16 April 2023

Link round-up for 16 April 2023

Various interesting stuff I ran across on the net over the last week.

o o o o o

Check out these new dog breeds.

Captain Kirk meets the true rulers of Earth, Romans get embarrassed, and the Apocalypse is postponed.

He'll have one heck of a story to tell, but his friends will never believe it.  (Here's a modified version.)

An Australian visits an American supermarket.

Have some fun with statues.

Achieve peace through fat.

This is not the right way to launch a ship.

Don't open it, Schrödinger!

Hell is everywhere.

She likes bananas, her own way.

I think he put the costume on backwards.

The Empire Strips Back (slightly NSFW).

This truck appears to be in less-than-ideal condition.

It's Alice in Wonderland, courtesy of teh shrooms.

Yes, a bicycle with square wheels is possible.

There's no there there.

It must be hard finding tires for this car.  And how do you even get inside it?

People are tired of subscriptions, but.....

Maybe Russia's invasion isn't such a failure -- one of their tanks made it all the way to Louisiana.

This guy seems to be on something.

See folkloric creatures from around the world, many of them rather creepy.

Check out these miniature sets from the Lord of the Rings movies.

Discussion here of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues beneath the Sea.

Someone edited together clips from Star Wars to the tune of "Blue Monday" by New Order.  Very cool.  Also check out this "mash-up" of Disney classic clips.

Drive carefully.

Beware the camel.

Brief history of television here.

The pope's recent utterances are a bit confusing.

Here's the real reason why Obama became president.

Learn all about the didgeridoo.

Essence of shroom will soon be legally available in my state, under limited circumstances.

This woman is breaking the law -- because of where she is.

Bloggers express their fury at book banning and censorship.

This author stood up to attempted censorship and won widespread support.

Sometimes you're better off not looking up friends from the past.

Blogger Daal has videos from the Kolkata wedding she posted about last week.

Doritos are carefully designed to keep you eating (found via Miss Cellania).

Spotting AI-generated fake photos is getting harder.  We'll soon need counter-AI to do it.

Sound boxes have revolutionized digital payments in India.

This planet is forty light years away, but we know exactly how hot it is.

Cryptocurrency "mining" ruins the nearby environment and quality of life.

Gmail is not secure.

Effects of the use of estrogen in males include depression, brain-cell damage, autoimmune diseases, liver disease, "brain fog", and increased mortality risk from several causes including cancer and suicide.

Here's more on the horrifying infections linked to certain eyedrops, including a list of brands to avoid.

Be aware of international surveillance alliances -- you can't trust even a VPN if it's based in one of the "Five Eyes" countries.  The post includes some privacy recommendations.

Some women know from experience the effects of porn on sexuality (I posted about this here).

Autistic people don't need fixing.

Many internet forums have had to go invitation-only to keep out shitty disruptive people.

Here's why the "trans brain sex" claim is wrong.

This is child abuse.

Elon Musk has a childish sense of humor (found via Hackwhackers).

HBO will be doing a Harry Potter TV series, with JK Rowling as executive producer to ensure fidelity to the novels.  The usual haters are throwing the usual tantrums, but it's unlikely to matter.

In just two weeks, the new Super Mario Bros movie has made over $500 million even though it was mostly trashed by out-of-touch film critics.  (It probably helps that it looks colorful, bright, and fun, as I discussed here.)  Audiences have been staying away in droves from preachy woke rubbish like The Rings of Power, Strange World, Bros, Lightyear, and on and on, and flocking to old-fashioned pure entertainment like Top Gun Maverick and Super Mario Bros.  It's no wonder that "go woke, go broke" has become a show-biz cliché.

What's the difference between "nones" and atheists?

Daniel Radcliffe is a privileged jackass.

This trend needs to escalate.

Everything is racist now.

Capitalism is turning technology into a disappointment.

Bizarrely, some people believe inanimate objects can be evil.

Riley Gaines describes how she was attacked by a screaming mob of thugs at SFSU.  She's now suing the university that failed to protect her and even praised the mob.  See also the replies on this Twitter thread.

Good post here on the accelerating decline of Christianity in the US.  Its earlier dominance was based on (a) the link between Christianity and patriotism, and (b) the ability, on the local level, to bully and coerce doubters and non-believers (interestingly, the first factor also applies in Ireland and Poland, the European countries where Christianity's dominance persisted longest).  Both factors have been undermined by the end of the Cold War and the rise of the internet, making recovery from decline almost impossible.  And no, going back to the "original" Christianity of Roman times won't help.

Tennessee Republicans have voted to allow government officials -- not just clergy -- to discriminate against couples they disapprove of by refusing to perform their marriages.

Oregon and especially the Portland metro area are losing population as people move out.

Learn to recognize DARVO when you see it.

In a win for real education, Cornell rejects the use of trigger warnings.

Missouri Republicans vote to defund public libraries.

An Oregon high school gave students a disturbing assignment.

The decline of religion in the US includes all racial groups.

Harvard's new Council on Academic Freedom will resist the ongoing destruction of US universities.

Ophelia Benson dissects a nauseating slab of Orwellian gobbledygook.

NASA's newest top official has been sworn in, but not on a Bible.

Some interesting points here on the logistics of the transition to non-fossil-fuel energy.  It's going to be expensive, but will save in the long run -- and our aging and decrepit power grid needs upgrading anyway.

An Arizona supreme court ruling makes it easier for churches to hide sexual abuse.

The forced-birth movement should be called pro-death, not pro-life.

Yeah, we know it's a lie, but we're uncomfortable not parroting it.

The Biden administration has approved another disastrous "carbon bomb" project in Alaska.  Whether Republican or Democrat, the US government is not going to stop actively trying to make climate change worse.  Citizen activism and pressure must be the focus.

A Florida teacher showed a pro-treason video to children in a class.  Always remember that the Civil War was about slavery -- the seceding state governments explicitly said so at the time.

Yet another small business is closing its downtown Portland location, citing the area's "extreme violence and criminal activity on an almost daily basis..... that is only increasing in frequency and severity."  Many neighboring businesses have already left.

Elon Musk is now sabotaging links from Twitter to Substack.  At this point he's about as much of a free-speech champion as his pal Vladimir Putin is.  Censorship on Twitter is as bad as it was before he took over.  The company's value has dropped by about half.

A Florida teacher who allegedly expressed a desire to shoot students was allowed back in class starting the following day.  The school did not even notify parents about the incident.

Green Eagle gives examples of how Republicans have ruined politics.  I disagree with him on one point -- Kacsmaryk's mifepristone ruling was "primarily a blow against women", maybe not in intent but in effect, which is what matters.

Large majorities of Americans, and even slim majorities of Republican voters, reject the Kacsmaryk ruling and support abortion access in most situations.

Alaska is becoming a blue state due to population shifts.

She quit a six-figure job rather than be dragged back to the office full-time.

Half of all parents of minors who have been "transed" say that they felt pressured to go along, with another quarter being unsure.

Evangelicals remain faithful -- to Trump.

These forms of discrimination against women were surprisingly recent.

The Florida surgeon general misreported data to support DeSantis's anti-vaccine position.

Blaire White (who is, please note, a trans person) has observations on the Nashville shooting -- and about Texas.

Much of the left has replaced the primate dominance hierarchy with one based on a weird sense of competitive victimhood, often based on tribalism.

The IMF is forcing poor countries to cut social spending, harming essential services like education and healthcare.

In 2019, British journalist John Ware exposed the pervasive anti-Semitism of the Labour party, and the anti-Semites have been out to get him ever since.

Macron kowtows to the Beijing regime and hints at a willingness to abandon democratic Taiwan.

Back home in France, Macron has enacted his widely-hated pension "reform" raising the retirement age.  Protests continue, and are already turning violent.  Marine Le Pen, a right-wing leader somewhat in the mold of Trump, Bolsonaro, and Modi, is likely to benefit in the next presidential election due to public disgust at Macron.  If I were French, I'd probably vote for her if she committed to reversing the "reform".

Vladimir Kara-Murza is one courageous Russian.

Yale researchers conclude that Russia's economy is already in ruins and that its official economic statistics are simply lies.

Russian soldiers continue their army's long tradition of drunkenness.

Pro-democracy protests continue in Georgia against the pro-Moscow-leaning government.

The Iranian theocracy is installing cameras in public places to help it harass and threaten women who aren't conforming to its clothing taboos.

In India, the religio-nationalist Modi government is re-writing history textbooks to hide the role of non-Hindus.  The US should confront the Modi government's encouragement of religious persecution in India.

More links at Fair and Unbalanced (do play the video at the beginning) and WAHF.

My own posts this week:  Barbie aesthetics, an image round-up, and infantile behavior on the internet.

o o o o o

If someone you know gets mad and gives you the silent treatment because of something trivial, that means they would have inevitably done so sooner or later, over something or other -- and it's better if it happens sooner rather than later, before you get invested in them.

Even the most vicious and obscene example of "hate speech" is not one-hundredth as dangerous as giving government the power to limit free speech.

Never mock or belittle your child's enthusiasms.  To you it may seem trivial and you may eventually forget you did it, but they never will.  When you are old and they are grown, they will still remember that you did that.  When you are gone, it will still be an indelible part of their memories of you.


Blogger Martha said...

Another great round-up! The fun with statues was great. And as an avid reader, book banning simply horrifies me. I'm sure many of the books I've read throughout my lifetime would be considerations for banning. It's mind boggling!

16 April, 2023 05:36  
Anonymous Reaganite Independent said...

BIG didgeridoo fan here 🤩 Something hypnotic about it, thanks for remembering me

16 April, 2023 08:13  
Blogger Daal said...

lots of interesting stuff here - & amazing to think of benefits of estrogen for men!

16 April, 2023 16:06  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Martha: At least the book-banners these days usually lose -- we can still get all those books that people are trying to get pulled from libraries, and writers like Shrier and Joyce whom the assholes tried to stop from getting published did get published and their books became best-sellers. The book-banners end up looking either evil or silly or both. But we need to keep on fighting them.

Reaganite: It's a unique instrument, for sure!

Daal: "Benefits" if you're comparing it to being shot, I suppose.....

16 April, 2023 19:08  
Blogger NickM said...

In the UK the didgerido is too closely associated with Antipodean Kid's TV Legend and noted kiddie-fiddler Rolf Harris. We also tend to take a dim view of anything Australian (apart from Kylie, obviously) because... Well, there's a reason we shipped the buggers over there in the first place wasn't there?

17 April, 2023 02:55  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

I had a high school teacher nick name me Captain Kirk because of my last name. I hated him. lol

The new dog breeds is funny. I found out my Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix is called a Jack Chi. Makes me think of Jack Cheese for some reason. lol

17 April, 2023 11:52  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

NickM: Well, it's their loss, then. It's very odd to associate that instrument with Rolf Harris since he doesn't appear to even be an aborigine.

Mary K: It's never a good idea to make a joke to somebody based on their name. Anyway, kirk is Dutch for "church". As a name, "Kirk" and compounds like "Kirkland" are pretty common in some places.

Reading that dog pun list, I kept trying to imagine what some of those dogs would have to look like to fit the descriptions.

18 April, 2023 00:07  
Anonymous Annie said...

I am fascinated by the shots of various unlikely vehicles: the bicycle with square wheels; that fragile truck run by water (did I get that right?); and the remote lunatic car on buildings. Then I read the Scientific American article about AI-generated images and learned that "seeing is no longer believing." OK. That explains a lot. :)

Thank you for linking to my didgeridoo post. Many readers checked it out.

19 April, 2023 09:48  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Annie: I think those videos are trustworthy. Creating really convincing fake videos is still difficult and expensive.

I'm not sure what the water in the truck was for -- maybe continuously re-supplying a leaky cooling system. Africa is mostly pretty hot.

Glad the didgeridoo post attracted some new readers. Definitely an off-the-beaten-path topic, and the apnea issue was a surprise.

19 April, 2023 15:39  

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