Friday, January 05, 2018

Russian Interference and Facebook's and Google's Monopoly

This is the best article I've read about Russian interference and the costs of Facebook's and Google's monopoly. Written by an early Facebook investor:
In my thirty-five-year career in technology investing, I have never made a bigger contribution to a company’s success than I made at Facebook. It was my proudest accomplishment. I admired Mark and Sheryl enormously.

...My familiarity with building organic engagement put me in a position to notice that something strange was going on in February 2016. The Democratic primary was getting under way in New Hampshire, and I started to notice a flood of viciously misogynistic anti-Clinton memes originating from Facebook groups supporting Bernie Sanders. I knew how to build engagement organically on Facebook. This was not organic. It appeared to be well organized, with an advertising budget. But surely the Sanders campaign wasn’t stupid enough to be pushing the memes themselves. I didn’t know what was going on, but I worried that Facebook was being used in ways that the founders did not intend.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Michael Manley - A Life in Theatre!

A few pictures celebrating the life of Michael Manley. We will miss him dearly!

Michael was active in theaters all around Northern California. He was active at DMTC in two periods: (October 1990-March 1996 and August 2005-October 2017).

Lisa Manley-Jeffers announces today:
We will hold a service to celebrate Mike Manley, loving Husband, Father and Grandfather on February 1st, Thursday at 2 pm at the Sacramento Yacht Club, located at 3365 South River Road, in Sacramento.

If you loved Dad, worked with him in the legal profession, on the water or in the theater, or wish to support our family as we celebrate him, please come. The Yacht Club is a bit tricky to get to, so please give yourself plenty of time to arrive prior to 2pm.

“Kismet,” DMTC, November 1990, featuring Lynda Williams (Lalume) and Michael Manley (Hajj, The Poet).

Michael Manley (Hajj, The Poet) has a grievance against David (Tony) Silva (The Caliph) in “Kismet,” DMTC, November 1990. In the background, Omar (Richard Kulmann) gestures to a crowd including Robert L. "Bob" Bugg.

Mike Manley as Charlie Anderson in DMTC's "Shenandoah," November 1992. — with Mike Manley.

Mike Manley as Benjamin Stone in DMTC's "Follies," June 1993. — with Mike Manley.

Mike Manley as Bill Sykes in DMTC's "Oliver!" in November 1993. — with Mike Manley.

Mike Manley as Judge Turpin and Julie Holmes as Johanna in DMTC's "Sweeney Todd," in September 1995. — with Mike Manley and Julie Holmes.

La Cage aux Folles

Mssr. and Mme. Dindon (Michael Manley and Monica Parisi) face the paparazzi in DMTC's "La Cage aux Folles" in January 2008.

Jacqueline (Mary Young) places the Dindons on the spot in DMTC's "La Cage aux Folles" in January 2008.

Mike Manley as Eduoard Dindon in DMTC's "La Cage aux Folles" in January 2008.

Monsieur Dindon (Michael Manley) and Marie Dindon (Monica Parisi) checked by the press in DMTC's "La Cage aux Folles" in January 2008.

"Dishes" - Jacob (Nic Candito), Georges (Martin Lehman), Anne (Kris Farhood), Marie Dindon (Monica Parisi), Jean-Michel (Jason "Clocky" McDowell), Messr. Dindon (Michael Manley) in DMTC's "La Cage aux Folles" in January 2008.

Jean-Michel greets Anne in DMTC's "La Cage aux Folles" in January 2008. Left to right; Marie Dindon (Monica Parisi), Messr. Dindon (Michael Manley), Jean-Michel (Jason "Clocky" McDowell), and Anne (Kris Farhood).

Maman (Ryan Adame) and Anne (Kris Farhood), meet. Sitting, Monica Parisi and Michael Manley in DMTC's "La Cage aux Folles" in January 2008.

Left: Playing paparazzi in the wings with the Dindons.

"In the French Foreign Legion" in DMTC's "La Cage aux Folles" in January 2008. Left to right, Georges (Martin Lehman), Jean-Michel (Jason "Clocky" McDowell, Anne (Kris Farhood), Marie Dindon (Monica Parisi), Messr. Dindon (Michael Manley).

Man of La Mancha

Mike Manley as Padre Perez in DMTC's "Man of La Mancha," November 2008.

Padre Perez (Michael Manley) and Dr. Carrasco (Mark Ettensohn) in DMTC's "Man of La Mancha," November 2008.

Mike Manley as Padre Perez in DMTC's "Man of La Mancha," November 2008.

Martin Lehman as Petrucchio and Mike Manley as Baptista in DMTC's "Kiss Me Kate," February 2010.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

RIP, Michael Manley

“Kismet,” DMTC, November 1990, featuring Lynda Williams (Lalume) and Michael Manley (Hajj, The Poet).

Michael was a good and steady friend over the years.

I will have to prepare a proper remembrance for him. He has been active in Sacramento musical theater for many years.

Disembodied Dog

Regret as Marketing

Daddy Bird is Going to Get Mad

Time for the mid-season gutter cleaning. It’s hardly rained at all this Saharan Californian winter, but almost all the leaves are out of the trees, so it’s a good time.

The hard part are the kinglets. They are such a tiny and pretty bird, but they swoop into the tree tops, eat berries, and shit all over my head. They have to stop that, now, or Daddy Bird is going to get mad.

A Retrospective on Lotte Reiniger

Mary Young's Birthday Party

Here are some of my photos.

Here are some of Eileen Beaver's photos. This is basically the brain trust of Sacramento community musical theater. The city would have to stop doing shows if somehow a meteor struck this room.

Resist - 2018 is an Election Year!

This stuff is hilarious:
Hannity has always been nuts, but there must be a massive bubble of congealed baconfat pressing on the batshit lobe of his brain at this point because he has gone further off the rails than scientists previously thought possible. It’s not just the Keurig thing. His drooling admiration for Donald Trump has altered something deep within him—ten years ago Sean was a pretty cookie-cutter rightwing dickhead in a suit, now he’s screaming about pizzagate and Seth Rich and getting into scorching Twitter feuds with a bot someone set up for Roy Moore’s sad horse.

Oddly Enough, There is Progress on Gun Deaths

Crime plummets in the largest American cities, particularly New York City under Mayor de Blasio. Crime is rising in smaller cities, though:
It would have seemed unbelievable in 1990, when there were 2,245 killings in New York City, but as of Wednesday there have been just 286 in the city this year — the lowest since reliable records have been kept.

In fact, crime has fallen in New York City in each of the major felony categories — murder and manslaughter, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, grand larceny, and car thefts — to a total of 94,806 as of Sunday, well below the previous record low of 101,716 set last year.

If the trend holds just a few more days, this year’s homicide total will be under the city’s previous low of 333 in 2014, and crime will have declined for 27 straight years, to levels that police officials have said are the lowest since the 1950s. The numbers, when taken together, portray a city of 8.5 million people growing safer even as the police, under Mayor Bill de Blasio, use less deadly force, make fewer arrests and scale back controversial practices like stopping and frisking thousands of people on the streets.
Here's an interesting article. As hunters become scarcer in the U.S., with the number of households with guns dropping as well, there are fewer accidental gun accidents.
There were 489 people killed in unintentional shootings in the U.S. in 2015, the most recent year for which data are available. That was down from 824 deaths in 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Taking into account population growth over that time, the rate fell 48 percent.

Experts attribute the decline to a mix of gun safety education programs, state laws regulating gun storage in homes and a drop in the number of households that have guns. While the improvement occurred in every state, those with the most guns and the fewest laws continue to have the most accidental shooting deaths.

The gains were overshadowed by an overall rise in gun deaths driven by the top two causes: suicides and homicides. Accidents made up just 1.3 percent of the 36,247 U.S. shooting deaths in 2015.

...Of the 489 people killed in accidental shootings in 2015, more than 85 percent were male, and nearly 27 percent of those were ages 15 to 24. The rate for that group — 5 deaths per 100,000 people — was more than triple the national average. Men between 25 and 34 were the next-most vulnerable group.

The rates for males under 15 was far lower, perhaps due to so-called child access prevention laws, which allow criminal or civil charges to be filed against a gun owner if a child gains access to a firearm that is not securely stored.

Congress has resisted such legislation. But 27 states now have such laws, with 14 making improper gun storage a criminal offense.

...Jon S. Vernick, co-director at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said the decline in unintentional shooting deaths has lasted at least three decades. In 1981, for example, the U.S. total was 1,871, nearly four times the total in recent years.

Vernick said that a decline in the share of homes with guns probably plays a major role in the decrease. While Americans continue to purchase guns at all-time highs, they are concentrated in fewer households.

In a report published in 2015, researchers at the University of Chicago found that 31 percent of households reported having a firearm in 2014, down from about 48 percent in 1977 to 1980.

Hunting accidents may also be down, he said, as the share of Americans who hunt appears to have declined. States that have high rates of gun ownership and strong traditions of hunting have the highest rates of accidental deaths.

From 2006 to 2015, Louisiana had 321 gun deaths and the highest average annual rate by a significant margin — 0.71 deaths per 100,000 people. Rounding out the top 10 states were Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Arkansas, Wyoming, Montana, Kentucky, Alaska and Tennessee. Of those, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee have gun storage laws.

The accidental gun death rate in Louisiana was more than 25 times that in Massachusetts.

Yet even many of the states with the most deaths have seen steep declines. In Alabama, for example, the number of deaths per 100,000 people fell from 1.15 in 1999 to 0.41 in 2015.