Thoroughly Thursday - - the "Flying at the Speed of Fear" Edition
"This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursday."
- Douglas Adams (via Arthur Dent)
Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the Flying at the Speed of Fear edition. This weekend, my family and I celebrated our oldest daughter's 16th birthday. She wanted to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain (just outside LA) to enjoy the rollercoasters. During the visit, I got to go on Tatsu, where you ride face-down hanging from a harness. It lifts you up 170ft and then throws you around like a ragdoll. I spent most of the ride feeling like this guy.
What I'm Watching -
I introduced Real Genius to my kids this weekend, which was made back when Val Kilmer was cool. I tried to explain to them how 80's college movies like Real Genius, the Sure Thing, Back to School and Revenge of the Nerds gave me hope that a socially awkward person like me could actually have fun in college. I did have fun, though strangely, movie college isn't anything like real college.
What I'm Reading (article) -
Earlier this week I read "Is Healthcare a Right?" by the annoyingly prolific and productive genius Atul Gawande*. The article centers around Gawande's return to his hometown of Athens, OH and his interviews with childhood friends, neighbors and locals about their thoughts if healthcare is a right or a privilege. The central premise is actually a MacGuffin, as everyone interviewed felt that people deserve healthcare if they truly need it. Where the crux of the story led was how some people, regardless of income, chafe at any "right" that includes coverage for those that they feel don't contribute (through cheating or laziness). Everyone interviewed is sympathetic, though you don't have to scratch too hard to see the politics of their various views. It's good 15min read, but I recommend it (I was going to do a summary, but I ran out of time).
What I'm Reading (article) - Pt 2 -
TT-Friend Karen suggested this opinion piece by David Brooks called "The Abbie Hoffman of the Right: Donald Trump". Brooks sometimes comes off as a bit pompous (did you see the one about the deli meat? Yeah, that was silly), but this article struck me as being prescient. He talks about his impression that President Trump is much like 60's radical Abby Hoffman, as both are/were provocateurs. He goes on to say that Donald Trump's core strength is his ability to move simmering political disagreements into open cultural warfare which isn't nice but may be necessary to let the bad energy out and help us rebuild into a more cohesive, honest society. Strangely, that is the same plot premise of Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend, the notorious Japanese anime I remember watching in my 20s. Go figure.
What I'm Listening to -
Regina Spektor, because her voice is pretty and she sometimes sings in French.
What I'm asking -
When did I stop liking rollercoasters? Did I ever like them or I did just pretend I did?
What I'm writing -
This week I wrote a 20-page technical manual for a client on how highrises with multiple banks of elevators can be set up so that users can summon specific elevators that take them directly to their floors. It was wonky and involved several software engineers talking very slowly so I wouldn't start to cry, but it was surprisingly cool once I got my head around it.
What I'm Doing (for work) -
See above. But, also I'm working with friends Charity on Top on an educational video about the impending crisis in Puerto Rico.
All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)
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