"The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension"

Next month will be the 35th anniversary of the release of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, one of the most inventive movies I've ever seen. But it's weird. To fully appreciate it you need esoteric knowledge--Do you know the significance of Grovers Park, NJ?--or you need some explication. Here's a start

The complete movie is available free, but with ads, on YouTube.

"The Growing Science Behind a Fasting Treatment for Alzheimer’s"

Needless to say it will be very nice if this pans out.

Mattson has spent decades researching calorie intake and Alzheimer’s disease. In several studies of mice genetically altered to display symptoms of Alzheimer’s he’s found that those fed intermittent fasting diets — where you cycle through short periods of eating and longer periods of fasting — fared better than those who ate whenever they wanted. They had better cognitive function, lived longer and, most importantly, had less plaque build up in their brains.

The Alzheimer's researchers could use some luck because after a whole lot of time and effort, they haven't made much progress: "Alzheimer’s researchers shift focus after failures".

"Never Try To Drive Through a Flood"

Useful reminder.

According to the National Weather Service, more than half of flood-related drownings take place after a vehicle has been driven into flood water. “A mere [six] inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult,” the agency warns. Think your car is any safer? “It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars and just two feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks.”

"The Battle of Grace Church"

The vicious infighting over the leadership of a top Brooklyn preschool

It seems as though the new head was not a good fit with at least some of the parents and staff. The message to me is this is why interviewers spend a bunch of time trying to determine if new hires are "clubbable"--whether they are compatible with the existing corporate culture.

Here's an alternate takeaway: ".  . . the article was published was to stir up anger against a bunch of rich white women in Brooklyn".

"Are Facebook, Twitter, Google evil or just everywhere? What we have to do about big tech"

By law professor Glenn Reynolds, proprietor of Instapundit

I've been reading Instapundit regularly for at least 15 years. (I know this because my first link to it on this blog is dated 3/7/04.) In my opinion it's one of the very best things on the Net. Prof. Reynolds is consistently calm, reasonable, informed, and usually, magnificently correct. 

But on this issue--using antitrust to break up Google, Twitter, and Facebook--I'm sorry to say I sharply disagree with him. (The piece linked to doesn't quite state that he favors antitrust against the social media giants. But he regularly calls for just that on Instapundit.)

I note first that the core products of all three firms have been, and still are, absolutely free. And at least for Google, my experience is that quality--good to begin with--has improved over time. (See also "The Real Issue in Tech Antitrust: Where’s the Harm?" and "Why sound law and economics should guide competition policy in the digital economy," pp. 3-7.) 

Logically then, the folks that want to use antitrust against these three firms must propose evading the limits on antitrust's scope that have been in place for nearly 50 years now. And that's exactly what they do propose: Antitrust should either be given unprecdented new scope--Protect workers! Protect the community! Protect the environment! Protect outer space! (The last one is a joke. For now)--or we should return to what many of its advocates see as antitrust's original purpose, that of "protecting" small businesses.

I think Prof. Reynolds's complaint against the firms falls into the "protect the community" category. He has three complaints:

Thus today’s social media world tends to give us the worst possible outcome: lots of angry, ill-informed speech, coupled with censorship of things that the platform owners don’t like or are pressured into killing. Add to that a tremendous loss of privacy as platforms monetize people’s personal data, and it’s easy to see why the tech giants aren’t as popular as they once were.

Continue reading ""Are Facebook, Twitter, Google evil or just everywhere? What we have to do about big tech"" »

"Welcome to California"

Building houses in California is not for the faint-hearted.

Though the developer tirelessly met environmentalist demands and generated “green” credibility, the project has endured more than a quarter-century of roadblocks and red tape, courtesy of California’s mammoth bureaucracy—including “lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit,” says Wendy Devine, who oversees a website focused on Newhall Ranch news. . . . The developer produced more than 109,000 pages of documents, navigated the review of 25 government agencies, appeared at 21 public hearings, and attended over 700 meetings. Finally, the project broke ground last year.

(This piece also illustrates an underreported phenomenon: how innocent laws lying around can be completely repurposed by interest groups.)