Entries Tagged as ''

environment & nature

Burning the forest to bring it back

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Tomorrow is a moderately biggish day for me.  We’re installing a forest management demonstration project on a 40 acre block here on the research station where I live and work.  We’ve got a forested stand that has a mix of oaks (Quercus spp.), hickories (Carya spp.), pines (Pinus spp.), and red maple (Acer rubrum), and our goal is to 1) divide the forest into management blocks, 2) identify and implement appropriate silvicultural practices, and 3) monitor and maintain these blocks for use as a guide during our various field days, 4-H programs, school tours, and other forms of community education.

We’re currently in the middle of step 2, and tomorrow looks like it may be the day when we implement the most entertaining silvicultural practice of them all: prescribed fire!

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books & writing

Two years after his death, William F. Buckley’s message lives on

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Rich Trzupek at Big Journalism wrote an interesting piece about William F. Buckley, who died two years ago.  

As Trzupek notes in his piece, Buckley spawned and inspired a new generation of conservative and libertarian thought.

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announcements

Bloggers wanted

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When Falls the Coliseum is looking for bloggers to post commentaries, essays, rants, satire, and reviews about current events, politics, entertainment, culture, and many other topics from a broad range of personal and political perspectives. We appreciate both serious discussion and merciless mockery. We like humor — the funny kind. If you’re interested in being a regular contributor, visit our submissions page and tour our site (see FAQ, Welcome, and History). We don’t care if you are libertarian, liberal, conservative, other, or don’t pay attention to politics. As long as you can write posts that interest readers and you want to do so regularly, we’d like to hear from you. We’re looking to increase our coverage of movies, books, TV, video games, celebrity news, pop culture, politics, current events, social issues, online oddities.

animals

Tilikum, killer whale, kills — time for America to strike back!

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I suppose you have heard of Tilikum the killer whale who killed. I’m in Africa. If I’ve heard of Tilikum, you have, too. He’s a 22-foot, 12,000-pound orca that last week killed Dawn Brancheau, a 40-year-old veteran killer whale trainer. One could look at the tragedy of such an event. In fact, I’m sure most will look at it as just that… but not me. I see it for what it really is… an act of war. That’s right. War. And what’s worse is that we have been at war since October 3, 2003. What happened on that date?

On October 3, 2003, Montecore (a 380-pound tiger) attacked Roy of Siegfried and Roy, the gay tiger trainers and performers. Roy was not killed but was severely injured. And what happened to Montecore? Nothing. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentpolitics & government

Lost and found in the quagmire of political ambiguity

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In a Christmas-time post here at WFTC, I alluded to hyper-partisan people not having much tolerance for ambiguity. My theory is that these dullards can’t entertain — even in a brief, hypothetical sense — thoughts that stray from their specific cluster of swarm “intelligence.”
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moviespolitics & government

Avatar: The definitive interpretation

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So, James Cameron went on The View and finally revealed that Avatar was intended as a thinly-veiled vehicle for anti-corporate and environmentalist propaganda, confirming the suspicions of Republicans, mercenaries, and unobtainium miners everywhere. The funny thing is, even though he obviously wanted to send a very specific message, what the movie ends up meaning depends on one’s point of view. You might call it a reflecting pool, or a Rorschach inkblot test, in which everyone sees the confirmation of his or her political ideology in the story. Environmentalists might see it as glorifying the beauty and sanctity of nature and condemning man’s destructive and myopic exploitation of it. Socialists might revel in its message that living without money or trade is a more fulfilling and humane existence and that profit breeds violence and coercion. Doves might see it as challenging the military mindset and imperialist impulses of American culture. [Read more →]

environment & nature

Snow days: Not as much fun for adults

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Weren’t snow days wonderful when you were a kid? I can’t remember a sound from my childhood more beautiful than a phone ringing at 5:00am and the subsequent disappointment in my mother’s voice as she grumbled to my dad those seven magical words: “The kids are home today. This blows.” I hate to say it but now that I’m 30, snow days kinda suck. [Read more →]

politics & government

The United States of America is having an argument with itself

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On the surface, the debate is about economics. Deficit spending, health care entitlements, and taxes all get top billing in newspapers and on television. However, many Americans understand there is more at stake than policy tweaks and social initiatives. They know the real issue is power.

The debate is not unlike the one that took place in the decade or so before 1776. As happened then, two camps are coalescing around broad concepts. On one side are the Royalists, those who believe government has the answers and therefore deserves the authority necessary to implement them. On the other side are the Rebels, who prefer to work out their own solutions and live with the consequences. [Read more →]

art & entertainment

Pearls from a porn star

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Recently I interviewed a porn star. Not just any porn star, but a former Dirtiest Girl in Porn (honors get no higher). Taryn Thomas put out a XXX version of Jersey Shore — yes, this is decidedly NSFW — and in commemoration of this cultural watershed it seemed fitting to do a profile for Esquire.com. I found her perfectly charming; we’re both Jersey natives and Jersey folk have a natural bond. Due to space limits and what not, much of the copy didn’t fit and rather than losing Taryn’s comments I decided to preserve them here. I considered providing context, but these can more than stand on their own. With no further ado, random musings from a porn star:

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books & writing

The mean streets tour: keeping Raymond Chandler’s LA alive

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I wish I were in Los Angeles. For if I were, I would surely take the Raymond Chandler tour I just read about .

I’m sure LA has changed much from Raymond Chandler’s day, as I’m sure the city has also changed from my frequent visits there in the early 1970s, but a clever tour guide is trying to preserve Chandler’s LA attmosphere (and make a buck at the same time).

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sports

Football season is over and I am happy

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Why am I happy? How could a red blooded American man be happy about that? Football is over! No more Sundays of beer, barbecued food, tailgates blaring rap music from the early 90’s, and occasional post game trips to gentlemen’s clubs.  Well, that’s the stuff I am going to miss.  

The reason for my happiness of football season ending is for one reason and one reason only- Howie Long.  Every Sunday from August to February, I had to see him on television, and it nearly drove me insane. But please allow me to explain my deep rooted contempt for Mr. Long.    

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environment & naturefamily & parenting

Going parental: “Snow Hurricane” — because the scarier it sounds, the more you’ll Google it and watch the news

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Is it me, or were snow days way more fun when we were kids? Now? Not so much.

I remember being a kid, growing up in Rockland County, NY — ya know, the place that gets all the snow the city hears about. We averaged 6 inches every time it snowed, at least — and that was nothing. I remember waking up at 6 in the morning on snow days — earlier than I ever  woke up, including these days — just to turn on RKO radio — the AM station every kid gathered around the radio to listen to, fingers crossed, praying to hear their school’s name called out during the list of cancellations. Man, those were the days. Nothing beat a snow day… as a kid. As a parent? Fuck. That. Shit. [Read more →]

family & parentinghealth & medical

Woman Tweets her abortion procedure

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The headline from Salon.com reads “Tweeting an abortion: A blogger takes to Twitter and YouTube as she terminates her pregnancy, and women should thank her.”

Now, I’ll be honest.  When I saw that, I had a mental image similar to that of the piece’s author (Tracey Clark-Flory), that of a woman laying there on the rock slab as they fired up the Dust-Buster and started vacuuming out her fallopian tubes.  But it’s not quite “all that and a bag of chips.”

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religion & philosophytelevision

Lost in myth: How “The Lighthouse” can enlighten us

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You’ve probably noticed that in every flash-sideways so far on Lost this season, the central character of the episode has been shown looking into a mirror. Kate looks at herself in the auto body restroom after discovering that Claire was pregnant, Locke in his own bathroom just before attempting to call Jack, and Jack looks at himself both in the airplane while noticing the strange mark on his neck, and again in “The Lighthouse” when noticing an appendix scar that he doesn’t seem to remember. The easy metaphor of course, is that we are looking at secondary versions of these characters through the looking glass. But what’s the deeper meaning for us? [Read more →]

Fred's dreams

Gail

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January 17, 2010
I dream I am Dr. House and Gail is Dr. Cuddy. I am looking after Cuddy/Gail’s health hotel, and I receive a psychic message that the showers are to be taken over by evil spirits. I tape down the sides of the shower curtains. Suddenly, blood and guts start to spray from the nozzles, filling up the showers. I exorcise the demons and all goes back to normal.

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books & writing

Just Fantastic: Pretty Penny Arcade

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Over the last decade Penny Arcade has been providing social commentary to a niche market over the Internet. I’ve been a fan since I was introduced to the comic in 2001. Their main focuses are video games and the surrounding culture, a truly vast and encompassing topic when you consider how little the Associated Press actually covers related issues other than addiction and violence. Gabe and Tycho, the artist’s and writer’s pen-names, are still making me and many other people laugh while making some good points.
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health & medicalpolitics & government

Government access to sex now!

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Sex is essential. People who have regular sex live longer than those who do not. These people also tend to be healthier and happier. Given the importance of sex in the lives of Americans, you would think that our government would do all it could to ensure that everyone had equal access to sexual services. Tragically, this is not the case.

In fact, our government has stood by while sexual services have been controlled by sex industry workers who seem far more interested in turning profits than turning tricks.

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Gail sees a moviemovies

Gail sees a movie: The Wolfman

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“The beast will have its day,” warns Sir John Talbot (Anthony Hopkins) in The Wolfman.  Unfortunately, it is not a very interesting day, nor is it an improvement over the day the beast had back in 1941, when the original The Wolf Man, was released.  A remake of this story could have been original and exciting, but The Wolfman is neither. [Read more →]

politics & government

Democrat in trouble for not engaging in socialist activity

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U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra is in trouble for not engaging in a socialist activity: saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  It’s a case of “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

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his & hers

Cookies vs. cake — the single girl’s debate

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A girlfriend of mine told me tonight that she is looking for a prince. Cliché as it sounds, she has maybe settled and compromised too much in the recent past. So, I can see why she would go there. I do not want any such thing. No thanks. Do those guys even know how to do their own laundry? Doubtful. I want a best friend, who will take care of me when I’m not quite up to the task, with whom I can have lots of sexy time.

My girlfriends and I have recently divided the men in our lives into two categories. Cookies and cake. [Read more →]

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