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Ridge Racer Type 4 for the PlayStation

It's not news that the fifth generation of consoles left a legacy of some truly ugly games. Something like the first iteration of Tomb Raider on the PlayStation or Sega Saturn looks rank by today's standards. Back then it was very well-received and appreciated as a technical achievement, but no one ever thought the game was pretty. Show More Summary

The Decay of the White Savior

Snowpiercer Let's talk about white saviors, emotions, and endings. Daniel José Older has an interesting take on Snowpiercer, particularly its ending, likening it to Children of Men: Children of Men But both Children of Men and Snowpiercer come crashing down to almost identical final moments. Show More Summary

The First Synthetic Leaf

The "first man-made biological leaf" could enable humans to colonise space from Dezeen on Vimeo. hmm. I wonder how the chloroplasts can be sustained outside the plant cell...

I like this hypothesis

last monthAcademics : Pharyngula

But we have to be clear that it is only a hypothesis at this point. I was reading about domestication syndrome (DS) — selecting animals for domestication has a whole collection of secondary traits that come along for the ride, in addition to tameness. We are selecting for animals that tolerate the presence of humans,…

The Seductive Sophistry of Alan Watts

Here. (An entertaining video clip, not too long, that sums up his main doctrine.) Alan Watts was a significant contributor to the Zeitgeist of the 1960s. Just as many in those days were 'turned on' to philosophy by Ayn Rand,...

Escape from the July 20 Haboob in Western Nevada

At 3:37 pm, July 20th, my phone made a strange and loud noise in my pocket, and I took it out to find the first of two emergency alerts that I would receive from the National Weather Service. The first NWS alert, for the Lovelock area, is on the bottom. Show More Summary

5 Practices for Calming Racing Thoughts

Racing thoughts may be a daily reality for you or an occasional annoyance. Racing thoughts are common for people with anxiety when they’re facing a stressor. They’re also common in bipolar disorder, ADHD and other medical conditions, according to Marla Deibler, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders. For instance, anxious thoughts may […]

Why do dogs smell each other's behinds? Chemical communication explained (video)

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 — Here at Reactions, we ask the tough questions to get to the bottom of the biggest scientific quandaries. In that spirit, this week's video explains why dogs sniff each other's butts. It's a somewhat silly question with a surprisingly complex answer. Show More Summary

Would Your Life Be Better if You Owned More Things?

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. ~ Oprah Winfrey Materialists are those who have a central life focus on acquiring more things. They often relate their happiness directly to their possessions while declaring these goods as […]

Nick Griffin on Question Time

Not that it really matters any more, but the BNP deposed Nazi Nick this week and replaced him with an idiot who goes round in an army uniform "in solidarity" with British troops. As Griffin bows out of the limelight to spend more time with his money worries, here's the seminal Question Time moment of 'peak BNP' from 2009. You can watch the rest here, here, here, here, and here.

Fifty Shades of Grey

The trailer for the much anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation touched down today. Looks stylish. Due for release on Valentine's Day next year, it's getting billed as a "romantic drama". That's like describing Ron Jeremy as "an actor". Show More Summary

Archaeology, Punk and Drunk

Yesterday was a big day for various alternative archaeologies (for lack of a better term). Andrew Reinhard premiered his Drunk Archaeology podcast and Josh Wheeler’s story appeared on Harpers webpage on the punk archaeologist involvement in the Atari excavation this spring. Andrew Reinhard was the inspiration and organizational force behind both of these things, and […]

A Needlessly Confrontational Trade Policy Pitch

K. William Watson Thanks to an ad campaign by a U.S. agriculture group, Washington, DC, commuters—especially those who work on Capitol Hill—have been learning about Japan and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The agribusiness lobby group...Show More Summary

Expertise and Audiophiles

Over the last few months, Scot Hull over at Parttime Audiophile has been putting together some very thoughtful posts on what it means to be an expert in the audiophile community. These posts were nominally in response to rather defeatist (or perhaps nihilistic) essay by Roger Skoff. Skoff basically argues that there is no such […]

Choosing life in the face of death

A transcript of my remarks at Congregation Torat Emet in Bexley, Ohio, on July 17. 2014. I never wanted to be known for having a fatal disease. But you don’t get to choose your reputation any more than you get to choose your fate. Several...Show More Summary

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