fidesquaerens: (Default)
A comment over at FB reminded me of this, and it was good for a laugh. Thought I'd share.

God hates figs!!! )

(Originally posted at LJ.)
fidesquaerens: (Default)
#1. TOR.n shared this collection of buttons available at Comicon (which has apparently been dubbed as #hobbitcon on Twitter this year):

Read more... )

I want, oh, pretty much all of them but definitely the top-left one to go on my bookbag. The pin I got for being an LGBT ally is lonely. But the bottom-right one earned a definite giggle. Am I the only one reading this who remembers OFUM?

#2. The many tweets of KimKierkegaard. In which someone has mashed bits of Kierkegaard's timeless wisdom with Kim Kardashian's not-so-timeless tweets. With friends like Justin Buber thrown in for good measure. I don't know any of these people enough to fully get this as much as I'd like, but I thought someone else could use a good laugh.

#3. Yoda origami - what's not to love?

Read more... )

#4. Another TOR.n goodie from Comicon. Their sign is hilarious, though I rather think it was unintended. Yes, fandom works pretty much like a ring of power at times. (Though I'm sure TOR.n is a great site...)

Read more... )

#5. Yet more goodness of the Star Wars variety:

Read more... )

#6. And finally, because no post should apparently be entirely without religion, here's some hellfire and dalmatians:

Read more... )

(Originally posted at LJ.)
fidesquaerens: (Default)
1. I think I've had this cat in my philosophy class:

Read more... )

2. A funny pic from the annals of FaceBook:

Read more... )

And yes, it is that hot. I wish I had a ceiling fan... The highlight of my day was definitely going to the grocery store to pick up one little thing (frozen green beans to use as an ice pack for the fingers I broke a few days ago). Central air is deliciously delicious.

Also, the internet has been busy with the recent Supreme Court case on Obamacare. My favorites:

3. Because the internet is tubes full of cats:

Read more... )

4. In which photoshoppers are historically knowledgeable and really funny:

Read more... )

Enjoy.

(Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.)
fidesquaerens: (Default)
Jon Stewart meets Lord of the Rings - what's not to love?

Read more... )
(Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.)
fidesquaerens: (Default)
I disagree with pretty much all of the points made, of course. But as far as pastiches go, it was actually pretty good. Why can't all political ads actually be clever like this?

Read more... )

(Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.)
fidesquaerens: (Default)
I've been working my way through M*A*S*H. Of course I'd seen several episodes (probably a third or so of the show), but it's good seeing it all in order.

The episode "Yankee Doodle Doctor" encapsulates so much about what is great about this show. An army film-maker wants to make a "documentary" about the 4077th, starring Hawkeye. Only after the thing is shot do they realize it's actually propaganda with little relation to the truth of their situation. So Hawkeye and Pierce ruin the film and the director leaves in a huff. The gang decide to remake the film, and this is what they produce. (The voiceover is from the original "straight" version of the documentary.) There's slapstick, of course, but then there's an almost seamless transition into the dramatic monologue. It's all just so thoroughly human, with all the richness of life.

Read more... )

Here is the monologue at the end, which is my third quote for the 100things challenge:

Three hours ago, this man was in a battle. Two hours ago, we operated on him. He's got a 50-50 chance. We win some, we lose some. That's what it's all about. No promises. No guaranteed survival. No saints in surgical garb. Our willingness, our experience, our technique are not enough. Guns, and bombs, and anti-personnel mines have more power to take life than we have to preserve it. Not a very happy ending for a movie. But then, no war is a movie.


I think if more talk about war, honoring soldiers and all the rest kept this in mind, we'd all be better for it. And I'd probably be a bit less pacifistic. Hearing that monologue for the first time last night was like a breath of fresh air. Coming right after all the hilarious slapstick just made it work that much the better.

(Origihally posted at LJ; please comment there.)
fidesquaerens: (Default)
Apparently, in France even the kitties are existentialists.

Read more... )

(Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.)
fidesquaerens: (Default)
I'm on the bus back from Baltimore to NYC.

It was a good weekend in the Charm City. The conference didn't go quite as well as I would have liked, mostly because it was a little outside my expertise and also because it was only a single day - felt like just once I was getting into the swing of things the event was over. I think I was spoiled a bit by my last conference being spread over three days. At a minimum I got exposed to some interesting ideas that I hadn't been exposed to before. It focused on the intersection of race and gender, and asked whether there were distinctly different concepts of being male or female (or black/white/whatever shade of brown/etc.) mattered).

For the interested, I started out with a basic line of thought that has really bothered me in the healthcare debate: the idea that being forced to buy insurance was an infringement on your liberty. Now, we can disagree over whether forcing everyone to buy a service from a private company is the best way of organizing health care. And we can ask whether we need to tie it in to having a job or not; and whether choices like smoking, exercise level, fat intake, etc. should impact premiums. All of these are legitimate debates. But just because you don't like having to buy health insurance doesn't mean you're the only one impacted by not buying health insurance. Specifically, when you can't pay for care (one way or another) you force a ahrd choice on me: either pay for your care or allow you ot suffer. That second option makes me go against a relationship we have (as neighbors, fellow citizens, fellow humans, whatever). And relationships matter, particularly to women. They seem significant, and forcing me to violate my relationships seems immoral somehow. That issue just hasn't entered into the debate.

I started by talking about someone named Carol Gilligan. She basically said that men typically think in terms of mrules and women tend to think in terms of relationships. The problem is, if you want to move beyond talking about what people actually do to what they should do, you run into a problem. Either you have to say men are better than women or women are better than men - a problem for obvious reasons! - or you have to say there's some way we can explain how they're equal, even though they aim after different traits. One approach stems from gender essentialism, and it's basically the idea that character traits (say, being nurturing) make you a good woman but a bad man. There's some pretty obvious sexism there and it also makes women into a separate group from men, rather than two halves of the same whole. Which is, you know, not particularly cool.

The third way that I wanted to look at (surprise, surprise) came from Anselm. He said that good humans love well. We recognize the things we ought to love and then love it. But it's a two-way street; particularly with God but also with other things, our love helps us know something's worth. It directs our attention, it inspires awe and hope and other things that help motivate us to really think about something. There's a single activity that good humans ought to do, but you need both the rule approach we associate with love and the caring/relational approach we associate with women. As the old line goes, God took Eve not from the head of Adam to rule over him, nor from his feet so she might be trampled by him, but God took Eve from Adam's side to stand beside him. Or something like that. The basic idea is you have an ethics for humans but it respects all the human psyche, male and female and everything in between. Which, frankly, traditional ethics hasn't done such a great job of!

Anyway. Enough deep thought, and enough focusing on this paper. Back to God-talk and the ontological argument for me. For now, I'm happy to watch the world pass by.

Speaking of, this meme from FB completely cracked me up:

Read more... )
fidesquaerens: (Default)
the latest Ph.D. comic )

(Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.)
fidesquaerens: (Default)
Apropos to this morning's post, here are some songs poking fun at racism. Offered up in the hopes that laughing at something makes it that much easier to deal with.

First, "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" from Avenue Q, suggested by [profile] aliana1.

Read more... )

Which brings me to my first "100 things" quote.

Gary: Now there was a fine upstanding black man!
Princeton: Who?
Gary: Jesus Christ.
Kate: But, Gary, Jesus was white.
Gary: No, Jesus was black.
Kate: No, Jesus was white.
Gary: No I'm pretty sure that Jesus was black --
Princeton: Guys, guys... Jesus was Jewish!


As if that solves the question! (Remember the airlift of Jewish Ethiopians back in the '80s?) It's kind of like trying to sort out whether the pharaohs were white or black because they were Egyptian: it just bumps the issue to a different question. The fact that anyone would think that cleared up the issue totally cracked me up...

Also, what post on tongue-in-cheek racial humor would be complete without Randy Newman?

Read more... )

(Originally posted to LJ; please comment there.)
fidesquaerens: (Default)
So, I filed my taxes. If you (like me) are of the "never put off until tomorrow what can be delayed until the next day" school, do check out http://myfreetaxes.thebeehive.org/ , which lets you file both state and federal taxes online for free if your income is under a certain level. I have no special relationship to them, but just used them myself and it seemed to go smoothly.

Also: dunk-dunk saved me a substantial amount tonight! On the score of a few hundred dollars. There's a Law & Order episode in I think the first season where a defendant is given legal immunity in New York county but not from the Brooklyn DA office; that's how they got him to testify and still were able to prosecute him. I rewatched it a few weeks back and so it wasn't too far from my mind. Anyway, when filling out the forms it crossed my mind that maybe I'm not a "New York City" resident - I live and work in the Bronx which is one of the New York boroughs, but isn't legally part of New York. So I was surprised to see I owed a lot of state taxes, and phones up the IRS to ask whether I was selecting the right status and they said that in point of fact for tax penalties I wasn't in NYC. Score one for fandom...

I don't know how a lot of people feel about taxes but in the past I actually liked tax day. Oh, sure, it was frustrating to go through all the forms and a bit depressing at how little I earned until this last year. 2010 was a special treat because I had a state tax bill that was exactly equal to my refund, so I had to unexpectedly pay $139 and then wait several weeks to get a check for the same amount. Idiocy, it burns, precious. But I also feel patriotic about me. I am more for social justice than I am for charity, so if you gave me the choice I'd rather have the government spend my tax money (if they do it efficiently and toward the right kind of things - I know, a big assumption) than get a refund and give that to a private charity. The reason's simple enough; charity puts me in a position of power that I haven't earned, and I also think it's downright Biblical ("when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"; Mt 6:3).

But this year... well, it doesn't feel this way to me. I still like the social justice work my govt does, and with Obamacare (which I support though I really would have liked a public option to buy into) I have more reason to support that kind of work. The thing is, there are other things the government has done that basically drive home the point that even the "good guys" (from my perspective!) don't respect the rule of law. Government always involves a loss of liberty in one sense; law means there are some things I want to do that I can't do for fear of punishment. But I gain freedom in another sense - I always thought in the past - because there's someone to keep the Mitt Romneys and Donald Trumps of the world from taking advantage of me. I always thought of government as a kind of union, that allowed less powerful citizens to organize and claim their rights against businesses that were powerful enough to crush citizens privately. And I thought it did good, so I could support both the means and the ends that taxes point to. I still support the ends, but now I'm not so sure about the means, and it makes it harder to feel patriotic.

I know, I know. Only I would worry about that - and really, getting $126 back in a few weeks is no small thing; if anything, it's cause to celebrate. But I miss submitting my taxes feeling like I'd done my good deed for the week. :-S

On a lighter note, enjoy this pic of the importance of cooperation. Cute!

Read more... )

(Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.)
fidesquaerens: (Default)
These two memes and one comic appeared almost one after another on FB. So I can't quite see them without hearing a story inside my head. First, most people cannot get this blissed out without a bit of chemical assistance:

Read more... )

Of course dogs are different; this is not an exaggeration based on my experience. :-) Nor is it limited to doggies.

Read more... )

All of which kind of puts today's SMBC comic in an interesting light:

Read more... )

Though the philosopher in me must insist that Planck's constant only applies if we assume angels are material. Also, that the real question is whether a single angel can dance simultaneously on the points of multiple pins. In any event, I think humanities people exhibit a much better class of smugness. I like us.

(Originally posted posted at LJ; please comment there.)
fidesquaerens: (Default)
How can something so wrong be so complete right?

Read more... )

(Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.)
fidesquaerens: (Default)
Because friends don't let friends do philosophy.

Read more... )

(Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.)
fidesquaerens: (narnia)
Oh, hi weekend!

It's been a relatively good week, teaching-wise. My class covered the Apology and the Crito, both of which have to do with Socrates's trial. We had some great discussions about the nature of atheism, whether anyone really knows anything, and also when it was okay to disobey the law (and how). This semester for the first time I'm requiring my students to comment to our course blog before class to show they've done the reading, which means for every class at least half the class has actually done the reading and thought about it enough to give a drabble's worth of reflection. That seems to be making a real difference in the quality of discussion.

Or maybe it's just the fact that Plato's political and ethical material can be so fun. We'll see how it goes when we get to the more difficult metaphysical material next week. But I have high hopes for this group, and now that my head cold is clearing I feel more competent than I have in a long while in front of a class.

(Btw: if anyone's interested in following along, the course site is http://www.mlayton.net/ . My lecture notes are posted under the "Course Business" section.)

Research is going well, too. I haven't actually made more progress this week, but it's in a more definite, feeling-accomplished way than I've experienced in a good while. Makes me want to go into Manhattan tonight and go to a movie. Shall have to see if there's anything worth seeing - maybe Extremely Loud and Extremely Close? Though I'm reluctant to spend big screen bucks on something without the SFX and action sequences to make the most of it. Mostly, I'm happy because it's sixty degrees, not quite as wet as it was this morning, the week is over and I feel clear-headed and free for the first time in a long time.

Fun stuff I've posted over at FB:

1. From the "S**t my students write" website:

Biblical cats - In Egypt, cats used to be seen as the symbolic and sacred animal. However scholars who have read and analyse the Bible claim there is never a mention of cats throughout.


2. This cartoon. Because bunnies make everything better.

Read more... )
fidesquaerens: (Default)
Doctor Who: that fandom that I have never seen the original material - not a single episode - but whose humor somehow still totally cracks me up.

Read more... )

*********************

Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.
fidesquaerens: (Default)
From the "Shit My Students Write" website:

American settlers also used guns and protected themselves and their family’s from Indian attacks, claim jumpers, and much more. If they had outlawed guns because Billy the Kid killed some people where would we be today? Still living on the west coast, ruled by England?


Honestly, sometimes you can't make this stuff up... *g*

********************

Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.
fidesquaerens: (Default)
<i>Twilight</i>-bashing funny )

********************

Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.
fidesquaerens: (Default)
Heard through the inimitable George Takei over at FaceBook:

Read more... )

Also: hail to the Chief! J.K. Simmons, a.k.a. Assistant Chief Pope on "The Closer," marked another year on earth today.

Read more... )

Mr. Simmons is one of my fave actors lately, and not just for his work beside Kira Sedgwick in one of the best procedurals on the air today. His humor has brought a light to many dark places in my life, and so I wanted to mention it.

***********************

Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.

Profile

fidesquaerens: (Default)
fidesquaerens

August 2012

S M T W T F S
   1 2 3 4
56 7891011
12131415161718
1920212223 2425
262728293031 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated May. 27th, 2017 08:05 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios