ARCHITECTURALLY, HOW BAD WERE THE 1970S?

Well, I think they were pretty bad. That’s just my view, as an amateur who grew up with buildings from that era, ignored them for years, and only recently started paying attention. Now they seem to be everywhere. There are lots of exceptions, and people who know architecture might disagree, but as a whole, commercially and residentially, I feel that Seventies architecture is a blight.  

ARCHITECTURALLY, HOW BAD WERE THE 1970S?Many times, when you walk into a building designed in the 1930s, you look on in wonder. When you walk into a building designed in the 1970s, most of the time you think, Jesus. It feels like an hallucination.

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I DON’T TRUST VLADIMIR PUTIN

Right now, most Americans oppose a strike against Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin may have done more than anyone to change their minds.  

I DON'T TRUST VLADIMIR PUTINIn a New York Times op-ed, Putin says that a U.S. strike in Syria would “throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.” He says “no one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria,” but in contrast to every shred of evidence presented so far, he alone knows that the gas was used “by opposition forces, to provoke intervention.”  

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LIVING IN THE U.S. MEANS LIVING WITH MASS SHOOTINGS

In Bangladesh, there are severe floods. Almost every monsoon season, roughly 20 percent of the country is covered in water. Hundreds of lives are lost every year. In 1998, 1,000 people were killed and 30 million lost their homes.  

In the Philippines, there are typhoons. About 20 strike every year and many people die. In 2012, more than 700 were killed by Typhoon Bopha. About 5,000 died during Typhoon Thelma in 1991.  

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IS FOOTBALL WORTH IT?

Now that we are deep into the season, I’d say the answer to that question I asked a while back is: absolutely! It’s the best sport in the history of the world. But then Washington Post columnist George Will has to come along and spoil it:

IS FOOTBALL WORTH IT?Football’s doughty defenders note that other recreational activities, such as bicycling, injure more participants. But only in football is long-term injury the result not of accidents but of the game played properly, meaning within the rules. Rules could be changed by, for example, eliminating kickoffs, with their high-velocity collisions, and barring the three-point stance, whereby linemen begin each play with their heads down and helmet-to-helmet collisions are likely. But such changes could be made only over the dead bodies of fans who relish mayhem from safe distances.

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DATE LABEL, SHMATE SHMABEL

You’re shopping. You just want to get in and out. You’re looking at the chicken. But all you see are a bunch of cellophane wrappers informing the grocer that they have to “sell by” a certain date. And that date is today.

DATE LABEL, SHMATE SHMABELWhat do you do? You want your fajitas. But what about that date? What does it mean? Well, it turns out that much of the time, it means nothing:

Sell-by, use-by and best-by dates do not indicate whether a food is safe to eat, or even if is still tasty. Sell-by dates provide information to retailers about how long to display a product. Best-if-used-by typically indicates a date after which the food will no longer be at its highest quality — as defined by the manufacturer. But the meaning of those terms varies from product to product, and even among manufacturers of the same products, because there is no industry agreement on definitions and on which labels should be applied to which foods.

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ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA

You bought into all the marketing about how great life is with a vast social network. You’re on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, all the rest. Everybody wants a piece of you.  

But are you happy? I doubt it. Now you have all these empty relationships with people you don’t even know or like. You forgot what your grandma taught you: quality over quantity.

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IN GENERAL, BASEBALL PLAYERS ARE LOUSY FIGHTERS

For baseball fans, these are the best of times and the worst of times. They’re the best, because going into the last weekend of the season, there are still some exciting playoff races. And then, of course, they finally have the playoffs and the World Series to look forward to.

IN GENERAL, BASEBALL PLAYERS ARE LOUSY FIGHTERSBut these last days of September are also the worst of times, because most teams have long been out of it, finishing the season in a whimper.  

The Houston Astros, for example, are 43 games out of the lead in the American League West. This weekend, during their final three games, they’re hosting the New York Yankees, whose season is also over. Unless Houston fans want to jeer the Yankees, why watch the games?

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THE BREAKING BAD SPOILER PARANOIA

If you are a latecomer to Breaking Bad like me and haven’t caught up all the way to the end, you fear the landmines that are out there today.  

THE BREAKING BAD SPOILER PARANOIANow that the last episode has aired, and the smart people who had caught up or — even better — watched from the beginning know how everything ends, all it would take is a peak at a headline or a few words overheard in a restaurant to ruin the whole experience. This is such a phenomenon that the New York Times did a story about it.

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