Friday, January 12, 2024

Top 20 charts of 2023

 It’s always a fun rhetorical trick. There are nutters out there, yes. So, I’m going to claim that anyone who disagrees with me is one of those nutters. QED, I’m right. Thus neatly avoiding the rational opponents of my beliefs.

– Tim Worstal

“Switching transport to electric in a short timescale will inevitably mean buying Chinese. Are we really about to force ourselves to become even more reliant on a totalitarian regime that stamps out freedom in Hong Kong, commits genocide against the Uighurs, threatens war on Taiwan and refuses to be transparent about how a pandemic began near its leading virus laboratory?”

Matt Ridley

Ultimate Drop Test: iPhone survives 16,000-foot fall after door plug blows off Alaska Air flight 1282.

Rolling Stone “Winnie the Pooh’s Tigger, films by Buster Keaton, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and — yes — the Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie are now fair use as of Jan. 1, Public Domain Day 2024. Jan. 1, isn’t just New Year’s Day — it’s also Public Domain Day, where thousands of cinematic treasures, literary classics, Great American Songbook selections, and works of art see their copyrights expire and enter the public domain. The headliner this year is the fair use of Mickey Mouse — at least, the Steamboat Willie version of the beloved character — as that copyright expiration has been anticipated for years. However, there’s much more than just Mickey entering the public domain in 2024. 

Jennifer Jenkins, Director of Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain, annually tracks the expiring copyrights on what’s become a national holiday for copyright junkies. 

Among the non-Mickey highlights in 2024: films by Charlie Chaplin (The Circus), Buster Keaton (The Cameraman) and Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc); novels by W.E.B. DuBois, D.H. Lawrence (Lady Chatterley’s Lover), and Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front); and songs by Bessie Smith, Cole Porter, the Marx Brothers, and Bertolt Brecht (notably, the German version of The Threepenny Opera’s “Mack the Knife”). 

Other works entering the public domain after their 95-year (for published works) or 100-year (for song recordings) copyrights expired include the 1928 play The Front Page(which was previously restaged as the films His Girl Friday in 1940, The Front Page in 1971, and Switching Channels in 1988), Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot novel The Mystery of the Blue Train (paging KennethBranagh), the oft-covered (perhaps too oft-) show tune “Makin’ Whoopee,” and the 1928 film The Man Who Laughs, which inspired the Batman villain the Joker. 

(That first version of the Joker, by the way, enters the public domain in 2035, a year after the earliest Detective Comics incarnation of the Dark Knight.) Taking advantage of Public Domain Day, someone has already uploaded The Man Who Laughs in full onto YouTube, with zero repercussions.”

Kevin Drum: “Unlike the photos, I had no problem finding ten interesting charts. In fact, I found 20. So at the risk of taking a good thing too far, here are the top 20 most interesting charts of 2023. By the way: by “interesting,” I mostly mean “something you might find surprising.”…

9. Americans don’t think the economy sucks. Only Republicans do. It’s commonplace to stare into our navels these days and wonder why people are so sour on the economy even though the economy is pretty good. One reason is that inflation was high until very recently, and it takes a while for people to realize that it’s over. But the main reason is simpler: Republicans, even though they’re personally doing fine, refuse to admit that the economy under Joe Biden is good—which brings down the national average. This is due more to Fox News than to anything objectively wrong with the economy.”Top 20 charts of 2023 Kevin Drum