erik lundegaard

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Saturday July 28, 2012

Lancelot Links

Posted at 07:27 AM on Jul 28, 2012 in category Lancelot Links
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Saturday December 03, 2011

Lancelot Links

  • Earlier this week I gave a talk on how to do a good Q&A. My advice mostly involved listening, being curious, having a conversation, then editing, editing, editing. Nice that Errol Morris, master interviewer, basically says the same. As I said during my talk: It's not rocket science.
  • It's always interesting to get outsider views of the U.S., as in this Der Spiegel commentary on the GOP nominees, “A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses.” Turns out the outsider view of my country is my view. Money quote about the Republicans who would be president:

They lie. They cheat. They exaggerate. They bluster. They say one idiotic, ignorant, outrageous thing after another. They've shown such stark lack of knowledge — political, economic, geographic, historical — that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein and even cause their fellow Republicans to cringe.

  • Stephen King wrote a book on the Kennedy assassination called “11/22/63.” Ross Douhat wrote a semi-critical New York Times column on the book called “The Enduring Cult of Kennedy.” Now King calls out Douhat in a letter to the editor. Fun!
  • More fun: Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker lists off departing congressman Barney Frank's greatest insults. My favorite is more waggish than insulting: “We don’t get ourselves dry-cleaned.”
  • Last Sunday, Dudley Clendinen had a nice NY Times Op-Ed on a timely (for cinema) subject: “How J. Edgar Hoover Outed My Godfather.” Sad, nasty stuff. Makes me wish Clint Eastwood's movie had been more hard hitting.
  • Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated on “Brian's Song,” 40 years later. It was as he said. I still remember the grade-school oneupsmanship on manliness. Someone would claim that he never cried, and someone else would bring up “Brian's Song,” and then we'd all admit, “Well, yeah, 'Brian's Song.' Everybody cried at 'Brian's Song.'” Hell, I still tear up hearing the theme music. “Superman had Kryptonite,” Rushin writes. “The rest of us have Brian's Song, the first — and still most surefire — Male Tearjerker.”
  • The general rule of modern political journalism is to treat stupid statements from stupid, prominent people as if they were reasonable statements from reasonable people. Salon's Alex Pareene don't play that.
  • I don't know if this is going to be a new category/meme on Andrew Sullivan's site but the first example made me laugh out loud.
  • My college roommate Dean Jolliffe, who went on to Princeton and then the Dept. of Agriculture and the World Bank, was quoted in this Freakonomics piece on poverty and obesity. Dean's original article was in Economics and Human Biology, which the Freakonomics guys tell us is “more far-reaching” research than what others have put forth. Go Dean! Money quote from Deano:

Contrary to conventional wisdom, NHANES data indicate that the poor have never had a statistically significant higher prevalence of overweight status at any time in the last 35 years.

The air-gun class was held inside. We got a lecture on safety rules and learned how to load the guns. I learned that I'm left-eye dominant even though I'm right-handed. “That's why I've been a lousy shot all my life,” I thought to myself. So I set myself up to shoot left-handed. My first shot hit the inner circle on the target, 15 feet away. So did the second. Virtually my whole round was clustered in the center ring. My kids, who have learned to ignore my anti-gun rants — even about the plastic Nerf guns taking over the block — were in awe.

Minnesota outdoors

It's usually about 40 degrees colder, with snow about five feet deeper, during Feburary in Minnesota.

Posted at 08:25 AM on Dec 03, 2011 in category Lancelot Links
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Friday November 11, 2011

Lancelot Links

  • Via Roger Ebert: OhNoTheyDidnt, a livejournal, celebrity gossip site, has broken down the 13 movies posters we get: from Sexy Back (lone, violent, often western hero), to Back to Back (oh, those crazy couples), Legs Spread Wide (could be a raunchy comedy, could be Bond). My favorite of the bunch is the first, “Tiny People on the Beach, Giant Heads in the Clouds,” films that tend toward the sappy, such as “Charlie St. Cloud,” “City of Angels,” “Forever Young.”  Are most of the posters we see French posters? Would be interesting to break down international films by country. How poster art differs from country to country.
  • Oscar Oscar Oscar: Brett Ratner's gone as producer after his “fags” comments, etc., so Brian Grazer steps in. Eddie Murphy follows of his own accord as Oscar host. Leaving? Jeff Wells suggests Vince Vaughn. Not a bad idea, actually. Or if you're going to co-host it ... Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Or Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. Any of them frat packers.
  • Nope. Looks like it'll be Billy Crystal. Like Grazer, the safe choice.
  • New Yorker editor David Remnick has a nice piece on former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, who died this week, and who never forgave Muhammad Ali his insults.
  • Meanwhile, Smokin' Joe Posnanski weighs in: “Frazier was heavyweight champion of the world when that meant something.” Indeed. And don't forget he was in the first “Rocky.” Yes, in that awful green suit.
  • Andrew Sullivan has smart readers. From “Who Caused the Financial Crisis?” series.
  • Speaking of: Michael Lewis, who has spent books determining who caused the financial crisis, goes beyond “Moneyball” in this Vanity Fair article. Wait: way beyond “Moneyball.”
  • This is the best thing I've read in weeks: Malcolm Gladwell on Walter Isaacson on Steve Jobs. Gladwell calls Jobs not an inventor or innovator but a tweaker. He would take something and improve upon it and then close it off so it couldn't be improved upon by others. Thus the closed-off (but well-designed) design of Apple products. Most amusing to me, though, is the anecdote about how the iPad came to be. The Jobs family had a friend who was married to a top executive at Microsoft, and who was invited to Jobs' 50th birthday party. As Jobs tells Isaacson:

This guy badgered me about how Microsoft was going to completely change the world with this tablet PC software and eliminate all notebook computers, and Apple ought to license his Microsoft software. But he was doing the device all wrong. It had a stylus. As soon as you have a stylus, you’re dead. This dinner was like the tenth time he talked to me about it, and I was so sick of it that I came home and said, “Fuck this, let’s show him what a tablet can really be.”

“So Frazier reached out to snatch the magic punch from the air, the punch with which Ali topped Bonavena, and found it and hit Ali a hell and a heaven of a shot that dumped Muhammad into fifty thousand newspaper photographs--Ali on the floor! Great Ali on the floor...” --Norman Mailer, in the article “King of the Hill,” from the book “Existential Errands.”
Posted at 06:43 AM on Nov 11, 2011 in category Lancelot Links
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Saturday November 05, 2011

Lancelot Links

Jesus, Matty and Felipe Alou, with the San Francisco Giants in the early 1960s.

The Alou brothers, Jesus, Matty and Felipe, with the San Francisco Giants in the early 1960s. They were the first brothers to play in the same outfield in the same game.

Posted at 09:24 AM on Nov 05, 2011 in category Lancelot Links
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Thursday August 11, 2011

Lancelot Links

The international Fountain at the Seattle Center

The International Fountain at the Seattle Center last Saturday night, before taking in the Seattle Opera's production of ”Porgy & Bess."

Posted at 06:44 PM on Aug 11, 2011 in category Lancelot Links
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