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Sunday, June 24, 2018

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (let’s call it July 2018)

With so much time spent fostering garbage takes on food, perhaps many of you missed Tom Breihan’s “A History of Violence” series, which kicked off in 2016 with a celebration of Bullitt:

When you talk about the history of action movies, you sort of have to define what an action movie is first. As with any movie genre, lines blur, and movies can be multiple things at once. Action—fights, chases, bodies forced into extreme circumstances—has been a part of narrative cinema since narrative cinema became a thing. If you wanted to be ultra-pedantic, you could say that the 1903 silent film The Great Train Robbery was the first action movie, though it would take a whole lot of work to draw a historical line between that and John Wick.

For the purposes of this column, action movies didn’t arrive in their modern and fully-formed state until the late ’60s. There were other genres of movies that supplied the kinds of thrills that action movies would later provide: Westerns, war movies, crime thrillers. (All those genres will appear, in hybridized forms, in this column later on. We’re also going to stay away from things like superhero movies, sci-fi, fantasy, and Oscar bait, except in the rare instances when those genres cross over fully with the action genre.) And there were movies that could be considered proto-action movies: John Sturges’ 1955 Bad Day At Black Rock, Hitchcock’s 1959 North By Northwest, all the early movies in the Bond series.

I should also add that the whole goal of this column is to pick the most important action movie of every year, not necessarily the best or most beloved. (Most of the time, though, it probably will be the best or most beloved action movie of its year, partly because bullshit usually doesn’t leave that deep of an impact and partly because I have no desire to rewatch a bunch of bullshit.)

 

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 24, 2018 at 06:43 PM | 939 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   501. Lassus Posted: July 12, 2018 at 09:00 AM (#5708977)
I got the first volume of the Twain autobiography at a garage sale last week! Buying the remaining two volumes this week off Amazon, they are impressive tomes. It's a good companion set to the similarly-sized yet irritatingly far more expensive FOUR-volume Mahler biography by Henri Louis Lagrange.
   502. PreservedFish Posted: July 12, 2018 at 09:06 AM (#5708979)
Lassus, do I remember saying that you ordered the Atlas of Remote Islands?
   503. Lassus Posted: July 12, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5708985)
You do! However, I had to cancel the order however when I realized I was going to be short on bills that month. I need to try again.
   504. PreservedFish Posted: July 12, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5708988)
Ha. Ok. It's a nice little book. Super well-designed. Not exactly a beach read, it's more like an extremely curious coffee table book. I mean, it's an atlas, with poetic musings.
   505. Morty Causa Posted: July 12, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5709057)
It looks as if the Mark Twain Project has all three volumes of the autobiography online, with all the excrescences of literary scholarship. If so, that is a real boon.

Mark Twain Project
   506. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 12, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5709100)
Oh, I forgot to mention!

I did finally manage to catch some Benson last weekend... and found that it holds up about as well as any non-pantheon sitcom from the era would. It's rather boilerplate sitcom fare, I guess - I'd forgotten the omnipresent Guillaume wisecrack followed by the offscreen Kraus "I heard that!"

Much as I know Veep's lineage is The Thick of It - obviously, Iannucci, etc -- I do feel it's a bit unfair that Benson never gets any mention as a sort of ancient iteration.

Obviously, network sitcom means it's all PG stuff... but loopy, self-absorbed government figure? Staff with varying degrees of competence, careerism, and eye-rolling "can you believe this?".... toss in some government as a backdrop for occasional family story line?
   507. Hot Wheeling American, MS-13 Enthusiast Posted: July 12, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5709216)
Joined the AMC A-List this week. $19.99/month, can see three movies a week at any AMC screen (except for special events, like Fathom, and VR). Already paid for itself when I got a $25 ticket for Ant-Man and The Wasp in faux-IMAX. Now, I wouldn't have went for that ticket had I not gotten it for 'free', but the showtime worked best for me, so I didn't have to consider it. Not sure it's for everyone, but I hit the sweet spot: (i) no kids; (ii) like going to movies; and (iii) live in Manhattan, which has nine AMCs.
   508. PreservedFish Posted: July 12, 2018 at 07:09 PM (#5709261)
I hit the sweet spot: (i) no kids; (ii) like going to movies; and (iii) live in Manhattan, which has nine AMCs.


Retirement goals.

I grew up in NYC ... I went to so many damn movies. I love, LOVED, opening up the Village Voice and deciding what off-beat/arty/revival screening I would go see. Now I live in a small town with a single screen "art house" theater that caters primarily to little old ladies. Most movies tend to feature Judy Dench or such.
   509. Rennie's Tenet Posted: July 12, 2018 at 08:38 PM (#5709318)
Judy Dench or such.


They should have similarity scores for actors.
   510. Greg K Posted: July 13, 2018 at 08:39 AM (#5709412)
Much as I know Veep's lineage is The Thick of It - obviously, Iannucci, etc -- I do feel it's a bit unfair that Benson never gets any mention as a sort of ancient iteration.

I've only seen bits and pieces of Benson and Soap, but the connection to Arrested Development always jumped out at me. Though that could very well just be a way-station through Thick of It and back to the US for Veep. The British>US influence is often fairly clear (especially in a show like Veep or the Office where there is an explicit connection). But I wonder how easy it is to track things going the other way. I have to think Arrested Development influenced a lot of shows, though one of my English friends who is pretty much an encyclopedia of British comedy shows, had never heard of Arrested Development.
   511. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 13, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5709514)
edit: wrong thread

   512. Howie Menckel Posted: July 13, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5709642)
no Rub and Tug by Scarlett
"Scarlett Johansson has dropped out of Rub & Tug, the movie that would have seen her play a transgender man.

"In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project," said Johansson in a statement to Out.com.

"Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive," the actress continued. "I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues."

Rub & Tug tells the story of Jean Marie Gill, who was assigned female at birth but who assumed the identity of a man, Dante “Tex” Gill, and operated a massage parlor and prostitution business in Pittsburgh in the 1970s and '80s. While it is unclear how Gill, who died in 2003, identified, an obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that he ran his parlors while "insisting that she was a man and telling everyone she wanted to be known as 'Mr. Gill.'"
   513. McCoy Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:08 AM (#5710465)
The core set for Magic came out on Friday and I had told myself that I would collect these cards up through this set and I think I'll keep that promise. I have yet to play a game of magic despite having all of the cards from Ixalan on. This set was kind of my last straw though. Bought two boxes of boosters and still wound up with 20 cards missing and of course virtually all of the really expensive cards are missing. Bought another 8 boosters from the local card shop which was jammed on Saturday and managed to knock the lowest 5 valued cards off my list. So now if I want to complete the set I will cost me $100 to buy the remaining 15 cards as singles. I've already committed 165 dollars so I'll wait and see on the prices and if they come down after the initial wave. That doesn't include the 30 odd cards that are only available in Welcome Decks and Planeswalker decks.

I think I would have liked playing with the Ixalan run of cards and the Dominaria cards looked nostalgic to my old days for me but there wasn't much in the Core Set that caught my eye. The upcoming guild stuff looks kind of interesting but there is just no point in spending this kind of money if I'm not going to do anything with it.
   514. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5710471)
I've only seen bits and pieces of Benson and Soap, but the connection to Arrested Development always jumped out at me. Though that could very well just be a way-station through Thick of It and back to the US for Veep. The British>US influence is often fairly clear (especially in a show like Veep or the Office where there is an explicit connection). But I wonder how easy it is to track things going the other way. I have to think Arrested Development influenced a lot of shows, though one of my English friends who is pretty much an encyclopedia of British comedy shows, had never heard of Arrested Development.


Soap especially - right down to the voice-over element. I think Soap would definitely qualify as AD's grandparent. Benson tended to go in a more standard sitcom direction more often than not, but Soap most certainly had all of AD's 'how ridiculous can we make this?' element.
   515. yo la tengo Posted: July 16, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5710543)
It seems like I might get an informative answer in this thread to a question I have. About 8 years ago we decided to opt out of cable service and we have bunny ears for our TV and we have Sling. Recently caved in a bit and added HBONow. My question is this - We added a few Sling channels recently for shows our kids want (added FXNow and Nick) and was flummoxed that I could only watch the shows we wanted if we could provide account info for our cable provider. Why have Sling if you have cable? What am I missing here?
   516. McCoy Posted: July 16, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5710593)
Mobility across many platforms.
   517. McCoy Posted: July 16, 2018 at 01:02 PM (#5710596)
Now into the first couple of episodes of season three and I forgot this was the season where they introduced Marlowe I thought he came later. I didn't realize until I googled it yesterday that "Ray Cole" was an executive producer on the show that died suddenly which is why he was always out of the office and they never showed any real up close shots of his body in the season three episode covering his wake.

The whole not really caring about the new case and the feeling of spinning their wheels really does seem to come through because in looking back and does feel like the writers didn't have much new stuff to say for that topic and they were just spinning their wheels much like their on screen cops.
   518. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5710601)
We added a few Sling channels recently for shows our kids want (added FXNow and Nick) and was flummoxed that I could only watch the shows we wanted if we could provide account info for our cable provider. Why have Sling if you have cable? What am I missing here?

Your Sling log-in should work just the same as a cable log in on many/most of these services. I use Playstation Vue, which is a similar service as Sling, and can log into nearly any TV app using those credentials.

To answer your cable/Sling question: I can't imagine very many people are using both those services, that would be entirely duplicative and a waste of money. If you subscribe to comcast you can use it on your phone, use it to authenticate apps, etc., you don't need Sling to do that.
   519. jmurph Posted: July 16, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5710602)
Your Sling log-in should work just the same as a cable log in on many/most of these services. I use Playstation Vue, which is a similar service as Sling, and can log into nearly any TV app using those credentials.

Here's a list of apps you can authenticate with your Sling login. Looking at this, it looks like Playstation subscribers have access to more apps, but it also costs more, so there's that.
   520. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 16, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5710646)
It seems like I might get an informative answer in this thread to a question I have. About 8 years ago we decided to opt out of cable service and we have bunny ears for our TV and we have Sling. Recently caved in a bit and added HBONow. My question is this - We added a few Sling channels recently for shows our kids want (added FXNow and Nick) and was flummoxed that I could only watch the shows we wanted if we could provide account info for our cable provider. Why have Sling if you have cable? What am I missing here?

There are a few cable channels that are only available to local cable subscribers. Certain channels that are owned by the cable operator, so they can say only on cable. There are also some rights issues for sports (where it is blacked out).

People will have sling, as well as cable, to watch on different devices, especially if they are travelling.
   521. yo la tengo Posted: July 16, 2018 at 03:10 PM (#5710673)
Thanks for the help. Tried to go through the process for FXNow and got messages about high traffic. Will try again later.

   522. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 16, 2018 at 03:28 PM (#5710679)
Just ended a week's vacation. Didn't do a bloody thing other than read, to the point of not even turning on the TV. Plowed through a dozen books, including two true crime, two sports (Outsider Baseball & We Changed the Game, on the ABA Pacers), & six horror novels, including the surprisingly (going by the title) very, very good My Best Friend's Exorcism. Heaven!
   523. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5710712)
Do you recommend Outsider Baseball, gef? From the Amazon reviews, it does seem like it was well researched, but I'm always wary about "old baseball stories" books, given that they tend to be about 90% ridiculously transparent fiction.
   524. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:09 PM (#5710717)
Do you recommend Outsider Baseball, gef? From the Amazon reviews, it does seem like it was well researched, but I'm always wary about "old baseball stories" books, given that they tend to be about 90% ridiculously transparent fiction.


Author Scott Simkus does his due diligence, IMHO, at least to the extent that it's do-able. For instance, his evaluation of Negro Leagues legends like Josh Gibson is very much based on actual box scores.
   525. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5710726)
So, none of the "Satchel was hung over, but he told all his fielders to go home for the day, belched twice, and proceeded to strike out 27 men in a row with no other players on the diamond" type stuff?
   526. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5710734)
So, none of the "Satchel was hung over, but he told all his fielders to go home for the day, belched twice, and proceeded to strike out 27 men in a row with no other players on the diamond" type stuff?


There's some of that, but only in the sense of being accurately labeled folklore as opposed to fact.
   527. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: July 16, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5710739)
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have my pick of a free Amazon Echo (v2) or Google Home. I can't imagine why I would ever want either one of them, but I have to pick one. Does anyone here have a strong preference for one over the other? Is there any reason I should want one? The chances are pretty good that it will re-gifted as a Christmas gift in five months.
   528. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 16, 2018 at 06:28 PM (#5710807)
#527.

It is all about the ecosystem. Amazon Prime users will want the Alexa. Hardcore Google users will prefer home.

I like my Alexa and just bought some home minis for my home office (to keep personal and work separate). But they are still in the box, so I can't give my personal review. But everything I read said they were roughly equivalent.

Pick whichever, honestly, especially if you are going to re-gift. I have to leave for dinner or I would write more.
   529. PreservedFish Posted: July 16, 2018 at 08:30 PM (#5710906)
Didn't do a bloody thing other than read, to the point of not even turning on the TV. Plowed through a dozen books, including two true crime, two sports (Outsider Baseball & We Changed the Game, on the ABA Pacers), & six horror novels, including the surprisingly (going by the title) very, very good My Best Friend's Exorcism. Heaven!


I have probably never read so much in a single week. Maybe not even half as much. How often do you change seats or venue?
   530. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 16, 2018 at 08:54 PM (#5710915)
Never. I basically read lying in bed.
   531. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 16, 2018 at 08:55 PM (#5710916)
Most I've ever knowingly read was 31 books in a month (mostly sf novels). In a day, 4 novels, though 2 were Ace Doubles.

Being a confirmed introvert with no life to speak of is a major factor here.
   532. PreservedFish Posted: July 16, 2018 at 09:00 PM (#5710919)
How long of a break do you take between novels?
   533. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 16, 2018 at 09:13 PM (#5710928)
Maybe 20 minutes if I have more than one I want to read, unless of course work gets in the way.
   534. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 16, 2018 at 09:21 PM (#5710935)
Most I've ever knowingly read was 31 books in a month (mostly sf novels).
Dear lord. Were you working full-time at the time?
   535. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 16, 2018 at 09:25 PM (#5710941)
Hardly. It was January 1978, most of which was Xmas break after my first semester of college, plus at least a couple of snow days after that.
   536. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 16, 2018 at 09:27 PM (#5710943)
OK, that does sound more plausible in terms of number of hours in the day.
   537. Lassus Posted: July 16, 2018 at 10:10 PM (#5710965)
How long of a break do you take between novels?

I don't read as much with no commute, but this answer is: zero, or maybe one day.
   538. PreservedFish Posted: July 16, 2018 at 11:20 PM (#5710995)
Are you also in the 4 novels-per-day club?
   539. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 17, 2018 at 01:14 AM (#5711025)
Zonk, #514:
I've only seen bits and pieces of Benson and Soap, but the connection to Arrested Development always jumped out at me. Though that could very well just be a way-station through Thick of It and back to the US for Veep. The British>US influence is often fairly clear (especially in a show like Veep or the Office where there is an explicit connection). But I wonder how easy it is to track things going the other way. I have to think Arrested Development influenced a lot of shows, though one of my English friends who is pretty much an encyclopedia of British comedy shows, had never heard of Arrested Development.
Soap especially - right down to the voice-over element. I think Soap would definitely qualify as AD's grandparent. Benson tended to go in a more standard sitcom direction more often than not, but Soap most certainly had all of AD's 'how ridiculous can we make this?' element.


"Soap" was a more mainstream and better-budgeted "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," with a 1970s prime time twinge of "SNL" transgressiveness that ultimately helped get the show cancelled.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't "Soap" just use voice-over narration at the beginnings and ends of each show? And didn't they use it just for "on the last episode..." summation, and "Will Jessica find out...?" upcoming plotline teases, rather than irony and omniscient narrative laughs? I mean, "Batman" did that much.
   540. McCoy Posted: July 17, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5711140)
Ran across a bone in prime rib-eye at Costco this weekend. 2.5# for 35 bucks. Couldn't pass it up so I got one for dinner. Tried out my Weber enameled cast iron plate for the first time and wow. Got an amazing sear on both side so quickly that I had to actually move the steak over to the colder side of the grill for 5 minutes to finish getting it up to temp. The old Weber Spirit I had needed 7 or 8 minutes to get a good char on one side and then only needed about 4 or 5 minutes on the other to get it up to temp but leaving a weak char on that side. The wife said it was the best steak she had in a long time so we're super happy with the plate and the Weber's ability to hold a temp. I also pulled out the wok and deep fried some onion rings as well. The only regret I have is not getting the Weber with the side burner on it. IT costs an extra 400 bucks or so and it probably doesn't pay for itself but it would have made it a lot easier to saute up some spinach, make the garlic herb butter sauce, and have the electric wok going for onion rings. I could have had my wok and electric burner going but I didn't want to jump through hoops with electric cords all over the place.
   541. Lassus Posted: July 17, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5711253)
Are you also in the 4 novels-per-day club?

God no, especially without the commute. I don't even sprint through any more, thanks to the internet. But I don't see a need for a break, either. I am a member of the "carry-the-next-book-also-in-case-you-finish-that-one" club
   542. jmurph Posted: July 17, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5711269)
Most I've ever knowingly read was 31 books in a month (mostly sf novels). In a day, 4 novels, though 2 were Ace Doubles.

I'm making an effort to read more this year and am therefore tracking the books I'm reading in a spreadsheet. So far I've finished 13 books, which is one off my final total from last year, which was, easily, the most I'd read in a single year since my oldest child was born (he's only about to turn 5, so it's just a few years long rut I'm trying to pull myself out of, but still). These numbers you're talking about are blowing my mind.
   543. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 17, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5711277)
I'm making an effort to read more this year and am therefore tracking the books I'm reading in a spreadsheet. So far I've finished 13 books, which is one off my final total from last year, which was, easily, the most I'd read in a single year since my oldest child was born (he's only about to turn 5, so it's just a few years long rut I'm trying to pull myself out of, but still). These numbers you're talking about are blowing my mind.


I'm not a speed reader (my first wife was; she made me look like someone who moved his lips when he read), but I guess I read fairly fast. I used to keep track of how many books I read per year, & 1978, which started with the aforementioned 31 in January, wound up with a total of something like 120. Clearly, my pace tapered off after awhile. For whatever reason I've begun counting again, & so far this year I'm at 52.

Looking back, 4 books in a day is nothing compared to reading Paradise Lost in one night, which I did the day before we were tested on it in 12th grade.
   544. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 17, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5711280)
Novel length was mentioned awhile back. Back in my genre-reading heyday sf books tended to run around 200 pages, if memory serves. These days 300-400 appears far more common, though I'm waaaay more likely to read horror, mystery or suspense than I am sf. Seems like horror has always seemed to run a bit longer, though that perception might be skewed by reading lots of Stephen King.
   545. PreservedFish Posted: July 17, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5711300)
So far I've finished 13 books, which is one off my final total from last year, which was, easily, the most I'd read in a single year since my oldest child was born (he's only about to turn 5, so it's just a few years long rut I'm trying to pull myself out of, but still). These numbers you're talking about are blowing my mind.


Yeah, I'm at like 3 books this year if we're not counting helpful non-pleasurable books.

Kids go to bed at 8:30 or so and if I want 8 hours sleep the clock immediately starts on my 2 hours of leisure time, assuming no chores need to be done, and they usually do. Most of the time I pull up a paperback in bed, read 4-5 pages, then fall asleep. Exceedingly rare to read a book for pleasure in any other circumstance lately. Sometimes I'll take one to the playground. Lucky if I can read a few pages worth. Mostly I just look at the other parents and feel superior to them for not looking at my smartphone. Then I pull out my smartphone because I need the latest BTF complaints about pace and the shift.
   546. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 17, 2018 at 02:52 PM (#5711305)
"carry-the-next-book-also-in-case-you-finish-that-one"
It's called a "Kindle" these days.
   547. Lassus Posted: July 17, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5711353)
Off.

My.

Lawn.
   548. PreservedFish Posted: July 17, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5711366)
I'm very attached to books as artifacts. I don't even like borrowing from the library, because I want to keep the book. I'm not an acquisitive person in general, otherwise. I read that "Magical Japanese Art of Tidying" book and wanted to throw out all of my belongings, except for the hundreds of floppy old paperbacks that I can't bear to part with.
   549. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 17, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5711373)
I read that "Magical Japanese Art of Tidying" book
Ironic that it was released in physical form.
   550. PreservedFish Posted: July 17, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5711384)
She's not anti-object. You're allowed to keep, like, your favorite 10 books or something.
   551. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 17, 2018 at 04:22 PM (#5711393)
That was honestly one of the (symbolic) things that eventually led me out of academia before I started my dissertation. I would see professors' houses and offices, and they would just be overflowing with disorganized books and papers on every shelf, table, nook, cranny, etc. I didn't want to live that way, or more substantively, dedicate that much of my life to a single topic. Funnily enough, my dad was a professor as well, but we never lived like that thanks to (a) my mom and (b) my dad never being that focused on his job (and I mean that as a compliment).
   552. PreservedFish Posted: July 17, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5711412)
Academia is totally perverse in so many ways. Nice to have the summers off though.
   553. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 17, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5711421)
Eh, these days academics are generally expected to research and write in the summers, aren't they?
   554. jmurph Posted: July 17, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5711423)
I'm very attached to books as artifacts.

To merge the two thoughts, PreservedFish, I became much more successful at actually finishing books in the past two years when I surrendered my dignity and gave my soul over to the kindle. I also prefer physical books like a normal human, but with the kindle and, I say this with great shame, the kindle app on my phone, I'm able to read in bed if my wife is asleep before me, at night if the 2 year old wakes up, etc.

It's also good for instantly buying something you learn about and, even better, instantly borrowing ebooks from the library (as an added motivator, my library doesn't let me renew ebooks, so you've got to finish it in 3 weeks or else you lose it).
   555. Lassus Posted: July 17, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5711445)
I have exactly one possession on earth that means anything to me: my library. Everything else can burn. I don't care if I have to drag 2500 books into the Adirondacks by myself on a cart while fleeing the zombie apocalypse or biblical flooding, I'll die before I part with them.
   556. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 17, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5711450)
To merge the two thoughts, PreservedFish, I became much more successful at actually finishing books in the past two years when I surrendered my dignity and gave my soul over to the kindle. I also prefer physical books like a normal human, but with the kindle and, I say this with great shame, the kindle app on my phone, I'm able to read in bed if my wife is asleep before me, at night if the 2 year old wakes up, etc.
OK, I get that some people have a preference for physical books for various reasons, and that's fine - but why do people then go on to say that the transition to e-reading is some universally lamentable thing? And how is that any different than the older-generation partners in our firm, for example, who cling to their physical case files and invent ridiculous rationales for how physical filing is objectively better than electronic?

Sure, physical books have some value (to some people) as things, beyond the actual content of the book, that can't really be replicated by digital versions. But the core social and personal purposes of reading - entertainment, education, etc. - are fulfilled by the substance of the book, not the form. We don't lose anything "core" in the transition to digital reading.
   557. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 17, 2018 at 06:37 PM (#5711501)
I've been reading most of my books on a kindle for 8years. I'll admit I will routinely forget the title of the book I'm reading if asked. I call my kindle my BRR, books ready to read. The backlit Kindle is a wonderful invention. I tend to read 12-18 a year on average. It's been a godsend for my Dad who lost some vision following a stroke and can count on the larger typeface w/o worrying if the local library in his small towns will have it. Quality of life boost.
   558. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 17, 2018 at 06:49 PM (#5711504)
The backlit Kindle is a wonderful invention.
Wonderful for reading in bed after my wife has fallen asleep, as jmurph alluded to earlier. I've gotten so attached to my 10-15 minutes of "solo" reading time that it annoys me when I'm ready to go to sleep soon and she's dilly-dallying or not done reading or whatever. "No, honey, I want to go to sleep in half an hour, so you need to go to bed now!" She's less than persuaded but generally a good sport.
   559. PreservedFish Posted: July 17, 2018 at 08:10 PM (#5711567)
OK, I get that some people have a preference for physical books for various reasons, and that's fine - but why do people then go on to say that the transition to e-reading is some universally lamentable thing?


There's probably a suspicion that books, without the binding and cover and such, will lose their magic and just get lost in the tidal wave of modern disposable content. Or at least that the experience of reading Tolstoy will be somewhat lessened by that notification interrupting you to let you know that Grumpy Cat has uploaded a new instagram video.

But I recognize that my fondness for physical books is entirely sentimental.

I remember backpacking in Asia, after some months my backpack was about 50% books by weight and volume, books I had already read, but couldn't stand to give away, which was insane. On the one hand, the idea of having a slim device that could hold every book I'd possibly want and more is obviously a magical, extraordinary thing, and an unfathomable improvement. On the other, I can still see those very books on my shelves, and I still get a warm happy feeling from them.
   560. PreservedFish Posted: July 17, 2018 at 08:11 PM (#5711571)
I've gotten so attached to my 10-15 minutes of "solo" reading time that it annoys me when I'm ready to go to sleep soon and she's dilly-dallying or not done reading or whatever.


Sounds like you've been married for more than just a few months.
   561. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 17, 2018 at 08:25 PM (#5711596)
My wife goes to bed before me 80+% of the time. Early riser. I too cherish that reading window.
   562. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 17, 2018 at 08:32 PM (#5711605)
Sounds like you've been married for more than just a few months.
Ha - in practice, yes. Together for 6 years when we got married, living together for around 5 of those.
   563. Lassus Posted: July 17, 2018 at 08:40 PM (#5711612)
wrong thread
   564. Greg K Posted: July 17, 2018 at 09:41 PM (#5711674)
I have exactly one possession on earth that means anything to me: my library. Everything else can burn. I don't care if I have to drag 2500 books into the Adirondacks by myself on a cart while fleeing the zombie apocalypse or biblical flooding, I'll die before I part with them.

I can second this. For the past 15 years I've essentially lived with a backpack worth of things. I'll buy a bed and a few dishes when I move to a new place, but when I move out I pretty much just take what I can carry on my person.

Except for my books, which my parents still gracious host in their house. If they ever sell their house I'm screwed.
   565. Baldrick Posted: July 17, 2018 at 10:23 PM (#5711694)
Hey, Greg K, I've been listening to Early Stuart England and really enjoying it. Just met the Trinity of Knaves, and can't wait for Raleigh to start Raleighing all over the place!
   566. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 17, 2018 at 11:36 PM (#5711730)
Wt
   567. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2018 at 12:20 AM (#5711762)
(this from Sunday during the World Cup. the de-evolution of humans into parrots is accelerating)

............

Harald Doornbos
‏Verified account @HaraldDoornbos
Jul 15

6.8 million views.

78.500 retweets.

196.000 likes.

And that all for a "Pamplona festival 2016" video which was posted by some anonymous guy as video "Croatia right now".

Welcome to the age of ignorance...

   568. Greg K Posted: July 18, 2018 at 07:40 AM (#5711816)
Hey, Greg K, I've been listening to Early Stuart England and really enjoying it. Just met the Trinity of Knaves, and can't wait for Raleigh to start Raleighing all over the place!


Hooray! I'm glad you enjoy it. It's been even more fun than I thought it would.

There is a Raleigh specific episode scheduled for August. Hijinks will be had!
   569. Omineca Greg Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:35 AM (#5711855)
Most movies tend to feature Judy Dench or such.

The Shipping News has Judi Dench taking a piss. Like literally, urine running out her urethra. And that's Dame Judi Dench to you.

No problem, I am a fount of information.

Before you think, "Who wants to watch some old lady go pee?", remember that movie is from 2001, so Judi was only 67.

I am also a font of information.

But mostly I have to go to work. Just watch me now.

   570. jmurph Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5711856)
Sure, physical books have some value (to some people) as things, beyond the actual content of the book, that can't really be replicated by digital versions. But the core social and personal purposes of reading - entertainment, education, etc. - are fulfilled by the substance of the book, not the form. We don't lose anything "core" in the transition to digital reading.

I was being at least somewhat tongue-in-cheek with the talk of selling my soul, but I think PF sort of nailed it. The other thing lost is just the visual, collection aspect of being able to display the books you've loved. Old copies, unique covers/spines, etc. I still buy the occasional hardcover when it's one of my favorite authors, or something reference-ish, and I'm a total sucker for big coffee table books.
   571. PreservedFish Posted: July 18, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5711896)
If I had enough money to pursue eccentric expensive hobbies, I'd collect books. SF has an antiquarian book fair that I attended yearly, and I never bought a single thing, because it's just not worth the money to me. As cool as it would be to have a whole shelf of 19th century Victorian exploration narratives, or an early Michelin restaurant guide, or first editions of my favorite works, I can't justify spending even as much as $50 on something like that, unless it's something that I could rightly display as a work of art.
   572. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5711904)
But I recognize that my fondness for physical books is entirely sentimental.


Not really. Physical book sales are growing. Ebook sales are declining.

People like actual books better.
   573. PreservedFish Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5711908)
Well, sentiments are important sometimes.
   574. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5711911)
If I had enough money to pursue eccentric expensive hobbies, I'd collect books. SF has an antiquarian book fair that I attended yearly, and I never bought a single thing, because it's just not worth the money to me. As cool as it would be to have a whole shelf of 19th century Victorian exploration narratives, or an early Michelin restaurant guide, or first editions of my favorite works, I can't justify spending even as much as $50 on something like that, unless it's something that I could rightly display as a work of art.


I would certainly NOT call myself a collector, by any means, but you'd be surprised how cheaply this can be done - especially if you're not particularly seeking 1st editions or the truly rare air of valuable titles.

I dabble a bit - almost exclusively looking for titles I love or just interesting tomes... The most I've ever spent on one was $40 for a nice first edition of the original American printing of Trotsky's Permanent Revolution. I picked up a beautiful early 20th century printing of Darwin's journal with lovely renderings of his sketches for $10. I doubt I've spent even $300 total - over 10 years - to fill a decent bookshelf with just titles that piqued my fancy, not even as any sort of real collectible effort, just because I like books and it's...well... cool to pull them down on occasion and leaf through them.

Nothing against the Andy's of the world :-) -- I love browsing used book stores -- but there, I usually just look for things that look interesting or on rare occasions, beloved titles where I just want to own a nice first edition (i.e., I also spent $20 on a first edition of Mike Royko's Boss recently... I was hoping it might have been one that Sis Daley had defaced, but alas). If you're after a well-known author, you're going to pay a premium of course.

Start at thrift stores, flea markets, estate sales. You can get some really cool stuff... For example, the north Chicago suburb of Wilmette has this big rummage sale every spring put on by some charitable group. It's a pretty tony suburb - bordered by some of the REAL rich suburbs (Kennilworth, Winnetka, etc), so it gets some really awesome stuff. A few years back, near the end, they had a "bag of books" for something like $20. My bag had a first edition of Theodore Roosevelt's autobiography (relatively worn, but still - just a cool book to have on my shelf), a nice mid 19th century Life of Daniel Webster, my favorite two volume copy of War & Peace, and some other neat titles.

I have a cousin who is a lot more hardcore about it this kind of thing than I - he's got designs on retiring as a gentleman bookseller/trader - and much to his wife's chagrin, he's basically filled their spare bedroom with books... but he's a maven for ALWAYS hitting up area thrift stores and such when he travels.
   575. PreservedFish Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5711932)
Oh, I've picked around like that. I've got an old attractive Travels of Marco Polo that has no book-snob value. I bought an out of print book by the famed tiger hunter Jim Corbett. Actually read, and loved, that one. What tends to happen though is that I buy a book, and it goes on the shelf, and I don't really ever think about it again until I'm trying to decide if I should throw away any of my books.
   576. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: July 18, 2018 at 06:21 PM (#5712217)
Not really. Physical book sales are growing. Ebook sales are declining.

People like actual books better.
I wonder if the ready availability of ebooks either through the library or illegal torrents factors into this. I know quite a few people who never/rarely checked physical books out of the library (almost always hardcovers so clunky to carry, and returning them was a pain), but routinely 'check out' ebooks. And while I don't torrent, I've seen several 'lots' of 500 or more ebooks shared amongst folks as a zip that presumably entered my circles via those sites.

To be clear, yay physical books. But as someone who used to pack a clothes suitcase and a books suitcase for travel, I see no reason to dismiss ebooks. They have their uses! (also good for reading at night with a partner in bed)
   577. jmp Posted: July 18, 2018 at 10:26 PM (#5712349)
One area where I prefer a physical book, and I realize this is a narrow focus, is fantasy books with maps and cover art.

Otherwise, I really appreciate having the kindle app on my phone. Better reading experience for me as I get older, convenient to swap between books easily.
   578. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 18, 2018 at 10:39 PM (#5712354)
I wonder if the ready availability of ebooks either through the library or illegal torrents factors into this. I know quite a few people who never/rarely checked physical books out of the library (almost always hardcovers so clunky to carry, and returning them was a pain), but routinely 'check out' ebooks. And while I don't torrent, I've seen several 'lots' of 500 or more ebooks shared amongst folks as a zip that presumably entered my circles via those sites.


I very much suspect so.

I'd add to that, the fact that the cartel like manner by which (mainly Amazon) keeps pricing at a level that doesn't give one much in the way of savings on the digital side.

Convenience is nice, but if it costs the same amount to buy a physical book as a download? And sans the itunes model regarding music (i.e., buying singles)... it significantly lowers the value.

What I do like about ebooks is the ease of entry... I don't have anything that piqued my interest enough to recommend, but occasionally I go on little sprees buying some of those independent author/99 cent items - stuff that would probably never get published otherwise (and if so, I'd never occasion across) that isn't half bad. Lots of crap, but occasionally some interesting items.
   579. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: July 19, 2018 at 06:39 AM (#5712409)
One of the things that really made digital music take off was being able to rip CDs. Keep the physical copy, have a digital copy to carry around with you, back up (into the cloud, eventually), and so on. I kind of wish there was some kind of option like that for books. I believe that Marvel offered something similar for its single-issue comics for a while - scan a QR code, get an online copy - but having authentic, high-quality .epubs or .mobis of my library would be awesome.

EDIT: I suppose I could rip my books, but that doesn't really produce the desired outcome. 'Automated companion download' needs a better term. That seems to be the pattern with Blu-Rays now - buy the physical media, get a download copy too.

I'm saying this assuming that one doesn't exist for books, but I'd be very happy to be corrected.
   580. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: July 19, 2018 at 08:25 AM (#5712424)
I'm a weirdo, but I love sitting in my office surrounded by books, 90% of which I've read. It's like sitting inside my own brain which is the kind of solipsism I am totally into to.

I'm not really a collector but there are a few writers I want to have a complete hardback run of though I don't care if they are first editions--Raymond Carver, Pynchon, Denis Johnson and Barry Hannah. Also, I gather books about paleontology (I don't say I collect since I don't have any rhyme or reason as to what I'm buying except that they look interesting and are well illustrated) and I like field guides. Birds of Southeast Asia, Mammals of South Africa, Reptiles of North America, Fish of the Western Pacific. That kind of stuff.
   581. Greg K Posted: July 19, 2018 at 08:31 AM (#5712427)
I like field guides. Birds of Southeast Asia, Mammals of South Africa, Reptiles of North America, Fish of the Western Pacific. That kind of stuff.

My grandfather had a big collection of those that are now at the family cottage. I loved reading them as kids, and they're actually quite useful these days in identifying the insect that just bit you.
   582. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:01 AM (#5712438)
I'm saying this assuming that one doesn't exist for books, but I'd be very happy to be corrected.


Not in any real sense... you can occasionally run across such offers, but they're super rare.

Amazon has a "P+E" thing - but only for select titles and only if you bought the print title through Amazon.

There was (is?) a startup called "shelfie" - you can read about their struggles here - that tried to go this route, but in a nutshell... they had a real hard time getting publishers to play ball, the process for ebook redemption was complicated and clunky, and of course due to DRM issues that exist all over the place, it was always easier to even use your ebook unless you the various extra steps that ereaders go out of their way to make hard.
   583. manchestermets Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5712447)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't "Soap" just use voice-over narration at the beginnings and ends of each show? And didn't they use it just for "on the last episode..." summation, and "Will Jessica find out...?" upcoming plotline teases, rather than irony and omniscient narrative laughs? I mean, "Batman" did that much.


You're not wrong, but that narration was still an important part of the humour of the show - it was just really well-written and narrated, and would have been missed if it weren't there.
   584. Morty Causa Posted: July 19, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5712553)
There are books I've kept through the years, and I mean years. To Kill A Mockingbird, the first serious work of literature I read at 15, 55 years ago. The Catcher in the Rye (all of Salinger), Catch 22, Peter De Vries (first book at 17, Let Me Count the Ways), Thurber, Walker Percy's The Moviegoer, John Barth's Giles Goat-Boy (although my favorite of his is now The Floating Opera), everything by Thomas Berger (his two very different masterpieces being, yes, Little Big Man and Reinhart in Love). John Fowles, especially The Magus (read at 17). I was once enthralled by the master whodunnit writer John Dickson Carr. I have a lot of his stuff. I was a charter subscriber to Bill James's abstracts when he mailed them to us in manuscript form. I have all those.

And, of course, P.G. Wodehouse. I find reading Wodehouse at this stage of my life is like a soothing body massage or something indefinably and ineffably sensual.

With all writers, even Wodehouse and Twain, I find myself at some point bereft, sort of like a lover whose object doesn't meet the ideal in his mind. At that point I'll stop reading them, although I may go back to their best stuff.

This especially applies to movies and TV. Whether it was Andy Griffth or MASH or All in the Family or whatever, after a while, usually a year or two, I found them repetitive and I had enough. This even applied The Simpsons, although I stuck with it for ten years, watching and re-watching. Yeah, I realize those are the best years, but The Simpsons second act is only disappointing comparatively. Because of the connivance of fate, Ted Williams was never able to achieve what he sought to achieve. We very likely don't have his best years That doesn't mean he wasn't impressive in his decline and in his inferior phase.

   585. . . . . . . Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5712559)
I want to put in a pitch here for a show that doesn't seem to have much of a following: Trial and Error on NBC. Starting watching it on a plane ride, got hooked. Finished it up the other day. It's exactly what TV comedy should be: stupid, slapsticky, good-spirited. It's also remarkably dirty (especially for a network show!) and has excellent Jewish jokes.

Puts a smile on my face, which is more than I can say for 95% of TV comedy.
   586. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5712560)
EDIT: I suppose I could rip my books, but that doesn't really produce the desired outcome. 'Automated companion download' needs a better term. That seems to be the pattern with Blu-Rays now - buy the physical media, get a download copy too.


This is the convention with records, at least with the smaller labels and most of the bigger 'indie' ones like Matador or Drag City -- the LP will come with a card with a link where you can download the digital files. I don't know if it's helped sales, or not had any effect, or what. (Though vinyl sales have been increasing steadily anyway the last decade or so.)
   587. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:09 PM (#5712568)
There are books I've kept through the years, and I mean years. To Kill A Mockingbird, the first serious work of literature I read at 15, 55 years ago. The Catcher in the Rye (all of Salinger), Catch 22, Peter De Vries (first book at 17, Let Me Count the Ways), Thurber, Walker Percy's The Moviegoer, John Barth's Giles Goat-Boy (although my favorite of his is now The Floating Opera), everything by Thomas Berger (his two very different masterpieces being, yes, Little Big Man and Reinhart in Love). John Fowles, especially The Magus (read at 17). I was once enthralled by the master whodunnit writer John Dickson Carr. I have a lot of his stuff. I was a charter subscriber to Bill James's abstracts when he mailed them to us in manuscript form. I have all those.


Some 99+ percent of the fairly decent-sized book collection -- probably 2,000ish, just as a WAG -- I'd amassed through grad school went away after I got divorced the first time at age 25, not because of inimical behavior on anyone's part but simply because I was in Arkansas, the books (& quite a few other possessions) were with my former in-laws in Arizona & I didn't have the means to bridge the gulf. *sigh*

Of course, if that hadn't happened I have no idea how I'd physically accommodate the collection I have now. I suppose 30 percent of the probably thousands of volumes I own now are replacements for what I used to have, but that still leaves an ungodly number of the things. One of my spare bedrooms is stuffed with them, the other is chock full of records & comics, & the master bedroom contains the bulk of my comics collection (which totals maybe 17,000) & probably 200 books at the very least.
   588. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: July 20, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5713181)
The new season of "Better Call Saul" resumes August 6. I just re-watched Season 3 on Netflix, and it's impressive how much is crammed into each episode. Some of the storylines I swore happened over the course of weeks (like Jimmy separating Irene) happened in 45 minutes. The cinematography, as in "Breaking Bad" is also a highlight. Jonathan Banks dismantling a car in S3E1 is spectacular.
   589. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 20, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5713197)
Author Scott Simkus does his due diligence, IMHO, at least to the extent that it's do-able. For instance, his evaluation of Negro Leagues legends like Josh Gibson is very much based on actual box scores.
UPDATE: I'm reading Outsider Baseball now, and so far I have mixed reviews. The STARS point-scoring system he developed for comparing quality of leagues has some pretty glaring flaws, but if you just kind of ignore that part, the historical material is interesting.

However, he seems to be entirely too credulous of contemporaneous newspaper reports, many of which seem wildly exaggerated if not wholly fictional, and the parts at the beginnings of the chapters where he "sets the scene" are, as far as I can tell, completely made-up vignettes complete with dialogue. They seem gratuitous.

Also, as I posted a while back, I hate the "You made this little mistake so how can I be sure everything else in your work is valid??" thinking. BUT...it's bad enough to screw up the name of Weeghman Park ("Weegham"), but he also used "anecdote" when he meant "antidote." Come on.
   590. Lassus Posted: July 20, 2018 at 09:47 PM (#5713375)
I finished a novel to add to my Stephenson's ranking:

1. Anathem - This was my idea of a perfect novel. Loved the setting, loved the characters, loved the themes, loved the maths, love the ending. He puts out anything that equals this in the future I'll be totally thrilled.

2. Baroque Cycle - This is kind of a cheat and generally subjective because I love epics, so the length is really a feature for me and not a bug. The economic lesson hump of the book is a massive negative, but the rewards equal the task IMO. I do not think he needs an editor. FYI, for those who weren't aware, he wrote this one out by hand.

3. Snow Crash - Game-changer

4. Zodiac - This is an incredibly fun guerilla eco-warrior book, written by a young writer who was really enjoying himself. I was surprised how much I liked it.

5. Cryptonomicon - I remember really liking this, and my policy of basically re-reading nothing, ever, sort of hurts this ranking, as it might do better upon going through again. I'd imagine, however, that it might also end up a lot more dated than his other works.

6. The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. (Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland) - good story, good characters, good satire, solved the bad ending problem by simply having no ending. A little haphazard in 2nd act, maybe some of the satire made its point and didn't need to be hammered as hard for as long.

7. Reamde - Stylistic, pointless page-turner. Probably liked it more than a lot of people did. I'm not a gamer, so I think those who are have a better grasp on this book.

8. The Diamond Age: or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer - Good, but nanotech annoys me. Should probably re-read.

9. Seveneves - 1st half was very good but incredibly bleak. Payoff for living through that was unrealized in an amazingly promising 2nd half premise that went totally nowhere, and the deux ex machinas were really really annoying. Everyone goes on about Stephenson's endings, this was the only one I felt hit that nerve with a hammer.

10. The Mongoliad - Read the 1st one, which bored me, and reminded me of the endless CLANG ###########.

The Big U, Interface, The Cobweb - In my library, unread.
   591. Chicago Joe Posted: July 20, 2018 at 10:40 PM (#5713379)
FIRST, a plug for the softball game. Go to it. August 11th in Central Park, NYC. It’s a lot of fun and a fun trip.

Now that that’s out of the way, two book related items. Built a large bookshelf for my apartment. A little planning went a long way; it was easier than it looks, and much nicer than what you can buy for comparable money in a store.

Randomly picked up “Watergate: The Hidden History”. 800 page doorstop; thus far it has not impressed. Focuses on Nixon’s involvement with Castro assassination attempts. It seems heavily interested in Nixon’s mob ties to the point of excluding other, possibly more interesting topics. Hopefully, it will improve.
   592. Brian White Posted: July 21, 2018 at 08:41 AM (#5713438)
So, lurking in the pop culture thread inspired me to go back and re-read Anathem. And yes, what an incredible book. Although, during reading, I couldn't help but be a little bit sad in knowing that this might end up being Stephenson's last great novel, as everything he's written after Anathem is so mediocre.
   593. BDC Posted: July 21, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5713459)
am a member of the "carry-the-next-book-also-in-case-you-finish-that-one" club

That was me on the way home from Denmark yesterday. I hurried up first thing in the morning and finished one book I'd started (Schuld by Ferdinand von Schirach) so that I could put it in checked luggage, and then made sure I had two more for the plane trips (La ragazza col turbante by Marta Morazzoni, and Chant du Bouc, a crime novel by Chantal Pelletier). I nearly finished the one by Morazzoni, so I was comfortable. If all else failed I had an iBooks version of Pelle the Conqueror on my phone, no way in hell could I have finished that in one day.

Anyway, von Schirach's book (the English title is Guilt) has some really good stories in it. They are terse little stories (15 of them) about hideous crimes, written by a prominent criminal lawyer (and grandson of a prominent Nazi). I highly recommend it.

Morazzoni's book is called Girl in Turban in English and is also fine, though quite different. It is five long stories, historical fiction, mostly inconclusive and oblique, kind of arty. There is one about Mozart and one about Lorenzo da Ponte. I like them.

I didn't consume much popular culture in Scandinavia, and I didn't even read that much, getting out and walking quite a bit, seeing some literary and cultural sites. I touched the writing desks of Hjalmar Söderberg and Martin Anderson Nexø (author of the aforementioned Pelle.) I did get the tacos at Hija de Sanchez in Copenhagen, which somebody here recommended. They were good, but La Dernière wondered why the hell we would go out of our way to get tacos in Copenhagen.
   594. PreservedFish Posted: July 21, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5713466)
I did get the tacos at Hija de Sanchez in Copenhagen, which somebody here recommended. They were good, but La Dernière wondered why the hell we would go out of our way to get tacos in Copenhagen.

That was me! The chef has some sort of connection to Noma, whose pioneering chef, Rene Redzepi, has become perhaps the world's most notable promoter of Mexican cuisine.

Were they of Texas quality?
   595. BDC Posted: July 21, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5713487)
Were they of Texas quality?

Certainly as good as the "fresh-mex" tacos that some places here do, though a bit different. Hija de Sanchez use purple masa, very lightly baked, and for the filling, barbacoa, which is not really a Texas item but very tasty in their recipe. Thanks for the tip!

They're next to a craft-beer stall that has excellent wheat beer. La D reported that the gelato in Torvehallerne was very good too.
   596. Greg Pope Posted: July 21, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5713520)
I wonder if the ready availability of ebooks either through the library or illegal torrents factors into this. I know quite a few people who never/rarely checked physical books out of the library (almost always hardcovers so clunky to carry, and returning them was a pain), but routinely 'check out' ebooks.

This is me. The only physical book I've checked out of the library in the last 2 decades is one of the anthologies that contain the ASOIAF short stories. But I read a couple of dozen books a year by checking them out electronically from the library.

Mostly it's my cheapness.
   597. Greg Pope Posted: July 21, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5713521)
I want to put in a pitch here for a show that doesn't seem to have much of a following: Trial and Error on NBC. Starting watching it on a plane ride, got hooked. Finished it up the other day. It's exactly what TV comedy should be: stupid, slapsticky, good-spirited. It's also remarkably dirty (especially for a network show!) and has excellent Jewish jokes.

In general I can't stand John Lithgow, but boy was that first season hilarious. And they actually make good use of the faux documentary style. Much better than The Office or Modern Family, where you find yourself asking "Why would the documentary crew be filming this?"
   598. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: July 21, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5713526)
Went to Cut in Las Vegas a few days ago. I've been to a lot of good steakhouses, but that one blows them all away. We split a bunch of steaks, and each one was the best steak I've ever eaten. Things like the wagyu by the ounce were unsurprisingly delicious,but I don't particularly like skirt steak and theirs was better than basically everything else I've ever had. Don't know how they do it. They did, however, overhype the corn.

Any of our resident foodies/chefs been there? Want to tell me why they actually suck, McCoy?
   599. Omineca Greg Posted: July 21, 2018 at 07:03 PM (#5713558)
They were good, but La Dernière wondered why the hell we would go out of our way to get tacos in Copenhagen.


My wife had a similar comment about dim sum in Glasgow. Too bad woman! I'd gone 72 hours without dim sum (all the way back in Dundee) and I was feeling the need.

The smoked haddock and chive 水晶饺子 were fantastic!

Too bad about the 干煸四季豆 being made with regular green beans instead of 豆角.

What's the matter Glasgow? And I thought you were supposed to be cool. Let all the people have all the beans.

And not that I touch the stuff, but boy oh boy, I'm told Scottish gin is good gin.
   600. Lassus Posted: July 21, 2018 at 07:23 PM (#5713571)
...and each one was the best steak I've ever eaten.

I'm not enough of a real foodie to know where this would be for me, but it does make me wonder now. Probably Dylan Prime, now in the great steakhouse in the sky.
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