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March 2011

Friday Ephemera

Big Man Japan. // Space Hoppers in Venice. // You Are Listening to Los Angeles. // Time lapse antennas. // Cassini meets Saturn. // Esoteric sausage. // Know your spiders. // Cells. // Water. // The world of pizza boxes. // Marmite products rated. Marmite cashews? Why was I not told? // Bridges seen from Google Earth. // Little street dramas. // Dogbrella. // 1920s Egypt, in colour. (h/t, Coudal) // National Public Radio, for people who are “more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives.” // All the cool kids will want one of these. // Big caves in Vietnam. (h/t, Dr Westerhaus) // Bill Bailey’s rather nifty guide to the orchestra.

Elsewhere (32)

John Rosenberg wonders whether female students really need “stereotype inoculation.”

New research summarised in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Online, People Learn Best from Virtual ‘Helpers’ That Resemble Them,” argues that women and minorities prefer instructors of their own race and gender even if those instructors are not real people but artificial, computer-generated "‘helpers’ or virtual agents that pop up on a screen and guide people through a program.” Most people might think it odd that one of the clearest effects of our mania for “diversity” is that people are increasingly race- and gender-conscious and thus estranged from people who don’t look like themselves, but it’s not odd at all. It’s entirely predictable.

As I noted here, there are some who seem to believe that the way to get past small differences in physiology is to continually fixate on small differences in physiology.

Speaking of which, John Leo spies a willingness to cater to other, less highbrow educational needs.

A course on sex taught by psychology Professor John Michael Bailey recently featured a naked woman being worked on by a man wielding a sex toy… The 600-student course, which for some reason is one of the largest at Northwestern, features all kinds of sexual expression and guests that include swingers and convicted sex offenders. The optional, after-class sex-toy demonstration, Bailey said, “helps us understand sexual diversity” - possibly the first time a state-of-the-art vibrator demonstration was stuffed in under the campus diversity umbrella.

Tom Paine quotes Oscar Wilde on socialism and selfishness.

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes them to live. And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type… It is grossly selfish to require of one’s neighbour that he should think in the same way, and hold the same opinions.

Which reminded me of this from the Devil’s Kitchen

A racist is a stupid, ignorant bigot but at least he cannot, and will not, try to force me to believe what he believes and force me to pay for the implementations of his beliefs. Socialists do. So, socialism is worse than racism.


James Panero on the wrong kind of transgressive art.

For the administrators and students at Pratt, the problem isn’t political art itself, says DeQuattro, but the nature of his politics, which are conservative.

Update 2:

Russell Nieli on Jonathan Haidt and academic fiefdom.

We are a tribal moral community… We have sacred values other than truth; we have taboos that constrain our thinking; we have almost no moral/political diversity; and we have created a hostile climate for graduate students who don't share those sacred values. 

Feel free to add your own.

Friday Ephemera

200,000 creatures caught on automated cameras. (h/t, MeFi) // Octopus and hatchlings. // PewPewPewPewPew! // Opera house of note. // How to make a laser from a gin and tonic. // At last, the Battleship drinking game. // Kinetic sculptures by Anne Lilly. // Monster prominence, February 24 2011. // Bus passes of Milwaukee, 1930-1979. (h/t, Coudal) // Shanghai. // “This is not Sweden… This is our area.” And some French multiculturalism. // On “outgroups” and “ingroups.” (h/t, Franklin) // In three dee. // Nyiragongo Crater. (h/t, prm) //  Farmyard indecency. (h/t, Julia) // Which came first? // Infuse whole fruit with delicious gas.