Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fool Me Once, Shaman Me! -- The Colonel Carries On

by N. Bye

Epigraph: “No! No! No! No! No! No! No!” --Joseph Kennedy

“If I have an apple and give it to you, I have no apple. But if I have an idea and share it with you, we both have it.” --Bertrand Russell to the then-young G.E. Moore

My conclusion from that quotation is that cultural appropriation is a positive good, and that plagiarism isn’t a privilege, but a right.

Accordingly, herewith a treasure trove of stolen loot: clickbaits, but with the links sadistically removed.

Naked mole rats can survive in oxygen-free environments.

Scientists name a shrimp with (literally) killer sound after Pink Floyd

Breaking down 6 popular fictional languages

Are redshirts really the likeliest to die in Star Trek?

How to escape from a car in water

California's super bloom is visible from space

On the China-North Korea border

Herd of cattle watches lone beaver

Doberman saves 17-month-old's life

Dog skateboards

When the CIA's cafeteria had a food fight

Mary Poppins as a horror movie

The Shining as a heartwarming family film

Behold: the museum of failure

Triangle head screwdrivers are the rage

Why isn’t a triangle called a trigon?

Six Flags Employee Sick of Talking Visitors Down from Bad Acid Trips

Bill O'Reilly Tearfully Packs Up Framed Up-Skirt Photos from Desk

Berkeley Campus on Lockdown After Loose Pages from Wall Street Journal Found on Park Bench

Pope Francis Scours Papal Tombs for Last Egg from Vatican Easter Egg Hunt

This 1983 episode of The Family Feud pitted the cast of Gilligan’s Island vs the cast of Batman.

Jazz was America’s “Secret Sonic Weapon” Against Communism.

South Indian frog oozes molecule that inexplicably devastates flu viruses.

April 22 is Earth Day: here’s the story of the co-founder who killed, then composted, his girlfriend.

The Science Behind Your Cheap Wine.

The Coffee Revolt of 1674: Women Campaigned to Prohibit “That Newfangled, Abominable, Heathenish Liquor.”
Now for something completely different:

We have two fine English names for what St. Thomas Aquinas called “sadness at another’s good”: envy and jealousy. We had to import a word to express “gladness at another’s misfortune”: Schadenfreude.

Hmm. The seven deadly sins as normally accounted are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth (opposed to the seven heavenly virtues, consisting of the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity and the four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and courage -- don’t ask me to match up each vice with its corresponding virtue). I don’t understand why sadness at another’s good makes the top seven, but gladness at another’s misfortune rates no mention.

Pride is definitely the worst sin. It’s Satan’s “non serviam,” “I will not be a servant.” Oddly, the way a master tumor can suppress all other would-be tumors, pride can suppress the other vices. Queen Elizabeth doesn’t shoplift. The more massive one’s dignity, the greater the number of things beneath it.

From Friday’s WaPo: “Berkeley’s first high-profile burst of violence occurred Feb. 1, when antifascist protesters smashed windows, burned property and threw objects at police to protest Yiannopoulos.” Antifascists, were they? Guess you could tell by the smashed windows, burned property, objects thrown at police, and suppression of dissent.

From the same WaPo, in a profile of Jared Kushner: “[The Daedelus myth is] a tale about hubris, of which Kushner has often been accused of having too much.” Go easy on him, though; it’s easy to have too much or too little, and hard to have just the right amount of hubris.

Hubris is the Greek version of the deadliest of sins. The temple of Apollo at Delphi advised the worshipper to “know thyself,” not in the sense of “inquire within,” but “know thy place” or “don’t get too big for your britches,” and most especially don’t imagine that you, a short-lived dying thing, are the equal or superior of any of the deathless ones in any way. Click here for “remind me later” and here for “I get it.”

These are not shoes, oven mitts, or duck hunter’s decoys.

Hypograph: “No one is superior, inferior, or equal to another. Each one is unique and incomparable.” --after Osho

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