Linked list: Christmas eyesore edition

Long boarded-up Pernicano’s has sold — really [The San Diego Union-Tribune] San Diego’s Pernicano’s has sold at last. The restaurant closed in 1985, and has been boarded up and vacant on prime downtown real estate in Hillcrest ever since.

I have mixed feelings about this. Yeah, it was an eyesore, but maybe an eyesore can get so big and ugly for so long that it becomes a landmark in its own right. We’ve lived in San Diego more than 20 years and vacant, ugly Pernicano’s has been a fixture that whole time.


George Wallace on Twitter: “Just saw the new Star Wars movie. Strange that they made all the characters cats, but they swung for the fences and you gotta respect that shit.”


Mariah Carey: “All I Want for Christmas is You”


The Queen of Christmas [Today, Explained] Marian Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” came out in 1994 and became an instant holiday classic. But it finally hit number one on the charts this year. Although it’s a relatively recent song, it’s structured like hits from generations earlier.

Also, every Christmas hit needs four elements. One is sleighbells.


We live in The Good Place. And we’re screwing it up. [The Ezra Klein Show] Ezra Klein talks with NASA researcher and climate scientist Kate Marvel about climate change.

There are two stories people tell about climate change. One is that it’s a kind of divine retribution for the sins of the industrial age. We’re being punished for our excesses, like a party boy who, in middle age, gets bloated and suffers heart failure and venereal diseases for the excesses of youth.

The second story is that humanity will figure something out because it’s what we do. We avoided the population explosion, nuclear war, nuclear winter, the death of the ozone lawyer. We’ll figure out a way out of this one too.

Both of those stories are wrong and useless.

The first story is wrong and useless because science, technology and harnessing fossil fuels are great. Air conditioning, cars and the ability to travel from America to Europe in less than a day are miracles and great blessings.

And the second story is like the parable of the religious man whose town was threatened by flooding. “I have faith. God will save me,” he said and he turned away offers of rescue by a car, a boat and a helicopter. After death, the religious man confronted God: “I had faith. Why didn’t you save me?” And God said: “I tried! I sent a car, a boat and a helicopter!”

We already have the beginnings of the tools needed to mitigate climate change. We just haven’t the will to harness them.

Also discussed: “How a climate model actually works- Why this is the good place- Why there is so much variation in climate scientists’ predictions about global temperature increases- Why global warming is only one piece of the much larger problem of climate change- Why a hotter planet is more conducive to natural disasters- The frightening differences between a world that experiences a 2°C temperature increase as opposed to a 5°C temperature increase- Whether the threat of climate change requires solutions that break the boundaries of conventional politics- The underlying stories that animate much of the climate debate- Whether the planet can sustain continued economic growth- What it means to “live morally” amid climate change.”


Why Apple’s iPad is my personal gadget of the decade Harry McCracken: Harry McCracken: “At the dawn of the 2010s, even I didn’t understand how useful the iPad could be. Now it’s my main machine—and that’s just not that big a deal.”

The iPad isn’t my main machine but it’s important to me. Otherwise, yup. It occurred to me just now that the Mac I’m typing on now might be the last PC I own. The iPad isn’t QUITE ready to do everything, but this Mac is only a year old, and in a few years I expect the iPad will be ready.


Map showing areas with more than 1,000 people per square kilometre in Great Britain [Sublime Maps]

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