It's a chilly winter night in Munich, Germany. I'm alone in an empty hostel dorm, basking in the warmth of the heater and the hostel's surprising hygiene, trying to watch Mad Men on my MacBook.I say "trying" because this is proving to be a peculiarly difficult task. Watching 50-minute episodes of Mad Men is taking anywhere between 1.5 to 2 hours because I keep getting distracted. Now playing: Watch this: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: What's your relationship... 5:14 I'll just check Facebook. Maybe someone from home has messaged me. I should take a look at Twitter -- oh, I forgot, Twitter is awful. You know what, I'm going to Instagram-stalk the hippie I met in Serbia. Ah, that's right, I forgot to reply to that Facebook message from the other day. Some variation of these thoughts creeps into my brain every few minutes, glacializing my Mad Men progress. How will Don Draper's story end? I suspect I'll never know.This was four months ago. I left Australia last August for a … [Read more...] about Facebook doesn’t waste time, it wastes attention spans. That’s worse
Doesnt make sense
For the first time in 2019, I watched a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race from home.In fact, this was the first race I’ve missed since the Kansas playoff race in October, meaning that it’s been quite awhile since I’ve been disconnected from watching a race from a press box, the grandstands or on a trailer; or without my scanner and live telemetry.Of course, the latter was mostly due to the fact that NASCAR.com has perpetually dropped the ball on its dysfunctional online scanner, something that can probably take up an entire column by itself. And in light of recent industry commentary from Las Vegas last weekend, I mostly consumed the TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway in Phoenix as a television critic more than a motorsports analyst.Which, honestly, is healthy because I’m sick of writing about the 2019 rules package and what it means for the long-term identity of NASCAR racing, anyway.So, where did this start?Brad Keselowski reiterated a popular … [Read more...] about Opinion: NASCAR TV broadcast doesn’t do live experience justice
Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse on Dec. 1, 2017, in Washington, D.C., after pleading guilty to one count of making a false statements to the FBI. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images The U.S. federal law known as the Logan Act has been on the books for more than 200 years. It was hatched when the union consisted of just 16 states, not even a decade after the formation of the State Department (originally, the Department of Foreign Affairs). So it would make sense that by now, the United States would have a pretty good handle on just what the Logan Act is and what it can do. Well, apparently that's not really the case. There's been confusion surrounding the law since it was enacted. And that uncertainty is one reason that no one, ever, has been convicted of violating it. Does that mean Michael Flynn, the one-time national security adviser to President Donald Trump who pled guilty to lying to the FBI and is … [Read more...] about How the Logan Act Does — and Doesn’t — Work
This is the least Christmas-themed Christmas episode Bob’s Burgers has done. Like most American shows heading into their mid-season hiatus, it’s always a bit tricky getting into the holiday spirit when Christmas is still more than a fortnight away. But whereas previous episodes like “God Rest Ye Gentle Mannequins,” “Christmas In The Car”, and “Nice-Capades” were about the family dealing with all the wonder and horror—mostly horror, honestly—the Yuletide brings, “Better Off Sled” is more a general wintry episode with a Christmas subplot bolted on. Right up to the moment the Christmas spirit moves Louise to give her archenemy a brief reprieve from snowball annihilation, the holiday aspects of the episode rest entirely with Bob and Linda. That needn’t be a flaw, especially since there aren’t nearly enough winter-set TV episodes that are not about the holidays. An episode all about the kids warring with … [Read more...] about doesn’t let Christmas get in the way of snowball warfare
In the absence of sound waves in the air, our brains often will use visual cues to try to fill in the silence. Evening Standard/Getty Images Recently, University of Glasgow psychologist and researcher Lisa DeBruine created a mini-sensation on social media when she tweeted a playful animated GIF in which an electrical transmission tower appears to be jumping rope and asked, "Does anyone in visual perception know why you can hear this gif?" In a subsequent nonscientific poll of more than 315,000 Twitter users, 67 percent said they heard "a thudding sound" when they watched the animation, and another 3 percent said they heard "something else." Only 20 percent said they heard nothing at all. That's seven out of 10 people who think they heard a sound accompanying a silent image. So what's up with that? The explanation, according to research, is that while we think of sound as being generated by the world around us, the experience of hearing sounds actually happens in the auditory … [Read more...] about Can You Hear Something That Doesn’t Make a Sound?