2022

The Cold War Part 1 (part of The Village of Small Huts) Live at Video Cabaret on May 13, 2022

This was my third Village of Small Huts/Video Cabaret experience and it was a reminder of how distinct their performances are and how much underknown I think the whole thing is. As a reminder: Video Cabaret is a theatre troupe that incorporates audio and visual elements into their productions. The Village of Small Huts is …

2013, Books, Non-Fiction

You Are Now Less Dumb (2013) by David McRaney

In many ways, this is You Are Not So Smart II with all that implies: it’s a similar catalogue of cognitive biases and heuristics that affect our ability to be rational, most or all of which you’ll here on the podcast.One major difference is the chapters are longer; rather than focusing on one bias every few pages …

2022, Music

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Live at the Phoenix Concert Theatre Thursday May 5, 2022

This was my first concert in possibly close to three years. The pandemic played a major part in that but I also don’t remember what the last show I was before the pandemic closed everything down over two years ago. It had been a little while. This was my third time seeing Godspeed. Regrettably, it …

2022, Movies

White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie and Fitch (2022, Alison Klayman)

I know very littles of Abercrombie and Fitch. For all I know, my first introduction to them might have been that “Summer Girls” song. More likely it was one of their ads, but I wouldn’t have known it at the time. Anyway, this was all news to be. But, for someone who didn’t know anything …

1979, Movies

The Day Time Ended (1979, John ‘Bud’ Cardos)

This is one of those films that I watched courtesy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and I can’t really imagine doing it without. I wonder if my rating would drop a point if I had to watch it on my own. It’s one of those terrible films that appears to be just very, very boring.

2021, Movies

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021, Andy Serkis)

So I liked this substantially more than the first movie and I think it’s for one main reason: Venom is present from the beginning. I don’t remember if there were this many wisecracks in the first film but, if there were, I was already pretty bored when they started. Here it’s clearly a comedy (in …

Basketball, Sports

Your 2021-2022 Toronto Raptors

There are people who will tell you that this season was a disappointment. (I saw one commenter in the normally reasonably sane comment section of The Athletic call the season “a disgrace.”) These people, as far as I know, are fans who joined due to the championship, or the years of success preceding it, as …

2015, Books, Non-Fiction

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction (2015) by Philip Tetlock, Dan Gardner

This is a fascinating book about how human beings can potentially get better at predicting the future and the types of people who are probably better at predicting the future. (Not pundits, I’m sure you’re shocked to hear.) I suspect I would have liked it more had I not already been familiar with Tetlock’s work.

1965, 1966, 1967

War and Peace [Voyna I Mir] (1965, Sergey Bondarchuk)

This is an epic, 7 and a half hour adaptation of War and Peace, sort of on the scale of The Human Condition, but not nearly as long and far more ambitious. Apparently made in response to the Hollywood version, this film (or series of films) mostly realizes the promise of Peak TV decades earlier …

2011, Books, Non-Fiction

You Are Not So Smart (2011) by David McRaney

I got this book years ago, when I still listened to this podcast. And the problem is that, due to this very podcast, I started reading a lot more pop psychology and psychology than I already was. And so, in the interim between this book coming into my possession and reading it, I learned a …

2011, Movies

A Separation [Jodaeiye Nader az Simin] (2011, Asghar Farhadi)

The is an unrelentingly bleak tragedy about the dissolution of a marriage in Iran that leads to a misunderstanding that compounds into a destructive feud between two families. It is well shot, well constructed, and well acted and it was a chore to watch as a result. (I mean that as a compliment.)

2001, Books, Fiction

The Corrections (2001) by Jonathan Franzen

Full disclosure: I suspect that, had I read this novel when it came out, I would have loved it. I would have found it funnier then than I found it now, I wouldn’t have noticed the misogyny I wouldn’t have cared an iota about the unlikable characters, and I probably wouldn’t have been aware of …

2021, Movies

No Time to Die (2021, Cary Joji Fukunaga)

I don’t quite no what to do here because I must admit that I have only seen Skyfall and Spectre once each. And I have very little memory of either, except the vague impression that I didn’t like them, and that they were going the way Bond movies always go near the Bond’s run, getting …

2008, Movies

Synecdoche, New York (2008, Charlie Kaufman)

I’ve finally gotten around to watching the film that temporarily killed Charlie Kaufman’s career as a director. If you don’t know Charlie kaufman was one of the most acclaimed American screenwriters of his era, and then he made this film. Though it is now regarded by some of one of the best movies of that …

2016, Movies

The Memory Illusion (2016) by Julia Shaw

This is an extremely accessible and thought-provoking tour through all the ways in which the human memory is not as reliable as we all believe. Though, like many of these books, it does contain a bit of a Greatest Hits of psychological studies and cognitive biases, the focus on memory is usually clear enough to …

2021, Movies

Vince Carter: Legacy (2021, Justin C. Polk)

Vince Carter is not why I’m a basketball fan, that’s Steve Nash. But Vince Carter is why I paid enough attention to basketball to discover Steve Nash. And, of course, I was a pretty impressionable age when Vinsanity was happening. So I have a soft spot for him and for his story. (I am the …

1937, Movies

Make Way For Tomorrow (1937, Leo McCarey)

This film is maddening and all the more maddening given its reputation. I suspect its reputation is earned in part from the Americans who had not seen films like this and decided that this must be some kind of masterpiece. Why did Orson Welles like this movie so much? Had he never seen anything like …

2020, Movies

Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles (2020, Laura Gabbert)

This is a weird one. The film mentions Yotam Ottolenghi in its title, and the film focuses on him as its main character, and yet he is not one of the chefs baking cakes for the gala at the centre of the film. Seriously.

1970, Movies

Original Cast Album: Company (1970, D.A. Pennebaker)

This brief documentary about the creation of the original cast album for the musical Company is so brief because it was supposed to be a TV pilot. The idea was to have a TV series based around recordings of cast albums. I’m not sure there would have been enough, but it’s kind of a neat …

2018, Books, Hockey, Non-Fiction, Sports

The “Down Goes Brown” History of the NHL (2018) by Sean McIndoe

If you follow McIndoe on Twitter or you’ve read him at his professional stops since the original blog, you pretty much know what you’re getting here: quality hockey writing with jokes. However, if you’ve followed him since the blog you’ve likely heard some of this before. And if you’ve ready books about hockey (or read …

1934, Books, Fiction

Tender is the Night (1934) by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Apparently I read this years ago and forgot. I wrote the following: “The same great qualities as with his other classics but lacking the completeness of The Great Gatsby. There are still moments of profound insight and lots of great description, but it lacks the earlier novel’s wholeness. I don’t mean to nitpick. It’s a great …

2021, TV

Muhammad Ali (2021)

Burns and Co’s second documentary series focused entirely on one person is even longer than and more in-depth than Hemingway. But, fortunately, Ali’s life is, in many ways, a grander subject. At least for the first half, the series is in many ways an alternate history of the post war United States. And even when …