Blog: December 2021

Most of these posts were originally posted somewhere else and link to the originals. While this blog is not set up for comments, the original locations generally are, and I welcome comments there. Sorry for the inconvenience.

TIL: lobster rehabilitation

I followed a link and followed a link from there and... eventually ended up at this video about an adopted lobster, and I learned a lot about how lobsters work. Huh.

Keeping a grocery-store lobster as a pet (YouTube)

I didn't know (having never been in the market for live lobster) that they banded the claws like that, apparently for extended periods of time and apparently causing pain along with loss of function. Granted, loss of function won't end up being the largest problems most lobsters in that tank face, but the pain is still a problem IMO. This one had been restrained long enough to cause visible injury, so it probably wasn't just done that day.

Here we go again

I was wondering when that would happen. My synagogue just sent email saying services this week are virtual only, and the committee in charge of reopening will meet on Sunday to decide what happens next.

Given the current wild spread of the omicron variant of Covid-19, I'm not surprised. Since we were already doing hybrid services, I'm a little disappointed that the in-person option is now unavailable for those who feel safe doing so. (Our requirement was always "fully vaccinated + mask at all times".) On the other hand:

graph of new cases with scary trend line

It's been obvious all fall that it was getting worse, but the last week or so took rather an extreme turn.

(Graph is from Johns Hopkins.)

Apple TV?

My new Mac came with three months of Apple TV, which I started recently. I thought their model was: pay $X/month and stream what you like (like Netflix). It appears, though, that it's "watch some stuff for free but pay to rent or buy other stuff". For example, I watched the first episode of Picard, and then it wanted me to buy subsequent ones (which I didn't do).

What can I watch on Apple TV for free (not counting the monthly fee) that I might like? Their interface does not make it easy to answer this question; I don't see a way to search by genre, for example, or to filter for only free shows. The pictogram tiles, shown a few at a time without accompanying text descriptions, are frustrating to navigate. (Netflix drank that kool-aid too, but at least they have something you can click on to get more information without changing to another page. Apple TV does not.) Apple and Netflix assume that (a) I can read the titles in their sometimes fancy fonts with sometimes poor-contrast colors or small sizes right from the (small) art, and (b) that even if I could, the name alone would be meaningful. I'm afraid I need at least brief text descriptions; just art is not helpful.

If you know of specific shows or movies that you think I might like, please let me know. And if you know a way to find the no-additional-fees content, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks.

Another downstream cost of the pandemic

Well, not the pandemic itself, but the way people are responding to it.

Forwarded through some intermediaries from Reddit, one long-time doctor's explanation for leaving the field:

(Heavy content warning)

The last original Cooper is gone

Betty Cooper, who with her husband Mack founded Cooper's Lake Campground and worked with the SCA to build Pennsic, has died at 96. Betty, Mack, and their son Dave were true friends of the SCA, dealing honorably and fairly and with a smile. They seemed to enjoy the SCA's wacky brand of unusual fun. We lost Dave a few years ago and Mack a few years before that, and now we have lost the last Cooper with that long history.

Cooper's Lake is a different place in recent years -- more corporate, less human. Nothing lasts forever and this is to be expected; heirs and successors who never saw their customers as anything other than another convention need to pay the bills. But I feel like we've lost not just another good person, not just a piece of SCA history, but also some of the values that made Pennsic what it once was -- a place of honor and friendship and camaraderie and experimentation and innovation.