Served in the Peace Corps in Ukraine, 2005-07.
Viscount of Hyrkania and private cartographer to the house of Beifong.
Most Underrated Bikini Babes
There are numerous lists out there of the most iconic swimsuits of all time, in fact I recently did an analysis of them. It seems likely that there is some plagiarism going on as many of the lists are so similar. And is the one of the most iconic swimsuit scenes in film history really from Die Another Day?
Levinson didn’t see why the physics department needed to have a social media presence at all. Their new device, the Magnetic Absolute Laser Collider Organon Linear Machine, or MALCOLM, would create a flashy light show that was incidental to its actual function. The department chair thought it would spur interest. Levinson had already explained why streaming its first ever use was hubris, it was more likely to be a damp squib than work properly. The best case scenario would be some fleeting praise from science websites.
Are a Jaguar's Spots the Code of Life?
Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) was an Argentinean writer with a style that defies categorization. He would write about the collections of non-existent libraries. He would give an elaborate review of a copy of a book as though it was an original text. A reoccurring theme was labyrinths and the potential for discovery within. "Writing that is multi-layered, self-referential, elusive, and allusive is now frequently labeled Borgesian." (William Gibson).
What Hollywood gets wrong about [insert anything]
When it comes to topics where we don't have direct experience, a lot of our perceptions are likely to come from movies. Except movies often get things completely wrong. In fact you can type "What Hollywood gets wrong..." followed by almost anything else and get results. Here is a random collection of gripes people have about Hollywood blunders.
The Lost Films of Cinema's First Vamp
Theda Bara was an early movie star, who was wildly popular and prolific between 1915-1919, starring in 10 feature films in 1915 alone. She was called the first “Vamp” in cinema--meaning she tended to play characters that were exotic, erotic, and led men to their ruin. You will never get the chance to see most of her movies, as they were almost all destroyed in the 1937 Fox vault fire. See, early film was made of nitrocellulose, and it’s hard to understate how flammable this nitrate film was. It could spontaneously combust and nitrate generates its own oxygen, so it can not be extinguished once it starts burning. Nitrate fires can keep burning underwater. Since the Fox vault wasn’t ventilated, and decaying nitrate film generates flammable gas, the whole building was basically a bomb waiting to go off. Much of early cinema was destroyed that day, and this article will go through some of what was lost.
Halloween in Vintage Hollywood
The Star: Clara Bow (1905-1965) How you're most likely to know her: Clara was literally the first "It Girl" in Hollywood-- she gain the title from starting in a movie simply titled It (1927). Her name is more likely to ring a bell though because a cartoon character with a play on her name is still appearing today. While it's not attributed to Clara Bow, when Disney created a anthropomorphic cow in 1928, they named her Clarabelle, which doesn't feel like a coincidence.
Tucker Carlson is Incomprehensible to Outsiders
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has a vast audience that comes to him for information even though his reporting often takes the form of raising questions and then not answering them. I went into this planning to jump on the bandwagon of mocking his “Just asking questions” routine. But then I read the opinion piece 'Let's go Brandon' chants are demonstrations of pro-Biden unity. And I was really struck by something: I didn’t understand what he was talking about or what point he was trying to make.
Where have all the workers gone?
You may have noticed that somehow every business in existence is severely short staffed. The effects are everywhere. Shops are reducing their operating hours. Fast food joints are running on drive through only. Deliveries are delayed and shelves go empty as bottlenecks accumulate in manufacturing. Many observers blamed generous unemployment benefits for labor shortages. Calls to slash unemployment rang out--that would force the bums back to work. However, savvy commentators predicted that taking money away from the working class was unlikely to improve the economy. And indeed, after bonuses to unemployment benefits ended the status of the labor market didn’t budge at all.
The John Oliver Cryptocurrency Bundle: What’s the value now?
In May of this year I wrote an article that looked at the value of the 17 cryptocurrencies that had been mentioned by John Oliver in 2018. I don’t advise writing articles such as these as it resulted in me getting constant ads for “crypto.com, a metal credit card powered by crypto.” It turned out to be an odd time to write such an article because many of these currencies had limped along with very low values for years, only to have shot up in value in the last few months. This was in part driven by Elon Musk pumping up the crypto market for personal gain.