Trivial Posts #13: The Gentlemen, The Borg, And The Goonies

Some more delightful ephemera from around the internet in my latest ‘Trivial Posts’ newsletter and blog post. You can always read the stories at ewanspence.co.uk, or sign up to the mailing list and I’ll send them to you directly every Monday.

Honour, respect, courtesy, and manners

Kris Wolfe on what makes a gentleman, and how they still apply today:

He sits after she sits
“…and at the table wait until she is seated, indeed wait until every lady is seated, before taking your own place” The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness (1860). Talk show hosts continue this tradition today by waiting to sit until after their guest has taken their seat. If Oprah does it, so can you. She’s your guest. Allow her to sit first.

21 Lost Gentleman Traditions That Still Apply Today

But which is better, Top Gear or Radio 2?

James Cridland looks at the career of Chris Evans, the workload required for the Radio 2 Breakfast Show, and the workload required for Top Gear. Something’s gotta give.

Evans has been doing the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast show for five years. That’s the longest he’s ever been working on a project. It is a proper job, as anyone who’s done radio presenting will tell you. It doesn’t leave much time for other things. But now, he’s adding Top Gear to his list…

So the question is how long he will keep putting in the effort for his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show. Given the choice of an exhilarating race in fast cars across the Australian outback, or a dreary morning in the desperately-unsexy Western House, it’s clear that only the former will keep him creatively interested.

Will Top Gear destroy Radio 2?

Mastered For iTunes will become the industry norm

Put aside Taylor Swift’s ‘miracle’ of getting Apple to pay royalties during the three-month trial period of Apple Music (the cynic in me can’t help think with Swift’s fan base, it’s the perfect advertising strategy to let the connected music generation know about Apple Music, and it casts Apple as the good guys), the music industry should be more worried about the impact of Apple on the audio ‘masters’ of the world:

Although not mandatory, the Mastered for iTunes guidelines may be all but unavoidable for engineers and artists who hope to engage with Apple Music as the platform becomes the primary means of music playback on Apple devices. “Keep in mind that Apple has sold more than 250 million iOS devices, and that many, many people around the world are listening to music on their iPods, iPhones, or iPads,” the brief explains. “You’re being provided with all the tools you’ll need to encode your masters precisely the same way the iTunes Store does.”

One specific chunk of the brief addresses a recent trend in engineering known colloquially as the “Loudness Wars”: as engineers are getting wilier, shit is getting louder. “Many artists and producers feel that louder is better,” the company writes, in a section that warns against the clipping and dithering that comes with loud mixes, and suggests mastering for volume controlling technology like Apple’s Sound Check. “While some feel that overly loud mastering ruins music by not giving it room to breathe, others feel that the aesthetic of loudness can be an appropriate artistic choice for particular songs or albums.”

How Apple Music May Literally Change The Way Songs Sound

Mr Worf… Fire.

 All of us were quite thrilled they had the balls to leave Picard on the Borg cube. I don’t know if they were trying to threaten Patrick with renegotiations. It’s commonplace now. Shows like Lost and House of Cards — they’ll kill off a regular and think nothing of it. This was 1990. It was not commonplace to be killing off any of your series regulars. That was a big “who shot J.R.” type of plot.

Yes it’s another ‘Oral history of’, but this one is the story behind ‘The Best Of Both Worlds, pt 1′. Frankly, I thought that part two was a big cop-out reset button (even if there was a 45 minute ‘Back to Hobbiton‘ in the episode ‘Family‘, but this was, IMO, the high water mark of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The Story of the Most Daring Cliffhanger in ‘Next Generation’ History

This Week’s Long Read: We’re All ‘Goonies’ In Astoria

Kevin Smokler visits Astoria, along with a few thousand fans of ‘The Goonies’ to celebrate the anniversary of the film which was filmed in the small Oregon town. Why? He attempts to answer it at Salon.

Astoria is only mentioned once or twice in “The Goonies” and lives on-screen for about 20 minutes of a movie that takes place almost entirely in underground caves re-created on sound stages. Knowing Astoria = the Goondocks and coming here (the town is two hours from the nearest major airport in Portland) represent a kind of super merit badge of fandom.

But coming to Astoria wasn’t my lucid dream. I’ve loved “The Goonies” since I too saw it in theaters in junior high and each of the 47 times afterward. But I can’t say I even knew the Goondocks were here or somewhere else or on a studio lot. I can’t say I ever thought about it that much.

I have my own beautiful nostalgia of “The Goonies” but not of the Goondocks. I’m visiting Astoria as a guest in the dreams of others.

Smokler has a book on 80s teen movies due out soon and I can’t wait for it. Consider this a teaser…

Following the lucid dream of the Goondocks, 30 years later…

What Have I Been Up To?

Mostly unpacking boxes. I suspect unpacking in the new house is going to take a few months before everything is ship-shape and in the right place. As for online, a relatively quiet week for me, so I’ll point out my thoughts on Nokia’s return to the smartphone marketplace, and a review of Acer’s mid-range Liquid Jade S Android smartphone and leave you to the rest of your day.

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