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from this bit about an ancient Mediterranean monolith.  Look you guys know I love monoliths but this one is failing to get me too excited.

Let’s Go Hiking!


That’s a Tom Harrison map of course: http://www.tomharrisonmaps.com/

(check out this great photo of Bear Heaven on Mr. David Stillman’s blog)

Tar Creek 04-05-10 (3)But be careful, you don’t want to get partially consumed.

Reader Matt W. writes: “Bear Heaven is people hell!”

Good things about True Detective

Something was cheesing me off last night about critics on Twitter piling on to this show.  I mean, I guess that can be fun, I’ve been guilty of it myself.  But, also, what the hell?  You try making a TV show.

Sure, it didn’t make all the sense in the world.  But it’s hard to make good stuff.  I guess it’s worthwhile to explore why something doesn’t land, so you can think about how to make better stuff.  But what’s the point of ongoing negative criticism, especially when attention is at such a scarcity relative to content?  There’s so much TV out there, if you don’t like something shouldn’t you just skip it and talk about something you do like?

Anyway, I watched every episode of the show and here are some things I enjoyed. Rachel McA

  • Rachel McAdams wears very comfortable-looking hoodies/sweatshirt
  • CF redwoodsColin Farrell did a very good job I thought.
  • I liked seeing the redwoods
  • It was big and ambitious
  • It was about secret evil/darkness/power/corruption at the heart of southern California, which is worth thinking about
  • It was so unrelentingly bleak in a way that had to be a kind of pulpy choice, which is an interesting thing to do.
  • I liked the way the girls were dancing in the shots of Venezuela
  • The aerial footage of California was cool.

Archibald MacLeish


Knew both Ernest Hemingway and Bob Dylan.

Was Laura Dern’s great-great-uncle.



Julie London

came up on my Spotify.  One great sentence after another on her wiki page:

In 1947, London married actor Jack Webb (of Dragnet fame). This pairing arose from their common love of jazz.


Her widely regarded beauty and poise (she was a pin-up girl prized by GIs during World War II) contrasted strongly with her pedestrian appearance and streetwise acting technique (much parodied by impersonators).


London and Troup appeared as panelists on the game show Tattletales several times in the 1970s. In the 1950s, London appeared in an advertisement for Marlboro cigarettes singing the “Marlboro Song” and in 1978 appeared in television advertisements for Rose Milk Skin Care Cream.


A private and introverted lady,[13] London suffered a stroke in 1995 and was in poor health until her death on October 18, 2000 (the day her husband, Bobby Troup, would have been 82), in Encino, California, at age 74.


In an interview, Mantooth claimed London “was not impish nor a diva. She was a soul, kind of mother. She was the kindest person I have ever known.” He also added, “I don’t know if it was up to her, but Kevin and I were both kept calm by her personality, when we were shooting in the hospital. Only Bobby Troup knew who she was…she was just like Julie! She made us laugh!”

Aug 6 1945


Fireball of the Trinity Test, 0.016 second after explosion, July 16, 1945

At 10 a.m. on May 31, the committee members filed into the dark-paneled conference room of the War Department. The air was heavy with the presence of three Nobel laureates and Oppenheimer. Stimson opened the proceedings on a portentous note: “We do not regard it as a new weapon merely,” he said, “but as a revolutionary change in the relations of man to the universe.” The atomic bomb might mean the “doom of civilization,” or a “Frankenstein” that might “eat us up”; or it might secure world peace. The bomb’s implications “went far beyond the needs of the present war,” Stimson said. It must be controlled and nurtured in the service of peace.

Enola Gay

Stimson, meanwhile, was personally preoccupied with saving Kyoto, the ancient capital whose temples and shrines he had visited with his wife in 1926. He requested that it be struck from the shortlist of targets. Japan was not just a place on a map, or a nation that must be defeated, he insisted. The objective, surely, was military damage, not civilian lives. In Stimson’s mind the bomb should “be used as a weapon of war in the manner prescribed by the laws of war” and “dropped on a military target.” Stimson argued that Kyoto “must not be bombed. It lies in the form of a cup and thus would be exceptionally vulnerable. … It is exclusively a place of homes and art and shrines.”

gold temple


With the exception of Stimson on Kyoto—which was essentially an aesthetic objection—not one of the committee men raised the ethical, moral, or religious case against the use of an atomic bomb without warning on an undefended city. The businesslike tone, the strict adherence to form, the cool pragmatism, did not admit humanitarian arguments, however vibrantly they lived in the minds and diaries of several of the men present.


Stimson w/ Truman. George Skadding, LIFE Magazine.

Those quotes from this interesting Atlantic article by Paul Ham, excerpted from his book.

This blog goes deeper into the Kyoto decision, and the idea that Truman didn’t totally understand the power of the atomic bomb.  (where I found that Stimson photo)

Highly recommend a listen to Allison Silverman’s 20 minute piece about “This Is Your Life” on This American Life, which includes a story about how they introduced a (drunk) Captain Robert Lewis of the Enola Gay to “Hiroshima maidens” on TV.

”If I live a hundred years, I’ll never quite get these few minutes out of my mind,” Captain Lewis said in his log of the Enola Gay’s mission, written in pen and pencil on the back of War Department forms, on Aug. 6, 1945.

”Everyone on the ship is actually dumbstruck even though we had expected something fierce. It was the actual sight that we saw that caused the crew to feel that they were part of Buck Rodgers’ 25th century warriors.”


FDR sailing

No man should run for president until life has driven him to his knees a few times.

Who does young FDR look like?