Awesomeness : A layperson's guide

True Detective, again…

OK, I got past the first 4 episodes, and it was worth it, it’s a great show, it just takes a long time getting there. From Episode 5 onwards, it just keeps getting better, maybe it’s because I started to care about the characters, or maybe it’s just the story got more interesting.

McConaughey is outstanding throughout the show, I think Matthew McConaughey will be regarded as one of the greatest actors of his generation, this statement would have seem absurd only a few years ago, but now he the standout performance in everything he is in.

Woody Harrelson gets better, but still can’t really match his co-star, they just aren’t in the same league, it’s not just the acting though, his role and script just isn’t nearly as interesting, so it’s not really his fault, he’s not been given the opportunity like McConaughey was.

I’d say, if you don’t like the show by episode 5, you won’t like it, it’s a good show, but it doesn’t hit the ground running like Fargo, it takes a while to get going, but it’s worth the wait.

Also, best opening credits ever.

For fucks sake.

http://www.northaugustastar.com/article/20140701/AIK0101/140709990/1160/woman-arrested-for-child-abandonment

TLDR : Woman leave 9 year old child in park while she goes to work, is arrested, child now in care of social services.

So a child was left in a public place with no direct supervision, you know, just like every kid 20 years ago used to be. I recall going cycling *miles* away from my home, I could have been abducted, murdered, but I wasn’t, and neither was this child, why not? Because it’s incredibly unlikely.

From U.S. Dept. of Justice

"…roughly 69,000 kidnappings that occurred in 1999 only 115 of them were abductions by strangers. 

So, you leave your child with a grandparent? bejesus that’s risky, oh a neighbour, christ, you may aswell just murder the kid yourself,save on the paperwork.

The chances of a child being abducted by a stranger in the U.S. is apparently 1 in 610,000, more than I though it would be, but still pretty unlikely.

Odds of a child being in a fatal automobile accident: 1 in 23,000, so about 25x more likely than a stranger abduction, but we still drive kids around, are we CRAZY! No, there are just some risks we choose to ignore, and others we like to hype up.

This kid wasn’t in any real danger, she was much more likely to be killed in the police car back to the station.

True Detective

Not finished the series yet, but so far, not that impressed, considering the 9.4 rating on IMDB. McConaughey is very, very good, charismatic, and overall very watchable. Woody Harrelson is what you’d expect, no surprises, just playing the ‘Woody Harrelson’ character, I’m kinda surpised they gave his character a name, and didn’t just stick with ‘Woody’.

So far, the story is kind of dull, nothing we haven’t seen a hundred times before.

I’ll give it a chance though, see it through to the end.

Fargo (TV Series)

Outstanding. Billy Bob Thornton is incredible, when he is on the screen, nobody else should bother turning up. Martin Freeman is also pretty amazing, difficult to believe he started off in The Office (the good UK one, not the broad-comedy, shark-jumping, dragging-it-out-until-the-ad-money-runs-dry US version.)

There are no bad actors in this show, there are no weak episodes, the plot is interesting, but not convoluted, the characters are not cliché, it’s basically faultless.

Digital frames

http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/8/5880371/electric-objects-digital-picture-frame

A new product from ‘Electric Objects’ (why must everything be powered on, can nothing be inert anymore.)

Not a new idea, but Apple has very few original ideas, it takes other peoples and makes them better, look at the iPod, not the first MP3 player by a long way, but totally dominated the market.

Anyway, back to the frame, I don’t really like the idea of the manufacturing that would go into this, for something that  a sheet of paper does better, but at the same time, I kind of like the idea of curated, nice art being pumped into my home, if it could learn the sort of stuff I like, and show me more of it, I’d learn a bit more about art, what I liked, that has to be a good thing. I like the painting Nighthawks, I’d like to see more like it.

The frame prides itself on pretty much zero-interaction, i.e. no tweets, no statuses or whatever other self-involved vapid shit you have on your phone.

It’s a normal backlit LCD screen, which I think is a shame, I’d rather a Kindle style display, I object to a glowing LED on the Apple TV and the Philips Fidelio, the idea of a glowing large screen is off-putting. but I guess the tech isn’t there yet.

I like the idea, but the implementation is a bit, I don’t know, unpleasant, I want a painting to light up a room because it’s a great painting, not because it’s literally lighting up a room.

Democracy by Jury

http://outlookzen.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/democracy-by-jury/

An interesting article, it’s basically arguing the case for political representatives to be elected by a random jury, rather than every idiot who can find his/her way to the polling booth.

It’s an interesting idea, but doesn’t solve the main problems with our democracy, stupid people, and a biased media.

I’ve done jury service, it was a good experience, and I think the verdict was fair. The is an important difference here though. I didn’t know the defendant, the prosecution, or any aspect of the case before entering that courtroom. With politics, I do. The media has already swayed me, I know the people involved, I’ve read about them for years, if this were the case in a criminal trial, I wouldn’t be allowed on the jury, as I’ve got a prejudice.

I agree totally, our (Australian and UK) political system is broken (the US system is probably beyond repair, it’s basic tribalism), the UK less so, as the main news source (the BBC) is remarkably fair and, I believe, institutionally unbiased (although individual presenters will obviously have their own opinions.)

In Australia, nobody in their right mind would vote for Tony Abbott, but he got elected, how? Well, the electorate weren’t in their right mind, a court would consider them to have been coerced, and not acting reasonably.

The media needs to change, we cannot have a situation where a newspaper or TV news takes a side, the only purpose for this is to alter the electorates mind, this is not democratic.

Swift

Apple released a new language at the WWDC, Swift, today, I had a play with it…

Syntax is confusing at first, not helped by the error messages being damn near obtuse, but this is beta stuff, I expect flaws.

As an Obj-C guy, I like the Obj-C syntax, and don’t think it really needs to change, but a lot of people would disagree with that. Obj-C is not really like anything else, and it’s tricky to pickup if you’ve not followed its evolution over the years.

Swift is a modern language, I see it one day running in a virtual machine, as byte code, Obj-C would struggle there, the problem being the ‘C’ part of it.

I like the lack of header files, Swift is nice like that, and it has the Xcode auto-complete magic, just like Obj-C does, so once you ‘get’ the syntax, it’s pretty easy to use.

I’ll continue to play with it, so far, so good.

The Frozen Ground

Really enjoyed this film, it’s a true story, and pretty accurately depicted by all accounts.

Nick Cage is good, I feel bad for the dude sometimes, he’s a great, watchable actor, but gets a lot of stick for occasionally being in a shit film. 

John Cusack is brilliant as always, I don’t think the man is able to be in a bad movie, like his mere presence on set makes it into a good film.

A good old fashioned thriller, and before you say, ‘Hold on M-Unit, 50 cent is in this film, WTF?’ Yes, he is in it, and is very good, so give him the benefit of the doubt, he isn’t wishing some ‘shorty’ to have a pleasant birthday, he is actually playing a role.

If you like serial killer movies, you’ll like this.

Welcome to the Punch

James McAvoy sporting a convincing London accent, Mark Strong playing the ‘Mark Strong’ character, which he performs well.

It’s a decent film, unrealistic, but enjoyable. The cinematography is occasionally a little jarring, but usually very good indeed, especially the start, which is quite Michael Mann in style, which I like.

The New Apple

I was going to write an article, but it would be duplicate of this one…

http://www.allenpike.com/2014/a-company-made-of-people/

The New Apple is a really positive step, more open, more friendly, more human.

At the end of the Steve Jobs era, I wondered who could replace him, who would be capable of filling his shoes, but the Tim Cook version of Apple is a better one, more forward thinking. Tim Cook is a human being, and a good one. The removal of people like Scott Forstall was about putting the right people in charge, good people, nice people.

The Apple presence at the Pride Parade was another symbol of their new found humanity.

http://9to5mac.com/2014/06/29/tim-cook-and-apple-celebrate-applepride-in-san-francisco-today/

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