Meet history, the Marvelous way:

Moved below the fold because it autoplays.

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28 April 2016 · Comments Off on How Stuff Works, Raptor Dept. · Categories: Give Me a Break

Yes, folks, nature is red in tooth and claw.

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02 March 2016 · Comments Off on Stop the Presses! Please, Just Stop · Categories: Give Me a Break

This is journanimalism today:

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13 February 2016 · Comments Off on Facebook Frolics · Categories: Culture Warriors, Geek Stuff, Give Me a Break

A Parisian protests the petty puritanism of prissy poseurs. A precis:

A court has ruled that Facebook can be sued in France over its decision to remove the account of a French user who posted a photo of a famous 19th-century nude painting.

The ruling by the Paris appeal court could set a legal precedent in the country, where Facebook has more than 30 million regular users.

A court will now be entitled to hear the case of the 57-year-old Parisian teacher and art lover whose Facebook account was suspended five years ago without notice. It was closed on the day he posted a photo of Gustave Courbet’s 1866 painting The Origin of the World, . . . .

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27 November 2015 · Comments Off on The Big Deal · Categories: Give Me a Break

Woman with full cart at Buy-Mart:  30% off irregular tube socks.  This is way better than spending time with family!

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05 September 2015 · Comments Off on Sackcloth and Ashleys · Categories: Give Me a Break

In my local rag, Jamesetta Walker sings the blues.

I digs the beat.

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23 August 2015 · Comments Off on Virginia Gentlemen · Categories: Give Me a Break

Yeah.

ODU President John Broderick said students could face disciplinary action after a photo of sexually suggestive banners welcoming freshmen women to Old Dominion University sparked a furor on social media Saturday.

The three signs at the house, which have been taken down, read: “ Rowdy and fun. Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time …”, “Freshman daughter drop off” with an arrow pointed to the front door and “Go ahead and drop off mom too …”

Right.

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07 April 2015 · Comments Off on Facebook Frolics · Categories: Geek Stuff, Give Me a Break

News as status updates.

Facebook already manipulates applies algorithms to decide what items you should see on your “timeline.” Now they will filter the news for you, too?

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26 February 2015 · Comments Off on Showmanship May Be Artful (Like a Dodger), But It Is Not Art · Categories: Give Me a Break

One more time: If you have to install it, it’s a washing machine or a computer operating system or a furnace. It’s not art.

Even if it makes persons go “Gee Whiz,” it’s not art.

Art is not “installed.” Art is.

Barnum was wrong. One is not born every minute.

The birthrate is much higher.

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25 January 2015 · Comments Off on The Snaring Society · Categories: First Looks, Give Me a Break

The Uber mentality goes rogue.

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21 January 2015 · Comments Off on You, Too, Can Be King · Categories: Give Me a Break

Here are real-life lessons in how to King yourself.

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14 January 2015 · Comments Off on Errant Electrons · Categories: Give Me a Break

Pig:  Did you know the earth is only 5,000 years old?  Goat:  Where did you hear that?  Pig:  On the internet.  Goat:  You know, Pig, not everything you read on the internet is true.  Pig faints and Rat says,

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27 December 2014 · Comments Off on Forever Young · Categories: Give Me a Break

Join the Photoslop Generation.

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In The Nation, Adrien Chen skewers Gabriella Coleman’s recent paean to Anonymous (usually referred to as “the hacker collective). She traces it from its roots in 4chan (which is not a nice internet place to be), describes its frat-boy mindset, and derides its “hactivism” as adolescent prankery for the same of prankery. In short, she doesn’t have a very high opinion of Anonymous.

I commend the article to your attention.

Buried within it is this gem, which aptly describes what George Smith commonly refers to “the culture of lickspittle” (emphasis added):

Members of this group (the “drop outs” of the “tune in, turn on, drop out” generation; see the article for more–ed.) endorsed criminal hacking as political resistance. They dropped acid and spoke of online experience in trippy language that echoes Coleman’s. Then they went on to found some of Silicon Valley’s most influential institutions, including Wired, Apple and the Global Business Network. Today, their techno-utopianism is why a tech mogul like Mark Zuckerberg is celebrated as a visionary social engineer. In this context, Anonymous is anything but subversive; it is the most radical advocate of a widespread conflation of technological prowess with political wisdom. Anonymous is Silicon Valley’s unwitting shock troops, a live demo of the Internet’s power to transform our world. When Anons call for revolution, they’re calling for a better world. But the shallowness of their politics and their uncritical embrace of technology means this energy is easily channeled into Silicon Valley’s parody of revolution: a techno-liberation from the doldrums of day jobs with health insurance and steady benefits, in favor of the radical freedom and flexibility to pilot an Uber under contract.

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03 October 2014 · Comments Off on Facebook Frolics · Categories: Give Me a Break

Find the cheese.

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29 September 2014 · Comments Off on No iJunk Need Apply · Categories: Geek Stuff, Give Me a Break

Steve Ballmer compiled an enviable record while CEO of Microsoft. From Bing! to Windows 8, every major decision he made was wrong. He’s no longer CEO (see the preceding sentence), but he is still Microsoft in the head.

Former Microsoft CEO and new Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is known for his distaste for Apple products. It’s not shocking then that Ballmer, who once grabbed an employee’s iPhone at a Microsoft meeting and pretended to stomp on it, plans to phase out iPhones and iPads from the Clippers locker room.

Words fail me.

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14 September 2014 · Comments Off on Is Nothing Sacred? · Categories: Give Me a Break

(That’s a rhetorical question.)

I stopped at a local convenience store and discovered that the great American Marketing Mafia has developed a new way of assaulting us with their cowpies: GSTV.

That is Gas Station TV. The screens are mounted in the gas pumps and the volume comes on when you start the payment process. An unrelenting stream of commercials pours from the pump along with your gasoline.

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12 March 2014 · Comments Off on Electric Moments In Media · Categories: Give Me a Break

Lee Camp reports (warning: language):

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17 November 2013 · Comments Off on Update from the Wedding Industrial Complex · Categories: Give Me a Break

From MarketWatch:

As the cost of attending weddings increases, so does the volume of RSVPs marked “Declines with regret.” Some 43% of Americans say they’ve declined to attend a wedding for financial reasons, according to a new poll by American Consumer Credit Counseling. The average cost of attending a wedding — including expenses like hotel stays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, child care, and party attire — reached roughly $539 this year, up 60% from 2012, according to an American Express survey. Of course, that pales in comparison to the cost of hosting a wedding: $28,400 on average last year, according to wedding website TheKnot.com.

I’m so old, I remember when weddings were to celebrate a marriage, not to pick the guests (and the bride’s and groom’s) pockets.

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New York regulators will announce on Monday the most comprehensive crackdown to date on deceptive reviews on the Internet. Agreements have been reached with 19 companies to cease their misleading practices and pay a total of $350,000 in penalties.

The yearlong investigation encompassed companies that create fake reviews as well as the clients that buy them. Among those signing the agreements are a charter bus operator, a teeth-whitening service, a laser hair-removal chain and an adult entertainment club. Also signing are several reputation-enhancement firms that place fraudulent reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, Citysearch and Yahoo.

There were also fake reviews of dentists, lawyers, and medical imaging services.

I know that some persons pay attention to online reviews. I rarely do, because I get comment spam almost every day from “SEO” outfits promising to boost ratings. Granting that there are things that you or your web person can do to make your site friendlier to search engines, third party SEO consultancy is by and large a fraud and a scam.

If you must read online reviews, read the ones here.

Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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