Posts Tagged ‘sex’
The headline reads, “Mystery humans spiced up ancients’ rampant sex lives.”
* Obama’s new education policy neatly showcases the spectrum of choice we now have in our political system: to be ground down a bit at a time by technocrats who either won’t admit to or do not understand the ultimate consequences of the policy infrastructures they so busily construct or to be demolished by fundamentalists who want to dissolve the modern nation-state into a panoptic enforcer of their privileged morality, a massive security and military colossus and an enfeebled social actor that occasionally says nice things about how it would be nice if no one died from tainted food and everyone had a chance to get an education but hey, that’s why you have lawyers and businesses.
* In May, Duke University announced plans to adopt one of the most extreme college sexual assault policies in history, changing the recommended sanction for perpetrators from suspension to expulsion. That means that whenever a student is found guilty of committing a sexual assault, expulsion is the first punishment the Duke disciplinary committee will consider.
* UConn Considering Ban On Student-Faculty Sexual Relationships. Again: Considering?
* Towards a new understanding of the Amish: Amish Hackers.
* Joss Whedon attacks both Twilight and Empire. He doesn’t care who he hurts.
* What went wrong on Enterprise? The cast and crew fess up.
* And Fukushima continues to be a nightmare. That things were as bad as they were in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake is one thing — but it’s been years and the news only gets worse.
* When writer AD Harvey invented an 1862 meeting between Dickens and Dostoevsky, it was for years accepted as fact. So why did he do it – and why did he also create a series of fake academic identities? Following up on this classic from the Times Literary Supplement.
* Aaron Carroll draws our attention today to a new study in JAMA that compares American health outcomes with those in other rich countries. Overall, we’re now in 28th place, sandwiched in between Chile and Poland. The massive chart below shows how we do on treating specific diseases. We’re 31st on diabetes, 16th on breast cancer, 32nd on COPD, and (in our best showing) 8th on colon cancer.
* The country has cheaper medical care, smarter children, happier moms, better working conditions, less-anxious unemployed people, and lower student loan rates than we do. And that probably will never change. Finland vs. the U.S., in the Atlantic.
Google, which prides itself on building a “better web that is better for the environment,” is hosting a fundraiser for the most notorious climate change denier in Congress, it has emerged.
* Drones in Niger. Prison hunger-strikers in California. Food stamps in New Jersey. Violent crime in Milwaukee this year is highest since ’08. Unemployment Rate For Black Women Higher Now Than Four Years Ago.
Saitō ventured a count: There were 1 million people in a state of withdrawal or hikikomori, about one percent of the Japanese population. Eighty percent of them were men; 90 percent were over 18. “Social withdrawal is not some sort of ‘fad’ that will just fade away,” Saitō wrote. It is “a symptom, not the name of an illness,” and “there has been no sign that the number of cases will decrease.” His book became a best seller in weeks. Hikikomori joined otaku (a person with obsessive interests) and karoshi (death from overwork) as a loan word in English to describe a new social phenomenon that at first appeared uniquely Japanese.
Academics who interview graduate school applicants systematically favor thinner candidates, according to a study.
UPDATE: We wound up talking a bit more about this on Twitter. Here’s the Storify.
Since March I’ve been chewing over this MetaFilter comment on the “brony” phenomenon:
OK. I’m a gonna say it. Bronies are rape by proxy. Girls are not allowed a safe place in pop culture. They are not alowed to have role-models that are not hypersexualized by a “fandom.” Guys into sex with ponies are into fucking women back into their place, and not about celebrating the triumph of imagination… and those guys into sex with ponies would never, ever dare air their rapiness without the vast subculture of adult men obsessing over a kids’ show aimed at girls. PPG got away with it, Billy and Mandy got away with it… Equestria has to be fucked into submission.
It was the first thing I thought of when I saw this New York Times piece on a “bold new direction” for the My Little Pony franchise, summarized thus: My Little Pony Gets Sexualized Teen Reboot. The recent Brave kerfuffle goes in here somewhere too.
* Pay student athletes: Louisville’s Kevin Ware suffers gruesome leg injury. Will Ware be stuck with the bill?
Louisville sophomore Kevin Ware’s injury today in the Midwest Regional finals of the NCAA tournament will likely be remembered alongside Joe Theismann’s career-ender as one of the most tragically gruesome in sports history. But that’s not the only tragic and gruesome part of this episode, because unlike Theismann, who was working under a guaranteed contract, Ware was an NCAA athlete helping to generate millions of dollars for the NCAA, but not even guaranteed a four-year education scholarship. As in so many other similar cases, that means his injury in service to the NCAA’s multimillion-dollar machine could spell the end of his financial aid and massive healthcare bills to boot.
* From the comments on this New York Times piece on the forgotten legacy of slavery in American capitalism: During college at UNC I studied slavery often in my English major classes but it was never mentioned during an Economics course.
* The idea that men are naturally more interested in sex than women is ubiquitous that it’s difficult to imagine that people ever believed differently. And yet for most of Western history, from ancient Greece to beginning of the nineteenth century, women were assumed to be the sex-crazed porn fiends of their day.
* Is it fair to force low-income children to bear the burden of fiscal adjustment? According to data available on the economist Emmanuel Saez’s invaluable Web site, from 1993 to 2011, average real income for the bottom 99 percent of the population (by income) rose by 5.8 percent, while the top 1 percent experienced real income growth of 57.5 percent. The top 1% captured 62% of all income growth over this period, partly owing to a sharp rise in returns to higher education in recent decades. (On average, those with only a high school education or less have few good income prospects.)
* The angels have lost their desire for us: Hurricane Sandy has cost Ocean and Monmouth counties more than $5 billion in
property taxes tax ratables. (ED: Whoops.)
* BREAKING: Everything got worse in 1981.
* There’s got to be a better way! Scenes from infomercials.
* And just because: How to make a “Bells of St. John” wifi name.
* “We need to hire a 22-22-22,” one new-media manager was overheard saying recently, meaning a 22-year-old willing to work 22-hour days for $22,000 a year. Perhaps the middle figure is an exaggeration, but its bookends certainly aren’t. According to a 2011 Pew report, the median net worth for householders under 35 dropped by 68 percent from 1984 to 2009, to $3,662. Lest you think that’s a mere side effect of the economic downturn, for those over 65, it rose 42 percent to $170,494 (largely because of an overall gain in property values). Hence 1.2 million more 25-to-34-year-olds lived with their parents in 2011 than did four years earlier. “Willing” is certainly doing an awful lot of work in that first sentence. Welcome to the age of the permanent intern.
* The Singularity Already Happened; We Got Corporations: Capitalism as Evil AI.
* New York Times shuts down its Green blog. In other news, every spectator sport has its own blog at NYT.
* The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has isolated twelve criteria for determining if individuals qualify as legally “hopeless.” The following pamphlet is a brainstorm: it considers what steps a debtor might take in order to persuasively claim the mantle of hopelessness. Rather than examine softcore options, we explore the potential of self-inflicted tragedy.
* Marvel Comics presents The Life of John Paul II.
* And Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing will close out the Wisconsin Film Festival. I’d really, really like to make this.
* …the politics of marriage are as much about class as they are about sexuality. Marriage is not, as prominent gay marriage supporter Andrew Sullivan says, only (or even primarily) an “institution of love.” It is also a social and economic institution. As marriage takes a stronger hold onto our political imagination, this cannot be forgotten. A fight for true marital equality cannot take the superiority of marriage to nonmarriage as its starting point. Otherwise, it is merely creating new impediments to the happiness of all.
* And Idaho State Sen. Introduces Bill Requiring Students To Read Atlas Shrugged. Exactly the sort of top-down statist intervention Ayn Rand would have loved!
* Confirmed: US planned to nuke the moon. Not a Mr. Show link, not an imaginary story…
Questions like “how did things get the way they are?” or “how far back do we have to go to find the roots of this problem?” are usually more interesting—and more recognizable as historical problems—than questions like “what happened next?”
* This guide provides an introduction to a handful of the strange spatial typologies found within the “cold chain,” that linked network of atmospheric regulation on which our entire way of life depends.
* In “North by Northwest” and other movies, Grant — for all his good looks — represented the triumph of the sexual meritocracy — a sex appeal won by experience and savoir-faire, not delts and pecs and other such things that any kid can have. Oh man. How did this ever see print?
* Last Year’s Debt Ceiling Debacle Cost Taxpayers $18.9 Billion. We can beat that.
* We’ve all been there: Ann Arbor man punched during literary argument. But this story buries the lede: what book were they arguing about?
* And You Are Most Likely to Die at 11 a.m. If you’re in the Midwest, that’s about forty-five minutes from now, so you’d better get moving…
* The CEO Who Built Himself America’s Largest House Just Threatened to Fire His Employees if Obama’s Elected. If anything this makes the already excellent Queen of Versailles even more awesome.
* “We are athletes, we are not gladiators,” Winston told Kansas City reporters. “This isn’t the Roman Colisseum. People pay their hard-earned money to come in here. I believe they can boo, they can cheer, they can do whatever they want. But when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and it just so happened to be Matt Cassel, it’s sickening. It’s 100 percent sickening. I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams. I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life to play football than at that moment right there.” I wonder if the NFL will exist in 20 years.
* And your Tumblr of the night: Fuck No Sexist Halloween Costumes.
* All in the game: 16-bit The Wire.
* Star Trek: Settlers of Catan? Oh, all right. Meanwhile: Michael Dorn Developing Wildly Ill-Conceived Captain Worf TV series.
* The fresh crop of post-secondary students filing into the classroom this week could be in for a shock when they realize they could be paying for their education an average of 14 years after they graduate.
* Actually existing media bias: Why won’t CNN air its own award-winning documentary on Bahrain?
* You demanded it, now here it is! A Christmas Story 2. This film looks so terrible it hardly even seems real.
3. The Hulk has no penis.
They modeled every part of the Hulk, except for one. “When the maquette came in, it’s just a Barbie doll,” said Jason Smith.
* The New World Order One World Government wants to ban golf! Wake up, sheeple!
* From Aaron’s latest Sunday Reading:The Intellectual Situation of n+1. For U.S. universities, a failing grade in economics. The Irish Begin to Wake Up to the Fact That They are Repaying Money That is Then Burned. The Hand That Feeds. Historicizing the Conservative Think Tank. A short history of the vibrator. The Inside Story of How John Carter Was Doomed by Its First Trailer.
* Crooks & Liars has some advice for Lakoff-style reframing.
1. Never say Entitlements. Instead, say Earned Benefits.
2. Never say Redistribution of Wealth. Instead, say Fair Wages For Work.
3. Never say Employer Paid Health Insurance. Instead, say Employee Earned Health Insurance.
4. Never say Government Spending. Instead, say The People Are Investing.
5. Never say Corporate America. Instead, say Unelected Corporate Government.
* And here comes the Romney shadow cabinet. It’s even worse than you think!
* 10 “Occupy” Candidates Running for Congress. Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin is singled out for praise as the likely new senator from our upcoming new home.
* Personally, of course, I belong to the Optimism! party.
* Salon on “the new oil reality.”
* “This desperation starts once you realize how much you’ve lost, and then you feel like you can’t stop because you’ve got to win it back,” she told me. “Sometimes I’d start feeling jumpy, like I couldn’t think straight, and I’d know that if I pretended I might take another trip soon, it would calm me down. Then they would call and I’d say yes because it was so easy to give in. I really believed I might win it back. I’d won before. If you couldn’t win, then gambling wouldn’t be legal, right?”
* Barack Obama is currently leading Mitt Romney in the polls by anything between 12 and -2. Can’t argue with facts.
* And from New York Magazine, dateline 1970: “Mugging as a Way of Life.”
The longer one plays, the less urgent these stories become. Each mission giver waits to solicit help with their dire circumstances until you arrive in town and engage them in conversation. Nothing advances without your participation, and the more of these operations you take part in the less critical they begin to seem. Which is not to say that infiltrating a party of aristocratic elves to prove your worth to a society of ancient dragon warriors is without meaning, but rather that as dozens of these conspiratorial ambles pile on one another, they leave you with the impression that the fate of the world doesn’t actually depend on your actions. This thought is beautifully amplified in the moments following the ending of the last story mission to vanquish the legendary dragon Alduin, when the game drops you back onto a snowy mountaintop where you can continue foraging for mushrooms, conspiring with the Thieves Guild, or return to Wizard school as if nothing had happened.
Mike Thomsen on world-reduction in video games, including (and especially) their strange sexlessness. As Umberto Eco showed way back in “The Myth of Superman,” you see this sort of endless, eternal present in superhero comics as well, which are similarly organized around narrative strategies designed to disguise the fact that nothing ever actually happens.