Friday, December 2, 2016

5 Things on a Friday: Catering to Your Personal Dystopia

Happy Friday, folks.

Not much witty banter this week, but if you’re wondering, I’m almost through with the first re-write of my memoir, tentatively titled Swim, Bike, Run, Live, Love, Repeat: A Story about Swimming, Family, & Belonging.
So yeah, that’s a mouthful.  Probably not a great sign for the rest of the book.
My buddy Chris, the poor bastard, has had to read every chapter of this fantastic literary masterpiece over the course of the past few months--and often discuss what he just read over the phone immediately afterwards.  I like to check his reading comprehension!  Heh.  No seriously, he's been a HUGE help.  He was my roommate Yearling (sophomore) year at the Academy, but I'll bet if he knew then what he was getting himself into way back when...
Eh.  What can you do?
My daughter Hannah's been enjoying the project more than anyone, and she's been a pretty good test-reader, too.  In that respect, I feel at least partially vindicated.  My kids are often my best target audience.  The whole thing still feels like a vanity project, but if it's a vanity project that my kids are enjoying, then it's gotta be worth something.  Right?

Relative to its competitors, CBS’s audience skews older and whiter; the mandates for inclusivity at the likes of ABC, Fox, and the CW simply don’t apply to the channel where variety means coming up with a new version of NCIS. The network’s CEO, Les Moonves, knows that live TV viewership is now dominated by older white people, and has no apparent compunction about servicing that demographic: During the 2015-16 TV season, 11 of the 20 most-watched entertainment programs aired on CBS, evenly split between comedy and drama, new and old. CBS perpetuated a vicious cycle, whose consequences are more severe during a period of pronounced political tension. Viewers unfamiliar with LGBTQ culture or less willing to watch shows about people of color or less comfortable with women in principal roles aren’t likely to change their minds as a result of being comfortably catered to.
This is what we’ve learned: that you CAN have your own facts—and your very own news and your own television network—thanks largely to the fragmentation of the media.  Somebody out there is catering your personal dystopia, you just have to have the—rather minor—Information Age savvy to find them.
Also, this just in: old white people are the only people left who still watch Prime Time TV during prime time.  If you are a TV network, as CBS is, it therefore makes sense to cater endlessly to the people you know are actually watching your stuff.  For this same reason, Social Security reform has been dead on arrival for a generation.  Politicians won’t change what they know their proven voters need.  
Scientists surveying the Great Barrier Reef said on Tuesday that it had suffered the worst coral die-off ever recorded after being bathed this year in warm waters that bleached and then weakened the coral.
About two-thirds of the shallow-water coral on the reef’s previously pristine, 430-mile northern stretch was dead, the scientists said. Only a cyclone that lowered water temperatures by up to three degrees Celsius in the south saved the lower reaches of the 1,400-mile reef from damage, they added.
This is me overlooking the Great Barrier Reef, summer 1995.
My buddy Chris took this picture.  And now he's test-reading my new book.
Meh.  Science.
[S]cientists using a radar mapper on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (or MRO) have found more water ice at these lower latitudes, and a lot of it: The volume is enough to fill Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes in North America.
The most interesting thing about this—to me—is that the scientists discovered all this ice using a radar mapping technology that distinguishes Martian soil’s dielectric differences.  Water is much less insulating than regular dirt, and behold!  We’ve found ice.
I can’t help wondering if this will change the parameters—and potential mission food supply—for a future manned mission.
The films… are currently available to stream (or to buy on Blu-ray) and had a relatively small or unsuccessful release, so we’re guessing you missed at least some of them. Most importantly, they’re good!
TMNT 2: Out of the Shadows
Their list includes TMNT: Out of the Shadows, which I liked quite a bit but wouldn’t necessarily recommend.  I’ve not seen any of the rest, but Synchronicity10 Cloverfield Lane,and High Rise all look interesting, basically in that order.  Kubo and the Two Strings got great reviews, but I can’t say that I have much desire to see it.  I also don’t know that I’d have categorized it as “sci fi”.  The same can be said of several others on their list as well.
I stuck this one in here for my good friend Elizabeth.  I don’t know whether it will annoy her or vindicate her in her belief that men have been constitutionally incapable of seeing women as anything other than objects throughout human history.  I myself don’t believe that’s true, but I personally think that the physical component of a romantic relationship is extremely important.  There’s a whole movement out there that seems to ignore the obvious--that men LIKE women, and particularly that we like to look at them.  This is not a new phenomenon--obviously--but unfortunately, there seem to be a plurality of trolls out there who take it beyond the bounds of what’s acceptable in polite society.  Regardless, I find the changes to the basic conception of beauty fascinating, even as I can admit to buying into a few of them myself.
It’s worth pointing out that the Han Dynasty example is off-model because her feet aren’t bound.  A barbaric practice, to be sure, but one that was nevertheless very real.  The same could be said of the Victorian model, who’s not wearing a corset even though the video calls out the fact that corsets were an integral part of the distinctly unrealistic body expectations of the period.  Lastly, they gave the 1990s two models for reasons I can’t fathom.  Skip straight from Han China to Renaissance Europe but double down on the very worst fashion decade in American history?  That’s a crime against beauty.
I should start blogging more fashion, yeah?
Bonus Round: Drunk People Doing Things (Instagram)
No matter how badly your day is going, Dave's is worse.

A video posted by Drunk People Doing Things (@drunkpeopledoingthings) on

"Is he alive?"

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That’s all I’ve got, folks.  One more week until Army-Navy.  After that, the deluge…
Have a good weekend!

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