Archive for September 11th, 2012

September 11, 2012

Stuff White People Like

Christian Lander

Stuff White People Like (SWPL) is a blog that takes a satirical aim at the interests of North American ‘left-leaning, city-dwelling, white folk.’ The blog was created in 2008 by a white Canadian, Christian Lander, a Los Angeles copywriter who grew up in Toronto and graduated from McGill University. Lander co-authored the site with his Filipino Canadian friend Myles Valentin, after Valentin teased Lander for watching the HBO television series ‘The Wire.’

Although the blog ‘has spurred an outpouring from those who view it as offensive and racist,’ it is not about the interests of all white people, but rather a stereotype of affluent, environmentally and socially conscious, anti-corporate white North Americans, who typically hold a degree in the liberal arts. Lander claims to be lampooning contemporary versions of bohemian/hipster culture, and jokingly refers to other classes and subcultures of white people as ‘the wrong kind of white people.’ Despite the site’s satirical edge, Lander regards the people he describes with affection and numbers himself among them, describing himself as ‘a self-aware, left-wing person who’s not afraid to recognize the selfishness and contradictions that come on the left.’

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September 11, 2012

Pain in Crustaceans

consider the lobster

The question of whether or not crustaceans can experience pain is unresolved. Because of the ambiguous nature of pain, most people who contend that crustaceans do have this capacity approach the issue using ‘argument by analogy’ – that is, they hold that certain similarities between crustacean and human biology or behaviour warrant an assumption that crustaceans can feel pain.

In vertebrates, endogenous opioids are neurochemicals that moderate pain by interacting with opioid receptors. Opioid peptides (chains of amino acids) and opioid receptors occur naturally in crustaceans, and although ‘at present no certain conclusion can be drawn,’ some have interpreted their presence as an indication that crustaceans may be able to experience pain. Lobsters’ opioids may ‘mediate pain in the same way’ as in vertebrates.

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September 11, 2012

Ad Filtering


Adblock Plus

Ad filtering or ad blocking is removing or altering advertising content in a webpage. Advertising can exist in a variety of forms including pictures, animations, embedded audio and video, text, or pop-up windows. Very often it employs autoplay of audio and video.

It is a known problem with most web browsers that restoring sessions often plays multiple embedded ads at once. All browsers offer some solution to the problem, either by targeting technologies (Flash/Shockwave, Window Media files, etc.) that are used to deliver ads, targeting URLs that are the source of ads, or targeting behavior characteristic of ads (such as the use of HTML5 autoplay of both audio and video).

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September 11, 2012

Commercial Skipping


Commercial skipping is an advanced feature in some digital video recorders that makes it possible to automatically skip commercials in recorded programs. This feature has created controversy, with major television networks and movie studios claiming it violates copyright and should be banned. For many years, video recorders manufactured for the Japanese market have been able to skip advertisements automatically, which is done by detecting when foreign language audio overdub tracks provided for many programs go silent, as advertisements were broadcast with a single language only.

The first DVR which had a built-in Commercial skipping feature was ReplayTV with its ‘4000 Series’ and ‘5000 Series’ units. In 2002 five owners of the ReplayTV DVR sued the main television networks and movie studios, asking the federal judge to uphold consumers’ rights to record TV shows and skip commercials claiming that features like commercial skipping help parents protect their kids from excessive consumerism. ReplayTV ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2003 after fighting a copyright infringement suit over the ReplayTV’s ability to skip commercials.

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September 11, 2012

Cards Against Humanity

Apples to Apples

Cards Against Humanity is a multiplayer party game currently available as a free download or a published hardcopy. The game is available under a Creative Commons license. Its title references the phrase ‘crimes against humanity,’ reflecting its politically incorrect content.

Cards Against Humanity was created by a group of alumni of Highland Park High School as a party game for a New Year’s Eve celebration. The project was financed through the website Kickstarter. Co-creator Ben Hantoot stated in an interview that the game was developed by ‘8 of us who are the core writer-creators, 5 or 6 additional ‘part time’ developers’ and ‘dozens of friends and acquaintances who have played the game.’

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September 11, 2012


Terence McKenna

Psilocybin [sil-uh-sahy-bin] is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms, collectively known as psilocybin mushrooms. The most potent are members of the genus Psilocybe, such as P. azurescens, P. semilanceata, and P. cyanescens, but psilocybin has also been isolated from about a dozen other genera.

Psilocybin is quickly converted by the body to psilocin, which has mind-altering effects similar to those of LSD and mescaline. The effects generally include euphoria, visual and mental hallucinations, changes in perception, a distorted sense of time, and spiritual experiences, and can include possible adverse reactions such as nausea and panic attacks. Possession of psilocybin-containing mushrooms has been outlawed in most countries, and it has been classified as a scheduled drug by many national drug laws.

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