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)


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)