Shell and a song book.
Nobody ever became drunk on the word wine.
Anthony De Mello
Use the good plates like you won’t be here this evening.
Ornaments on our bathroom counter.
- Watch: Live stream of wildlife at a watering hole in a Namibia desert (YouTube).
- Read: Catastrophe star Rob Delaney tells how a brain cancer diagnosis for his 1-year-old son upended his family in A Heart That Works, a story of love and grief. 📚
- Listen to: Blues rocker Elle King releases Come Get Your Wife. 🎵
Freddie deBoer, The Creative Underclass is Still Raging:
I believe I’m very good at what I do, but/and I’m exquisitely aware that if a few things had broken differently for me, I’d never have enjoyed this opportunity to write as my only job. … The question is whether people should have fits over my success itself, as opposed to all the substantive reasons to dislike me. It’s difficult for any of us to really grasp abstract problems like inequality or corporate domination, and the temptation to nominate some individual people as the receptacles for your anger is understandable. Understandable, but not helpful, least of all to the people who get perpetually enraged in this way.
Here’s looking forward to 2023 and more advances in nuclear fusion and AI and new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope.
Things you don’t want to hear from guests if you’re throwing a New Year’s Eve party:
- “I’m not drinking tonight.”
- “I’m so hungover from last night, I can’t believe I’m here.”
- “Is it OK that I brought my kids?”
- “I have to be up early for work tomorrow.”
After reading 45 books this year, these are nine standouts that I highly recommend:
- Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri. A young immigrant boy weaves tales both tall and small as he tries to fit in at an Oklahoma school.
- Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel. A lyrical story of time travel and the meaning of reality.
- The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson. The story of the discovery of the DNA-editor CRISPR.
- The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier (Translated by Adriana Hunter). To say even a little is to give away too much in this novel about the passengers on a mysterious flight from Paris to New York.
- The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (Translated by Susan Massotty). Re-read before a trip to Amsterdam. It still stands out as a powerful work of nonfiction.
- Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner. Zauner recounts growing up as a Korean American kid in Oregon and her path to a music career. I read it in Feburary and it has come up in conversation in almost every month since.
- Ballad for Sophie by Filipe Melo. This graphic novel is a beautiful look at one man’s life.
- Retail Gangster: The Insane, Real-Life Story of Crazy Eddie by Gary Weiss. A detailed story of grift on a large scale. Fascinating throughout.
- Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. The story of the fame, drama and tragedy that follows two friends who start a video game company. 📚
One fun use for AI-generated art is to create custom lock screen images for my phone. Here is an image I created of a poodle astronaut. (This likeness to our dog is remarkable.)
This image was created with DALL-E and extended at the top using their edit tool to add the planet. I cleaned up the final image a little in Photoshop before uploading to my phone.
Haiku on the toiling of a modern office worker, written by ChatGPT:
The office worker sighs
Staring at a sea of numbers
Spreadsheets never end
Spreadsheets and slides
Office worker’s endless toil
Bright screens glare at me
In the endless sea of cubicles
Trapped in corporate hell
Tired fingers type, click
Mind numbed by tedious tasks
Office drone’s daily grind
I asked it to put a more positive spin on things:
Morning sun shines through
Bustling office, new day starts
Cup of coffee steams
Motivating music plays, I work
Productive day ahead
Challenges await, I rise
Determined to conquer them all
Victory is mine
And one more on the future of the human worker:
Robots take the jobs
Human workers left in despair
Cold efficiency reigns
According to Spotify’s year in review the top two artists I listened to this year were musicians I’d never heard of before this year: Joy Oladokun and Ashe.
I’m discovering Amazon’s Prime delivery promise is not longer valid at my address. Everything is now delivered in 7 to 9 days. A couple of conversations with Amazon customer service has led to no resolution. They won’t even acknowledge it’s a problem, so I’m not sure why I would continue to pay for Prime, let alone purchase from Amazon rather than another online retailer.
If you’re experiencing a similar problem, this article from September explains a little of what’s going on.
The complaints from Amazon customers are similar and popping up across the US. From western New York to central Missouri to rural Washington state, some Amazon Prime members are asking a version of the same question: What happened to Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping?
Rising costs are making it hard for indie musicians to take their shows on the road.
Why brussel sprouts taste better (they’re still not good).
Every song with more than 1 billion Spotify streams.
Happy Thanksgiving from Tybee Island. Let’s be careful out there.
The average home size in every U.S. state. There are some suprises here.
Is this really the only portrait of William Shakespeare made in his lifetime?
The figure portrayed is a bearded, balding man in shirt and doublet, with the top left and right of the canvas helpfully inscribed 1608 and AE (aged) 44 – the correct age for the playwright at the time.
A Courtauld Institute examination of the picture in 2016 concluded the pigments were consistent with the period, while its well-preserved state pointed to it having remained in the same location for a lengthy period, possibly centuries.
In the future you will live on Mars and arrive with your dogs for an alfresco Thanksgiving dinner being prepared by a personal chef.
How to run your own Mastodon server.