First Razor Blades, Now Cannabis?

Oct 22 2014 @ 5:14pm

Ahead of Halloween, the Denver police department are warning parents about pot-infused edibles:

Jacob Sullum is unconcerned:

For years law enforcement officials have been warning parents to be on the lookout for marijuana edibles in their kids’ trick-or-treat sacks. And for years, as far as I can tell, there has not been a single documented case in which someone has tried to get kids high by doling out THC-tainted treats disguised as ordinary candy. Since 1996, the year that California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use, the newspapers and wire services covered by the Nexis database have not carried any reports of such trickery, although they have carried more than a few articles in which people worry about the possibility. …

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Quote For The Day II

Oct 22 2014 @ 4:44pm

“I get that for many of you, life on Twitter has become more important than life out here in the big grimy. And on a certain level, I get it. But sometimes you’ve really gotta close that laptop, do you feel me? It’s a big brilliant world out here, and Twitter is really small in many ways. The thing about Twitter is that you get to turn it off and go outside. And once you do you can go around and look at all the messy humans out there and say to yourself “look at that guy! He doesn’t know I exist!” and “that lady has no idea what #gamergate is” and “that person couldn’t pick Suey Park out of a lineup.” Then you can go to a bar or make a friend or eat Funyuns or do any number of things that are more intense and interesting than everything that has ever happened in the history of the internet combined. And that’s a good feel,” – Freddie DeBoer.

Some terrifying footage of the shooting at Canada’s Parliament today:

Tim Mak adds:

It was the second attack inside Canada this week. The shootings come just two days after a 25-year-old man described by police as a “radicalized” Muslim drove his car into two Canadian soldiers in a city outside of Montreal, killing one and seriously injuring the other. Martin Couture-Rouleau, the suspect in that incident, was arrested in July while trying to travel to Turkey. Following his rampage, Courture-Rouleau was shot and killed.

Mental Health Break

Oct 22 2014 @ 4:20pm

A Hollywood horror musical:

In Defense Of Clichés

Oct 22 2014 @ 4:00pm

Orin Hargraves insists they “form an extremely useful and functional part of every natural language”:

When you use a cliche there is little chance of being misunderstood, and at the same time you have made a declaration of unity with your audience, invoking an instantly recognised commonplace that puts you “on the same page” (if I may) with them. Cliches in speech are more acceptable than cliches in writing. Still, listeners and readers absorb cliche like diners absorb comfort food. Only when there is a glut of such fodder do we feel that creativity has failed. Most of us have something to say, most of the time, and most of the time it is not something that calls for startling creativity. Cliches provide a stock of dependable formulas for conveying the ordinary, which is often the central subject of our discourse.

Ryan Cooper had more on the subject earlier this year:

[I]t’s quite easy to convey a crystal-clear thought even if the prose is riddled with clichés. For example: “Upon deeper reflection, House Republicans’ last-ditch effort to repeal ObamaCare was motivated by naked partisanship. The connection to the policy itself was tenuous at best.”

It’s also possible to have excellent, original writing conveying ideas that are completely bananas. As Matt Yglesias said about Notes from Underground: “Dostoevsky is also an illustration of the power of great writing to convey radically unsound or even totally nonsensical ideas.” The same could be said of Nietzsche, for example, and many others.


A self-identified nerd writes:

I think what a lot of the commentary on GamerGate misses is that Nerd culture is by nature an exclusionary thing, and all claims of Nerdom being mainstream are a contradiction in terms. To be a nerd is not simply about liking something, even to the point of being socially awkward. Being a nerd is about being so emotionally and intellectually invested in something that you develop a completely unearned sense of entitlement surrounding that thing, as if the people in charge of it owe you something for how hard you like it. It isn’t a positive lifestyle or something to be proud of; it’s an imbalance of personality that we embrace in ourselves only because we have no other way to be.

We are nerds because they wouldn’t let us not be, so we created our own spheres and our own languages and pop culture canon, and because we’re smarter than the idiots who wouldn’t let us in, eventually our sphere appealed to them.

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The Mafia’s Benefits Package

Oct 22 2014 @ 3:20pm

Roberto Saviano believes that it’s a large part of its allure:

[E]ach clan offers its own form of insurance. If you have a disabled child, your base salary rises. If (or when) you are killed, your family receives money for your funeral and a “death allowance.” When a member of a powerful clan is killed, the family can decide to receive a lump sum of $130,000 to $260,000 or a monthly stipend, which is paid to the dead man’s widow, mother, or girlfriend (provided she is the mother of his children). There are also prison allowances. ……

The number one thing criminal organizations like the Mafia offer their members is security. If you do well, you’re rewarded. If you make a mistake, you die or go to prison for a long time. But even then, someone will take care of your family, and someone will pay for your lawyers. That sort of deal is fairly rare in this day and age—how many workers are guaranteed to get money if they’re injured on the job? How many people labor honestly for decades in the same job without getting a decent raise? This is the true power, and appeal, of the Mafia.

The View From Your Window

Oct 22 2014 @ 3:00pm

Saint Paul-MN-224pm

St. Paul, Minnesota, 2.24 pm

Michael Sam Gets Cut, Again

Oct 22 2014 @ 2:43pm

Kevin O’Keefe sympathizes with Sam and his fans:

Sam has been the victim of several close calls all season long. He was a seventh-round draft pick for the Rams, and as a defensive end, he had to fight for a permanent spot on the team against several others in that same position. He eventually lost out, didn’t get picked up on waivers, and was picked up for the Cowboys’ practice squad shortly after.

Now, Sam has been cut to make way for linebacker Troy Davis on the practice squad. That may make perfect sense for the team. That doesn’t mean that people who had emotionally invested in Sam because of what he stood for aren’t entitled to disappointment—no matter what people who understand the decision logically might say. In other words: Calling the Cowboys’ or the Rams’ decision to cut Sam homophobic might be an overreach. But it’s an understandable overreach.

Jim Buzinski suspects that other gay athletes will now be even more reluctant to come out:

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Arming The Enemy

Oct 22 2014 @ 2:21pm

An ISIS video released yesterday shows that one of the 28 bundles of arms the US airdropped to Kurdish fighters in Kobani early Monday fell into the militants’ hands:

Video footage released by Isis shows what appears to be one of its fighters for in desert scrubland with a stack of boxes attached to a parachute. The boxes are opened to show an array of weapons, some rusty, some new. A canister is broken out to reveal a hand grenade. … The seemingly bungled airdrop comes against a steady stream of US-supplied weapons being lost to Isis forces, mainly from the dysfunctional Iraqi army. Isis is reported to have stolen seven American M1 Abrams tanks from three Iraqi army bases in Anbar province last week.

Today, the Pentagon confirmed the story but downplayed its importance, saying that the accidental delivery would not give ISIS an advantage. Either way, the revelation prompted digs at the US from Moscow and Ankara, with Erdogan saying it proved that the airdrop operation had been a mistake. And weapons aren’t the only thing the US is unintentionally delivering to ISIS.

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