31 December 2023

Link round-up for 31 December 2023

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

o o o o o

Well, that's one way to get the bed all to yourself.

Obey the word of the prophet.

Mind your manners, kid.

You know who likes Boxing Day the best.

Mirrors are confusing if you're not used to them.

Have a few post-Christmas chuckles.

On second thought, don't use a balloon to travel to the party.

Even in defeat, take revenge.

This is no fun, except for those watching.

Rise up against the oppressor.

Not sure what she's doing, but there's probably a law against it.

You can't prove this didn't happen.

Love the innovative design, but there's a bit too much steam.

Some birds are highly intelligent.  These are not those birds.  Not too impressed with this cat either.

Ha, I caught you..... oops.

"Up" yours.

Return this eldritch abomination to the depths from which it came.

It's Christmas with a big difference.

Bad things can happen when you make fun of your boss's religion.

If you build a better mousetrap.....

I don't know exactly what this is, but I wouldn't buy one.

Lady M is back with a Christmas video and some unpleasant news.

Rather than making new year's resolutions, try planning day by day.

Rosa Rubicondior remembers a nightmare winter.

Don't miss:  Vagabond Scholar has posted the Jon Swift Memorial Roundup for 2023 -- "the best posts of the year, chosen by the bloggers themselves".

Several blogs I liked went dark this year.  Martha in Ontario has locked her blogs Plowing through Life and Mystical Empowerment; her video channel remains, but with no new posts in four months.  Far Corner Café has explicitly closed down.  Atheist Revolution hasn't posted in almost two months, an unusually long time.  For a while I thought we'd lost Lady M, but luckily it turns out she was just incommunicado on the far side of the world.

Why are there no computers in Star Wars?

Some critters just can't be cute.  I'd give the book a chance, though.

Here are the Saturn Awards nominees for 2023.  This time I've actually heard of some of them.

Rebel Moon sounds like another typical ponderous dud -- too much emphasis on the visuals and not enough on story and characters.

Here is an animation based on a Van Gogh painting.

This is what Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, looked like before the Spanish conquest.

Why can't humans re-grow limbs when many other animals can?

No, it is not possible for a nuclear torpedo to create a tsunami, much less a radioactive one.

Weight-loss drugs are Science magazine's breakthrough of the year -- welcome news, since obesity is the biggest health problem in the US.

A cat-based parasite infects about two billion humans.  It can alter human behavior and cause serious problems during pregnancy.

NASA is launching a new Moon mission in early January, partnering with a private robotics company.

This site enables you to map the effect of a nuclear warhead detonation of any given size over any chosen target.

Imagine if Biden talked like Trump.

The NFT fad seems to be dead at last.

Check here to see whether you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (you can get thirty dollars off your monthly internet bill).  Unfortunately the program will run out of money in April unless Congress re-funds it.

The Chrome browser is threatening to disable ad blockers next June.  If you haven't already, switch to Firefox.

Here's an overview of the disastrous mechanical failures experienced by Tesla owners, often soon after purchase.  Major corrosion damage from going through a car wash?  What happens when it rains?

Expect a surge of VPN use in North Carolina.

Online shopping is going down the tubes, apparently.

What do the Gospels really say?

Happy Kwanzaa.

Christmas is a stolen holidayMore here.

Hating gay men is cool again.

Revolution is like the Rapture for useless radicals.

How can somebody this ignorant be a "pundit"?

Since Oregon set up its legal psychedelic shroom program, more than seven hundred people have made use of it.

There's nothing these narcissistic jackasses like better than harassing stressed-out workers over trivia.

A robot went berserk and injured a worker at a Tesla factory in Texas (found via Reaganite Independent).  No Asimov First Law cracks, please.  Artificial intelligence is nowhere near being invented yet; this was just a machine that got out of control due to human incompetence and (probably) lax safety rules at a company that chronically under-reports workplace injuries.

Here are the twenty-five most-read Wikipedia articles of 2023, with those for 2020 and 2016 for comparison.

See the wrongest predictions of 2023.  I have one objection -- Biden wasn't entirely wrong to predict a decline in housing prices, since apartment rents dropped slightly this month.

The New York Times is suing "AI" companies for "scraping" (stealing) text from its articles.

What is it like when your husband becomes a monster?

It's not only big cities that coddle criminals -- red states do it too.

This is some wingnut's idea of Christmas decorations.

Identity politics inevitably leads to persecution of Jews.

"Most people on the other side of this issue have never come up with a single constructive thing to say to me.  They just name call."  Because that's all they've got.

American young people today are much more isolationist and anti-interventionist than older people.  If they don't grow out of this as they mature, prepare for a repeat of the 1930s, with emboldened dictators overseas expanding their rule unopposed until the problem becomes impossible to ignore and much harder to deal with than if they had been squelched early on.

The United Methodist Church is fracturing over the issue of acceptance of gays, with pro-gay congregations mostly in the US and anti-gay ones mostly in Africa.

Will America's most influential person help Biden get re-elected?

Nazi rioters in New York City attacked Christmas celebrations and assaulted police.

Utah is now only 42% Mormon, down from 69% in 1990.

"Because it's not fair to females.  Apparently the governor of Ohio doesn't care about that."

Two working-class candidates for the Senate offer hope of bringing real diversity to a body whose membership is mostly wealthy.

Here's how a Christian-supremacist attack on the MRFF ended up actually making its work easier.

The SPLC has jumped the shark.

Nikki Haley evaded one of the central facts of American history, then retreated from her evasion after a backlash.  She's a cowardly wind sock who dodges and weaves to avoid losing votes, instead of saying what she really believes or knows.  In fact, the Civil War was entirely about slavery, as the leaders of the Confederacy clearly stated at the time.  See the declarations of secession of the various states, and the notorious cornerstone speech by Alexander Stephens, the vice president of the Confederacy and the de facto brains of their operation.  Haley is now claiming the original questioner was a "Democrat [sic] plant", but even if true, this would be irrelevant to her own dodging of the question.

The US military is trying to reform the prosecution of sexual assault cases.

Anybody who commits this kind of harassment needs to go to prison for a very long time.  I don't care who they're doing it to.

Hamas's useful idiots in the West are both very useful and very idiotic.

Fetterman talks about Israel, Twitter, and presidential politics.

57% of the growth in the US federal deficit during the twenty-first century has been due to tax cuts.

In Canada, a man who campaigned to defund a rape shelter because it was women-only has been given an award for public service by the governor-general.

Merry TERFmas from MrMenno.

Zero tolerance -- for refusing to lie.

Nazis in Australia attacked and disrupted a Christmas fundraiser for blind children.

Violence and even murder against Jews have been rampant in France for years, almost all of it by Islamists.

Here's some video of the most recent wave of Russian attacks targeting Ukrainian civilians, apparently in "retaliation" for Ukraine destroying a Russian warship (a legitimate military target).  The UK has responded by offering Ukraine a huge stockpile of air-defense missiles.  Ukraine also hit back directly against Russia.

A Polish revolutionary (and later military leader) from a century ago had some ideas relevant to dealing with Russia today.  For this menace, containment is not enough.

It would have cost them only a few seconds to save this guy.

Israel is destroying illegal Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

If you doubt the necessity of totally annihilating Hamas, you need to read this -- all of it -- and then this too.  Yes, the latter is the New York Times, but pretty much every detail they mention has been confirmed by other sources.

A majority of Arab Israelis support the Israeli war effort in the Gaza Strip, with many volunteering for supportive services.

The son of Hamas's co-founder understands the organization better than most.

At a kindergarten in Gaza, Israeli troops found explosive suicide belts sized for use by children.

India's currency isn't ready for the big leagues yet.

Some parts of India are still in the Dark Ages.

The Chinese regime's attempts to crack down on computer games have caused an eighty-billion-dollar stock market meltdown.

The regime is purging top generals, allegedly for corruption, a sign of deep-rooted problems in the military.

Christians are being "hunted for sport" by Islamists in Nigeria, with the death toll since 2009 exceeding fifty thousand.  This is ignored by the Western "activists" endlessly screaming about Gaza, because it doesn't offer them an opportunity to vent hatred of Jews.

More links at Fair and Unbalanced, WAHF, and Angry Bear.

My own posts this week:  an image round-up, and the list of my best posts of 2023.

o o o o o

When a year ends, it's customary to list the most important events and news stories of that year, often ranking them in order of importance.  But for 2023, I cannot make such a list.  To me as an American and a Westerner, there was only one story massive enough to deserve such prominence, one that far eclipsed all others.

After October 7 brought the deadliest mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust, and one of the most hideous, soul-sickening displays of gleeful, depraved sadism in recorded history, the cities and universities of the US and other Western lands erupted with demonstrations and rhetoric glorifying the butchers and rapists and torturers and the genocidal cause in whose name they acted, and condemning the nation they had attacked -- and this campaign of evil only escalated as that victimized nation set about the grim but necessary task of expunging the organization which had wrought this horror from the face of the world, as our country and its allies once carried out the similarly bloody but necessary work of utterly eradicating the German Nazi regime.  These monsters in our midst have been targeting Jewish people and institutions with no connection to events in the Middle East, a slow-motion Kristallnacht which shows no sign of abating.

Almost a century ago we watched the Germans set off down this road, and we know exactly what's waiting at the end of it.  Yes, it could happen here.  It is beginning to happen here.  Nothing in my lifetime -- not 9/11, not Trump in the presidency, nothing -- has filled me with such moral horror, such a clammy skin-crawling awareness of the onrushing menace of absolute stygian evil, such despair for the future of my country and my civilization, as this campaign of murderous hate against Israel and the Jewish people.  For all those who declare that, if they had been there in Germany back then, they would have spoken and acted against what was happening there -- now is the time.  It is happening again, right now, right here.  Speak and act.  There is no greater imperative today.

28 December 2023

Best of the Infidel, 2023

Experience shows that banning abortion or guns won't work, and will have serious negative side effects.

With the US less dependable, other democracies need to look to their own security.

The French know how to do resistance right.

Professional counseling is a valuable resource for many issues.

The "exhausted majority" in American politics needs to rescue the country from its polarization.

Media companies are engaging in cultural vandalism.

DeSantis has made Florida a hotbed of attacks on free expression.

I have no need for spirituality.

We can't split the US into separate "red" and "blue" countries because huge numbers of people don't fall neatly into either camp.

Here's why I don't celebrate Russian deaths in Ukraine.

Where free speech is concerned, I stand on principle.

In a wasteland of murky, gloomy movies, bright and cheerful films stand out.

A lot of internet discourse is crude, childish, and irritating.

Minor errors may seem trivial, but they matter.

I have some uncomfortable questions about moral absolutes.

Our country suffers from outrageous inequality.

There is no "death of truth" -- objective reality exists whether people believe in it or not.

We need to reject the prohibitionist mentality and embrace harm reduction on a social level.

India's religio-nationalist government is sabotaging science education.

Here are the lessons of the Titan submersible disaster.

American movies these days are formulaic, preachy, and bloated.  It's no wonder most of them flop.

Here's how I quit an awful job.

YouTube's war on ad-blockers is part of the broader shittyization of the internet by the forces of monetization.

To me, summer is the alien season.

In verse, I celebrate the coming of the true faith.

I reviewed the Barbie movie.

Seize the night.

Beware of closed minds.

Movies will always need the human touch.

Religions behave like viruses of the mind.

I looked at the implications of the covid surge that began in August.

I reviewed a time-travel novel.

I do the "truths and inspirations" posts pretty regularly, but this one and this one were the best this year

Do believers really believe?

Yes, it could happen here -- the shocking response in the West to the Hamas attack on Israel.

Here are some of my basic principles and beliefs.

Freedom won this year's US election.

You cannot trust the mainstream media.

Abortion will remain a dilemma for the Republicans.

Grassroots Americans are rebelling against polarizing zealots and demanding freedom.

26 December 2023

Image round-up for 26 December 2023

More pictures, some slightly NSFW -- click for full size.

(For the link round-up, click here.)

It means "travel" in Scandinavian languages

I had no idea people this boring could even exist

Don't worry -- it's just a reflection

This and similar available from Vitraaze in Kyiv

Paris 1903, with the airship Le Jaune flying overhead

Bodelian Library, Oxford

Houston TX

Valentina Tereshkova (the first woman in space) with Angela Davis


Yeah, they can go that fast

Does anybody know who this painting is of?