Weeknotes #114

in weeknotes

  • The war in Ukraine drags on. It certainly seems like the Russians badly underestimated the Ukrainians.

  • On Saturday I collected the key for the new place and got the power, water and gas hooked up. It was my first time being in the apartment since it was cleaned (there hadn’t been time to clean it before my inspection). It looks good and hopefully we’re really going to enjoy living there.

  • The move itself is on Wednesday so most of this week was spent getting things into boxes. We hadn’t completely finished by the weekend but most things were done so I’m pretty confident we’ll make it in time.

  • I joined Manifold Markets and started making some predictions. It’s all just play money and I’m not sure Manifold is as good at generating interesting results as Metaculus. That said, it’s considerably prettier and easier to use than Metaculus so it does have that.

  • Book Off paid me almost nothing for around 250 items. They claimed that 225 of the items couldn’t be used. That seems high to me but I’m telling myself that the alternative was going to be zero if I’d had to throw out everything I sent them. Perhaps more importantly, if they hadn’t taken them, I’d have had to work out how to dispose of them. Having someone take them off my hands in one collection was worth it on its own.

  • The podcast Undisclosed came to an end after seven years. I’m one of the many, many, many people who were sucked into Serial. I was so sucked in in fact that when a trio of lawyers started what you could consider a companion podcast exploring the case of Adnan Syed in more detail, I listened to that with a similar level of fervour. While they started out as a spin-off of sorts to Serial, I kept listening after the initial run as they looked into other wrongful conviction cases. I don’t consider myself a fan of true crime which I recognise sounds a bit ridiculous if you’re writing about the end of a true crime podcast you’ve been listening to for seven years but I don’t think that statement is as self-contradictory as it appears. Undisclosed avoided the trap so much true crime media falls into by staying laser-focused on demonstrating the conviction was wrongful. Who actually committed the crime? The show avoided the temptation to speculate beyond raising names that a decent defence team would suggest so as to create reasonable doubt. Actually trying to ‘solve’ these crimes was always left as a job for the appropriate authorities not some podcasters.

  • One of the hosts of Undisclosed, Susan Simpson has already launched a new podcast, Proof. I’m probably not giving it a fair shake but the first episode really didn’t leave me wanting more.

  • Speaking of not wanting more, the end of Murderville was truly awful. Ken Jeong was the guest and he simply couldn’t stop laughing throughout the entire episode. It’s very often funny in improvised comedy to watch a performer struggle to maintain their composure but if you’ve ever wondered if there was a limit to how far this could be taken, the good news is that there is and Jeong has found it for you. I have no ill feelings toward Jeong as a comedian generally but he’s so bad in this episode, I’m honestly surprised they didn’t reshoot the entire thing with a different guest. Chalk this up as another Netflix-financed show that feels like filler.

  • I said that Murderville was recommended to me by Hamish but I spoke to him subsequently and he denied that’s the case. So if you are out there mystery recommender (Dave?), let me know so I can ask if you’d seen the last episode when you recommended it. When confirming with Hamish that he didn’t know what I was talking about, he mentioned he’d heard the original British version on which the American one is based was better. I checked out the first episode and can confirm this is not the case. There are three ‘seasons’ (‘series’ in British parlance) so maybe it gets better at some point but based on the respective pilots, the American incarnation is superior in every respect.

  • Muse released a 20th anniversary remix of their Origin of Symmtetry album at some point last year. My ears are terrible so I couldn’t tell what was different but maybe you’ll be able to detect a difference. My favourite track from the album remains the incongruous cover of ‘Feeling Good’ (Apple Music).

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont