Jim Van Pelt on one of the stories we tell ourselves. This time it's the "it has to be good, I worked very hard at it." I've had stories I've worked like a dog on, and they suck. In fact, I worked hard on them probably because I was trying to vacuum all the suck out of them. And then I failed. And then there's stories I've tossed off quickly that actually work quite well. And you know how they work quite well? Because I worked like a dog on all those stories that sucked. Working hard on something doesn't mean that thing will be good, but hopefully you will be better for having worked hard on it. (Grokked from Catherine Schaff-Stump)
The infographic on US manned space launches. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
The ACA is reducing Medicare costs? It's doing what it was designed to do instead of turning us all into socialist? Shocked, shocked I am… (Pointed to by Dan) But that doesn't mean conservatives won't try to continue to flog a dead horse. (Grokked from Jay Lake) You know, Romney is basically running out the lie that helped get a lot of conservatives elected in 2010. Then they realized they themselves, by voting for the Ryan Budget, were vulnerable on the exact same point. To which they tried to say, "we need a truce on the Medicare scare thing." Live by the sword…
Hacking the judicial system by insisting on our rights. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
"We struggle with the right words to describe the design process at Apple, but it is very much about designing and prototyping and making. When you separate those, I think the final result suffers." That's Jonathon Ive on industrial design. And it pretty much mirrors what I feel about graphic design, you have to own the whole process. In this post-computer design world, a designer needs to understand the whole process from branding, concept, production, and ink on paper or pixels on a screen. Mostly because in most houses, one person does the whole chain of what used to be four or five people's jobs. And it always astonishes me when I meet designers who don't understand this. How many times have I heard a designer lament that they just can't find a reliable printer that can make their designs work? Enough that I'm tired of hearing it. And it's typically because the designer has created an impossible design (ranges from "if all your lines are hairlines, chances are it's not going to work" to "color doesn't work that way on a subtractive media"). "…but one of the things that really irritates me in products is when I’m aware of designers wagging their tails in my face." Oh, yes. I so hear that. (Pointed to by John)
An NPR story on the pharmacology of phytochemicals (although they don't call them that). "(Sheila West's) study found that a spicy meal helps cut levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in the blood — even when the meal is rich in oily sauces and high in fat… It's good news for those of us who love a rich curry made with lots of turmeric or bold amounts of garlic and oregano. During the study, they used a blend that included these spices, as well as paprika, rosemary and ginger." Look, someone's actually doing the research on what people have known since before Marco Polo went in search of new spices in the Orient. Now, those people didn't know how they worked, or on what principles they functioned, but they new these things made them feel better and live longer. Of course part of the research is to find the exact part of these spices that work (because spices in and of themselves are not patentable). I know people look at me weird when I try to explain how food is a drug, but maybe this will make it easier.
"Everybody is so busy telling us how we should act in the bedroom, they’re letting the country fall through the cracks," said Fran Kelley… who voted for Senator John McCain over Mr. Obama in the 2008 election. Of the Republican candidates this year, she added, "They’re nothing but hatemongers trying to control everyone, saying, 'Live as I live.'" Hi, welcome to the social-conservative agenda for America, you can pick up your American Burka at department stores now. And as you can see in all the states that went to GOP controlled Governors and Legislatures, the social issues are more important than the economic issues. Now as long as the economy continues to improve (did I mention the revising of the jobs created figures and the growth of the GDP for the past few months?) the conservatives will have to fight on their social agenda. They do have another arrow in their quiver, but I'm not going to help them by reminding them of their own policy goals. "'I’m looking for a candidate that will be honest, that will come out and say, "Yes, I support women, I want you advanced and not trampled upon,"' said Ms. Stevens, 63… 'I want candidates to tell me, "I’m not overturning Roe v. Wade." It’s there. Leave it there.'" Dear Ms. Stevens, you may have missed that it's a plank of the party platform to overturn Roe v. Wade. They've been working hard at it since 1984. They're almost there. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
"Right now, all (Obama and his campaign advisors) have to do is sit back as Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul claw each other for the right to oppose the president this fall." False. And this is the Democrats weakness. While Napoleon was correct in "never interrupt your opponent when they're making a mistake," there are three responses to seeing a house on fire. First is to do nothing and watch it burn. Next is to fight the fire and save what you can. The last option is to make sure the fire has enough oxygen to keep burning bright. Conservatives have been good at the last one, and Democrats need to learn. While in a fair fight you don't kick someone when they're down, politics is no longer a fair fight. At the very least we should be selling popcorn and drinks to all those people watching the fire. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
Erich takes on The Lifespan of a Fact. When non-fiction crosses the line to "enhance" the truth.
From today's Writer's Almanac, it's the birthday of Janet Flanner, who said of all her journalism work she was more proud of her 1936 piece on Hitler. "…he says he regards liberalism as a form of tyranny, hatred and attack as part of man's civic virtues, and equality of men as immoral and against nature… His moods change often, his opinions never. Since the age of twenty, they have been mainly anti-Semitic, anti-Communist, anti-suffrage, and Pan-German. He has a fine library of six thousand volumes, yet he never reads; books would do him no good — his mind is made up." Just in case you believe the conservative canard that Fascism is a "liberal" thing. They are diametrically opposed.
Tweet of my heart:
@ReadtheShorts: "The biggest thing separating people from their artistic ambitions is not a lack of talent. It's the lack of a DEADLINE." Chris Baty
Alligator Quotient: Eye to crocodile-teary eye.