Lion of the Blogosphere

Stupid Christian violates the Prime Directive

with one comment

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-usa-murder/american-killed-on-remote-indian-island-off-limits-to-visitors-idUSKCN1NQ0QT

A Christian preacher goes to a forbidden Indian island to convert the indigenous natives to Christianity, and they kill him with a bow and arrow.

The island is off limits because of the Prime Directive.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 21, 2018 at EST pm

Posted in Star Trek

Throw out your lettuce! Again!

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https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/s1120-ecoli-romain-lettuce.html

Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.

Second lettuce scare this year. Salads, not as healthy as people think they are!

I say, don’t eat raw leafy vegetables. That includes all lettuces and cabbages and spinach.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 21, 2018 at EST am

Posted in Bobos

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

with 13 comments

I finished reading this book by J.K. Rowling. I’m not sure what to think.

In case you’re not familiar with this book (and if you’re not, what rock have you been living under?), it was first published in England in 1997 and then in the U.S. in 1998, and soon became a runaway bestseller, and in fact is the third best-selling book of all time after The Lord of the Rings and The Little Prince. The book is allegedly aimed at 8-12 year-old readers, and the protagonist, Harry Potter, is 11.

I remember The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum being a much better book, but if I reread that as an adult, maybe I would also find it full of faults. (It’s strange that it has been 79 years since the last time they made a movie version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. During a much shorter time period, there have been two movies made based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. With modern special effects, they could make a talking lion that looks like a talking lion rather than some guy wearing a lion costume. And the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is in the public domain, so the movie studio wouldn’t even have to pay anyone for the rights.)

The story is, to put it bluntly, stupid. Harry Potter has these impossibly mean step-parents who make him live in a “cupboard” under the stairs. Which in this case means a small closet, but when I think of a “cupboard,” I think of kitchen cabinets. This is an example of the many Britishisms that are used throughout the book, which increase my surprise that this book became such a big hit in the United States, given that there are so many language usages that wouldn’t make sense to an American child, or for that matter to most American adults.

Also, the book is largely a satire of British boarding schools, with a made-up fantasy sport of Quidditch substituting for rugby. This seems like a strange foundation for a book that would become such a huge bestseller in the United States.

I think of it as a modern children’s book, but being 21 years old, it’s no longer really that modern, and as such it has elements of political incorrectness in it, such as the main girl character, Hermione Granger, being described as a “bossy know-it-all.” (“Hermione” is a name I would not have known how to pronounce if I had not seen the movie.)

The basic story concept and plot is silly and aimed at children rather than adults. A bunch of children manage to save the world from the evil Voldemort, while all of the adults running the Hogwarts boarding school are totally clueless and inept. Admittedly, this is a typical conceit of children’s literature. The real lives of children are actually very boring and inconsequential.

However, J.K. Rowling doesn’t shy away from big words or complicated sentences. At Thanksgiving dinner, I will attempt to determine if either of my nephews, aged 10 and 12, have read this book. I suspect that they haven’t, because they don’t seem like readers to me.

There is zero in the way of romance in this book. Of course, the characters are only 11 years old, and how many 11-year-olds hook up with the opposite sex? L. Frank Baum also kept romance out of his children’s books. It just isn’t a concept that children relate to. Especially not boys.

If this book were written today, The main character would probably be a girl instead of a boy. In 1997, the ideal main character for a children’s book was a boy, because conventional wisdom was that girls would read books with boy protagonists, but not the other way around. Joanne Rowling was asked to use the pen name of J.K. Rowling to hide her sex in in order not to scare away boy readers.

Today, the conventional wisdom is that so few boys read books that the commercial value in trying to appeal to them is limited, and it’s no big deal to write a book that alienates boy readers. However, there is a popular series of books about a boy named Percy Jackson that, I believe, is targeted to middle-school-aged boys.

The Harry Potter series is, perhaps, the last great young adult literature written in the third person. Nowadays, the vast majority of books aimed at this age group are written in the first person.

Do I want to read the next book in the series? Strangely, kind of yes, I do.

* * *

A minor, specific complaint: I couldn’t remember if Filch was a cat and Mrs. Norris was its owner, or vice versa. J.K. Rowling should have repeated that information more than once. How are kids supposed to remember all those names?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 21, 2018 at EST am

Posted in Books

The details of Michael Avenatti’s assault on his ex-girlfriend

with 32 comments

https://theblast.com/michael-avenatti-mariel-miniutti-restraining-order-details/

Looks pretty bad for him!

* * *

Something about this makes me think of the movie Wall Street, when Bud’s blue-collar dad from Queens says the following to him:

I don’t go to sleep with no whore and I don’t wake up with no whore. That’s how I live with myself. I don’t know how you do it.

Did you know that both Martin Sheen and Charlie Sheen are Hispanic?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 20, 2018 at EST pm

Posted in News

Robots can replace immigrant farmworkers!

with 43 comments

Advantages of Robots:

  • Don’t commit crime
  • Don’t vote for Democrats
  • Don’t cause traffic jams commuting to work
  • Don’t litter
  • Taxpayers don’t have to pay for their healthcare
  • Taxpayers don’t have to pay for their kids’ education
  • Taxpayers don’t have to pay for their social security benefits
  • Create jobs for non-immigrant robot mechanics and robot programmers.
  • Early adoption of robots lead to more R&D eventually leading to a household robot that will clean my bathroom and cook for me.

Advantages of Immigrants:

  • I can’t think of any

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 20, 2018 at EST pm

Posted in Immigration, Robots

The asylum statute

with 8 comments

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1158

8 USC § 1158(1) reads:

Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United States after having been interdicted in international or United States waters), irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum in accordance with this section or, where applicable, section 1225(b) of this title.

I don’t know what Trump’s legal team’s counterargument is, but this statute seems pretty clear to me.

There are many things that Trump could do by executive order to hasten the processing and denial of these people so they can be quickly deported, but I have to agree with the judge that he can’t stop them from applying in the first place.

And that’s why we need a Wall, to prevent them from becoming physically present in the first place. (Or we could just get Congress to change this statute, which would be less expensive than building a Wall, but it’s politically more feasible to just build the Wall.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 20, 2018 at EST pm

Bots and social media

with 8 comments

For years, everyone who knew the ins and outs of social media marketing knew that there were massive amounts of botting going on (people using automated methods to gain a huge unfair advantage over people who were doing everything by hand), but no one seemed to give a crap about the problem until after Trump won the election and bots were blamed for his winning.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 20, 2018 at EST am

Posted in Technology

The beautiful tall blonde Estonian actress whom Michael Avenatti …

with 28 comments

https://www.foxnews.com/us/who-is-mareli-miniutti-actress-files-restraining-against-avenatti

She filed a restraining order against him, so presumably she’s the woman he allegedly struck in the face.

She’s less prole than I thought she’d be. And young enough to be Avenatti’s daughter.

Obviously, being an asshole Trump-hating lawyer has a lot of fringe benefits.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 20, 2018 at EST am

Posted in News

Harry Chapin – Corey’s Coming (extended live version)

with 2 comments

Wow, I didn’t know this extended version of the song existed. This makes it clear that Corey isn’t a real person. I think she’s some sort of supernatural apparition. (The other alternative is that she’s a delusion shared by both John Joseph and the person telling the story who has gone crazy himself from listening to a crazy man’s stories.)

Perhaps she’s like a Houri? (Based on a Google search, I’m the first person in the history of the internet to make that connection.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 19, 2018 at EST pm

Posted in Music videos

Black is the new white

with 53 comments

In the 19th century, blacks tried to pass for white.

But today, white women try to pass for black on Instagram so they can have more followers and be more popular.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/white-instagram-influencers-latest-bid-for-clout-pretending-to-be-black?ref=scroll

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 19, 2018 at EST pm

Posted in Photography

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