jwz mixtape 206

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 206.

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Current Music: as noted

Basilisk

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They Live, We Look Back

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How to speak Silicon Valley

53 essential tech-bro terms explained

airbnb (n) -- To illegally convert an apartment into a vacation rental in a city with an affordable housing crisis.

apology (n) -- A public relations exercise designed to change headlines. In practice, a promise to keep doing the same thing but conceal it better.

biohacking (n) -- When done by women, dieting. In extreme forms, an eating disorder.

cloud, the (n) -- Usually located in a city or town whose elected officials exchanged tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks for seven full-time security guard jobs.

free speech (ph) - A constitutionally protected right in the US that is primarily invoked by tech bros and internet trolls when they are asked to stop being assholes.

microdosing -- Taking small amounts of illegal drugs while white.

mission (n) -- What separates a tech bro and a finance bro: the tech bro works for a company that has a "mission".

monetize (v) -- To figure out how to extract money from people without their understanding or explicit consent.

off-site (n) -- Primarily used when describing a sexual harassment complaint.

revolutionize (v) -- To change something that does not need to be changed in order to charge money for its replacement.

scale (v) -- A surprisingly effective excuse not to do something that any non-tech company would do. "We would prefer not to foment genocide in Myanmar, but content moderation simply does not scale."

sharing economy (ph) - A system in which working does not mean being employed.

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"Flying Salt Shakers of Death"

Fungal Hallucinogens Send Cicadas on Sex Binges After Their Genitals Fall Off

Even as the cicada bodies turn mouldy and start losing parts -- including bits of their abdomen and their genitals -- they don't slow down.

"Infected adults maintain or accelerate normal host activity during sporulation, enabling rapid and widespread dispersal prior to host death," says Kasson. [...]

In four cicadas infected with M. cicadina they found signs of a plant-derived alkaloid called cathinone, a compound similar to ephedrine. It's possible that the stimulant could have evolved in the fungus to keep their hosts' appetites down and give them a boost to get them through those long days of plague orgies.

Another fungal pathogen called M. levispora was also associated with raised levels of a tryptamine called psilocybin - the psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms. This one might not come as much of a surprise. There's good reason to suspect the chemical evolved in fungi as a way to suppress insect appetites, changing their behaviour in a dissuasive fashion.

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"It was tricky, but..."

Induction forming metal elbows.

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Today in "No I don't want your fucking app"

Just a reminder that every time you share a link to "apple.news", I cannot smash that "Cancel" button hard enough:

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Recent TV and movies

Good Omens: The thing I will miss most about this series being over is that I cannot recall any show that was able to make me fall asleep more quickly. I think I must have started watching each of those 6 episodes 4 times each before making it through any of them. As to the show... Eh. I read the book but don't remember anything about it other than: I didn't like it much -- which was also true of American Gods. This show is not nearly as good as that American Gods show. It was American Gods Lite, maybe. Diet Gluten-Free American Gods Fun Size.

Jett: A noir that might as well be set in the Tarantinoverse, but without all of the winking about pop culture. It's brutal and great, like, Better Call Saul-level great.

Fleabag: I'm not even sure how to describe this, but it's fantastic.

All About Nina: This was really good. It started off as a pretty funny rom-com about a bitter stand-up comic (and yeah, movies about stand-up comics tend to be terrible) but just when you are settling in to that it takes a particularly brutal turn. The ending felt abrupt at first but the more I thought about it the more I appreciated that.

Archer 1999: Oh yes, right there, right there. That's the spot.

Assimilate: It's a straightforward small town Invasion of the Body Snatchers / Night of the Creeps story. It starts off seeming like it's going to be a lighthearted teen take on it, but then it starts taking itself very seriously. Pretty decent, strong ending.

Jessica Jones: I enjoyed this season more than any since the first, and certainly more than Defenders. It was an interesting choice having the Big Bad not be powered; you might think that would lower the stakes but it just showed that not all problems can be punched. It was almost as much a Hellcat show as an Alias show and that was fine with me.

I feel like all of the Netflix Marvel shows were at their core dancing around the idea of, "Yeah but I'm the good kind of sociopath with no respect for the rule of law, not the bad kind like those other assholes", but never really saying anything coherent about it. They never really staked out their position on the spectrum between, "Superheroes would be pretty fucked up, amirite?" and "We should all learn Krav Maga and beat the shit out of muggers."

I came late to Elementary, because despite Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu being pretty great, I objected to a Holmes story being just another fucking police procedural. (Despite the Holmes books having kinda-sorta invented the police procedural.) Generally, the characters and banter are good and the plots are deeply stupid. But one of the best features of this show: Joan's outfits. The reason I've even mentioning this show at all is that in a recent episode she wore dazzle hammer pants. Dazzle Hammer Pants, you guys.

NOS4A2: I guess it's "What if Happy!, but Stranger Things?" Like Good Omens, I've only stuck with it due to its powerful sedative properties. I think I've only made it 3 eps in.

In the Mouth of Madness: It had been a long time since I saw this... and even being a huge Carpenter fan, and seeing it on a big screen... I'm here to tell you that this movie is very, very, very bad. The Fog holds up much better.

Swamp Thing had only aired one episode when they cancelled it! However, that one episode is one of the strongest pilots of a comic book show I've seen. They're up to 3 episodes now, and so far it's a body horror show, leaning in the direction of The Thing or Annihilation. And guess what, apparently part of the reason that it was cancelled was that after seeing the show that they made, the producers said "Yes but what if it was... a police procedural instead?"

I'm going to blame this one on that weasel that fell into the Large Hadron Collider, too. This is the stupidest timeline, and it means that I'm never going to get to see an episode where Swamp Thing teams up with Flex Mentallo, Man of Muscle Mystery.

Black Mirror: Striking Vipers was great. Smithereens wasn't bad but I don't need to watch a TV show about my twitter feed. And Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed the callbacks to how this tech was used in previous episodes, e.g. the one where the woman got uploaded into a thermostat. Of course they'd use it this way. And I'll leave you with this glorious thing:

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Mousetrap

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Netflix on a B&W CRT

Ellingson:

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