Occupy Sesame Street

October 24th, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Current Affairs

It strikes me as kind of sad that Cookie Monster has offered one of the clearest and most cogent explanations for the Occupy movement that I’ve read thus far:

Yes, there always going to be rich and poor. But we used to live in country where rich owned factory and make 30 times what factory worker make. Now we live in country where rich make money by lying about value of derivative bonds and make 3000 times what factory worker would make if factories hadn’t all moved to China.

Capitalism great system. We won Cold War because people behind Iron Curtain look over wall, and see how much more plentiful and delicious cookies are in West, and how we have choice of different bakeries, not just state-owned one. It great system. It got us out of Depression, won WWII, built middle class, built country’s infrastructure from highways to Hoover Dam to Oreo factory to electrifying rural South. It system that reward hard work and fair play, and everyone do fair share and everyone benefit. Rich get richer, poor get richer, everyone happy. It great system.

Then after Reagan, Republicans decide to make number one priority destroying that system. Now we have system where richest Americans ones who find ways to game system — your friends on Wall Street — and poorest Americans ones who thought working hard would get them American dream, when in fact it get them pink slip when job outsourced to 10-year-old in Mumbai slum. And corporations have more influence over government than people (or monsters).

It not about rich people having more money. It about how they got money. It about how they take opportunity away from rest of us, for sake of having more money. It how they willing to take risks that destroy economy — knowing full well that what could and would happen — putting millions out of work, while creating nothing of value, and all the while crowing that they John Galt, creating wealth for everyone.

That what the soul-searching about. When Liberals run country for 30 years following New Deal, American economy double in size, and wages double along with it. That fair. When Conservatives run country for 30 years following Reagan, American economy double again, and wages stay flat. What happen to our share of money? All of it go to richest 1%. That not “there always going to be rich people”. That unfair system. That why we upset. That what Occupy Sesame Street about.

[via JWZ]

Earthquaked

August 23rd, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Current Affairs

A photo depicting the horrible devastation caused by the earthquake that struck the East Coast this afternoon:

(via Grist, with hat tip to Nick)

bin Laden Porn Stash

May 13th, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Current Affairs

Aside from plotting terror attacks, it’s not like bin Laden probably had a whole lot else with which to occupy his time in a compound cut off from “the Internet or other hard-wired communications networks”:

A stash of pornography was found in the hideout of Osama bin Laden by the U.S. commandos who killed him, current and former U.S. officials said on Friday.

The pornography recovered in bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive, according to the officials, who discussed the discovery with Reuters on condition of anonymity.

(via Sarah)

The Web’s Unique Spin on that Bin Laden News

May 2nd, 2011 at 11:22 am | Current Affairs

(Via The Daily Dish)

Some Thoughts on Journalism Brought to You via OkCupid

February 14th, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Crazy Internets, Current Affairs

I logged onto OkCupid earlier to disable some email notifications, since I don’t really need ‘em anymore, and I clicked on the profile of someone who’d messaged me.

Her profile was pretty good and well-written for the most part, which is something I always appreciate and look for, even if she wouldn’t normally be my type. One bit in particular, however, struck me as intriguing.

Do you see which part I’m talking about?

This girl, who according to her profile is 20 and a journalism student, would like to one day be a “journalist for a magazine or popular blog.”

I’m not knocking her aspirations or mocking her, not even in the slightest; that’s not what this is about. It’s just that when I was her age and attending college, which was eight (nearly nine) years ago, most people barely even knew what the word “blog” meant. And now today, at least one journalism student would like to one day work for a blog.

It makes me wonder though if universities and journalism classes in high schools are actively encouraging their students to aspire to write for blogs in addition to the more traditional media outlets like newspapers and magazines. I suppose I could message the girl whose profile I cribbed from above, but that would probably be a slightly awkward conversation. Though I’d be very interested to talk to a journalism professor or instructor about the matter.

Let me be clear about one point: I don’t consider this to be a bad turn of events at all. It just strikes me as such a major paradigm shift for the whole profession, an profession which I readily profess to having no firsthand knowledge of — and in only eight(ish) years, too.

But any change or evolution in the industry that creates more opportunities for journalists, especially considering the general malaise that’s been gripping the newspaper industry for years, is a good thing in my mind. If anything, I think it’s rather exciting. One more reason why I love living in the future.

Just sort of blows my mind a bit, that’s all.

The TSA Cannot Catch a Break

November 20th, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Current Affairs

The TSA’s public relations nightmare just keeps on gaining more and more fuel to the fire, and it’s increasingly becoming more absurd, too, like when an assault rifle-laden soldier gets stopped because he’s also armed with a far deadlier set of nail clippers:

A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:

TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.

TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.

Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns–but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

UN to Appoint Space Ambassador for First Contact

September 26th, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Current Affairs

So, the UN is going to appoint a Space Ambassador in case aliens should decide to make first contact with us. Right. Like the USA would really let the UN take the lead if such an event occurred.

Does makes me wonder, though, if the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs is hiring. I would move to Vienna in a heartbeat for a position there. Be worth it alone just to have UNOOSA under my name on a business card.

Of course, if aliens did actually show up, then I would start stockpiling money and weapons the very same day. I’m not stupid. I’ve seen V.

Mazlan Othman, a Malaysian astrophysicist, is set to be tasked with co-ordinating humanity’s response if and when extraterrestrials make contact.

Aliens who landed on earth and asked: “Take me to your leader” would be directed to Mrs Othman.

[. . .]

Opinion is divided about how future extraterrestrial visitors should be greeted. Under the Outer Space Treaty on 1967, which Unoosa oversees, UN members agreed to protect Earth against contamination by alien species by “sterilizing” them.

Mrs Othman is understood to support a more tolerant approach.

But Professor Stephen Hawking has warned that alien interlopers should be treated with caution.

He said: “I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. The outcome for us would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

At least Stephen Hawking knows what’s up.

Now That’s Thinking Outside the Box, Obama

June 14th, 2010 at 10:08 am | Crazy Internets, Current Affairs

Though I think a far more worthier mission would be sending him back in time to stop TERMINATOR 3 and TERMINATOR SALVATION from ever having been made, but that’s a horse of a different color. Whatever that means.

[Via Pundit Kitchen]

Sinkholed

June 1st, 2010 at 11:47 am | Current Affairs

There is something mildly terrifying about this giant sinkhole that appeared in Guatemala after tropical storm Agatha had its way with the countryside.

According to Pensa Libre, the sinkhole (hundimiento in Spanish) is 15 meters in diameter and 20 meters deep (approx. 49 feet by 65 feet). A three-story building that housed a tailor shop used to occupy the space.

[Via BoingBoing]

Teabonics

March 31st, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Crazy Internets, Current Affairs

Over on Flickr, a user by the name of Pargon has a set up called “Teabonics”:

These are signs seen primarily at Tea Party Protests. They all feature “creative” spelling or grammar. This new dialect of the English language shall be known as “Teabonics.”