Archive for May 11th, 2012

May 11, 2012

Infornography

lain

Infornography is a portmanteau of ‘information’ and ‘pornography’ used to define an addiction to or an obsession with acquiring, manipulating, and sharing information. People ‘suffering’ from infornography enjoy receiving, sending, exchanging, and digitizing information. The definition (without explicitly using the term itself) is also greatly applied in many cyberpunk settings, where information can almost be considered a currency of its own, in a sense facilitating the development of an alternate world for ‘escapism.’ Megacorps, hackers, and other kinds of people use information to thrive; they can subtly be called infornographers.’

The term was popularized by the 1998 Japanese TV cult cyberpunk series ‘Serial Experiments Lain,’ an avant-garde anime influenced by philosophical subjects such as reality, identity, and communication. The series focuses on an adolescent girl living in suburban Japan, and her introduction to the ‘Wired,’ a global communications network similar to the Internet. Communication, in its wider sense, is one of the main themes of the series, not only as opposed to loneliness, but also as a subject in itself. Director Nakamura said he wanted to show the audience — and particularly viewers between 14 and 15 — ‘the multidimensional wavelength of the existential self: the relationship between self and the world.’

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May 11, 2012

Memetics

mind-virus

Memetics [meh-met-iks] is a controversial theory of mental content (e.g. thoughts, concepts, memories, emotions, percepts, intentions) based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, originating from the popularization of Richard Dawkins’ 1976 book ‘The Selfish Gene.’ It purports to be an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer. The meme, analogous to a gene, was conceived as a ‘unit of culture’ (an idea, belief, pattern of behavior, etc.) which is ‘hosted’ in one or more individual minds, and which can reproduce itself, thereby jumping from mind to mind.

Thus what would otherwise be regarded as one individual influencing another to adopt a belief is seen—when adopting the intentional stance—as an idea-replicator reproducing itself in a new host. As with genetics, particularly under a Dawkinsian interpretation, a meme’s success may be due to its contribution to the effectiveness of its host. Memetics is also notable for sidestepping the traditional concern with the truth of ideas and beliefs. Instead, it is interested in their success. The Usenet newsgroup alt.memetics was started in 1993.

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May 11, 2012

Grapefruit

grapefruit

The grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour fruit, an 18th-century hybrid of a pomelo and an orange first bred in Barbados. When found, it was named the ‘forbidden fruit.’ The flesh is segmented and acidic, varying in color depending on the cultivars, which include white, pink, and red pulps of varying sweetness. The grapefruit was known as the shaddock until the 19th century. Its current name alludes to clusters of the fruit on the tree, which often appear similar to grapes. Botanically, it was not distinguished from the pomelo until the 1830s, when it was given the name Citrus paradisi. Its true origins were not determined until the 1940s.

Grapefruit mercaptan, a sulfur-containing terpene, is one of the substances which has a strong influence on the taste and odor of grapefruit, compared with other citrus fruits. Grapefruit can have a number of interactions with drugs, often increasing the effective potency of compounds. In particular grapefruit and bitter oranges are known to interact with statins (a type of choloesterol drug). Because of this unique property, grapefruit has a very bitter taste when mixed with milk or similar dairy products. Grapefruit is an excellent source of many nutrients and phytochemicals that contribute to a healthy diet.

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May 11, 2012

Heems

heems

Himanshu Kumar Suri aka Heems is an American rapper from Queens best known for being part of the alternative hip hop group Das Racist. Suri is also the founder of Greedhead Entertainment, an independent record label. In 2012, he released his first solo mixtape, ‘Nehru Jackets’ on his Greedhead imprint and in conjunction with SEVA NY, a community-based organization from Queens of which Suri is a board member. Suri has also written about music and all things South Asian for the ‘Village Voice,’ ‘Death and Taxes’ magazine, ‘Fuse,’ ‘Stereogum,’ and ‘Alternet.’ Suri graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 2003, where he was vice president when the September 11 attacks happened two blocks away. Suri then attended Wesleyan University where he studied economics.

In 2008, Suri formed Das Racist with his college friend Victor Vazquez. Shortly thereafter, Suri’s high school friend Ashok Kondabolu joined as their hype man. Das Racist first found success on the internet with their 2008 song ‘Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell,’ and then quickly established themselves within the underground rap scene with their 2010 mixtapes ‘Shut Up, Dude’ and ‘Sit Down, Man,’ both of which earned them critical acclaim.

May 11, 2012

Childish Gambino

childish gambino

Donald Glover (b. 1983) is an American actor, writer, comedian, and musician. Glover first came to attention for his work in the sketch group Derrick Comedy. He is best known for being a writer for ’30 Rock,’ and for his role the NBC comedy series ‘Community.’ In 2011, Glover signed to Glassnote Records under the stage name Childish Gambino; his first studio album, ‘Camp,’ was released in 2011. Glover DJs and produces his own music under the moniker ‘mcDJ.’

His music is of the electronic/remix variety and is often made available for free download via his official site. Glover raps as Childish Gambino, a name he found from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator. His work touches on family issues, schoolyard bullying, troubled romantic relationships, suicidal thoughts, and alcoholism. He has disowned his 2005 album, ‘The Younger I Get,’ as the too-raw ramblings of what he calls a ‘decrepit Drake.’

May 11, 2012

Diving

flop

In association football, diving (or simulation, the term used by FIFA) is an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by diving to the ground and possibly feigning an injury, to appear as if a foul has been committed. Dives are often used to exaggerate the amount of contact present in a challenge. Deciding on whether a player has dived is often very subjective, and one of the most controversial aspects of football discussion. Players do this so they can receive free kicks or penalty kicks, which can provide scoring opportunities, or so the opposing player receives a yellow or red card, giving their own team an advantage.

Referees and FIFA are now trying to prevent diving with more frequent punishments as part of their ongoing target to stop all kinds of simulation in football. The game’s rules now state that ‘Any simulating action anywhere on the field, which is intended to deceive the referee, must be sanctioned as unsporting behavior’ which is misconduct punishable by a yellow card. The rule changes are in response to an increasing trend of diving and simulation.

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May 11, 2012

Jennifer Government

jennifer government

Jennifer Government is a 2003 novel written by Max Barry, set in a dystopian alternate reality in which most nations (now controlled by the United States) are dominated by for-profit corporate entities while the government’s political power is extremely limited. Some readers consider it similar in satiric intent to Orwell’s ‘1984,’ but of a world with too little political power as opposed to too much.

Consequently, some readers see the novel as a criticism of libertarianism. Many readers also see it as a criticism of globalization, although Barry claims he is not an anti-globalizationist.

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