This was a sentence I spoke today:

Is there any way the CMS can generate URLs that are SEO-ready?

And the person to whom I posed the question was excited, as I would be, and said yes! It’s in the works. Actually, I am excited, since it’s a good move for the paper, for putting hooks into the cool and dispassionate GoogleBlob so it will notice us more. It means, Content Management System generating links, or Uniform Resource Locators, that have the story’s plot in the title, like

It was a meeting, and in one sense I like meetings because they chew up time and there’s no test afterwards and no expectation that you should be WRITING, but on the other hand, looking at Powerpoint is one of those things that makes me think life has gone horribly wrong. And I say that as someone who gave two Powerpoint presentations years ago when pitching new paper improvements to investors. Oh, I had fun, but, well, Powerpoint. Hell is a dim room with a pastel rectangle on the wall with bullet points.


Today in a WIRED piece called “Megacities might not save the world after all”:

You learn to put up with a lot when you live in Mexico State. The electricity is always going out, and there’s never enough running water. Commutes of two to three hours are common. Kidnapping is a booming business, and security is weak. But you decide it’s worth it, because Mexico State is close to Mexico City. And Mexico City is the country’s economic and cultural beating heart.

People in Westchester county feel the same way about New York City.

I’m guessing the parallels aren’t as exact as that opening graf would suggest. Turns out Megacities aren’t going to save the world because density is awesome, but because people work in the core and have the reeking gall to live outside of it, for reasons you can only ascribe to an anti-social desire not to live in a glass beehive.

One of the comments has a solution:

What an alternative is is to let people stay in the city during a week and then let everone head of to their suburbs 'holiday home' for some quality time. Best of both worlds besides that fact that there would be a need for twice as much housing as now; a doubled edged sword.

Isn’t that nice of him? To let people go home on the weekends?

I may have mentioned it here before, but I am an admirer of Louis C.K., who is a “stand-up comedian”, to use a banal and unhelpful term. His TV show quickly turned from a basic premise - sad-sack guy who’s great on stage lives a life of low-level chaos, frustration, and disappointment - into something that briefly expanded and redefined the sitcom before turning into something that wasn’t a sitcom at all. He’s an excellent writer and a damned good director. But one of the things I keep hearing in comments about the show is how it’s a love letter to New York.

Because of the food. No one says that, except to note how that one scene where he’s shopping for dinner is a love letter to New York oh my gawd those luscious cherry tomatoes and so on. To me it’s the worst advertisement for New York I can imagine - it’s honest, inasmuch as no one works in glamorous offices on the 87th floor where everything is white and blue, but there are two kinds of people in the show: damaged people under 56 or interesting eccentric people over 70. Everyone else is a mess. The show has few shots of architectural interest; mostly big blocks of apartments on undistinguished streets with thin leaveless trees, or older neighborhoods with smaller buildings of no particular interest. The show exists in a perpetual March, and living there looks like a long scrape with a dull blade. It seems - again, this is what the show proposes - an city of people who emerge from a caustic hazing to become amused by their own indifference, as if the point of living in New York is to become undisturbed by an endless series of needless annoyances. It’s like attending a Seminary of Satanists with the intention of emerging an agnostic. But the food! That’s the compensation. See, there’s food everywhere!

Basically, when people say “it’s a love letter to New York” they generally mean groceries and theatrically lit skyscraper tops. And maybe a small club that is so cool and had the most amazing piano player, which compensates for the tiny table the size of a diner stool, which wobbles, and the bill, which is $37 for two drinks. But the drinks were AMAZING.

I love cities, and I love New York, but there’s something about them that makes any sane soul dream of Willoughby.

A new pointless feature! Rather than load this thing up with a million pictures after I've gone to the antique store, I'll dole them out a few at a time. Aren't you grateful. The store is . . .

I remember trucks like this from childhood. This would be the future! They'd have these if you moved on the Moon.

The card said the chair is from the 40s. I believe them. It was a peculiar time for design - modern but confused and a bit baroque sometimes, with historical notes like busted-up tile from some ancient villa.

Where has it been for 70 years?





Again, this is not a recap. It's - no, it is a recap. But it's highlights, with short video clips to present various amusing moments from the Serial genre. We're doing Commando Cody vs. Radar Moon Men, and we're up to . . .

Car over the bridge? We know how they get out of that situation.

It requires foreknowledge of the bomb, of course, but now and then when you’re chasing saboteurs it pays to just throw yourself out of the car now and then.

Back at his lab, which is totally secret; no one would suspect this is where CODY works.

He briefs the government on the Moon Plot to take over Earth. No one seems to feel particularly worried about it; perhaps because there are ten episodes left. Back at the lair of the Moon’s one (1) invasion-prep guy, we see one of the Criminals - you know, the guys in suits who are wearing hats, always hats - is pressured by the agent of the Moon. Seems they need more money to fix the ray gun. So the Criminal will have to start robbing banks.

At this point the Criminal might well ask himself how the hell the Moon people are going to take over Earth if they can’t pony up fifty bucks for some off-the-shelf electrical parts. What sort of rummy low-rent Moon civilization did I hook up with? Did I really pick the Losers of the Moon? I thought Radar Men said it all but now that I think about it there’s no radar involved, and even there was, what the hell is so powerful about radar? Idiot! Idiot!

The bank robbery is the next scene, and let’s see how the crack gang of crooks handles this:

So . . . the invasion’s off?

Some inadvertent documentary, which is always rare in a serial. This leads to a car chase, which is worrisome. This is a sci-fi serial about a guy with a rocket pack on his back. It is not about bank robbers and car chases. On the other hand, there’s this, which is Michael-Bay tight:

This may be one of my favorite serial moments ever:

So he uses his “moon communicator,” and the Criminal must be kicking himself again for trusting this moron. Or he’s just that stupid. Anyway, they call President Moon. . . .

. . . and ask if he knows any good way to raise money. I’m serious. President Moon says he’s heard good things about this kidnapping business; why not try it on Cody? They could get a hundred grand for him. So the action switches to Cody’s high-tech Science Office foe another two-on-one fistfight. But they don’t get Cody They get Joan, the obligatory sort-of girlfriend who exists to provide peril plot-points. She’s taken up in a plane, which the Criminal can not only afford but can pilot. Why a plane? So we get some rocket action, that’s why. Hence this. Which is completely reasonable.

That’s just wonderful. Anyway, Joan’s out cold, and you know where this is going: straight down.

I’d just grab the dame and fly off, but maybe that’s just not his style. Next week?

It just keeps getting better and better.

Enjoy some old sci-fi covers, and I'll see you around.


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