Sunday Links

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

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24 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  MPH | 

    Ahh, the ghosts of Christmas parties past.

    I’ve heard some good stories, but never been a witness.

    Like the woman who demonstrated her ability to pick quarters up off the floor with a portion of her anatomy normally covered by panties. So one guy heats up a quarter before asking her for another demonstration. Of course, the hot quarter caused her some distress. Later in the evening, when he apparently no longer expected retaliation, she straddled him in a chair, and urinated on his lap.

    Ahh, for the good old days…

    Anyone else got one?

  2. #2 |  claude | 

    Regarding the drug war… i think i just read one of the most ridiculous articles lately, and its from one of my states local papers.

    “But it is powerful. Marijuana used in the 1970s and 1980s typically had 7 percent to 10 percent THC, the active ingredient, Becker said. Marijuana now sold has 45-65 percent THC. The chemicals in synthetic marijuana are 100 percent THC.”–Area-schools-target-synthetic-marijuana


  3. #3 |  Marc | 

    If what one of the commentors in Radley’s popehat link is correct, that you can just buy the freaking toys without the happy meal for $0.80, her lawsuit loses any valid legal basis it has left (not that I think it has any to begin with).
    “My kids want the toys, so you’re brainwashing them into buying happy meals!”
    “We sell the toys separately, too.”

  4. #4 |  Pete | 

    Well, I think the central complaint of her lawsuit is actually the marketing to three year olds part.

    Of course the simple solution to that is supervised or no television time, but fates FORBID you oust the primary parent in most households, then you might have to parent yourself.

  5. #5 |  Pete Guither | 

    Not sure about it being the darkest day in 456 years. It’s a lunar eclipse, so the sun isn’t going to be any darker than on any other solstice day, and a temporary darkening of the moon isn’t going to make the overall day darker than a solstice with no moon. However, the Leonard Cohen suggestion is still excellent.

  6. #6 |  Marty | 

    I’m glad that DARE propaganda won’t be intruded on by science. For the children…

  7. #7 |  PW | 


  8. #8 |  Bob | 

    Tuesday will be the darkest day in 456 years. I suggest some Leonard Cohen.

    Lunar eclipses occur at night.

    also, the sun isn’t any dimmer during the winter solstice to begin with. It’s just shining more on the southern hemisphere.

  9. #9 |  Nate | 

    I’m watching TV with my 3yo while I type this! Damn those commercials! If only I didn’t fast-forward them.

  10. #10 |  Bob | 

    Heh. Popehat drilled it.

    I wanna send fed ex boxes filled with cheeseburgers and french fries BUT NO TOY! to her house.

  11. #11 |  Bob | 

    Solving the city.

    I tried to read this. But I couldn’t. It just went on and on and on. At one point, I started getting bored and remembered how cool it was to be a Basketball playing Chewbaca, so I went looking for my meth stash. Then I remembered that I don’t have any meth, and have no idea where to buy any. What’s up with that? Why don’t I have any meth? Certainly meth is available. I guess I just don’t have any interest in doing meth. Studies have shown that only the first section of a long article is actually read by any quantity of readers, so I thought that instead of actually writing a ginormously boring wall of text like I originally planned to do, I would just cut and past crap from other sources instead. That will be easier for me to do actually think of things to say. And leave more time for going to McDonalds as well. As such, I’ll just paste in some compressed stuff from the Winter Solstice article instead. The celestial eccentricity holds special significance for spiritualities that tap into the energy of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and a time that is associated with the rebirth of the sun. “It’s a ritual of transformation from darkness into light,” says Nicole Cooper, a high priestess at Toronto’s Wiccan Church of Canada. “It’s the idea that when things seem really bleak, (it) is often our biggest opportunity for personal transformation. “The idea that the sun and the moon are almost at their darkest at this point in time really only further goes to hammer that home.” Cooper said Wiccans also see great significance in the unique coupling of the masculine energy of the sun and the feminine energy of the moon — transformative energies that she plans to incorporate into the church’s winter-solstice rituals. Since the last time an eclipse and the winter solstice happened simultaneously was just under five centuries years ago, Cooper said she wasn’t familiar with any superstitions or mythologies associated with it. Instead, she said, they can only be interpreted personally. “Wiccans don’t think of things as being good or evil — they just are. Our experience of them makes them positive or negative for us.” The winter solstice also played an important role in Greco-Roman rituals. “It’s seen as a time of rebirth or renewal because, astrologically, it’s a time where the light comes back,” said Shane Hawkins, a professor of Greek and Roman studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. For the ancient Romans, it was also a time of great feasting and debauchery. “If (the eclipse) happened on the 21st, they might well have been drunk,” he said. A lunar eclipse taking place during the solstice is not an event Hawkins has seen in research, but he said it would have been viewed as something special. “Eclipses could be taken either way,” he said. “Certainly it would have been an omen, but it would have been up to the interpretation of specialists of whether it was good or bad.” And that interpretation would likely be based on whatever was happening at the time. The last time the two celestial events happened at the same time was in AD 1554, according to NASA. An otherwise seemingly unexceptionable year in recorded history, the darkened moon happened during a bleak year for Tudor England. Lady Jane Grey was beheaded for treason that year, while Princess Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Mary of Guise — the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots — became regent of Scotland. I hope you enjoyed my giant wall of text as much as I had writing and copy/pasting it!

  12. #12 |  perlhaqr | 

    Leonard Cohen is, of course, excellent, but I suggest Coil, “Musick to Play in the Dark”. :)

  13. #13 |  Woog | 

    The “Solving the City” article seems to quickly devolve into a stereotypical “lefty” diatribe centered around the claim that Earth can’t sustain more than 300 million humans. Yes, the typical Western human lifestyle consumes a lot of resources, particularly energy, but the buffoon completely ignores obvious solutions to obvious problems (e.g. proper nuclear power generation and fuel reprocessing, ala France).

    Either the Times article horribly mangled the physicist’s findings, or the physicist is no scientist – the last quote of the article, “it’s the freedom of the city that keeps it alive”, suggests the former.

  14. #14 |  Brooks | 

    No, Marc Randazza has the best take on the CSPI lawsuit. It’s quite a bit funnier and more profane. That description might be redundant when talking about Randazza though.

  15. #15 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Why would you want scientists having a say so in drug policy? It’s like you want logic and reason to permeate a realm saturated with hysterics and moral panic..

  16. #16 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I think Patrick at Popehat has the best take yet on the stupid CSPI lawsuit against Happy Meal toys.

    Thanks. I needed that. Someday food crusaders are going to realize that the entire world isn’t in some kind of contest to see which country can force its citizens to live the longest. On second thought, no they won’t.

    Individual liberty is going the way of he mythological gods of Greece and Rome. It will be considered a quaint ideal that civilization outgrew.

  17. #17 |  random guy | 

    Dang it, now I want some McDonald’s. Im going to sue you Radley for linking to that article, and Im going to sue that woman for creating such a high profile case. Welcome to the nanny state paradise! Where no one is responsible for their own actions but still somehow responsible for the actions of everyone else.

    Seriously though how does a person get through life and believe that a corporation exerts a greater control over her daughters life than she does? Sure they have the advertising dollars but at the end of the day the parent is the one with the money and the say so on what the kids eat. She legally has veto power over everything her daughter wants to do, but that isn’t enough; she needs to dictate to McDonalds too. Then again she is a government employee so that nanny state mentality had to have been ingrained her long ago. Heaven forbid an individual exerts the slightest degree of control in their life.

  18. #18 |  J.S. | 

    “Needless to say, my answer was no,” she said. “And as usual, pouting ensued and a little bit of a disagreement between us. This doesn’t stop with one request. It’s truly a litany of requests.”

    Pouting ensued… lol. Who knew kids pouted.

    Next she’ll be suing Victoria’s Secret, Playboy, the NFL (cheerleaders) and any beer producer with commercials showing scantily clad women selling alcohol. All because those tv commercials lead to a litany of requests by her husband for sex and obscene pouting when she denied him.

    Can I sue Kay Jewelers or Jareds for their propaganda on diamonds and jewelery? I still wonder why the various state/fed law enforcers don’t go after Kay Jewelers for their line, “Every kiss begins with Kay!”. Clearly they promote prostitution.

  19. #19 |  Psion | 

    Darkest day? Impressive though a lunar eclipse would be, certainly a winter solstice with a new moon counts as being an overall darker day. And then there’s *solar* eclipses.

    December 21st, 1805 … in a land defined by ice and murderously cold winds, the weak, inadequate glare of the sun was diminished as an annular solar eclipse carved a chunk from the sun’s disk over Antarctica. But the winter solstice is the *longest* day in the southern hemisphere, and at that latitude, the sun never fully sets over Antarctica throughout December, so that’s hardly a dark day. We must confine our attention to the northern hemisphere of our globe.

    December 21st, 1843: Southern Thailand. A total eclipse blackened the sun on the shortest day of the year. Shortly after 10:00am, the skies began to grow darker during an eclipse that stretched from Saudi Arabia to the Philippines. But totality hit at local noon over Thailand. At a latitude where the shortest day of the year still has over eleven hours of sunshine, that doesn’t seem like a particularly dark day, but the eclipse didn’t end until almost two in the afternoon.

    December 21st, 1862 might have been memorable if the skies over the northern Russian steppes were inhabited by anyone who would have noticed the partial eclipse.

    December 22nd, 1870: A total eclipse swept across Portugal, Spain, Algeria, through the Mediterranean, over Sicily, Greece, and past the Black Sea. The eclipse lasted from 11:00am until 2:00pm with totality over southern Spain and northern Algeria lasting just over two minutes.

    But what’s past is past …

    December 21st, 2234: In what is now the Western Sahara the magnificent Reclaimed Gardens of Greater Morocco will be completely dark for almost four minutes as totality blots the sun. Telepresence avatars flocking to the region from across the Solar System will overwhelm the best efforts of Terra Prime’s Singularity Consensus to organize the event — ultimately leading to the introduction of a vast number of new artificial intelligences to the Consensus in an effort to better prepare for unpredictable events.

    December 22nd, 2261: Split by the Supreme Huff, the Consensus will be more concerned about the rights of Organic Minds versus Artificial Intelligences and fail to notice the total eclipse over parts of Mexico and Florida. Hold-Back Humans, still clinging to their “natural, evolved forms”, will look up into the darkening sky and sacrifice guinea pigs to appease the angered gods who are interfering with their solar collectors.

    December 21st, 2280. The day before an annular eclipse is to sweep across what is now South America, the AI Consensus will spite the OM Consensus by turning off the sun. This then is the darkest day, exacerbated by a floating point error in the AI’s calculations that prevent the AIs from re-igniting the now-dormant star. With a hive-mind-driven raspberry, the OM Consensus will abandon the solar system to re-settle two habitable worlds orbiting Delta Pavonis, where incalculably vast minds will make still more incalculably vast blunders.

  20. #20 |  claude | 

    There is a pretty cool drug war story out today. U guys r gonna love this one.

    Missoula District Court: Jury pool in marijuana case stages ‘mutiny’

    A funny thing happened on the way to a trial in Missoula County District Court last week.

    Jurors – well, potential jurors – staged a revolt.

    They took the law into their own hands, as it were, and made it clear they weren’t about to convict anybody for having a couple of buds of marijuana. Never mind that the defendant in question also faced a felony charge of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.

    The tiny amount of marijuana police found while searching Touray Cornell’s home on April 23 became a huge issue for some members of the jury panel.

    No, they said, one after the other. No way would they convict somebody for having a 16th of an ounce.

    In fact, one juror wondered why the county was wasting time and money prosecuting the case at all, said a flummoxed Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew Paul…

  21. #21 |  Aresen | 

    •Swedish med students perform an autopsy on their professor.

    I haven’t got time to RTFA.

    I hope he was dead before they began.

  22. #22 |  RWW | 

    If that “solving the city” article makes anything clear, it’s the mathematical ineptitude of the writer.

  23. #23 |  Whim | 

      Another case of Puppycide.  This time in Clayton County, Georgia:
    The police nailed a Golden Retriever this time, shot inside its very own electrified fence.
    Here’s the link in the Atlanta Journal-Constituion:

  24. #24 |  KristenS | 

    “But it is powerful. Marijuana used in the 1970s and 1980s typically had 7 percent to 10 percent THC, the active ingredient, Becker said. Marijuana now sold has 45-65 percent THC. The chemicals in synthetic marijuana are 100 percent THC.”

    Of course, nobody but us folks with 2 micograms of common sense sees this as a reason why people might smoke less weed.