Thursday, April 16, 2020

Behold Dune!

Anticipation! Dune's first transition to the silver screen didn't go well. Very much looking forward to this do-over:

In Frank Herbert’s epic 1965 sci-fi novel, Arrakis is the only known location of the galaxy’s most vital resource, the mind-altering, time-and-space-warping “spice.” In the new film adaptation, directed by Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, Chalamet stars as the young royal Paul Atreides, the proverbial stranger in a very strange land, who’s fighting to protect this hostile new home even as it threatens to destroy him. Humans are the aliens on Arrakis. The dominant species on that world are immense, voracious sandworms that burrow through the barren drifts like subterranean dragons.

For the infinite seas of sand that give the story its title, the production moved to remote regions outside Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where the temperatures rivaled the fiction in Herbert’s story. “I remember going out of my room at 2 a.m., and it being probably 100 degrees,” says Chalamet. During the shoot, he and the other actors were costumed in what the world of Dune calls “stillsuits”—thick, rubbery armor that preserves the body’s moisture, even gathering tiny bits from the breath exhaled through the nose. In the story, the suits are life-giving. In real life, they were agony. “The shooting temperature was sometimes 120 degrees,” says Chalamet. “They put a cap on it out there, if it gets too hot. I forget what the exact number is, but you can’t keep working.” The circumstances fed the story they were there to tell: “In a really grounded way, it was helpful to be in the stillsuits and to be at that level of exhaustion.”

Covid Life

If only.

The right attitude.

We have to reopen the North Atlantic crossing May 1st.

By Bicycle - Towards Land Park

On Tuesday, I took the black bicycle, also a Schwinn, down towards Land Park. Lots of joggers out.

Quiet at the zoo.

Beautiful flowers on the abandoned rail line that runs through the Land Park neighborhood, over by Sprouts.

Sutterville overpass over Riverside Blvd. My understanding is that this is a special overpass to Sacramento birders. There is a colony of besieged Purple Martins here that's managed to survive against cowbirds and other problem-creators. Still, when I look at the overpass I see no places for nests. Maybe I misunderstand - maybe this is the wrong place. Nevertheless, I see swift-like birds passing under the overpass. What kinds of birds are these? Are these the Purple Martins? I don't know what a Purple Martin looks like!

Abandoned rail line overpass.

Mural on Surfside store.

My neighborhood Target.

An old nightclub that was apparently once called Typhoon. Like the Art Deco touch.

Life-under-quarantine mystery in the alley. What does it mean? Messy garbage pickup? Or maybe like one of those Aztec Ballcourt games, people throw gloves from passing cars and try to hit the dumpster? Or shooting dumpster hoops with gloves, missing, and then afraid to pick up the debris?

Sacramento light rail.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Better Call Saul Locations: Finally Figured This One Out

Trademark Office (Season 1, episode 4, 'Hero'). Jimmy and Howard disagree about Hamlindigo Blue, among other things.

I found the view out the window to be quite confusing. It took me five years to finally figure it out (February 23, 2015 air date; Eureka moment April 12, 2020).

Ostensibly the location of the Trademark Meeting is in the Courthouse, but is this a view out a window in the Bernalillo County Annex (the Courthouse filming location)? The answer appears to be - YES! The view is eastwards from the Annex, looking across Civic Plaza to the Albuquerque Convention Center, and to First Plaza at the southeast corner of Civic Plaza. The green and yellow colors that confused me so probably derive from green and yellow banners announcing exhibitions at the Convention Center, and not from the actual coloration of the Convention Center itself.

Five years late, but at least the mystery is finally solved.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Getting Tired of Social Distancing - Want to be Here Instead

I think I know someone who was actually here. Would have liked to have blended into this crowd:

Branch Covidians

Somehow I find this heartwarming. The Branch Covidians. Like playing with rats in medieval days. Plenty of downsides, of course:
The anti-government activist Ammon Bundy and a crew of Idahoans angry at the state government’s anti-coronavirus orders are fighting back — with an Easter service, followed by a potluck.

For weeks, Bundy, who’s best known for leading the 10-day armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon, has been holding crowded meetings meant to defy Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s (R) recent order against large gatherings.

The latest, on Thursday night, included upwards of 70 people crammed into a room no larger than a basketball court. Speakers performatively coughed and wheezed, shared a microphone and, at one point, recommended that those with flu symptoms drink tonic water. (Quinine has not been proven effective against the disease at all.)

Toward the end of Thursday’s meeting, a former state senate candidate and marketing consultant in Bundy’s crew announced the latest effort to “further snub our noses in the faces of all these morons who are telling us what we can and cannot do”: An Easter service, followed by a potluck.

So wrong, but they’re compliant:
Face masks aren't mandatory everywhere, but strict rules on wearing them have been enforced in the Czech Republic -- even for nudists.

"Unfortunately, many of the sunbathing citizens were gathered in large groups, and some were not wearing face masks.," a police statement said. "Upon the arrival of the police, everyone agreed to respect the government regulation [that face shields are compulsory outside the home].

I find this appealing in some ways - explain away the cold that started the cascade that ended in my heart attack 2 years ago - but if Covid had been around 2 years ago, we would DEFINITELY have noticed. And the idea is being pushed by conservatives, which automatically means it could not possibly be more WRONG!:
On Tuesday, KSBW, a news station in Monterey, California, aired a story about California’s potential “herd immunity” to the novel coronavirus. The piece opens by discussing a new study from Stanford Medicine in which researchers are conducting blood tests that detect antibodies, which can show whether an individual has or previously had COVID-19. The reporter then goes on to cite Victor Davis Hanson, a Stanford-affiliated source who advances the theory that COVID-19 might have actually begun spreading in California in fall 2019. “[Stanford’s] data could help to prove COVID-19 arrived undetected in California much earlier than previously thought,” KSBW reported.

The piece has spread widely. An accompanying web story posted to the TV station’s website has been shared more than 58,300 times, and has also been picked up by SFGate. The theory is appealing to some, particularly those who had respiratory illnesses in late 2019 that they now believe could’ve been COVID-19. In their minds, that might mean they have some immunity to the virus—and if a large portion of Americans have some immunity, we can begin our move out of lockdown. But that theory has no scientific basis, and it spreads dangerous misinformation.

By Bicycle - South Curtis Park and Sacramento City College

The nice thing about having a bike now is that I can investigate some of these intermediate range places - places too far to easily walk, but usually the sort of places I drive past.

Barbershop Mural - 16th St., near Y St.

Great stuff near the Tower Theater!

Barbershop Mural - 16th St., near Y St.

Houses under construction. All part of the Crocker Village infill development.

I hadn't concerned myself too much with the epic battles over this development, mostly because they concerned the south end of Curtis Park, and I lived at the north end. Nevertheless, it was clear that the developer Paul Petrovich was a nut, and so I supported all the grief he got, and more.

New Safeway.

Union Pacific Rail Yards - looking south from the pedestrian overcrossing.

Apparently building this bridge was a big deal.

Union Pacific Rail Yards - looking north from pedestrian crossing, towards downtown.

Downtown Sacramento from the Union Pacific Rail Yards.

Sacramento City College parking garage.

Sacramento City College reservoir?

Sacramento City College parking garage.

Sacramento City College Stadium. 1928!

Chalk drawing in Curtis Park neighborhood. Like a mandala - circle within a square.