16 April 2017

Link round-up for 16 April 2017

These cats know their places.

The sight of Kushner in Iraq inspires derisive captions.


Punctuation matters.  So does headline placement.

Ignore stupid advice.

United Airlines inspires new mottos and a training video -- and hasn't learned anything (found via Mendip).  But another airline shows a rather different side.

LiveJournal just gets worse -- and the exodus is under way.

Jesus is watching.....something.

There's a lot more to the original story of Beauty and the Beast.

Ted Cruz wants the government to stop you from wanking (found via Mendip).

How people dress can tell us whether they're dangerous.

Wolves are bigger than you think.

Beware of falling rocks.

Here are some fun facts about Roman poets.

Go to Hel.

Art has a birth and an afterlife.

Ghost in the Shell opens at #1 in China and Japan, where nobody gives a rat's ass about "whitewashing".

Which Odyssey character should you fight?

See the first color photo ever taken (from commenter Blurber).

Here's a summarized history of religion.  At least it gives us a clear standard of right and wrong.

Gay marriage is Hitler.  Lincoln is Hitler.  Oh, and secularism is Hitler.

My home city commits to 100% renewable energy by 2050 (found via Politics Plus).

Which life matters?

Pence and Trump step up the war on women.  Next, the war on drugs.

This one cartoon pretty much sums up modern US conservatism (found via Yellowdog Granny).

A lot of people liked that Jenner Pepsi ad, especially minorities.

Andrew Sullivan these days is just tiresome.

Here's how to explain awkward stuff to your kids (found via Tell Me Why the World Is Weird).

There's a way to beat one of the nastiest computer viruses.

Two moons in the outer solar system constitute our best chance of finding alien life.

Artificial intelligence is getting so advanced, we no longer quite understand how it works (found via Love Joy Feminism).  Don't miss the creepy computer-generated art.

Brane Space looks at automation and Basic Income (I wrote about the same issue here).

The first protest in space has a worthy target.

Here's an interesting little story from Eisenhower's days as a general.

Christianity's gruesome mythology inures people to horror.

There is no evidence (found via Yellowdog Granny).

If you wanted nice gay people.....

Kudos to New Mexico, but how could people ever do this?

Jerry Coyne debunks the "atheism is like a religion" drivel.  More of his pithy debunking here.

Not sure if SJW is the right term, but the mentality in the second column does exist.

Explore the wacky world of Republican sex.

I found this discussion of the internet's democratizing effect on art rather interesting.

Scottish dialect thrives on Twitter (this must startle people who learned English as a second language).

Which one looks like a First World society?

Islamists in southern Russia are putting gays in concentration-camp-like prisons.

NATO is standing up to Russia.  Putin seems to be getting buyer's remorse.

This was Syria (like I remember it).  This is the five-sided civil war Trump wants to try and straighten out.  Let's hope he at least pays attention to precedent.  Here's why Obama didn't attack (found via Progressive Eruptions).

Al-Jazeera and the New York Times assess likely effects of the MOAB superbomb in Afghanistan.

This analysis argues that war with North Korea is unlikely (from Kevin Robbins).

Trump can't even run a resort hygienically -- and he hosts foreign leaders there!  He's soliciting ideas for the wall -- send in yours!

Here's a possible winning issue for Democrats.

Green Eagle keeps up with the latest Republican craziness.  They're turning their nihilistic obstructionism against their own side.

Opposing everything is the wrong way to stop Trump (and no, it's not what worked for the Republicans).

Democrats just scored some successes in local elections in Illinois.

A Holocaust survivor has a message for Spicer.  But he's just what Trump deserves (found via Tell Me a Story).

A Republican lawsuit threatens ACA subsidies (check out the map of which states would suffer most), but people know where the blame lies.

You know those county-by-county election maps the wingnuts love, which show most of the country red?  Here's a more honest one (for 2012) showing population density.

[Image at top found via Crazy Eddie]


Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Happy Easter Infidel, the Easter Bunny got assassinated {:-) ... no, I was driving down the street this morning in North Dallas, my daughter was with me, some cops come zipping around us doing like 80 mph (GEEEEZZ!!) 3 DPD squad cars, my daughter wondered what in Hell was going on, I told her the Easter Bunny probably got assassinated. Was going through some of these this morning and this evening, wanted to drop a few words.

I avoided much of the Trump stuff, because I'm tired of hearing about him, every damn day on the bloody news, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump ... I mute the f'n tele, f'n online, etc so I dont have to hear more of his and his clans shit (just being honest man). And yep, with Kushner, daughter, and his homies, just another f'n familia affair, making money, contacts and f**king each other. Frankly I hope they dont get a goddamn thing done in Congress or the Oval Office for the next 4 f'n years, we already have problems, and everytime they do something, we get shafted ... I'd rather take 6 inches up my ass for the next 4 years than 12 inches.

Cool turtle pics ....

Ole Ted dont want people masturbating ... Jezuz F'n Christ man ... WTF is up with these people? ... what kind of person in a position like him would care if I jack off or not?

16 April, 2017 17:52  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

2 parts here, I dont know how many character I have or dont have, not like I count this shit. {:-)

Jezuz is watching, that's just slimy shit that fundamoralists do when they see an adult place. I see it in Dallas time to time ... you got a strip club ad/ billboard, then on the same block someone puts up one for some christian mating deal or whatever ... they dont put up jesus pics in Dallas, what they will do, is cleverly word it and make it look like a commercial business ad ... some subliminal message or whatever.

Eisenhower lesbian story was funny (dont know if it was true or not)

Interesting read on Europa though ... look forward to the treats to come that we will find. I watched this movie on Netflix called "Europa Report" fictional, but pretty damn good!

Henry Stewart of London ... aint that the truth!

1st colour photo 1861 ... damn man, I had no idea it goes that far back, I got me and familia photos from the 50's and 60's, and they were black and white ... my granddaugther asked me one day ... how did I make them with no colour?, I explained ... heh, heh, heh, heh, heh {:-)

PDX (and the other 25 cities) pledge to go renewable 100% by 2015 ... great vision ... and great new business. What will Dallas and Houston do? ... wouldnt surprise me in this state, if they put a nuclear reactor in downtown and an oil refinery {:-)

Crazy Eddie's meteor, asteroid read is importante to keep in mind, regardless of the destractions, you wont know the pain till it hits and too late ... credit to all those that monitor these.

History of religion cartoon ... yep, that's about it, eh? ... simple and to the point! {:-)

piece on punctuation importance ... I'm lousy at that.

Wolves can get big ... dont I know ... my friend DeeAnn raised wolves in Mesquite, she loves animals, and grew up in East Texas as a cowgirl. But one of her wolves was tight with me, his name was Nicodemus (no, Dee is NOT christian) he would greet me, and put his paws up on my shoulder so we could hug, I'm 5'- 11" ... and we were face to face, he liked me to scratch the side of his belly all the time {:-)

Ancient Roman poets ... just goes to show, poets are human too.

Just like Hitler ... Hell man, everyone is Hitler these dayz ... they replaced the evil devil archetype with Hitler is all ... Hell, my grand mother or me could be Hitler {:-)

Universal Basic Income and automation ... it's coming as far as automation, alot more than we see now ... cant believe how many folks I talked to here in Texas, that had idea what universal basic income was ... some think it will make people lazy ... I differ ... and see it as a basic necessity, until a better plan comes up.

I'm outta here guy ... have a good one ....

16 April, 2017 18:26  
Anonymous Marc McKenzie said...

Thanks for the two pieces on GHOST IN THE SHELL, especially the one featuring the viewpoints of the Japanese fans who have seen the film.

Strangely enough, how they view the film syncs up with my own thoughts about the film, having seen it a few days ago.

First, in terms of visuals it is stunning (and of course my artist eyes were treated to quite a lot of massaging!). Kudos to the VFX studios for creating some truly impressive effects which of course is necessary for a story like this. They certainly brought to live-action the incredible detail that was featured in Shirow's original manga and in the anime films and television shows.

I also agree with the filmmakers taking a different direction with the story. This is not an out-and-out remake of the original anime film from 1995; while the live-action film takes elements from that film and from the STAND ALONE COMPLEX series and the "prequel" anime ARISE--the basset hound being a standout--it still forged ahead with an original story that was familiar but different. Even the 1995 took one story from the manga and expanded upon it.

No problems with the casting either, and it was good to see that in Japan that Scarlet Johannson's casting was looked upon favorably, since it's explained in the movie that yes, her body is artificial but has the brain of a Japanese woman inside. The actor playing Batou was also great, although I have to admit that Richard Epcar's performance as Batou in the English dubs for the various GITS anime has spoiled me. :)

Overall, I liked the film. It wasn't perfect--the issue of identity and the "ghost" was not fully fleshed out in the film. But it isn't a piece of garbage, in my view.

Leaving the theater, my thoughts were that this is a film made by fans of GHOST IN THE SHELL for those who are not necessarily fans of GHOST IN THE SHELL or who were not familiar with it. The fact that there has barely been a peep about "whitewashing" coming from Japanese viewers should be given more attention.

One more thing--there are now plans for a new animated GITS film, and considering the "brain power" behind that one--Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki--I'm certainly going to be following the progress on this one.

17 April, 2017 13:46  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ranch: No worries. Trump will appoint Sean Spicer as Acting Easter Bunny -- he's got his own costume and he's sufficiently unqualified.

People like Cruz believe that there exists a superbeing of infinite power who could create a universe of 100 billion galaxies, each containing 100 billion solar systems as big and complex as ours, yet who gets into an enormous snit about things like masturbation. It's very strange.

"Hitler" is gradually becoming a word meaning "anything that somebody doesn't like". It's erasing history by trivializing it.

Funny how Republicans believe giving more money to rich people will make them create jobs, but giving more money to poor people will just make them lazy.

Oil refineries downtown? They should probably ask the people in West, TX who lived near the fertilizer plant about that one.

Marc: It was visually brilliant, certainly. I'm not surprised if the philosophical issues got somewhat short shrift -- those things are much more difficult to cover in a movie format, and action-movie audiences (probably more in the US than elsewhere) would get impatient.

The US studios will probably take in an oversimplified message about "whitewashing", but hopefully the movie will help spread interest in GITS elsewhere -- maybe even here too.

18 April, 2017 03:56  
Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

That picture of the cats on the stairs cracked me up for some reason - I particularly liked the stripey orange kitten on the third stair up, and the full-grown cat at the top (a mother showing off her brood?).

Some of those captions for the picture of Jared Kushner in Iraq were very clever. They remind me of a fun little exercise I once engaged in myself, when I tried to see how many movie titles I could turn into names for porn movies (I surprised myself with just how many I managed to come up with!).

The picture of Jesus watching everyone was rather... Orwellian. I suspect Ranch Chimp is right when he says that the placement of that sign near an adult video store was no accident!

Re the war on drugs, sadly my own country is continuing to pursue its own futile version of that. Just before Christmas, for example, one of the more unhinged members of our version of the Republican Party praised the president of the Philippines for his own approach to tackling illegal drug use in his country (ie simply sending out death squads to murder anyone suspected of using or dealing in drugs), and suggested we should adopt such an approach ourselves (because, clearly, the only reason people still use illegal substances here is because we haven't gotten "tough" enough on them).

That piece about concentration camps for gay men in Chechnya was horrifying, but sadly not altogether surprising. A year or so ago, I read a book called Chechen Jihad, which argued that Chechnya's push for independence after the breakup of the USSR was hijacked by militant Islamists, who have been intent on imposing their particular brand of sharia law on all Chechens - perhaps that's one of the reasons for the appearance of the aforementioned camps. It's interesting to note the parallels between the Russian campaigns in Chechnya and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In both cases, the Western media initially portrayed the conflict in question as a fight between the big, bad Russkies and a bunch of plucky freedom fighters, whereas the reality was a lot murkier.

18 April, 2017 05:40  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Zosimus: I'm glad to see that the spirit of mockery is alive and well -- Trump's gang presents such juicy targets! It's incredible that Kushner didn't realize how he looked there.

The increasing hysteria and extremism of the anti-drug zealots reminds me of how the same traits have come to prevail among religious extremists. In both cases it's a reaction to the knowledge that they're losing. I don't know if Australia has a referendum process like some of our states do, but here in the US, that's how the madness has begun to abate -- the people in several states have passed legalization measures for marijuana, which the politicians were too cowardly to do. There's a saying that if the people lead, the leaders will follow.

The Putin regime is putting gays into the "targeted scapegoat" slot formerly assigned to Jews (in Russia and elsewhere). That naturally aligns the regime with the militant Islamists. It's outrageous that some people on the left have begun trying to de-emphasize the murderous gay-hatred of the Islamists, on the grounds that nativists in Europe are talking about it. Such slime can never be forgiven -- they're objectively apologists for the enemy.

18 April, 2017 14:38  
Anonymous Marc McKenzie said...

Good point about the live-action GITS spreading interest elsewhere--that's certainly something I'm hoping for; Kodansha (the original publishers of the GITS manga) has released new editions of the manga and its sequels in the US, and there have been articles about the history of the franchise. Later on this year there will be a book covering the various adaptations of GITS, from the original 1995 film up to the live-action one. I'm certainly looking out for it.

Speaking of robots and technology and Japan...you might find this interesting:


The attitudes of the Japanese scientists is nothing new to me, having read Fred Schodt's book INSIDE THE ROBOT KINGDOM some years ago. Sadly, the book is no longer in print--but even though it was first published in the late 1980s, I highly recommend it.

21 April, 2017 08:22  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Marc: From your link -- This, according to Takahashi, is partly down to the Japanese attitude towards technology. “Japanese people have a stronger trust in science,” Takahashi posits.

I keep seeing references like this here and there. Perhaps Japan will ultimately supersede the US as global leader, and perhaps it deserves to (though I think western Europeans are also more pro-science than Americans).

21 April, 2017 17:00  

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