“I tell you, though, my problem is the ambient alcohol. Like, it’s one thing if you and I, we go out to a place, we have a beverage. Right? We have a beverage, we have two beverages, whatever. For me it’s the ambient alcohol — there’s alcohol between the alcohol — and that’s what you’ve got to watch for. You walk out of the pool and you get a towel, and you’ve got a giant Coors Light. What am I doing with this? What is this thing?”—
“I think a lot about my senility, ‘cause I know it’s gonna happen, I think it’s probably kind of underway already. I like to think a lot about how all of my numerous drawbacks as a human being are going to really coalesce nicely together. I think being a guy who doesn’t listen very well, talks a lot, isn’t very smart, doesn’t think a lot about what he says, and is sometimes a little bit nervous and paranoid is going to come together very very nicely.”—
In 1888 the city of Sundsvall in Sweden, built of wood, burned to the ground. A group of reinsurers, Swiss Re among them, let Sweden’s insurers know there was going to be a limit in the future on losses from wooden houses, and it was going to be low. Sweden began building with stone. Reinsurance is a product, but also a carrot in the negotiation between culture and reality; it lets societies know what habits are unsustainable.
Yoga Mats are Often Found in Close Proximity to a Plant That Needs Watering
When a yoga mat is positively identified, it is almost always within a five-foot radius of a plant that hasn’t been watered in quite some time. This correlation suggests that there is link between one’s spiritual awareness, the consequent ability to put one’s foot over one’s head, and a near total disregard for other living things.
"Part of what has really allowed me to hide in plain sight is the fact that I don’t meet the stereotype. And you’re good at your job—a gay person wouldn’t be good at his job, so obviously you’re not gay. You’re a Marine, you don’t mind getting dirty, going out into the field and not showering for weeks at a time…and, if you were gay, when you have to shower with all these other guys you’d get all excited. You’re not getting excited so you’re clearly not gay. I mean, if you want to hide, the Marine Corps is one of the best places to do that, because nobody wants to admit they are standing next to a gay guy. Nobody wants to admit that they have gone to war with gay people."
The room was completely silent. And it remained that way for maybe half a minute as Tim Cook slowly took a few steps back and forth. He shuffled the presentation remote around in his hand. He looked out at us and smiled, but still didn’t speak. Then he clicked a button on the remote and a large image of a padlock appeared on the screen behind him.
"The details of everything we talk about after this slide changes stay in this room," he said in that Southern drawl some of you may be familiar with if you’ve ever heard him speak on one of Apple’s financial conference calls. At the time I had never heard his voice before, and it was such an odd contrast to what you expected to come out of a Silicon Valley executive’s mouth.
The first time you see the episode it’s hard to take in; the second time you try to figure out how much work went into it. Each scene, remember, had to be conceived, budgeted, built, staged, costumed, and filmed, just for a few seconds of airtime, in addition to the two or three dozen other brief flashback scenes that were staged in the show’s regular sets but still needed to be written and filmed.
I counted more than a half-dozen full outside sets the show had to work on, and another half-dozen or more smaller scenes outside the show’s normal bailiwick. There’s a camping trip; a visit to a cobweb-covered and seemingly haunted Civil War-era house; the Western set; the scene with the drug lords; an old timey train station; a hotel on the steps of which the group, half-undressed, is apparently trying to rid itself of bed bugs; and more.
None of it really makes any sense, perhaps because TV doesn’t make any sense. “This engine runs on us,” says Jeff in one scene, standing next to a steam engine in an old-fashioned engineer’s outfit.
Many simulation games offer players a bag of building blocks, but few dangle a bag as deep, or blocks as small and intricately interlocking, as Dwarf Fortress. Beneath the game’s rudimentary facade is a dizzying array of moving parts, algorithms that model everything from dwarves’ personalities (some are depressive; many appreciate art) to the climate and economic patterns of the simulated world. The story of a fortress’s rise and fall isn’t scripted beforehand — in most games narratives progress along an essentially set path — but, rather, generated on the fly by a multitude of variables. The brothers themselves are often startled by what their game spits out. “We didn’t know that carp were going to eat dwarves,” Zach says. “But we’d written them as carnivorous and roughly the same size as dwarves, so that just happened, and it was great.”
Centrally planned economies have a lot of problems, but since military supplies are always a case of monopsony purchasing by the government, if military supplies are the only thing you care about, this is what you do. Centrally planned economies have the useful side effect of essentially eliminating unemployment, because you’d have to be an extremely sloppy planner to simply not notice that 9 percent of your labor force isn’t doing anything.
“Thor’s a dude that throws a hammer at people. I mean, without the mutual agreement between audience and creator of, ‘OK, we’re going with this,’ it’s a dude throwing a hammer at somebody. Which is a really ineffective way to fight crime or defeat bad people. So it is kind of funny when taken completely earnestly. That’s the spirit that Robert and Stephen and all of the people who originally started this mined to really good comedy effect. There is something sort of gay and hilarious about two really close pals who choose to work out together in tight clothes and fight crime.”—Jon Hamm in An Oral History of the Rise and Fall (and Rise) of “The Dana Carvey Show”
There was the ex-CEO who couldn’t relinquish his power and quietly maneuvered to undercut two successors he had helped install. Then there was the human resources chief who divided the staff rather than uniting it. Most of all, there was Kindler himself, a bright man with some fresh ideas for reforming Pfizer but a person who agonized over decisions even as he second-guessed everybody else’s actions. The story of Jeff Kindler’s tumultuous tenure at Pfizer is a saga of ambition, intrigue, backstabbing, and betrayal — all of it exacerbated by a board that allowed the problems to fester for years.
I should have said to the producers, “You get that guy in line, or I’m out of here.” Life’s too short. But the next movie I did, the director was getting a lot of crap from his star, and he started to take it out on me one day, and just like a German shepherd—you know when a German shepherd stands up on its hind legs and puts its paws on your shoulders?
I put my hands on his shoulders and I very gently but firmly said, “I don’t do abuse, and if you say one more word of abuse to me, I’m on a plane, and you don’t have enough money to keep me here.” And that was the end of it, and I’ve never taken abuse again. And I wasn’t vile or anything, it just ripped out of me. Denzel Washington cured me forever of thinking that there is any amount of money or anything that could ever, ever make it okay to be abused. The script supervisor on that movie said it’s like watching somebody kick a puppy. He was so vile. And after that, I just would never endure it again.
The core of Cheney’s behavior might well be a jagged sense of helplessness and shock at the horror unfolding before him on that day. Staring at the TV in his office, taking in the carnage, he picked up the phone, trying to reach Bush in Florida. A Secret Service detail, alerted that a plane was heading for the White House, ran in, grabbed him by the shoulders, and raced him toward a bunker from which he watched the world change. Brent Scowcroft, an old friend, claimed to no longer recognize him after the terrorist attacks.