Friday, February 6, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: Hall of Meat

This week: Harper Lee has a new novel, Americans aren't getting it as much as they claim, and a tour the hallowed halls of the Hall of Meat.  

It's Friday, folks, and all this snow is getting to me.  I don't know what else to say about it.  Let's get it on!

"To Kill a Mockingbird" will not be Harper Lee's only published book after all.
The publisher Harper announced Tuesday that "Go Set a Watchman," a novel the Pulitzer Prize-winning author completed in the 1950s and put aside, will be released July 14. Rediscovered last fall, "Go Set a Watchman" is essentially a sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird," although it was finished earlier. The 304-page book will be Lee's second, and the first new work in more than 50 years…
[T]he 88-year-old Lee said in a statement issued by Harper. "It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort.”

I liked this book in high school.  I'm looking
forward to re-reading it as an adult.
When I first read that there was going to be a “sequel” to To Kill A Mockingbird, I groaned.  But this story is fascinating.  I’ll bet this turns out to be an amazing book.
2. Daredevil Trailer (Netflix)
Hey, look at this!

Now we’ve got something to look forward to.

3. Friday Hair Metal: Sir Mix-a-Lot
Not hair metal, I know.  Same era, though.

4. Hall of Meat (Instagram)
I found this by accident on Instagram and then couldn’t turn away.  I’m sure that says nothing good about my personality.

A video posted by @hallofmeat on

Once I started watching these, I couldn't look away.  I mean, holy crap people!  At least wear a helmet.
No seriously, it hurts just to look at that.

5. Searching for Sex (NY Times)
We do not often talk about male body insecurity. And while it is true that overall interest in personal appearance skews female, it is not as lopsided as stereotypes would suggest. According to my analysis of Google AdWords… interest in beauty and fitness is 42 percent male; weight loss is 33 percent male; and cosmetic surgery is 39 percent male. Among all searches with “how to” related to breasts, about 20 percent ask how to get rid of man breasts.
This was a pretty interesting editorial, from an economist mining Google’s search data for clues about human behavior.  The whole article is fascinating—unsurprising, given its subject—but if you can summarize it in one simple sentence, it comes out that people lie about sex a lot, often to themselves.  We’re not getting as much of it as might wish to believe, and even that might not be a lot in any objective sense.  The author suggests that this is because people have body image problems, but I think it’s probably much more likely that people are simply busy, and that we live in a world in which lots and lots of folks prioritize their partner’s happiness well down on their list of overall priorities.  
It’s easy to say, “My wife loves me.  She’ll understand,” when you have a big deadline coming up, but if you do it enough, you will eventually destroy your marriage.  She may understand, but over time, she’ll still become a miserable creature trapped in a loveless relationship.  Busy or not, priorities tell over time.
And then there’s this little tidbit, at the end of the page:
I know I am obsessed with Google searches and other new data sets. I ask myself all the time whether I am taking it too far. Every researcher, no matter how grounded in data, can let his biases get in the way of the truth. This data is all public. Other researchers will undoubtedly add their own interpretations and ask new questions.
Dan Ariely, a psychologist at Duke, offers a reason for caution in interpreting this data. While most data sources underestimate sexual thoughts, he suspects that Google may overestimate them.
As Professor Ariely put it, “Google is a reflection of what people don’t know and need extra information about.” If you want to know how to make omelets, you may just ask a relative. You are less likely to ask your relatives about penis enlargement.
Fair point.
Not much in the way of elevated conversation this week.  If that's what you came looking for, I don't know what to tell you.  Like I said, all this snow has been getting in my head a little, and that's not doing good things for my worldview.  Or maybe it's all the Jane Austen I've been reading.  Regardless, it's been a tough week.  I feel like I badly need to get out and run outside, but that's just not been possible of late.

Well.  There's always next week.  See you then.


  1. There's some weirdness around Lee's editor for _Go Set a Watchman._ Maybe it's nothing, but a lot of the quotes getting attributed to Lee around this book are egregiously out of character given her past statements.

    1. I didn't know that. That makes me sad. I'll have to check that link.

  2. Awesome Friday post per usual. I owe you an email on recent writings including Hannah's story (seriously, my favorite line was the awesome use of active writing, 'The cat scratched the girls angrily.' Phenomenal)

  3. Looks like the Daredevil series takes a lot of notes from Frank Miller's Man Without Fear limited series (the primitive costume, invading a warehouse that is home to some nefarious goings on). Miller's take on DD (both his original run and that limited series which re-told/retconned DD's origin) is great, and pretty much the reason that DD is my favourite super-hero, but I've heard it said that it's regrettable how much he overshadows every other writer's work on the character, and there's something to be said for that. For example, Mark Waid embraces more of a swashbuckler tone, and less Noir.... I'm just scared that the series will get overlooked as "Oh, another dark urban vigilante..."

    1. The Bendis/Maleev era is BY FAR my favorite DD run, although. Brubaker's run immediately thereafter was also amazing. Miller is, to me, a distant second, save for its tone. Without Miller, none of the later stuff could have happened. That said, The Man Without Fear elements are clear here. Given that we're also seeing Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, though, I expect that Bendis will have some influence.