Category: current events

RACCOONS IN THE NEWS: Ajar

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I prefer my raccoons on a jar as opposed to in one. Any guesses what my favorite brand of peanut butter is?

I keep talking about the impending raccoon retribution, but some things make me think it’s unlikely to be successful.  After all, these creatures are repeatedly being placed at the mercy of man when they get their heads stuck in jars.  It recently happened in Missouri, a month ago in Ontario and Florida and I even talked about a different incident late last year in Florida. I suppose all that recycling promotion back in the 90’s about animals choking on our discarded soda holders wasn’t just a scare tactic! Be earth friendly, people!! It’s one thing to kill other humans, but when the cute animals suffer it’s just plain dickish.

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Free Comic Book Day (Hooray?)

A Partial View Inside Mile High Comics' Warehouse Store
A Partial View Inside Mile High Comics’ Warehouse Store

Free Comic Book Day (or FCBD to those in the know) was never such a pain in the neck for me in previous years.  Of course, in previous years, I was always elsewhere (New Jersey and then Virginia after that.) The comic book scene here in the Denver area is a little sparse in comparison, with the market dominated by the local chain, Mile High Comics (but in their defense, their flagship store is gargantuanly huge.)  They were also able to attract the biggest star to the area, for a comic shop at any rate, by managing to snag Henry Winkler, promoting his children’s books series about a kid with dyslexia.   Of course, if you really wanted to see famous people, you’d be better off at Starfest this weekend.

Anyway, this year’s FCBD taught me something important: this event isn’t for me. Oh, sure, there’s an aspect of the limited edition-ness of the comics that should appeal to the collector lust in me, but in the end, waiting in a line with hundreds of parents and their kids–who wouldn’t give comics a passing notice any other day of the year–just isn’t worth the effort to me.  In previous years, getting ahold of the comics was as easy as walking into the store, grabbing whatever you wanted, and leaving.  Maybe, if the store was having a big sale in conjunction with the event, you’d look around to take advantage of the deals.

It’s just not worth the effort for these free comics.

Hell, even with Mile High Comics running a BOGO promotion on hardcover comics and TPBs I felt I wasted my time trying to find something to spend money on.  Even as big a store as they had, I couldn’t find enough of the dozen or comics I was interested in to warrant a purchase.  I suppose it’s just the traditional pain in the ass of dealing with brick and mortar retail.

I’m going to have to sit this event out next year.  And continue to shift my buying toward digital comics or ordering through Amazon.  I know, I’m the cancer killing comic book stores, but I’ve been left with no other choice.

BTW: Am I the only one weirded out by the number of kids who are totally familiar with The Walking Dead? There’s some extreme stuff going on in that show (you know, the moments that break up the way long periods of absolute boredom) and I didn’t think parents would let their kids watch it.  Oh well, changing times.

A Tale Eternally Retold

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I railed against the boycott of Chick-Fil-A and Ender’s Game so I guess going into a lot of detail about the recent kerfuffle will seem a little redundant.

I’ll do it anyway. People are rarely smart enough to learn a lesson the first time it’s taught, and just as the same ridiculous scenario plays itself out repeatedly I will have to contribute my part to the cycle to hopefully enlighten those engaged.

In summary: Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript & co-founder of Mozilla who was recently promoted to CEO, had to almost immediately resign from the company amidst protest from customers over a donation he made to Proposition 8 back in 2008, which was the extent of any anti-gay sentiments he’s ever exhibited (in all the material I’ve read on the subject, I haven’t even seen an anecdote about him being anti-gay.)

There are plenty of things wrong with this story:

  1. The inherent hypocrisy of sites based on JavaScript, which I remind you was created by Eich, while boycotting the Firefox browser because he was the CEO of Mozilla.  Why wasn’t JavaScript also horribly tainted by him?  Oh, because boycotting JavaScript would have been too difficult, and political action is all about convenience.
  2. At least similar boycotts (the previously mentioned Chick-Fil-A and Orson Scott Card ones) were based on the currently stated beliefs of those targeted. As I mentioned earlier, aside from the donation to Proposition 8, six years ago, Eich hadn’t done anything else to indicate he was anti-gay. So is this a zero-tolerance matter?  Also, is there a stature of limitations?  Should we question people if they ever used “faggot” in a derogatory sense to assess whether they’re fit to be a part of society (or earn a living)?  That might exclude a big part of the population, if my experience growing up in the 80’s and 90’s was any indication. Hell, should the movie Monster Squad be purged from all media?
  3. One unanswered question is whether he’s donated to other organizations.  Would that have mattered?  The fact that several other Mozilla employees donated significantly more to support gay marriage didn’t spare the company from the wrath of boycott.  Can one ever repent to the satisfaction of the gay rights community or is there no hope for you once you’ve transgressed them?
  4. I wonder if anybody who supported the boycott has heard of McCarthyism and the related practice of blacklisting.
  5. A particularly ignorant comment related to all this was: “My internet browser should not have a political agenda.” This person probably meant “My internet browser should not have a political agenda other than my own.”  Because Google has certainly made their agenda clear, which would exclude their Chrome browser and especially their search engineMicrosoft’s Internet Explorer is also excluded.  Besides which, at what point can one draw the distinction between the CEO of a company and the political agenda of it, let alone all of its products?  I suppose the taint can go all the way down, as Chick-Fil-A’s product was turned into the poultry of pure hate by its CEO’s views.

I think Big Gay Al said it best in the episode of South Park titled “Cripple Fight“:

It’s up to us to persuade, and help them see the light, not extort them to.

Hey, Astronomy Guy! I’m calling you out!

Internet Falls for Fake Neil deGrasse Tyson Quote @ Mashable
Internet Falls for Fake Neil deGrasse Tyson Quote    @ Mashable

Hey, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Yeah, you, the dude hosting the revitalization of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. I’ve got a bone to pick with you! You remember how a couple of years back you gave director James Cameron (he wrote and directed Aliens, hands down the most kick ass action flick ever … also a couple of billion dollar earning blockbusters) crap for not having the correct star field in the background of one of the most emotional, and pivotal moments in his film Titanic (holy crap, they’ve updated that site? At least it’s not another Space Jam.)   So tell me, Mr. Inaccuracy-Ruins-the-Experience, why is it that in the premier episode of Cosmos, which aired last night and pulled in boffo ratings (congratulations,) we’re shown a wholly inaccurate representation of the asteroid belt?

Yeah, while you’re on your spaceship of the mind (which looks kind of like Boba Fett’s Slave I mixed with the craft from Flight of the Navigator) tooling around the solar system  you (the imaginary you) go through the belt, shown in a typically (for movies) crowded fashion, forcing the blinged out craft to weave between mountain-sized rocks (more like listing lazily to the left.)  But you know as well as I do that the asteroid belt isn’t like that! It’s actually kind of empty.  The Cassini space probe didn’t need somebody at a joystick to control maneuvering rockets for a series of high speed, nail biting turns to get it navigate through the belt.  It just passed right on through.  So why is this purportedly educational production so inaccurate, huh?  I would expect better from someone who expects better from someone who was making a stupid romance movie (Aliens is so much better than Titanic.)

LIES!! LIES!!
LIES!! LIES!!

RACCOONS IN THE NEWS: Animal Cruelty

06racoon-barsamian-blog480A finance major at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO was arrested for beating a raccoon to death with a baseball bat (which he admits posed no threat to him or his friend) in order to claim its hide.  Sure, hunters have a weird sense of what constitutes cruelty, but even then they usually wouldn’t consider smacking a little animal around with a baseball bat to be proper conduct.  Neighbors called the police based on what they saw and heard, and the student confessed to his actions.

In related news, if he wanted something that looked like a raccoon, he could have spent a paltry $480 USD on this lovely Ashley Williams raccoon handbag.  He might have seemed a little weird carrying that around, but, you know, at least he wouldn’t have the stigma of beating animals to death hanging over his head.

Source: Daily Camera