Critical Section


weekend of August 8, redux

Sunday,  08/16/09  12:37 PM

relaxing at the Coral Casino beach club
relaxing at the Coral Casino beach club
We took a long wonderful weekend off last weekend, Friday through Monday, stayed with friends in Montecito, hung out at the Coral Casino beach club, ate (a lot!), drank (a lot!), watched the sun set, and had a marvelous time.  Every weekend should be so great.

... and meanwhile, the world kept spinning around us ...

Charles Krauthammer has A better plan for health care reform.  "The administration’s defense is to accuse critics of being for the status quo.  Nonsense.  Candidate John McCain and a host of other Republicans since have offered alternatives.  Let me offer mine: Strip away current inefficiencies before remaking one-sixth of the U.S. economy.  The plan is so simple it doesn’t even have the requisite three parts.  Just two: radical tort reform and radically severing the link between health insurance and employment."  I could go for that; to me, tort reform and divorcing health insurance from employment is exactly the right solution.

the Licorne bomb, equivalent to 57 HiroshimasGerard Vanderleun says it's time for a live demo.  Remembering the 64th anniversary of Little Boy being dropped on Hiroshima.  Wow, sixty four years ago.  Incredible.  "It has been 64 years since the incineration of a city in a second, and we've lost any sense of immediacy about exactly what it means."  People sometimes think conservatives don't care about this.  That's exactly wrong.  Conservatives understand how important it is never to have this happen again.  And are not confused about what it takes to prevent it.

Van Halen - no brown M&Ms!Did you know?  Van Halen had a good reason to ban brown M&Ms in their concert rider.  "The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function.  And article number 126, in the middle of nowhere, was: 'There will be no brown M&Ms in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.'  So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl... well, line-check the entire production.  Guaranteed you're going to arrive at a technical error.  They didn't read the contract."  I love it!  [ via Boing Boing ]

flying cat - Alinghi gets transportedThe flying cat: Unbelievable, check this out; what you see here is a picture of Alinghi's new 90' x 90' catamaran, being transported from Lake Geneva to Genoa.  While hung from a Russian Mi26 helicopter!

Did you know?  Free parking costs a fortune.  Who knew?  Yet another reason why public transportation makes sense.

And meanwhile, we have the U.S. Government using tax dollars to pay people to buy new cars!  I'm not making this up, but I wish I were.  As Philip Greenspun notes, "Cash for Clunkers only makes sense if we believe that our #1 problem is that we don’t drive sufficiently fancy cars."  I do believe this is the dumbest government program I've ever heard about, amid heavy competition.

I'm really rooting for Carol Bartz, Yahoo's new CEO; she seems cool and I've heard good things about her, and "we" need Yahoo to remain a viable competitor for Google.  But she kind of lost me with this one: "Yahoo was never a search company".  What?!  C'mon Carol, some of us were alive back then, when Yahoo started, as the Internet directory, the way to search for stuff online...

PS John Battelle calls bullshit.

Google Wave preview - but is it the Web Way?Anil Dash on Google's Wave: the Web Way vs the Wave Way.  Great as an exposition of "the Web Way" in addition to explaining more about Wave than I'd seen elsewhere; somehow it defies explanation, which is a bad leading indicator for future adoption.

casting call for The Black Cat, featuring, um, lots of black cats...A classic picture from Jason Burns, a 1961 casting call for The Black Cat.  I love that they're all on leashes, you know how much they love that...

A very strange but cogent argument: How the Apple Tablet could ruin computing.  Basically it isn't the Tablet per se, it is the fact that a Tablet might use a cellular provider for Internet access (instead of, say, WiFi).  It is true, you can do a lot more with your computer than you can with your smartphone, and that's often because of your cellular provider, not the maker of the handset.  Exhibit A would be Apple's recent decision not to support Google Voice.

Marco Arment takes on Jason Calacanis, in the wake of his Case Against Apple.  "This, unfortunately, is the fate of Calacanis’ piece: he has some good points, but they’re buried in so much off-base ranting and misplaced frustration that it’s difficult to take any of it seriously."  It does make for great theater, however; I found Jason's article entertaining, and Marco's critique equally so :)

the Blue Angels in formationI have two competitors for photo of the weekend, both involving airborne vehicles; first up, at right, please find a great picture of the Blue Angels in formation, courtesy of Scott Loftesness.

helicopter landing in dust, in AfghanistanAnd second up, at left, please find an amazing picture of a helicopter landing in dust in Afghanistan from Michael Yon, via LGF.  I'm not voting between these two, they're both excellent.

Perfect for a long weekend of eating and drinking, with strictly incidental amounts of exercise, Scott "Dilbert" Adams notes Exercise is Useless for Weight Loss.  I think there's a real point here, exercize alone doesn't cause you to lose much weight... there are plenty of overweight cyclists, for example, some of whom put in quite a few miles.  I do think the same mindset that causes you to start exercizing also causes you to watch what you eat; once you care, you care about everythingExcept Epoisses and Pinot, of course :)

ZooBorn: a baby Silvery LangurFinally, our ZooBorn of the weekend: A Silvery Langur.  Most excellently they are born bright orange, and then turn, um, silvery as they grow up :)

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