Keep a blog, and someday it’ll keep you.


“Ready for some exciting news? ‘Loving Vincent’ producers once again will bring paintings to life to tell a powerful emotional story. Watch the concept trailer of ‘The Peasants’!”
The Peasants, by Break Through Films, 28 August 2020

“I started reading science fiction when I was a teenager in the 1980s, and I subscribed to as many magazines as I could afford. What I liked about science fiction then was that it was both distracting and engaging. It distracted me from what was often a very painful time for me, dragging me out of the present tense and into the future where I could see myself as heroic, and it engaged me with the kind of intellectual and philosophical concepts that science fiction discusses as well as any other genre. This kind of engagement is one of the dragons that I, as a reader, have been chasing my whole literary life, and this is exactly what J. H. Malone’s novella, Drunk on Time delivers in the most recent issue of Storylandia.”
Storylandia Issue 32, J. H. Malone’s “Drunk on Time”, review by John Brantingham, Cultural Weekly, 29 July 2020

“In fact, the danger in basing your understanding of the world on those who have ‘beaten the odds’ or have succeeded taking ‘big risks’ becomes clear if you carefully consider the logic of those phrases. Such people must be unrepresentative of the bigger picture, and thus one should be cautious of emulating them. After all, if everyone was succeeding by taking a big risk, it can’t have been that big a risk, nor the odds that daunting. We are tempted to think success is due to particular characteristics which can be emulated. Just remember that, sometimes, success can also come down to luck.”
How ‘survivorship bias’ can cause you to make mistakes, by Brendan Miller, BBC Worklife, 28 August 2020

“The Working Cats® Program is a GREEN program that relocates sterilized and vaccinated unsocialized cats who would otherwise have been euthanized at the shelter to places that have problems with rodents. The rodents are repelled by the cats’ odor and leave. Compared to the methods that are most commonly used to control rodents, this method proves to be effective, humane and environmentally friendly. It is a win-win-win situation!”
Working Cats

Working Cats Is Real.

“I begin the story of Katrina in 1915 in order to pursue a different idea: that disasters come from within. Disasters are less discrete events than they are contingent processes. Seemingly acute incidents, like the largely forgotten 1915 hurricane, live on as the lessons they teach, the decisions they prompt, and the accommodations they oblige. Their causes and consequences stretch across much longer periods of time and space than we commonly imagine. Seeing disasters in history, and as history, demonstrates that the places we live, and the disasters that imperil them, are at once artifacts of state policy, cultural imagination, economic order, and environmental possibility.”
On the Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, by Harvard University Press, 28 August 2020

“As I write this, August 2020, there’s been a reported uptick in domestic violence and a decrease in calls to the child abuse hotline. According to federal data, teachers were responsible for 21 percent of the 4.3 million referrals made in 2018. Even with social worker intervention, over the course of the last decade, 182 Los Angeles children who were killed by their caregivers were known to the county’s child welfare system. Yet budget restrictions to DCFS means social workers will be conducting fewer investigations.” ~snip~” Here in Los Angeles, support services offered through a program known as Voluntary Family Maintenance are contracted out to private agencies (in this case, private nonprofits). The idea behind Voluntary Family Maintenance is to help prevent parents from losing custody of their children because of neglect driven by poverty. Instead of subjecting families to strict supervision from licensed social workers, these programs typically connect parents with support services and resources such as bus tokens or nutrition classes, which are often run by community organizations or private nonprofits.”
‘Hansel and Gretel’ in LA County, by Melissa Chadburn, NYR Daily, 27 August 2020

When the Family can’t step up for any reason, GOVERNMENT is the answer when children are in danger. Even in the slightest possible danger. C’mon LA, what the fuck is wrong with you?

“Metro develops a proposal that could eliminate all bus and rail fares as a form of relief from the economic impact of COVID-19.”
Could Metro Fares Disappear?, by Emily Jo Wharry, Los Angeleno, 28 August 2020

“At this morning’s meeting of the full board, Metro CEO Phil Washington announced a new internal task force intended to plan and implement a fareless transit system pilot. Few details are available, but there are some outlines in Washington’s presentation on the Fareless System Initiative (Operation FSI) Exploratory/Action Task Force.”
Metro CEO Phil Washington Announces “Fareless System Initiative”, by Joe Linton, StreetsBlogLA, 27 August 2020

Metro should become a nonprofit and raise money like the rest of us.

“From one presidential election to the next, the battleground states that make — or break — the election remain largely the same. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t gradual (and sometimes, not so gradual) shifts underway. We zoomed in on how 16 battleground states have voted relative to the country as a whole since 2000 — or how much more Republican or Democratic they are relative to the nation — and we found an electoral map undergoing a series of changes, some steady and others abrupt.”
Is The Electoral Map Changing?, by Elena Mejia and Geoffrey Skelley, 538, 26 August 2020

“Shannon and Janine discuss luck — the good kind — and how a “good enough” attitude can help make you more aware and able to take advantage of opportunities that show themselves. We also talk about ways you can improve your luck.”
Episode 9: Luck Favors the Prepared, by Getting to Good Enough, podcast

“The good news is that luck is well within your control.”
This Researcher Reveals How Lucky People Differ From Unlucky People, by Melissa Chu, Inc., 12 Sept 2019

“While organizational citizenship behavior isn’t something every employee will engage in, it can have tremendous benefits for both your workforce and the organization. As such, it’s worth looking for ‘OCB potential’ in candidates during the hiring process, actively involving managers in setting the right example, and rethinking your performance management to make organizational citizenship behavior an intrinsic part of your company culture.”
Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Benefits and 3 Best Practices, by Neelie Verlinden, AIHR, 20 August 2020

“Arizona, Georgia and Texas all moved at least 4 points to the left in 2016, and it’s possible they’ll move even farther in 2020. After all, the 2018 midterm elections showed these states could elect Democrats statewide, or at least, come very close. Democrats won a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona for the first time since 1988, while Republicans only narrowly won Texas’s Senate race and Georgia’s gubernatorial contest. What explains the leftward shift in these traditionally Republican states? For one thing, these states are more racially and ethnically diverse than most of the other states we’ve looked at — Arizona and Texas have large Hispanic populations, for instance, while Georgia has a sizable Black electorate — and people of color tend to vote more Democratic. But these fairly urban states have also seen their major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix become increasingly Democratic because of the surge in college-educated voters. At present, the FiveThirtyEight forecast anticipates these states will lean similar to how they did 2016, although further shifts to the left are plausible.”
Is The Electoral Map Changing?, by Elena Mejia and Geoffrey Skelley, 538, 26 August 2020

Watching:

“Call the Midwife,” which is simultaneously making me glad and sorry I didn’t give birth.

Quotes:

It’s not what I do, but the way I do it. It’s not what I say, but the way I say it.
Mae West

It’s not wise to violate rules until you know how to observe them.
T.S. Eliot

It’s strange that words are so inadequate. Yet, like the asthmatic struggling for breath, so the lover must struggle for words.
T.S. Eliot

I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific.
Lily Tomlin

I’ve been in more laps than a napkin.
Mae West

I’ve been things and seen places.
Mae West

Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.
Albert Camus

Keep a diary, and someday it’ll keep you.
Mae West

Knowledge is invariably a matter of degree: you cannot put your finger upon even the simplest datum and say this we know.
T.S. Eliot

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