Photo of the day

I was a little disappointed with my photos from Christmas morning, but got some great ones on a Boxing Day visit to my grandmother-in-law way out in the country the next day.  This one of Sarah is my favorite:


Quick hits (part I)

1) Really interesting story about a judge in Maryland who practices “tough love” with juvenile offenders and seems to really want what’s best for them, but keeps on locking them up far too much despite the increasing evidence that this is not the best way to help them.

2) So, if we don’t step things up on dealing with antibiotic resistant bacteria, millions and millions of people are going to die.  I suggest we step things up.

3) Loved this glossary of twitter lingo, etc.  I’m going to have to start using the shruggie.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

4) The NYT Editorial calling for prosecution of the torturers and their bosses (here’s looking at you, Dick Cheney).

5) Jonathan Ladd on why you should not expect all the uproar/controversy over policing to have much partisan implication.  Short version: liberals and conservatives are already well-sorted on the issue.

6) NYT Sunday Review on the ongoing segregation of our schools.

7) Interesting piece on how the lack of affordable child care has stalled out the feminist revolution:

My mother’s generation—the Gloria Steinem generation of equal opportunity feminists—had fought and failed to create a system for working mothers, i.e., affordable day care for infants and toddlers, preschool for kids, and aftercare for school-age children. Instead, we have ended up with three months of maternity leave, 16 days of vacation, and a hodgepodge of “choices” that depend on whether we have a man, money, or family to help us along.

8) The NBA player analog for every US president.  Even if you are not an NBA fan (I’m not), this is pretty awesome.

9) A must-see SNL parody of Serial for Serial fans.  Otherwise, don’t bother.

10) War doesn’t pay.  Or so argues Krugman.

11) Still convinced racism is over.  Here’s some recent social science findings on the matter nicely summarized.

12) International aid is really, really hard.  All the reasons we get in wrong in a terrific essay.  Also hits the point I really like that simply looking at overhead expenses is a pretty awful way to judge a charity.

13) North Carolina’s restrictive abortion law overturned by a conservative Appeals court judge.  Really good piece on the matter from Dahlia Lithwick.

14) Love this photo essay of in Upshot of what 2000 calories looks like from a variety of places (as much as I love them, I did know to stay away from McFlurry on my many visits to McDonald’s).

15) And two really good essays on the year in movies in Grantland.  Short version: far too many sequels and far too few intelligent movies for adults.  (I like that Edge of Tomorrow gets a starring role in the first piece as an example of the latter).

At this point, optimists usually say lighten up, because, after all, good movies always find a way to get through. But here’s the thing: They don’t. The evidence that good movies survive is the fact that every year brings good movies, which is a bit like saying that climate change is a hoax because it’s nice out today. Yes, good movies sprout up, inevitably, in the cracks and seams between the tectonic plates on which all of these franchises stay balanced, and we are reassured of their hardiness. But we don’t see what we don’t see; we don’t see the effort, or the cost of the effort, or the movies of which we’re deprived because of the cost of the effort. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice may have come from a studio, but it still required a substantial chunk of outside financing, and at $35 million, it’s not even that expensive. No studio could find the $8.5 million it cost Dan Gilroy to makeNightcrawler. Birdman cost a mere $18 million and still had to scrape that together at the last minute. Imagine American movie culture for the last few years without Her or Foxcatcher or American Hustle or The Master or Zero Dark Thirty and it suddenly looks markedly more frail — and those movies exist only because of the fairy godmothership of independent producer Megan Ellison. The grace of billionaires is not a great business model on which to hang the hopes of an art form.





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