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Archive for May, 2011

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/sports.png

It’s sad because it is true.

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Apologies about the absence.  I’ve been spending the past two weeks trying to memorize recipes and drinks for another waitressing job.  I can’t tell you what’s going on (just kidding y’all! I heard about the 1967 borders stuff . . . .that’s about it though :/ ) but I can tell you what goes into an ahi tuna burger.  I think.

Speaking about a job where a lot is based on looks, have you heard of Satoshi Kanazawa?  He’s an LSE based professor who has published a recent article on why Black women are less attractive.

LSE academic’s claim that “black women less attractive” triggers race row

It’s already been attacked and there have been some serious efforts/strides in debunking it.

Black Women Are Not (Rated) Less Attractive!: Independent Analysis of the Add Health Dataset

I can imagine that the type of subversive aesthetic hostility that Black women face didn’t start with this article. Since I can never understand it personally, I’d like to look at another thing.  What I was drawn to was Kanazawa’s reasoning that out of all the races, Asians have the lowest testosterone levels and therefore are the most attractive, and you can figure out the rest of it yourself.  Where’s Kanazawa’s publication on the same study that is done on men?  I mean, surely he isn’t so much of an arse that he would pull a Mark Zuckerberg and rate only the females, right?  I’m sure he was working on that one and it’s on its way to Psychology Today in a jiffy.

The truth is, he can be that much of an arse.  But what I appreciated, and maybe I’ll be the only one to say this publicly, is that no one took the very low road of taking an ad hominem attack to Mr. K.  Which I will proceed to do now, in my hypothetical voice.  It’s really hard to make one conclusion about women and testosterone levels, without making the mirror conclusion about Asian men and lower testosterone levels.  Mr. K, belonging himself to a group that has often been marginalized in society based on looks, and attacked the female equivalent of the Asian man.  That’s some wicked sense of irony he’s got.

Okay, so that was my bad girl thought process.   I of course, immediately washed these thoughts out of my head because a double wrong for me, another minority, to question this man’s conclusions based on an attack on his race.  If he were caucasian, the study would be an equally dick move.  I felt simultaneously smug and guilty at the same time (did I mention the feelings were simultaneous? It’s late . . .)

The truth is, I’d like to thank the rest of the world for not resorting to the sort of lowly mudslinging that takes place within my head on a regular basis, and opting instead for the high road of focusing on the fact that you can’t judge people objectively when there’s no objective standard for beauty.  And that’s all for now folks, it’s time for beauty sleep.

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I woke up this morning and someone forwarded me some posters to pass on for an event which will “engage members of the Chinese Community.”  Some event about why the Chinese community should stop eating rice in Canada.  I know what I said about shark fin before, but the difference is, that there is a) no other staple in the asian diet, whereas shark fin is historically a very rare occasion dish, there is b) no regulation on shark finning, and rice is well monitored and c) there is no substitute for rice, not even that quinoa bullshit.

WHAT THE HELL IS THIS PICTURE???

This is a joke, right?

Is that a railroad man?  The birth of this concept must have been an interesting process.

😡

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Part of the appeal of many board games is that the specific timing of the end is unpredictable.  If it is something like Settlers, it is when the first guy wins.  My analogy fails here because my knowledge of board games is too shallow.  Let’s use another example shall we?

Say, we are writing a tv show, and it’s called . . . erm, “Heroes.”  Now it needs to be crazy successful in order to get that all important second season contract.  But what happens when all your tricks are gone before season one is over?  You are left with a a concept with no fire power left.  And the show starts sucking.  It was only meant to live for one year.  Now, what if you try to write it for a more significant longevity, but because it wasn’t terrific and the TV bossman decides that it didn’t pull out all the stops, and it gets dropped?

Thanks for the good year, Claire-bear.

It’s kind of like life.  We devote energy towards whether or not we want to be awesome now, or awesome later.  Too bad we only have a limited amount of energy, right?

The exciting part about being alive is that none of us quite knows exactly where our personal finish line is.  Of course, this makes it difficult to gamble how much energy you are going to expend on being awesome, and when to use it.  Clearly most of us will get this wrong.  Maybe we save up too much for the future, only to never be able to enjoy our just rewards.  Maybe we don’t save up enough.

Another thing is that we all have these crazy up and down periods.  If you had taken a snapshot of where I was a year ago, I may be higher (or lower, depending on your priorities) than I am now.   Same for my friends.  Same for the adults in my life who look inwards to grasp at memories of past glory days.  At any particular snapshot, I am winning, or losing, ascending or on my way down.  Our cycles vary in amplitude and in duration.  I will never know which snapshot is the last until it is over.  Until I am over.

It gives me a great deal of optimism to know that the snapshot will never be unbearable.  The one time that I am wrong is the one time that I am too dead to realize it.  So until that day, I can hope that the finish line for the race is extended just another day, so I have another chance to throw everything I have at making it a bit better.

There’s no point to this post.  I just wanted to write it for all the people I know who aren’t liking their personal snapshots right now.  Just know that I love you, and that the race isn’t over.

If only the finish line had ended here.

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I wonder if one of biggest reasons why certain children’s fairy tales is so popular, is because you have pretty clearly defined roles.  If you are a wicked stepmother, and that’s your full time job?  You’ve got a comparative advantage at being evil.  Your evil factor is far superior to everyone else’s.  So one must ask the question, if she was such a bitch in the first place, what did Cinderella’s dad see in her?  Was he emotionally distraught over the loss of his first wife?  On the rebound?  Must have been a Vegas Wedding.  Yep, that explains the lack of character judgement.

. . . . Moving on, it’s easy in storytelling to have really good, and really bad characters.  Humans seem to be fixated on the idea of binaries, because our brains can’t possibly process more than two character states at the same time.  Our obsession with binaries puts a damper on our ability to see both the good and bad qualities in other people.  Real people, with real flaws.

When the Sean Avery PSA announcement came out, people didn’t know what to think.  This is of course, because in hockey, he’s supposed to be a total asshole.  How can an asshole do anything as awesome as championing marriage equality in the most homophobic culture in North America?  I’ve become somewhat fixated on him as probably one of the most interesting guys in the NHL.  Too bad he plays for New York, and I have to hate him.

Avery’s made his contradiction work for him because of his rep as a douche.  I’m sure he probably doesn’t care too much about what other people say, and that makes it easy to say what he thinks.  I do think this is an exception, rather than a rule.  However, like the rule, his reputation makes it difficult for people to hear a message that he delivers, despite its validity.

This morning, it was revealed that porn was found on Osama Bin Laden’s computer during the cleanout.

Osama bin Laden: Porn Collector?

Porn found in bin Laden hideout: US Officials

What’s a little disheartening about that is that the overwhelming media reaction from this seems to be “Osama is a hypocrite.”   This seems to have fueled a lot of ridicule directed at a dead man.   What is overlooked is that, whether or not he is a hypocrite, his original opinion on pornography and the West’s treatment of women holds a lot of validity.

“Your nation exploits women like consumer products or advertising tools, calling upon customers to purchase them.

You plaster your naked daughters across billboards in order to sell a product without any shame. You have brainwashed your daughters into believing they are liberated by wearing revealing clothes, yet in reality all they have liberated is your sexual desire.”

I’d say that that’s pretty accurate.  It may be easy to dismiss everything a terrorist says as ridiculous, but it makes me really sad how people think that they can repost his quote and brand him a hypocrite without giving a second thought to the pretty powerful insight he had into a Western brand of misogyny.  Just because he killed many people, just because he’s considered a “villain” in America, doesn’t mean that none of his words hold any truth.   Just because he’s a terrorist, doesn’t mean American values are perfect.  Just because “they” are wrong doesn’t mean “we” are right.

O yeah, remember this trainwreck? Bin Laden didn't have a point at all.

I’d prefer to live in a world where heroes can speak false words and villains can hold great insight.  Because in that world, words carry their own worth, distinct from mouths from which they arise.

On a marginally related note, I just did a photoshoot and saw the magic of photoshop.  Seriously.  Without lifting a finger, I was ten pounds lighter, with windier hair and shinier pants.  I know your secret now, swimsuit billboard ads, you can’t fool me anymore!!!

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San Jose vs. Vancouver.  Sharks vs. Orcas.  But who will win this playoff round?  Let’s look to nature for some answers.

It seems that the mammalian brain has once again found a way to use science to its advantage.  GO CANUCKS GO!

Speaking of Canucks/Sharks, I swear I saw Christian Ehrhoff today on the street.  He was  . . . very tall.  And beautiful.  At least I think it was him.  Either way, my jaw dropped for a good five seconds and before I could pick it up he was gone.

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On the lawfulness of the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  If you haven’t heard of it by now, Osama is dead.  Yeah, that’s right.  He’s now chilling somewhere on the bottom of the ocean floor, no doubt hanging out with Megatron, the Jack Dawson, and the Loch Ness Monster.

http://www.economist.com/node/18651636?story_id=18651636

There’s some criticism of whether or not Osama Bin Laden was legally killed.  He was killed by American forces outside of America.  There’s no way to suggest that he was still a direct threat to America (since he’s dead and can’t stand trial), and then there’s reason to believe that he may not have even been armed.

I’m surprised that after a decade long “war on terror,” and what I am assuming to be a comparably long manhunt for Bin Laden, it never occurred to the legal branch of the US military as to plan out how they would deal with him when they found him.  Or how they would cover their asses legally.  I have a number of questions about this.  Given an American history of intervening in international affairs, as well as in killing or supporting the killing of country leaders, why do they feel the need to justify it now? What has changed?  I’m going to guess-answer my own question by saying that most other operations are done covertly, and that Americans have a special interest in seeing this guy dead, and Barack Obama has a special interest in seeing his name attached to this guy’s death somehow.  So if you got him, flaunt it.

It is also deliciously ironic that Barack Obama’s decision to send in a ground force to kill Osama, rather than using airstrikes for reasons of the humane variety are coming back in the form of criticism about the legality of it.  Then the article hints that maybe if he hadn’t been such a nice guy, there’d be no reason to question whether or not Osama could have surrendered, and therefore no case against assassination.  I believe that Obama did the right thing by keeping drones out of the picture though, whether or not it will cost him.

The most delicious of all would have to be the fact that Obama’s the champion of Guantanamo reform.  My gut tells me that the operation intended to kill Osama – since evidence suggests it was really a one-sided fight – rather than take him prisoner (maybe it is cheaper that way).  That would mean that the intention was to deny him due process of the law that Obama was advocating for other prisoners.  Now he gets to take a lion’s share of credit in this?  It feels really cheap to me.  Either way, now that Bin Laden is out of the picture, there’s nothing left to unite America against a common enemy and prevent a downward spiral into tabloid style bipartisanship in politics.  O wait . . . .

Sidenote: Bin Laden was like, some kind of freakonomics genius!  He did calculate how many Americans would have to die in order for the US to withdraw from the Middle East.  Too bad he couldn’t use his powers for good, if I were him, I’d take that kind of razor sharp analytical thinking and get that published . . .

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