Why Grandma's Sad

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The Last Crab

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A Gmail update:

Tired of staring at your bland Gmail theme 24/7? So are we. Thankfully, Gmail has finally come through with a major design overhaul to jazz up our email experience.

On Tuesday, Gmail announced a newly expanded theme catalog and a brand new set of emoji for email messages.

Gmail users can now access more than 100 high-resolution images to use as their inbox backgrounds or — as before — upload a personal image.

This means… not much. Except:

Gmail has also added more high-quality emojis to email messages. Previously, users could pick from a range of smaller, more basic characters to spice up their messages; with this new update, they will be able to access larger, higher quality emojis — though they are no longer animated.

Google is standardizing its emoticons across sites and services. Gmail had its own set, which don’t closely conform to broader emoticon standards. This new set is larger, but it’s also a replacement. Among the many casualties is an emoticon great: the Gmail crab. emoti-crab5
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The transition isn’t complete yet, so you still have a chance to send the Last Crab. Relive endless hours of time-wasting at work! Reconstruct long-failed relationships predicated on flirty crustaceans. Time is running out!

“A comedy dream job is like any other dream job: it often requires a combination of talent, hard work, and industry connections. And, although the comedy boom has created many opportunities for new comedic voices, today’s aspiring comedians should also be prepared for this comedy boom to eventually slow down.”#

Kitty Likes To Scratch


The best part of this clip comes at 1:18, when CBS2’s Lou Young virtually becomes the rabid cat terrorizing the upstate (or wherever the fuck it is) community of Pearl River, but I don’t want to quibble: It’s all pretty good. Be careful out there.

“The writing is strenuously bro-y… He and his buddies are drunk seemingly every night and most afternoons. They blow a year’s bonus on a week in Saint Tropez. They make PowerPoint presentations to rank the hotness of their female colleagues. They have hotel staff kick prostitutes—sorry, ‘love monkeys’—out of bed for them. They scream at maids for throwing out cocaine. Genitals touch things genitals shouldn’t touch. LeFevre pays a hooker in hotel minibar bottles, crashes a Maserati, and poops on a small plane. It gets a little tedious.”
The Goldman Sachs elevator guy’s memoir underwhelms, apparently.#

“We rarely do sponsored posts, but when we do, we make sure they are as organic to FuckJerry as possible.”#

36, 'Void Dance'


The assessment of Sine Dust, 36’s previous effort, was “ideally listened to with headphones on, while wandering about on a dark day,” and I see no need to revise that estimation for Void Dance. 36 her- or himself calls it “a vibrant sound-stage, that envelops your ears and launches your brain into orbit,” but do not let that discourage you from taking the opportunity to enjoy.

New Yorkers are unbelievably good-hearted.
—Maybe the secret to tenacity is having faith in the essential decency of your fellow citizens? It seems like a lot of work, so I’m glad someone like transit advocate Gene Russianoff is doing it for the rest of us.#

New York City, July 5, 2015

weather review sky 070515★★★ The sky was a little less than blue; the heat was bearable. The children went out to the Park and came back bearing overpriced lemonade and clutching green gingko leaves, used as miniature fans. The three-year-old burrowed under his comforter with his sunglasses at naptime, then lamented the lack of sunglasses when he went outside. A smell of tar rose from the scarified and patched roadway. The pedestrian-safety features, heavy planters and rugged stone blocks, had been shoved together into barriers to walking. Out in the open, the sun pressed on the back of the neck. Someone sunbathing or trying to relax on the expensive new building’s roof lay back on an outdoor couch, sat up, twisted, rearranged a cushion. There was light enough after dinner to bounce and boot a rubber ball around the forecourt. Jets of sunset color flared out from behind the superstructure of one of the aging apartment towers.

WeWork in Boxes

weeeeewwwoooorrrkkkkThese boxes—the only geometry in new New York City architecture right now—are mostly filled with venture capital that has been invested in WeWork, the co-working startup that was recently valued at ten billion dollars, and who will be the anchor tenant of this three-hundred-and-eighty-million-dollar development in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, occupying about a third of its six hundred and seventy-five thousand square feet of space.

It is not especially remarkable that WeWork, the fastest-growing company in New York by footprint, is acquiring another couple hundred thousand square feet of space. But until now, WeWork’s business model has been thus:

WeWork takes out a cut-rate lease on a floor or two of an office building, chops it up into smaller parcels and then charges monthly memberships to startups and small companies that want to work cheek-by-jowl with each other.

In some respects, this is firmly in the mold of so-called “sharing economy” startups: Taking existing infrastructure, parceling it out in a more efficient manner, then skimming off the capital excreted by the process.

Why Grandma's Sad

This Times series about ruined children and their terrible electronics is… useful:

Two of my grandsons, ages 10 and 13, seem destined to suffer some of the negative effects of video-game overuse. The 10-year-old gets up half an hour earlier on school days to play computer games, and he and his brother stay plugged into their hand-held devices on the ride to and from school. “There’s no conversation anymore,” said their grandfather, who often picks them up. When the family dines out, the boys use their devices before the meal arrives and as soon as they finish eating.

“If kids are allowed to play ‘Candy Crush’ on the way to school, the car ride will be quiet, but that’s not what kids need,” Dr. Steiner-Adair said in an interview. “They need time to daydream, deal with anxieties, process their thoughts and share them with parents, who can provide reassurance.”

Technology is a poor substitute for personal interaction.

Here is a professional rendering of a conversation happening between millions of people, a few paragraphs of research and structure that attempt to make sense of discussions that are unfolding in virtually any setting where multiple generations interact. Kids spend an enormous amount of time looking at a type of device that didn’t really exist ten years ago. Among some young people, looking at these devices is the central animating activity. This is weird. Truly! Younger people are cyborgs and older people are meat, more or less.