Archive for April, 2009« Older Entries |
I mean, my generation grew up prepared for NUCLEAR WAR, for cryin’ out loud. I hardly think a scary coloring book would’ve phased us.
Yes little Billy, we’re all
going to die. Eventually.
Get used to it!
On top of the recent swine flu panic and the panic in the skies of New York, the hubbub about the FEMA produced children’s coloring book (get the whole thing here as a PDF, 3.5MB) got me thinking again about what a bunch of sissy crybabies Americans have become. I keep seeing images in my head of thousands of surgical mask-clad citizens running to and fro like Godzilla movie extras every time a plane flies too low over their city. When half the world has to deal with bombs (often American ones) falling on their houses, starvation and poverty every day, where do we get off whimpering about things like the flu and government-produced children’s coloring books? I mean, take a look at what Chinese kids get to color, and I don’t recall reading about any Columbine-like incidents in China lately. Chill out, America, everything will be fine. On that note, let me help you. Why not kick back with the Gangsta Rap Coloring Book or the O.J. Simpson Coloring & Activity Book? Or my fave, The Executive Coloring Book, which includes pages like “This is my suit. Color it gray or I will lose my job“. And remember, it’s okay to color outside the lines if you feel like it.
Peace and Understanding, Brought To You By Their Friends – Music & The Internet
Throughout history, one form of communication has had the power to cross all cultural barriers to aid in peace and understanding: music. In modern life, one other form of communication comes close: the Internet. The video clip at left uses both to convey a global message of peace and unity, and if it doesn’t evoke a little something in you – a smile or a bittersweetness, see a heart specialist. You might not have one. The video is part of a multimedia project called Playing for Change, conceived, in their words, “to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music”. The song in the video is Stand By Me, but played in a way you’ve never heard it before: by artists from Santa Monica, to New Orleans, to South Africa, brought together in a “virtual studio” that allowed them to play their parts live in their native setting. You can buy a collection of songs produced by Playing for Change on CD and DVD, and they also have a non-profit foundation at PlayingForChange.org. Is there anything cooler than peace, inspiration, and understanding on a global scale?
Can someone please tell me what country I live in?
I’m not sure what country I live in any more, and the media certainly isn’t helping me figure out the answer. Between the Fox Effect (their new approach is apparently not broadcasting the president’s speeches at all) and the rapid demise of the nation’s newspapers, I’ve been feeling a little in the dark lately regarding whom to rant about. I found it odd that while Bush was still in office, few took issue (well, I did) with the fact that the administration was nationalizing the banks, but when Obama pursues actions like this, Republican wack-jobs start teabagging and calling him a socialist. With the traditional (and apparently somewhat meaningless) 100 days upon us, we have Republicans both jumping ship and throwing the cargo overboard while the “No Drama Obama” style (see this fairly balanced Politico piece) seems to be keeping seas calm. I look forward to Obama’s address Wednesday, perhaps especially because it’s not on Fox. Maybe he can give me some idea what’s going on around here.
[ Comments Off ]Posted on April 28, 2009 by admin in Editorial & OpinionTuesday, April 28th, 2009
Hey Rabid Atheist! I’m glad that in the infinite wisdom possessed by your otherwise rather finite, rational mind, you’ve managed to establish – in a universe that’s estimated to be 13.7 billion years old and 550,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles across – the absolute non-existence of a grand awareness that one might try to give a name, if [...]
Hey Rabid Atheist!
I’m glad that in the infinite wisdom possessed by your otherwise rather finite, rational mind, you’ve managed to establish – in a universe that’s estimated to be 13.7 billion years old and 550,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles across – the absolute non-existence of a grand awareness that one might try to give a name, if even a simple one, like “god”. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying you’re wrong. I am however, a little unsettled by your unerring certainty, given the fact that you’re probably attempting to stake your claim on scientific grounds, and given that since just a few decades before man’s first powered flight about a hundred years ago, science has gone through at least two profound paradigm shifts, literally inverting many aspects of scientific understanding. But keep at it. Man’s reasoning has always served us well, hasn’t it? Okay. I confess I think you’re a numb-nut for being so unaware of what your little human mind is incapable of comprehending, but more power to you. It is indeed a little scary to try and think about things that exist beyond thought.
Hey Religious Zealot!
I’m glad you attend your place of worship as often as possible. Every day that you’re there is one less day that you’re out in the world fomenting hate while proclaiming your compassionate nature and generally telling the rest of us how to live based on your bizarre interpretation of the 2,000 year old documents you use to justify your behavior. By the way, if you’re one of those inflamed nutcases that thinks they have the inside scoop on the official date for the end of the world, I’d recommend you take a moment to talk to the Atheist mentioned above. They probably have some solid reference materials to bring you up to speed. I mean, you’re not exactly breaking new ground on that one; in fact you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a list of your predecessors. Ah hell. I’ll even help you. Here’s a list of 63 of them, spanning almost 2,000 years.
And What About Me?
Clearly, I embrace the fruits of science, technology, and rational thought; without them, I wouldn’t be able to type these little thoughts into a computer and transmit them over the Internet so that your computer can reassemble the electrons into text that is at least as coherent as I was able to make it at the time that I typed it. However, it’s this very fascination with the knowledge that science has opened our eyes to that helps me conclude that there may be something more than what we understand through this very system of perception. In fact, it’s my awareness of the amazing balance of chaos and apparent order revealed by science, combined with many personal synchronistic and numinous events that leaves me with a profound feeling that there is a greater awareness surrounding me, something that my limited tactile, visual, olfactory and auditory perception and limited neural activity and reasoning may never be able to process into something that can be expressed as a scientific concept, or oddly – for the same reason – a spiritual belief that I will try to foist off on someone else as the definitive answer to the meaning and purpose of life. I can sense it though, this awareness. I can feel it in moments of connectedness with nature, people, or even technology. Without it, my life would have almost no meaning, and I feel badly for those who find no mystery in existence, regardless of whether they got there through closed-minded rationality, or closed-minded faith.
I’d love to hear the point of view of anyone who proclaims complete confidence in either their faith, or their rationality. Both extremes leave me befuddled.
[ Comments Off ]Posted on April 27, 2009 by admin in Editorial & OpinionMonday, April 27th, 2009
Amusing Flash games to pass the time in the unemployment line.
We thought we’d start with a little reality check for this week’s Monday Demotivators. Our usual Flash-based fun turns to horror when you view this animated map from Slate.com. Hit the play button, and watch the jobs in America disappear. It’s either like watching the 2000 election unfold, or a nuclear strike map. Scary. Equally scary for some will be the Virtual Age Analyzer. Honestly answer the questions, and discover your life expectancy. My “virtual age” was two years lower than the real thing, and I’m gonna live to the age of 78. Phew. Now that we’ve instilled you with a little anxiety, let’s get back to the fun you probably came here for. First up, the annoyingly cute JellyJumper, brought to you by Logitech. I don’t know if anyone will buy a keyboard because of it, but maybe they’re banking on the idea that you’ll smash your existing keyboard in frustration. They also have a multiplayer version called JellyBattle. For those of you who fancy a game of golf this time of year, try Golfman. Although I enjoy neither golf nor Flash games, I was amused for a couple of minutes, just long enough to figure out I suck at on line golf as much as the real-life version. If you’re feeling a bit more narcissistic or need to jazz up your Facebook profile pic, someone has rounded up 28 web sites that let you upload and edit your photo. The site’s in Turkish, but a picture, as they say, speaks a thousand words. This time they’re just not in your native tongue. And as a peg that never seems to fit a hole, I’m convinced Flash Pegs will ruin your day. Its utter simplicity fools you into thinking you’ll ever advance to the next level. That should keep you busy through Tuesday. Happy Monday!