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November 2014
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December 2014

Friday Ephemera

Cool jazz hedgehog. Sound essential. // Zombie food. // Cat fort. // Grassy knoll found indoors. // Flip books of note. // Frost formation of note. // The ice-skating waiters of Switzerland. // Leonardo’s to-do list, 1490. // A tree of languages. // Type-related matters in the film Alien. // Making Aliens. // Kubrick’s 2001 revisited. // The chemistry advent calendar. // Candles of note. // Do not stare directly, in full HD, at the Sun. // Snow drawings. // Christmas ghost. // Jeff Wayne remembers the future. // Physicists develop giant pasta. // An effects pedal tumblr. (h/t, Things) // Smart earplugs. // Components of a city, made of paper. (h/t, Coudal) // “This is my product.” // Sculpted caves. // Two ladies cook shrimp, quite quickly, with a cannon. (h/t, Simen) // “The information content of a 90-second conversation would take a day or more to transmit mentally.” // And finally, the boldly illogical fighting style of one James Tiberius Kirk

Elsewhere (144)

Kevin Williamson on the ‘progressive’ racial narrative and its dishonesties: 

When former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani takes seriously the operative slogan of the Ferguson protests — “Black Lives Matter!” — and asks the obvious question — “Don’t they matter in the 93 percent of cases when the lives of black murder victims are taken violently by black criminals?” — the Left’s reflexive response is to denounce him as a racist. The Washington Post’s hilariously Orwellian fact-check column labelled Giuliani a liar even as it confirmed that his observation is, as a matter of fact, entirely true. […]

The reality is this: Black men, especially young black men, die violent deaths at appalling rates in these United States. But they do not die very often at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, thugs reminiscent of characters from American History X, police officers of any race or motivation, lynch mobs, the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, Walmart, the Tea Party, Goldman Sachs, carbon dioxide, or any other bogeyman currently in vogue among so-called progressives. As Giuliani noted, blacks die violent deaths almost exclusively at the hands of black criminals. But attempting to accommodate that reality in any serious way does not pay any political dividends for the Left. It does not put any money in Jesse Jackson’s pockets or create any full-time jobs for graduates of grievance-studies programs.

See also the second item here. And of course this

Mr Williamson also wades into the deep waters of Russell Brand’s mind, where all things are possible:  

Mr Brand is fond of having himself depicted as Che Guevara, a figure for whom he shares the daft enthusiasm of many members of his generation. He frets that Guevara was “a bit of a homophobe,” but insists that “we need only glance at Che to know that that is what a leader should look like,” i.e., a bit like Russell Brand. Guevara was a mass murderer who shot people for amusement. The cause in which he fought was the cause of gulags and murder. There are today, at this moment, thousands of political prisoners being tortured in prisons that Guevara helped to establish, and millions foundering in the totalitarian police state he helped to found off the coast of Florida. But… sure, great hair.

And Charles Cooke on when students are left stunned and distraught by the workings of democracy: 

Some participants were so upset that the faculty had to bring in a counsellor to tell them that it was all going to be alright.

As always, feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments. It’s what these posts are for.

Ideally, However, No-one Actually Wins

Here’s an essential purchase for the coming festivities. 

We may live in a materialistic world, but Aussie educator Andrea Thompson has created a fun way to help the next generation understand the importance of social responsibility in a new family board game. Fair Go is a unique board game where the winner is determined by who has the best reputation for philanthropy and social justice. 

From what I can make out – and it’s not always easy to follow - it’s a kind of “social justice” Monopoly, in which rolling a double six doesn’t get you an extra turn and you don’t get any money when you pass ‘Go’. The game is advertised, proudly, with the following endorsement by an unspecified grandma: “Great holiday fun – nobody finishes before the others.” And yes, there’s a thrilling video of Fair Go being played, albeit in a somewhat unexcited manner, by two right-thinking persons who, I’m sure, are feeling good about themselves. 

Andrea observed how hard it was to find a family game which could be adapted for different ability levels and where winning depended on making good choices, so she decided to create her own. She hopes that players learn how to win in a fun way “without hurting their friends.” 

As Tim Blair says, “Because so many board games end in terrible violence.”