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ScissorsLess Glamorous

Part of the problem, officials said, is that as a rule, the government is more inclined to invest money in building new projects, celebrated with elaborate ribbon-cutting ceremonies overseen by elected officials, than in the less visible (and less glamorous) task of maintenance.

Nagourney, A., & Fountain, H. (2017, February 14). Oroville Is a Warning for California Dams, as Climate Change Adds Stress. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/us/oroville-dam-climate-change-california.html


retrowoman-300px

Smiles of Rejection

Girls. Would they always drive you crazy? Would their smiles of rejection always drop you into despair and their smiles of welcome lead only into new, worse, more terrible ways of breaking your heart?

Yates, R. (2014). Liars in Love: Stories. Picador.


FactoryNegative Externality

The economic term for such a spillover is a “negative externality,” which occurs when one person’s consumption harms the well-being of others. The classic negative externality is pollution: A factory burning coal or a car using gasoline can harm the air and environment for those around it. A laptop can sometimes be a form of visual pollution: Those nearby see its screen, and their attention is pulled toward its enticements, which often include not just note-taking but Facebook, Twitter, email and news.

Dynarksi, S. (2017, November 22). Laptops Are Great. But Not During a Lecture or a Meeting. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/22/business/laptops-not-during-lecture-or-meeting.html


Sword-ShieldWeary, Belated Mediocrity

“The Lord of the Rings” was the work of a filmmaker perfectly in tune with his source material. Its too-muchness — the encyclopedic detail, the pseudoscholarly exposition, the soaring allegory, the punishing length — was as much a product of Tolkien’s literary sensibility as of Mr. Jackson’s commitment to cinematic maximalism

But I don’t mean to blame the cultural situation for the specific failings of the movie, which rises to weary, belated mediocrity entirely on its own steam. Mr. Jackson has embraced what might be called theme-park-ride cinema, the default style of commercially anxious, creatively impoverished 3-D moviemaking. The action sequences are exercises in empty, hectic kineticism, with very little sense of peril or surprise. Characters go hurtling down chutes and crumbling mountainsides or else exert themselves in chaotic battles with masses of roaring, rampaging pixels.

Scott, A. O. (2012, December 13). Bilbo Begins His Ring Cycle “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” by Peter Jackson (A Review). Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/14/movies/the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey-by-peter-jackson.html


400-04866784Magnetic Poetry

The plot makes about as much sense as magnetic poetry on a dorm room fridge.

Tafoya, S. (2014, February 19). The Unloved: Tron: Legacy (Review). Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/87142368


Digital_Movie_CameraHigh Frame Rate

More than anything, it resembles an insanely high-end Masterpiece Theatre production: I, Claudius with a big budget and endless banks of computers
~ The Boston Globe

The best way I can think to describe the quality of the 48fps image in The Hobbit is this: It looks like an ’80s-era home video shot by someone who happened to be standing around on set while The Hobbit was being filmed.
~ Slate

Fox, J. D. (2012, December 14). What the Critics Are Saying About The Hobbit’s High Frame Rate. Retrieved from http://www.vulture.com/2012/12/critics-on-the-hobbits-high-frame-rate.html


SmartPhoneBrought to Ruin

The world is full of people who would see it brought to ruin in order to have dominion over the wreckage.

marcoselmalo (2014, Mar 01). Re: Tim Cook tells shareholders: Apple will not put pure profit over sustainability efforts [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2014/03/01/apple-cook-shareholders-sustainability/?xid=ob_febtest#


Snoopy's_Dog_HouseMore Than One Night

Charlie Brown: Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, “Where have I gone wrong?”
Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night.”

Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts


CloverleafInterchangeLoosening the Belt

Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity.

~ Based on a 1955 New Yorker column “The Sky Line” by Lewis Mumford


Lightbulb-300pxThe Importance of Failure

Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates, and I do not for a moment suppose that everyone here has enjoyed an existence of unruffled privilege and contentment.

J.K. Rowling (2008, June) Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association Commencement Address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination”. Retrieved from https://harvardmagazine.com/2008/06/the-fringe-benefits-failure-the-importance-imagination


No_LifeGuardDrowning Man

Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It creates the failures. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.

Anais Nin (1947, Feb) Diary Entry

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