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Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy
Starting a blog about books, caffeinated beverages, black and white movies and photography, and other things. This makes more sense than one might think. At least, so I hope. Public domained photo of the Rio Grande depot on my Typepad blog, courtesy of the State Govt. of Utah.
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Hello world, I guess? I've waited for a while to even decide what to do with this microblog (much less do it). This was in large part because my life was in a state of upheaval (as were the lives of my family), but there was a benefit to this. Not enough to make me recommend having one's life disrupted as a lifestyle option, but there was a tiny patch of brightness on the edge of that pitch black cloud. Originally, this was going to be a real-time photoblog, all photos being done in black and white. I still intend... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2017 at The Stacks / Joseph Dunphy's blog
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Posted Dec 22, 2009 at The Stacks / Joseph Dunphy's blog
See: The self-named "internetcop" writes: "Wow. You clearly didn't understand what you read at the JKM blog. Try going back and reading it again. That was not a review, nor did the writer indicate it was such, in any way, shape or form." Really? Let's take a look at the post Ted Rheingold links to on Muir's blog, in the post above. I'll give you the url, for your convenience. Title: Land of the Lost Revenue Date: Sunday, June 07, 2009 Url: "Well, not that long ago I termed the new $100 million dollar Will Ferrell film Land of the Lost a total failure of imagination. And now, general audiences seem to agree with that assessment." Muir, himself, uses the words "a total failure of imagination" to link to this piece: Title: A Total Failure of Imagination Url: To call a film "a total failure of the imagination" is not critical commentary, internetcop? Really? But then, what could Muir possibly know about that piece. He was only the man who wrote it. Muir continues his June 7 post, writing "All I can say is...It's nice to know that good taste isn't entirely...extinct. I'm gratified that those movie-goers who grew up with the Saturday morning TV series collectively turned their noses up at a cynical enterprise designed purely to poke fun at the memory of a production that was quite sincere, and quite special. ... Transforming the beloved Land of the Lost into a stupid, mocking Will Ferrell comedy was one of the worst ideas I've heard in a long time, especially when a great Lost World/Jurassic Park-style thriller could have been created in its place, given just the tiniest, most microscopic sliver of imagination." But this isn't a review? Riiiiiggghhhttt ... Critical commentary slipped in on the side is still critical commentary, and as I've pointed out, by Muir's own admission, he prejudged LOTL. Let's take a better look at his February 09, 2009 post, about the same film. "I try hard not to pre-judge movies that I haven't seen. To do so makes no sense...what am I judging if I haven't seen the final work of art?" Does he go on to comment on a film that he admits that he hasn't seen? Oh, yes ... "Case in point: Will Ferrell's Land of the Lost movie. I just feel grim, and a bit demoralized that a TV show I grew up has been transformed into that most horrible of mongrels: the Will Ferrell comedy of the week. Could it have been worse? Well, I guess it could have starred Adam Sandler. Or - shudder - Rob Schneider. Yes, yes I know the Sleestaks look just like they did on the 1970s show. I realize there's a clear attempt in the film's production design to maintain fidelity to the look and feel of the original series. But frankly, that's the wrong kind of "faithful." It's faithful only to be...jokey, to point out how fake and campy everything crafted in the 1970s looks to us today. It's smug superiority masquerading as "faithful." As my snarky brother-in-law said to me over the Christmas holiday: how does it feel to see your dream turned into a nightmare?" ... (snip) ... For all those reasons, a serious, adventurous, exciting and scary Land of the Lost movie -- along the lines of Jurassic Park -- could be a wondrous thing. The series offers a great premise, after all, and there are some great locations, creatures and characters to be mined. But the best our slick pop-culture age can muster is a jokey Will Ferrell comedy. A product that makes fun of the original show, and that plays Chaka, the Sleestak, the pocket universe...even the dinosaurs, for easy, cheap laughs." Not a review, "internetcop"? Again, we find critical commentary so, yes, it's a review. Even if you're having fun pretending that it wasn't. Note to Mr.Rheingold: Mr.Rheingold, I know that you screen comments on this blog, because I've seen a delay of a good number of hours before my comments have appeared. Fine. Comment screening is a sensible practice, especially on a blog in such a prominent location, where spammers are likely to swarm. But if you're going to take the time to screen comments, why are you letting the trolls through? We have somebody responding to one of my comments under an alias, on an account on which only one comment is to be found and no homepage link - things that should send up a red flag, immediately, because the commenter, having established no kind of identity, doesn't have to take any sort of responsibility for his remarks. The fact that he(?) has named himself after a well known type of troll only reinforces the point. It's the profile of a troll, and sure enough, we see this individual inventing his own facts. Leaving me in the position of having to drop everything, in the middle of a beautiful day, to have to defend myself against a personal attack, as if I had nothing better to do with my time. A responsible blogger, as he screens those remarks, doesn't just watch out for himself, he watches out for his readers who might be mislead, and for those who've taken the time to post honest comments that have taken a little thought and time to write. If I find myself having to do a compare and contrast to debunk some troll's barely veiled flammage every time I post a comment to this blog, then I'm just going going to say that this is far too much trouble, and just not be bothered with the company blog at all. I think that you'll find that a lot of other people feel likewise. You can keep people like me, or you can keep people like internetcop hanging around here, but you can't have both, and in the long run I think you'll find that trolls become remarkably tedious reading, when they have nobody but other trolls to respond to. Tedious enough that after a while, you'll run out of readers. But it's your - and's - choice, either way. I'll be reposting this to my personal Googlegroup, where it is almost certain to be seen, just in case you decide to block it from appearing here. ========= After the fact comment: Block he did, leading me to repost my remarks exactly where I said I would, and to create this little side blog, just so that I could place these comments on my Typepad profile and say what a treasure Ted really is, and a hero, too. The last time I looked, he had taken his own name off of his post.
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Twenty years from now, downsizing and outsourcing will probably have shoved almost the entire population of the United States below the poverty line, rendering the very concept of "fashion" laughable. Poor people do not discard that which is perfectly usable merely because their friends have done so. They keep using it as long as they can. A mishmash of everything from the last few decades, then, found in the course of thrifting, faded and worn, and treated with respect.
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"Funny or Freakout?" How about "completely unimportant"? Seriously - who got hurt in this exchange, and how badly? I think that one of the toxic consequences of the way the Internet has been working has been the way in which bad moments which would have been forgotten in the past, are made to go viral. Everybody has had a bad day. Everybody, at some point or another, has lost his cool - and we all know it. To speak scornfully of somebody else because his bad day has been put on public display, based just on that bad day, as if the entire rest of that person's life had never happened, is to be a hypocrite. Who, on such terms, could not be made to look bad? What is truly disgraceful is not Mr.Bale losing his cool, but somebody smuggling that tape out and publicly releasing it, violating the cast's reasonable expectation of privacy on the set, between takes. That's not a momentary loss of self-control. That's a calculated act, one that takes more than a moment to carry out, reflecting malice, not a loss of patience. I might say the same about the circulation of a recording that common sense should tell one should not have been made in the first place. I wonder if common decency would, perhaps, morally compel us to apply a sort of exclusionary rule to our own judgments, and consciously disregard that which we ought not have been hearing in the first place.
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"Do you think Will Ferrell's still funny?" I had fun watching LOTL a few nights ago, and so did the people in the theatre with me. I've seen better movies, a few of them with Mr.Ferrell in them (most of them not) and I doubt I'll remember this one next year, but I didn't mind having paid full price. If we're talking about taste, as one of your reviewers does, let us consider the fact that you've linked to a blogger who admits to having reviewed a movie before he watched it! See: How much credibility does he have left after such an admission? His complaint - one that seems to have been taken seriously - is that an old saturday morning children's show has not been shown a level of reverence denied to the Bible itself. See: Life of Brian. It's probably on the shelf at your local Blockbuster's. Rent it. Notice the shortage of outrage on that one, then take a look at this review as you ask yourself WTF. Comedians make fun of things. It's what they do. It's what they're supposed to do, and when some of us get outraged by that, this tells us a lot about ourselves than it does about the target of our rage, especially when the teasing is as gentle as it was in this film. Maybe that some of us need to loosen WAY the hell up. As for your other reviewer "Anyone who's honest with themselves has to admit that Ferrell hasn't been all that funny for a while. Did you see his one-man George W. Bush show on HBO? Just painful. It was like watching someone shoot fish in a barrel for an hour and change. Step Brothers? Semi Pro? The dude's been coasting for a while now. And the less said about The Producers and Bewitched, the better." I've missed all of those except "Semi Pro", but I can tell you that a packed theatre of sober looking theatre attendees was kept laughing for a few hours in Chicago, and that I was one of the people laughing. I've probably forfeited a few coolness points by admitting it, but f**k it. Ferrell and his castmates gave us all a pleasant night out of the house. I can't picture either of those two bloggers ever doing the same. Making people laugh takes hard work, talent and imagination. Trying to make them feel embarassed about the fact that they laughed takes nothing more than a bad attitude, and perhaps a craving for attention so acute that one need not note that one has done absolutely nothing of value to earn it.
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Facebook left me cold, so I never chose to get involved on that site, but I do have contacts on a few social networking sites (Tribe, Stumbleupon, Flickr, and a few others). While I'm active on a site, I'd like to have the time to take a personal interest in the people listed as my "friends", maybe even see if we really will become friends. The greatest number of friends I have on any one of those sites is six. I might be persuaded to go as high as 12, but intend to keep the total on all of my memberships, put together, no higher than 50. There might be a little give on that. One site I belong to, but am not ready to completely endorse, doesn't tell give us a chance to establish much of a web presence, but does tell us when musicians we've expressed an interest in are playing in our area. What I've been hoping that they'd do is make their site into more of a place where fans can link up to go to concerts together - make themselves into more of a social networking site. My network on a site like that wouldn't count toward the total, because that's about something else. Those first few sites are about content creation online, and my friends there are people with whom I share thoughts and input as I blog; this would be about meeting people in the real world to go and do something. That's something completely different, so it's counted on a different tally, or will be, if it ever becomes an issue. But again, the question is "how many people can you hang out with, before you start saying 'who are you' and how many of them do you want to be from the Internet" - I think a few of those would be plenty. After that, I'd start doing the FOAF thing in real life, which the Internet should be here to facilitate, not replace. A lot of us have been uprooted, or had the people we knew uprooted from around us, leaving us with the need to make new connections. The Internet can be a place to start, when life leaves one starting from scratch, for whatever reason, but it should not be a destination. Real life, with all of its complexity and richness, is not something that one can share through a few symbols on a screen, any more than one can fully share it in a book. It's something that has to be shared face to face. When somebody has thousands of online "friends", I wonder if he has left himself the time needed to do that.
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"It's a great way keep up with important discussions" Wonder if it will be that. I like the idea of having the choice of having one's answers appearing on one's profile - especially liking the fact that it IS a choice. If somebody was being cyberstalked, that listing of responses could become a problem, but it can be turned off here: Not that I'm very deeply worried about that, myself, at present. I'm loving the new feature, both as somebody who posts comments to blogs and a blogger, myself. This helps tie our sites together, making them a little less isolated. What I'm wondering is this: what happens when we have so many answers, that they don't fit on one page, any more? That could happen very quickly. Can the listings of answers have more than one page apiece, as they sometimes do on some sites, or do the answers simply scroll off and vanish? One other thing: On the old profiles, one could enter both the url and the title for one's sites, the title being used to label the link to the site. That gave a nicer, cleaner, more professional look to our profiles than what we see now, which is a display of the url. I hope you'll consider changing that back.
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Oh, please. How can anybody take these reports seriously? Every week, we seem to see a new one, with no two producing rankings that seem to resemble each other at all. Why don't we just call this what it is - "somebody we never heard of and who will remain anonymous tells us where he'd like to live, and where he hopes he'll never get transferred, without ever addressing the question of why anybody else would care" - ie. filler. News that isn't news, inserted to fill space in a magazine or on a website.
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Hmmm. The people in the video are savages, including those watching the beheadings, which were even worse than I imagined they would be. I had to turn away. But is their conduct supported by Islam, or are we merely seeing the atrocities committed by some Muslims?
"If terrorist cells use torture on their prisoners, i.e.; Americans ... then should quid pro quo be allowed" The Geneva convention is not about quid pro quo; if it were, it wouldn't have protected German prisoners of war during WWII. A point that seems to have been missed during this discussion - quite willfully, I would suspect - is that those suspected of terrorist activity might not actually be guily of it. The legal limitations placed on the conduct of the prosecution of an alleged criminal offense weren't put there because Americans were extra special wonderful people entitled to a privileged status, but because of certain views regarding the universal natural rights of Man, which are violated when the innocent are unjustly imprisoned, executed or otherwise punished. Hence the prohibition on the use of torture as a tool of "interrogation" - who would not confess to anything, just to make the pain stop, if put to the torture long enough? Hence the prohibition on indefinite detention without trial; how are the innocent protected from the fate that is supposed to be reserved to the guilty? Hence my question - how can we even be having this discussion? The natural rights of Man do not stop at borders. They belong to all, wherever they might be, and wherever they might be from. Shame on some of us for choosing to forget that. Yes, of course the constitution binds on all who work for the US government, no matter where they are at the moment, as it should. Yes, the US should recognise its obligations under the Geneva convention, without trying to sidestep those obligations by legalistic quibbling over who is or is not an enemy combatant. If we are to punish somebody for the violations of the Geneva convention seen out of the jihadists, let us punish found guilty of having ordered those violations or those guilty of carrying out those orders, in a real trial in a real court, based on real evidence; not some unlucky soul who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. No genuinely civilized nation would dare to ask any less of itself than that, or demand any less of those who would act in its name.
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"Science shows that drinking MODERATLY!!! actually benifits baby and mom..." The Center for Disease Control seems strangely unware of this alleged science, as we see in these comments from their page about "fetal alcohol syndrome": "When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her unborn baby. There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant and there also does not appear to be a safe time to drink during pregnancy either. Therefore, it is recommended that women abstain from drinking alcohol at any time during pregnancy. Women who are sexually active and do not use effective birth control should also refrain from drinking because they could become pregnant and not know for several weeks or more." What are the consequences for the child to be born? Looking up the page on "Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders", we read: "Children with FASDs might have the following characteristics or exhibit the following behaviors: * Small size for gestational age or small stature in relation to peers * Facial abnormalities such as small eye openings * Poor coordination * Hyperactive behavior * Learning disabilities * Developmental disabilities (e.g., speech and language delays) * Mental retardation or low IQ * Problems with daily living * Poor reasoning and judgment skills * Sleep and sucking disturbances in infancy Children with FASDs are at risk for psychiatric problems, criminal behavior, unemployment, and incomplete education.." So, the question is "would you be willing to help a selfish mother tu run a real risk of messing her baby up for life, without the child's consent, just so that she could indulge herself, right now". My answer is "what kind of person do you think I am?". No, I absolutely would not serve a pregant woman a drink.
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I don't intend offense in the reference to pork None taken, at least not by me, and I would suspect, not by many other Jews, either. We tend to see Jewish law as being tribal law, binding only on Jews. The laws that have been intended for export, you might say, are known as the Noahide laws, most of which are fairly noncontroversial to this day (eg. not engaging in incest, not committing murder ...) The only thing most of us would take offense at, I think, is the incredible cruelty being shown to the animals in this video.
Q: Will humans ever be able to live forever? A: Who knows? One century's impossibilities have a way of becoming the next century's routine, don't they? Q: Would we want to? A: Absolutely, under the terms Ms.Taylor set. :) Only I'd prefer to stay in my mid 20s. I'm not buying Akyku's argument. I live in an area in which water is abundant, so much so that it is provided as an unmetered resource; does it quench our thirst any less effectively because we don't find ourselves in a desert? Resources become valuable because of their utility, because their possession provides us with a benefit. They become more expensive because of their scarcity, not more valuable. If the utility and expense were one and the same, then there would be no such thing as a bad deal on a purchase, and little point to comparison shopping. Aside from what one might say about basing one's philosophy on a metaphor, or making the market the measure of all things, one has the reality that the metaphor alludes to an assertion about day to day life that almost nobody, having thought about it, could sincerely make. But why are we even discussing this? Has Merck come out with a product we should know about? :)
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