Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
|Yours truly at the iconic building of the University of Tokyo|
Tesla announced a battery for your house, the Powerwall. What are some interesting physics questions to consider for this new battery?
The post Should You Get a Tesla Home Battery? Let Physics Explain appeared first on WIRED.
Kyle Vanhemert in Wired:
Talking to doctors via video chat is the future. Talking to doctors via text message is the even better future we should hope for after that. A new partnership between insurance provider UnitedHealthcare and three leading telemedicine companies will make virtual doctor’s visits a reality for many Americans. The insurer is putting telemedicine on par with a trip to the doctor’s office, effectively saying a video visit is as good as brick-and-mortar check-up. It’s a significant step into the future of healthcare, and it points to an interesting design challenge. Setting aside for a moment the complex thicket of regulations governing telemedicine: When it comes to staying healthy, what’s the ideal user experience? NowClinic, Doctor on Demand, and American Well, the companies partnering with UnitedHealthcare, focus on a fairly straightforward brand of telemedicine: Letting patients confer with doctors over video. Their apps aim to virtualize the doctor’s appointment as it’s existed for decades. There are reasons you might want that. Video visits can make quality health care more accessible to people in rural areas. For the rest of us, they may simply be more convenient. An on-demand video appointment means no leafing through germy back issues of People in a waiting room. Brian Tran, product lead for Doctors on Demand, says he wants patients to think of the experience as “FaceTime with a doctor.”
Still, this version of telemedicine isn’t as easy as pointing a web cam at a physician. “We want to balance the elegance of a consumer app with a real clinical encounter,” says Katie Ruigh, American Well’s VP of Product. By “real clinical encounter,” Ruigh means all the stuff that make you feel you’re in the hands of an expert: the formal setting, the white coat, the stethoscope in the pocket. Ruigh says American Well encourages doctors who work at home to create a suitable back drop for video appointments, even suggesting in some cases that they hang their framed diplomas on the wall within the frame. She also points out that American Well looks for “webside manner” when evaluating doctors; when you’re not meeting face to face, things like eye contact and attentive listening become more important to the overall experience.
GPS and satellite data of this week's 7.8 earthquake in Nepal show just how much Earth got moved.
The post What Satellite Data Tells Us About Nepal’s Brutal Quake appeared first on WIRED.
William Giraldi in The New Republic:
Not long into George Gissing’s 1903 novel The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft, you find a scene that no self-respecting bibliophile can fail to forget. In a small bookshop in London, the eponymous narrator spots an eight-volume first edition of Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. “To possess those clean-paged quartos,” Ryecroft says, “I would have sold my coat.” He doesn’t have the money on him, and so he returns across town to his flat to retrieve it. Too broke for a ride on an omnibus, and too impatient to wait, he twice more traverses the city on foot, back and forth between the bookshop and home, toting a ton of Gibbon. “My joy in the purchase I had made drove out every other thought. Except, indeed, of the weight. I had infinite energy but not much muscular strength, and the end of the last journey saw me upon a chair, perspiring, flaccid, aching—exultant!”
A pleasing vista onto the early twentieth-century life of one English writer, Gissing’s autobiographical novel is also an effusive homage to book love. “There were books of which I had passionate need,” says Ryecroft, “books more necessary to me than bodily nourishment. I could see them, of course, at the British Museum, but that was not at all the same thing as having and holding them”—to have and to hold—“my own property, on my own shelf.” In case you don’t quite take Ryecroft’s point, he later repeats “exultant” when recalling that afternoon of finding the Gibbon—“the exultant happiness.”1 Exultation is, after all, exactly what the bibliophile feels most among his many treasures.
Thanks to Vanity Fair, we’ve been getting the best look at the new characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens we’ve had so far. Now they’ve released an image of Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie in her chrome Stormtrooper armor as another new character, Captain Phasma.
by Leanne Ogasawara
He was one of the most famous art connoisseurs in Chinese history. And he was also known for walking the streets of Hangzhou dressed in the fashions of 500 years earlier. When asked why he did it, he replied, “Because I like the styles from back then.” But, in fact, everyone knew there was more to it than that. Madman Mi, as Mi Fu was also lovingly known to people of his time, served for a brief time at the court of Emperor Huizong, just prior to the fall of the Empire. Believed to be of Sogdian blood, it was through his mother’s connections at Court as a Lady-in-Waiting and Consort of Emperor Shenzong that he was able to enter the official bureaucracy without ever having had to take any of the official examinations.
But --alas-- despite his excellent connections, Mi Fu was never particularly "career-oriented" --as he remained till the very end devoted to the creation, study and collection of art. His passion started while he was still quite young, and he has described in his writings how his mother more than once sold her ornamental hair combs in order to fund his collecting while he was still only a child.
To call him an eccentric would only be an understatement.
For not only did he walk the streets dressed in clothes from the Tang dynasty, but he was also known for introducing himself and bowing to especially fine specimens of garden rocks, which were of the type he collected; often addressing them politely as “elder brother.” Greatly admired by Emperor Huizong for his knowledge and style, he was appointed Director of the Calligraphy and Painting Institute at Court, where the Prime Minister was said to have observed, “Mi Fu is the kind of person we must have one of, but cannot afford to have two of!” Even though his knowledge was formidable, his personality was such that he didn’t last long at Court.
Spending his later years roaming the waterways of the country on his houseboat, named, “The Mi Family Calligraphy and Painting Barge,” he managed to acquire an immense collection of important works of calligraphy, painting, ancient bronzes, and other antiquities. His acquisitions were sometimes of a dubious method as he was known to have replaced some originals of borrowed works with replicas, and on more than one occasion threatened suicide to friends who wouldn't agree to sell their masterpieces to him. He was also reported to have stolen the plaques from temple gates because they provided fine samples of a particular style of calligraphy. His foibles were usually forgiven, though, because of course he was considered a genius. All in the line of duty? What Mi Fu was unable to acquire, he managed to at least find the opportunity to view, and therefore his knowledge of Chinese art was encyclopedic.
Chinese art history is full of charismatic and playful collectors, like Mi Fu (most of whom not only had encyclopedic knowledge of art history but were established artists in their own right). See, for example, Michel Beurdeley's delightful book on Chinese art collectors through the centuries...I have been fascinated with art collecting practices for years now and love to read books about quirky collectors--definitely some of my favorite collectors of history have come from China!
Right now, however, I am reading a book about American collectors, called The China Collectors. Specifically about American collectors of Chinese art, it tells the tale of some of the greatest collectors from this country, like infamous silk-roader Langdon Warner (the model for Indiana Jones) and George Kates (of the Years that were Fat); as well as big money names such as Charles Lang Freer, two generations of Rockefellers and Arthur Sackler, "the Grand Acquisitor." Many were Harvard men and few come off looking very good.
I just kept thinking, "there are no Mi Fus in this book, that's for sure."
Setting the tone for the entire book, it opens with a graphic description of the looting of the Old Summer Palace in Beijing (1860). The looting occurred at a time when foreign Western powers (especially the British and the French) were circling around China like vultures. Declining the British demand to meet face-to-face in Beijing, the Chinese emperor then up and left the capital all together. Offended, the "allied" British and French forces decided to "teach him a lesson," which resulted in the looting and burning of the Summer Palace in a manner that is difficult to understand.
The loot included tremendous amounts of treasure (in particular huge pearls and other jewels) as well as porcelains and silks and fabulous glass and ivory objects. I have a book, originally published in Italy, with an engraving of the chaos that took place just before the order was given to burn the Palace to the ground. You can see the Western-style Palace to the East (designed by none other than Giuseppe Castiglione) and many Chinese temples and gardens unfolding toward the West. In the center of the engraving are the allied French-British soldiers who are dancing all dressed up in concubines' silks, loaded down with their looted jewels, prancing on the lawn under parasols and fans.
In 1861, Victor Hugo wrote a passionate letter, which has become rather famous, where he described the looting as, "'Two Robbers' broke into this museum, devastating, looting and burning, and left laughing and hand in hand with their bags full of treasures; one of the robbers is called France and the other Britain." When news reached the Emperor, he was astounded by the barbarity of the barbarians and caved to their demands: Tianjin would be opened to the foreigners and foreign missionaries would be allowed to preach and build churches in the interior of the country.
The China Collectors mentions this interesting story that took place amidst the sacking of the Summer Palace, when British Captain Hart Dune found a pack of small dogs with a "grotesque oriental appearance." Grabbing them up in the melee, the dog-loving officer requested and was given permission to present one of the "Pekinese" to Queen Victoria. Guess what the queen named the dog? Yep, Lootie. And little lootie yapped in the royal apartments until 1872.
You just can't make this stuff up.
If the title of the book didn't tell you all you need to know then this scene would, I suspect. This was, after all, a time when just a handful of countries controlled most of the rest of the world. Art collecting in the West (especially since the time of Napoleon) is characterized by a kind of appropriation that would be hard to find anywhere else--past or present. Westerners are not the first people to appreciate and collect foreign art, but I cannot think of any case where it went hand-in-hand with cultural appropriation in quite the same way. Japanese collections do, of course, contain foreign treasures but I feel hard-pressed to come up with looting of the kind we see in the West. From Napoleon, to Hitler to the silk roaders, they were not collecting art as much as they seemed to be collecting cultures. Not to mention ancient Roman and Venetian collectors of antiquities from Greece and Byzantium.
One of the great defenders (not surprisingly) of encyclopedic museums, Philippe de Montebello, seeking to underplay the connection these museums have with looted artifacts, suggests that the first encylopedic museums didn't even exist in European capitals at all. However, I am not convinced the Topkapi and Hermitage museums are comparable on this count. I could be wrong, but I don't believe either collection came about as a by-product of an imperialistic enterprise. The Topkapi is well known for its Ming porcelain--but I was always under the impression that these items were purchased fair and square.
The essay by Philippe de Montebello appears in James Cuno's book the debate over antiquities, called Whose Culture. It is a fabulous book. Perhaps my favorite essay was by Kwame Anthony Appiah. I am a huge fan of his work, and I do find his arguments on the need for encyclopedic museums to stand as places of cosmopolitanism. It is world-enhancing and eye opening to experience art from other cultures. So, museums like the Met are meeting places that serve to resist provincialism, he argues. Appiah is also compelling in connecting the debate to ideas of nationalism by asking,
What does it mean, exactly’, he writes, ‘for something to belong to a people? Most of Nigeria’s cultural patrimony was produced before the modern Nigerian state existed. We don’t know whether the terra-cotta Nok sculptures, made sometime between 800 BC and AD 200, were commissioned by kings of commoners; we don’t know whether the people who made them and the people who paid for them thought of them as belonging to the kingdom, to a man, to a lineage, or to the gods. One thing we know for sure, however, is they didn’t make them for Nigeria.
That said, still, with some notable exceptions (like Sherman Lee of Cleveland Museum fame, for example), the men in China Collectors just don't end up looking very good. They appear greedy and predatory to say the least, too often swooping in like vultures when countries are in chaos... These are guys we find literally peeling off wall paintings from the caves in Dunhuang. Thinking of the silk-roaders, for example, they knew the chaos of the country would allow for massive bargains and carted great treasures out for a song--some even went as far as to excuse what they are doing, declaring that the art would not survive the chaos or upheavals that the countries were experiencing. But,in fact, more was lost than saved (for example, some of the finest frescos that were peeled off walls and put "safely in museums of Dresden, were utterly lost during wartime bombing. This is just one example).
A glance at Hobson-Jobson will tell you that the word loot comes into English from Hindi-ultimately deriving from Sanskrit. It entered the English language between the Opium Wars and the Crimean War and means It means plunder and pillage. In 1858, the younger Lord Elgin--who interestingly the grandson of the Lord Elgin of Elgin Marbles fame was a main player in the sacking of the summer palace in China-- had this to say about loot:
There is a word called loot, which gives unfortunately a venial character to what would in common English be styled robbery.
Loot or robbery, can you come up with this kind of massive transfer of art capital in a foreign museum today that was not a byproduct of European and American colonialism? The Harvard men in the China Collectors also loved the culture of China. That is clear--and yet in the book they come across as grand appropriators more than anything else.... On amazon, one reviewer suggested that this book is a great companion to Hopkirk's Foreign Devils on the Silk Road. I agree! And just like in that book, as you marvel at how outrageous these men were, it's hard not to be impressed by their pure gall!
As children of the Enlightenment, public museums embody not just some of the best of Enlightenment philosophy but some of the worst as well (with ideas concerning custodianship serving as harbingers for later concepts of social Darwinism, for example). In the end, I have never really been a huge fan of encyclopedic museums--especially, I dislike seeing what are national treasures removed from their countries of origin. Whether its Winged Victory in the Louvre or Elgin Marbles can anyone really not say these things are ill-gotten gains and really belong in their countries of origin? It's not that I am saying that no art should leave it's country of origin. I am only talking about 1) the greatest treasures--something that people can more or less agree on that are crucially significant to a particular culture--somehow representing cultural patrimony of the place...like the Elgin marbles or certain Chinese imperial treasures that were taking during looting; those items that are not only deeply significant to a given country (I say this acknowledging that the artists themselves in all probability did not intend their art to be forever linked with a specific culture or location). And 2) items that were also taken in a manner not on the up-and-up. And even then, I think repatriation should come with a demonstrated ability for the country to preserve the art work--for humanity's sake.
While the spirit behind the great museums is enlightened, filing its rooms with beautiful but stolen treasures is not. While each case is unique, isn't it time for our temples of our highest ideals to do the enlightened thing? The Chinese, as described in the last chapter of China Collectors, are taking matters into their own hands, however. Buying Chinese art voraciously to bring it home, they are also trying to buy the contents of the Chinese collection (and other art works) from the Detroit Institute of Art.
How the mighty have fallen...?
Great review of Whose Culture
Painting at top: Empress Dowager Cixi portrait painted by Katharine Augusta Carl (1865–1938)
Painting in center: Sultan Mehmet II by Bellini
Digital Reconstruction of Bezeklik by Ryokoku (Japanese researchers)--if you can find a copy see my Digital Bezeklik in Kyoto Journal's Silk Road Special Issue!
This is the promise of embryonic gene editing: that our species can genetically vaccinate itself against disease, from Alzheimer’s to cystic fibrosis.
The post Read This Before You Freak Out Over Gene-Edited Superbabies appeared first on WIRED.
The 2006 anniversary edition of Neuromancer starts with an introduction by William Gibson, in which he muses on how the novel stayed fresh during over two decades of frantically evolving technology. The answer might be ignorance.
You are a blob, wandering around and absorbing smaller blobs to grow. (more…)
Bill Keller's interview with David Simon, creator of HBO's The Wire on The Marshall Project:
DS: Because the documented litany of police violence is now out in the open. There’s an actual theme here that’s being made evident by the digital revolution. It used to be our word against yours. It used to be said — correctly — that the patrolman on the beat on any American police force was the last perfect tyranny. Absent a herd of reliable witnesses, there were things he could do to deny you your freedom or kick your ass that were between him, you, and the street. The smartphone with its small, digital camera, is a revolution in civil liberties.
And if there’s still some residual code, if there’s still some attempt at precision in the street-level enforcement, then maybe you duck most of the outrage. Maybe you’re just cutting the procedural corners with the known players on your post – assuming you actually know the corner players, that you know your business as a street cop. But at some point, when there was no code, no precision, then they didn’t know. Why would they? In these drug-saturated neighborhoods, they weren’t policing their post anymore, they weren’t policing real estate that they were protecting from crime. They weren’t nurturing informants, or learning how to properly investigate anything. There’s a real skill set to good police work. But no, they were just dragging the sidewalks, hunting stats, and these inner-city neighborhoods — which were indeed drug-saturated because that's the only industry left — become just hunting grounds. They weren’t protecting anything. They weren’t serving anyone. They were collecting bodies, treating corner folk and citizens alike as an Israeli patrol would treat the West Bank, or as the Afrikaners would have treated Soweto back in the day. They’re an army of occupation. And once it’s that, then everybody’s the enemy. The police aren’t looking to make friends, or informants, or learning how to write clean warrants or how to testify in court without perjuring themselves unnecessarily. There's no incentive to get better as investigators, as cops. There’s no reason to solve crime. In the years they were behaving this way, locking up the entire world, the clearance rate for murder dove by 30 percent. The clearance rate for aggravated assault — every felony arrest rate – took a significant hit. Think about that. If crime is going down, and crime is going down, and if we have less murders than ever before and we have more homicide detectives assigned, and better evidentiary technologies to employ how is the clearance rate for homicide now 48 percent when it used to be 70 percent, or 75 percent?
With just a few clicks, you can help make a map that will assist aid workers in getting to those in need.
For relief workers in Nepal after the massive earthquake on April 25, one of the challenges is just knowing where to go: Most roads and buildings don't exist on a map. But that's a situation that's changing, hour by hour, as thousands of volunteers around the world build a detailed digital atlas of the earthquake zone as part of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT).
The devastated people who live among the aged brick cities and temples that crumpled in Nepal’s 7.8 earthquake may soon be on a faster path to recovery thanks to an array of technologies—both new and old—that can help locate survivors, ease the fears of those searching for loved ones, and get food and medicine into […]
The lava lake at the summit of Kilauea is overflowing, creating lava flows in the summit crater.
[caption id="attachment_76107" align="alignright" width="180"] Buy Minecraft Modding
with Forge.[/caption]I am jealous of kids these days. The sheer breadth and depth of technology and software at their disposal is staggering, everything from Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Scratch to Minecraft, Python, and iOS app development. What’s even more profound to me is how fluent they are in using and interacting with these technologies. And yet during this process of assimilation, they are mastering fundamental mathematical concepts, like trigonometry, by figuring out how to shoot an arrow in Minecraft, as opposed to the classical way of learning the formulas. Or in learning how to program in Python, they are creating a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. Or in understanding basic circuits, they are building a traffic light using Arduino or Squishy Circuits.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to be involved with Devoxx4Kids, a Not-for-Profit, 501(c)(3) registered organization in the U.S., whose goal is to deliver Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) workshops to kids at an early age around the world. We delivered over 40 workshops in the U.S. alone last year on topics ranging from Python, Scratch, and Minecraft modding to NAO robots, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Little Circuits. Globally, we’ve delivered over 350 workshops and connected with approximately 5,000 students, with over 30% girls. Attendees from these workshops often leave with unique and inspirational stories to share.
Our Minecraft Modding workshops require no prior programming experience. Attendees are elementary school students, primarily from the 4th and 5th grades. During these workshops, we focus on developing simple mods, such as creating a stack of 64 potatoes when you type the word “potato” into the chat bar of the game. Such simplicity allows us to dive in and explain some of the most fundamental concepts behind Java. For example, with the potato mod, students develop an understanding of the Java Development Kit (JDK), they discover how to run a program using Eclipse, as well as how to work with classes, methods, strings, integer variables, and if-statements. The excitement of creating new mods, such as spawning an Ender Dragon, alerting a user when a creeper is spawned, and turning snowballs into arrows, allows students to learn even more fundamentals like the “for loop,” comparing objects, and !, &&, and || operators.
It’s gratifying to witness the amount of progress and “fluency” our students achieve in these workshops. Students often ask to see different variations of a mod every week, and with the help of my son, Aditya, who is an experienced Minecraft player and modder in his own right, we will sit down and create these mods. One of the most exciting moments for me came during the 7th week of a recent workshop when the code for a mod was displayed on the projector without an explanation. To my surprise, the students were able to read the code and explain the meaning. I had goosebumps seeing how quickly their Minecraft vocabulary was helping them to become a Java programmer. I’ve seen professional developers complain about ceremony around Java “syntax.” But I think that’s one of the most beautiful things about the language: it’s meant to be read by both computers and humans. Further details about this effort are explained in my blog post, Minecraft Modding Course at Elementary School — Teach Java to Kids.
The gamification of education is becoming a reality these days. My first grade son is learning mathematics by playing a game and hitting on a robot’s head to traverse through a maze, whereas my oldest son is learning Java concepts by modding Minecraft. I think this is a natural evolution. Given the speed with which technology is expanding and becoming an omnipresent part of our identity, it’s important to keep our kids engaged and enthused while learning. What’s more, we should also be teaching our kids how to be producers of software and content — and not just consumers. They may not pick up Computer Science as their subject of choice in high school or college. But workshops like these, with a focus on fun and interactivity, will at least ensure they are not alien to technology, and programming more broadly. This is how we can provide a competitive edge to our kids for many years to come.
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld might look intimidating — there are 40 books, and they’re humorous fantasy, which seems like it could be an acquired taste. But everybody should read at least one Discworld book, because they’re wonderful, and there’s something for everyone. Here’s our complete guide to Pratchett’s masterwork.
Daredevil episode 3 takes a bit of a break from the superhero stuff to remind us that Matt Murdock and co. are real people with a law practice to run. Please enjoy this episode of Law & Order: MCU.
We start off with some dude in a bowling alley.
He asks the wrong guy to share a lane and then conspicuously doesn’t make an effort to get away when said guy’s goons approach. Oh man, he’s in troub—HOLY CRAP he opens a can of whoopass on the goons and then pulls a gun on the main guy, whose parents clearly didn’t teach him to share. OK then. Let’s call our bowling friend Walter for now.
Too bad for Walter, the guy who sold him the gun failed in his guarantee that it wouldn’t jam, so Walt has to teach the bad sharer a lesson with his fists and a bowling ball instead.
The cops show up and arrest him, and he says he wants a lawyer.
Karen, Foggy, and Matt all meet up back at the office in varying states of readiness for the day after their ill-advised activities the night before—drinking and partying for Karen and Foggy, and getting beaten senseless while saving the day for Matt. Our friend in the suit from the first episode, who won’t tell anyone his name—not a bit suspicious—shows up at the law office and says his company wants to put Murdock and Nelson on retainer.
By way of explanation as to why they’d be interested in such a small company, he provides a bit of insight into Matt and Foggy’s past as local boys who graduated law school with flying colors and set up their own shop on their home turf despite some pretty great offers they could’ve taken. Those little do-gooders.
He offers them what we can only guess by Foggy’s facial expression is an absurd amount of money
But Matt’s not into it, so suit guy changes tactics to “take a sexist swipe at Karen.” You know, classy business man stuff.
Oh, and he mentions her murder charges—or lack thereof—and Matt is more sure than ever that something’s not right. Classy business man, obviously prepared for this, tells them to check out one of his employer’s cases for themselves to get a better idea of how worth it all the zeroes on their paychecks would be. He gives them a file and tells them where to be to help lawyer someone who turns out to be our friend Walter, the sharing enthusiast.
Foggy questions him—his actual name is John Healy—before Matt joins in, and even Foggy’s slightly malleable moral compass tells him they shouldn’t take the case. He’s gone and realized that maybe there are limits to what he’ll do for $$$$. Character growth!
In an unexpected turn of events, Matt swoops in and says they’ll take it, because his moral compass has been overridden by his freely spinning bullshit-ometer (basically a real power of Daredevil’s) which was set off by suit guy and should theoretically get sorted out in the course of this case.
New York Bulletin journalist Ben Urich, who showed up earlier in the episode as he tried to get inside info on this new crime wave, is having an old school vs. new school “I want to do some real journalism” argument about digging into what’s going on in Hell’s Kitchen with his boss. I guess Netflix couldn’t get Aaron Sorkin to direct the news guy scenes as there’s not a whole lot of walking while talking, but they did throw in a solid dig at bloggers working in their underwear for good measure, so close enough.
(Hey, it’s usually very fancy underwear, I’ll have them know.)
While Matt and Foggy continue to have a disconcerting chat with their less-than-reputable new client who all but admits to being an employee of suit guy and a paid killer, the man in the suit himself is over at the bowling alley’s arcade machine also extolling the virtues of sharing.
and grabbing Healy’s gun from where he stashed it underneath the machine.
Matt and Foggy finally come to an understanding on taking Healy’s “self defense” case.
And plan their next move while Karen disappears to work on her own legal troubles. She’s in hot water for breaking an NDA with Union Allied over the information she leaked to the press in episode 1. The now-dissolved company’s lawyers are offering her a bunch of money and protection from any legal action in exchange for her silence on their actions going forward, and she’s significantly more hesitant about all those zeroes than some of our other heroes.
Our journalist friend stops by a hospital to deal with his… wife’s? medical care insurance coverage issues—the same hospital Claire Temple works at, it seems, judging by an administrator saying her best nurse is out. I wonder why.
Matt and Foggy are working some long hours on this case, and Matt lays down the law—har har—on Karen taking long lunches while they’ve got so much work to do. Although, I kind of suspect Matt’s concerned that there’s something going on with her and isn’t just trying to be a dick.
And hey! There’s Foggy doing some actual lawyering in a courtroom! Matt’s pleased with his performance, but distracted by jurors’ heartbeats and suit guy’s watch, which he can hear because he’s Daredevil. You do remember that he’s also a superhero, right? I just wanted to make sure you didn’t forget amid all the legal intrigue.
The juror with the telltale heart meets some guy in an alley who’s clearly blackmailing her for her decision in the case, and when she leaves, Daredevil busts in to remind us all this is a superhero show—with his fists. And some Batman voice. At the thug’s expense.
He… convinces the guy to get the juror dismissed and leave her alone forever by being generally terrifying. Then, he convinces the jurors to acquit his client on self defense charges by being generally terrific.
Suit guy and Leland Owlsly argue over why they didn’t just murder Healy like they tend to do to everyone else who bothers them in order to give suit guy an excuse to explain it to the audience/preemptively head off Internet arguments about it.
Matt and Foggy successfully get Healy cleared of charges in the courtroom, but he has not been cleared in the COURT OF DAREDEVIL, who proceeds to beat the name of suit guy’s employer out of Healy. He does this in the totally safe manner of jabbing a shard of glass into the guy’s neck until he talks, because as previously established with fire extinguishers and throwing people off buildings, he does not GAF.
Healy finally gives up Fisk’s name as suit guy’s hermit employer shortly before, er, disposing of himself out of fear for what his punishment will be.
[headimpale.gif not found... because yuck.]
Probably kind of a good thing for Murdock that Healy’s not around to tell the tale, because a 2 for 2 involvement of Daredevil with Matt Murdock’s legal cases miiiiiight raise some eyebrows. Seriously, quit punching where you eat, Matt.
Meanwhile, Wilson Fisk himself is appreciating some art and getting flirty (for Fisk, anyway) with a gallery employee when the episode leaves us with its reveal of the series’ big bad.
An organization that tries to convince state legislatures to impose limits on municipal broadband sent a cease-and-desist letter to one of its critics that is refusing to stay quiet.
The fight is happening between the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Credo Action. ALEC opposes municipal broadband projects and writes model legislation that limits the authority of cities and towns to build their own telecommunications networks. About 20 states have passed such laws.
Credo Action is the advocacy arm of cellular phone company Credo Mobile, whose revenue funds its advocacy. Credo lobbied the Federal Communications Commission to preempt state laws that limit municipal broadband, criticizing ALEC along the way.
Hit young adult novels may spread like wildfire, but they don’t grow on trees. The Times profiles Julie Strauss-Gabel, a YA editor known for whipping her writers into shape:
The last thing you want is an author saying, ‘That’s what’s selling right now, so that’s what I’m going to write.’ That’s the point at which a trend gets icky.
Robert Minto in Open Letters Monthly:
Mario Vargas Llosa’s father was a cruel man who abandoned Mario and his mother for ten years and then returned to tyrannize them. Vargas Llosa became a writer in order to annoy him. In his memoir A Fish in the Water he writes,
It is probable that without my progenitor’s contempt for literature I would never have pursued so obstinately what at the time was a game, but was gradually to turn into an obsessive and pressing need: a vocation.
But is the struggle of a son with his father an honorable source of direction for life? Or does Vargas Llosa’s origin story undermine his whole life’s work by identifying it with childish rebellion? In his new book The Discreet Hero, he seems to be wrestling with this problem. The Discreet Hero is two stories told in alternating chapters which intersect only in seemingly unimportant ways but really serve the purpose of commenting on shared themes. In Letters to a Young Novelist, he calls this structure by the odd term “communicating vessels.” He names it one of just three or four of the “primary techniques” of novel writing: a clue to any reader of his own novels about just how seriously he takes the doubled narrative. The other clue is that fact that he’s used the technique over and over again, even in his autobiography (which splices the story of his boyhood together with the story of his campaign to become President of Peru).
...In The Discreet Hero, the very tool Vargas Llosa uses for the analysis of power is turned on his own power by examining what is for him the foundational struggle of the vocation for literature. Would the healthy outcome for him have been, back when he first began to write, to confess to his father that it was all a lie, and never to write again, like Fonchito and Edilberto Torres? This is the kind of earnest reflection a literary mind conducts at the age of 79. It is a reason to read The Discreet Hero on its own account and — especially — as self-reflection on the origins of a great artist. I, for one, am glad Mario hated his father.