Newsletter 20: How Jimmy Stewart was an actual hero.



This week, I read these things:

Jennifer Lopez sued for not tweeting about hoverboards.

A pair of 124 year-old, unworn Levi’s jeans found in Arizona.

Do you feel like a fraud? Practical techniques to fight “imposter syndrome”.

Yes, there were Jewish pirates.

I watched/listened to:
Weeds In The Wild podcast: how the U.S. Immigration system broke.

Aaron Sorkin loves plagiarizing himself: a supercut of Sorkinisms.

Matt Ruby’s stand-up album, Hot Flashes, is great.

Jimmy Stewart served with astounding heroism in WWII and never talked about it. Robert Matzen found his war records to tell the full story. He’s on the AOM podcast.

(Extra: Stewart had PTSD attacks while filming It’s A Wonderful Life. This scene, George Bailey’s prayer in Martini’s bar, was shot in one take. Stewart refused to do more, fearing traumatic memories would overwhelm him.)

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Why we haven’t heard from aliens?

Scientists call this question the Fermi Paradox. Mathematics (especially a thing called The Drake Equation) says there SHOULD be planets out there supporting intelligent life, but we have no actual evidence that there ARE any.


According to astrophysicists, there are currently TWENTY answers to the Fermi Paradox i.e. explanations for why we haven’t heard from any aliens.

Here is the complete list, so at your weed-fogged party this weekend, you can know the most about why we haven’t met aliens yet.

1. Aliens don’t exist… Duh. What happened on Earth was such a random collision of a billion unique circumstances, it has not happened twice. It COULD happen at some point in the future. But so far, it just hasn’t.

2. Aliens exist, but they’re basically goo… Aliens are just a bunch of algae somewhere. Their existence is impossible for us to detect. Also, who gives a shit? It’s goo. No one cares about goo.

3. Aliens don’t have enough bars on their space phones… Intelligent aliens exist, but don’t have the technology to send (or receive) messages over sufficiently large distances. So basically, Aliens are on Sprint.

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