This piece on dreampop, while not definitive, is an informative and succinct pocket guide to the genre.
This piece on dreampop, while not definitive, is an informative and succinct pocket guide to the genre.
What the snowman learned about love.
Dinner at Aranda’s Mexican restaurant before we get snowed in.
📺 The new Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures shorts on the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel are really well done. I’d almost rate them up there with the fan-made trailer for an anime version of Star Wars (which was simply incredible). The only problem with these shorts is, well, they’re too short. My six-year-old is just getting into an episode when it abruptly ends. These are billed as an explanatory exercise for kids but I’m guessing they would cause more questions than they would answer.
🎵 Men I Trust - Say, Can You Hear: I had heard of Men I Trust before but never checked them out. That’s a shame, because they create the kind of Factory Records inspired sounds to which I am drawn. This song is fantastic, but I have no idea what the guy in the video is doing.
With the announcement from Microsoft that they are ditching Edge in favor of Chromium, many defects gathering dust in backlogs everywhere will be shuffled off into obsolescence. Not every tech company is celebrating this development, though.
It had been years since I’d heard the phrase higgledy-piggledy and now I’ve come across it thrice in a single week.
“Hey guys, I found a tree full of cat toys.”
The “Payless Experiment” with a pop up shop called Palessi that sold the discount retailer’s inventory at jacked up prices shows how easy to is to alter perception of value when people have enough discretionary income.
At the front lines of the war on Christmas.
K.Q. Dreger, with some spot-on thoughts about the current state of Medium.
Each year at Thanksgiving time, I think about the time I spent working in retail and the family time that had to be given up during the holiday season at the end of the year. I used to have to get up at 3am the morning after Thanksgiving to go to work and prep for the Black Friday stampede. In those early morning hours, I would arrive at work to find a line had already formed to await the opening of the doors. I would setup as the customers outside braved the cold and sipped on hot chocolate and coffee by the side of the building.
During the busy shopping season, we had team meetings where it was acknowledged that working extra hours during the holidays was hard, but it was explained that was what you had to do in order to work in retail. The way it was said made it sound like we were all pursuing our dream of working in the retail space. It was as if extended holiday hours were just the sacrifice we had to make in order to live out those dreams. It probably goes without saying, but for many of us, working in retail was not the ultimate fulfillment of our occupational fantasies.
Last week, the incomparable Liz Bruenig had a post on Thanksgiving being the only vestige of the medieval tradition of feasts that used to be a major part of people’s lives.
Thanksgiving may be the only bona fide American feast day. Every other holiday has some other activity or occasion to recommend it, but Thanksgiving is a feast to celebrate feasting and to express gratitude for everything that can’t be properly commodified: family, friendship, the autumn season. The meaning of it may be less distinct than your average medieval feast, but the sense that it’s about something better and truer than the ordinary grind of work is what lends it its emotional depth (and what makes the travesty of workers forced to labor on the holiday so despicable ).
When I see that more and more stores are opting to open on Thanksgiving, I feel really badly for the employees who have to staff those stores when they should be spending time with their friends and family. As change in our society continues to accelerate, Thanksgiving remains an anomaly in prescribing time for nurturing connections. We have to hold on to those meaningful traditions that we have in the face of consumerist encroachment. At the very least, we should avoid patronizing those stores that care so little for the family lives of their employees (certainly on Thanksgiving).
Nearby here, Samuel Oliver-Bruno, an undocumented immigrant living in a sanctuary church for the last year, was lured out by USCIS yesterday, under the pretense that they needed to get his fingerprints for his petition to stay. Upon appearing for his appointment, he was arrested by plain clothes ICE officers in an apparent entrapment. Reps. David Price and GK Butterfield have previously called for deferred action in Oliver-Bruno’s case as his wife has lupus, among other health conditions, and he is the sole breadwinner for their household. Oliver-Bruno was accompanied to the appt. by local pastors. 26 protesters were arrested by local police at the scene of the detainment.
Although this man is living in the country illegally, such crimes are subject to discretion in their prosecution and this case certainly seems to be one that requires a measure of clemency. It is unfortunate that government resources are being used to target individuals like this.
A few days ago, my mom showed me these books about my great grandfather/grandmother and great great grandfather. I never knew these books existed and was delighted to read about these adventurous, faithful ancestors.
The public was recently treated to a preview of the new Star Wars themed areas at Disneyland/Disney World that was accompanied, most appropriately, by a John Williams soundtrack. The new parks, called “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” look as amazing as their $24 billion dollar price tags suggest they would. With openings in summer and fall of next year, respectively, the days of counting down will soon be starting for fans.
Watching this video reminded me of why Disney World is one of my two favorite places to visit. Everything is so meticulously crafted, down to the smallest details, for the enjoyment of the guest. So much care is taken to transport everyone who enters the parks into fantasy worlds so tightly woven together that the real world barely even creeps in at the seams. The new Star Wars parks are reportedly going to have Star Wars themed food, allowing visitors to immerse even their taste buds in culinary delights from a galaxy far, far away. The fabricated landscapes will be a reminder of the terrains from Star Wars films. As with all of the Disney parks, power cables are sure to be carefully tucked away, entrances and exits of cast members portraying galactic heroes and villains cleverly hidden from view. Cards can be loaded up with the lingua franca of digital park currency so money need not be thought of while inside the premises. Obfuscating mammon is just another way of abstracting park life from the real world.
By contrast my other favorite place to visit is in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, almost the opposite of the carefully man-made artifice of the Disney parks. I love staying in the high desert, but the National Park at Mesa Verde, where people long ago built cities into the rock of the cliffs is another favorite spot. In Colorado, nature barely seems to have succumbed to any attempts to tame it. The wild creeps in almost everywhere in this part of the country. Ghost towns that didn’t survive the sometimes harsh climate are accessed via uneven gravel roads that take skill to drive on and punish your car for the effort. Mountains tower almost everywhere you look, practically daring you to try and scale their lofty heights. Signs along the road remind you boulders might fall on you at any time, bursting the illusion that your car can protect you from the crumbling landscape.
Summer in the high desert offers warm temps during the day and a cool break from the heat at night. Here in North Carolina, during the summer, there is no respite from the punishing heat and humidity. Even the nights are oppressively muggy. In the Rockies, when the dry air of the desert gets to you, the humidity of the ice grottos are not far away. If you don’t like your climate, get in your car and drive an hour or two (at least in the summer). Places to stop your car and just admire the beauty of the landscape are setup all over the Colorado roads. I’ve even seen someone stop, break out a chair, and start reading a book.
In many ways, these places couldn’t be more different, but each offers something at its best. Seeing God’s unaltered creation in the magnificence of the mountains or enjoying what man can create with skill and ingenuity both offer enormous appeal to this traveler.
Justin Kossyln, who works in product management for Alphabet, argues it may be time to add some friction back to the web.
But the internet’s lack of friction has been a boon to the dark side, too. Now, in a matter of hours a “bad actor” can steal corporate secrets or use ransomware to blackmail thousands of people. Governments can influence foreign populations remotely and at relatively low cost. Whether the threat is malware, phishing, or disinformation, they all exploit high-velocity networks of computers and people.
It’s time to bring friction back. Friction buys time, and time reduces systemic risk. A disease cannot become an epidemic if patients are cured more quickly than the illness spreads.
While I totally agree with Kosslyn that adding a little bit of difficulty to the process of posting and spreading content online could be a good thing, doing so would be harder than it sounds. For instance, he suggests forcing social apps to be locally oriented, rather than global by default. I’m afraid it would be very difficult to put that genie back in the bottle. Too many people have wished to have their non-directional self-disclosures broadcast to the entire planet to turn back now. It would most likely take government intervention which would probably then raise cries of censorship.
I’m not sure that most of the general public has grasped the concept that just because we can have a technology doesn’t mean we should. Not yet, at least. It would most likely take violence in the Western world, the kind of which has been aided by Facebook in Myanmar and India, to wake people up. Let’s hope and pray that kind of violence stops rather than spreading.
🕹 Inside: This was easily one of my top 5 all-time favorite games. The dense atmospherics and challenging but not impossible puzzles were an incredibly satisfying combination. The game is strange enough to keep you intrigued throughout. The soundtrack, which only reveals itself in certain parts, reminds me a little bit of something like this, from the band Hammock. My 6-yr. old and I sort of tag-teamed Inside, which made for a fantastic bonding experience. If you pick one game to buy for the Apple TV (or any other platform), Inside would be a great choice.
I will be playing more of the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist D&D campaign tonight. This module has a great level of detail and, once you get past the initial adventure, a lot of opportunity for individual choices and character growth. The city of Waterdeep is richly filled out, which makes it a great backdrop for inexperienced and experienced players and DM’s.
I think the game is part of a movement away from the isolation of computers and mobile devices: People want to get together on Friday night or Saturday night with their friends around a table, and be social and play a social game, rather than staring at their phone and netting zero for the next five hours. —Joe Manganiello, actor/gamer
At an open source conference recently, a speaker asked for a show of hands on who thought open source had “won.”
I submit, as evidence, this Tux stress reliever proudly emblazoned with a Microsoft logo.
I am digging the new iPad Pro pretty hard and wondering what this machine will be capable of when iOS 13 comes out.
In a bid to be more like Micro.blog, Twitter is considering removing the like button.
I wrote this piece almost 3 years ago. Nothing substantial has changed since then, which is a tragedy: Why, As A Christian, I Can Sympathize With Some Prayer Shaming
I was fortunate to see Henry Zhu speak at the All Things Open 2018 conference with honesty about the difficulties of being a full-time contributor to the open source community (as a maintainer).
Though he probably won’t be thought of as the most dynamic speaker, Zhu’s humility, work ethic, desire to give back and vulnerability give strength to his message. Zhu has a podcast he co-hosts with Nadia Eghbal called Hope In Source about the parallels between faith and open source software.
From Eghbal’s explanation about the origins of the show:
Why is faith so much more visible in open source, then? My theory: faith and open source both place high value on community and a sense of public service. Organized religion is the original distributed community, and it’s lasted thousands of years.
I haven’t listened to the podcast yet but I have high hopes that it will produce interesting conversation.