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Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

I am now cited by Wikipedia

Look here, and see citation number 23.

It cites my post (Update: or rather the category containing that post, which had [at the time] only that one post in it) about Yvonne Jurewicz, who died due to a coat hanger abortion in 1990. And since I provide full page numbers and dates for the newspaper article I quote in the cited post, citing me specifically is unnecessary. Hence, this situation likely won’t last too long…

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Scattered thoughts and random links

I think that the Civilization series is one of the best series of computer games ever. Don’t ask why, but for some reason, it seems to go better for me when this song is repeating endlessly in the background:


Inspired by the Arbourist, I present this quote from Corey Robin, writing in The Nation:

St. Petersburg in revolt gave us Vladimir Nabokov, Isaiah Berlin and Ayn Rand. The first was a novelist, the second a philosopher. The third was neither but thought she was both.


Why Liberalism (US definition) works.


I’m most definitely not the first to notice this, but people borrowed from themselves centuries ago. Consider these two annotated Mozart incipits:

Sheet music

The first two bars of the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 7 K. 309.

Sheet music

The first two bars of the second movement of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 11 K. 331

The one on top is the first two bars of the first movement of Piano Sonata No. 7 K. 309; the one on the bottom is the first two bars of the second movement (the minuet) of Piano Sonata No. 11. K. 311 (that’s the one with the well–known Rondo alla Turca). As can be seen, perhaps even by someone who cannot read music, they begin with almost the exact same phrase. Indeed, they start with the same pattern (ignoring the acciaccaturas) of scale degrees (the annotations above the staves). They also have basically the same pattern of “long” and “short” (ill–defined terms) notes. Just about the most significant difference is the key, as C major and A major are not closely–related.

After these two bars, the two movements diverge significantly.


France and Slovakia qualified for the next round of the 2013 IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship. The main tournament is takes place in Finland and starts December 29.

A few scattered thoughts

I really wish I knew of a way to have comments numbered both by order posted and by nested thread. For example, if Alice posts a comment, it would be #1. Bret posts a response, and this is #1.1. Carol posts another response. Her comment is #1.2. Lastly, Alice responds to both, and those comments are #1.1.1 and #1.2.1. This makes it easier to refer to comments, while preventing them from incrementing if someone makes a nested comment further abode. This is kind of like software version numbers.


I just learnt that my local public library subscribes to a service that allows me to legally download three songs per week. To my annoyance, songs which I have been wanted to get a copy of for years aren’t available on it yet. But would me using this be a good idea? After all it costs the public library money, and since that is in part supported by public tax dollars, this service is not free in that sense.

Since I think people should pay (for the most part) when they use or get other people’s creative works, it seems to me that musical piracy is almost a sign of market failure. Rather than trying to get everyone to pay the same price, different prices should be offered to different people. This way, they can get sales from both those willing to pay a lot and those willing to pay a little. Books do this, with prices ranging from hardcover territory all the way down to free at a library or Project Gutenberg. Other industries involving art and creative works should do the same. I can almost guarantee that they will get good PR.


My knowledge of HTML is getting good use with all these horizontal rules!


I could swear that the amount of spam comments I am getting is skyrocketing. And yet, when I look at my stats, I’m only on pace to get about as many as the last few months. I am also quite a ways behind my spam “record” (if that’s the right word). Maybe I’m just more aware of this menace or something.


I have hardly any online accounts. I’m not on Twitter. I have never used eBay or Amazon. I’m not on Facebook, MySpace, or any other social networking site. I don’t have a Wikipedia account. I’ve never uploaded anything to YouTube, Flickr, or any such photo– or video–sharing website. For the most part my online accounts are WordPress, Blogspot, e–mail, and those online accounts which come with something outside of the internet. I only shop in brick–and–mortar stores and do all my banking offline. Maybe I’m just old–fashioned, but I like it that way. I intend to keep it that way for as long as possible.

Inaccuracies in an epic

Last month, at another blog, I was in a discussion concerning movies about the RMS Titanic. Since this blogger’s favourite was the 1997 movie, I asked him if he had seen any of the other reasonably good dramatizations of the sinking (1953’s Titanic and A Night to Remember). He said he hadn’t. After this, more discussion led to him writing, “…I just love eye-candy, especially when the pedantic perfectionist in me can scour the ship for inaccuracies and find none.” This gave me the idea to watch that person’s favourite movie and spot the historical inaccuracies.

Titanic is a very long movie, but I eventually managed to find the time to watch it twice and spot inaccuracies. I paid special attention to the ship, and I did spot a few mistakes. I viewed the two–DVD tenth–anniversary edition, and the chapter titles are taken from there. If you have an alternative edition with different chapter titles, these should give you some idea of how far along chronologically the error takes place. Since my list is combined from two different lists created during different viewings, there might be a few cases where the errors are slightly out of order.

The inaccuracies I noticed are after the jump. In a few places I note where there are alternative possibilities or where there is a dispute over what the actually happened. In a couple of spots I speculate on the reasons or suggest corrections. If an error is made repeatedly, I mention it only once. I don’t mention anachronisms or continuity errors. Nor do I mention the “hidden faces” who are extras who represent some other historical person (examples being the older man in Boat 6 and the boy spinning a top). I do not list inaccuracies in deleted scenes. On the real ship there were plenty of people whose lives could have interesting stories woven around them, but I won’t hold using fictional characters against this film. However, I do mention one huge plot hole.

Lastly, it contains spoilers!

(more…)

SCOTUS strikes down ban on selling violent video games to minors

In a 7–2 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States has struck down a California law outlawing the selling certain violent video games to minors. Parents have to take responsibility for the games their children play. 

I don’t play and don’t like shoot–em–up style video games. But nevertheless, this decision is the correct one.

Two quotes

I’ve found two quotes in the blogosphere, and they basically summarize my view of the Tea Party, Rand, and the GOP.

I don’t know who came up the first, but I found versions of it at both Dispatches from the Culture Wars and at DAMMIT JANET!:

A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate that holds a dozen cookies. The CEO grabs 11 cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, “Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.”

I’m pretty sure that the other one comes from someone named John Rogers, writing at the blog Kung Fu Monkey:

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

Morphing into Faux News North

Americans are some of the most uninformed people on the planet. Part of this is due to the quasi–propaganda that is fed to people by talking heads on cable news. It causes a divisive society where people don’t think critically, where they believe demonstrably false lies, and where the pundits form their opinions and do the thinking for them.

If a proposed new regulation at the CRTC goes through, that is what will happen to Canada. What those regulations do is make it easy to spread false or misleading news.

Many comments have already been sent to the CRTC; those comments are negative. You can send your own comments by clicking here and scrolling to “2011–14” and clicking on the submit button. I sent in my comment and (if you’re Canadian) so should you. Let the CRTC know what a bad idea this new regulation is.

(Note: I’m stickying this post until the CRTC comment period expires; scroll down for new posts)

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