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Hummer og kanari

Linker du ikke kommer til å trykke på #25

weird photo
Photo by plugimi

Zombiene kommer. Til skolen, og det er bra!

The common presupposition is that courses on popular genres and forms — such as comics, science fiction, and television — eat the brains of students. They represent a zombification of the curriculum, a submission to inexorable market pressures, which might be understood as part of a broader corporate takeover of the university. We used to trade in rigorous knowledge; now we deliver edu-tainment to the slovenly, capricious undergraduate masses, who punish us in our teaching evaluations if we don’t pander to them.

There are two sorts of degradation involved in letting curricular zombies eat our brains. On the one hand, we’re allegedly abandoning Great Books or culturally serious texts in favor of lousy popular works. On the other hand, we’re hollowing out the methodological core of literary studies. That is, we used to trade in aesthetically sensitive close analysis of difficult or historically important texts. Now, we’re allegedly doing little more than teaching cultural history or adopting cultural studies methodologies (methods that can be applied to anything, from cereal boxes to Shakespeare).

A Special Breed of Lawyer – om dem som forsvarer de verste forbryterne.

Leaving Dedham that day, Carney pulled onto Route 128 and headed north to go home. He began to think about what it would be like if his own daughter had been one of Salvi’s victims. He started to sob uncontrollably. He had to pull over to the side of the highway. It was pouring rain. He started berating himself. “Look, you’re a criminal defense lawyer. This is the business you chose,” he told himself. “Just do your job.”

Det verste videospillet noensinne er laget av Penn og Teller

The drive from Tucson, Arizona, to Las Vegas, Nevada, takes approximately eight hours when travelling in a vehicle whose top speed is forty-five miles per hour. In Desert Bus, an unreleased video game from 1995 conceived by the American illusionists and entertainers Penn Jillette and Teller, players must complete that journey in real time. Finishing a single leg of the trip requires considerable stamina and concentration in the face of arch boredom: the vehicle constantly lists to the right, so players cannot take their hands off the virtual wheel; swerving from the road will cause the bus’s engine to stall, forcing the player to be towed back to the beginning. The game cannot be paused. The bus carries no virtual passengers to add human interest, and there is no traffic to negotiate. The only scenery is the odd sand-pocked rock or road sign. Players earn a single point for each eight-hour trip completed between the two cities, making a Desert Bus high score perhaps the most costly in gaming.

Sult og elendighet er det nye hippe i spillbransjen. 

The crisis came rapidly, with little warning: first, a hungry summer as the previous year’s stockpile of food ran out weeks ahead of the harvest; now, a catastrophic winter. Under a blanket of snow, the villagers are starving. Weak and diminishing, the population cannot fell enough trees to keep up the supply of firewood, and so they are freezing to death as well. The sounds of industry die away. Smoke stops rising from the chimneys. The scene is peaceful, but it is one of horror.

Hva Big Data kan fortelle oss om sex

Men make more searches asking how to make their penises bigger than how to tune a guitar, make an omelet or change a tire. Men’s top Googled concern about steroids is whether taking them might make their penis smaller. Men’s top Googled question related to how their body or mind changed as they aged was whether their penis got smaller.

Side note: One of the more common questions for Google about a penis is “How big is my penis?” That men turn to Google, rather than a ruler, with this question is, in my opinion, a quintessential expression of our digital era.

De dumper t-banevogner i havet. Miljøsvin! Eller vent…

It’s not every day you see a series of photos clearly documenting someone with a front end loader pushing industrial waste directly into the ocean without any care of secrecy or stealth. Photographer Stephen Mallon captured this series of pictures over three years to document the unusual methods that New York City uses to dispose of its subway cars, but before you jump to conclusions, be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom

Jeg har ikke sett Revenge of the Sith 500 ganger, og egentlig gir jeg blaffen, men han der Palpatine altså. For en kødd!

I’m talking about Padmé’s death, the cause of which has been said by many to be “a broken heart.”

Yuck. Nope.

I’m here to tell you that this theory does not hold up, and I’m going to show you why. Listen to my case, consider the evidence, re-watch the movie, and rethink the flawed broken heart theory.

Og til slutt: Hvordan vet du at du lever i en High Fantasy-roman?

There are two religions in your entire universe. One is a thinly veiled version of Islam. It is only practiced by villains. The other is “being a Viking.” You are a Viking.

Hummer og kanari

Linker du ikke kommer til å trykke på #24

In opposite directions - 20100817_0043ed2 Dimitris Papazimouris via Compfight

Game of Thrones in space? Bring it on!

Yes, please. Syfy has given a direct-to-series order to The Expanse, a new show based on James S.A. Corey’s acclaimed space-opera novels, with the first season comprising 10 episodes. And they’re describing it as “Game of Thrones in space.” This is everything we’ve wanted from Syfy for years.

Nynazister + Kakemonsteret er visst sant. I Tyskland

Police in the state of Brandenburg, Germany have confirmed a dangerous (albeit slightly ridiculous) trend after two men were arrested outside of a school in Senftenber for handing out neo-Nazi propaganda with one offender dressed in a Cookie Monster costume.

Law enforcement was called after a teacher spotted students carrying pamphlets that read “To Be German Is Cool.” Once the men were in custody, their homes were searched by police who found other Cookie Monster/Nazi propaganda, including — according to The Daily Mail — an image of Cookie Monster photoshopped next to Hitler with the caption “Who ate my cookie?” (My guess is that they’re blaming Jewish people or North African immigrants, but the reality, Hitler, is probably that you ate it late last night in the middle of one a shame spiral.)

They are now trying to link the episode to twenty similar Cookie Monster/neo-Nazi incidents that have occurred in Brandenburg in the past year.

Nok et eksempel på at noen har for mye fritid? Game of Thrones geologiske historie

This is Westeros as it exists in the days of tumult, in the days following the death of King Robert Baratheon, in the shortening days that warn that winter is coming.  But this is also the geologic history of Westeros, reaching far deeper through the annals of time than the reign of any of the Seven Kingdoms.  We pieced this geologic history together from character observations, town names, official Game of Thrones maps, and the principles of geology learned here on Earth.  Using only limited data we were able to reimagine 500 million years of planetary evolution, including volcanoes, continents rising from the oceans, and ice ages (with guest appearance by white walkers and dragons).

Vet ikke helt hvor overførbar denne er til norske forhold. Hjerteoperasjoner på folk godt over åtti er vel ikke noe vi driver med i stor skala tror jeg f.eks ikke, men interessant lesestoff likevel.

In 2001 journalist Katy Butler’s father suffered a stroke at the age of seventy-nine. A year later a hurried decision was made to equip him with a pacemaker, which kept his heart going while doing nothing to stop his descent into dementia. In 2007 Butler’s mother, exhausted from being her husband’s full-time caregiver and distressed by his suffering, asked her daughter for help getting the pacemaker turned off. Butler agreed, and so began a long investigation into how modern medicine has changed the way we approach the end of life.

Batman fyller syttifem år i år. Han har ikke alltid vært like mørk og moody…

A surprisingly large portion of Batman’s publication history has featured truly ridiculous stories with even more ridiculous cover images. In honor of the Caped Crusader’s diamond anniversary, we’ve gathered together a bouquet of the oddest Batman comic-book covers, so get ready for Bat-Baby, Zebra Batman, and more stuff from beyond your wildest technicolor fever dreams!

Ålreit da, siden vi er så godt i gang med Batman

The Definitive Ranking Of Robin’s 359 Exclamations From ‘Batman’

Hummer og kanari

Linker du ikke kommer til å trykke på #23: Jøder i Danmark, Dyr som blir borte, og Peter Jacksons Phantom Menace mm

 Desolation of Smaug Antho_ooony via Compfight

Mye snakk om den nye tenketanken Agenda i det siste. Jeg holder meg til tenketanken Ebba Wergeland inntil videre

Før 1990 så folk flest på retten til full lønn fra første dags fravær som en viktig sosial rettighet. Opprinnelig hadde den vært forbeholdt høyere funksjonærer, men et enstemmig storting vedtok i 1977 at den skulle gjelde for alle. I debatten gjorde Høyre-leder Jo Benkow narr av dem som fryktet misbruk av ordningen: – Hvem er det som er mest engstelig for en moralsk utglidning, uberettiget utnyttelse av systemet og nokså bastante påstander om ukontrollert overforbruk. Jo, det viser seg faktisk at det er vi – slike som oss – som fra før av er sikret full lønn under sykdom, som har rimelig god helse, som har, utrolig nok, et givende og stimulerende arbeid, og som er privilegert i forhold til hundretusener av landsmenn – det er faktisk vi som ofte uttrykker bekymring over andres arbeidsmoral. Og det bør vi vel lære noe av.

Mustafa Can kan man visst ikke ta alvorlig sies det på Twitter. Jeg har glemt hvorfor. Alvorlig eller ei, jeg syntes denne teksten var fin.

“Till det andra”, svarar han rappt. “Till den svenska självbilden; idel godhet, medfödd solidaritet, fredlighet, fläckfri känsla för demokrati. Från militär stormakt till moralisk stormakt. Är vi inte exotiska maträtter och färggranna folkdräkter som berikar den fattiga svenska kulturen så är vi nyttokalkyler och maximerad samhällsnytta. De välvilligas självgodhet svider nästan lika mycket som främlingsfientlighet. Svensken är en lika stor hycklande skitstövel som jag – och lika uppriktig och godhjärtad som jag.”

Ti dyr som ble borte for godt i 2013. Blant annet mener man at The Sri Lanka Spiny Eel er utdødd, men det KAN være de ikke har lett på Stortinget?

The Sri Lanka Spiny Eel (Macrognathus pentophthalmos) is probably extinct. As recently as 1980 the species was considered common but it was likely done in by a non-native species of fish that ate many of them.

Bilbo Baggins er ei jente. Selvfølgelig er han det.

My five-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl. The first time she made this claim, I protested. Part of the fun of reading to your kids, after all, is in sharing the stories you loved as a child. And in the story I knew, Bilbo was a boy. A boy hobbit. (Whatever that entails.) But my daughter was determined. She liked the story pretty well so far, but Bilbo was definitely a girl. So would I please start reading the book the right way?

Skammelig nok har jeg fortsatt ikke fått sett del to i Hobbit-trilogien til Peter Jackson. Mulig det er like greit, for anmeldelsene har vært mer splittet enn de pleier å være. Denne anmelderen mener dette er Jacksons Phantom Menace.

And as they say in my home town, here comes the creamy puketastic ending, the point where Peter Jackson sprays his George-Lucas-inspired horsecrap all over my expectations. The greatest character of the Hobbit, other than Bilbo himself, was never any one of the Dwarves or Elves or Men. It was and always will be, Smaug the Dragon. Smaug the Tyrannical. Smaug the Stupendous who was also utterly destroyed by Peter Jackson and the rest of the team. It is completely irrelevant that visually that Serpent from the North is everything they’ve promised us. After only 10 minutes, literally after you’ve heard all the dialogue from the trailers, it becomes completely meaningless that Smaug is voiced by my man-crush Benedict Cumberbatch (for me right there at the top of the list of modern actors, just after Bryan Cranston) because he is turned to utter crap on screen by endless action and movement and jumping from tower to tower, bridge to bridge. Nowhere in the film does the inner logic of a character fall to ruin more than with what was supposed to be one of the great baddies in the history of cinema.

Jødene slapp atskillig billigere unna Holocaust i Danmark enn i de andre landene nazistene okkuperte, Bo Lidegaard prøver å forklare hvorfor i sin bok Landsmænd. Den har kommet på engelsk, og New Statesmans anmelder liker den godt.

When the Gestapo did seize Jewish families hiding in the church of the small fishing village of Gilleleje, the people were so outraged that they banded together to assist others to flee. One villager even confronted the local Gestapo officer, shining a flashlight in his face and exclaiming: “The poor Jews!” When the German replied, “It is written in the Bible that this shall be their fate,” the villager unforgettably replied: “But it is not written that it has to happen in Gilleleje.”

Hummer og kanari

Linker du ikke kommer til å trykke på #21

Police Dog, Tess, 29/1/35 / by Sam Hood

Hvordan gikk det egentlig med Disney-prinsessene når lyset i kinosalen kom på igjen? Dina Goldstein har bilder!

Forskning viser at det er vanskelig å skille voldtektsmenns unnskyldninger fra pjatt fra såkalte lad mags, blader som FHM etc. Og menn er mest enig med voldtektsmennene.

Many of the rapists quoted in the study talked about coercing women or having sex with them even though they were initially unwilling. However, so did the lad mags. Horvath says, “Rapists try to justify their actions, suggesting that women lead men on, or want sex even when they say no, and there is clearly something wrong when people feel the sort of language used in a lads’ mag could have come from a convicted rapist.” A lot of these stereotypes — that women say no when they really mean yes, or are “asking for it” by going out with a man or wearing a short skirt — have indeed been normalized, and it’s sad but not surprising that they appear in a lot of lad mags. Defenders of such statements like to frame them as innocent, or even helpful, observations. But perhaps the news that they sound just like rapists will make people — and magazines — rethink their words.

Dystopia? Apple er på saken!

Apple has patented a piece of technology which would allow government and police to block transmission of information, including video and photographs, from any public gathering or venue they deem “sensitive”, and “protected from externalities.”

­In other words, these powers will have control over what can and cannot be documented on wireless devices during any public event.

Spike Lee har offentliggjort sin liste over de beste filmene noen sinne. Jeg hadde bare sett en litt stor håndfull av dem

Spike Lee, the very accomplished director, producer, and Madison Square Garden defender, has been a film professor at NYU for the last 15 years. Every semester on the first day of class, the former Harvard instructor distributes a list of essential movies he considers “the greatest films ever made,” cinematic titles he deems required education for all aspiring directors. Now, Professor Lee has entrusted this academic canon to the electronic world.

The Rape Joke

The Female Experiance Simulator

Hva var det Mark Twain sa? At alt er mulig for Gud, unntatt en ting: Å skjønne logikken bak menneskenes copyrightlovgivning? Resultatet av dagens status er i hvert fall at det er flere bøker å få tak i fra 1910 enn det er fra 1980. Er dette et hull i vårt kollektive minne?

Last year I wrote about some very interesting research being done by Paul J. Heald at the University of Illinois, based on software that crawled Amazon for a random selection of books. At the time, his results were only preliminary, but they were nevertheless startling: There were as many books available from the 1910s as there were from the 2000s. The number of books from the 1850s was double the number available from the 1950s. Why? Copyright protections (which cover titles published in 1923 and after) had squashed the market for books from the middle of the 20th century, keeping those titles off shelves and out of the hands of the reading public.

 

Hummer og kanari

Linker du ikke kommer til å trykke på #20

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

De danske gladpornofilmene fra syttitallet er nyutgitt på DVD nå. Vet ikke om jeg akkurat skal anbefale dem, selv om I Skorpionens tegn faktisk er ganske morsom, men de er litt interessante historiemessig. Åsa Linderborg har sett dem, og skriver bra om dem her.

Nyutgivningen av teckenfilmerna blir medvetet eller omedvetet en samtidskommentar. Vi lever i en tid som å ena sidan är översexualiserad, å andra sidan nymoraliserad. Den fria, glada sexualiteten finns inte längre. Överallt syns allt naknare och sexualiserade kvinnliga och numer även manliga kroppar samtidigt som komplexen kring våra kroppar blåses upp till ångestfyllda proportioner. Kabelkanalerna sänder äckligt, kyligt, monotont och smärtsamt sex där de inblandade inte visar någon glädje och aldrig kommunicerar med varandra. Varför blev det så?

Dette er langt, men ganske interessant. Handler om hvordan det egentlig ikke skjedde noe spesielt interessant i menneskenes historie før ca 1750. Interessant i den forstand at livskvaliteten for vanlige mennesker i 1749 i grunnen var ganske lik det den var i 1049. Så kom den industrielle revolusjonen, og siden har levestandarden blitt bedre for hver generasjon. Men hva om den industrielle revolusjonen og ettervirkningene av den er unntaket, og at vi er i ferd med å vende tilbake til normalen igjen? At dette er så bra som det blir? Handler jo mest om USA, men hva som skjer der borte vil selvfølgelig har ringvirkninger over hele verden, også hos oss.

In 2007, Mexicans stopped emigrating to the United States. The change was not very big at first, and so for a few years it seemed like it might be a blip. But it wasn’t. In 2000, 770,000 Mexicans had come across the Rio Grande, but by 2007 less than 300,000 did, and by 2010, even though violence in Mexico seemed ceaseless, there were fewer than 150,000 migrants. Some think that more Mexicans are now leaving the United States than are coming to it. “We’re never going to get back to the numbers we had in the late nineties,” says Wayne Cornelius, a political scientist at UC–San Diego who has spent the past 40 years studying this cross-border movement. A small part of this story is the increase in border protection, but the dominant engine has been the economic shifts on both sides of the border—it has become easier for poor Mexicans to improve their quality of life in Mexico and harder to do so in the United States. Because migrants from a particular Mexican village often settle in the same American place, they provide a fast conduit of economic information back home: There are no jobs in construction or housing. Don’t come. The Pew Hispanic Center has traced the migration patterns to economic performance in real time: a spike of migration during 1999 and 2000, at the height of the boom; a brief downturn in border crossing after the 2001 stock-market crash followed by a plateau; then the dramatic emptying out after the housing industry gave way in 2006. We think of the desire to be American as a form of idealism, and sometimes it is. But it also has something to do with economic growth. We are a nation of immigrants to the extent that we can make immigrants rich.

Helsa er ikke hva den en gang var, men Guy Clark er ute med ny plate i år. Den er verdt en lytt eller tre, og denne lille saken her er også verdt å få med seg:

Songwriters who revere Clark will tell you he crafts songs with the same precision and attention to detail he uses when he builds guitars. But Clark has a simpler, blunter explanation, as he told me with a glint in his eye when I visited him recently at his home in Nashville, Tenn.

“No bull- – – – means no bull- – – -, know what I mean?” Clark says.

Og siden vi snakker om musikk her. Kumail Nanjiani HATER Everybody Hurts.

I never liked it. You can’t romanticize grief and sadness, you know? Just be happy. The song says “Everybody hurts sometimes” but it suggests that everybody hurts all the time. And it’s really sad and I don’t like the way it sounds. It makes me feel like I want a shower.

Må innrømme at jeg ikke har lest denne saken ennå, det er jo 21 sider for guds skyld! Men jeg tror jeg skal ta det bryderiet en gang. Mulig det ligger stoff her til en spalte når ferien er over. Premisset høres uansett interessant ut:

Over the past half century, in the United States and other developed nations, children’s free play with other children has declined sharply. Over the same period, anxiety, depression, suicide, feelings of helplessness, and narcissism have increased sharply in children, adolescents, and young adults. This article documents these historical changes and contends that the decline in play has contributed to the rise in the psychopathology of young people.

Forskning viser: Fattigdom er verre enn crack og kokain

The researchers consistently found no significant differences between the cocaine-exposed children and the controls. At age 4, for instance, the average IQ of the cocaine-exposed children was 79.0 and the average IQ for the nonexposed children was 81.9. Both numbers are well below the average of 90 to 109 for U.S. children in the same age group. When it came to school readiness at age 6, about 25 percent of children in each group scored in the abnormal range on tests for math and letter and word recognition.

“We went looking for the effects of cocaine,” Hurt said. But after a time “we began to ask, ‘Was there something else going on?’ ”

While the cocaine-exposed children and a group of nonexposed controls performed about the same on tests, both groups lagged on developmental and intellectual measures compared to the norm. Hurt and her team began to think the “something else” was poverty.

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