Owls & Diabetes

2016-05-04 11.22.15

As he looked at me, David Sedaris said, “Have we met before?”

“I don’t think so,” I said.

“Have you ever been arrested?” he said.

“Did it involve alcohol?” he continued.

Then he drew scissors and signed his name in the book I had just bought. The book, he observed, was a large print edition, which I did not know at the time of purchasing. I was as bewildered by that as he was.

The book signing took place after David Sedaris gave an hour long reading at Royce Hall in UCLA. It was the first time I had seen Sedaris live. He is every bit as good in person. Definitely worth attending.

Just Eat It

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Just Eat It is very much worth watching. The documentary makes a compelling argument for changing the way we think about food, how we eat, and what we should be doing to break out of our decades long apathy about food waste.

The statistics alone are harrowing. We waste 40% of all food produced. That’s 40% of all water that took to make the food. That’s 40% of all energy consumed to create food. Not to mention labor and economies and the landfills and resulting methane production.

With all that food wasted, how are there even starving people in the world? This just cannot be right.

Everyone should watch this movie and then do some research. It’s worse than you think.

Harriet

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Andrew Jackson is out. He will be replaced on the $20 bill by Harriet Tubman, the ex-slave who worked in the Underground Railroad to free other slaves. The irony is obvious here: the ex-slave replacing the slave owner. Jackson, who was a fierce critic of central banks, probably wouldn’t mind though. Then there’s the critique that since Tubman fought against the buying and trading of people, that putting her front and center on currency, is sort of insensitive. Either way, there will be people celebrating this move and there will be haters decrying everything.

The one winner of this decision by the Treasury Department: Alexander Hamilton. When it was announced that a woman could appear on one of the bills replacing a current historical figure, Tubman was by far the most popular replacement. There was speculation that Hamilton would be the one to get the boot from the $10. There is talk that Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew was swayed by the popularity of the Broadway hip-hop musical, Hamilton. Who knows?

All I know is when I go see Hamilton at some point, I hope to pay for my tickets with the newly minted Harriet Tubman $20 bills.

Beware of Misleading Headlines

Take this Time online article: “How To Avoid That Scary 60 Minutes iPhone Hack.”

Just from the title you would think it is about the iPhone. The implication is that there is something wrong with the iPhone. If you don’t read the article, then you would infer that the iPhone has a security flaw. That’s what I thought.

Only after reading the article do you realize that it’s really not about the iPhone at all. There was a demonstration with Congressman Ted Lieu (D-California) using an iPhone, but it was to show a security flaw with cellular networks. Note this line in the article: “The hackers were targeting the network, not the individual phones on either end of the call.” Also: “The hack, carried out with the politician’s consent, was meant to demonstrate a security flaw in the global communications grid.”

So, there was nothing wrong with the iPhone in this instance. Then why imply it in the headline? And why show a large photo of the iPhone?

These misleading headlines are all too common on the Internet. With so many outlets fighting for eyeballs it is tempting to sensationalize a news story, even going so far as to trick users with clickbait headlines.

Goodbye Kobe

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This is the Kobe I will always remember: brash, fearless, unstoppable, electrifying, controversial, provoking intense hate and adoration… In twenty seasons playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe has entertained, frustrated and delivered in the tune of five championships. Never shied with scoring the ball, he scored 81 points once in a game. In his final game tonight, he scored 60 points, going out the most Kobe-like way possible. Goodbye, Kobe.