Did you know that the History Channel’s new shows based on the Bible and on Vikings kicked the living crap out of the other shows on TV that night? Ratings-wise, I mean. Still, several wags in the comments on that article continue to insist that Jesus was a zombie.

Clearly that is untrue. Jesus came back from the dead, sparkled in the sunlight, and drinking his blood transformed people into his minions. He was obviously a vampire.

Animal Castration and You: A How-To Video

Via Cracked, that strange competitor to Mad Magazine during the 1980s (and now a comedy website/time sink), I learned about the Sami practice of half-castration, where a reindeer’s testicles are crushed to remove its orneriness while leaving it enough male hormones in the form of squished testicles to give the animal plenty of muscle mass and preventing it from becoming decadent and eunuch-like. The traditional practice is to have the reindeer’s testicles crushed personally, that person being a woman using merely her teeth and jaw muscles.

Perhaps a video might help illustrate what I’m talking about. Incidentally, if you watch it with the sound on mute it becomes vaguely pornographic, especially with the final shot of a guy smoking a cigarette.

An Interview With Cyclops

Cyclops: the Worst Leader (an interview)

Good god, this thing is hilarious. An excerpt:

So, you’re a teacher at a school where mutant kids can learn to control their powers. What tricks do you use to keep your powers under control?

I don’t. I have a special pair of glasses that does it for me.

[awkward pause]

Without them, I am helpless and blind.

Well, designing them must have taken considerable ingenui—

I didn’t design them. The Professor did.

Oh. Well, that was kind of him. He also asked you to lead his team of mutant superheroes, the X-men, from their inception. What qualities led him to trust you to lead at such a young age?

I am a natural leader.

Er, yes. How so?

I am very good at leadership.

But what aspects of leadership?

The part where I am the leader of the team.

Let’s try this another way. How did a teenager handle the responsibility of making decisions under pressure without Xavier’s help?

By asking him psychically what to do.

…I’m sorry?

For the first few years, he stayed in constant contact with the entire team using his psychic powers every time we went on a mission. He would come up with plans, coordinate our actions, and make critical decisions in the heat of battle.

Oh. Um. Well, what did you do?

I led the team.

What were your responsibilities as team leader, I mean?

I would tell them to carry out the Professor’s orders, mostly.

So, the Professor would come up with a plan, and you would say, “do that?”

Yes. With my natural leadership skills, it was easy.

Stoolpigeon Wanted, Inquire Within for Details

As you may know, over the last few years the corporations that own copyrights on several intellectual properties have been doing their best to shut down the programs and online venues where the filesharers get their free stuff (movies, music, whatever). But since the people in the corporations themselves of course don’t participate in the illicit filesharing scene, how do these corporations identify the websites and programs that the filesharers use? Why, they advertise for snitches on Craigslist, of course. To wit (link is now defunct):

The web team at Double Take Net Media is seeking a Web Research Assistant for their Toronto office. This is a junior level position for a rapidly expanding web team, focused on growing web properties. This is a full time, junior level position that has been developed to be responsible of supporting our existing websites, including but not limited to:

* Researching via Search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc) for web sites and online applications using content and materials that are being distributed illegally;
* Tracking website content and materials, then alerting offending sites/ISP’s via Email of illegal activity;
Skills for ideal candidate:
* Excellent written and verbal communication skills
* Detail-oriented with strong organizational skills;
* Self-starter who requires little supervision or direction;
* Good time management, multi-tasking and prioritization skills;
* Should know some basic internet protocol, Email programs, and searching for content;
* Able to work with Mature content;

This position is perfect for a someone looking to get into media. There is definite opportunity for the right candidate to move up in the company – especially in project and product management. Competitive salary, benefits, RRSP, paid sick days, etc.

  • Location: Toronto
  • Compensation: $27, 500.00 per Year
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
  • Please, no phone calls about this job!
  • Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

The pay actually isn’t bad for a New Media job that requires a vaguely defined skill set. I’m kind of tempted to apply. Still, one must have principles, and despite my jobless streak I still refuse to apply for a marketing job despite having exactly the skills and experience that would go far in that industry. How, then, could I go against the ethos of “share and share alike” that so defined the early Internet? Oh well, guess the job hunt must continue.

Law and the Multiverse

I’ve just discovered Law and the Multiverse, a blog devoted to exploring the legal ramifications of life in a superhero universe. For example, one post discusses human rights in the context of non-human intelligences (i.e., aliens), while another covers Superman’s immigration status and whether he counts as an American. Like its subject matter, the blog deals mostly with the American context, but sometimes it deals with issues with a greater scope, such as whether supervillain lairs in outer space are protected by the Outer Space Treaty forbidding the militarization of space. It’s fascinating, though the American focus means I end up reading only half of the posts (what do I care about US traffic laws?).


Over in the Alternate History Discussion Board, a message board where people go to discuss historical what-if scenarios, someone asked the question of whether a communist or fascist America was more likely to happen in the past. Obviously it would have to happen before the Second World War and quite possibly earlier – home-grown communism in particular would have needed to arrive before 1918, otherwise the panic over Bolshevism would have tainted communism with the whiff of essential foreignness. The general consensus was that fascism was more likely, given that the pre-existing capitalist state was and is already closer in form to fascism anyway (I paraphrase, of course). However, other posters have pointed out that a communist America was not quite a wild-eyed hallucination, and that there were already certain strains of American socialism that could have eased the transition into communism. Like many discussions of American politics about communism, many participants confused socialism and communism, but it was still enlightening to read about an America that could have been.