April 30, 2016


Mat Johnson is the best

"The end of the Republic has never looked better"


The other Eisengeist


Interviewing an expert

April 29, 2016

He was right to do so, the film is superb

[W]hen the concept for Zootopia—basically just the real world, but with anthropomorphized animals only—was pitched to Lasseter, he was so thrilled that he lifted the idea man, co-director Byron Howard, in the air like Simba in the “Circle Of Life” scene of The Lion King.


Note also: big shoutout to Bob and Ray in this movie.

April 28, 2016

That does make it tougher to beat them

J.B. Bickerstaff was left calling the Warriors "the best team in the history of basketball" and said, without Curry, they are still one of the two best teams in the Western Conference.


Bot problems, via The Sum of All Monkeys

April 27, 2016

Master Self-Motivator

This One Wasn't as Popular as the Others

April 26, 2016

Coaches of the Year

You bet your ass it is (repeat, but I like the picture)

"Reasonably counter-dystopian"

An oral history of Star Trek.


April 25, 2016

German people oddly reluctant to get involved in World War 3

April 24, 2016

Top recent RAND Corporation Tweets (a new Eisengeiste recurring feature)




When asked about Hillary Clinton, Koch said it was “possible that another Clinton would be better than another Republican” although he insisted that Hillary Clinton would have to govern differently from her “rhetoric.”


Rex Chapman's big night

If hope is the true currency of fandom, then there is nothing more hopeful than a ball moving through space. In those handful of seconds, anything can happen—a first down, a 50-yard pass, maybe even a touchdown. In baseball, this is that ball sailing toward the wall, somewhere between being a home run or a pop fly. In basketball, this is the three-pointer. That moment, when the ball leaves the player’s hands and starts that long, slow arc toward the basket.

It feels like forever, and for a moment everyone on the court is powerless, a collection of grown men just staring at the same ball. Sure, two-pointers count. Nothing is taking the place of the dunk contest. But they don’t hang in the air an extra second, they aren’t worth that extra game-changing point, the one extra heart palpitation’s worth of, “Oh my God, is it going to go in?” It’s pure physics and also magic.

For one night, the Heat had that.


April 22, 2016

Like hell I will

[T]he Admiralty admonished Sting's commander after September 1801, Lieutenant Thomas Thrush, to cease referring to her as Sting and to refer to her as Pickle.


Not sure if serious...oh wow, yes, you're serious

"What we need is a comprehensive examination of the history of popular literature, with a view toward cataloging what we might call “proto-superheroes.” The Epic of Gilgamesh, for example..."


April 21, 2016

Gaelic curses

e.g., "Clear off, you raw-arsed Pockface."


April 20, 2016

That's a differentiator

Early days, but I had a chuckle or two

Too literate to be trivial, too chill to be The Onion, it's The Sherman Oaks Review of Books.


April 18, 2016


April 17, 2016

Waiting for the Right Man

With fewer options — there are only three candidates left in the race — one might expect Republican leaders to decide, finally, which candidate is their best bet and give him their endorsement. That hasn’t happened: In the month before he suspended his campaign, Rubio won the support of 30 national elected officials; in the month since, the remaining three candidates have picked up the support of only 18. Less than two months from the final primaries, most Republican elites are still on the sidelines, and at a higher level than in any election since at least 1980.


April 16, 2016

Not to put too fine a point on it...

What a shame


April 15, 2016

Yeah, well

More from that crazy talkin' Pope

Hitting the big red "EJECT" button

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, facing calls for his resignation as a result of his family’s holdings in offshore companies, checked himself into a London hospital this week, setting off speculation that he might not return to Pakistan.


April 14, 2016

Yeah, I laughed

April 13, 2016

And we're done here.

Fuck the playoffs. There's an NBA champion every year. No team in the history of the Association has ever done this.

Show's over, go home. See ya next fall.

I did not know that

In the NBA, a player can have excellent efficiency numbers without a handle on certain crucial skills, like catching the ball or knowing where to stand.


But it's ok, because freedom


April 10, 2016


April 09, 2016

The Most Important Meaningless NBA Game Ever Played


"It has been a damned nice thing - the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life." 
- Coach Wellington

There goes my excuse

[I]t seems unlikely that creative declines are caused simply by aging brains. If that were the case, it would be hard to explain why the creative path differs by domain, lifetime output, or the time someone embarks on his or her career. After all, late bloomers reach creative peaks at ages when early bloomers are past their prime. So the good news is that it is possible to stay creative throughout one's life span.



Heh heh

It is in full accord with traditional notions of waiver to say that the Senate, having been given a reasonable opportunity to provide advice and consent to the president with respect to the nomination of Garland, and having failed to do so, can fairly be deemed to have waived its right...

If the Senate fails to act...Obama could conclude that it has waived its right to participate in the process, and he could exercise his appointment power by naming Garland to the Supreme Court.


Three, please


April 08, 2016



Benefits of ape tickling, and other disruptive information


April 07, 2016


Only two teams have ever done that.

Hamish would be proud

Viking funeral for tiny fish


The Dinah Dilemma

[W]e’re going to show all the tits and ass,” she says, as her cameraperson zooms in on just that, “and then we’re going to show why it’s actually really meaningful.” She pauses for a moment. “So far though, all we’ve got is the tits and ass.”


April 06, 2016

Top. Men.

Trump to hire ‘seasoned operatives’

As if millions of wankers suddenly cried out...


The guy next to me won't shut up about the Warriors...

April 05, 2016


April 03, 2016


April 02, 2016

The Hottest Cocoanut

Well, half the family's on the night plane to Chengdu, and the in-laws are staying here.  It's a recipe for domestic bliss.  So this evening I cast about in vain for some form of mass entertainment that would keep me, one child, and two babas nonya occupied for an hour or three.

It was the child who suggested a Marx Brothers movie, and me, having run out of fucks to give some time around Wednesday, signed off on the proposal with a flourish and clear conscience.  And as we opened up the box I realized that, mirabile dictu, there was one Marx Brothers movie from the Golden Age that I have never watched, the Gilgamesh of comedy talking pictures:  The Cocoanuts.

So we put that on, and there is much to say about this movie, which starts out about the way you'd expect except JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH WHO IS THAT?!

That, my good man, is the stupefyingly hot Kay Francis, appearing in just her second picture.  And she is perfect:  a lithe and cynical foil for Harpo, and I believe the only woman on record who does not run from him.  She exudes evil without remorse and is not a good sport.  She classes up every scene she's in, sometimes playing along, sometimes just sitting there smoldering like a pale, slender, libidinous pool of magma.

Who is this Kay Francis person?  Front, you idiot.  As every schoolchild knows:
From 1932 through 1936, Francis was the queen of the Warners lot and increasingly her films were developed as star vehicles. By the mid-thirties, Francis was one of the highest-paid people in the United States. From the years 1930 to 1937, Francis appeared on the covers of 38 film magazines, the most for any adult performer...

There are couple of good books about her, apparently - the sort a man of a certain age might read, I suppose - and 12 shelf-feet of personal papers on file at Wesleyan, which perhaps could be skipped.  Dan Callahan's 2006 essay gets so deep into her, one wonders if he ever got out:
Though her work is quite variable, Francis is generally more interesting to watch than everyone else around her, even when she’s just walking through a crazy-quilt soap opera. She was made for the camera: sleepy sloe eyes set wide apart, a large, tempting mouth, thick raven black hair, orchid-in-the-moonlight skin, and strange, slanted eyebrows...

Her ability to wear clothes made her an icon of the 30’s, and she was especially appealing in backless evening gowns and hats that hid half of her face. Francis’ detractors said she was a star just because women wanted to see what she’d be wearing next, but she was much more than that. Francis gives herself to the camera completely and you can read all of her emotions — she’s usually slightly out-of-it and weary, and this functions as part of her open-faced charm. 

[T]hose who watch Turner Classic Movies late at night know that Kay Francis movies can become an addiction — when you look at her, you know that all the most salacious stories about old Hollywood are based in truth...    [She] was the ultimate purveyor of easy-virtue glamour, projecting the lure of soiled, sated goods.

She's great in The Cocoanuts, but apparently the definitive work is Trouble in Paradise.

April 01, 2016


It's workin' already

When there were ten, or six, candidates in the Republican field, and a televised debate was taking place every week, [Trump's ignorance and lack of attention to detail] didn’t matter much. The jostling in the horse race was the big story, and Trump could get away with generalizations. Now the contest is down to three candidates; there aren’t any debates to dominate the daily news cycle; and the Never Trump folks are harrying the front-runner constantly. With the spotlight on him, the cracks in his candidacy are becoming all too visible.