“According to Frey, the audio sweet spot is 2/3 back and in the middle. That’s where audio engineers sit to balance the sound, and where you’ll get the full effect of the chopper buzzing by or the building exploding…”
Coming up next, more gems of wisdom from the Department of the Bleeding Obvious…
“In my country we measure things by profit. We listen to the Wall Street analysts. They tell us what we’re supposed to do every quarter. The quarterly report is God. Turn to face God. Turn to face Mecca, you know. Did you make your number? Did you not make your number? Do you want your bonus? Do you not want your bonus?
"And that notion that capital is the metric, that profit is the metric by which we’re going to measure the health of our society is one of the fundamental mistakes of the last 30 years. I would date it in my country to about 1980 exactly, and it has triumphed…"
"Family fantasy drama. Christmas is coming, and at the North Pole all the elves are busy making toys for presents. One elf, however, cannot help wondering if there is more to life than this. So when Santa receives an emergency wish from a little boy in Los Angeles, he despatches her on a mission to help the Vancamp family rediscover the Christmas spirit."
On Channel 5 at lunchtime tomorrow (12pm, Sunday the 8th of December). According to IMDb, a solid 6.9 movie, which puts it below Gravity but above Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.
“Walmart today announced plans to install mini surface-to-air missile batteries on the rooftops of all 4,786 store locations across the United States. The missiles will exclusively target Amazon Prime Air drones.
"The new concept called Walmart Megatron is the latest effort to drive customers back to retail locations…"
“Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.”—Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013).
“Lexical variety, eccentric constructions and punctuation, variant spellings, archaisms, the ability to pile clause on clause, the effortless incorporation of words from other languages: flexibility, and inclusiveness, is what makes English great; and diversity is what keeps it healthy and growing, exuberantly regenerating itself with rich new forms and usages. Shakespearean words, foreign words, slang and dialect and made-up phrases from kids on the street corner: English has room for them all. And writers—not just literary writers, but popular writers as well—breathe air into English and keep it lively by making it their own, not by adhering to some style manual that gets handed out to college Freshmen in a composition class.”—Donna Tartt on language and grammar, at Slate. (via harkaway)
Listening to the BBC World Service on Mandela, and pondering that he was South Africa’s “first democratically elected leader.”
This is undoubtedly true. The apartheid regime held elections regularly, but only white people were given the vote. The systematic, arbitrary denial of the franchise to a large fraction of the population makes those elections “undemocratic” and their leaders illegitimate. I think that this is indisputable.
But what about US elections prior to the 19th Amendment? Was Warren Harding the first “democratically elected leader of the United States?”
And what about the UK prior to 1918 (or 1928)? Women’s suffrage came late the the UK, and if Nelson Mandela was the first democratically elected leader of South Africa, I think that makes Ramsay MacDonald the UK’s first democratically elected leader.
Or if there’s something special about gender that disqualifies it from being a prerequisite for democratic legitimacy, let’s have the apples-to-apples comparison: enfranchisement for people of color.
Black people got the right to vote in the USA in 1870, making Ulysses S Grant the first “democratically elected” leader in US history (albeit that black people were systematically disenfranchised by law, norm, and deed throughout the land).
It’s not like the idea of women as full-fledged people, entitled to the vote, was obscure and unpopular before 1928. It’s not like the idea of black people as human beings capable of reason was unheard of before 1870. The systems that denied the vote to these people were violent, savage, and brutal in their repression of efforts to enfranchise all adults (and there’s whole other post to be written about children and voting).
There was no democratic legitimacy in the apartheid era. None of the leaders of South Africa before Mandela were “democratically elected.” But if we are going to retrospectively deny legitimacy to the men who called themselves democratic leaders because history has moved on, why not point out that every US President from Washington to Grant (or Harding) also had no legitimate claim to democratic leadership?