The Weekend Miscellaneous #7 (Six Easy Pieces, Burn After Reading, Bedminster Pizza, TTYL, Bombshell)

It was an indoors weekend this weekend on account of rain. It has now been more than two weeks since I have left the house by any means other than on foot or with any ends other than right back where I started.

Without any further ado or anything extemporaneous, here is the weekend review which I call The Weekend Miscellaneous.

Six Easy Pieces – I started this book by Richard Feynman and am only through one of the six eponymous pieces. I do not know if that is an appropriate use of the word “eponymous” which is defined by Merriam Webster as of, relating to, or being the person or thing for whom or which something is named”, but it seemed within the proximity of proper usage and it is a cool word that came to mind which I wanted to use. Anyway, my understanding is that this book which is based on a series of lectures by the 1960’s professor is regarded as a somewhat legendary introduction to the science of physics, and one of the very best there is. I took AP Physics in high school and did well but no longer have an AP understanding, or much of any for that matter, and I figured it might be useful if not interesting to be re-introduced to the subject. In the first piece, I learned about water and how it is comprised of H2O molecules which are made of three atoms which are each about the same in size to an apple as an apple is to the earth. I also learned how water turns into steam and ice and how it evaporates and how salt dissolves in it. Lastly, I learned how fires start and violets smell. Feynman also says in the introduction that the principle of science is that “the test of all knowledge is experiment” and that if we had to pass one sentence onto a future generation of creatures in a world where all the scientific knowledge we had gained would be lost, he would choose to communicate the atomic hypothesis, “that all things are made of atoms — little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.” That sentence made me think for a while, as did many others in the first part of the book, and I realized that reading slowly is okay. It takes discipline, I thought, to read in a way in which one does not move forward at any point without understanding. It is quicker and easier to read without understanding or cross-connecting but slower and more difficult to read and to understand and to apply and to contemplate and to extrapolate. Still trying to figure out what exactly to do about reading, I decided I will try to read less but understand more, and in doing so, I will take my time.

Burn After Reading – I watched this 2008 movie by The Coen Brothers this past weekend and found it entertaining enough to watch but only barely better than decent in the end. My favorite movie of the brothers’ is No Country for Old Men in which Anton Chigurh is one of the best bad guys I have seen in any movie. My least favorite is A Serious Man. I do not remember why I disliked it so much, only that I turned it off about halfway through, which I rarely do. It is funny that I can hardly remember anything about it but still say that it was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Memory, I believe, is built moreso upon one’s repetitive remembrance of a thing than of the actual thing itself. As such, even though I do not really remember watching the movie, I remember I did not like it and that I turned it off early because of how many times since watching it that I have remembered that I did not like it, and that I turned it off early.

Bedminster Pizza – for the first time since my family started isolating at home, we had a meal that was not cooked at home on Saturday night. We ordered a couple of large pies from Bedminster Pizza. This is a phenomenal pizza joint that cranks out high seven and low eight slices like any of the better known hot spots in New York. They used to have a newspaper clipping on the wall in which Trump said that it was his favorite pizza in the world. That got taken down around the beginning of his presidency, probably because it became a bit too polarizing for a bipartisan pizzeria in a blue state. I put their margherita slice right up there with the best of them, and I may have a little home bias, but I have never eaten with anyone who disagreed with it being a fundamentally great slice. From the sound of it when I ordered they are doing a ton of delivery right now and I was really happy to hear it. Not too mention, I imagine many others like me tipped them pretty fatly with a premium given the circumstances. Unlike many restaurants, I am confident Bedminster Pizza will come out safe on the other side of all this, and we will continue to do our part to help make sure that they do.

TTYL – I discovered this app over the weekend which seems well designed for the audio revolution which I wrote about previously. It is built for people to be able to easily talk with friends in the Airpods world that many now live in. I have yet to actually use it but the concept is that you open the app and press a button to go online, at which point any of your friends with the app who are also online can see that you are online and you can see that they are and with the press of a button anyone can then join anyone else’s line and form groups of up to eight people to chat. I would not be very surprised to see this catch on in a big way but the chances are against every startup at this stage so the burden will be on the founder(s) to make it work. I am looking forward to trying it out this week.

Bombshell – I watched this few months old movie about Fox which focused mostly on what was a busy year for Megyn Kelly and a final year for Roger Ailes. It had a star-studded cast led by Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie. The movie kept my attention and was somewhat eye-opening in terms of that year of events at Fox which I did not follow particularly closely as it developed in the news. This is not usually something that I would comment about but the makeup in this movie was pretty extraordinary as all of the actors were made to look almost exactly like the real-life people they were playing.

The week ahead projects to be a tough one for America and for the world at large. I am very appreciative of all the people who are working so hard and putting themselves and even their loved ones at risk to go above and beyond in their duties as I write this, and also for the countless others who are doing so many things to help. To keep a level head, I personally am focused on taking things one day at a time, being outside when it is nice out, exercising daily, and keeping a journal where I write for just a few minutes every morning about positive stuff and some of the things I am grateful for. I hope many of you can do some of the same to stay sane in these trying times which will pass.