Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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34 Responses

  1. I just finished reading “A Mother’s Reckoning,” by one of the parents of one of the Columbine shooters. It’s quite good.Report

  2. LeeEsq says:

    I’m reading Global Crisis: War, Climate Change, and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century by Geoffrey Parker. The thesis of the book was that the 17th century was a very tumultuous time across the entire globe with the family conflicts like the English Civil War and Thirty Years War in the West and the Great Enterprise in China or the destabilizing of the Ottoman Empire in Asia. Geoffrey Parker argues that at the root of all these conflicts was the Little Ice Age. The climate cooled enough to really endanger food supplies locally and this led to a very bloody century. What this says for modern day politics will be left to the reader.Report

  3. Marchmaine says:

    Caught up on all our super-hero movies… between 2x 11-hr flights and weakness of will we saw:
    1. Black Panther
    ~ (ok, I’m ready, are we going to talk about this or what?)
    2. Thor Ragnarok
    ~ (Best Thor ever… I’m 100% onboard the ironic/sarcastic/self-referential nonsense train)
    3. Infinity Wars
    ~ (Did not like; too much Pew Pew; and, see above)

    Also finished Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed… and re-read Michael Pollan’s Cooked… and re-skimmed parts of Dreher’s BenOp.

    Did I mention the 2x 11-hr flights?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

      I’d love to! (Is it something that wasn’t covered here?)Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

        Heh, I doubt it… that’s what I get for coming late to the party. I’m not sure the movie struck me as all that profound; all I kept thinking in the immortal words of Liz Lemon is, “I want to go to there.”Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

          It’s not that the movie was all that profound… It’s that the movie was chock-a-bloc full of Moral Choices that were all weighted in a particular direction that could strike someone from a few decades back as having been profound.

          Thank goodness that it is the current year, of course.Report

  4. Aaron David says:

    Rereading Chris Petits The Psalm Killer, which I hadn’t read since it was published 20 odd years ago. If you are curious about this intensely powerful novel of The Troubles, Alan Moore wrote a great piece in the Guardian a couple years ago in review.Report

  5. Pinky says:

    I figured the obsolete thing was Tom Skerritt’s name being spelled “Tom Scerrit”. But who’s to say that smoking won’t come back? Who’s to say that the United Federation of Planets won’t encourage 1960’s haircuts and miniskirts? For that matter, how do we know that’s an ashtray? Maybe it spins around in a game of chance. Maybe it’s the most important device in an Alien detector, and the fact that it’s sitting on the console instead of installed in the Alien detector is an early spoiler. (I’m pretty sure they did smoke in the movie, but I like the Alien detector idea. Hey, they’ve done worse to the Alien mythos.)Report

  6. Doctor Jay says:

    Thanks for showing that clip. The credit where they show a helmet with reflections on the glass faceplate seemed like a reference to “2001: A Space Oddysey”, too.

    I dunno, I think people might smoke in space. I know people who still smoke. I don’t think there will ever be zero people who smoke. It sort of places the crew in a particular socioeconomic place. But then, I am older than you, and spent a lot of time over the course of my life around people who smoke. Try living in Virginia for a while…Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      I can’t help but think that oxygen will always be too precious in space to allow for multiple recreational small fires.

      Will they dip (or snus) in space? Probably.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

        Will they dip… in space?

        Oh, hell no. Spitting and free fall just don’t mix. Nicotine transdermal patches, maybe. Given the cost per pound to even LEO, though, I suspect even patches are too expensive a habit for space in the foreseeable future.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Michael Cain says:

          Zero gravity raises issues for ashtrays, too.Report

          • Michael Cain in reply to Pinky says:

            It’s my favorite complaint about most space fiction in movies and TV: directed synthetic gravity is an enormous theoretic and engineering breakthrough, and they don’t do much more with it than keep liquids in open-topped containers. For me, it’s the biggest suspension of disbelief hurdle. The power systems may be going down, life support may be failing, but the synthetic gravity never even blinks.Report

            • Pinky in reply to Michael Cain says:

              It’s not just the synthetic gravity; it’s the removal of the inertia that would otherwise cause the crew to go warp factor 2 into the back wall.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Pinky says:

                Yep. Gravity, inertia, conservation of energy and momentum, pretty much all of physics that has an m in the equations, out the window. Taking college physics up through special relativity ended up with me putting most space opera in the same category with fantasy: How does it work? Magic. Once I got that mindset, I could enjoy it again.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Putting a dimensional bubble of space-time around a ship isn’t magic, it’s science! Advanced science. So advanced that nothing can go wrong inside the bubble.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

              The synthetic gravity is usually due to a gravimetric charge imbalance that persists for days (or weeks) following a power outage. You know how you can make a needle into a magnet?

              It’s like that.Report

      • Doctor Jay in reply to Jaybird says:

        Yeah, “The Expanse” has managed to hit notes of “working class” and “seedy” without smoking, if I recall correctly.

        Still, people will have their bad habits in space. What will they be?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Doctor Jay says:

          Altered consciousness. We need something that can be stopped *IMMEDIATELY* in the case of a emergency. So no alcohol or THC.

          Wireheading, maybe?

          Edit: It was right in front of me the whole time. VR.Report

          • Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

            I’m pretty sure people ingest drugs and alcohol in the Expanse (at least on Earth and in the Belt). They just don’t seem to ingest by inhalation. (or maybe there was some kind of hookah bar in season 1, I can’t quite remember)Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Kolohe says:

              I make distinctions between differently sized ships and, now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not sure that I should.

              A giant space city (think: DS-9 or Babylon 5) would allow for stuff like hookahs and booze, booze, booze. A somewhat smaller city (think: the enterprise) would probably allow for booze but not cigarettes. (Remember the no smoking signs on the bridge in Star Trek II? Good times.)

              A ship about the size of the Nostromo? (I’m assuming that the majority of the Nostromo is unusable cargo space.) I can’t imagine recreation that isn’t immediately droppable.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

                There is the implication that one of the ships, though a small spartan military vessel, has a level of luxury that its occupants are unaccustomed to because you can drink fresh coffee whenever you want.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kolohe says:

                Now that I think about it, Yaphet Kotto’s character talks about how the coffee is the only decent thing on the ship. (This is in the breakfast scene where everybody is smoking.)Report

          • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

            It was right in front of me the whole time. VR.

            Aka, ultimately, the holodeck. Combine with variations on Te7 in this morning’s technology links, and we can all see where this is headed, probably sooner rather than later. Long ago at Bell Labs, when those of us who did “futurist” sorts of thinking were getting serious about PCs and data networks, a couple of psychologists did a presentation (that filled the Holmdel auditorium) on the thesis that new media succeeded or failed on the basis of whether they supported sex and/or violence.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

              a couple of psychologists did a presentation (that filled the Holmdel auditorium) on the thesis that new media succeeded or failed on the basis of whether they supported sex and/or violence.

              Another obsolete future.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

              You know, there are essays that could be written about the former part of that “and/or” you mention above.

              I’m tempted to write one but… ah, jeez. There are so very many things that could go wrong… even taking into account that the essay would be written with the assumption that we want this to be a mostly family-friendly blog.Report

    • Many years ago, when I first moved to Colorado, I was quickly spoiled. The building I worked in was smoke-free. Stapleton Airport corralled smokers into small areas equipped with exhaust ducts. For a while business required that I make regular trips to New Jersey. At that time they still allowed smoking anywhere in the terminals at Newark. Getting off the plane was like walking into a wall of smoke, both from people waiting and from all the ones lighting up after the four-hour flight from Denver.

      I know people here still smoke because I see them occasionally buying cigarettes or smoking in cars. But public smoking has very largely disappeared.Report

  7. James K says:

    I’m reading Seeing like a State, but I’ve only just started.

    Also I finally got around to watching What We Do In the Shadows. I really enjoyed it, though Infound it really weird watching something that was shot in the city I live in.Report