Monthly Archives: February 2012

A new story: Charlotte Brontë’s ‘L’Ingratitude’

Can be found, here: Charlotte Brontë · L’Ingratitude · LRB 8 March 2012. It is …

a story written in French for her teacher Constantin Heger, has just been found by Brian Bracken at a museum in Charleroi.

Bonus! There is an audio version on the site as well, with the text read by Gillian Anderson.

Thanks to Maud Newton for pointing this out.

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Why Canadians are not Americans. (Something both should read.)

This brilliant essay, by Stephen Marche in The Walrus, That Time We Beat the Americans, is not just a superb review of the War of 1812. It also establishes just how important that war was and why we don’t give it more attention. It is the best type of historical writing – clear, concise, insightful, approachable. Please take a moment to read it. I highly recommend it.

Here comes the drones and how this changes things for everyone but city dwellers

As this article (Drones With an Eye on the Public Cleared to Fly – NYTimes.com) as well as any number of stories have illustrated, drones are here and they are here to stay, at least for a little while.

If you live in a rural setting or a suburban setting, this changes alot. Now you can build fences or surround yourself with land in order to maintain privacy and keep people away. With drones you will no longer be able to do this, short of building a massive tent over you. Regardless of how high they are, they will be able to video you with a high degree of accuracy, and for the short term, you won’t be able to do anything about it. Eventually drone users will abuse them and they will be dragged to court and boundaries will be set down, but this will take time.

Ironically, it will be better if you live in the city. It will be harder for drones to navigate in the city, and buildings will block them from flying and photographing. As well, if you live in the city and around tall buildings, you have more of an awareness that people can spy on you and govern yourself accordingly. I expect city dwellers to suffer less from intrusive drones.

We live in interesting times, and all new technology changes the way we live in some way. Drones will do that in a significant way.

Thanks to Doug Saunders for highlighting this article (@dougsaunders on Twitter).

Cineplex $2.50 movies on Saturday mornings

Over the next few months, quite a number of Cineplex theatres across Canada will be showing Family Favourites on Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. If you are looking for your kids to see some classics, this is a good opportunity to do it on the big screen.

Friday Night Music: Adele live at NPR’s Tiny Desk

A big star in a small space, performing great work. Enjoy!

Adele: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert – YouTube

On March, 31 Anonymous is going to try and take out the ‘Net . Some thoughts on why, how and what’s next

I think this is more about them than a genuine protest. All it will do if it does work is show their might: I can’t see how it will effect meaningful change of any kind.

Will it work? It depends on how many recruits they get (real or virtual). I suspect they will disrupt some of the root servers, but I think the root server clusters will be able to handle it overall.

Other than the lulz, I don’t see this working out well for Anonymous. The perception of them may shift from We-Take-On-The-Big-Bad-Organizations to We-Are-Reckless-Vandals. They already took a hit when they backed off from taking on Mexican crime lords. This may result in them taking a further hit. But I am hedging here, obviously….we shall see the result soon enough.

For some details on this, see Pastebin.com

Paul McCartney, or everything old is new again

I used to wonder why Paul McCartney still made music. He doesn’t need to money or the fame. His new music is no longer influential. So why?

From watching him at this year’s Grammys, I concluded he simply does it because he loves to make music. He seemed to be having a great time here:

A love of music would explain his new album, Kisses on the Bottom. You really need to read this article by Will Friedwald in the WSJ.com, to see why I think that. (The article is excellent.) It’s easy to be cynical about such an album, and think that it might be a waste of time, but Friedwald convinced me to think otherwise. As he says:

From bottom to top, “Kisses on the Bottom” is a much more classy and heartfelt effort than all the other rockers-go-standards projects (a genre partially launched, coincidentally, by fellow Beatle Ringo Starr’s 1970 “Sentimental Journey”); it will probably be the only one that, in future years, I’ll listen to anywhere near as often as the classic recordings of Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra.