Social Media Dump Dec 1-16 2021

See also:  Nov 16-30 and Dec 17-31 (View all)

Observation: My new blogging strategy of posting empty posts at the start of the month or two week period looks awful rough and polished, but it’s working overall. I usually end up polishing older posts a bit, so eventually things look ok.

Overjoyed to see the Third rock reunion. I wrote in the comment section my proposal for the sequel:

Stone Phillips Jr, the lovechild of BG Head and Vicki Dubchek wants to visit his birthplace on Earth, and build a bigger, badder version of Monkeyworld — (Or a BIG GIANT WALL, or something crassly commercial like that). The gang has to find him and stop him (and solve global warming in the process) before some alien hunters dissect him and sell the story to Fox News. Also, they want to look up old friends and catch up on soap operas. Don Orville would have some lowly job as a security guard as a big box store until Sally finds him and recruits him to help the investigation (but not before inspiring him, seducing him and revealing she always was a space alien). . August Leffler will be a crusading journalist trying to expose the evil oligarchy financing Stone Phillips’ empire — completely unaware of his alien provenance. Nina would be Dean of Students at Pendleton, while Vincent Strudwick would be Pendleton’s president. Neither would know about Mary Albright’s whereabouts — only that Mary is off doing undercover fieldwork with some secretive scientology-like cult. Turns out that Stone Phillips Jr. gets all confused and builds Monkeyworld inside a videogame simulation. The old gang is chased by debt collectors who are looking for someone to pay for the astronomical credit card bill from Season 6. At some point there has to be a shot of a lovelorn Don staring into space and wondering where Sally is now. Other things I’d like to see: one of them getting a messed up body and have to trade it several times, Mary’s sister Renata (aka Megan Mullaly) has to be visited to provide clues about Mary’s whereabouts, Transistor Harry needs to get hacked by either Russians or some unknown band of aliens, Tommy gets Internet famous by accident and tries unsuccessfully to gain more followers, Sally has to team up with Don to find Stone Jr. until they find him locked up in a room playing a massively multiplayer online game version of Earth (aka “Monkeyworld Planet”) leaving it unclear which is the simulation and which is the reality. Gosh, I could write 5 episodes in no time. You could never recover the original magic of the 3 camera show with live audience, but a one camera show would still work — and you wouldn’t need to create a conceit of aliens learning about X; all you really need are catching up with old characters and being surprised at how things have changed in a mere 20 years…

(I wrote this in response to another commenter who said,

They could totally do a series of specials where the cast returned to Earth in present day. Having to wear older versions of their human selves so as to not rouse suspicion. Dick goes on the hunt for Mary (because that is the real reason they have come back, though he’s told the crew otherwise) in the hopes that she can remember him again. Sally coming to terms with being a cougar, Tommy not understanding why he’s not “down with the kids” anymore, Harry getting caught up in fake news and possibly becoming a viral social media star just because of the way he is.
There’s so much they could fit into a set of 45 minute specials that – with the right people writing – could really give the fans something awesome to look back on. 🙂

Mom and I have been watching the Peter Jackson Get Back documentary. Finished part 1 of 3, and it is extraordinary and historic. Perhaps some of the edits are designed to maximize the dramatic tension (and the performers were always aware they were being filmed), but it is amazing their process of tinkering with song lyrics to get it right. I predicted that Don’t Look Up would win Best Picture at the Oscars. Now I’m thinking that Get back will get nominated for Best Picture category (even though World War 1 documentary They Will Not Grow Old is probably as deserving.

I bought a Kindle Paperwhite 2021 Signature edition — mainly for testing ebooks, but also for the bigger display. In the past I have not really used the Paperwhite as much as I would have liked, but this version might actually be usable.

Nice 25 minute visual essay about Max Headroom. Two details: He’s a glitchbot (an imperfect robot) and Max Headroom is actually not an animated character but a real actress whose makeup was made to appear like a robot — along with an animated background.

First interview with Reality Winner on 60 minutes. You might remember that I nominated her for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.

David Wallace-Wells has another missive about the current climate change calamity.

Max Liboiron explains the true way to approach plastic pollution:

When we teach pollution science, which is different than litter science, what we teach people is that it’s called a stock-and-flow problem. The best metaphor is, OK, you walk into your bathroom and your bathtub is overflowing. Do you, a) turn off the tap, or b) get a mop? I mean, eventually you’ll do both, but you better turn off that tap before you start mopping up or you will never stop mopping up and you will never catch up to the water spilling out. That’s a great model for job security but a horrible model for dealing with pollution. … The question doesn’t become, is cleaning up worth it compared to turning off the tap? We know turning off the tap is better. Full stop…. I’ve been saying turn off the tap the whole time. Turn off the tap, turn off the tap. That’s what we do. And we can name who is keeping the tap running. Coca-Cola. ExxonMobil. We have their phone numbers.

Also, he talks about how geologists will name the anthropocene era:  This new epoch, this new species era, is characterized by human activity. The big argument amongst the geologists is what [geologic] signal are we going to use to mark this era? The two contenders are plastics or nuclear fallout from atomic bombs.

Curb Your Enthusiasm’s 15 Rules for Living.

The connections haven’t been made yet, but I’m guessing that the school board protests (about Critical
Race Theory, “dangerous books” and mask mandates) are quietly being funded by a major conservative donor which after extensive testing identified it as a wedge issue after abortion and gay marriage have been abandoned. It seems very suspicious that these cultural issues have suddenly become prominent. NPR investigated this at the end of October, and identified some usual suspects (but not one big contributor like Americans for Prosperity got behind banning gay marriage). Aha, according to Washington Post, Koch bankrolled some anti-mask grassroots initiatives. That still does not explain to me why book banning and CRT is coming up so frequently in Texas.

Two articles about the horrors of the oil and gas industry along the Gulf Coast. First, multiple Texas coastal towns are building oil/LNG export terminals to export LNG and oil shale. Environmentalists have filed lawsuits and launched protests to little avail.

DEEP SPACE NINE DOCUMENTARY: (RECOMMENDED) The actor who plays Garak (Andrew Johnson) introduces it with a very entertaining speech.






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