What I learned this week, February 21, 2014

A skyscraper towers over the water feature in Beck Park

A skyscraper towers over the water feature in Beck Park

A Better Carpenter Plaza

The past and current green space plans for downtown Dallas aren’t thinking comprehensively about how development nor economics of urban spaces work. They’re band-aids to cover up mistakes rather than generate real value.


It’s not about the nail
“Don’t try to fix it. I just need you to listen.” Every man has heard these words. And they are the law of the land. No matter what.

The Wind Rises

If The Wind Rises is indeed the final film from Hayao Miyazaki—the animation master has both announced and rescinded his retirement—he leaves us with a moving, meaningful farewell. Based on Miyazaki’s own manga, this Oscar nominee for Animated Feature Film plays the gentle notes of a Japanese countryside against the impending horror of World War Two, Miyazaki seeing it all through the myopic eyes of a budding aeronautic engineer.

Examples of past Miyazaki genius:

Spirited Away trailer

Castle in the Sky trailer

Nausicaa trailer

For the last few decades one of the things I marked my life with was the release of each Hayao Miyazaki film… from Totoro to Mononoke, on to Spirited Away (a masterpice) with Nausica and Laputa and Howl’s Moving Castle and more and more thrown in for good measure. It gave me a feeling of periodic genius.

It looks like this has come to an end (really this time – he has threatened retirement before) and I will miss it – but the collection of work is stil out there.

Might be time to rewatch a few.

top ten underrated Studio Ghibli Films

The #1 movie on this list is Grave of the Fireflies – the most heartbreaking film I’ve ever seen.


I like some of the new Fat Bike designs - but this is a little much... maybe a lot much.

I like some of the new Fat Bike designs – but this is a little much… maybe a lot much.

Should You Buy a Fat Bike?

If you’re not familiar with fat bikes like the Salsa Mukluk or Surly Moonlander, think of a two-wheeled monster truck with you as the motor.

“Fat bikes allow people to ride bicycles in places that previously were simply not possible,” says Peter Koski, product development engineer at Salsa.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/outdoors/recreation/off-road/should-you-buy-a-fat-bike-16492959


Math Explains Likely Long Shots, Miracles and Winning the Lottery [Excerpt]

Why you should not be surprised when long shots, miracles and other extraordinary events occur—even when the same six winning lottery numbers come up in two successive drawings


 10 Deliciously Complex TV Villians
I always say that in terms of entertainment, espectially visual, thriller-type entertainment, it’s not the hero that’s important… it’s the villian. Give me an interesting, complex villian over some goody-two-shoes anytime.

The fountain in back of the Richardson Library. (click to enlarge)

The fountain in back of the Richardson Library.
(click to enlarge)

These Are The 10 Happiest Mid-Sized Cities In America


I only live in one of these, but I do live in one… and I have spent significant time in four of them and been in eight.

top ten opera lyrics

It doesn’t get any better


Statistics Say We Should Take Friday Off From Work. All The Fridays, Forever And Ever.


Texan turning Japanese sake into a Lone Star tipple

What could be more Texas than this? Rice grown in Texas fields first planted by settlers more than a century ago, processed by a Texan in the heart of the capital, Austin, and sold under the product name “Rising Star.”

Welcome to the world of the Texas Sake Company, almost certainly the first – and most certainly the only – commercial brewer of the Japanese rice wine operating in the Lone Star State.

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