"Want You Back"

By Haim.

The song's kinda catchy, but the video raises a question: the sisters are walking down Ventura Blvd.--one of the main drags of the Valley and "the world's longest avenue of mom & pop businesses"--that is utterly deserted for several blocks--from Beverly Glen to Van Nuys--from 6 to 8 a.m. No cars, no pedestrians, no anything. What does it cost, I wonder, to get a permit to do that? And just for a music video??


"Healbe's GoBe 2 calorie tracker teases the future of wearables"

This will be quite cool if it actually works this time.

As for the science, Healbe claims that it uses a piezoelectric impedance sensor to push high- and low-frequency signals through your wrist. Shortly after eating, the cells in your bloodstream begin releasing water as they absorb the new glucose. The device, so the company says, can use the impedance signals to look at the size and shape of the cells, and track the change in water. From there, it's just a case of using fancy math to calculate the amount of food you've noshed in a sitting.


"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Long"

I think this is, at best, a partial answer, but a partial answer to a good question: Why are movies today so long? And I'd refine the question a bit: Why do so many movies nowadays have scenes that seem to have no purpose?

Two conjectures that came to my mind don't seem to hold up: 1) the extraneous scenes are there to be cut when the movie shows on commercial TV and 2) the scenes are there to pad the movie to some minimum running time deemed respectable for exhibiting in theaters. The reason I don't think they work is because both would have applied for quite some time while the lengthening of movies seems to be a recent phenomenon.

"More research is needed."


"Book Review: Russell Redenbaugh's 'Shift the Narrative'"

Mr. Redenbaugh sounds like an amazing guy.

Eight months later, and after countless surgeries on his partially working eye, Redenbaugh heard the verdict on his remaining sight as told to his inconsolable mother: “We have done all that we can do.  He will be blind for the rest of his life.” What’s amazing is how the patient responded to news that would perhaps cause most to give up.  Redenbaugh was relieved.


"How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching"

I especially enjoyed this bit:

Ironically, [Michelle] Rhee’s successors at DCPS have redesigned teaching through some of the very policies that teachers’ unions and other Rhee adversaries opposed most strongly: comprehensive teacher evaluations, the abandonment of seniority-based staffing, and performance-based promotions and compensation. They combined these with other changes, like more collaboration among teachers, that these same critics had backed. Just as notably, the transformation is taking place not at charters but in the traditional public school system, an institution that many reformers have written off as too hidebound to innovate.

Could those "hidebound" regular public schools be responding to increasing, intense competition from charters? Hmmmm . . .