Archive for the '‘D’ for ‘Dumb’' Category

The Eternal Facepalm of the Mind

At the moment, there is an animated television show airing in Japan called Fractale. (See here for certain details.) Until yesterday, you could legally view it outside of Japan, with English subtitles, on Crunchyroll, and perhaps elsewhere.

Then, the Fractale Production Committee discovered that – SHOCK HORROR! – people on the internet were illegally distributing copies of the show, and forbade the distribution of the show on Crunchyroll until the license-holder, Funimation, removed all copies from the internet, regardless of whether they were “ripped” from Crunchyroll et al or recorded off-the-air on television in Japan.

“Dear rights holder: because of the uncivilized actions of assorted third parties, in countries other than your own, having no connection to you whatsoever, and unknown to any of us, you can no has the product you paid for until such time as you satisfy us that you have stopped these unknown third parties from doing things you have no control over, kthxbai.”

On the one hand, I am always a little bit depressed whenever I discover that people demonstrably dumber than I have become reasonably successful in life, so this sort of thing is a bit of a downer. However, I am slightly by this sort of thing proving that America, love it or hate it, may be losing its position as the global superpower par excellence of mind-bogglingly facepalm-worthy stupidity.

Come, noble people of the Internet who I am privileged to call brethren-in-bytes, let us embark on a crusade – we shall call it the Asshat Crusade – to purge the world of the tyranny and evil of digital media piracy by, collectively, through strength of heart and purity of soul, eliminating all legal and legitimate media outlets. Our cause, though fucking ginormous, is just and righteous; if we can but cast aside our fast food and our apathy and our collective grasp on reality, my friends, then victory shall surely be ours!

Let this be a reminder that there is nothing in life so straightforward that it cannot be completely screwed up by a committee.

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General | on January 20th, 2011 | 1 Comment »

The Unpredictable Repercussions of Tragedy

Over the weekend, as I’m sure you’re aware, an individual shot a number of people in Arizona, including a member of Congress. This was undoubtedly a tragedy, and one which a lot of the country is more than willing to fixate on for days or even weeks.

Beyond the shock and sadness, though, there are a lot of interesting effects that will play out for months or even years to come, and they all pretty much revolve around one thing: Fear.
Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General, Security | on January 13th, 2011 | Comments Off on The Unpredictable Repercussions of Tragedy

A Wintery Conspiracy Theory

On Saturday, central Minnesota got hammered by one heck of a winter storm, which dropped twenty inches of snow in some places, and created drifts more than five feet high. If you’re in the United States and have watched the national new in the last day or two, you’ve probably seen the video of the Metrodome, the enclosed sports arena in Minneapolis, collapsing under the weight of the snow.

Yep. A combination of snow, ice, and high winds caused, nearly twelve hours after the end of the snowstorm, the inflatable roof to collapse and fail, requiring the postponement and relocation of at least one NFL game, maybe more.

If you’re outside Minnesota, though, or at least the Twin Cities, you probably haven’t heard the conspiracy theories surrounding the collapse.
Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General | on December 14th, 2010 | Comments Off on A Wintery Conspiracy Theory

Fixin’ Stuff Because You Could

They just don’t make stuff anymore like they used to. Not that old stuff was perfect, or anything, but repair on older appliances and things like that usually aren’t too difficult at all, on the rare occasion they’re needed.

Case in point: last week, our (twenty-year-old) dehumidifier quit working. Some disassembly later, it turned out one of the main power wires had burned through. Why? Because the fan had seized. I stripped down the motor, cleaned out the hardened oil, re-lubricated it, re-assembled the fan, then soldered the burnt wire, and hey presto, it works again, good as new.

Repair was greatly simplified by the owner’s manual, which thoughtfully includes a wiring diagram.

On the other hand…
Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General | on September 30th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

Persecuted Minorities

There have been a lot of news stories in the past couple of days here in the States that Arab-Americans are facing heightened – I think the word usually used is “unprecedented” – levels of discrimination.

It’s not hard to figure out why, unfortunately. For too many people, brown equals terrorist. That’s wrong, and it bothers me rather a lot.

What I also find bothersome is the way that people – including journalists – try to spin the current, reactionary wave of bigotry as special or unique or, indeed, unprecedented.

Does nobody remember history, anymore?
Read the rest of this entry »

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', General, History | on September 24th, 2010 | Comments Off on Persecuted Minorities