WSJ with content I CRAVE!


This detail!

Ken Wells with the byline there.  How about this?:

link. Sam Walker the writer here:


many things on the internet

remind me of this one:



Some scrap items found on my phone:


I had to stop following Caroline Calloway on Instagram which is too bad, there’s a genius to sentences like this.

2) A view in Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh is beautiful.

3) Rocks

4) I believe the source here is an interview with Years & Years singer Olly Alexander in Issue 11 of The Happy Reader, but can’t confirm, no longer have the issue.  The phrase “Who is the hot boy?  Who is the boy that will always bring the looks?” does not appear exactly in a Google search.

5) Seen in Hollywood:

6) Cat on a tray:

7) Portrait of the blogger as a boy:


Is it a crime if no one stops you?

The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more and tolerated by all,

is a quote I’ve heard and seen attributed to Tacitus.  I couldn’t find it in The Histories, just did a search.  Maybe I missed it somehow, it might be in there.  I did find a postcard from my sister.

You gotta be careful, a lot of these “classic quotes” were conjured up somewhere and never really checked, or in context they mean the opposite.

Set down to write here after becoming agitated and worked up watching Senator Ron Johnson two weeks ago on “Meet The Press.”  Witness the sputtering nonsense.



Joshua Tree National Park has exploded in popularity: why?

This chart was an attempt to test my thesis, that Instagram played a role in the dramatic rise in visits to Joshua Tree National Park.

I also incorporated a challenge to my thesis, offered by a colleague who suggested the answer might have something to do with the popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.  Drivers to that festival from Los Angeles would have to pass signs for Joshua Tree NP and experience the intoxicating desert landscape.

What about the AirBNB factor?:

Was stunned to be reminded about how recently Instagram (2010) and AirBNB (2007) were founded.  These companies changed the world very, very fast.  We still haven’t had time to contemplate what these changes mean, both to communities and to human brains.

How does a fragile patch of desert ecosystem handle two million extra human visitors a year?  You might think they’d increase the park’s budget.  It appears the opposite is happening?

(Any time I look into a fact like this, so much appreciation for our nation’s journalists, looking into the files, tracking it all down.)

There’s rarely a single cause for things, but I feel confident in saying Instagram, or maybe more broadly, the instant sharing of powerful photographs on phones, played a role in the dramatic rise in popularity of Joshua Tree national park.

What might be other factors?  Commercial photography and car commercial stuff may have boomed out in Joshua Tree and joshua tree-populated areas.  I don’t know how you’d measure that data, but I feel it.

Credit to the wonderful movie Ingrid Goes West here, a movie about Joshua Tree and Instagram and California fantasy in general, which makes the same connection between the desert landscape and Instagram.

My studies suggest no burst in popularity connected to the U2 album “The Joshua Tree.”

Source data on visitors.




When The World’s On Fire

enjoying Ken Burns Country Music (I guess, I wish it had a table of contents or something).  This is the Carter Family song that’s been on my mind as I read the news!

Las Vegas, USA

Made a brief visit recently.  Whenever I’m in Las Vegas, I have a weird urge to become a degenerate gambler who hangs around the sports book.  Writing things in the racing form with a little pencil, leaning back in one of those chairs at the little desks, crumped up napkins around.  What is the attraction there?  Maybe it’s all the screens covered with numbers and information.  There’s got to be a pattern if I could just figure it out!  Dissolving the self in the hunt for a tiny edge.

baishampayan ghose took this one for the Wikipedia page on “Sports Book”

There are a lot of famous restaurants in Las Vegas these days.  One I’ve returned to is:

Inside New York, New York casino.  They’re not kidding around here, it is straight-up America food:

There are something like twenty beers on tap.  You can admire a sculpture that models the United States:

Half the fun of flying to Las Vegas is having a look at the Mojave:

truly Mars level wastes.  and I say that as a Mojave superfan!