Greetings from the surface of Mars! Wednesday in the Bay Area was deeply scary and awful, but the smoke has stayed here albeit in a lower-to-the-ground fashion all week. I haven’t really been outside since two Wednesdays ago, and I hate it.
Keep folks in Oregon in your thoughts too, because their air quality is even worse than ours, and friends around Portland are preparing to potentially evacuate. It’s a scary time!
I know you don’t come here for sad news, but that’s what I’ve got to lead with today, sorry!
In positive news, it’s the Tuscan GP weekend in F1, and the track is super fast and wild. I don’t think it’ll be a big passing track, but qualifying was super close. Also Monday is a fairly interesting conversation for your host, me, so light a candle or something for that. More news to come, hopefully.
For now though, let’s link it up.
My econ professor said “beef” 125 times in a single lecture. Here are all of them pic.twitter.com/MZZ1cfA0pe— Tino Cardasis (@CardasisTino) December 23, 2019
- File this under “hilariously silly,” but supposedly satanists are handing out “cursed” rosary beads to unsuspecting Catholics. Hail Satan! While I’m not sure that curses actually work, I’m all the way here for cursing people. Placebos are effective, so perhaps placebo curses are also effective? Let’s curse the bastards.
- Speaking of curses, are you cursed with specialist knowledge you can’t communicate? Steven Pinker has some tips! This was a pretty interesting read on how to write for you audience, instead of your coworkers when writing technically. I personally loathe super-jargon-y writing, of which there is a ton in tech. So, I hope you absorb this for anything you write, and aim towards digestible, interesting writing.
- This last week, for no apparent reason I started rewatching all the Mission Impossible films from the beginning. I find Tom Cruise pretending to be deeply straight quite amusing, and was convinced by my pal Drew that watching him run is also a delight. I think the 4th movie is my favorite so far, but hilariously I found out that MI3 was released on the Nokia N93 which is featured in the film. I’m all about stupid merchandising tie-ins, and this one is perfect. Imagine watching Tom Cruise run around on a 2.4’ 240x320px screen. This was a time period where I was importing Nokia phones from Asia and Europe to use myself, so I definitely wanted this absurd phone for myself. I wonder if EBay has one with MI3 loaded?
- This week, I was also thinking about how Q Anon is just an updated version of anti-Semitic blood libel bullshit. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one. I find this stuff seriously disturbing, in addition to being utterly absurd. I genuinely wish people would find a way to disown Zionist crap, and embrace Jewish people and perhaps even the Jewish faith.
- This week marked the 19th anniversary of 9/11, and anti-Muslim sentiment is still a huge problem. My Muslim friends have described the abuse and hatred they felt in the ensuing 19 years, and It makes me sick. No one should be persecuted or hated for their faith or culture. Learn about Islam, and care for the Muslim folks around you. Stand up to the bullies and bigots, because our planet is too small to be a narrow-minded asshole.
- Let’s learn to think long-term. This planet will outlast the human race, possibly, but most certainly a struggle and hope for rights and a better world will outlast those of us reading this in 2020. It’s a great idea to think of a peace narrative, and commit to efforts that will last for generations. I personally find a great deal of solace in being part of a multi-generational effort to win rights and support for LGBTQIA folks around the world. Find your cause, be it environmental, or social, or both, and get involved. The planet will appreciate it, as will many generations to come.
- To finish out this week, let’s consider how wild it is that so many people die on stairs. There are way more deaths on stairs than due to shark attacks, but a movie about falling down the stairs would be pretty boring. Unless… what if the stairs were haunted? Spooky, killer stairs. I dunno. Just spitballing here.
Let’s have a better week than last week! Reach out to a friend or two you haven’t talked to in a while, and say hi. Tell them you care, and you’re thinking of them. We’ll get through this present series of crisis, and I personally think part of doing so is deepening the community we’ve built. Hug a friend (safely), pet, or partner and think of the things in your life you’re grateful for and the things you love.
Silly, or poignant, there are so many amazing works of art and media in the world. Are you reading or watching anything fun? Let me know.
Also, happy Apple announcement week to those of you who eagerly anticipate spending money at the altar of Apple, Inc. It should be a wild ride.
This week’s email was a bit all over the place for me emotionally, but that’s where I’m at, so sorry/not-sorry. As always though, take care, and keep fighting, space cowgirls~