Social Media Dump Aug 16-31 (2021)

See:  Aug 1-15 and September 1-15  (View All)

You have written some famously bad blogposts (here and here) predicting who will win the race for president. In 2016 and 2020 I was ridiculously wrong, but had a lot of fun predicting things. I’m thinking of writing up a 2024 election version — and to be wrong again. The real question is whether anyone will run on the Democratic Party ticket; I’m tempted to say it will be Inslee, Klobuchar and Kamala Harris. On the Republican side it will be Nikki Haley (duh!), Ron DeSantis and Paul Ryan. Possibly Ben Sasse too. (and because of DeSantis, I predict far right-wingers like Tom Scott and Rick Scott won’t run). Incidentally, I’m currently 55 and even though it’s not bad or anything, it’s hard to imagine someone younger than me winning the presidency.

A typographer makes his Oscar picks — solely on the basis of fonts on the poster. He designs types himself and has an online “book” with suggestions about using fonts and typography on the web. is a Netflix parody consisting of fake movies (which usually appear in TV shows or films). My favorite is a whole page listing movie parodies from Arrested Development.

Fun with Glass and Trampoline. Here’s a more perfectly realized choreographed number (and longer too). Kudos to YOANN BOURGEOIS for devising this performance concept.

To give you an idea of how strange my life is: 1)my floor lamp beside my bed fell on me in the middle of the night (breaking the main light bulb) and 2)my TV has been powering up at random intervals. (I have to unplug it to prevent that from happening). UPdate: I think I’ve found the cause. My PC seems to be sending bluetooth signals to my TV.

Pet peeve: I inevitably keep dozens (if not hundreds) of browser tabs windows open. I’m always in the middle of something — these WordPress edit windows are especially easy to misplace. I just want to kill everything and start again.

Here’s a good diagram illustrating plot.

“Comirnaty!!??” Seriously, the marketing department couldn’t come up with a better name for the Pfizer vaccine than that? I can barely pronounce or spell it. Why not give it a memorable name and just move on. (MY suggestions: Bongo-Pongo, Perkosan, Gradifex).. Or reuse names of comic book heroes or rap stars or other celebrities designed to appeal to a demographic –i.e, Spiderman, Cool Juice, BigPicasso, LambofGod. Think outside the box.

Article about a Shapeshifting cam girl rewriting the rules of digital porn. Apparently the digital artist (in her 30s) used various graphical tools to make herself look younger (and prettier?!). Here’s her instagram account pics, which are sort of PG-13 rated, sort of NSFW. She’s managed to monetize everything, so good for her, although I’m not sure she’s getting that adulation only for the money.. Good case study though.

I’ve been really amazed at the Jane Ferguson on-the-ground reporting in Kabul, Afganistan. She is one of those amazing PBS reporters who manages to get accepted in Muslim countries under fire. Actually CNN has a good reporter in Kabul as well — not to mention the English-speaking Afghanis. The big question is that if 70% of Afghanis have access to smart phones with Internet, how will the Taliban be able to crack down?

I’m preparing a wiki page for a writer and am floored by the amount of wiki guidelines. (Look at this wiki style guide and this help page on citing sources. Hey, here’s the draft of that article in the submission pile. Let’s see if they approve or massacre it some more.

I stumbled upon an old blog post complaining about politicians who use the phrase “Make no mistake.” NAGLE’S ADDENDUM ON POLITICAL RHETORIC:  Whenever a politician uses the word “strongly” in a speech, you should always substitute that with the word “stupidly” to capture the exact same meaning.

“It’s completely lovely—and also bonkers,” said her mother, Laura. “Betty climbs in Lacey’s long hair like it’s some kind of jungle.”(About a teen girl who has adopted a bumble bee). There’s a killer line at the end.

““Up to 50 kilos of fish caught in Brazil are thrown away for every kilo that arrives on land; more than 400,000 tons of marine life were discarded between 2000 and 2018 in just four states.”(Source)

I’m used to John Oliver uncovering some little known scandal, but his clips about Housing Discrimination, the Pace program (a home renovation program) and how EMS programs around the country are underfunded are shocking. Apparently some EMS technicians don’t even get health care or a living wage.

Comedian Fumi Abe did a hilarious set on Stephen Colbert. Watch that name.

Comic reporter Jordan Klepper (from the Daily Show) interviews a lot of anti-vaxxers. He really is an incredible comedian.

Here’s a profile on Brit comedienne Flora Anderson.

Some shrewd analysis about sitcoms by comedian/writer Olivia Cathcart. Why the show What We Do in the Shadows shows how TV serials have more comedy potential than movies.

While the Shadows movie is indeed fantastic, the very premise it set up was always more conducive to TV. The point of the film wasn’t to send these vampires on some grand quest to carry out an evil plan, it was a look into the average day-to-day lives of vampires who, other than eating humans, live relatively mundane lives. If TV is a diary, then a film is a book report. With the show, Shadows is able to perpetually expand their world and fill in gaps from the movie, namely adding more female characters like Nadja to the main cast as well as guest appearances from Kristen Schaal, Vanessa Bayer, Greta Lee, Sondra James’ little Joanie, and former Great British Bake Off contestant Helena Garcia (honestly, case closed right there). And then there’s Colin Robinson, the energy vampire who feeds off people’s energy, nearly boring them to death in cubicle-filled office spaces and town hall meetings. Such an off kilter character might seem out of place in a movie about blood-sucking vampires, but here these subplots can run parallel to the main story without feeling distracting. On that same note, more writers on staff means more jokes from more perspectives, while too many contributors on a film script often leads to a disjointed story.

See also her wondering why late night talk shows still exist (post-Conan and post-Covid)? (I’m a big fan of late night talk shows. They are celebrity-obsessed (not to mention obsessed with anything new). But it’s nice to follow the host and cast.

Here’s my take on talk shows and Covid. Stephen Colbert was mostly terrible during COVID, Jimmy Fallon was fun and silly and still could play games and run music vids. Seth Meyers was even more brilliant and entertaining; he was perfectly comfortable transitioning to No Audience. Trevor Noah and his gang has really been killing it with every episode. Great sketches, great interviews and fast-paced. Very intellectual too. Now that things are returning to normal with talk show audiences, Colbert is much more entertaining and can really milk a joke when he wants to.

About the political thing, our country has experienced a national tragedy with Trump; if talk show hosts weren’t sounding the alarm, I don’t know who else could be. It’s good though that talk shows have stepped back and focused more on traditional entertainment. Talk shows used to be even-handed towards both parties, but the lack of a credible conservative leadership has made it impossible to treat them as anything more than a bunch of crazies — especially when it comes to climate change and vaccine mandates.

How much is ton of carbon dioxide? The U.S. EPA has found that a typical 22 MPG gas-based car emits about 5 tons of carbon dioxide per year. On average, you emit one ton of CO2 for about every 2,500 miles you drive—about the distance from Boston, Massachusetts to Salt Lake City, Utah. (The US annual carbon footprint is about 16 tons annually). Concludes the report:

Most of the CO2 humans emit doesn’t come from everyday activities like driving. In fact, when we say that the average American emits 16 tons of CO2 a year, most of this isn’t from our direct emissions. Instead, it’s from large-scale processes, like making electricity or manufacturing products and building materials, which are averaged across the whole population. For example, the World Steel Association estimates that, for every ton of steel we produce, almost two tons of CO2 are added to the atmosphere.

A while back my ebook press published Hanger Stout, Awake about a teenage boy who competes in contests to see who can freehang from a bar the longest. Apparently, some Youtube celebrity has challenged all kinds of people to freehang for money. For those interested, I wrote a nice essay about that novella, pondering the ephemeralities of youth.

I am saddened to learn about the deaths of US servicemen and Afghani citizens in Kabul (presumably at the hands of terrorists). It’s important to remember that US soldiers are often asked to provide protection for international humanitarian efforts in risky places and can become a target for bad actors. (To a lesser extent, this happens also with UN peacekeeping troops). Without having these spaces secured, it can be hard to run humanitarian operations. It is only on tragic days like today that we can appreciate the risks and sacrifices that enlisted people take during such missions. We should honor them for that.

Here’s a 16 minute audio interview with James Loewen from 2015 (audio link is in middle of page).

After Ed Asner has died, I was recalling favorite Mary Tyler Moore show moments with him. Here’s him with Ted Knight. Hilarious scene. The most interesting (for me at least) is that the scene is so unimportant; all Ed and Ted are doing is hamming it up to absurd levels. I saw an interview with Asner where he said the serious drama Lou Grant (which I never watched!) was his best performances. I look forward to watching it somewhere.






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