Linky Friday #80

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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101 Responses

  1. Glyph says:

    [E2] – I told myself that the next time I had to re-jigger my music library, I was going to just make the leap to Spotify (paid – I already use the free version sometimes) or some equivalent rather than maintaining the files on my own.

    Still, I didn’t hold to that this last time I had a computer issue (the data was all sound, but it took me a couple days to recover the library & playlists).

    I think until the tech/cost of nearly-100% signal coverage for unlimited/constant streaming is in place, I am going to be keeping an iPod (or, keeping files on my phone, assuming cheap/massive storage), which goes with me in the car, mowing the lawn, on trips, pretty much everywhere. If I have to worry about coverage dead spots or data overages, that’s a non-starter for me – like going back to a radio, except one with a taxi meter running on it.Report

    • dhex in reply to Glyph says:

      no flac, no way.

      lossless or death!Report

      • Glyph in reply to dhex says:

        You go lossless even for portable? That’s hardcore. I keep lossless “master” files at home for home use, and a selection of some of my favorite albums go onto the iPod in lossless format, but most of the stuff on my iPod is in one lossy format or another, so that I can keep 5 kabillion albums with me at all times, like a digital security blanket.Report

      • dhex in reply to dhex says:

        dude i go so lossless i don’t even listen to stuff that has dropouts for radio edits.

        also i run an android home so i can listen to flac whenever. i got 16gb of space on phone, 12 of which is music.

        at home hd space is cheap and i generally do hear the difference on most recordings, though it is incredibly minor generally. (i’m talking difference between flac and 320 mp3, not some uggo 160 nonsense)

        though i am gonna have to find a remote backup at some point somewhere, probably.Report

      • Glyph in reply to dhex says:

        i got 16gb of space on phone, 12 of which is music. – See, this right here’s the problem. I’m used to carrying about 130GB of music around with me at all times. And that’s a (mostly) lossy 130GB (though I have a playlist containing some of my favorite albums lossless). It’s a whole ton of music made portable, IOW.

        What am I going to do with just 12GB of space, particularly if the files are lossless? If I am marooned and awaiting rescue, I could run out of things to listen to in mere days, instead of the current couple months. And what if the one that I want to hear right now isn’t on there? Surely you can see how this is clearly unacceptable.

        at home hd space is cheap – Yeah, my home library has both the “master” lossless files that I listen to when at home, plus the lossy copies made from the masters for use on the iPod.

        though i am gonna have to find a remote backup Let me know what you find. Seems like by now there’d have to be something both cheap and good.Report

      • dhex in reply to dhex says:

        unless you commute by buffalo, the 60 or so albums i have on there are probably ok. i mean, it’s only two days worth of music, but still.

        i muddle through – in the highest quality.Report

  2. LeeEsq says:

    S1-All international big sporting events are wastes of resources because cities and countries keep building new stadiums for these events and the stadiums and to a lesser extent other infrastructure remain severely underused afterwards. Mainly because they aren’t needed. The best spending that comes from Olympic preparation is always transportation spending. The Beijing metro grow from a measly two line afair to an actual network of lines because of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Its still not worth it though. If we really want to have international athletic contests like the Olympics, the best plan would to give it a permanent venue like the Ancient Olympics. Basically have it in Greece every four years. I have no idea where you should put the summer Olympics but it should be in a cold and mountainous country that is unlikely to become a controversial one in international politics. Switizerland, Norway, Sweden, or Finland are probably the best choices.

    S3-Why can’t people use the fox as a mascot? Its a good looking animal and its severely underused.

    E1-The quick transformation of the TMNT from a dark action underground comic to a very kiddie cartoon in the 1980s was fast and bizarre.

    E6-Hollywood is still a very Jewish heavy industry and I’m pretty sure that many of its executives want to stay from some particular controversial genres for personal reasons if they are very lucretive. I’m not sure that many people would want an Evangelical Christian movie with heavy Jewish involvement. On the other hand, it might improve the overall artisitic quality of the movies.Report

    • Dan Miller in reply to LeeEsq says:

      If “Cougar” is offensive (it’s not), then certainly “Fox” is as well.Report

      • veronica d in reply to Dan Miller says:

        We’re going to run out of cats! (As will Apple, as each iteration of OS X gets named after a slightly less cool cat.)Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Dan Miller says:

        I’m more into the canines. Tigers are cool though.

        I should realized that fox is slang for a sexy lady but the fix is easy. The mascot would be a male fox with some very identifiable male genitilia. Problem solved.Report

      • Kim in reply to Dan Miller says:

        Tanuki with big brass balls…
        (what? it’s traditional!)Report

      • veronica d in reply to Dan Miller says:

        Yeah, I actually kinda forgot foxes were not cats. 🙂

        Anyway, yeah, these terms can be used in pretty gross, sexist ways, and it is one thing for me to jokingly call myself a “cougar” (which I guess I’m not since I don’t play for younger people), but that is very different from a school playing up the cougar stereotype. Which can be pretty gross. Likewise for the term “fox”. I think it is fine to have a fox mascot. To then also have (for example) pinup girl style posters of your mascot? Kinda questionable.

        And really we should hold the same standards for men. While I might enjoy looking at a male fox mascot with (shall we say) bold anatomy, it is probably not the message you want to send.

        So anyway, a team mascot being a cougar. Fine. Having the cheerleader squad then act out scenes from The Graduate. Not okay.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

      S3 – Foxes sounds kind of clunky, whatever the merits of the animal. It’s the same reason that no teams are referred to as the Moose despite it being a great name otherwise.Report

  3. veronica d says:

    S3 [Cougars] — When I saw this I said, “It couldn’t possibly be because…” And then it was.

    Anyway, speaking as a cougar, this is a bit silly. (And I think rather different from “Redskins.”)

    W3 [Iceland] — I wonder if they retire names? As long as I can still name my kid Bjork, I’m good.

    (And really, shouldn’t they just name everyone Bjork.)

    P2 [Broadband] — Yay technology. However, it seems the real limits are crappy local governments. (And the speed of light. But I think crappy local governments may be a more fundamental limit.)Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

      If the Icelanders name all their kids Bjork than they are going to have to refer to each other by their surnames. Considering what Scandinavian languages are like this might even be exhausting for native speakers.

      The Cougar thing is very silly. It should be rather clear that Cougar is refering the animal and a not a woman whose tastes in partners swings youthwards. Some people really need remedial language education and a sense of humor.Report

    • Pinky in reply to veronica d says:

      So, a new first name in this generation becomes a new last name in the next? I can sort of understand why they’re so fussy about it. Then again, with so few potential first and last names, I’d think there’s got to be a lot of duplication, even in such a small population.Report

      • Road Scholar in reply to Pinky says:

        The system makes genealogical research a serious pain in the ass.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to Pinky says:


        It could, all else being equal, but there are so few people in Iceland, and their record-keeping so good, that it’s actually quite easy.

        On another note, a lot of Icelanders don’t even bother with using a last name most of the time. I know an Icelandic academic here in the U.S., who says she never needed to use a last name until she came to the U.S., and then shortened the Icelandic original to make it less troublesome for life in America.

        Also, I met a friend of hers who has performed with Bjork. Which apparently is no big deal because everyone knows Bjork or knows someone who knows Bjork. It’s such a small population that I think 6 Degrees of Bjork isn’t a good parlor game there–everyone seems to be only two or three degrees separation from each other at most.Report

  4. j r says:


    From the Wikipedia plot summary for “God’s Not Dead:”

    Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), a Christian college student, enrolls in a philosophy class taught by Professor Jeffrey Radisson (Kevin Sorbo), an atheist, who demands that his students sign a declaration that “God is dead” to get a passing grade.

    And I thought that Hollywood movies can sometimes have ham-fisted, unrealistic characterizations of religious people…Report

    • Dan Miller in reply to j r says:

      God is obviously dead, and Kevin Sorbo would know–he killed him.Report

    • Pinky in reply to j r says:

      Definitely, the quality of modern religious-themed art is spotty. There’s so little of it that it’s got a guaranteed market. If Hollywood starts making a dozen religious movies a year, the worst three or four won’t make money.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Pinky says:

        My issue is that there is a level of prudence and caution that Hollywood doesn’t seem to exhibit otherwise. Especially when the initial investment is surprisingly small (these movies don’t cost a whole lot of money to make).

        This used to be the thing about rated-G children movies. Disney made one a year and made boatloads of money. When I would bring this up, people would say that it had to do with the scarcity. Except then Pixar came along, Disney started making more direct-to-video, and it turned out there really was an audience for more of it.

        My theory, which admittedly I don’t have a whole lot of proof for, is that while money is obviously a significant factor in the decision-making process, but personal preferences comes into play. There are some movies they will make if they can convince themselves that it can be successful even if predecessors haven’t been, and others they find reasons to believe probably won’t be successful even if movies like it have worked.

        Hollywood isn’t a perfect capitalist machine. People notice this sometimes – I doubt anyone would object if I linked to that article making the rounds about the success of female-lead films – and then not in other cases where they argue that Hollywood is clearly acting out of capitalist impulse and nothing to do with their personal preferences.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky says:

        Hollywood isn’t a perfect capitalist machine

        Of course it is; otherwise it would have been outcompeted by studios that are. Don’t you understand how markets work?Report

      • Pinky in reply to Pinky says:

        Will – Agreed.

        I think the children’s movies comparison is apt. The market was so thirsty that even some of the lower-grade products (like DreamWorks Animation) are able to make profits. It’s only been lately that children’s movies weren’t a sure thing. A more satiated market has the room to choose the better product. But until Pixar, you didn’t see many animated movies getting praise from Hollywood. And Hollywood seems to run on praise.

        And the interesting thing is, animated films are expensive. The movie industry is only making two kinds of movies these days, small and huge. Small movies can make domestic money, and huge movies can make domestic and international money. The mid-sized movies cost a little too much and don’t have the big potential audience. So Hollywood should be crunching out low-budget religious films the way they’ve been making low-budget horror.Report

      • greginak in reply to Pinky says:

        The movie industry is all about prudence and caution. It is just about the most cautious biz out there. Very little is made that isn’t destined to make a wads of money, either by tailoring it for international release, getting big names, regurgitating the same formulas, massive marketing and customer research.

        60 mil is chump change for a big studio. It’s been that way for decades, they want blockbusters, they want hundreds of millions. It’s not like making a religious film is going to cut into all the cash they spend offering pro-atheist/agnostic flicks.

        And Kevin Sorbo is a bit of jerk. Calling protesters in Ferguson animals and losers is just a bit out there. He has apologized, of course.

      • Pinky in reply to Pinky says:

        Greg – I agree that Hollywood is cautious. And anyone can tell you, cautious gmablers leave money on the table. It takes a Tyler Perry, or a Mel Gibson, or I guess there still hasn’t been one for Spanish-language films, to come along and walk away with the jackpot.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Pinky says:

        Hollywood producers are motivated by two things, money and prestiege. They are business people and like all business people hope to get rich off their work. The difference is that their product is a cultural product thats going to be judge a bit differently than a car, toy, or electrical appliance. Like other producers of cultural products, like publishers, Hollywood executives want to make a product that would be admired in some way. It could be for its technical sophistication, the quality of acting, the great script, or a bunch of other things but being associated with movies like To Kill a Mockingbird or another legendary movie. There seems to be a lot of real emotional satisfaction that comes from being associated with a film regarded as a classic.

        Evangelical movies promise neither. The profits to be made are chump change by Hollywood standards as people pointed out above. You can make a lot more money by making an action movie. Evangelical movies are also unlikely to deliver any prestiege. None of them are going to be remembered as classics. Summer blockbusters might not be artistic gems but you can derive prestiege from them for technical wizardry or creating a beloved franchise like Star Wars or Indiana Jones. That isn’t going to be possible with Evangelical movies.Report

      • James Pearce in reply to Pinky says:

        “60 mil is chump change for a big studio.”

        Sure, but it’s not chump change for the studio that put out “God’s Not Dead.” They made $60 (so far) off a $2 million budget. The big studios would kill for that kind of margin.

        I would expect a lot more religiously themed movies to hit the multi-plex. They’ll be more like “God’s Not Dead” than “Noah” or the upcoming Christian Bale as Moses flick. These movies will be too “churchy” to appeal to mainstream audiences, won’t make mainstream money, but they will sell out auditoriums by the congregation and be among the more profitable films of the year.

        From a business perspective, the strategy is sound. From a cultural perspective, it’s a mixed bag.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Pinky says:

        Lee, that just doesn’t jibe with the constant output of low-budget horror movies. Once Hollywood figures out how to reach a niche market, they’ll keep going back if they think they can sell $24 million in tickets for a movie with an $8 million budget. Not much money, and no prestige, but Pinhead Part 4 still got made. I bet that Baptist Outwits Scientist Part 4 could pull in $24 million.

        Now, the one thing we haven’t talked about is the ill will between the evangelical community and Hollywood. Attempts to sell things like Noah as Biblically-authentic hasn’t helped at all. Again, the big-budget world is different from the small-budget, but it’s hard to get past a lack of trust.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Pinky says:

        Noah was biblically authentic. It was just authentic from the Jewish rather than Evangelical Protestant point of view.Report

      • greginak in reply to Pinky says:

        @james-pearce No they wouldn’t kill for that profit margin. Big studios want big bux. They want merchandising including toys and games and they want big international box offices. Multi plexs are big biz also. They need seats filled all over the country and in big numbers. They will fit in smaller films around the big ones and at lesser times of the year. One superhero flick might make 500 million or more around the world not including all the other ways they make bank off of movies. That gets their attention.

        There has been a market for smaller scale religious movies. They were some left behind flix and, while not strictly religious, they have made movies of Rand books.

        BTW i’m not a fan of where the movie industry has gotten to. I prefer weirder or odder flicks. I’d rather have a dozen medium films made that might be great than one cookie cutter block buster.Report

      • James Pearce in reply to Pinky says:

        @leeesq “Noah was biblically authentic.”

        Yeah, I dunno. From the glowing snakeskin to the vegetarianism to the rock angels to the forest springing up from Methuselah’s seed to Tubal-Cain and his welding helmet, it was a significant departure from the source material.

        “No they wouldn’t kill for that profit margin. Big studios want big bux.”

        Hollywood studios wouldn’t kill for a 30 to 1 return on investment? Sure they would. Who wouldn’t?

        The studios just don’t do $2 million movies these days. They wouldn’t even know how. It’s like asking for a fresh burger on a plate at McDonalds. It’s beyond the company’s capabilities.Report

      • greginak in reply to Pinky says:

        @james-pearce I wrote poorly. They like the ratio, but will only care if the flick nets in the hundreds of millions. 60 mil just isn’t that much to the very big businesses that are modern media corps.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Pinky says:

        Once upon a time, Hollywood wasn’t above making a whole bunch of $10 million movies with the expectation that most of them would make $20 million and a couple of them would hit $50 million.

        This allowed them to throw 5 million from time to time to talented directors who wanted to do something crazy (like make a documentary or whatever).

        I can’t help but wonder that that wasn’t a better business model than spend $200 million in the hopes of making a Billion.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky says:

        So long as blockbusters hold out the promise of megaprofits, that’s what Hollywood will focus its resources on. So, for the good of all of us, stop going to the fishing things.Report

      • James Pearce in reply to Pinky says:

        @greginak “60 mil just isn’t that much to the very big businesses that are modern media corps.”

        I think I get your meaning, and I agree to a certain point. $60 million is still a lot of money, even if you’re accustomed to making billions.

        “Once upon a time, Hollywood wasn’t above making a whole bunch of $10 million movies with the expectation that most of them would make $20 million and a couple of them would hit $50 million.”

        I remember those days. The Weinstein brothers ended that a while ago, though. It took them about 10 years, but by the early aughts, the studios were getting outcompeted on the low-to-mid budget side by the indies, so the big guys mostly abandoned that sector.

        From a studio perspective, the “big budget” business model suits them just fine. They spend more money….but on surer investments.Report

  5. Saul Degraw says:

    S1: I agree with Lee but I think this is a shame because I like the Olympics and think they do produce a kind of excitement/spirit of competition through sport instead of war but I mainly like the opening ceremony/parade of nations. It is nice to hear nations that normally hate each other, cheer for each other in good will.

    S3: Same reaction as Veronica but I think this is really funny. I am guessing the kids at the middle school were really big fans of GI Joe. UCSC has a very famous mascot called Plato the Banana Slug. He was an unofficial mascot during the 1960s when the school was founded. In the 1980s, UCSC admin tried to make the official mascot the Sea Lion but the students revolted and Plato the Philosopher Slug stayed.

    E6: What Lee said about Hollywood still being very Jewish and liberal and secular. I admit that God is not Dead has a great ROI but that is not the return on investment that Hollywood is looking for. There is a theory that comic book and special effect driven spectacles are the thing right now because those are the movies most likely to earn big on the global market. Hollywood’s audience is not just America. It is every person in the world. They also tend to make money via really complicated tax schemes that turned the biggest box office hits into movies that “lose” money somehow. So movies aimed at fundamentalists are more for someone looking for a small niche and not a huge profit. Also that movie is rather piss-poor parody of liberals and academics (and probably inadvertently Jews) and that offends me. If I were a producer, I would not make that movie for those reasons. Also the idea of college as an an atheist factory is absolutely wrong:

  6. Chris says:

    E6: Judging by the selection at Redbox, Hollywood is already paying attention.

    I suspect that the popularity of these movies is at least in part contingent upon their scarcity, though.

    I watched God’s Not Dead. It’s quite bad. Increasingly it appears, to me at least, that Christian movies are analogous to Christian rock, of which the eminent rock critic Hank Hill said, “You’re not making Christianity better; you’re just making rock ‘n’ roll worse.”Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Chris says:

      I’d really like to know the theology behind Evangelical Protestant’s fear of popular culture. I can’t quite remember the part of the Bible that says “Thou Shall not listen to pop songs” but it might only be in editions where the miracle at Cana involves Welsh’s.Report

      • Chris in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Do we have any Nazarenes here? Paging the Nazarenes.Report

      • Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

        it’s the whole “you should be spending more time studying the bible and less on studying sin” philosophy. Leads to only “approved” music, no TV, and all leisure time spent in exercise outside or reading the bible.Report

      • Chris in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Kim’s not far off. It’s definitely the “everything should keep you focused on/toward God,” and “nothing that promotes sin” view. There is also, as the plot of “God’s Not Dead” shows, a sincere belief among many Evangelicals and fundamentalists that mainstream secular culture, not just popular culture but intellectual culture (and university intellectual cultural in particular) is actively anti-Christian.

        In my late teens and early 20s, I had several friends who went to small Baptist and Nazarene colleges (Trevecca, Olivet, Cedarville, etc.). We had a lot of conversations about decisions to get rid of all non-Christian music, which often involved a ceremonial disposal (one friend burned all of her CDs).Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to LeeEsq says:


        This goes to show how different growing up in the NYC-Metro and Northeast is as compared to the South or rest of the country.

        I don’t recall the NYC-Metro ever having a big Evangelist population. The largest Christian denominations seem to be Roman Catholic and various Orthodox churches. The closest thing to Evangelical were the African-American churches, Korean Presbyterian churches, and store front Latino(a) pentacoastal churches. One guy turned Madison Square Garden into a megachurch every now and then but the whole area was simply lacking in the non-denominational Evangelical culture that is being discussed here.

        The whole culture is rather strange to me.Report

      • Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

        What about the Lost Black Tribes folks (Christian, who keep to some Jewish rituals…)?? They seemed mondo creepy to me in NYC — going on about themselves being the true Jews, etc.

        [Apparently, the religion does actually include folks that Are Not Assholes, and are actually quite nice. Met a deacon here in Pittsburgh, real nice lady.]Report

      • Chris in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Yeah, it’s not just the South. Trevecca is in Nashville, but Olivet is in Kankakee, IL, Cedarville is in Cedarville, OH, and I had friends at both Calvin College and Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I hope they remembered that Mendelssohn was baptized before they burned the Italian symphony. But, sure, Rhapsody in Blue has to go.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Roman 12:2.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        James, more proof that the NT like most other sequals is inferior to the original. ;).Report

      • James Hanley in reply to LeeEsq says:



    • Will Truman in reply to Chris says:

      It looks pretty bad. I don’t have a universal hatred of Christian Rock, but I have no interest in seeing a lot of these success movies I point out. This one looks particularly bad.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

        The main problem with Evangelical movies is that the audience expects something that will fortify their faith and worldview and do not want any honest challenges or questions. Thats why the Professor Radisson is an atheist strawman rather than a genuine intellectual challenge to the faithful. Evangelicals simply can’t understand that people are either sincere unbelievers or believers in different religions. In their mind, a person just needs to be exposed to the right argument and they will accept Jesus as their savior. The anti-intellectualism common in Evangelical circles doesn’t help.

        Other Evangelical movies seem to devolve towards sentimental, inspirational paublum because of the same fear of genuine challenge.Report

      • Chris in reply to Will Truman says:

        In my experience, atheists are so poorly understood by Evangelicals that they can easily attach any fear of vice or view to them. The first time I went to my parents’ church (after they converted from Catholicism to an Acts 29 church), the sermon was on atheists. It was a surreal experience, because the minister was up there telling everyone who and what atheists are, and I’m sitting in the second row, right in front of him, thinking, “Who the hell are these atheists?”Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Will Truman says:


        OMG Yes! I love the faithful who have no concept of how an atheist/agnostic mind works. The crap they come up with, if they didn’t sincerely believe it, would be comedy gold.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:


        I need to agree with everyone else. Evangelicals seem to be unable to wrap their heads around why people find their evangelism so offensive and how the atheist/agnostic/Jewish/Buddhist/Muslim/Mainstream Protestant/Hindu/Shinto mind works.Report

      • trumwill in reply to Will Truman says:

        I think that’s true, and part of why I am uninterested in seeing evangelical movies. That’s neither here nor there, though.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Will Truman says:

        And I assure you, Southerners want to punch Kiefer Sutherland for playing the redneck racist in, well, everything he’s done. And according to Law and Order, half of all crimes in NYC involve bombings of abortion clinics. 42-minute or 89-minute productions don’t involve subtlety. You want an easy villain? Make him the head of a company and put a Bible on his desk.

        The bigger point here is that nobody consumes media he doesn’t agree with anymore.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:


        The question is if anyone ever really consumed media that they did not agree with. I am currently reading Perlstein’s The Invisible Bridge and the section I am at is discussing the initial rebellions to multi-cultural and secular textbooks in the 1970s. Apparently the Evangelicals took a footnote from a Justice Black decision that listed secular humanism as a religion and went bonkers.


        The tone of your entry on the subject made me think that you wanted Hollywood to make evangelical movies.Report

      • dhex in reply to Will Truman says:

        “The main problem with Evangelical movies is that the audience expects something that will fortify their faith and worldview and do not want any honest challenges or questions. ”

        sure, but you could easily sub in anything for evangelical and be mostly right most of the time with any population. they’re movies, not torture tests.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman says:

        I love Evenly Waugh,s books, reaction a bastard that he was.Report

      • veronica d in reply to Will Truman says:

        @saul-degraw said,

        The question is if anyone ever really consumed media that they did not agree with.

        Well I read this blog. 🙂Report

  7. Kim says:

    Yes, folks, it’s not just DARPA! Child labor is here to stay! Everyone’s doing it — using video games! /ducks.Report

  8. Kim says:

    Nothing like being allergic to titanium and zinc (someone I know, not me)… What to do about sunscreen, folks?Report

  9. Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    [S1] – IOC does have a sweet scam going on, has for years. Good to see people are waking up to it.

    [S3] – WTF?! Just when I think people can’t be any more overly-sensitive… (it’s like that joke about making things idiot proof until better idiots come along).

    [W3] – Norway has a similar list, as does Sweden (I think, maybe even Denmark & The Netherlands too?). I disagree with such lists on principle, but I do thinks kids should be able to sue their parents for lost economic opportunities because they gave them a goofy ass name.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      Several years ago a court in New Zealand held that the name parents gave their daughter amounted to child abuse. The girl actually brought the suit herself from what I understand once she turned eight or nine.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I recall something about that. Maybe James K knows more.Report

      • James K in reply to LeeEsq says:

        @mad-rocket-scientist @leeesq

        Yes that did happen (more-or-less) – here’s a link to the story.

        It was during a custody case, the Judge decided that given the parents named their daughter “Talula does the Hula from Hawaii” it was better to make the kid a Ward of the State, at least temporarily.Report

  10. Pinky says:

    S1 – The Olympics are sitting on top of the broadcast television bubble. When (not if) NBC runs out of ways to bring in revenue from its coverage, the main funding source of the games will dry up. There are too many alternate sources of information. In the past century, international sporting competitions have become sufficiently common that a quadrennial event isn’t as special. The competitors of any sport have met on the circuit a dozen times in the past year. They may be competing for a country they have no affiliation with. All these things hurt.

    And that’s on top of the fact, discussed above, that the facilities aren’t going to be a future revenue stream for the host city and country. There should be ways around that. A major American city may have modern professional baseball and football stadiums, and any major colleges nearby could have similar facilities. Washington DC might be a tight fit, but Washington / Baltimore / Georgetown / University of Maryland could probably swing an Olympics, without as much of a traffic hassle.

    Permanent locations are also a reasonable idea. There has always been talk about doing that, even before the prohibitive costs of hosting became more common knowledge. Maybe Nagano or somewhere in Australia?Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Pinky says:

      The only plausible permanent venue for the Summer Olympics is Greece. They gave us the games and Greece as a pernmanent venue has great historical and symbolic importance as a birth place of Western civilization, athelticism, and democracy. The world might be global now but I remain firm on this stance.Report

      • Pinky in reply to LeeEsq says:

        That’s funny, I didn’t even bother saying that. Of course the summer games belong in Greece. I went right to the question of where the winter games could go, and thought of locations on the opposite side of the globe from Greece, because there’s no doubt where the permanent summer games should be.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Sorry, I though you meant the Summer Games. The Winter games need to take place in country thats mountainous and has relaible snowfal even though fake snow is possible these days. It should also correspond with the Northern hemisphere winter months because thats what most winter sports players and fans are used to. I recommend Switzerland.Report

      • Pinky in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Yeah, but that’s only two countries over. Why not Japan?

        It’s interesting, there’s always talk about making the summer games permanent, but I bet that facilities for the winter games have a bigger out-year dropoff. We just notice it less because they’re a lot smaller. The winter should be fixed in one location too, and maybe that should be a higher priority.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Japan would be a good choice. It has the right climate and geography and a Northern hemisphere winter. It would also solve the awkwardness of having both permanent venues for the Olympics be in Europe.Report

      • greginak in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Europe is where there is the largest fan base for most of the winter sports are. Japan is on the far away from where the centers of all the winter sports are. Some of the winter sports are followed there but it really is isolated from where the fans are. I love many winter sports, but realistically the Winter O’s have always been a bit more of niche event then the much more broadly popular Summer O games. If you want to find the fanatical fans for Winter events most are spread across Europe.Report

      • greginak in reply to LeeEsq says:

        If the Winter O’s were to placed outside of Europe then Canada would be a much better choice. Its closer to where most of the fans are and has plenty of facilities in BC. And who can hate or argue with Canadians….they are just so….you know….. Canadian.Report

      • Pinky in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I’ve argued before that the summer and winter games should be more balanced. There’s no reason that basketball or weightlifting have to be summer sports. Anything indoors can be a winter sport.

        But anyway, I think that the games have to be located at different ends of the earth, and if summer has to be in Athens, then winter can’t be in Europe. At minimum, the winter games should be in Canada or the US for the tourist base. It might be better to put the summer games in Sydney and the winter games in Lillehammer, but I’m with Lee, that just seems wrong.Report

      • Pinky in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Oops. I didn’t update before posting. I see we’re thinking the same thing, eh?Report

      • ScarletNumbers in reply to LeeEsq says:


        Under current IOC regulations, by default all sports go into the summer games unless they meet the criterion for the winter games.

        To be included in the winter games, the sport has to be played on ice or snow.

        Of course, the IOC could always change their regulations.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Even though the fan base for winter sports is in Europe or to a lesser extent Canada and the United States, Japan has the advantage of being a definitely not white country. The European nations, Canada, and the United States are racially diverse but are still coded as white in international discourse. Putting the Winter Olympics in a country that definitely isn’t white would make things more amenable to people of color, who already perceive the Winter Olympics as a very white event.Report

      • greginak in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Lee- Why would changing the, accurate perception, that most winter sports are played by white people be such a high priority? If we were going to plonk down for a permanent spot for an Olympics is should be in a place where the events, as much as possible, are really popular, there is either existing infrastructure or that any new infrastructure will be used often.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Japan has a lot of winter sports infrastructure and we don’t want a billion check your privilege protestors at the Olympics.Report

      • Pinky in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Greg, why don’t we just not invite the non-whites?Report

      • dhex in reply to LeeEsq says:

        “Japan has a lot of winter sports infrastructure and we don’t want a billion check your privilege protestors at the Olympics.”

        this is not exactly a plausible scenario.Report

      • greginak in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Pinky- ummm i don’t know, did i say we shouldn’t. My favorite thing to do is x-c skiing. It is popular here in Anchorage and few very snowy winter places in the US. The super hotbed of x-c skiing is the Nordic countries and the places in Europe that have cold winters and mountains (germany, italy, france,etc). Lots of white people. Heck i wish x-c was far more popular here, get everybody skiing its fantastic exercise. But realistically its mostly white people who like it. Same thing with downhill skiing and most winter sports. South America has some good skiing….get them skiing…get the Chinese skiing….all fine with me.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I can already hear China complaining about the summer games. Biggest population in the world (bigger by itself than either North America or Europe). Soon to be biggest economy in the world (measured in PPP rather than nominal terms). And a permanent arrangement where live coverage of events held in the evening (Greek local time) are in the wee hours of the morning the next day in China.Report

      • Pinky in reply to LeeEsq says:

        “get them skiing”

        I hadn’t thought about it, but having the definitive Winter Olympics facility could do wonders for a region’s sports culture. I’d been thinking that a permanent Olympic village in, say, Peru would be a great tourist attraction, but it’d also bring up the interest and quality of South American winter sports overall.Report

  11. Citizen says:


    Why use drones when you can go f*ck up protestors homes with a armored front end loader.

    guess the construction equipment market got a little slow.Report

  12. dhex says:

    dear google, please make that rural internet thing better because it is awful even under the best of circumstances.Report

  13. Michael Cain says:

    P2: On the XG-Fast (10 Gbps over two copper pair for 30 meters), let’s keep the big picture in mind here. I can pretty much guarantee that the last 30 or 100 meters of the distribution plant is not the limiting factor for throughput for the 99th-percentile consumer. It’s either multiplexing of multiple users’ traffic farther up in the network, or it’s the local premises distribution. By far the most common premises arrangement these days is Wifi, operating at 100 Mbps or below, with that bandwidth shared across all the devices on the home network. RF is always tricky; depending on the path(s) between your laptop and your base station, and what your neighbors are doing on their Wifi, you may be lucky to get 20 Mbps real throughput out of a nominal 100.

    When I left the business 10 years ago, I claimed that for residential customers — always my interest — what you needed to provide was something that did a reasonable imitation of 100 Mbps full-duplex switched Ethernet from the head-end to the consumer. I claim that’s still true today. High-def video peaks at around 10 Mbps; 4k TV peaks at around 25 Mbps; bulk disk transfer might go higher than 100 Mbps [1], but how often does the consumer say, “I think I’ll copy my entire hard disk to the cloud, and sit here while it happens.”? In many cases, such a transfer will be limited by the cloud server anyway, not the network.

    [1] Sustained raw transfer rates are now well above 100 Mbps, but once you add the effects of a file system and modest file fragmentation, not that far above (head seeks are killers). RAID and SSD are a different ball game.Report

  14. NobAkimoto says:

    I thought calling “football” by the name of soccer was a purely American thing, but apparently we’re not alone (and we haven’t always called it soccer).

    Well, soccer’s an english term coming from “Association Football”, like with Rugby (Rugby Football) etc. Maybe there can be some hybrid name for American Football, like it’s called in Japanese (Ame-footo)Report