I’m still not that interested in yet another Google product that’s going to suck up more information from me, but I love that it’s made in the USA. More things should be made in the USA. And, yes, I realize that means those things may cost a bit more, but I would think of that increased cost as an investment in the future of our country.
I think of every dollar I spend as a choice towards the tomorrow I want. Anyone know if the Nexus Seven is made in the USA as well?
It really, really irks me that Senseg’s electrostatic haptic feedback technology hasn’t happened at retail yet. The Verge covered it about seven months ago. Their article focused on gaming applications… but the ability for a braille-capable screen would be kind of amazing, no?
A song in a musical works best when a character has to sing— when words won’t do the trick anymore. The same idea applies to a long speech in a play or a movie or on television. You want to force the character out of a conversational pattern. In the pilot of The Newsroom, a new series for HBO, TV news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) emotionally checked out years ago, and now he’s sitting on a college panel, hearing the same shouting match between right and left he’s been hearing forever, and the arguments have become noise. A student asks what makes America the world’s greatest country, and Will dodges the question with glib answers. But the moderator keeps needling him until…snap.
Will It’s not the greatest country in the world, professor, that’s my answer.
Moderator [pause] You’re saying—
Moderator Let’s talk about—
Start off easy. First get rid of the two noisemakers.
Will Fine. [to the liberal panelist] Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paychecks, but he [gesturing to the conservative panelist] gets to hit you with it anytime he wants. It doesn’t cost money, it costs votes. It costs airtime and column inches. You know why people don’t like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fuckin’ smart, how come they lose so GODDAM ALWAYS!
The use of inappropriate language has a purpose—the filter’s off.
And [to the conservative panelist] with a straight face, you’re going to tell students that America’s so starspangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom. Two hundred seven sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom.
The fact-dump that’s coming now serves several purposes. It backs up his argument, it reveals him to be exceptional (what normal person has these stats at their fingertips?), but mostly it’s musical. This is the allegro.
And you—sorority girl—yeah—just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there are some things you should know, and one of them is that there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re seventh in literacy, twenty-seventh in math, twenty-second in science, forty-ninth in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies. None of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you, nonetheless, are without a doubt, a member of the WORST-period-GENERATION-period-EVER-period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about?! Yosemite?!!!
[Cell-phone cameras are everywhere— people are tweeting and texting away.]
Now we slow down and get a glimpse into his pain. The oratorical technique is called “floating opposites”— we did, we didn’t, we did, we didn’t… But rhythmically you don’t want this to be too on the money. You’re not just testing the human ear anymore; you want people to hear what he’s saying.
We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right! We fought for moral reasons, we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, and we acted like men. We aspired to intelligence; we didn’t belittle it; it didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn’t scare so easy. And we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one—America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.
To resolve a melody, you have to end on either the tonic or the dominant. (Try humming “Mary Had a Little Lamb” right now, but leave off “snow.” You’ll feel like you need to sneeze.) So Will ends where he started. Then, just to acknowledge that he just sang an aria— which is unusual in the course of a normal conversation—he turns to the moderator who’d been needling him and casually asks…
When Michele Leonhart, the administrator of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) was questioned at a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing regarding the prohibition of Marijuana, she repeatedly dodged the question, whether or not other drugs are more addictive and damaging then Marijuana. “I believe all illegal drugs are bad” was one of her responses, not giving Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado a straight answer eleven times in a row.
“In a new research note published today, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White points to a new report from Chinese business site 21cbh.com claiming that Foxconn/Hon Hai has accelerated its schedule for ordering television-sized LCD panels from Sharp, fueling speculation that the panels are destined for an Apple television set that could debut in time for the holiday shopping season this year. Foxconn and Sharp announced a partnership earlier this year to advance LCD technology, a move some observers have seen as closely tied to an Apple television set.”—
redditor captainpixystick explains the Affordable Care Act to you like you're five.
Bob:Hi, insurance company. I'd like to buy some health insurance.
Insurance company:No. You had cancer when you were 3 years old, and the cancer could come back. We're not selling you health insurance.
Bob:It's not my fault I got cancer when I was three! Besides, that was years ago!
Insurance company:If we sell insurance to you, we'll probably lose money, and we're not doing it.
Bob:But I need insurance more than anyone! My cancer might come back!
Insurance company:We don't care. We're not selling you insurance.
Obama:Hey, that's totally not fair. Bob is right, he does need insurance! Sell Bob some insurance.
Insurance company:If we have to, I guess.
Mary:This is cool. Obama said the insurance company has to sell insurance to anyone who needs it.
Sam:Hey, I have an idea. I'm going to stop paying for health insurance. If I get sick, I can always go buy some insurance then. The insurance company won't be able to say no, because Obama's told them they have to sell it to anyone who needs it!
Dave:that's a great idea! I'm not paying for health insurance either, at least not until I get sick.
Insurance company:Hey! If everyone stops paying for insurance, we'll go bankrupt!
Obama:Oh come on Sam and Dave, that's not fair either.
Dave:I don't care. It saves me money.
Obama:Oh for god's sake. Sam, Dave, you have to keep paying for health insurance, and not wait until you're sick. You too, Mary and Bob.
Mary:But I'm broke! I can't buy insurance! I just don't have any money.
Obama:Mary, show me your piggy bank. Oh, wow, you really are broke. Ok, tell you what. You still have to buy insurance, but I'll help you pay 95% of the cost.
Obama:I need an aspirin.
Insurance company:We're not paying for that aspirin.
The makers of the creepy, quirky webseries “Malice” are appealing for funds to finish their project. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen so far of the series. It’s ambitious and fun and its creators seem to have a good handle on how to break up a story into bite-sized pieces. I hope it might be a model for things to come, where small and smart independent film-makers can offer an alternative to a steady diet of big-budget entertainment from the studios.
But they can’t do that without help. So check out “Malice” on Blip and if you like it, throw them a dollar or two. The mad bunny will thank you.