It’s Shut the Fuck Up Friday

Farhad Manjoo in The New York Times:

To people unfamiliar with the American criminal justice system, Baldwin’s decision sounds reasonable: Something terrible happened, and he wanted to help. But defense lawyers I talked to said Baldwin’s case should serve as a reminder that if you are involved in a serious incident, it’s best not to talk to the police unless you have an attorney present.

Manjoo is right, but it’s easier said than done to just shut the fuck up. Police rely on social engineering.

Manjoo cites an entertaining 48-minute video in which a law professor argues that nothing good can come from talking with cops no matter how innocent you are followed by a long-time-cop-turned-law-student telling you how he operated during interrogations which only confirms the need to shut the fuck up.

All Colors Combine to Make Brown

Novel storytelling is fascinating and fun: Momento told its story backwards and Primer told its story out of sequence.

Netflix offers Kaleidoscope as a limited series of episodes each named after a color watchable in any order. Otherwise it’s a run-of-the-mill heist series. And, in the end, the and-order-is-fine dynamic just leaves the viewer feeling like you’ve watched a out-of-order series, robbed of any crescendo or finale.

2022 In Review

I find the “good riddance to this year” trope, even in terrible years, unhelpful and uninteresting, and in light of some recent years, not particularly meaningful. Here’s some highlights of my past 12 months.

  • Finally took a letterpress workshop at Public Space One
  • Replaced 2,500 car miles with an electric pedal-assist bike
  • Hiked more than 100 miles, including in the Rocky Mountains and the Loess Hills
  • Added a redwing blackbird to my arm thanks to Nikki Powills
  • Had really meaningful and sometimes tough conversations with my kid who is now on the verge of adulthood
  • Ended my 1,010-day COVID-free streak
  • Engaged with friends and family for walks, meals and more


Meanwhile at Twitter

There are many mockable things going on at Twitter, and this certainly isn’t the most outrageous, but a new gold verified badge appeared as they roll out a second iteration of Twitter Blue verification to differentiate the big players who might buy ads meanwhile legacy verified accounts, including government agencies, simply get a blue badge noting “This is a legacy verified account. It may or may not be notable.”

Star Wars Imagined in the 1940s by Walt Disney

Inspired by Flash Gordon, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Walt Disney began sketching out characters for grand, animated space opera full of villains and magic warriors. No one outside Disney was believed to have seen them, until, recently, these drawings were found in George Lucas’s collection.

Imagined using AI from Midjourney.

Why Andor is Great and Rouge One is Just OK

Jamelle Bouie on Rouge One versus Andor:

[In Rouge One] We don’t actually get a sense of the interior lives of any of the characters, who, we know as an audience, are on the way to their doom. There’s no real attempt to deal with the psychology of rebellion. The movie is exciting, but I don’t think it quite works.

[W]hile “Andor” is billed as a show about the Rebellion, it is just as much, if not more, a show about the Empire. It is most interested, I think, in how the Empire works — in the bureaucracy of domination. Key moments take place within the Imperial intelligence agency, in scenes reminiscent of a John le Carré novel or adaptation (it helps that many of the actors are British, with the Received Pronunciation that we expect from Imperial officers in Star Wars). We see how paperwork in an office translates to brutality for ordinary people on the ground; how Imperial control is administered, and how dissent is repressed. We see why someone would join the Empire, find fulfillment in the Empire, seek to advance Imperial goals. It is a show that uses the idea of the “banality of evil” in exactly the way it was meant.

Exactly right.

Hiking Tips You Already Knew

After a childhood of unfairly feeling tortured on likely amazing hikes, like Perseverance Lake and Deer Mountain, in Ketchikan, Alaska, I discovered the joy late as an adult, torturing my own child.

I started with crappy sneakers, not enough water and heading out with an empty stomach and without much of a plan, and I too slowly learned what worked well for me. This is my contribution to the collection of “how I do a thing” posts on the internet that someone might find helpful.

Eating breakfast

This might seem like a no brainer, but I spent a while hiking on an empty stomach before I learned it wasn’t the best. Some it was that I always ran before eating, so why would I need to eat before a day of hiking? (These are the kind of insightful hiking tips I will have for you on this list.) Bringing lunch for the trail was also a revelation.

Real boots

I started hiking in lightweight sneakers better geared towards trail running. Turned out when I bought a pair of hiking boots, my feet and ankles were actually protected and supported. “Get new hiking boots” was one of my goals for the year in 2020, and it was accomplishable.

Pack with water bladder

I always thought the folks with the little drinking tubes sticking out of their packs looked kinda doofy, and, when I finally decided I should get something to carry, you know, food with me, I we determined not to fall for a dumb hydration thing. The guy at the outdoor store convinced me I was wrong, and I am now convinced he was right. Even with my Ospry Manta 28, I still carry a water bottles with me on longer hikes, but it’s a lot easier to drink water when it’s right under my chin. It’s also been great to have a comfortable pack with enough space that I can bring along enough food for lunch and snacks, rain or cold weather gear, quadcopter or whatever else for the day.

Trekking poles

When we went inn-to-inn hiking in the Rockies five years ago, Phoebe loaned us poles, which were another accessory I was convinced was super dumb. Turns out it makes it easier to go up or down way more comfortable. They’re really helpful for scrambling up steep slopes, but also a lifesaver as you head down steep rocks at the end of a long day.

Sock liners

Much of my hiking growth has been allowing myself to accept substance over style. What’s cooler than two pairs of socks? Everything, but blisters suck.

Hiking pants

There are folks who swear by convertible pants, but my opinion is they are bad pants and bad shorts. I’ve liked my pair of Kuhl Renegade Rock Pants, but I’m sure there are better options, so try some things on.


You want to know I secret? I never look at a map on the trail. This is a dumb thing that has led me to make wrong turns, add extra miles and get just sort of lost. I recently added this app, all of $6, to my gear and it’s been worth every penny. You can add GPX and other file types (created with, say, Caltopo or downloaded from AllTrails) for maps to your iPhone (and Apple Watch).

Has GPS made us lazy and myopic? Absolutely, but it sure is nice to just hike.