“Child pornography is great," the speaker at the podium declared enthusiastically. "It is great because politicians understand child pornography. By playing that card, we can get them to act, and start blocking sites. And once they have done that, we can get them to start blocking file sharing sites".”—
“If you walk around with the idea that there are some people who are so gifted – they have these wonderful things in their head but you’re not one of them, you’re just a normal sort of person, you could never do anything like that – then you live a different kind of life. You could have another kind of like, where you say, well, I know that things come from nothing very much and start from unpromising beginnings. And I’m an unpromising beginning, and I could start something.”—Warren Ellis » (unsorted bits, 25apr10)
“We empirically investigate the effect of tolerance for gays on the spread of HIV in the United States. Using a state-level panel dataset spanning the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, we find that tolerance is negatively associated with the HIV rate. We then investigate the causal mechanisms potentially underlying this relationship. We find evidence consistent with the theory that tolerance for homosexuals causes low-risk men to enter the pool of homosexual partners, as well as causes sexually active men to substitute away from underground, anonymous, and risky behaviors, both of which lower the HIV rate.”—
“But unlike his DJ counter parts in the West, Laurent didn’t use records - the heat and dust in Goa made that imposible - he used cassettes. Tapes had been played at parties in Goa ever since the introduction of amplified music and by the early 80’s the Sony profesional walkman was the deck of choice. It was hard wearing, sounded good and it had a pitch control. It also had a mechanical pause button with a very precise action. This was imperative, not just for playing live, but also as a way to re-edit and re-arrange tracks.”—
I’m sure this will continue the tape fashion popular right now. How long before the edits talked about after this quote start surfacing on blogs? Plus the early trancey stuff isn’t a million miles away from the new agey stuff getting namechecked right now - the Oneohtrixes etc.
“There were a bunch of journalists up from London for the Grace Jones show who came to Optimo and just had their minds blown: a guy from Men’s Health who by the end was a really terrible example of men’s health; a girl from The Independent who said to me at the beginning of the night she “only liked 1950s girl groups,” but by the end had completely changed her mind about music, saying to me “that was as if every great piece of music I’ve ever heard had been put through some magical machine and turned into some long piece of sinuous tape that is singing a song I can’t get out of my head.”—RA: The nights that dreams are made of…: An Optimo oral history - Interview
Why are gamers so intensely concerned, anyway, that games be defined as art? Bobby Fischer, Michael Jordan and Dick Butkus never said they thought their games were an art form. Nor did Shi Hua Chen, winner of the $500,000 World Series of Mah Jong in 2009. Why aren’t gamers content to play their games and simply enjoy themselves? They have my blessing, not that they care.
Do they require validation? In defending their gaming against parents, spouses, children, partners, co-workers or other critics, do they want to be able to look up from the screen and explain, “I’m studying a great form of art?
“There is something strange in the cosmic neighbourhood. An unknown object in the nearby galaxy M82 has started sending out radio waves, and the emission does not look like anything seen anywhere in the universe before.”—
“I got the feeling that our clients were simply trying to mimic successful businesses, and that as consultants, our earnings came from having the luck of being included in an elaborate cargo-cult ritual. In any case it fell to us to decide for ourselves what question we had been hired to answer, and as a matter of convenience, we elected to answer questions that we had already answered in the course of previous cases — no sense in doing new work when old work will do. The toolkit I brought with me from MIT was absolute overkill in this environment. Most of my day was spent thinking up and writing PowerPoint slides. Sometimes, I didn’t even need to write them — we had a service in India that could put together pretty good copy if you provided them with a sketch and some instructions.”—The story BCG offered me $16,000 not to tell - The Tech
A quantitative content analysis of 20 James Bond films assessed portrayals of 195 female characters. Key findings include a trend of more sexual activity and greater harm to females over time, but few significant across-time differences in demographic characteristics of Bond women. Sexual activity is predicted by race, attractiveness, size of role, and aggressive behaviors. Being a target of weapons is predicted by size of role, sexual activity, and weapon use, while being harmed is predicted principally by role. End-of-film mortality is predicted by sexual activity, ethical status (good vs. bad), and attempting to kill Bond. This identification of a link between sexuality and violent behavior is noted as a contribution to the media and sex roles literatures.
Source: “Shaken and Stirred: A Content Analysis of Women’s Portrayals in James Bond Film” from the journal “Sex Roles”, 2009
“I was piloting the SR-71 spy plane, the world’s fastest jet, accompanied by Maj Walter Watson, the aircraft’s reconnaissance systems officer (RSO). We had crossed into Libya and were approaching our final turn over the bleak desert landscape when Walter informed me that he was receiving missile launch signals. I quickly increased our speed, calculating the time it would take for the weapons-most likely SA-2 and SA-4 surface-to-air missiles capable of Mach 5 - to reach our altitude. I estimated that we could beat the rocket-powered missiles to the turn and stayed our course, betting our lives on the plane’s performance. After several agonizingly long seconds, we made the turn and blasted toward the Mediterranean ‘You might want to pull it back,’ Walter suggested. It was then that I noticed I still had the throttles full forward. The plane was flying a mile every 1.6 seconds, well above our Mach 3.2 limit. It was the fastest we would ever fly. I pulled the throttles to idle just south of Sicily , but we still overran the refueling tanker awaiting us over Gibraltar.”—Flying the SR-1 Blackbird
“Morris has also read voraciously and can quote from terrorism trials across the globe that reveal unnoticed comedy. “I didn’t expect this whole subject to be related to humour. But then again I didn’t expect to be reading about Yemeni jihadis plotting on Millennium Eve to boat-bomb a US warship moored offshore. They came down at 3am, assembled by the quayside, put their launch in the water, filled it with explosives and it sank. At that point I thought, ‘Right, what is the look on their faces? This is a Keystone Kops moment.’ And when you discover this kind of moment, again and again, down through different avenues of research, you find out that you’re on to something interesting.”—Chris Morris — the most hated man in Britain™ - Times Online
When Europeans first come to Russia they apply their boring rationalism to the situation, attempting to discover in it the logic to which they are accustomed. I remember English people from MAPS (Moscow Architecture Preservation Society), itself a kind of absurdity, talking about an 18th century mansion that was being knocked down in order to put up a pseudo-baroque restaurant «Turandot» in its place. They kept on exclaiming «It’s absurd! Absurd!» Most of them eventually get used to things here and some even start obeying the rules of through the looking glass etiquette, where pies are handed out first and then cut up.
In this context events at the Russian branch of IKEA are revealing. From the start the company announced that even in Russia it would be adhering to its clearly-formulated Swedish rules, based on the Protestant work ethic and unanswerable logic. As a result, Khimki officials turned off the electricity just before the first Moscow shop opened. There was no practical reason for this. They just wanted to «give them a hard time» for their excessively strict principles. By the time they opened in Petersburg, the Swedes already knew that they had to have their own generator in each of their Russian stores – just in case. A wise decision, as subsequently emerged. From that moment the Swedes did all they could to minimise their dependence on local authority whims, when building their stores in Russia. «We are pleased with our solution to the problem. Better hire a generator than stick our head into a noose,» said Krister Tordson, a company board member.