Tuesday, July 31, 2012

quote for the day: collegiate edition

"Board appointments to universities are a naked piece of political patronage, and can be a remarkably profitable one for the truly unscrupulous. But the end result is simple: “public” university boards are totally dominated by high-powered corporate types, developers like Dragas and especially by investment bankers, the only people with enough money and power to buy their way into the position. Don’t take my word for this – just look at the composition of the U.Va Board of Directors (or at any public university’s board of trustees or regents). What you’ll find is invariably the same: a cross-section of the corporate class that has donated heavily to the governor of that state and been rewarded for it."

Aaron Bady, What Terry Sullivan's Reinstatement at U. Va Really Tells Us about the Future of Higher Ed
Okay, so maybe America isnt in decline. I've seen plenty of people argue that it's not, and with good evidence. But it seems to me that there is too much rot in the foundation, and too much assumption of privilege at the top, trending ever upwards, for things to get better any time soon. And in the real world Risk game that is global dominance politics, it may not matter if things get better later on, because then it will be too late.

At least for us little folk.

As always, the folks at the top will be just fine. I just wish my fellow working folks didnt feel that they had to help them be that way.


article via Gerry Canavan

Sunday, July 29, 2012

sunday matinee - cassette edition

Okay, so this company called MakerBot has a file to print out parts for a cassette-shaped MP3 player, assuming you have the wherewithal to purchase one of their Replicator 3D printers. If you do not suffer from such a surfeit of simoleons, then you can always just order one from them completed for only $40 ish. No word on the official site on how much this device holds, presumably as much as a cheap player would, though.



Now, this is all very nice, cute even. But I have to ask, why stop there? If you really want to recapture mix-tape magic, why not create an MP3 player that works in a cassette player?
I mean, it seems simple enough; a pressure switch that turns the player on when the play button on the cassette player pushes the head and/or capstan into place, and a device to transfer the music from the player to the head (a device which has existed for years). Easy-peasy. I'd buy one, maybe. Especially if it held hundreds of songs. And it'd be great for anyone who still has a cassette player in their car, eliminating the wires (or wireless and interference) of current systems of playing your MP3s on a car stereo.

Oh wait. I really should research before I spout off. This appears to be similar to what I've talking about.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

saturday matinee - muppet edition



"Behold some 1979 screen tests conducted by director Jim Frawley, which starred Kermit The Frog (Jim Henson) and Fozzie Bear (the legendary Frank Oz) waxing existential about their lives at puppets. Not only do the puppeteers make up the dialogue on the spot — they also run with their character's mannerisms. It is wry and totally wonderful. Stick around for later, gut-busting scenes of Kermit and Miss Piggy (Oz again) riffing about the vagaries of Muppet genetics, property values, and romance."

via io9.

Friday, July 27, 2012

quote for the day

"To leave it to capitalism to get us out of this fix by maximizing its short-term profits is dangerously naïve and misses the point: capitalism and corporations have absolutely no mechanism for dealing with these problems, and seen through a corporate discount rate lens, our grandchildren really do have no value."

Jeremy Grantham, Your Grandchildren Have No Value (And Other Deficiencies of Capitalism)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

cost-cutting

Next time you hear someone spouting off about cutting funds to some government-funded arts of information organization, tell them you'll agree to that proposition, but only if they will agree that more popular funded things, such as high school athletic teams, should also be defunded.
Could high school football cover all its own costs without the massive tax-payer funding? This includes such things as coaches (who often barely teach yet receive a much higher salary than ordinary teachers), sports-dedicated buildings, sports equipment, sports clothing, travel to sporting events, insurance to cover sports mishaps, extra utilities spent on sporting activities which occur beyond the usual school day, and the maintenance to cover all this extra wear and tear. I'm sure I forgetting something here, but how much money does this add up to? Millions? Billions, quite likely, possibly more.
Perhaps, there needs to be a rule stating that any given sport can only receive up to a certain percentage of the fund total given to a school (similar to the Texas rule restricting educational administration to 20 percent of the budget). Or better, separate the educational part of the budget from the athletic part, so that it is made quite clear just how much is being spent on sports.

I've got nothing against sports, it just seems to me that in an age when we're slashing costs to anything that strikes the pay-as-you-go crowd as "unnecessary", that sports isnt even mentioned as a possibility.

Monday, July 23, 2012

quote for the day

"Democrats blame Republicans for everything. Republicans blame Democrats for everything. Both sides seize opportunities to feed public furor and consolidate power. They talk about serving the people with terms like "winning" and "defeating." Last I checked, service had nothing to do with winning and defeating - those are words reserved for games and wars."

Start with Why
I assume that the above quote somehow came from the book or website of the same name. I got it from a friend on Facebook (the quote, that is).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

sunday funny



This is from 2008. Back to the old grind theses days, eh?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

quote for the day

The psychoanalyst John Steiner calls this phenomenon “turning a blind eye.” He notes that often we have access to adequate knowledge but because it is unpleasant and disconcerting we choose unconsciously, and sometimes consciously, to ignore it. He uses the Oedipus story to make his point. He argued that Oedipus, Jocasta, Creon and the “blind” Tiresias grasped the truth, that Oedipus had killed his father and married his mother as prophesized, but they colluded to ignore it. We too, Steiner wrote, turn a blind eye to the dangers that confront us, despite the plethora of evidence that if we do not radically reconfigure our relationships to each other and the natural world, catastrophe is assured. Steiner describes a psychological truth that is deeply frightening.

I saw this collective capacity for self-delusion among the urban elites in Sarajevo and later Pristina during the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. These educated elites steadfastly refused to believe that war was possible although acts of violence by competing armed bands had already begun to tear at the social fabric. At night you could hear gunfire. But they were the last to “know.” And we are equally self-deluded. The physical evidence of national decay—the crumbling infrastructures, the abandoned factories and other workplaces, the rows of gutted warehouses, the closure of libraries, schools, fire stations and post offices—that we physically see, is, in fact, unseen. The rapid and terrifying deterioration of the ecosystem, evidenced in soaring temperatures, droughts, floods, crop destruction, freak storms, melting ice caps and rising sea levels, are met blankly with Steiner’s “blind eye.”

Chris Hedges, How To Think

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

gaming lifestyle

Okay, so I was never a very good candidate for military service (I have kind of a problem with authority, i.e., they need to earn the respect that they expect from me)(and to have grumble-free obedience, too), so perhaps I'm not well qualified to speak on this subject. But it seems to me that to give someone a medal who's never actually been in danger of anything other than carpal tunnel syndrome rather cheapens the medals given to all those who've actually risked life and limb (or lost them) in wartime. Feel free to honor drone operators for a job well-done, but for "Distinguished Warfare"? If this doesnt drive home just how out of touch the people who run this nation are from the folks who actually do the dirty work, I dont know what will (unless it involves a lot of dead babies).


Who'll get medals next? WoW players?

via

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

gift horse


Somebody buy me one of theses, please. Seriously, Christmas is only five months away.

Monday, July 16, 2012

quote for the day

"Oh election year, is there anyone you cant make dumb?"

Randy Milholland

Friday, July 13, 2012

quote for the day

"Yes, Conservative Rubes, if America just gives the 2% ruling class everything they want to be even richer at the expense of everything the remaining 98% of Americans need to survive, the 2% ruling class will magically — contrary to decades of data — give you a job that finally pays you a living wage. Honest. They pinky swear for reals this time.

But until then, keep blaming Obama for the shitty economy because of reasons."

Wil Wheaton

Thursday, July 12, 2012

quote for the day

"A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit."

- Greek proverb

Monday, July 09, 2012

quote for the day

“'Slut' is how we vilify a woman for exercising her right to say 'yes'. 'Friendzone' is how we vilify a woman for exercising her right to say 'no'.” .

unknown

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Monday, July 02, 2012

quote for the day

"'Vagina' isn’t like 'Beetlejuice'or 'Voldemort'. Vagina doesn’t appear when you say its name. If it did high school would be very different."

Jon Stewart

via

In case you're wondering why he said this, and missed this in the news...



Seriously, do we even need comedians anymore? I mean, other than for their now-vital function of truth-telling.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

sunday funny


It says Georgia, but it might as well be Texas. Seriously.

Remember me whining about the heat last year? And the year before? Etc, etc.

Expect more of that.