Pop Culture Link Round Up 11.22.14

Two-legged kitty wants scritches!

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 Winnie the Pooh–inappropriate hermaphrodite

Winnie the Pooh has been banned from a Polish playground because of his “dubious sexuality” and “inappropriate” dress.

The much-loved animated bear was suggested at a local council meeting to decide which famous character should become the face of the play area in the small town of Tuszyn.

But the idea soon sparked outrage among more conservative members, with one councillor even denouncing poor Pooh as a “hermaphrodite”.

“The problem with that bear is it doesn’t have a complete wardrobe,” said Ryszard Cichy during the discussion.

 “It is half naked which is wholly inappropriate for children. [Poland’s fictional bear] is dressed from head to toe, unlike Pooh who is only dressed from the waist up.”

Whining about a fictional bear being half undressed is really pathetic. Even worse is that they pulled the ole’ “think about the children”.  Yes, let’s do that. What *are* children going to think about a bear with a shirt and no pants?  Seriously, what harm is going to come to children? Seems like a few councillors have a problem with nudity.  How prudish.

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 Angelina Jolie to retire from acting

Angelina Jolie has confirmed she is retiring from acting to concentrate on writing and directing.

The Hollywood star, who won an Oscar for Girl Interrupted, said she did not enjoy being the centre of attention and intended to move permanently behind the camera.

“I’ve never been comfortable as an actor; I’ve never loved being in front of the camera,” Jolie said in an interview with Du Jour magazine.

 “I didn’t ever think I could direct, but I hope I’m able to have a career at it because I’m much happier.”

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An Ultra-Modern Design Proposal for United States Dollar Banknotes

images by Travis Purrington

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51-Foot-Long Fire-Breathing Dragon Is Declared the World’s Largest Walking Robot

Pop Culture Link Round Up 11.22.14
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Cool video of popcorn kernels popping

I love me some popcorn*(I think I have my mother to thank for that), so I was enthralled while watching this short video.  It’s slo-mo footage of kernels popping.

(via Laughing Squid)

*But not Kettle Corn. That stuff is a true abomination.

Cool video of popcorn kernels popping

A little Augmented/Demented reality

Marty Cooper is a talented animator who has created a series of animated shorts that combine traditional cel animation with iPhone photos. He uses the cel animation to create characters that interact with the background and foreground in his photos by using transparent layers. The resulting shorts, titled Aug(De)Mented Reality, are highly creative and quite amusing. Here is a collection of shorts he released in early 2014:

Here is a recently released sequel (and against all rules of sequels, I think it is better than the original):

Many of his animated clips can be found on Instagram or his Tumblr.

A little Augmented/Demented reality

Good parenting

Would that more parents were like this. Boys are not harmed by expressing themselves in the manner they choose.  Parents fighting back against rigid gender roles is good for society.

Good parenting

The Lousy Canuck's 'Entitlement Culture'

In a righteous and lengthy rant over at Lousy Canuck, Jason Thibeault discusses the culture of entitlement common in the conservative mindset and shows how that mentality is found in everything from right wingers to anti-feminists to GamerGaters to slym*pitters and more. It’s captivating and well worth the read.

There’s a turn of phrase that’s been around for a while now: “entitlement culture”. The right wing has this meme that they’ve been foisting on the public that people who are on welfare, people who are on disability, people who are on social security, believe themselves to have certain “entitlements” and that their laziness — read, their expectation that they should get these things — suggests by itself that they shouldn’t actually get what they think they deserve. Interestingly enough, the targets of these particular memes are uniformly the underprivileged — those who are the hardest done by this society, those who have fallen on hard times and aren’t even allowed bootstraps by which to pull themselves back up.

It’s especially noteworthy that the language around this phenomenon is already so polluted by people horrified at the idea that people with nothing might actually need resources to help pull them out of the depths of their despair, and that this is one of those times when the truth of who has a sense of undeserved entitlement is the inverse — it’s always the people who already have it all and think they won it fair and square. The people who’ve spread the meme so successfully have turned the whole argument on its head. And what’s worse is, this same argument about entitlement is happening over and over again, in every single community, under a number of different names, about topics as diverse as birth control and police brutality and video games. In every case, the language is twisted to the advantage of the right-wing reactionary mindset, and somehow we who are anywhere left of Glenn Beck are caught flat-footed by it all, time and again.

There are dozens of disparate threads within my fields of interest with which I’m going to attempt to pick them all up and weave into a single unified tapestry. I may jump around quite a bit, apologies in advance. I’m going to have to start by defining some terms, before I start giving you some examples of what I’m talking about.

Read the rest of this glorious takedown of the true culture of entitlement at Lousy Canuck.

The Lousy Canuck's 'Entitlement Culture'

The Lousy Canuck’s ‘Entitlement Culture’

In a righteous and lengthy rant over at Lousy Canuck, Jason Thibeault discusses the culture of entitlement common in the conservative mindset and shows how that mentality is found in everything from right wingers to anti-feminists to GamerGaters to slym*pitters and more. It’s captivating and well worth the read.

There’s a turn of phrase that’s been around for a while now: “entitlement culture”. The right wing has this meme that they’ve been foisting on the public that people who are on welfare, people who are on disability, people who are on social security, believe themselves to have certain “entitlements” and that their laziness — read, their expectation that they should get these things — suggests by itself that they shouldn’t actually get what they think they deserve. Interestingly enough, the targets of these particular memes are uniformly the underprivileged — those who are the hardest done by this society, those who have fallen on hard times and aren’t even allowed bootstraps by which to pull themselves back up.

It’s especially noteworthy that the language around this phenomenon is already so polluted by people horrified at the idea that people with nothing might actually need resources to help pull them out of the depths of their despair, and that this is one of those times when the truth of who has a sense of undeserved entitlement is the inverse — it’s always the people who already have it all and think they won it fair and square. The people who’ve spread the meme so successfully have turned the whole argument on its head. And what’s worse is, this same argument about entitlement is happening over and over again, in every single community, under a number of different names, about topics as diverse as birth control and police brutality and video games. In every case, the language is twisted to the advantage of the right-wing reactionary mindset, and somehow we who are anywhere left of Glenn Beck are caught flat-footed by it all, time and again.

There are dozens of disparate threads within my fields of interest with which I’m going to attempt to pick them all up and weave into a single unified tapestry. I may jump around quite a bit, apologies in advance. I’m going to have to start by defining some terms, before I start giving you some examples of what I’m talking about.

Read the rest of this glorious takedown of the true culture of entitlement at Lousy Canuck.

The Lousy Canuck’s ‘Entitlement Culture’

Pop Culture Link Round Up 10.18.14

Warner Brothers has given the green light to a big screen adaptation of the novel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling (h/t The Mary Sue).  In the same press release that revealed the Wonder Woman solo film, we learn:

The Studio will release three pictures, in 2016, 2018 and 2020, based on best-selling author J.K. Rowling’s original story and screenwriting debut, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Set in an extension of her familiar wizarding world, featuring magical creatures and characters inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook and its fictitious author, Newt Scamander, “Fantastic Beasts” will be directed by David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies, and reunite the filmmaking team of David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.

For those unfamiliar with Rowlings’ novel (people like meeeeeeeeeeeee):

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a 2001 book written by British author J. K. Rowling about the magical creatures in theHarry Potter universe. It purports to be Harry Potter’s copy of the textbook of the same name mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (published as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the US), the first novel of the Harry Potter series.

In a 2001 interview with publisher Scholastic, Rowling stated that she chose the subject ofmagical creatures because it was a fun topic for which she had already developed a lot of information in earlier books. Rowling’s name does not appear on the cover of the book, the work being credited under the pseudonym “Newt Scamander”.

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What is Kratom?

According to SageWisdom.org, kratom leaves can be chewed fresh or dry, powdered, or brewed into a tea. It is not usually smoked, because the “amount of leaf that constitutes a typical dose is too much to be smoked easily.” It’s most commonly sold in powdered form in packets, both online, in head shops and in kava bars, alcohol-free bars where people can consume tea made from the legal Polynesian kava root. An ounce costs between $20 and $30, which is enough kratom for one very strong dose*, or several more mild doses.

The fact that kratom can mitigate the painful effects of opiate withdrawl is significant, given that heroin use has reached staggering rates in the U.S. A report by the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy estimated 1.5 million chronic heroin users in the US, which doesn’t account for users who use heroin fewer than four days a month.

While it is regularly used to curb opiate addiction by reducing the withdrawal symptoms, kratom itself can be addictive. One mother in South Florida told the local CBS news the story of her 17-year-old son’s spiral into kratom addiction after he tried the plant at a kava bar with friends. She blames the addiction for her son’s eventual suicide, saying he was “not the same person,” after using kratom.

While it remains popular in underground circles, kratom has been illegal in Thailand since 1943 (it’s also banned in Malaysia, Burma and Australia). However, as Fox News reported, “Thai officials are considering reversing the 70-year-old ban on kratom, due to the plant’s value in weaning addicts off of opiates.”

Despite the potential for addiction, people have used kratom as a stimulant and a medicine for thousands of years. As Fox News reported, “The plant also enjoys a legendary use for extending the duration of sexual intercourse,” and “it mostly enjoys a long history of safe use.”

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 Awesome photos of space from SPACE.com

Photographer Chris Bakley captured this stunning view of the Milky Way over the shore of Cape May, New Jersey in late August and sent it in to Space.com. It appeared as a photo story on Oct. 7.
The night sky a place of wonder and awe that photos like this amazing view from astrophotographer James L. Jenkins, Jr. The photo shows the Milky Way over Bodie Light at Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina.

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Sincerity Machine: The Comic Sans Typewriter

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Pascal Blanche is building a stunning sci-fi universe

Unsurprisingly, the work of Foss, McQuarrie, and their ilk helped inspire Blanche to get into art in the first place. While Star Wars was the jumping off point, Blanche rattles off a list of some of the biggest names in science fiction and fantasy as his influences: Frank Frazetta, Mœbius, and books like Dune and pretty much everything by Isaac Asimov. “All of the classics,” he says. His personal site even includes a large list of his inspirations.

His initial goal was to work in animation, but when he discovered computers, and their potential to “help me create whatever I wanted,” he decided video games might be a better place for his talents. Prior to working at Ubisoft he freelanced for the likes of Magic the Gathering creator Wizards of the Coast, but video games let him “create more living worlds,” he explains.

Outside of his day job, Blanche is currently working on a personal project called “Stardust.” He calls it something he “had in the back of my mind” for ages, but what it is isn’t exactly clear. Right now “Stardust” is a Tumblr filled with beautiful art: colorful illustrations of ships flying through a hazy space, and towering, Death Star-like structures floating among the stars. Though there’s no descriptions for the different pieces, they all feel connected through color and style. It’s clear they’re part of the same universe — hopefully one we’ll be seeing more of in the future.

Here is some of that nice Tumblr art:

 

Pop Culture Link Round Up 10.18.14

Pop Culture Link Round Up 10.14.14

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Developing Thriller for Syfy Network

The long-time friends and frequent collaborators are working with cable network Syfy to develop Incorporated, a spy thriller about a man trying to stand up to a futuristic world where big corporations rule, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Um, perhaps someone should tell Affleck and Damon that this isn’t really a sci-fi idea bc the world we live in is already run by corporations.

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Nintendo & Disney Mashups by Michael Villamejor

Mickey + Mario
Peter Pan + Link
Minnie Mouse & Pluto + Mega Man

Go check out more of his mashup!

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If you’re a Social Justice Warrior, then odds are you’ve encountered people who fling the term around with disdain, as if it’s an insult.  Silly, I know.  The idea that advocating for improving the lives others is an insult is just about the dumbest thing ever. Still, it happens.  Now, one enterprising person has come up with a snarky solution:

Make Your Computer Auto-Convert Any Mention Of “SJW” To “Skeleton” For Maximum Spoopiness

Created by Alex Hong, the Chrome Extension is available for free right here.Certain tweets suggest that the idea began in the GooberGrape subreddit, which we can’t confirm that because why would we ever go to there ever? But if that is the case, there’s something kind of satisfying about knowing that both sides of this debacle think that everything is better when you stop having to read “SJW” everywhere.

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VAMPIRES ARE REALLY REAL! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES
The “vampire grave” was discovered in southern Bulgaria by Professor Nikolay Ovcharov, an archeologist described by various news outlets as “the Bulgarian Indiana Jones.” (That is entirely too little information for my taste!) Ovcharov found the 13th-century remains while excavating the ruins of Perperikon, an ancient city rediscovered only twenty years ago and thought to be the site of The Temple of Dionysus. In addition to a citadel and fortress, archaeologists now believe Perperikon to contain a series of vampire graves. Ovcharov says of his most recent find,

We have no doubts that once again we’re seeing an anti-vampire ritual being carried out […] Often they were applied to people who had died in unusual circumstances – such as suicide. […] The ploughshare weighs almost two pounds and is dug into the body into a broken shoulder bone. You can clearly see how the collarbone has literally popped out.

 

“Vampire graves” have been uncovered at nearby sites as well–two similar skeletons discovered 200 miles east of Perperikon have been nicknamed “the twin vampires of Sozopol.”  In addition to the “vampire” remains, Bulgarian Indy also uncovered the skeletons of a mother and her baby buried in the image of the Virgin Mary and her child; a practice thought to ward off plague. Yep, if you weren’t suicidal or disposing of a vampire in the 13th century, it’s probably because you were busy succumbing to a horrible disease. Scrap all time machines, team! We’d be dead before you can say “bubonic.

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Gillian Anderson wants to be in the all-female Ghostbusters

Who ya gonna call?
Dana Scully!

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I normally only do 5 links bc, well…there’s no reason. It’s just traditions dammit. Everyone knows how important tradition is. Just ask theists.  Oh, wait…

Ok, I’m breaking tradition then.  I’m a rebel I tells ya!

So my first act as a rebel is to ask the question no one else is asking: What the hell is up with pumpkin spiced everything this year? Did I just fall asleep last October? Did god send pumpkin spices down for the first time this year instead of resurrecting his only begotten son?  I mean seriously, there are:

Pumpkin Spice Pringles

Pumpkin Spice Oreos

Pumpkin Burgers from Burger King Japan

Pumpkin Spice Lasagna

Pumpkin Spice Soy Milk

(I was going to include the Pumpkin Spice Tampons, but those are apparently a hoax)

 

 

Pop Culture Link Round Up 10.14.14