He’d been the star performer in another of LA’s great goldfish bowl trials, where crime and celebrity mingle and swim around together, weirdly magnified.

— Richard Rayner, A Bright and Guilty Place

Celebrity is often compared to living in a goldfish bowl — a metaphor that depends on your remembering when brightly colored fish swimming very short laps in a jar added life to living room decor. (Eventually: Whooooooosh!)

The quoted line refers to Dave Clark, the prosecutor in a scandal-filled 1931 trial involving movie legend Clara Bow. Later that year, Clark was again the star in yet another goldfish bowl trial – this time as the defendant charged with two murders. Rayner’s book gives a highly readable account of the case and the dubious character of Los Angeles government in the early 1930s.

(Posted on FB June 20, 2014)

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Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Delivers Treasure Trove of Data

— NASA press release

As a former copy editor for The Planetary Society, I have been guilty of perpetuating the “trove” trope. But what else can one say? The spacecraft sent back a cornucopia of data? A boatload of data? A supersize value-meal of data? Therefore, please, picture a treasure chest — filled with 0s and 1s. Silver zeroes, golden ones, a “wealth” of information!

(Posted on FB June 27, 2012)