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politics & government

Behind the Smoke of the Marijuana Legalization Debate

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This coming election day, with the proposition on the ballot to legalize the small-scale growth, distribution, and possession of marijuana, we in the golden state have the chance to repeal an outdated law that has done too much harm for too long. Unfortunately, the current debate surrounding the prospect of legalization obscures the simple heart of the issue at stake.

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creative writinghealth & medical

Mostly unsuccessful shopping list for M&Ms Store: Times Square, NY

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1) Bread

2) Milk

3) Eggs [Read more →]

Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: Is Kris Kristofferson Satan? Signs point to “yes”

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Please excuse the negligence this week. Daddy has a full plate and scant time to write a proper “Audio Files” column.  He does have one special item for you though, and it involves country music legend Kris Kristofferson.

It is said that KK moonlights as a Vatican-Based Project Monarch Slave Runner. Project Monarch, you might recall, is the bastard love-child of Projects MKULTRA and ARTICHOKE.  Somewhere in its rich, nougaty center lies Kris Kristofferson.

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ends & odd

Welcome to Philadelphia

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Can a single picture tell the story of an entire city? I don’t know. But if it could, this shot, of one of the new parking kiosks that have replaced parking meters in the University City section of Philadelphia, would be a good candidate. Gives you that warm, welcoming feeling, doesn’t it?

We don't want you here

Mr. Sean goes to Washington

Suicide Girls as metaphor for the Tea Party

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I recently had a family member pass and that night, when I was on edge but exhausted, I started flipping channels. I soon realized I couldn’t concentrate at all (even usual insomnia standby Sportscenter seemed confusing), so I was grateful to stumble upon a channel with naked women, as this was a concept my mind could wrap itself around. As it happened, it was a program called The Suicide Girls: Guide to Living. Having seen it, the world makes a bit more sense. [Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

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Back in the late 1700’s-early 1800’s, Japan was closed to the world around them.  It was illegal for a Japanese citizen to leave Japan.  It was illegal for foreign citizens to enter Japan, except under the most strictly monitored conditions.  But countries around the world understood that Japan would be a lucrative market and trading partner, if only they could break through those barriers.  The Dutch East Indies Company (the VOC in Dutch) maintained a trading post in Deijma and fought hard to keep lines of communication open with Japan — and to keep their greedy European enemies away.  In The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, a young Dutch clerk hopes to make his fortune — and return home to marry his beloved Anna — but his scruples get in the way.  It is a lovely, poetic book full of tragedy and hardship and great honor. [Read more →]

Broadway Fred

Broadway Fred: Doug

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In 1975, on the most magical day of my fourteenth year, my father took me to New York. First, we went to Tannen’s, the largest magic shop on the east coast, where I got the birthday present of a hippie puppet with long yellow hair and flowered clothing. After a turkey sandwich at Howard Johnson’s, we went to the Cort Theater and saw a matinee performance of The Magic Show, a musical comedy starring the amazing Doug Henning.

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art & entertainmentbooks & writing

Future Library of America volumes

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According to their website,

The Library of America was founded in 1979 to undertake a historic endeavor: to help preserve the nation’s cultural heritage by publishing America’s best and most significant writing in durable and authoritative editions.

To that end, they have been publishing volumes featuring the works of people like John Steinbeck, Dashiell Hammett, Herman Melville, Robert Frost, William Faulkner, etc. But what about future editions?

100 years from now, what will the Library of America deem to be worth preserving?

I’m pretty sure I know.

Here is a look at the covers of some future Library of America editions:

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Gail sees a movie

Gail sees a movie: It’s Kind of a Funny Story

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It is hard to believe a film about teenage suicidal depression would have the word “funny” in its title. But It’s Kind of a Funny Story is light and somewhat funny. It is rather forgettable, but it is also enjoyable.

Craig (Keir Gilchrist) seems to have a nice enough life. His parents love him, even if Mom (an underused Lauren Graham) seems a little clueless and Dad (Jim Gaffigan) pushes him to excel in school. Craig has a crush on his best friend’s girl and his prestigious New York public school is very competitive, but is that really why he is depressed? A neurotic and medicated teenager is not always cause for alarm, but when Craig stops taking his medication, he feels suicidal. [Read more →]

artistic unknowns by Chris Matarazzolanguage & grammar

If it ain’t art, don’t call it art

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Here are some things that are not art forms: pitching, cooking, teaching, engineering, fishing, farming, parenting, managing, coaching, conversation, seduction, karate, carpentry, nursing, disk-jockeying, editing, belching, annoying people, grooming dogs, bar-tending, Scrabble, boxing, cobbling and surgery. Have I offended anyone? If so, why?  [Read more →]

creative writing

Flash Gordon as told to Dale Arden: Ch II A Great Opportunity

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“You speak English.”

“Yes, do you?”

Sarcasm is unreassuring generally and from a chrome-masked grim reaper type figure that has woken you from a coma to ask after your health, especially so. [Read more →]

technology

I respond to loyal spammers

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When Falls the Coliseum is fortunate to have a loyal following of spammers, who try to make thoughtful and relevant comments on our posts. Sadly, such comments are usually filtered by anti-spam software. This is unfair to the dedicated spammers who clearly value our site and read it regularly, so I am responding to a few of today’s comments: [Read more →]

travel & foreign lands

Marty digs: Baltimore!

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I am digging Baltimore. In fact, I’ve dug Baltimore since my dad took us on a (not so very extravagant but very memorable) family vacation there in November of 1984. That began a lifelong love affair between me and the town known as Charm City. The streets are dusted with Old Bay Seasoning and crabs roam carefree in the streets. (From both the prostitutes and the Chesapeake Bay.) I went to college in Maryland, so the love increased tenfold after all the great times I had during those years.    

I love the Inner Harbor, I love the neighborhoods, and I love the bars and restaurants. But I love the people the most. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Officials give Steelers a gift win

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Is it just me, or is sports officiating just getting worse? I am pretty sure I have not watched a game this year, regardless of sport, that did not include at least one atrociously bad call. Sure, it’s easy for fans to complain about referees. I will admit that I have yelled and screamed about bad calls that probably weren’t actually bad calls. In the heat of the game, bias is hard to avoid. Sometimes, though, a call is so bad and so obvious that everyone seems to know it except the official making the call. On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers won a game against the Miami Dolphins on a call so bad that the officials themselves did not seem to understand what they were calling. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten X-rated Halloween movies

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10. Night of the Living Bed

9. The Invisible Pants

8. Close Encounters of the Kinky Kind

7. The Sexth Sense

6. The Martians Are Cumming! The Martians Are Cumming!

5. Last Whorehouse on the Left

4. Hello, Weenie!

3. The ‘O’ Man

2. The Bare Bitch Project

1. The Triple-Ex-orcist
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

race & culturetechnology

A junior-Army of global Davids

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I like to think about media effects and generally find those effects to be more positive than negative. Case in point: Today’s college students “… are as likely to say that they are citizens of the planet Earth as they are to say they are citizens of the United States,” according to Zogby International president and CEO, John Zogby, in this Chronicle of Higher Education piece. He says that the current generation of college students is the most globally aware group of students in history, referring to them as “America’s first global citizens.”

Why is this a “media effect?” Because it’s largely attributable, I think, to the rise of social media and the World Wide Web. I think it suggests that the current generation of 18-30 year-olds – having spent a great deal of time during their formative years navigating an environment, albeit virtual, that is borderless, anarchic, and free of national, racial, or ethnic requirements for membership has developed its own culture — one not suffering the xenophobia of past generations — a junior-Army of global Davids defeating hate and prejudice without the help of the culture police.

The credit for this development, I think, goes to free-market capitalism, not multiculturalism. It was capitalism that spurred the growth of the World Wide Web and the evolution of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter that have connected the world’s youth, not Al Gore or Maya Angelou. It’s an excellent example of the beauty of spontaneous orders and what happens when people are free to act in voluntary cooperation.

creative writing

Flash Gordon as told to Dale Arden Ch I: The Silent Bombs

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First, a note of thanks and recognition to my ghost writer. Oh, she does not like that but I do not like deceptions. Or not much. Besides which she is as well known as I am and she was there but I will tell it all as it happened to me and maybe if we put in some steamy parts she will consent to author those from her side. [Read more →]

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Mass inception: Implanting the dream of sporting glory

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In the movie Inception, inception is the implanting of an idea in someone’s mind through dreams. I wonder if this generation of parents will be remembered for exercising a kind of large-scale inception: Sports-crazed adults forcing a dream of sporting greatness and glory into their children’s heads. [Read more →]

announcements

No content. I’m sorry. Please read for explanation.

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I know. I really blew it. The thing is, I’ve just been really busy.

It all started last Monday when I was tying my boot. Everything was going to plan, when BOOM… the darn shoelace ripped right in half. [Read more →]

Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: For God’s sake, cover yourself

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I’ve stumbled upon some interesting covers lately. The Flaming Lips, for instance, have a great version of “(Just Like) Starting Over” by John Lennon. Another solid adaptation I’ve chanced upon is “Drive,” the Cars‘ teary gem, as rendered by Echodrone. But then, I’m a “cover guy.” One of my all-time favorite albums, after all, is Van Halen‘s Diver Down, which is loaded with other peoples’ songs.

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