Categories
Daily Notes

Friday, September 17th, 2021

‘Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice from’. /r/LifeProTips.


‘3,100… people died of COVID-19 in America on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The tally was higher than the death toll from the devastating terror attacks.’ The Economist [c].


One of the best and underrated things about the Roku streaming devices is their volume leveling mode. It’s extremely useful for content with a large contrast between sound effects and dialogue. Or for just when the sound for whatever reason is too low. My Dad couldn’t imagine watching television without it now.

And talking of Roku, it amazes me that you can get a 55″ 4K TV for £400 [c].


Remember Clubhouse? Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like its 15 minutes is over and I barely hear it mentioned anymore. And it seems like Twitter Spaces has been fairly successful in replicating Clubhouse.


‘Oh. So. Pro.’ One of the worst Apple product bylines ever?


In 1841 Charles Mackay published the classic, original book on stock market bubbles and the psychology behind them with “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”.

And yet several years later he still lost a fortune speculating during the Railway Mania bubble.


Rolling Stone magazines new list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time is so bad it’s actually funny. I mean if you ignore pretty much any song on the list from the last 20 years or so it’s actually pretty darn good. But much of the modern additions feel extremely forced. And if you click play to hear the 30 second preview of each song god does the modern dross stick out like a sore thumb alongside some of the classics from the 60s/70s.


”Historic moment’: UK beef heads to US for first time in 20 years’. Farming UK [c]. I didn’t realise that British beef hasn’t been exported to the USA ever since the mad cow disease outbreak in the 1990’s.


Today I discovered the YouTuber LEMMiNO. He makes outstanding YouTube documentaries. Using some tremendous animation and story telling he takes complicated events and explains them simply and engagingly. Honestly, check him out!


I genuinely want to know why so many websites have auto-playing mini videos when you visit. I mean the bandwidth costs alone to deliver a video to every single visitor must be huge?! But there must be some reason why they do it, right?


‘Inside the Studios’ (And Apple’s) Frenzy to Get Christopher Nolan’s Next Film’. The Hollywood Reporter [c].

The project is meant to be a smaller-scale feature film for Nolan, which in his case, meant a production budget of around $100 million and an equal marketing spend, according to sources. He asked for total creative control, 20 percent of first-dollar gross, and a blackout period from the studio wherein the company would not release another movie three weeks before or three weeks after his release. And he asked for what insiders say was around a 100-day theatrical window. (Some sources have said the number was 110 days, with one person saying it was 130 days.) These were, in fact, many of the conditions Nolan was accustomed to enjoying at Warners.


Battlefield 2042 joins recent game-delay frenzy, moves to November’. Ars Technica [c]. Noooo! Battlefield 1 is one of my favourite games of all time and I recently purchased a PlayStation 5 almost solely to try out the latest Battlefeld installment. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait a bit longer and continue to stare at my unopened PS5 in the corner of my room. 😐

Categories
Pictures

Photos of Americans and their pets from 125 years ago

All of these fantastic images were taken by Charles Milton Bell and come via the Library of Congress.

Barber [Child and Dog]. Charles Milton Bell. 1905
Barber [Child and Dog]. Charles Milton Bell. 1905
Mrs Coolidge. Charles Milton Bell. 1905.
Mrs Coolidge. Charles Milton Bell. 1905.
A.C. Caine. Charles Milton Bell. 1905.
A.C. Caine. Charles Milton Bell. 1905.
Marmaduke, M. Charles Milton Bell. 1894. Two more photos.
Marmaduke, M. Charles Milton Bell. 1894. Two more photos.
Albert Stone children. Charles Milton Bell. 1873.
Albert Stone children. Charles Milton Bell. 1873.
Mrs. J.C.G. Kennedy. Charles Milton Bell. 1891.
Mrs. J.C.G. Kennedy. Charles Milton Bell. 1891.
Roland Barber. Charles Milton Bell. 1894
Roland Barber. Charles Milton Bell. 1894
Mrs. A.L. Barber. Charles Milton Bell. 1894.
Mrs. A.L. Barber. Charles Milton Bell. 1894.
L.O. Howard. Charles Milton Bell. 1894
L.O. Howard. Charles Milton Bell. 1894
Karrick boys. Charles Milton Bell. 1894
Karrick boys. Charles Milton Bell. 1894.
Mrs Henderson. Charles Milton Bell. 1891.
Mrs Henderson. Charles Milton Bell. 1891.
Mrs. Ogram [& dog]. Charles Milton Bell. 1894.
Mrs. Ogram [& dog]. Charles Milton Bell. 1894.
Mrs. I.V. Dick. Charles Milton Bell. 1894.
Mrs. I.V. Dick. Charles Milton Bell. 1894.
N. Healey. Charles Milton Bell. 1901.
N. Healey. Charles Milton Bell. 1901.
Categories
Daily Notes

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

I had no idea you can send documents and eBooks (!) to your Kindle via email. Why have I been plugging mine in all these years?!


‘Norm Macdonald, comedian and former SNL cast member, dies at 61.’ The Guardian [c]. He died of cancer.

A very interesting segment with hindsight:

And on a happier note, a great bit:


‘‘Why do they have to be brilliant?’ The problem of autism in the movies.’ The Guardian (Simon Hattenstone) [c].

Categories
Link Movies

You can own the ‘speakers on wheels’ rig from Mad Max: Fury Road!

The Doof Wagon

The auction begins on Sunday, September 26, 2021. Bidding starts at $1 [c].

(Found via the Digital Bits [c])

Categories
Music Pictures

Franz Liszt by Henri Lehmann

This portrait of Franz Liszt by Henri Lehmann is fantastic. [Found via Lapham’s Quarterly]

Categories
Link

‘Going private: Increasing numbers of Britons are abandoning the NHS and paying for medical treatment’

inews.co.uk [c]:

As more people opt to fund their healthcare themselves, or take out private health insurance, there is a danger of creating a “two tier” system, with wealthier people paying for speedy tests and treatments and the less well-off being forced to wait.

My initial response to that paragraph was: that’s fine. Rich people still pay their National Insurance. So if they’re willing to go private it means the NHS has less of a workload and will work better for those who can’t afford to go private. However, apparently not so:

“By and large, private hospitals in the UK don’t have a fully separate workforce from the NHS,… [they] don’t tend to directly employ a separate set of doctors. They are [mostly] NHS doctors spending part of their time in private practice to supplement their income.

“Staff [numbers] are going to be a critical constraint on the NHS being able to treat more patients and get rid of this backlog. If they are spending more time practising in the private sector that might be taking away time from the NHS, which may have an impact on people who can’t afford to go private,” Mr Gardner added.

Categories
Music Video

Michael Chapman has died

Michael Chapman died today at the age of 80.

He was a part of that tremendous English folk scene of the 60s/70s and was a great musician.

RIP Michael.

Here he is performing a wonderful version of “Among The Trees” [.mp4 copy]:

More

Announcement of death on his official Instagram page
Michael Chapman: British folk musician dies aged 80 – The Guardian [c]
Michael Chapman: the man who connects Elton, Bowie, Nick Drake and Sonic Youth – The Guardian [c]

[This post was originally a Tweet.]

Categories
Link

‘Instead’

Seth Godin’s blog [c]:

A simple substitute might change a habit.
Instead of a snack, brush your teeth.
Instead of a nap, go for a walk.
Instead of a nasty tweet or cutting remark, write it down in a private notebook.
Instead of the elevator, take the stairs.
Instead of doomscrolling, send someone a nice note.
Instead of an angry email, make a phone call.
Instead of a purchase seeking joy, consider a donation…

Categories
Link

When to quit a bad book

Taken from an article on Farnham Street, ‘How to Remember What You Read‘ [c]:

Author and librarian Nancy Pearl advocates the “Rule of 50.” This entails reading the first 50 pages of a book and then deciding if it is worth finishing. The Rule of 50 has an interesting feature: once you are over the age of 50, subtract your age from 100 and read that many pages.

Categories
Link

Eat, sleep and feel better

Some interesting simple points here about how something as simple as food can have a massive impact on how you feel. Obvious I know. But when the title of a video is ‘How to become more rational and level headed’ you expect a lot more mumbo jumbo. But the truth is, sometimes low-hanging fruit like eating properly, paired with a good sleep routine can be enough to help you feel dramatically better. [.mp4 of video]

Categories
Link

‘Anti-Aging: State of the Art’

Good introduction to anti-aging by JackH on LessWrong.com [c].

Notes/Highlights

There is an overemphasis on cryonics for life extension, rather than simply solving aging itself.


Today, there are over 130 longevity biotechnology companies and over 50 anti-aging drugs in clinical trials in humans [c].


… the highest rates of depression worldwide are among the elderly [c].

Interesting. I would not have guessed this. I’d always heard people get happier as they get older.


The difference between anti-aging and current medicine is the former prevents illness by targeting the hallmarks of aging, whereas the latter intervenes once a disease has emerged… The former extends unhealthy lifespan, whereas only the latter extends healthy lifespan.


Stanford University summarises (pdf) [c] four of the most promising approaches to slow or reverse aging in humans, based on studies in mice:

  1. Parabiosis: putting the blood of young mice into older mice.
  2. Metabolic manipulation: dietary restriction. Drugs like metformin and rapamycin are being considered and tested.
  3. Senolytics: drugs that target and kill senescent cells, which are a kind of ‘zombie’-like cell that accumulate with age. Killing senescent cells with senolytics extends the median healthy lifespan by up to 27% in mice [c].
  4. Cellular reprogramming: the conversion of old cells into ‘young’ cells.

Aging is essentially damage accumulation that occurs as a by-product of metabolism and causes the diseases that kill most people today. This damage comes in 9 forms, which are the hallmarks of aging. Many therapeutic strategies show great promise in extending healthy human lifespan by reversing the damage accumulated with aging. Four of the most promising strategies to extend lifespan in humans include parabiosis, metabolic manipulation, senolytics, and cellular reprogramming.


Off-shoot links

Cool links linked in the article.

/r/longevity
Lifespan.io: a site dedicated to longevity.
Greenland shark may live 400 years, smashing longevity record [c] – Science.org
Geroscience and Biotech Venture Capital – Sebastian A. Brunemeier – YouTube

Categories
Link

Will you get a day off work when the Queen dies? Is it a bank holiday?

I’ve been wondering for a while now – for purely selfish reasons – if there will be any bank holidays when the Queen dies.

Well, Politico has gained access [c] to documents which lay out the entire plan for what will happen after her death.

So, will you get a day off work? The answer is maybe:

The prime minister and the queen have agreed that the day of the state funeral will be a “Day of National Mourning.” This has also led to planning issues. The day will effectively be a bank holiday, although it will not be named as such. If the funeral falls on the weekend or an existing bank holiday, an extra bank holiday will not be granted. If the funeral falls on a weekday, the government does not plan to order employers to give employees the day off — the documents say that is a matter between employees and their staff

Simply put, if you work for a decent company they’ll probably give you the day off. If you work for a crap company, then don’t hold your breath.

Categories
Link News

Effeminate looking men banned from Chinese television

Today in crazy China news [c]:

The Chinese government has ordered a boycott of “sissy pants” celebrities as it escalates a fight against what it sees as a cultural import that threatens China’s national strength.

In a directive issued on Thursday, China’s TV watchdog said entertainment programs should firmly reject the “deformed aesthetics” of niangpao, a derogatory term that refers to effeminate men.

The order came as Beijing tightens control over the country’s entertainment industry, taking aim at an explosion of TV and streaming shows that hold increasing sway over pop culture and the youth.

Young, delicate-looking men who display gentle personalities and act in boys’ love dramas have amassed large fan bases mostly comprising women.

Another thing to note about China:

Explicitly homosexual characters are not allowed on Chinese TV, and no prominent mainland Chinese celebrity has come out as gay. Platforms have previously blurred male stars’ earrings and ponytails because of their ostensible association with rebellion and counterculture.

Found via Tyler Cowen (Marginal Revolution) [c].

Categories
Article

People keep on using ‘gaslighting’ incorrectly

I feel like the term ‘gaslighting‘ has gone from obscurity to mainstream in only a few years.

If you didn’t know, ‘gaslighting’ comes from the 1944 film “Gaslight” where “a husband who uses trickery to convince his wife that she is insane in order to steal from her.”

Essentially, if you gaslight someone you are trying to make them doubt their own version of events. And also at the same time make them doubt their own sanity.

It’s a good word to know. But, I feel like its true meaning has become lost as it has grown more popular and become something of a buzzword.

Essentially, too many people now say someone is gaslighting when in fact what they’re really doing is just good old-fashioned lying.

Take this paragraph from an article [c] in the Atlantic today:

For half a decade, Republicans—especially self-described moderate members of the party—have been gaslighting America on the issue of abortion rights, pretending they didn’t know that Donald Trump’s Supreme Court picks were always planning to overturn Roe.

Pretending you don’t know something is lying, not gaslighting!