Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hacksaw Ridge (2016) **

Easily the most violent film to glorify a non-violent hero you could possibly make. The cast is fine and the direction is heavy-handed and repetitive, trying to shell-shock the viewer into a feeling of relief at the end of its marathon running time. It succeeds.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Hot air?

It seems, therefore, that flatus can cause infection if the emitter is naked, but not if he or she is clothed. But the results of the experiment should not be considered alarming, because neither type of bacterium is harmful. In fact, they're similar to the ‘friendly’ bacteria found in yoghurt.

Conclusion: do NOT let Dr. Karl shop for yogurt!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

New video of events before fatal Ferguson shooting in film - SFGate

Previously released surveillance video shows Brown strong-arming the store's co-owner, Andy Patel, and pushing him as he left the store during the second visit. Patel reaffirmed his version of events on Sunday, telling the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Brown "grabbed the cigarillos and stole them."

And as we all know, aggravated petty theft is punishable by death without trial.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Paterson (2016) ***

A film about our need to find patterns and meaning and if they are not there, to make them up. Typically well made Jim Jarmusch film.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Raymond Chandler: A Biography - Tom Hiney ****

However bleak his life could be, Chandler tried never to give up the possibility of happiness, or lose sight of the human comedy in his failure to find it. He felt jinxed in the struggle, but he was resolved to approach the world with something more than pessimism.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Why words can bend the truth: the disturbing fact about memory | Oliver Burkeman | Life and style | The Guardian

One of the most quietly unsettling findings in psychology, for my money, is “verbal overshadowing” – a weird fact about memory that’s liable to make you wonder if anything you believe about your life is really true. The finding is this: putting your experiences into words – talking about them with others or writing them down – makes you less likely to recall them accurately. If you were to witness a mugging, say, then scribble a record of what you’d seen, you’d be more prone to misremember than if you’d written nothing.

3quarksdaily: Akeel Bilgrami on fascism and the ‘movement vacuum’

Here is my worry about the reaction to the Trump victory today. The hand-wringing and the hysteria about his election and post-election pronouncements, though perfectly understandable and justified—since he is monstrous on a whole range of issues—nevertheless may have the effect of giving the impression that there was some real intrinsic merit to the political establishment that Hillary Clinton represents. That would be complacent. My own view is that it should go without saying that Hillary Clinton would have been better than Trump, but if it goes without saying, then don’t say it. Because to keep saying it may give rise to the complacence that the political establishment in the U.S. has intrinsic merit.

Monday, March 06, 2017

The Simple Truth About Consciousness

In some respects, some non-human animals are probably more conscious than we are, either because their sense organs are more sensitive or because they have senses we lack. Some birds can directly detect properties of the earth’s magnetic field; elephants can detect subtle seismic signals; sharks, platypuses, and electric eels can sense electrical fields. What we have in common with all of them is that each of us is a brain floating in a nutrient bath and connected to a body and sense organs. Whatever the species, the brain owner in such a system is probably conscious during most of its waking hours.