregulation of a homeostatic system that has evolved to depend on insulin to regulate both fat accumulation and blood sugar. Hence, the same dietary factors – sugars and refined grains – trigger both obesity and diabetes. By focusing on the problems of eating too much and exercising too little, public health authorities have simply failed to target the correct causes.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Manchester by the Sea (2016) ****

Casey Affleck essentially plays me (brilliantly) in this very well directed tale of a grief observed in a very un-Hollywood way.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

I, Cringely News we aren't supposed to know - I, Cringely

I’m writing this post on Wednesday evening here in California. Normally I wouldn’t point that out but in this case I want to put a kind of timestamp on my writing because at this moment we’re at the end of the second day of a concerted attack by the UAE Electronic Army on various DNS providers in North America. If you follow this stuff and bother to check, say, Google News right now for “UAE Electronic Army,” your search will probably generate some Facebook entries but no news at all because — two days into it — this attack has gone unnoticed by the world at large. My last column was about fake news. This one is about real news you never hear about.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Godfather Wars | Vanity Fair

Brando was intrigued, because he saw the project as a story not of blood and guts but “about the corporate mind.” As he said later, “The Mafia is so American! To me, a key phrase in the story is that whenever they wanted to kill somebody it was always a matter of policy. Before pulling the trigger, they told him, ‘Just business, nothing personal.’ When I read that, [Vietnam War architects Robert] McNamara, [Lyndon] Johnson, and [Dean] Rusk flashed before my eyes.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hayao Miyazaki Calls A.I. Animation ‘An Insult To Life Itself’ | IndieWire

After seeing a brief demo of a grotesque zombie-esque creature, Miyazaki pauses and says that it reminds him of a friend of his with a disability so severe he can’t even high five. “Thinking of him, I can’t watch this stuff and find [it] interesting. Whoever creates this stuff has no idea what pain is whatsoever. I am utterly disgusted. If you really want to make creepy stuff, you can go ahead and do it. I would never wish to incorporate this technology into my work at all. I strongly feel that this is an insult to life itself.”

Near the end of the clip, after hearing that the animators’ goal is to create a machine that “draws pictures like humans do,” Miyazaki’s comments are even more grim. “I feel like we are nearing to the end of the times. We humans are losing faith in ourselves…”

Monday, December 12, 2016

Is Sugar Killing Us? - WSJ

The sugar industry has long defended itself against the notion that sugar is uniquely fattening by repeating the mantra that a calorie is a calorie. The worst that can be said of sugar, the industry argues, is that it tastes good, which leads us to consume too much of it. “There is no difference between the calories that come from sugar or steak or grapefruit or ice cream,” proclaimed industry ads in the 1950s.

That is not actually true, though nutritionists have been slow to come around. Beginning in the 1960s, researchers led by the British nutritionist John Yudkin began to publish the results of experiments in animals and trials in humans suggesting that sugar’s distinctive chemistry had a role in producing an entire cluster of biochemical abnormalities known today as “metabolic syndrome.”

Among these abnormalities is resistance to the hormone insulin, which orchestrates the body’s use of fuels—proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and whether we store them or burn them. That key function apparently goes awry when we consume too much sugar and our cells resist the hormone. Insulin resistance is also the fundamental defect in Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, and it is common in obesity as well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that some 75 million Americans now suffer from metabolic syndrome. If sugar consumption is the trigger, as 50 years of research suggests, then it might be as much of a direct cause of diabetes as smoking cigarettes is of lung cancer. Without sugar in our diets, diabetes might be an exceedingly rare disease—as it appears once to have been.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) **

As a CGI spectacle and introduction to a series of films, this flick is ok. Would probably be better enjoyed as a binge with the next 4 films after they are completed. Redmayne affects a nearly inaudible accent/word-slur which becomes very annoying as the proceedings progress.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Andrew Sachs, Manuel from Fawlty Towers, dies aged 86 | Media | The Guardian

He became a household name in Britain as the hapless Manuel in the 1970s sitcom. Worried that he could not do a Spanish accent, Sachs initially wanted to play the role as a German.

But Cleese, who played Basil Fawlty, insisted that the character should be Spanish. He said despite his anxiety Sachs took to the role instantly.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Cleese said: “If you met him you would never think for a moment that he was a comedian, you would think he was a rather cultivated bank manager possibly retired, because he was quite quiet and poised and thoughtful. And then you stuck that moustache on him and he turned into a completely different human being. He was wonderful.”