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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Stuff

I think more restaurants should implement no-tipping policies or include a gratuity surcharge on every ticket.  The reason:  People are assholes.   They can't do basic math to get the percentage right.  Or they can do the math, but think 10% is plenty.  Or they take the opportunity to comment on everything but the service.  I don't care if you're religious, political, or just a jerk:  cough up your buck or cook your own damn meals.

The Fish and Wildlife Service crushed 6 tons of ivory not too far from my house the other day.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I'm not particularly hostile to elephants or the ivory trade.  But looking at these photos, I can't help but feel saddened at the loss of all this art.  Many of these pieces look hand-carved and frankly, quite amazing.  Sure, let's not kill elephants, but do we really have to destroy the products of all this human effort and expression?  What's next?  We're going to start burning leather-bound books?

And seriously....they invited stars of True Blood, Sex and the City and Ellen's old show to come?  That kinda indicates just how much of a showy, ineffective, self-aggrandizing move this is.  I'm with Matt Yglesias on this one:
By destroying the ivory, you create even more ivory scarcity and increase the incentives for future poaching. It seems like the more reasonable approach would be to arrest and punish human beings who are committing crimes, and then sell the seized ivory and use the proceeds to finance more anti-poaching efforts. 
I'm sure we could get some famous people to go to the auction, don't you?

Also:

This commercial for Volvo is pretty cool....but it's also pretty obviously fake.

(Updated...and it seems I forgot to embed the vid.  So here it is.)


There's no way a production company could get this kind of shoot insured without a whole bunch of (invisible?) safety equipment.  And he would agree to something so obviously dangerous?

Curious to see how it was done, I watched a behind the scenes video.  This guy is describing the stunt to Jean-Claude right there on the road way.  (This wasn't discussed in an office beforehand?)  And then Jean-Claude, who has never been a great actor, says, "And we're going to be driving forward, of course?" If that wasn't in the script, that's a question no one would ask.

Nope, you're going to be on a green screen.  Sorry, JC.

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