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88 Responses

  1. Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

    Tonight I am going to be watching Jason Collins beat Michael Sam to the punch. Collins has signed a 10-day contract with my favorite team: The Brooklyn Nets.


    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      Very cool. Thanks for the heads up.Report

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

      End of the first quarter:

      Nets 33, Lakers 21

      Collins has yet to play.

      Collins is wearing 46 today instead of his usual 98 which he wears in honor of Matthew Shepard. I’m guessing his 98 will be ready for the next game.Report

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

      With 10:28 remaining in the 2nd quarter, Jason Collins enters the game.

      The Lakers fans are classy and give him a round of applause.Report

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

      Jason Collins with his first foul with 8:26 left in the 2nd.

      Illegal screenReport

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

      Halftime: Nets 63, Lakers 47

      Jason Collins: 4 MIN, 1 DEFREB, 2 PF, 1 ST, 2 TO

      This is Collins’ 511th game as a Net, putting him in sole possession of 3rd place in that statistic, behind only Buck Williams and Mike Gminski.Report

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

      Final: Nets 108, Lakers 102

      Jason Collins: 11 MIN, 0-1 FG, 1 OffReb, 1 DefReb, 5 PF, 1 ST, 2 TOReport

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        I’m not a basketball expert by any means, but that seems like a pretty unimpressive line.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:


        You are correct, the line itself is unimpressive.
        Considering that he literally signed with the Nets that day, it was tough to expect much more.

        On the YES Network Nets’ color commentator Mike Fratello did a good job pointing out the things Collins was doing for the positive that wouldn’t be reflected in the box score.

        BTW, Jackie Robinson was 0-for-3 with a run scored and a GIDP in his Dodgers debut.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        All true. And Willie Mays went 0-12 as a rookie before his first major-league hit, a home run off Warren Spahn.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        The Nets got exactly what they expected from Collins yesterday. What they’ll be looking at is whether he can play 6-10 minutes a game for the duration. He doesn’t need to score or get more than a couple rebounds. He just has to be 7 feet in the middle and defend consistently. That’s what his game is.

        If he played the rest of the season and had more than 6 points in a game, I would be surprised.Report

  2. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I like the relative shortness of UK TV shows. US TV shows are too much of a major time commitment and it seems like people have hours upon hours of must see TV and that further reduces American reading.

    I’m all about increasing the amount of reading hours done by Americans. It would be a more interesting nation if people talked about Haruki Murakami novels at the Water cooler instead of The Voice or some such.

    Did I ever mention that I was snobby? Just a bit?

    I am currently making my way through:

    A Dance to the Music of Time: Third Movement by Anthony Powell

    The Cave and the Light: Plato versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization by Arthur Herman

    1941: The Year that Keeps Returning by Slavko Goldstein.

    I just came back from the used book store and purchased:

    Black Sun: The Brief Transit and Viplent Eclipse of Harry Crosby by Geoffrey Wolff

    A People Apart: The Jews in Europe, 1789-1939 by David Vital

    Not only am I reader. I generally seem drawn to books that are far from what is on the bestseller list.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer says:

      I have absolutely no desire to read Game of Thrones for example. No desire at all. Same with any other fantasy epic like the Wheel of Time series.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        You’re missing out. The first three Song of Ice and Fire books were excellent.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:

        I just can’t get into those fantasy settings and find the Machiavellian politics of fantasy novels to be ponderous and pompous.

        Keep in mind that I think the soundtrack to many fantasy movies sound like third rate Carl Orff and always make me want to sing “We Like Pompous Music” to the tune of Carmina Burana/O FortunaReport

      • Avatar NewDealer says:

        I also find the name Westeros to be silly and it always catches me offguard. How can you take backstabbing politics seriously in a land that sounds like was named to rhyme after this childhood snack?

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Never heard of those. Though I admit I can’t take a city seriously if it rhymes with “screw cork”. It makes me think of winos walking backward.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        If you don’t like pulp fiction, Game of thrones ain’t your shtick.
        Read Lucifer’s Hammer instead (or a Mote in God’s Eye).

        But if you do like pulp fiction, go ahead and give Game of Thrones a try.
        It’s Dallas set in Middle Earth.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      I think cable gets it about right with 10-15 episode seasons.

      I also think that if books were discussed at the water cooler it would be Game of Thrones and not that Japanese bloke’s. I did like Norwegian Wood, though.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:

        I don’t disagree. The US is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the media.

        I get that we live in a golden age of TV. It seems like every tv show has a hardcore group of fans who will take serious offense if you do not watch their show.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I have never met a person who takes offense if you don’t watch their show. You hang out with the wrong people.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I suspect that the amount of offense taken is often related to how one expresses their disinterest.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Right, “I’ve never seen your show, but I know it’s not worth watching, because it’s on television, and television is a vapid, soul-sucking medium that only people of lesser intelligence and character enjoy” is going to get angry reactions.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:


        I was using a bit of hyperbole and it is more about how TV is talked about on culture sites but it seems like there is a constant round of must-see TV debuting every week and needing catching up on starting with: The Sopranos, Party Down, Eastbound and Down, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Girls, Community, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Justified, Baylon 5 (new version), Looking, and many more. Where do people find all this time to watch all this TV?


        Again this is where it seems American cultural politics gets very weird. It is horrible to be anti-populist and reject TV but it seems perfectly acceptable to be a non-reader and it is seen as snooty to recommend people read beyond the bestseller list and mass market thrillers or YA or fantasy. Maybe I am being naive but I read books in the New York Review of Books classic series and wonder what exactly makes them highbrow and inaccessible. Some are like The Anatomy of Melancholy but others strike me as being or should be accessible to the average reader. Serious question can you tell me why this book would be inaccessible to the average reader without snark?

        Same with Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time, Stoner by John Williams, or The Go-Between by LP Hartley.

        I have a hard time figuring out what makes high-brow culture high-brow because I am in the thick of it and to me A Dance to the Music of Time is just as accessible or more accessible than A Game of Thrones or the Wheel of Time.Report

      • Avatar Trumwill says:

        @newdealer Of the shows you’ve listed, I’ve only seen three through (assuming you meant Battlestar Galactica where you said Babylon 5) and seen more than one episode of only three more. It’s not really expected that you watch all of these programs.

        I’d also say that recommending books is as much about presentation as expressing disinterest. I can’t imagine all that many people will actually take offense at a book suggestion. Though saying something like “You should read more!” can get a bad effect.

        That last part is due in part because, before the Golden Age of Television, TV people had to listen to a lot of snobs who didn’t just not watch television, but who proudly proclaimed that they did not own one and often shared their very low opinions on television. It’s possible that expressing a general disinterest in television elicits reactions from that time.

        (Not that there is anything wrong with not owning a television. Though I technically owned one, I didn’t even have my TV plugged in for long stretches at a time in between 1998 and 2005 or so. I remember having to scramble to hook up my old TV whenever I had a pressing need to watch something (presidential debates, for example, or a movie night with a date). At other points, there was a TV but it was mostly my roommates that watched it.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        [Censors self.]

        Argh argh argh argh argh argh argh.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        It is horrible to be anti-populist and reject TV but it seems perfectly acceptable to be a non-reader and it is seen as snooty to recommend people read beyond the bestseller list and mass market thrillers or YA or fantasy.

        I notice that you’re comparing “rejecting TV” with being a “non-reader.” I submit that those two things aren’t really comparable. It’s one thing not to watch TV. What annoys people is ostentatiously not watching TV. As far as I know, people don’t generally advertise not reading books the way they advertise not watching TV.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        You should troll some of these “non-readers” more often.
        Recommend books, and then ask them later if they looked at ’em.
        (Bonus points if you actually give them a copy).

        Of course, you’d have to recommend a particular type of book…
        (trolls write books too — and the reactions you’d get!).

        I don’t claim much in the way of pop culture knowledge — I’ve only
        seen parks and recreation on that list.Report

      • Avatar dhex says:

        it’s all about how you talk about what you like/love. i’ve had conversations with workfolk who have no contact with extreme music about the fierce energy of grindcore and some of the (pg) silly band names. it’s entirely possible to be into marginal stuff and yet find a way to express that enthusiasm without turning people off.

        also you might learn something by listening to people talk about their own interests. wacky!

        that said i’m reading “a fine place so far from home” about first generation college students who became academics. it’s interesting and some of it has resonated with me, but i don’t think that higher ed as a whole is now quite as jerky as some of these personal essays discuss; i don’t think (but can’t rule out) that professors would make fun of a 1st gen student who didn’t know how to pronounce a french term they’d read but never discussed, and it wasn’t the case when i went to school.

        my lousy argumentation skills were mocked, but deservedly so. not so much my ignorance about how “raison d’etre” was pronounced.Report

    • Avatar aaron david says:

      “Dude, did you read the part where the sheepman talkedinrunonsentences!?
      “That’s not as cool as the well!”

      Yeah, it would be different.Report

    • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

      It would be a more interesting nation if people talked about Haruki Murakami novels at the Water cooler instead of The Voice or some such.

      Yes, but the trick would be to get everyone to read the same book at the same time.

      Hence book clubs.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Yeah, if we’re going to have interesting conversations about quality literary fiction at the water cooler, we’re going to have to have much longer water breaks.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        “Dumb ending: it turned out he was free the whole time. Anyway, I gotta go meet with Kathy in marketing. Let me know what you think about that whale book.”Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Welsh TV can take a 2 hour movie and turn it into a five hour … TV Show.
      The results are predictably hideous.
      (What did you expect? They are welsh, after all…)
      I’d throw in a Tolkien joke here, but you wouldn’t get it.
      And Blaise isn’t around, so why bother?Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Are there Welsh television stations?

        What are some examples of Welsh TV shows taking a 2 hour movie and turning it into a 5 hour TV show? I love Welsh accents, so I’m all for watching 5 hours of people talking in Wales.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:


      • Avatar Chris says:

        Oh, that’s why it takes 5 hours. You have to pronounce all the words.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Station identification bumpers can take up to 25 minutes. The Welsh were way ahead on the “Slow TV” movement.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        It was on the BBC.
        And it’s torchwood I’m talking about.
        I’m not really aware of any other welsh shows being worth the watchin’.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Well, Torchwood isn’t a Welsh show, and isn’t 5 hours long, but apparently there is a Welsh BBC:

        Eve Myles did a show for it, which means that there is, in fact, other (in this case, actual) Welsh TV worth watching. And that show was only 30 minutes, which suggests that they can do short-form television, as long as they do it in English.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Torchwood’s byline said Welsh BBC.
        And it is mentioned in that wikilink.
        But what do I know?
        Children of Earth is 5 hours of sloooow, and repetitious TV.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Now I want to see a Welsh Wheel of Fortune.

        “I’d like to buy a slew of consonants, please”.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I am looking forward to seeing the Welsh-language soap opera Pobol y Cwm though.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        Children of Earth was great. It was Miracle Day that was just such an unmitigated piece of dreck, I couldn’t get past the second episode.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        The one actress spent the entire time saying, “My name is Lois Habiba”
        Again, and again, and again. There was so much fluff in that “series”

        Did you not like the chelating episode? It started giving me chemistry flashbacks,
        but… for good reason. The science was right (if i’m a little surprised that the
        docs would know it off the top of their heads — you did have a ton there).Report

  3. Avatar aaron david says:

    I liked Sherlock well enough, but yeah, three episodes? I think HBO has the right number with about a dozen, a la The Wire.

    Working on Conrad’s Arrow of Gold right now, but also rereading The Anubis Gates, just for the shear joy of it.Report

  4. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I also saw the Wind Rises last night (Japanese subtitle variant)*

    All of Miyazaki’s whimsey and genius and human touch cannot wash way or hide the fact that this is a movie about a man who designed planes for the Axis during WWII and I found that hard to swallow. I am with the Chinese and the Koreans on this one. Miyazaki’s attempts at acknowledging the errors of the Axis in WWII were weak tea. He has a German character on the run call the Nazis a bunch of hooligans and the same character states that Germany and Japan will pay dearly for choices and course of action. There are also criticisms of Japan’s version of the Gestapo who are derided as the “thought police” in the movie. Yet the main character wanted to design planes and designing fighter planes was the only game in town in Japan. Never does he question or think that perhaps it is better to not design planes than it is to design war planes. He seems to go into a bit of a “banality of evil” kind of thought pattern when dealing with engineering problems like how to reduce drag and such. Once in a while the protagonist would say he didn’t want to design war planes but it didn’t seem to get to him too much.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer says:

      Forgot my asterisk!

      In the American dub, the main character is voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In the Japanese one, he is voiced by a 52 year old man. I find this interesting for some reason.Report

  5. Avatar Chris says:

    The Cave and the Light: Plato versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization, eh? It’s all Plato’s fault.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Oops, sorry. Should have put a spoiler warning there. 😉Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:

        I take you are an Aristotelean then.

        The author so far is taking a balanced approach and showing the good and bad of both philosophers and suggesting a balance. He regards Ghandi and Martin Luther King as being part of the Platonic-idealist tradition and views them in a very positive light. He also said that Plato can lead to a Pol Pot if unchecked. For Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas and Thomas Jefferson are good students/descendents but an unchecked Aristotle can also give rise to an unjust status quo and political corruption like Boss Tweed.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        No, I’m not an Aristotelian, not particularly at least. Or a Platonist. I like my being to be becoming. Like I (jokingly) said, though, I was spoiling the book.

        Also, it’s not a very good book.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:


        Did you read the book or is that another joke?Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Yes, I did. Definitely not joking about its quality.

        Do you read much philosophy?Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:

        Not for a while. I am looking for stuff that is written for something more complex than a general readership but not as complex as peer-reviewed academia.

        Any recommendations?Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Well, if you don’t want to read the primary sources (with Plato and Aristotle, I’d recommend doing so, and there are some excellent secondary sources on them to help you navigate — Aristotle in particular is difficult to navigate), you might start with Kenny’s A New History of Western Philosophy, which is really pretty good (all 3 volumes, though that looks like it has all three in one).

        If you want something more in depth, the Routledge Philosophers series is pretty excellent. I’ve read Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche (there are better books on Nietzsche, if you’re interested), Spinoza (same as Nietzsche), Aristolte, Locke, and Heidegger. There are several others, and the book on Hume that’s coming out this year is supposed to be very good. They do a good job of situating the thought (Spinoza, e.g., can be confusing without grasping the debates about substance that had been going on for a thousand years, and Locke can be hard to grasp if you don’t know the context of “ideas” and Descartes and general and particular) so that, if you wanted to go to the primary sources afterwards, you’d have a pretty good foundation for understanding them.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Also, I forgot that there is a philosopher whose very name is verboten in these parts, which also made me wonder what the commenter who led to the banning of the name is up to these days.Report

  6. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    On the length of Sherlock, it’s worth noting that each episode is an hour and a half long. So even though it is technically a three episode TV series, it has the meat of a movie trilogy.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      Peter Jackson’s Hound of the Baskervilles: three three-hour movies (four hours in the director’s cut), most of it Holmes and Watson fighting with giant packs of CGI hellhounds. There’s also a romance between a footman who appears in one scene of the book and a countess who isn’t in the book at all. The murder mystery plot is dropped entirely.Report

  7. Avatar Maribou says:

    I’m reading a middle grade novel called the 10 PM Question, by a NZ author. Set somewhere in the South Island, Dunedin I think. (the city is not named and I don’t know the street names well enough to tell. If it doesn’t come up by the end of the book I’ll have to do some Googling.) Also in the middle of the 2013 volumes of Best American Essays and Best American Science and Nature Writing. And the usual assortment of other things.

    Watching the third season of Sherlock.Report

  8. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    I watched the gold medal hockey game, which was awesome.

    I will soon be watching the commentaries on my Game of Thrones Season 3 box set.Report

  9. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Finishing up Allegiant right now.Report

  10. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I didn’t see the Closing Ceremonies myself, but I understand that whoever organized it was able to laugh about the gaffe during the Opening Ceremonies. When groups of people formed the Olympic rings, they had the upper right group stay clustered before finally assuming their position, recreating the gaffe. Sounds like a pretty cool and fun way to show a sense of humor about the whole thing.Report

  11. Avatar Glyph says:

    Man, True Detective was painful last night.

    Turned off Walking Dead because it was just…so…painful in a different way, right after watching TD.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I’ve been told to watch True Detective. I understand that it’s getting all Cthulhuy.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Not sure if they are going to go full-on Twin Peaks bats**t or not, but there are definitely some Lynchian/Lovecraftian undercurrents in there.

        Harrelson and McConaughey are killing it. It’s lurid pulp of the best kind.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I’ve been watching Cheers on Netflix, just now and then when I need to kill 20-odd minutes. If you’d told me that Woody would have become one of the best actors of his generation, I’d have thought you were crazy.Report

      • Avatar morat20 says:

        If they reference CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, I’m in.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        The fact that there has been more than one reference to The King In Yellow really has my interest piqued. That’s some high quality stuff for the detectives to stumble across.

        The problem, of course, is that the writers will be faced with the choice of having their characters either 1) Go Insane (which has a host of problems including the lack of a satisfactory ending) or 2) Not Go Insane (which has a host of different problems including the lack of a satisfactory ending).Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        Wait… does this mean TD gets all fantasy and magical? Fuck that noise.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        It’s not fantasy or magical in the *NICE* way.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        I wouldn’t say “fantasy and magical” so much as “hallucinatory and paranoid and surreal”.Report

  12. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    Are we not doing B5 this week?Report