Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Haditha Massacre

An incident of bad behavior on the part of US troops is in the news recently. Apparently some troops were driving through the shitty town of Haditha when they came under attack. In retaliation the troops whacked a family. Thats the story. Many people see in this incident evidence of some sort American genocidal conspiracy. I don't. I see something much much worse. The problem was that the US troops acted like Iraqis, they went native. Mass executions on flimsy grounds are traditional in the Muslim world. Not enough repression on the other hand in a country like Iraq can only encourage civil war as every like tribe, clan, party and sect grabs for power.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Non-Role Models

I am always amazed that athletes, professional and otherwise, are assumed to be role models. I don't know anyone who ever had a pro athlete as a role model except for maybe aspiring athletes. Twelve years ago Charles Barkley did a Nike ad in which he expounded on the theme of not being a "role model", look here for (noncanonical) text. Here is an interesting story about how female collegiate athletes have been absorbed into the male drunken jock lack of culture. Apparently one fan got so annoyed with athletic scum that he started a blog about sleazy athletes, drunken athletes, and molesting coaches. Bob Reno's Bad Jocks has the same kind of cruel joy that Frank magazine in exhibits.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Big F-ing Gun

BFG is a gamer term for a big powerful gun. It was used in Quake as the formal name, not nickname, of one the most powerful gun. I think it was also current among gamers but I have no proof as yet. A custom gunsmith, Serbu Firearms, who used to sell silencers, has named their .50 cal BFG-50. It is has been rated higher than even the famous Browning.

Here is a video of a lawnmower getting what it deserves.

Counter-Strike Existentialism

Counter-Strike is an odd game. No matter how good you are, and I am not, you will die and be reduced to ghosting. Counter-Strike doesn't intoxicate you with power in the way that god games like Civilization do. Instead I am always reminded of the fraility of life. All of us despite skill and luck can be sniped down, fragged, drown, trip. Here is a machima short Deviation that is currently doing the film fest circuit. Here is the Boingboing link where I found this film.

Manufactured Sawed Off Shotgun

The Americans have an interesting (gun) culture. The sawn off shotgun above is manufactured that way. The copy on the website advises how legal it is to buy and sell, in the US, "...can be transferred with a $5 stamp!". A holster is also advertised that kind of looks like Han Solo's. The Canada's governing Angry Redneck Party has announced that it wants to gut gun control laws. Is this gun in Jane/Finch now? Or will it be there soon legally?

Video Games as Alternative Life

In Slate there is an article, Love Thy Playstation, Love Thyself, that attempts to explain the falling birth rate. The column is called the Dismal Science, examines the cost/benefit of everyday life. This article counts the entertainment value of computer games, average user 8 hours a week, to the cost and rewards of "true love".

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Renaisance Man: Tomás Luis da Victoria

This week's Composer of the Week is a Spanish composer of polyphonic church music. Tomás Luis da Victoria was a priestly composer. In otherwards he would have treated my ancestors badly. He was an original Jesuit.

There is something quite new agey about polyphonic music with its choirs of sliding voices. Give it a listen.

Bill Maudlin

In looking around for more images of this iconic pair to the left I happened upon a Tribute To Bill Maudlin at the US Library of Congress. Also included is a bibliography about and by Maudlin.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Personality Survey

A friend of mine is has a posted an online survey as part of her Psych studies.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Soft Headed Defense of Terrorism

A panelist on DI in a report for The Fraser Institute suggests that if people want to come Canada they should give up there previous country and wars and only identify with Canada. He also wants a law in place to deport people who commit or surport terrorism acts.

All the women on the panel had a problem with dealing terrorism. They had problem with defining terrorism. They had problem with deporting people with terrorism, they can be charged. They had a problem with charging and not deporting for terrorism. One moron defended terrorist surporters as a human rights campaigners. She even defended the Tigers as a multifaceted organization that was involved in tsunami relief. The Tamil Tigers pioneered suicide bombing. Then she defended people involved in "legitmately pursuing national rights", like the Pali bombers. Now is a terror group that has bake sales, free clinics and a political wing harmless, or are they just terrorists with good PR.

Blown Up Real Good

A gaming company, Airtight Games, has created an engine that can model material deformation in game time. The movies on their site is from a superhero game. The image above is from oil bursting out a pipe and floating shipping crates around. There is also a plane crashing apart.