November 11, 2012
Secret Weapons. "David Cronenberg's seldom seen 1972 made-for-TV movie, 'Secret Weapons'. It is six years into a future American civil war. A man has created a drug that enhances fighting skills. But will he give it to the theocratic government, or the rebels?" [Via]
Mubei, or Tombstone, by Yang Jisheng, was published in 2008 and is considered to be the definitive account of the Chinese Great Famine. The book is banned in China, but has been available in Hong Kong. Counterfeit and electronic copies have allowed many Chinese to access the book. Before this November, Tombstone was available only in Chinese; however, the English translation has now been released. [more inside]
"On hot days or as a special treat her endangered grey-headed flying foxes are treated to a special mix of blended fruit juices. Camilla the 12-week-old bat especially enjoys hanging around and partaking of a cold 'frothy'."
The new James Bond movie, Skyfall, has largely been well received by critics some of who have suggested that the film is less sexist than its predecessors. Others have disagreed and stated that the new film has is quite problematic and may be "abandoning the moral intelligence of the times". Giles Coren, writer for The Times, put forth a piece that calls Skyfall "a sick, reactionary, depressing film". The Times refused to run the piece saying that "it was about James Bond and there's been too much Bond". So Coren's wife and fellow journalist, Esther Walker, agreed to run the piece in her blog.
"One tragic event and two acts of generosity brought the [Board Game Geek] community together: the result was the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund." [more inside]
Snoring Hummingbird (SLYT) Watch closely for sticky-outy tongue!
Are spanking fetishes now mainstream sexual behavior or are they an untreated response to childhood trauma? "I think that avoiding raising one's children to be spanking fetishists is a good reason not to spank children. It is not that I view some particular set of sexual semiotics as intrinsically inferior to any other. It is because I believe that at least some forms of spanking fetishism are the direct result of traumatic repression caused by childhood spankings. Hence, to say "don't spank your kids because you might turn them into fetishists" is really just an abbreviated way of saying "don't spank your kids because this can evoke unintegratable emotions of hatred which your child will be forced to repress and which they may then cope with by eroticizing your spankings and spending the rest of their lives feeling frustrated because their pool of available sexual partners is so small, and feeling guilty and ashamed because of how your maltreatment of them made them hate you back when they were helpless and dependent upon you." NSFW previously
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names write music with a warmth and simplicity that really hits the spot on chilly autumn days. My favorite songs of theirs are Noodles and Trees and Squirrels; their better-known songs include Funeral Face, Rent a Wreck, and Loop Duplicate My Heart.
José "Pepe" Mujica had been the President of Uruguay since 2010 and is considered to be the 'World’s poorest president'. "His humble lifestyle is reflected by his choice of an aging Volkswagen Beetle as transport, his only asset. The Economist describes him as "a roly-poly former guerrilla who grows flowers on a small farm and swears by vegetarianism". He also donates 87% of his state salary to charitable causes. He does not believe in God." [more inside]
Perhaps the most fruitful way to look at the debate between Morgenthau and Marshall that was carried on--largely below the surface, largely without explicit confrontation--at the end of WWII is that it was an attempt to figure out how to resolve call it two historical problems: the problem of European military culture, and the problem of modern industrial war. Economist Brad DeLong explains.
Dancing Stingrays (SLWimp) (wait for it to hit you...)
When the peace came along in Europe in April of 1945, we just practically sat there without anything to do. Most of the gentlemen drew house plans, because they were thinking they were going to get out of the service pretty soon. And I wrote a symphony. (Transcript) The symphony Van Heuvelen wrote sat on the shelf for decades, and last week he got to witness it performed for the first time. [more inside]
is it t / is it true / is it too late to register to vote / is it time to break up / is it tuesday Enjoy the algorithmically-generated autocompleted poignance of Google Poetics, or submit your own. [more inside]
In France, a Mission to Return the Military's Carrier Pigeons to Active Duty — Grounded After Modern Communication Devices Soared, Birds May Offer Low-Tech Solutions; No Round Trips [WSJ]. Let us not forget Le Vaillant, Cher Ami, and the other birds that save lives.
Balloon Bag End. Guy creates Hobbit hole with air and rubber.
In the long history of love songs the attention of a beautiful woman has been compared to many things – but perhaps only in Pakistan's tribal belt would it be likened to the deadly missile strike of a remotely controlled US drone.
Bill Roundy is a cartoonist living in Brooklyn, who has a strip in the Brooklyn Paper in which he draws and reviews local bars. 'Nuff said.