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The Weird, Random, and Interesting things that Fit Nowhere Else Thread


Blarghagh

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As we get into that season....

 

Tor - Welcome to Eurovision : The Hunger Games of Pop

 

It could be worth a read for a few people who wonder what the hell we're all doing in Europe these days.

Especially as this year, they're going live to the US as well.

 

From some excerpts from the explanation of what is Eurovision....

 


Because when the show begins, you’ll see Europe go to war using no weapons other than “lalalala” choruses and magnificently over-the-top staging. It’s fabulous. It’s awful. It’s fabulously awful and, on occasion, transcendentally brilliant. After all, what other continent-wide office party can boast added CGI and a sociopolitical agenda?

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Eurovision is defined less by “shock of the new” than by “shock of the WHAT?!” There are going to be some massively eccentric musical choices inflicted on you over these few hours. They will change you. Let them. This is a siege perilous of Polish rap and chorus-adaptable clothing. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. This is Europe. This is Eurovision. This is GLORY.

---

Even better, you also get incredibly enthusiastic staging and camera work: Eurovision 2014, for example, took place on a stage which looked like the Cube from Cube got blackout drunk and did unspeakable, glorious things to an MMA cage.

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Eurovision often provides a surprisingly accurate snapshot of Europe’s current political climate.

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If there’s one thing Eurovision’s taught me, it’s that pop music is a language with hundreds of regional dialects and, once a year, we get to hear what those all sound like. Sure, some of them are honking music catastrophes, but some are amazing and it’s worth wading through the dreck to get to the gems.

---

Eurovision voting actually runs off a drama algorithm designed to make it as close as possible and keep you watching to the end. Yes, computers are manipulating your attention through entertainment: The Matrix is real, it’s here and you can dance to it.

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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The differences between integration and inclusion are always a tricky one in my eyes. It is fairly natural for groups that share commonalities to want to group together. Under good economic circumstances, this can lead to unique districts within cities that each have their own cultural personalities. But when the economic circumstances are bad, you get ghettos and friction.

Nate Silver/FiveThirtyEight recently wriote a piece on this.

 

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-most-diverse-cities-are-often-the-most-segregated/

 

Pretty interesting data.

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"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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Must have gotten their degrees from the same mail-order college as Dr. Thrax.

Quote
"Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as 'History,' harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.”

 

-Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

 

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So, perchance is Persons of Interest breaking into the real world? ;)
 
FindFace identifies crowd faces
 
 

 

FindFace, a popular app in Russia, stands to put an end to all privacy and public anonymity as the world knows it.

The app, launched two months ago by founders Artem Kukharenko and Alexander Kabakov, allows its users to photograph people in a crowd and match their identities on social media networks with a whopping 70% reliability. While it may seem harmless, the technology may spell the eventual doom of individual freedoms in authoritarian regimes where journalists and activists are commonly targeted.

 

So far, the app's use has been confined to stalkers seeking the identity of attractive individuals they see on the streets. One of the founders even advertises this as a feature for his product.

 

"If you see someone you like, you can photograph them, find their identity, and then send them a friend request," Kabakov said in an interview. "It also looks for similar people. So you could just upload a photo of a movie star you like, or your ex, and then find 10 girls who look similar to her and send them messages."

 

THE GUARDIAN Says App Spells End Of Public Anonymity

The designers imagine a world where people walking past you on the street could find your social network profile by sneaking a photograph of you, and shops, advertisers and the police could pick your face out of crowds and track you down via social networks.

 

INVERSE Calls Findface 'Creepy'

And if the social networking element were not enough to disturb you, the founders insist that the app is just a publicity stunt of sort, because the real money is in working with law enforcement and retail.

 

THE INQUIRER Calls App The Next Privacy Threat

It is the sort of thing that we might have expected to report alongside words like 'Snowden' and 'National Security Agency', but actually it's a consumer thing that draws on Vkontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook, to match mugs with, well, mugs.

 

An Authoritarian Miracle?

FindFace app has amassed roughly 500,000 users and almost 3 million searchers in just a two-month period. But the company's goal for its revolutionary product extends well beyond social media and dating.

 

The app's creators have already been assisting local police departments with finding witnesses and suspects in unsolved cases by integrating FindFace's algorithm with Moscow's 150,000 security cameras.

"It's nuts: there were cases that had seen no movement for years, and now they are being solved," Kabakov added.

 

Public anonymity has been a boon for political dissidents around the world, but they may soon lose this advantage. The creators of FindFace appear to have the best intentions for wanting to help law enforcement expedite their cases, but they should be very careful with how they expand their products.

 

 

 

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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For the first time in 130 years, a young adult in 2014 was more likely to live with a parent than a significant other. This is per a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data, which shows 32.1% of 18-to-34-year-olds lived in a parent’s home that year, compared to the 31.6% who lived with a spouse or romantic partner.
 LINK

Free games updated 3/4/21

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Then again, some here are accused of reckless spending- preventing the escape from serfdom cuz "trying to keep up with the Jones's."

 

Nevermind median home prices.

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"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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For no reason whatsoever here's a gif of Kenny Omega kicking a 9 year old girl in the head:

Kenny-omega-v-haruka-o.gif

 

Japan: Where people are still allowed to have fun and can appreciate a good heel being good at his job and having fun instead of losing their **** over a fictional bad guy fictionally kicking a girl in a match where she whooped his ass for a good portion of it and nobody got hurt and everybody had fun. (As an aside, props to the girl for her sell on the enzuigiri)

 

Kenny Omega is the best, here he is chainsawing a dude with his arm:

tumblr_nho0smWvdi1sbzhteo1_400.gif

Edited by Keyrock
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breen_tuna.gif.f209371d450243737d37ca9251849aff.gif

 

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"Combining two random pictures into one using a Neural Network."

 

https://imgur.com/a/ue6ap

 

I made one of my own avatar.

 

rOERHoe.jpg

Edited by Bartimaeus
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Put fascists and sociopaths on your ignore list.

Quote

Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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Are the results always like that or does it require a few tries to get something good out of it?

"only when you no-life you can exist forever, because what does not live cannot die."

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Are the results always like that or does it require a few tries to get something good out of it?

 

That was my first try. I tried my own image pattern instead of just van Gogh's Starry Night, and, well, I chose poorly.

 

Pattern image:

 

oddhA5J.jpg

 

Result:

 

U8HeN6k.jpg

 

Yeah. It also takes a while for them to work (like ten minutes), so I don't have very many yet - interested to try out more combinations.

Edited by Bartimaeus

Put fascists and sociopaths on your ignore list.

Quote

Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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Unfortunately, the site I was using is dead now, and what you see is what you get for the time being. RIP artificial intelligence artist 2016-2016. Hopefully, it'll be back up in a few days after traffic slows down...:p

Put fascists and sociopaths on your ignore list.

Quote

Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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Heh.

 

Vampires Beware - Buffy is the unslayable pop culture icon

 

 


Give them enough blood and vampires keep on feeding – but give academics Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) and the same phenomenon occurs.

Much Ado About Whedon: The 6th Biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses takes place this week in California State University-Sacramento, with up to three parallel panels per session, plus a smattering of special events, from eight in the morning until 11 at night.

 

That’s an astonishing scholarly commitment to a show that finished more than a decade ago, and it raises the question: what is all this "ado" about Buffy?

In 2004 the first and – it was then assumed – only Slayage Conference on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was held in Nashville, Tennessee, hosted by Middle Tennessee State University and organised by David Lavery and Rhonda V. Wilcox.

 

Its overwhelming success meant the conference has since become a biennial event, gathering together hundreds of scholars and other enthusiasts from across the US, UK, Canada, Italy, Germany, Turkey, and, of course, Australia.

 

Combining elements of action, drama, comedy, romance, horror, and occasionally musical, Buffy sits uneasily within the taxonomies of television genre.

Darker than Dawson (1998-2003), and infinitely funnier than Felicity (1998-2002) (two primetime teen dramas that aired alongside Buffy’s first seasons), the series was explicitly conceived as a feminist reworking of horror films in which "bubbleheaded blondes wandered into dark alleys and got murdered by some creature".

From its mid-season US premiere in 1997 to its primetime series finale in 2003, the chronicles of the Chosen One (Sarah Michelle Gellar) have generated, in the affectionate words of its creator and director Joss Whedon, a "rabid, almost insane fan base".

 

Subverting the conventional gender dynamics of horror, action and sci-fi serials, as well as the best expectations of its producers, the series followed the fortunes of the Slayer as she struggled through the "hell" that is high school, a freshman year at U.C. Sunnydale, and the ongoing challenge of balancing the demands of family, friends, relationships and work with her inescapable duty to fight all manner of evil.

 

As the voiceover to the show’s opening credits relates: In every generation there is a Chosen One. She and she alone will fight the demons, the vampires and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.

 

The end of the series in 2003 did not herald, as many must have expected, the passing of a fleeting academic fancy, but has instead ushered in an unprecedented number of monographs, edited collections, conferences, book chapters, journal articles, and even university courses that grapple with the Buffy phenomenon in one way or another.

In June 2012 Slate magazine ran an article naming Buffy the most written about popular culture text of all time.

 

In an online search for scholarly articles on popular media texts, Slate noted that Buffy criticism far outweighed any other potential contenders: [M]ore than twice as many papers, essays, and books have been devoted to the vampire drama than any of our other choices – so many that we stopped counting when we hit 200.

Thoroughly multi-disciplinary in scope, the field of Buffy Studies brings together academics and independent scholars working not only in literary, film and television studies, but also in sociology, psychology, religious studies, media studies, American studies, mathematics, philosophy, law, music, art, performance studies, women’s and gender studies, queer studies, linguistics, bibliography, rhetoric and pedagogy.

 

Gender analysis has been a driving force in the field since its inception, and debates about Buffy’s suitability as a feminist role model, and her perceived connections to second-wave, third-wave and post-feminism, continue to be contested.

 

Scholars of fandom have also found Buffy and its active fan communities fertile sites for analysis, as have teachers who study Buffy’s pedagogical potential in the classroom.

A relatively recent development has been the rise of auteur scholarship that positions Buffy in the context of Joss Whedon’s wider and expanding oeuvre.

Buffy’s ongoing popularity is tied to its specific contexts of production in ways that shed new light on popular culture consumption.

Its unique location in media history – in the infancy of internet fandom and during the rise of commercial marketing of series TV, makes Buffy an obvious site for studies of contemporary convergence culture in all of its many manifestations.

 

In this context, the internet has provided a powerful platform for Buffy fans, whose own creative outputs – in the form of art and video – are themselves attracting the attention of Buffy scholars. Jonathan McIntonsh’s Buffy VS Edward (see video below) is just one of many interventions that pit the feminist smarts of the Slayer against the sullenness of Twilight’s sparkly vampire:

 

Buffy’s centrality to the field of popular culture studies is partly a matter of serendipitous timing.

 

According to Whedon, the series was deliberately designed to be a cult television classic. But it was also one of the first to engage directly with fans through the medium of the internet via message boards and websites, and it benefited enormously from the exponential growth of series TV on DVD, making Buffy today – as much as in the last two decades – a movable feast, to be consumed on demand, available for multiple repeat performances, rather than an ephemeral text that, enjoyed once, disappears after first viewing.

 

To the understandable question "Is there really anything new to say about Buffy?", the 6th biennial Slayage conference provides a resounding "Duh!"

To sceptics questioning the show’s relevance today, the conference offers ample evidence of the ongoing importance of Whedon’s texts to a wide international audience.

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Youth mobs drive teachers from Australia town

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-36376221

 

Carjackings, children armed with axes and machetes and teachers airlifted out for their own safety are not the kind of scenes witnessed in most Australian towns. But in the Aboriginal community of Aurukun, in Queensland's remote Cape York, they have become familiar of late says journalist Kathy Marks.

....

 

Teachers were evacuated from the community after the first carjacking and had only returned at the beginning of the week. After Wednesday's attack, the state government evacuated them again and have closed the school until July.

 

...

 

'Handful of troublemakers'
But what frustrates locals even more is the apparent failure of government to provide adequate security for teachers and what they see as a softly-softly approach by Aurukun police. Footage circulated earlier this month showed officers standing by during a public brawl.

 

...

 

The latest wave began a fortnight ago, when youths allegedly tried to break into two teachers' homes, threatened the principal, Scott Fatnova, with an axe and stole his car. Twenty-five teachers were evacuated, but most returned last week. Then last weekend, despite the presence of extra police and security guards, Mr Fatnova was threatened and carjacked, this time by youths wielding knives and machetes.

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