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Link roundup: Nov. 2007 - Baxil [bakh-HEEL'], n. My Sites [Tomorrowlands] [The TTU Wiki] [Photos]
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November 20th, 2007
01:29 am
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Link roundup: Nov. 2007
Clearing out the "Gee, I need to share that!" from my browser windows ...
  • Starting off with an oldie but goodie: the Archipelago of Weird. Essay on subculture as geography. (Someone on my friends list linked to it a week or two ago; I no longer remember who.)

  • Why do some people stay on the train past the end of the line? Fantastic magical-realism take on the legend of Boston Charlie. (Again, I forget who on my friends list I stole this from. I need to take better notes.)

  • Strange heresies dept.: The Passion Of The Liefeld. Scroll 3/4 of the way down the page to the big picture of Jesus. In brief, the Greek pantheon shows up at Gethsemane to taunt Christ, and he leaps down off the cross to kick their asses.** Dude. Just, dude. (*brain*)

  • Moving on to heresies of a different sort: It's cooking. Plus SCIENCE! The article tackles conventional wisdom about food prep and makes a good case against some of it.

  • Scary statistics about the economics of credit cards.

  • How could we save over half the money we spend on the chronically homeless? Give them housing.

  • One of the major consequences of the War on Drugs' rabid marijuana hatred: the loss of one of nature's most durable fabrics. Incidentally, did you know the United States is the only developed nation in which industrial hemp is not an established crop?

  • Haven't decided what to think about this one: Jared Diamond argues that shifting from hunter-gatherer societies to agricultural societies was humanity's worst mistake. (Perhaps so, perhaps not -- but one thing it's hard to deny is that it was inevitable. Ultimately, societies that made the switch could outcompete those that refused, so someone would eventually have done it and won, even if our civilization's ancestors hadn't.)

  • Have decided what to think about this one: "Why I Don't Hire Brilliant Men." STUPID, STUPID, STUPID! *headdesk* The article doesn't say anything about the perils of intelligent, creative workers; what it bemoans is the perils of smooth talkers. And yet it twists the latter into a morality play on the former. That article should come with a pamphlet on PTFoTCP implementation and a giant clue-by-four engraved with the words "MORAL: Keep fast-talking, ambitious people away from management."

  • On to the multimedia. Here's a catchy music video with furries on bikes. Also, if this regularly happened at football games, I'd have no choice but to become a sports fan. (Second link via inaki.)

  • QOTD: "Object-oriented programming offers a sustainable way to write spaghetti code." (Paul Graham here. via.)

  • Last but not least, if this all gets to be too much for you, remember that we still live in a world in which a guy can tape bacon to his cat in the privacy of his own home.

* This footnote intentionally left blank.
** All that's left is for someone to submit a chibi version to Chibi Jesus, and we can all pack the Internet up and go home.

Current Location: ~spiral
Current Music: "Holy Devotion" mix, DJ Liljo

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:November 20th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
I'm probably the nightmare credit card customer - take a card with 1% cashback, and pay it off in full every month. I must surely be costing the card company money. Actually, when I applied, I ticked the 'pay off in full every month' box, but discovered it had been reset to 'pay the minimum each month' once I got the card, something I quickly rectified.
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Date:November 20th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
Don't feel bad for the credit card companies. Seriously, don't make that mistake. On top of everything they get from consumers, they tack on a 1.5% to 3% surcharge to merchants on every purchase.

This is why they can afford to throw in deals like bonus miles or cash back n purchases: they get you coming and going.
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Date:November 20th, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC)
a) In regards to cooking science--actually, this is one reason I love the hell out of Alton Brown. He's a geek who cooks who does go into the science of cooking :D

(And I am really surprised that a cooking school or chemistry school has not yet done a dedicated course in the Chemistry of Cooking. It'd be something really interesting to get into IMHO.)

b) I'm among those who really, really, really wishes the US would get its head out its ass re hemp. It would be a *really* good thing for my own home state in KY--hemp grows really well here naturally (as well as cannabis) and it'd be a great alternative for farmers who've been trying to get out of tobacco farming...

(And yes, hemp grows really well here. So do other cannabis-family plants. So well, in fact, that we used to have a completely asstarded law here that banned possession of hemp rope as marijuana--no matter that smoking industrial hemp would just give you a bad migraine rather than a buzz. (This has thankfully been repealed by the KY Supreme Court.) We have had an occasional Democratic Party/Green Party candidate (Gatewood Galbraith) run largely on a hemp legalisation platform, and I've voted for him every time because it'd be a damn good thing for our farmers locally if we could grow the stuff for biodiesel and fibre.)

c) For the people who are homeless due to being priced out of housing, I agree, building homes would be a good thing and would substantially reduce numbers of homeless. Another thing, IMHO, would be drastically improving healthcare coverage--including specifically for mental health and catastrophic health issues; a lot of people (at least in my neck of the woods, where you don't spent $400,000 for a postage-stamp sized lot) who are chronically homeless are mentally ill and can't get proper healthcare, and others pretty much ended up homeless from chronic illness causing them to lose their home. :(

d) Re credit cards--said for years that they were fucking *evil*. Have seen how they're Fucking Evil with my own family. Only own one Radio Shack credit card (used for a solitary purchase, nearly paid off, will be cancelled soon as it is) and one debit card that can be used as a credit card for shit that requires a Mastercard--can't spend what I ain't got that way. :D Most of my main "big purchases" I get on sale, or I refurbish from parts (yay frankenboxes!), or I get via participation in hardware beta testing programs (ah, yes, the fun of companies giving you expensive equipment to fold, spindle, and mutilate and try to break... :D And they tend to give you a free release copy of aforementioned hardware for your troubles, too :D).

Did I mention that credit cards are evil? :D

e) Re the WWE Jesus stuff--heh, seen shit like that all the time in the dominionist group I escaped from. They have a *real* hardon for the Rambo Christ schtick. :D (Which would be extremely amusing if they weren't trying to take over the government and the military. "LEFT BEHIND" FANBOY ARMAGEDDON: DO NOT WANT.)
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Date:November 21st, 2007 03:26 am (UTC)
>(And I am really surprised that a cooking school or chemistry school has not yet done a dedicated course in the Chemistry of Cooking. It'd be something really interesting to get into IMHO.)

My cooking school has a unit on Food Science, but it's only about two weeks long. The text - The Inquisitive Cook - is a fun quick read, if you're interested.
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Date:November 20th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
The "end of the line" story is beautiful and chilling, but a bit out of date. They had to move the tracks leading to the land of the dead during the construction of the Big Dig. I thought everybody knew about that :)
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Date:November 21st, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
Good story, but that is a very short amount of time in which to knit a scarf!

The Dartmouth College Marching Band plays the Legend of Zelda theme - in 2000 the student conductor at the time arranged it for us. No real ending, just "repeat ad infinitum" written on it. Sometimes we'd play it in between football plays, and when we had to stop playing we'd start singing it instead, then resumed playing as soon as the next play was complete.

I also pay my credit card in full every month. High interest loan for groceries? No.
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