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Folks living in real ‘Grand Theft Auto’ find catharsis in fake one April 29, 2008

Posted by Lumpmoose in society.
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There’s a great article on Kotaku about impoverished blacks and Hispanics in Harlem finding an emotional outlet in Grand Theft Auto IV. This comes four days after the Sean Bell acquittal, which set three police officers free after firing fifty bullets at an unarmed man outside a nightclub on the day before his wedding. Inhabits of the real ‘Liberty City’ say Grand Theft Auto lets them vent their frustrations against law enforcement in a safe environment. If riots are found to decline nationwide due to GTA catharsis, will Jack Thompson’s head explode?

The article reads like something out of the NY Times: one of the finest written and researched blog posts I’ve ever seen. It provides a decidedly even-handed (okay, pro-gamer) view on the GTAIV release. It also showcases some parents deciding whether to let their kids play the game based on their maturity level and the ESRB rating. Even in a community with a $15,000 median income, their parenting skills put most suburbanites to shame.

So, you’re being laid off, hm? April 24, 2008

Posted by Derek in finance, knowledge, what "you do here".
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No, I’m not being laid off. Yet. But I could be, and that possibility grows ever more likely each day that passes. And it’s caused me to start to think about some of those Bigger Picture items in life.

One blog I read fairly regularly is The Simple Dollar. The author, Trent, has written a 31-part series on fixing your finances. I don’t necessarily need my finances to be “fixed”, but I think the idea of this series is a great and important one: a little work each day over a short period of time (one month) can set you up for long-term growth, not only in personal finance, but in life: your work, your personal life, your dreams and goals, pretty much all the Big Picture items alluded to earlier.

So, tonight, I will begin this exploration with my five main values. This should be an interesting and enlightening experience, and perhaps I’ll share some of it as I progress through the steps.

Brits: Religion is ‘the new social evil’ April 23, 2008

Posted by Lumpmoose in news.
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According to a recent Times articule, a poll of 3500 showed the “dominant opinion” of Britons is that religion is now among the ‘worst blights on modern society’. No exact numbers are given. Does this indicate a trend of Europeans moving from their traditional apathetic secularism to outright intolerance? Or is it merely a backlash to the confluence of Muslims to the region?

From my American perspective, I think that female and black presidential candidates are well overdue (Ferraro was going for the veep spot in 1984). Now getting an atheist (or gay) person the nomination would really be an impressive lurch forward for American tolerance. I know America isn’t anywhere close to widely accepting those ‘minorities’, but it’s not like having Clinton or Obama as the president indicates we’re furiously enlightened.

Near-Miss Fortune April 20, 2008

Posted by Jacob in quotations.
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Got this in a fortune cookie at lunch today:

Treasure your good memories and you need not worry about ending a banquet.

Mixed metaphors, or am I missing something? Even “in bed” does nothing for this one!

Quote of The Day April 20, 2008

Posted by Brent in knowledge.
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“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly,
while bad people will find a way around the laws.”

– Plato (427-347 B.C.)

Gundersaur, circa 2000 April 18, 2008

Posted by Brent in knowledge.
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4 comments

Drawn around 2000 by Karp

Those Delta Blues: Garrison Keillor’s Eulogy to Northwest Airlines April 17, 2008

Posted by Derek in commentary, news.
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A thoughtful and eloquent piece by one Minnesotan institution about another.

April 16, 2008 | I flew to New York on the day spring arrived and all along 90th Street a lovely blue flower called Pushkinia blossomed which is named for the poet who, according to Russians, cannot be translated into English, but Tchaikovsky made a gorgeous opera of “Eugene Onegin,” which is some consolation, and then there is the flower.

Read the rest from salon.com.

Choosing a School/Partner April 17, 2008

Posted by Jacob in humor.
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Choosing a college or graduate school can be difficult, especially when presented with multiple options.

A: So did you get any acceptances?

B: Yeah, two different women have agreed to date me. Cindy and Alyssa. But I have to choose one.

A: Hey, that’s great that you go two offers. Have you made a choice yet?

B: Well, I had coffee with Alyssa, and we really hit it off — she’s beautiful, and charming, and laughed at my jokes. I definitely think we would get along well over the next few years. I met Cindy, too; she’s a knockout, and clearly very talented, but there wasn’t as much of a spark there.

A: That can happen. So are you going to choose Alyssa?

B: I’m tempted, but the thing is — Cindy’s US News ranking is much higher.

A: Her what?

B: Every year, US News puts out rankings of boyfriends and girlfriends. Now, Alyssa is a solid top-20 girlfriend, but Cindy is top five! I’m really worried I’d be making a mistake by passing up the opportunity to go out with Cindy. Everyone has heard of her.

Check out the complete dialogue at Cosmic Variance.

Humor through Incorrect Plurality April 15, 2008

Posted by Brent in knowledge.
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  1. I would like a cheeseburgers.
  2. I would like an cheeseburger.
  3. I saw an geeses. (bonus points for double incorrectness)
  4. I brushed my teeths.

Right Now April 13, 2008

Posted by Derek in news, politics.
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I was bored this afternoon and threw together a short montage (everyone loves a montage) based on a spur of the moment idea prompted by a song that came up on iTunes (can you guess which song?). Enjoy. Or don’t. 🙂

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1243006/barack_obama_right_now/