πŸ”— Link Dump #59

Interesting links from around the web:

πŸ“’ What I Want From My Blog

A sort of mission statement for my blog:

  • I want readers to be able to find what they’re looking for easily. β€”> Have a search feature and an index page.
  • I want to produce regular output. β€”> Write templated, recurring posts like reviews and link dumps.
  • I want post-creation to require little effort. β€”> Use bullet points. Limit images because they are a pain to upload and format.
  • I want the blog to be a personal reference source. β€”> Write about things I want to remember.
  • I want to share thoughts, ideas, and resources that help others.
  • I want the blog’s content to be open and accessible. β€”> Make it available via ActivityPub and RSS. Never require subscriptions.
  • I want to support companies and organizations I believe in. β€”> No ads. No Amazon affiliate links.
  • I want the reading experience to be pleasant. β€”> No pop-up email solicitation.
  • I want to write for my satisfaction, not a need for validation by others.

πŸ“Ί Movies/TV Watched, May 2024

Some of the movies and TV I watched in May of 2024:

The Regime

⭐1/2

I watched a few episodes before giving up. Not funny. Not sharp. Not saying anything interesting.


Fallout, season 1

⭐⭐⭐1/2

I’m not familiar with the video game, so I have no attachment to the source material. I enjoyed the show. It’s fun and funny, but not very serious.


John Adams

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A monumental mini-series based on the David McCullough biography. I highly recommend watching it if you have any interest in the American Revolution or the beginnings of the United States.


The Big Short

⭐⭐⭐⭐

The “good guys” depicted in this film contribute to our broken financial system just as much as the bad guys do, but they are glorified because they were on the winning side of the bet this time. Nevertheless, the movie is funny and entertaining.


Margin Call

⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

An underrated film, and a more honest depiction of the 2008 financial crisis than The Big Short. I like movies where it’s just people in rooms talking because the dialogue must then carry the story, which this movie does well. Jeremy Irons nails it.


Mississippi Burning

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A damn powerful film. It perfectly captures the terror of living in the South at the time. The movie is set in the civil rights era, but the ’80s score somehow works perfectly. Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe make a great buddy cop duo.

πŸ’­ Some Thoughts, 2024-06-27

My thoughts on stories that caught my eye the past few weeks:

  • The Supreme Court found another way to legalize bribes (Citizens United being the first).
  • Corporate welfare continues as the city of Jacksonville has agreed to provide $775 million in public funding to build a new stadium for its football team. The beneficiary of this government handout is Jaguars owner Shahid Khan (net worth $12 billion).
  • Project 2025 (covered here by John Oliver) should terrify every American. Add it to the list of many reasons not to vote for Donald Trump.
  • Claiming Trump didn’t call white supremacists “very fine people” reminds me of the time the media claimed Trump didn’t offer a quid pro quo with Ukraine because he didn’t specifically use the words “quid pro quo.”
  • In good news, Tennessee will become the first state to provide families with baby diapers.
  • Pittsburgh is finally taking steps to pedestrianize Market Square. It’s long overdue.
  • I don’t pay too close attention to the NBA or its draft, but consensus says the Lakers did well to snatch up Tennessee wing Dalton Knecht at pick 17.

πŸ”— Link Dump #58

Drone flying 101 https://fpvsim.com/drone-flying-101

Minimalist, temporary email https://email.ml/

Online trail database https://www.trailforks.com/

Digital gardening tools and resources https://github.com/MaggieAppleton/digital-gardeners/

Tips for long walks https://craigmod.com/ridgeline/187/

128 things about the city https://www.readingdesign.org/128-things-about-the-city

Favorite science fiction books of all time https://www.newscientist.com/article/2433037-our-writers-pick-their-favourite-science-fiction-books-of-all-time/

πŸ“š Books Read, Apr/May 2024

I have read much less than I hoped these past few months, so I’m combining my April and May reviews into one post.

The Exchange by John Grisham, audiobook

⭐

So so boring. Nothing happens. There is no plot. It’s considered a sequel to The Firm, but the stories are unrelated, and the characters’ backstories are irrelevant.


Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie

⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

Put Tommy and Tuppence in a story and I know I will enjoy it. I find the characters so fun and charming, I could read an entire book consisting solely of their office banter.


A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Agatha loves her nursery rhymes. In this Miss Marple novel, bad things happen to a rich and evil family. Solid mystery.

πŸ“Ί Movies/TV Watched, Apr 2024

My thoughts on the shows and movies I watched in April of 2024:

Wonka (2023)

⭐⭐1/2

They tried copying the Paddington 2 blueprint and failed. It’s not very funny and has zero good original songs, but I guess it’s a fine movie. Kids would probably like it.


The Green Knight (2021)

⭐⭐⭐

Looks great. Fun and weird mythology. But the movie doesn’t do or say much of anything.


Curb Your Enthusiasm, final season (2000–2024)

⭐⭐⭐⭐

A funny final season that ended in a meta and not-as-funny way. I think the “Never Wait for Seconds!” episode in season 9 would have made for a better finale.


Gone with the Wind (1939)

⭐⭐

Vivien Leigh is fantastic, and the movie is beautifully shot, but the depiction of an idyllic pre-Civil War South is absurd. The movie is monumental and worth watching, even if the premise is a total farce.


The Gilded Age, seasons 1 and 2 (2022– )

⭐⭐⭐1/2

A low-stakes, feel-good show about high-class society in post-Civil War New York. It touches on but doesn’t dig deeply into the societal issues at the time. Judging by the lead actress, it’s safe to conclude that acting ability is not genetic.

πŸ”— Link Dump #57

101 additional advices from Kevin Kelly https://kk.org/thetechnium/101-additional-advices/

Why you should stop acting like you’re famous https://ajkprojects.com/stopactinglikeyourefamous

91 kitchen tricks and tips https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/kitchen-tips-techniques

3,228 of the best books since the year 2000 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2024/books/top-books-list.html

Mapping USDA hardiness zone shifts https://apps.npr.org/plant-hardiness-garden-map

An AI tool for searching podcasts https://dexa.ai/

One-minute park videos https://oneminutepark.tv/

πŸ“š Books Read, Mar 2024

My thoughts on the books I read in March 2024:

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. What a fun book. It’s every bit as good as the Muppet movie (which is spectacular). The diabolically charming Long John Silver steals the show.


Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie

⭐⭐

Lifeless characters. Uninteresting mystery.