Entries Tagged as ''

gameshis & hers

The tragedy of FarmVille addiction

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We need to come together to face a plague of addiction more tragic than any in recent memory. It’s even worse than drug addiction; even worse than nicotine addiction; even worse than food addiction; even worse than gambling addiction; even worse than shopping addiction; even worse than sex addiction; even worse than Jane’s Addiction.

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diatribespolitics & government

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D): Makin’ it rain

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I usually try to stay away from populism.  Having lived around cows for much of my life, I know, vividly, exactly what herd behavior is, and how much we don’t want it in human society.  But the Speaker of the House, Ms. Nancy Pelosi (D), has earned a good dose of populist rage, and I think we should give it to her.

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religion & philosophysports

Answering calls

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Saturday mornings this time of year find me working the floor of the gymnasium at our church in Midland, offering halftime devotionals during Upward Basketball games. I was inspired to prepare this week’s devotional by headlines in the sporting news about a young man, a minor league baseball player who was doing so well, that most figured it would be just a matter of time till he was called-up to play in the majors. Well, he answered a call, alright … but it was not the call that many expected. [Read more →]

animals

The kitten killers and how a dog guy came to adopt a feral kitten

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While searching the Internet in hope of learning more about cats, I came across a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer from October about the death of Cuddles, a six-week-old kitten who was stoned and scorched.

The tortured kitten was rescued by an animal-control officer, who named him Cuddles, after the poor, injured animal climbed up his shirt and cuddled against his neck.

I recall that a 19-year-old knucklehead was later arrested for animal cruelty. [Read more →]

health & medicalpolitics & government

This is the bet

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You are an elected Democrat. You have voted for Obamacare and you may be asked to do so again. In any case, the two of you are now married. But Left and Right agree, she is on life support. Sentiment aside, do you want her to live or do you pull the plug? [Read more →]

art & entertainment

Understanding studios

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I haven’t seen When in Rome, but I am disgusted by the flack it’s taking for its promotional campaign. Rome has been critiqued for ads that read, “From the studio that brought you The Proposal.” This is unusual because the plug doesn’t involve any people specifically working on the film, and as a result is the equivalent of saying, “There’s no one of particular note involved with our movie…but we know people who did something you might have enjoyed.” This attack strikes me as hopelessly ignorant, for every film studio has a very distinct style, once a filmgoer learns to recognize it. [Read more →]

politics & government

The modern-day John Doers

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Next week, the first so-called “Tea Party Convention” convenes in Nashville. It bears an eerie similarity to a convention held long ago on celluloid.

In Meet John Doe — Frank Capra’s lesser known Christmas movie — Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper stage what they believe will be a harmless ruse to generate newspaper sales: Cooper pretends to be John Doe, who — disgusted with the level of inhumanity in Depression-era America — will jump off a building on Christmas Eve in protest. [Read more →]

politics & governmentterror & war

Senate approves more sanctions against Iran

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Today the US Senate passed a bill which will impose economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran. The plan is to “target companies that export gasoline to Iran or help expand the country’s oil-refining capacity by, in part, denying them loans and other assistance from U.S. financial institutions.”

I argued in a post I wrote last year for my blog that this is collective punishment, and is therefore immoral and shouldn’t be done. Despite our leaders’ hearts constantly weeping for the Iranian populace — “‘The situation in Iran is terrible and it’s worsening. People are dying in Iran as we speak,’ said Senator John McCain just before the Senate [sanctions] vote” — sanctions lower the standard of living for all Iranian civilians. [Read more →]

art & entertainmenton the law

Inmates dance to Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us”

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300 of these Filipino inmates are awaiting trial for murder and the others have been incarcerated for three years or less. Sure… why not make them famous. I understand that this formalized recreation has improved conditions in the prison ten-fold, but I am not sure I like the fame attached to it all. Still… the video is kind of amazing.

See more videos (oh, and there are a lot more videos) and explanations about how this all started on Byron Garcia’s You Tube channel.

Via PopEater

television

The fast and the curious

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I’ve always been a fan of British television programs that have made the jump ‘cross the pond to the United States. Among those currently at the top of my list is Top Gear, an imaginative and finely-crafted celebration of car and driver that is at times pointed and passionate … and sometimes downright hilarious. [Read more →]

moneypolitics & government

Realities in conflict

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Ben Bernanke is the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank and as such has great influence over what you pay in interest in any financed transaction since he is basically the steward of the currency. He was a Bush appointment, a leading figure in the bank bailout scheme known as TARP and has been enthusiastically embraced by the Obama Administration and they want him re-appointed to another term. Why? Well haven’t you heard? Ben Bernanke saved the universe last fall. [Read more →]

television

Haiti, Heidi, Heidi, Haiti

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I was about to write the words, “Nothing shocks me on television anymore” when I realized that if that was true I wouldn’t be writing this. I get annoyed, mostly, by network television, but it’s been a long time since my breath was taken away. I’ve accepted without protest the most recent public spectacle of NBC’s regard for the reputations of Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien, two richly rewarded good guys in a sea of counterfeit crap peddlers, who were forced to cannibalize each other publicly in the aftermath of a panicky decision following a corporate blunder. This doesn’t shock me. But I try to imagine Johnny Carson in a similar position.

This is what network television in the year 2010 does to its mega-mega-million dollar stars. But that’s the business of television. The programming is worse. [Read more →]

family & parentinggoing parental

Going Parental: Mom forces son to kill hamster — seriously

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What? That’s not normal? Apparently, to Lynn Middlebrooks Geter, it is. She forced her son to kill his hamster as punishment for receiving poor grades in school. What happened to time outs? Or no Play Station for a week? Kill your hamster? Really? I wonder at what point Lynn’s head imploded and she thought to herself, “I know. I’ll make the little bastard kill his hamster with a hammer. That’ll teach him to fail social studies!” [Read more →]

family & parentingmovies

Lick the pole!

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No, I didn’t title this post with the intention of drawing in thousands of innocent readers who typed “lick the pole” into their favorite search engine, but who meant “pole” metaphorically. My apologies. I’m talking about an actual pole. A tall, thin, metal, cylindrical pole planted in the ground. In this case, with a stop sign at the top.

Some kids must have recently seen A Christmas Story, because at my son’s bus stop this morning a boy called out to him, “Lick the pole!” [Read more →]

politics & governmenttrusted media & news

Yeah, right

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Five quotes stood out for me this week. Five public statements to which the only reasonable response could be, “Yeah, right.”

5. “I wish I’d been a better friend,” Casey Anthony. I guess being a “better human” is just a little too much to ask.

4. “You already give to Haitian relief — it’s called the income tax,” Rush Limbaugh. See number 5. [Read more →]

art & entertainmenthis & hers

Promiscuity-only sex education

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There is nothing sadder than a teenager succumbing to external pressures to conform. I mean that literally, and taking into account everything that has ever happened in the history of recorded time. Teens who give in to pressure are the saddest things in the world.

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technology

The iPad: Revolutionary or just another waste of money?

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I’m about as far from an electronic gadget junkie as you can get. I own a barely-used cell phone and a laptop that never works fast enough. I bought a Kindle, but that was only after Oprah told me that it was her most favorite thing in the world. (And Oprah would never lead me astray.) It was only recently that I learned what “apps” are. I don’t text, and I definitely don’t sext. And what is Wi-Fi anyway? I don’t know. I employ a husband to figure out these technical details. So it’s pretty surprising, then, that I watched the dog and pony show for the new iPad, Apple’s latest must-have item. [Read more →]

technology

It is magical!

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I’m a member of the Mac-Cult. I went with a MacBook Pro over a Dell last year to avoid Vista and have never looked back. When my phone plan was up I switched to the iPhone. I’ve considered getting an Apple tattooed on my person in a private but alluring area. Today is a great day, for the High Priest has shown us a sign, a sign so magical I want to lick it. Behold the iPad! [Read more →]

Fred's dreams

Magic Shop

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February 9, 2009
I dream I am with my father in a magic shop that is about the size of a Home Depot. In the middle of the room there is a performance area in which my Uncle Phil is doing the linking ring trick. As much as I like my Uncle Phil, I am distracted by an aisle filled with salt shakers and gimmicks. I search for the right shaker and gimmick, but I can’t find exactly what I am looking for. Later on, I am in another aisle of little magic boxes with brass fittings. Richard Kaufman, editor of Genii Magazine, is there to go over some obscure issues.

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books & writing

Just Fantastic: Close to Home

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I don’t read newspapers. It’s not personal. I started reading on a computer when I was really young and never looked back. Consequently certain features never make it through my front door, specifically comic strips. So, when John McPherson’s Close to Home made its big debut in my hometown paper, which I assume it did at some point in the late 1990s, I was completely unaware. But January 2010, when I was sifting through the calendars in the 50% off bin at Barnes and Noble, I found a Close to Home calendar and bought it. My other option was a girl’s college survival guide. And I don’t need any beauty tips. [Read more →]

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