It doesn't take a lot of effort to make me feel out of touch. Most anyone with a solid fact or two can probably do it. For example, Aaron Barnhart's TV Barn Newsletter -- which I've been reading, or at least skimming over, since all the way back when it was a Usenet feature called Late Show News (Barnhart managed the wonderful trick of turning talking about TV shows on the Internet into a paying job with a newspaper) -- included as a teaser for one of its podcast articles, ``The Russert Backlash: Shari Elliker and I discussed the backlash to coverage of Tim Russert's death today on WBAL Radio.'' I knew that Tim Russert had died and that many news-broadcast-based lifeforms were upset by it. That there was a backlash caught me by surprise. I'd like to know more, but that would involve listening to the podcast and I'm just reluctant to start in on such things. An essay seems like it'd be much more my speed.
I also got a notice that my web photo-hosting service is closing down. I've never really used it much, and I have an account because a friend gave me an invite years ago, and all I have are maybe a half-dozen pictures on it and a few unsuccessful efforts to connect to friends-of-that-friend. It nevertheless produces a curious sense of ... well, not loss, really, since I didn't have any emotional attachment to the site and needed its quarterly reminders of ``is your Friends List up to date?'' to remind me to log in at all. Perhaps that's symptomatic of why they feel the need to shut down their service.
It did occur to me that ``we're closing -- here's the link to a utility to download your pictures'' is a fine thing for phishing expeditions, although you'd think a phisher would use a service anyone had heard of. So I went to the server's web site and confirmed that yes, indeed, they're closing all their user-packaged bits distribution services. As far as I can tell, they're not closing; they're just not supporting the things I might have done with it. Curious.
Trivia: By 1229 -- twenty-two years after King John chartered the city -- Liverpool was paying an annual £10 farm for the right to collect its revenues. Source: 1215: The Year of Magna Carta, Danny Danziger, John Gillingham.
Currently Reading: The Siege of Eternity, Frederick Pohl. I'm actually finished -- I've been distracted. Also I learn at the end that this is the second book in a trilogy; I had just assumed it had a better backstory than usual for a novel, and it wasn't until way too little of the book was left for things to be plausibly wrapped up -- and that nothing seemed to have actually happened yet on-screen -- that it was obvious there must be a next part. This includes the storytelling trick of ``excerpted'' newspaper articles, and as always happens, I find that the most interesting stuff.