People of both sexes and all ages play video games and watch movies in every country in the world.
Only in America do we have an epidemic of gun violence and repeated mass murder.
The problem isn’t video games and movies, guys.
Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.
Yet, the White House failed to take significant action. Officials at the Counterterrorism Center of the C.I.A. grew apoplectic. On July 9, at a meeting of the counterterrorism group, one official suggested that the staff put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place, two people who were there told me in interviews. The suggestion was batted down, they said, because there would be no time to train anyone else.
That same day in Chechnya, according to intelligence I reviewed, Ibn Al-Khattab, an extremist who was known for his brutality and his links to Al Qaeda, told his followers that there would soon be very big news. Within 48 hours, an intelligence official told me, that information was conveyed to the White House, providing more data supporting the C.I.A.’s warnings. Still, the alarm bells didn’t sound.” —Kurt Eichenwald (via soupsoup)
You see, what I said was, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” But what I meant to say was, “I am a worthless, moronic sack of shit and an utterly irredeemable human being who needs to shut up and go away forever.”
It is clear to me now that I did not choose my words with care and did not get across the point I was trying to convey. In hindsight, I guess instead of using the words “legitimate rape,” I should have used the words “I am an unforgivable, unrepentant, and unconscionable subhuman dickhead.” Or better yet, “I am an evil, fucked-up man who should never have been elected to the United States Congress, and anyone who would vote for me is probably a pretty big fucking dumbshit, too.” See how much more sense that makes? It’s amazing how a few key word changes can totally alter the meaning of a statement.
Because, of course, it’s all about context. And yes, when you take what I said out of context, I can see how it might sound like I’m denying that women can be impregnated via rape. This is, I assure you, not what I was trying to express at all. Such is the age we live in that one little sentence excerpted in a news report can come back to haunt a person in a pretty big hurry. But if you actually go back and look at the remarks closely, you’ll see that what I was actually trying to convey in my statement was that
(1) I am a big fucking idiot,
(2) I am a nauseating slug of a human being who doesn’t deserve to live, and
(3) I am essentially everything that’s wrong with this country and with humanity in general.
Honestly, that’s all I was trying to get across there. It was a simple misunderstanding, really.” —
Gor’ bless the Onion, sir.
Marco gets in a quick jab.
Given the topic is a new Big Cat release, I guess the most suitable commentary on it would be: “mrrowwwwr!” 😏
There’s a part of me that thinks that would make an awesome movie though…
Reblogged because this is even crazier than the inside of my head…
Holy crap— I had literally no idea. Probably because I’ve yet to buy any of the Hunger Games books, aside from previews.
The next step I’d like to see? Making this data available beyond the Kobo apps themselves somehow.
That’s a damned good point…
Having finished Mass Effect 3 via my ME2 save last night, I’m now trying it while starting afresh. The thing that’s surprised me so far is the list of people on the memorial wall in the Normandy: it’s not only much longer, but it includes some folks who had significant, even major roles in the play-through I just finished, such as:
- Jack Zero
- Donnelly & Daniels
- Thane Krios
- Urdnot Wrex (?!!)
I have a feeling this will be a very different experience this time around…
- Husband: Do you need any help with that?
- Wife: No, I'm fine.
- Husband: Anything else you'd like done?
- Wife: No, thanks.
- Husband: Okay, no problem. [Starts doing something of his own]
- Wife: [Immediately] Can you go and do $TASK, it's really urgent.
- Husband: …
Interesting thing. I’m told that, in the all-time top 25 free iPad apps in Canada, Kobo made the top 10 and iBooks didn’t even place. And yet if you look at the current top 10 apps in the Books section of the store, you’ll see that iBooks is ahead of Kobo, just beating is to the number one spot. And that’s pretty much how it’s been ever since iBooks launched (along with the iPad), with the exception of a week or two.
So, depending on the source, Kobo is either constantly trailing behind iBooks or totally eclipsing it. Which is it then? I didn’t pay a lot of attention in statistics class (or “lies, damned lies, and statistics” class), but I’m fairly sure it can’t be both…
So the astute Mr. Gemmell earlier today made note of a rather elitist-sounding article over at paidContent:UK. The author of that piece rather laments the fact that eBook consumption is led by ‘genre fiction’. You know— everything that most people read; something — *shudder* — classifiable. Science fiction. Romance. Crime. Horror. Fantasy. Historical.
So, is it just me, or does that sound an awful lot like regular books? What else could we call them……… Ah yes— stories.
This all smacks of the same sort of book-snobbery we see in some literary awards’ shortlists, or in programmes about books on the BBC. This has prompted a number of authors to call out the organizers and producers of such fare for their low view of so-called ‘genre fiction’. In March 2011, author Stephen Hunt wrote on his blog:
In my world there is only one genre permitted access to the oxygen of publicity in the mainstream media, and that genre is contemporary fiction. It is also called literary fiction by its supporters, just to underscore the point that anything that isn’t written in their genre can never be classed as literature or improving or worthy.
The end result of all this snobbery, he points out, is the loss of the joy of reading in the youth of today. In amidst the many other ways of finding entertainment, the elevation of ‘contemporary fiction’ as the only thing worth reading has turned off many of our youth from reading altogether:
And that conflict, dear reader, between what we read and what is actually covered by the media has sadly begot a much greater one. People, especially younger readers, have given up on fiction on dead trees. They were happy to play the ‘literary fiction’ game in a gentler age, when it was the only game in town. Hell, some crazy old dudes even read short fiction in the pulps back in the day. But it’s a more packed playlist now: MMOGs, IM, BitTorrents, RSS feeds, happy slapping, texting, DS, Xbox, Twitter, FaceBook, iPods, iPads, YouTube, blogging, Tumblr, Angry Birds – you know the drill, right?
I suppose I was lucky in high school that my English teacher didn’t hold to such things— we were specifically encouraged to read fantasy and science fiction; I remember reading Howard Fast’s The First Men there, and many people’s marks took a good boost when writing up that one (we were tasked with writing a newspaper editorial about the experiment in the story).
When reading the article which provoked today’s discussion, I initially thought that perhaps the inflammatory title (downmarket genre fiction) was an addition by the editor, and that perhaps the writer herself had a more nuanced view. However, down towards the bottom were a couple of gems which rather cut short that hope:
The reading public in private is lazy and smutty. E-readers hide the material. Erotica sells well.
Romance and suchlike sells well primarily to a certain demographic, which happens to also be the prime eBook-purchasing demographic (by a long margin) right now: women aged 35-60.
I’m not so sure it is wise to underestimate the boundless idiocy of the unobserved reading public. They may intend to go to the Economist website to read the latest in the euro crisis, but oops! they’ve ended up on Mail Online reading about the Kardashians.
…ok. That’s one way of putting it. Another might be: we read for entertainment, not self-betterment. Most people spend long days working, then most of their evenings working in another fashion: food, cleaning, caring for family. If we choose to spend our leisure time reading, we are more likely to read something entertaining than improving; simple fatigue will dictate that as the norm, if nothing else. Don’t think that it’s all slush, though. Of everything I’ve read in my life, no book has made me reach for the (conveniently built-in) dictionary than Gregory Macguire’s Wicked series. Damn that guy has some vocabulary. And how many other ‘genre fiction’ books — and genre fiction in a fantasy setting, based upon a line of children’s books, no less — would come with study notes included?
The establishment might choose to look down its nose at writing for the sake of story, but its nature does not make it automatically sub-standard.
So there are Great Things afoot for ePub implementors. I have things being planned out nicely, and I should be able to make an official announcement & call for contributors in about a week, I think. Specifically anything about the frame layout model of WebKit/WebCore would be very useful to have in about a week’s time.
In the few days since I suggested it there has been a lot of interest in pursuing the initiative. I’ve had contacts from a few companies looking to invest money, expertise, or people, and I’ve heard from a great many people who would love to see just such an application in the wild.
So a few minutes ago I wrote:
I think there’s enough know-how in the industry outside of Apple to make a competitor to iBooks Author, by which desktop publishing in the eBook age can be as limitless in possibility as we can make it, yet not be restricted to a single target platform. I want to hear from experienced OS X software engineers who are interested in tackling such a project on a commercial (or possibly open-source, or both) scale, and from people companies who can contribute expertise or code to the effort.
I’m already getting a few good ping backs on this, which is fantastic. However, I’d like to enumerate a little more of what I have on my mind:Engineers
We need engineers who can crank out top-notch OS X code. While I’d normally want to include anyone who’d like to cut their teeth on such an app, this time I think getting something of the highest quality out of the gate takes priority.Software Development Companies
Apple has a head-start on us. Even if we started coding at the same time they did, they would still have a head-start. This is because iBooks Author is built on the same components used in the iWorks suite of apps, and those components go back to the mid-90s I believe (they were based upon apps originally written for NeXTStep). In order to avoid the ramp-up time in recreating those components, we would be interested in anyone who could either donate or license similar components to us. I’m visualizing the Omni Group’s apps here, for example.Publishers, Retailers, Distributors, Oh My!
Anyone with an interest in eBooks and a budget to throw around. Particularly those who need to produce, validate, or tweak ePub3 content. How would you like to assist in funding such an effort? What would you like to see? What sort of terms would you like/accept— i.e. open-source free app only, n number of free copies, volume discounts, etc.
For the record: I’ve made overtures to my employer about the above. Although the guy who would likely be able to make anything happen is away in the UK next week, so don’t expect any announcements.
Contact me via the links above.
OS X Programmers/Companies: Read This
So, yesterday Apple launched the new iBooks Author application for the Mac. It looks great, produces fantastic dynamic content, and more than one person assumed that it was outputting ePub3 files. However, that was not the case, as is extensively documented by Daniel Glazman (co-chairman of the WC3 CSS working group) on his blog:
A wysiwyg EPUB3 editor will not be able to edit correctly an IBA document because of the different mimetype and the proprietary CSS extensions. iBooks Author is not able to reopen a iBook it exported in their pseudo-EPUB3 format because there is no Import mechanism! That means that on one hand EPUB3 readers cannot reuse a document created by iBooks Author because of its HTML/CSS/Namespaces extensions, and on the other iBooks Author cannot create an iBook from an existing EPUB3 document because it cannot import it.
In actuality, it even goes a little further than this.