How long does it take to get a movie from a Redbox Kiosk? In some places, up to a half an hour it seems. Especially when the dude is front of you is unfamiliar with concept of “search” and “credit card”. I guess I own part of for making the mistake of trying to use a Redbox at a Wal-Mart, they’re customer base not well know for intellectual capital.
Really, the Redbox machine does not have a little curtain on it that you can duck behind for that “special” section folks. I don’t like it either but even old Mr. Sank knows better than to go looking for porn on a Redbox machine.
Besides here in Rural Wisconsin the local convenience store has a much better selection.
Old Mr. Sank’s been on a bit of reading roll for a change. Reading for pleasure being one of those things that I tell myself, and others, I do more than I actually do, schedules being what they are. None the less I did manage to squeeze in a few books in the last couple weeks, a couple of which were actually pretty good.
The first one, a recommend from Blog Buddy Bill at Lazylightning.org, Gang Leader For A Day by Sudhir Venkatesh is a pretty interesting account his experiences as a young sociologist infiltrating the Projects on South Side. The old Robert Taylor Homes. I remember those buildings from trip to the Old Comiskey Park. I had read some of Dr. Venkatesh’s work on this in Freaknomics, another great read by the way, where he talked about his surprise at just how well organized a drug gang could be. And, how their intuitive understanding of supply chains and market conditions rivaled Fortune 500 companies.
Gang Leader for a Day takes it a bit further and goes in depth about the social structure of the projects, and the different coping mechanism folks employed to stay alive. It’s a different world out there peeps.
The other book I really liked this was Darwins Radio by Greg Bear. Darwin’s Radio is very well written story in the Hard Science Fiction genre. No space ships and aliens here, Hard SciFi is fiction within the context of what we know, or in this case, think we know, now. Darwins Radio is about a virus which activates a sequence of human DNA in pregnant women. The result is one generation advance in human evolution. Seems far fetched that in one generation you could dramatically change an organism via DNA. So I thought as well until I happened to listen to my weekly podcast from the Economist.
The Economist had a piece on the Human Genome Project and what sort of markers we could be leaving on our DNA, we know about genetic damage thanks to certain chemicals, we’re starting to wonder about GMO food.. and as an example of using genetic markers to change a organism.. honey bees. Turns out, Queen Bee’s are “created” by the workers by feeding larvae royal jelly. That I knew. What I didn’t know is that royal jelly activates certain strands of the bees DNA that creates a completely different creature from her genetically identical sisters in the hive. Fascinating.
Bottom line on Darwins Radio, it’s a good story and a fun summer read.