Words and Pictures - Jan 2014

Building on November’s feat of watching a whole film on DVD, my wife and I escaped to IMAX to see something current! Astonishing! Here’s the full list of highlights form the month.


  • The Builder’s High - Rands in Repose. There’s such joy and satisfaction in creating something.
  • The NSA and the Corrosion of Silicon Valley - Michael Dearing. The NSA’s activity is hurting US business. I’m actively avoiding using US-based companies where possible because of the US Government’s overreach and the NSA’s programs.
  • Command and Control - Eric Schlosser. An engaging look at the controls and technology behind the USA’s Cold-War nuclear weapons systems, and the accidents that have occurred with those weapons systems. Having read this, I’m utterly amazed that there has not been a major incident with the US nuclear arsenal.
  • 2014 Gates Annual Letter: Myths About Foreign Aid - Gates Foundation - Bill Gates. A long but informative piece, and well worth reading. I’m so glad we have thoughtful, empirically driven philanthropists like the Gates family.


  • Breach - The story behind Robert Hanssen, an FBI agent convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. Ryan Phillippe and Chris Cooper are incredibly good.
  • Gravity - Seeing this at IMAX was a totally captivating experience. Brilliant.