Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday links

1. Farm and Grow: Fun farming game

2. Philosophical Honey Boo Boo

3. WhyNotBarbershop

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The University in Decline

I suspect that, given the opportunity, those groups would have liked nothing more than to shut down the universities. Destroy them outright. But a country claiming to have democratic values can’t just shut down its universities. That would reveal something about that country which would not support the image they are determined to portray – that of a country of freedom, justice, opportunity for all. So, how do you kill the universities of the country without showing your hand? As a child growing up during the Cold War, I was taught that the communist countries in the first half of the 20th Century put their scholars, intellectuals and artists into prison camps, called “re-education camps”. What I’ve come to realize as an adult is that American corporatism despises those same individuals as much as we were told communism did. But instead of doing anything so obvious as throwing them into prison, here those same people are thrown into dire poverty. The outcome is the same. Desperate poverty controls and ultimately breaks people as effectively as prison…..and some research says that it works even MORE powerfully.
How the American University Was Killed, in Five Easy Steps

Monday, September 24, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Italian Leather Sofa

Somebody on the facebook asked what Cake's "Italian Leather Sofa" means, and I decided to answer via teh blog.

The surface of the song is that the singer is upset that this lady he likes is with another man and that she's allowed wealth, not virtue, to determine her choice. "She doesn't care whether or not he's a good man," the presumption being that the singer is a good man and he, the romantic rival, is not. The singer is particularly upset at the idea of his lady friend and this man, who has money to wear gold watches and buy her nice things like silk dresses, having sex on a fancy sofa.

But there's another level. Why the reference to healthy breasts (not "nice" or "full" or even "vibrant")? And keeping her friends? Apparently there are things that this unnamed man's money can buy that our impoverished singer can't buy, things that are important. Yes, there's a surface materialism to her attraction, but there are also more significant reasons.

This song is a cynical confirmation of what another pop song, Sonny & Cher's "I Got You, Babe," was also addressing. No, your love won't pay the rent, and it won't let your lady maintain a relationship with her friends or fulfill her housekeeping responsibilities with dull knives and recycled off-brand plastic baggies.

In modern America, money buys you health and friendships and domestic happiness. Our narrator knows this but can't accept it. He starts with references to islands and ships and making money, but he cannot ignore the unpleasant truths of the situation.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Slow Comedy

Somewhere in the middle of an episode of Louie, one of television’s most critically acclaimed comedies, I found myself sobbing uncontrollably. As Louis C.K. confessed his love to his very uninterested platonic friend Pamela, I found myself re-experiencing all the pain and rejection that came from my own dramatic failed attempt to win the girl I'd been infatuated with for over six years. This was the first time I'd cried since my cat Milhouse was put to sleep years ago. I honestly would have never thought an episode of a show like Louie could garner such a reaction from me, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Louis C.K. practices a brand of 'slow comedy' on his show that is rarely seen on television or outside of the long-form improv scene in general.
Louis CK, TJ & Dave, and the Power of Slow Comedy

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The good news is I don't think I have epilepsy

But it does give me a headache. Staggering Beauty Alternate title: JAPANESE SEIZURE ROBOTS.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Punishing Crime

“I don’t have an answer for which is better,” he says at the outset, acknowledging that his own sense of outrage over Breivik’s sentence—like that of many Americans—“hints at not just how different the two systems are, but how deeply we may have come to internalize our understanding of justice, which, whatever its merits, doesn’t seem to be as universally applied as we might think.”

This is true, and a promising place to start. The United States is uniquely punitive when it comes to sentencing compared to much of the rest of the world, whether the crime is murder or drug possession. Putting aside the death penalty, which lands us in dubious international company, in countries with life sentences on the books, prisoners are often eligible for release after a few decades. “Mexico will not extradite defendants who face sentences of life without parole,” the New York Times’s Adam Liptak noted in 2005 (Most of Latin America has no such sentence). “And when Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, was pardoned in 2000, an Italian judge remarked, ‘No one stays 20 years in prison.’ ”
In Sentencing Criminals, Is Norway Too Soft? Or Are We Too Harsh?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Friday, September 07, 2012


Being otherkin, to this group, isn't just about resisting technology or being in touch with nature (though these, and other fantasy and new age elements, still form a large part of otherkin culture) — it's about being marginalized, ignored, laughed at, and oppressed. It's like being transgender. And as this otherkin group has transformed its language and its focus, so too has its scope widened. Otherkin identities can encompass fictional characters. Or nonliving, inanimate objects. Or even multiple identities — some fictional, some animal, all of them occupying a single body. Out of this widening comes new words: cisspecies. Transethnicity. Transablism. Transfat.

Tumblr, which has a huge, passionate social justice community — thousands of people interested in feminism, gay rights, trans rights and other interrelated issues — is a natural fit for this group of otherkin. (Other, similar communities exist on LiveJournal and the TV Tropes message boards.) Like other Tumblr users who are members of marginalized groups, otherkin start their own blogs and write about their identities and the axieties and injustices of daily life (one says she was fired for being otherkin, others talk about coming out to their friends and family). They trade support and sympathy. And they fight with people who don't buy it — more often than not, people who they think should be broadly sympathetic to their goals.

From Otherkin to Transethnicity: Your Field Guide to the Weird World of Tumblr Identity Politics

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Monday, September 03, 2012

Sleepwalking violence

Parks then got back into his car, drove to a nearby police station and announced to the startled officers on duty, "I think I have killed some people." For several hours before the Toronto man left his home, however, and throughout the course of the attack, Parks was asleep and therefore not criminally responsible for his actions, according to five doctors and the defense lawyer at his 1988trial for the murder of Barbara Ann and the attempted murder of Dennis. After deliberating for nine hours, the jury agreed and Parks was set free. Although prosecutors at the time considered the defense "ludicrous" and appealed the judge's decision to allow the jury to consider a sleepwalking defense, the Canadian Supreme court upheld the original ruling in 1992.
Somnambulant Savagery

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Football season




Football season

I was at this game and, to give you an idea of how good he played, this was literally the most poorly-thrown pass of Campbell's day.

I like Wes Byrum:

The finest video every produced, of any kind:

Football season

We all kind of expected it, by this point:

Cam Newton would be better than most people at any position on a football, including punter.

Child abuse:

Football season

I like how the announcers just can't believe this is a real thing that happened.

I wish I could find better videos of these poor KSU linemen getting absolutely outclassed every single play by one Quentin Demonic Groves:

Football season

Maybe our most posted single video?:

Rashard "Stay out of my yard" Gilyard: