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Acquiring All the Tools and Trappings of a Dystopian World May 29, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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Read this description of the mechanical hounds from Fahrenheit 451 (courtesy of Cliff’s Notes):

…the Mechanical Hound is a slick electronic hit man formed of copper wire and storage batteries and smelling of blue electricity. He is an omnipresent menace capable of storing “so many amino acids, so much sulphur, so much butterfat and alkaline” that he can inexorably trail the odor index of ten thousand victims to their doom. From his snout projects a “four-inch hollow steel needle,” which can inject enough morphine or procaine to quell a rat, cat, or chicken within three seconds.

…the Mechanical Hound has been programmed (by the government) to avenge and punish citizens who break society’s rules. The ones who are not loyal to the rules must especially be punished, and the Hound serves as the enforcer of these rules.

Now watch this:

Georgia O’Keeffe Writ Large May 29, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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from JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images via the Telegraph

from JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images via the Telegraph

It’s actually the work of a German street artist.

Hey Mr. President, Where Are Our Exports? May 29, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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So it turns out that the economy shrank last quarter, and everybody’s abuzz about it. They’re blaming it on weak exports. But you, Uberalert Reader (even better than a Dave Barry Alert Reader), say to yourself, “How can this be? Didn’t President Obama promise to double exports in his January 2010 State of the Union speech?”

Yes he did. Yes indeedy.

A key part of his economic recovery plan, doubling exports within 5 years was supposed to add jobs and promote GDP growth. But of course, not doubling exports, or even letting them sag, would be expected to hurt jobs and GDP growth.

Like it just did.

Just as a reminder, how exactly did President Obama do on keeping his promise? Well, he officially failed in March of this year, and he just keeps on failing:

ExportsRealityvsObamaMay2015
Is there any mystery as to why our economic recovery has been so tepid?

Mansplaining – Not Very New Nor Particularly Offensive May 28, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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Ace mentioned the fabricated outrage/twitterlanche over the Mansplaining statue at some high school in Texas. It’s led to a disproportionate amount of hand-wringing and mockery by the usual crowd of semi-professional offense-seekers.

But mansplaining isn’t new, and in days past it was dealt with using humor rather than outrage. As evidence, I present these 30-year-old Eyebeam cartoons.

(more…)

Gotta Be a Typo May 27, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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Kate Upton’s ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ Coming Soon

Facebook Gives You the Clap May 27, 2015

Posted by geoff in News.
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[I’ll just hang this here on this dormant blog.]

In addition to privacy concerns and the risk of a single sentence destroying your life, it looks like social media is also contributing to the proliferation of STDs:

Rhode Island is currently experiencing what health experts are calling an “epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases”—and hookup apps may be partially to blame, officials said.

From 2013 to 2014, infections of syphilis increased 79%, gonorrhea cases went up 30% and new HIV cases increased by about 33%, according to data released by the Rhode Island Department of Health.

…the agency also acknowledged the role of high-risk behaviors, including “using social media to arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters, having sex without a condom, having multiple sex partners, and having sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol,…”

I’ll note that when a chlamydia outbreak hit a Texas high school, the headlines were all about the fact that the school only had abstinence education, to wit:

Texas high school with chlamydia outbreak has abstinence-only sex ed (WaPo)

Chlamydia Outbreak Hits Texas High School With No Sex Ed(ABC)

But the headlines saying “Sex education doesn’t prevent increase in STDs in Rhode Island” seem to be missing.

Land of Confusion May 26, 2015

Posted by Sobek in News.
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[Please note, the following is not a post.  That should be obvious, because IB was shut down like four months ago or something.  So whatever you’re about to read, it is certainly not a post.]

Not too long ago, I was listening to the radio, and I heard the song Land of Confusion, by Genesis.  Here’s a reminder, in case you have a brain condition that keeps you from remembering awesome things:

Now I’ve always liked that song.  I like it even though the video makes it perfectly clear that Phil Collins et alia are a bunch of Commie Nazis who need to go back to whatever country they came from (Soviet Germany?  Something like that).  I like it because it’s a great tune, and I can usually ignore stupidity from movies and music.  And Collins’ idiocy is easier to laugh away in retrospect, knowing that Reagan never nuked anyone (nope, Democrats still own that distinction).  Also, those puppets are hilarious.

Also also, and here we’re getting to the whole reason I’m typing this, I’m charmed by Collins singing, in 1986, “I won’t be coming home tonight/my generation will put it right/we’re not just making promises/we know we’ll never keep.”  Hah hah you poor, naive mutant.  There’s no way you could have possibly known, in 1986, that the hippie movement was completely discredited and no one believed that We Are The World crap anymore (exception: the people who sang “We Are the World” in 1985).  It’s the same reason I don’t get too bothered by ’60s music.  Sure, it was dangerously naive and stupid, but hippies can’t be blamed for hipping, so whatever.

But that’s not where this non-post ends, good chums.  No, because in 2005, post-grunge rock outfit Disturbed made a cover of the song.  I actually kinda like that one, too, in spite of the fact that Disturbed is pretty much useless, because even though it’s Disturbed doing the cover, at least they’re doing “Land of Confusion,” so there’s at least one point in their favor.

For comparison purposes:

As lenient as I’m willing to be with Phil Collins failing to realize he wrote his song 20 years too late, it’s much harder to be forgiving towards Disturbed.  Not only was their cover about ten years too late, the laughable line “my generation will put it right” is forty years behind the times.  Phil Collins’ generation didn’t fix squat.  You mean to tell me, whoever is the lead singer for Disturbed (I’m not going to look up the dude’s name), that your generation is finally going to figure it out?  No.  Your generation listens, inexplicably, to bands like Disturbed.  They vote for idiots like Obama.  They’re not going to fix anything.  Certainly not through some naive idea that a catchy song can get monstrous tyrants to change their minds about bloodthirstiness or tyranny.