Carl Abbot, writing for CityLab, discusses Blade Runner's impact:
Blade Runner fused the images, using noir atmosphere to turn Future Los Angeles into something dark and threatening rather than bright and hopeful. Flames randomly burst from corporate ziggurats. Searchlights probe the dark sky. But little light reaches the streets where street merchants and food cart proprietors compete with sleazy bars—a setting that Blade Runner 2049 revisits. The dystopic versions of New York in Soylent Green and Escape from New York are set in a city crumbling from age and overuse. In contrast, Blade Runner uses the imagery of the future for similar stories of deeply embedded inequality.
When it comes down to it, of course, there’s more fun and schadenfreude in imagining trouble striking a big city than a small town. Terminator 2: Judgment Day would not be half so exciting if T-1000 chased Arnold Schwarzenegger along the banks of the puny Miami River in Dayton, Ohio, rather than the concrete arroyo of the Los Angeles River. In the 1980s, the fictional destruction of New York was old hat. Los Angeles was a relatively fresh target and, for the film industry, a logistically convenient one. Moviegoers were increasingly willing to disparage it, too.
Blade Runner was a catalyst for a dystopian decade that was accentuated by the rioting and violence that followed the April 1992 acquittal of police officers accused of beating Rodney King. Moviegoers would soon get Falling Down, whose filming was interrupted by the Rodney King riots, Pulp Fiction, and Independence Day, with its total obliteration of the metropolis. In print in the early 1990s were Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Cynthia Kadohata’s In the Heart of the Valley of Love, and Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, all depicting a near-future Los Angeles fragmenting into enclaves and drifting toward chaos, capped by Mike Davis’s The Ecology of Fear.
I've got tickets to Blade Runner 2049 already. Can't wait.
Reader Chuck Thompson got a copy of Zach Weinersmith's "Holy Bible (abridged)" for Christmas, and decided to respond in doodles. He sent me a copy of the book, which you can download here (11 mB, pdf). Enjoy.
Isle of Dogs, from Wes Anderson:
And, of course, this comes out Friday, and I will be there:
Via Bruce Schneier, a British reporter requested her data dossier from Tinder. As with so many other things in life, she was shocked, but not surprised:
The dating app has 800 pages of information on me, and probably on you too if you are also one of its 50 million users. In March I asked Tinder to grant me access to my personal data. Every European citizen is allowed to do so under EU data protection law, yet very few actually do, according to Tinder.
With the help of privacy activist Paul-Olivier Dehaye from personaldata.io and human rights lawyer Ravi Naik, I emailed Tinder requesting my personal data and got back way more than I bargained for.
Some 800 pages came back containing information such as my Facebook “likes”, my photos from Instagram (even after I deleted the associated account), my education, the age-rank of men I was interested in, how many times I connected, when and where every online conversation with every single one of my matches happened … the list goes on.
What will happen if this treasure trove of data gets hacked, is made public or simply bought by another company? I can almost feel the shame I would experience. The thought that, before sending me these 800 pages, someone at Tinder might have read them already makes me cringe.
But as Schneier points out, "It's not [just] Tinder. Surveillance is the business model of the Internet. Everyone does this."
So, this might be happening at my house next weekend:
The "sous vide" part of sous vide cooking refers to the vacuum-sealed bags that are often called for when you're using the technique. (The French phrase literally means "under vacuum.") However, these days, when someone says "sous vide cooking," they're generally referring to any kind of cooking that takes place in a precisely temperature-controlled water bath, whether you're actually using a vacuum-sealed bag or not.
Sous vide cooking offers unparalleled control over whatever it is you are trying to cook, whether it's steaks and chops, shrimp and lobster, vegetables, or even large cuts of meat like pork shouldersand legs of lamb. With fast-cooking foods, like steaks and chicken breasts, sous vide removes all the guesswork involved in traditional methods. No poking with a thermometer, no cutting and peeking, no jabbing with your finger—just perfect results every single time.
A sous vide circulator mysteriously arrived at Inner Drive World Headquarters yesterday. We're going to start with eggs and work our way up to a venison steak. Yum.
Historian John Schmidt posted today about the 11 most-mispronounced street names in Chicago:
(1) Devon. Like those posts note—and like most Chicagoans I know—I pronounce it dee-VAHN.
(2) Leavitt. Forget the part that looks like “leave.” It’s LEV-itt.
(3) Paulina. Not pronounced like the girl’s name. The street is pull-EYE-nuh.
That last one is part of a joke: What are the three street names that rhyme with female anatomy? Paulina, Malvina, and Lunt.
It also reminds me of Yuri Rasovsky's infamous 1972 recording, "The Chicago Language Tape:"
Not many of those street names sound like that after 45 years. But it's still hilarious if you're familiar with the city.
Today is the 1 0000 0000th day of the year! Go hug a software developer.
A meme is going around Facebook: change one letter of a musical's name to ruin it.
Some of my favorites so far:
- On A Clear Day You Can Pee Forever
- Big Liver
- Legally Blande
- The Wound of Music
- Babes in Farms
- Sweeney Toad
One musician friend posted this on his wall and got over 200 responses.
Today is my birthday, which makes this year's Beloit College Mindset List even harder to read:
Students heading into their first year of college this year are mostly 18 and were born in 1999.
2. They are the last class to be born in the 1900s, the last of the Millennials -- enter next year, on cue, Generation Z!
11. The Panama Canal has always belonged to Panama and Macau has been part of China.
12. It is doubtful that they have ever used or heard the high-pitched whine of a dial-up modem.
16. They are the first generation to grow up with Watson outperforming Sherlock.
25. By the time they entered school, laptops were outselling desktops.
38. They have only seen a Checker Cab in a museum.
47. The BBC has always had a network in the U.S. where they speak American.
59. Bill Clinton has always been Hillary Clinton’s aging husband.
At 8:40 CDT on 31 August 2007, I joined Facebook. And then did nothing with it for several days.
I didn't add any Facebook friends until September 4th.
My first post, on September 5th at 7:43 CDT, was "in Evanston," which makes more sense when you remember that Facebook used to preface every post with "Nerdly McSnood is...". (This was before Facebook allowed public posts, and there doesn't seem to be any way to change the post's privacy, so if you're not Facebook friends with me you probably can't see it.)
Anyway, just a bit of trivia. And a little horrifying that 10 years have gone by.