How not to profile

In an odd bit of bureaucracy gone wrong, the person who plays the terrorist in the movie Flight 93 might not be allowed in the country for the premiere. While they have a creditable reason, he is a former member of the Iraqi armed forces, this is still funny. If there is one way to show that you are no longer anti-American, it’s to act in a movie designed to stir patriotic feelings in Americans. Anyway, while I personally wouldn’t have made the movie this soon, it seems that the movie was actually done well. I’ll give it a chance.

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The full story on Google in China

There’s been a lot of nosie on the internet about Google’s involvement in China’s censorship, intentionally not showing websites that are forbidden in China. While this is unthinkable in America, the land of politcal incorectness, the article Google’s China Problem (and China’s Google Problem), by the great Clive Thomnson, shows just how natural cencorship is to the Chinese. A must read.

Diesel Sweeties is a very good comic

Today’s Diesel Sweeties fills a deep hole in my soul by putting an old Macintosh on a big wheel. Not just that, but a pixalated old Macentosh on a big wheel. Tomorrow’s should be a calculator on a paper airplane, or an old IBM room in an F-14. This must happen.

The Day of Silence – Can you tell I feel bad about poking the participants?

Our school’s Day of Silence was today, where students support those with with less than normal gender identity, those kept silent about how they feel by social norms, by not talking for a whole day. That’s cool and all, but I think that the gay kids at my school are probably the least in need of pity. Let me explain.

The people that I’ve heard badmouth the Day of Silence, that think people shouldn’t be gay, that sex is for reproduction (or fun, but in a creepy sexist way), are truly pitiable. And totally me in middle school, but I digress. They are not beating gays up in parking lots, some even think that they gays deserve rights and all that, but they want nothing to do with them. But, as I was back then, they are severely unhappy. Problem is, they don’t know why.

If a gay person is unhappy he knows why. And he has thousands willing to mime all their communication for a day in order to confront the very thing that makes them unhappy. I’d try to confront what made middle school me unhappy, but you can’t really protest nothing. While the circumstances are different for each person, I would rather be gay than homophobic. They are just so much more normal.

Man smokes cigarette, dies instantly

Jacob Horner was hoping to spend his after-work hours relaxing in a bar in Whachiworg, Kansas on the first of April, 2006, but he tragically decided to smoke a cigarette with his beer. Doctors say the nicotine caused a rare kind of lung cancer called broncosuck carscausecoma to grow, turning his lungs into useless bags of air. He leaves behind no wife or kids, just a job at the Stewart Balloon factory.

Bar owner Ted Smith was a witness to the event: “Jacob just lit up, took a puff and fell right off his chair. Damnest thing. I started to crack up and the rest of the bar did too. When we saw that he was dead we shut up good. ‘Cept for Macy, but no one likes em.”

The cigarettes that killed Mr. Horner were purchased at a nearby Walgreens from store clerk Frank Smith. Frank was decimated by the news: “To think, I handed him the vary thing that killed him. Why didn’t he ask for a pack of Nicorette in the case just to the left of the Marlboros?”

“Jacob’s death proves every assumption that smoking is bad for you, that it’s deadlier than guns and fatty foods,” says local health teacher Jessica Horbits. A student in her class responds, “Now guns and smoking combined, that’s really deadly. Really awesome though.”

Leslie Feldman, a student at nearby Kansas-Parker College, used the incident to continue her crusade against tobacco use. She told newspapers, “This incident shows that tobacco can kill in many ways, even in ways we have yet to discover. Will we let tobacco hang around long enough to discover all the ways it can kill us?”

Despite the fact that it can cause instant death, co-worker Jessica Michaels continues her pack a day habit. She told HQN, “Days around Stewart Balloon can get pretty dull. I realised the other day that it’s probably because there are not enough ways to die around here. I don’t think of lung cancer as some shadowy menace, but just a childhood friend of mine playing tag.”

Funeral services for the deceased are to be held at Whachiworg Christ-Love Baptist Church on April 15. Most of the attendees are expected to spend the services thinking of witty ways to continue the arguments they had on the way to the funeral.

Idolspizing Malcom Gladwell

When I found this interview with Malcom Gladwell, I went through the same motions that I always go through when I read something of his. I first decide that I can’t link to it on my blog cause I don’t want to appear obsessed with the guy, some kind of loony fanatic hanging off of his every word. Then he says something like this:

It’s really risky to work hard, because then if you fail you can no longer say that you failed because you didn’t work hard […] If you get drunk the night before an exam instead of studying and you fail, then the problem is that you got drunk. If you do study and you fail, the problem is that you’re stupid — and stupid, for a student, is a death sentence. The point is that it is far more psychologically dangerous and difficult to prepare for a task than not to prepare.

Or this:

It’s almost impossible to know where the person ends and their environment begins, and the longer someone is in a particular environment the blurrier that line gets. More specifically, you can’t make definitive judgments about the personal characteristics of people who come from structured environments. What does it mean to say that a Marine is brave? It might mean that a Marine is an inherently brave person. It may also be that the culture of the Marine Corps is so powerful, and the training so intensive, and the supporting pressure of other Marines so empowering, that even a coward would behave bravely in that context.

Honestly, I think this site may as well become some kind of Gladwell shrine sooner or later. [thanks 37signals]