September means back down to earth

September 1, 2015

Welcome to September, everyone!

If you’ve kept up reading this blog for more than a few years, you know what September means: it’s time for my 12th annual Science Fiction Free September. Back in September 2004, I decided that I spent too much of my reading time with science fiction, so I declared a month-long moratorium on the genre, and instead used the time for something I might not read otherwise: classic literature, nonfiction, maybe just even a bunch of books I had started but never got around to finishing. (This year to date I’ve read three SF novels—about half what I’ve read in nonfiction. As the years go by the SFFS has either outlived or fulfilled its purpose, but I keep it up anyway, just for fun!)

This year, my big September reading project will be themed around the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. My primary objective is to complete a very long book that I have had for a number of years, but never gotten farther in than, perhaps, one-tenth. This book is the blockbuster history of Nazi Germany, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by CBS war correspondent William L. Shirer. This is a popular history rather than an academic one. Shirer was present in Berlin from the Nazis’ coming to power to the first year of WWII, when he left after he heard that the Gestapo was trumping up espionage charges against him.

I actually started two days ago, since my last book finished up conveniently on Saturday night (Dolores Claiborne, the latest in my read-all-the-way-through-Stephen-King project). By page count, I am now 2% of the way in, and if I can figure out how to HTML-ize a progress bar, I’ll add it to the sidebar.

At ths time I have no secondary objectives, but there’s no shortage of unread books in my collection, so I’m sure I’ll work something out.

Advertisements

Nothing to see here

August 5, 2015

Today on the Crusty Curmudgeon, we juxtapose, courtesy of Mollie Hemingway:

President Barack Obama told a group of young African leaders on Monday that harvesting organs from humans that are killed as part of an African ritual was “craziness” and a “cruel” tradition that needed to stop. He warned of dehumanizing marginal groups of humans and of the problems that arise when “you are not able to see someone else as a human being.”

Meanwhile, back in the States . . .

On the topic of human organ harvesting, President Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest has said that President Obama has chosen not to watch the video footage of Planned Parenthood officials dissecting human fetuses for parts. Nevertheless, President Obama has vehemently defended the abortion group.

[Full Story]

Some humans are more human than others.


Victimocracy

July 20, 2015

The idea that the entire society is supposed to frontally lobotomize itself with regard to basic facts, like what constitutes sex, it’s demonstrative of the fact that a victim-run society is unworkable. A society in which we suggest that people who are victims get to redefine reality for everyone, that’s not workable. Now notice what I’m saying—I’m not saying that you can’t make social changes having nothing to do with the nature of reality, all I’m saying is that you can’t redefine reality itself. You can’t redefine man-man as as valuable as man-woman in terms of sexual relationships producing children, you can’t redefine man as woman, there are certain things in life that you just can’t paper over, you can’t just gloss over. And the attempts to do so are bound to fail.

Ben Shapiro, The Ben Shapiro Show, podcast audio, July 17, 2015, http://audio.kiroradio.com/seattle/kiro/2015/07/benshapiro071715_2_802.mp3.


To vamp out or not to vamp out, that is the question

July 15, 2015

Today on the Crusty Curmudgeon, we juxtapose:

Sociology researchers are now insisting that we as a society start accepting people who choose to “identify as real vampires”—so that they can be open about the fact that they’re vampires without having to worry about facing discrimination from people who might think that that’s weird. . . .

“Unlike lifestyle vampires, real vampires believe that they do not choose their vampiric condition; they are born with it, somewhat akin to sexual orientation,’ it continues. . . .

[Lead researcher D. J.] Williams explained that no one should be bothered by a person wanting to drink another person’s blood because “it is generally expected within the community that vampires should act ethically and responsibly in feeding practices,” and it’s not their blood-drinking that’s the real problem here—it’s the fact that they have to worry that other people will judge them for their blood-drinking.

[University Researchers: We Have to Accept Poeple Who “Identify as Real Vampires”]

But meanwhile, in Florida . . .

A Florida man arrested for dancing atop the hood of a patrol car parked in the driveway of a police sergeant told cops that he was seeking the aid of the “Sheriff of Nottingham” to help combat a “woman with fangs” and vampires preparing a human sacrifice, according to court records. . . .

Radecki, a Cape Coral resident, can be seen pulling his 2000 Lincoln Town Car up to the rear bumper of the police SUV. With his car radio blaring, Radecki then climbs atop the vehicle and gyrates to “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates and Supertramp’s “Goodbye Stranger.” However, by the time the Olivia Newton-John/John Travolta duet “You’re The One That I Want” played, Radecki was in custody. . . .

After being taken into custody, cops reported, Radecki explained that he went to Janke’s residence because “when he opened his front door, a woman with fangs was threatening him, and that a human sacrifice was about to occur involving vampires.” Investigators added that Radecki claimed that he “made the conscious decision to get the Sheriff of Nottingham to help him stop the slaughter of small children.”

[Police Release Video of Man’s Cop Car Dance]

Now here is a man who didn’t get the memo. I wonder if anyone has contacted Supertramp out of concern that their music has been used as an instrument of vampirophobic hate speech?


And now . . . this – Jul. 9/15

July 9, 2015

Meh. It’s been done. It’s called American light beer.

Nothing is worse than having to use a porta-a-potty at a crowded festival. But a Danish agricultural group wants to put all that urine to good use—by turning it into beer.

[Full Story]

Which does raise an interesting question: Beer looks like urine. So how come the more beer you drink, the less your urine looks like beer?


And now . . . this – Jul. 6/15

July 6, 2015

Remember yesterday’s story about the nitwit who killed himself trying to launch a firework off his head?

The mother of a man who tried to launch a firework off the top of his head for July Fourth and was killed instantly said Monday she’s advocating for stricter controls about who can use the explosives.

Devon Staples, 22, and his friends had been drinking and setting off fireworks Saturday night in a backyard in Staples’ eastern Maine hometown, Calais, when the accident happened with a reloadable fireworks mortar tube, police have said.

[Full Story]

First, it wasn’t an “accident.” It was reckless behaviour done on purpose, but with an unintended consequence.

Second, you can’t regulate stupidity.

Third, as a corollary, if we could regulate stupidity, then banning stupid drunkies from playing with pyrotechnics ought to pretty much solve the problem.

I’m really, really trying to work up some sympathetic feelings, but it’s not working. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.


And now . . . this – Jul. 5/15

July 5, 2015

Hold muh beer an’ watch this, part 6.022×1023

Staples placed a fireworks mortar tube on his head and set it off, injuring his head. He died instantly. . . .

[Full Story]

Dear friends, we are gathered here today to mourn the death not only of our friend Devon Staples, but of common sense and sound judgment.

Police say the friends had been drinking.

You don’t say.

Meanwhile, in Texas . . .

“Only he didn’t say ‘Blank’ . . .”

A man who apparently mocked alligators, then jumped in the water—despite warning signs—is dead after being attacked in Texas. . . .

“He removed his shirt, removed his billfold . . . someone shouted a warning and he said ‘blank the alligators’ and jumped in to the water and almost immediately yelled for help,” Price said.

[Full Story]

Do not mock the alligators. They will blank you over but good.