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Wired profiles the living nerd-gods of Penny Arcade

The Dorks Behind Penny Arcade, an Obscure Webcomic Turned Vidgame Empire

This weekend is the Penny Arcade Expo, and as such Wired has devoted a lot of space to the Penny Arcade boys.

There's also a floor-to-ceiling stack of the latest videogames, sent by publishers eager to be mentioned in the strip. "We'll throw them on sometimes when we're looking for grist for the day's comic," Holkins says.

Krahulik wrinkles his nose. "Grist for the day's comic? Grist?!"

"Yes, grist, Holkins says loftily. "Look it up. It's a word."

Krahulik shakes his head in disgust. "You're a douche. That's a douche word. Why don't you just say ‘raw material' or something?"

A sneak peek at the Penny Arcade game.

Daily Show Round-Up: August 24th, 2007

How to: Enjoy the Burning Man experience from home

Burning Man and safer sex / Free your mind, but watch out for crabs

# Before eating any food, drop it in a sandbox and lick a battery.

# Stack all your fans in one corner of the living room. Put on your most fabulous outfit. Turn the fans on full blast. Dump a vacuum cleaner bag in front of them.

# Buy a new set of expensive camping gear. Break it.

# Get so drunk you can't recognize your own house. Walk slowly around the block for five hours.

# Have a 3 a.m. soul-baring conversation with a drag nun in platforms, a crocodile and Bugs Bunny. Be unable to tell if you're hallucinating. Lust after Bugs Bunny.

# Cut, burn, electrocute, bruise, and sunburn various parts of your body. Forget how you did it. Don't go to a doctor.

# Pay an escort of your affectional preference subset to not bathe for five days, cover themselves in glitter, dust, and sunscreen, wear a skanky neon wig, dance close naked, then say they have a lover back home at the end of the night.

This is part of a larger column about safe sex at Burning Man.

August 23, 2007

Sex offender re-convicted for thinking about children

JS Online: NewsWatch

Waukesha - A convicted sex offender whose thoughts and fantasies about children prompted authorities to revoke his parole two years ago now faces indefinite secure commitment for treatment after a jury verdict Thursday branded him a so-called sexual predator in a case that added a new dimension to the 13-year-old law.

"He didn't commit any crimes while he was out," attorney Steven Prifogle said of his client Michael Monyelle. "This whole process got started after he told them what he was thinking."

The verdict, according to Prifogle, could dissuade sex offenders in the community from cooperating with the people who supervise and treat them.

Slo-Mo Dogs + Lasers = Awesome

Dogs and Lasers

Fake salmon really deadly puffer fish, kills 15

Puffer Fish Sold as Salmon Kills 15

Unscrupulous vendors in Thailand have been selling meat of the deadly puffer fish disguised as salmon, causing the deaths of more than 15 people over the past three years, a doctor said Thursday.

Although banned since 2002, puffer fish continues to be sold in large quantities at local markets and restaurants, said Narin Hiransuthikul of Bangkok's Chulalonkorn University Hospital.

"Some sellers dye the meat of puffer fish and make it look like salmon which is very dangerous," Narin said.

Right-wing operatives planning to overthrow Iraq's governor

Think Progress Right-Wing Operatives Plot To Overthrow Maliki, Replace Him With Reliable Collaborator Allawi

The powerful Republican lobbying group of Barbour Griffith & Rogers is plotting an effort to displace Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and supplant him with former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. IraqSlogger reported:

Daily Show Round-Up: August 23rd, 2007 (with Barack Obama)

On stopping bird deaths in the wind farm

Tilting at Windmills - Terrain Magazine, Summer 2007 - Ecology Center

This is by my good friend Irene.

After years of lawsuits, a settlement was finally reached early this year to try to reduce bird kills at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in Alameda County. But critics charge that the new agreement makes an already bad situation even worse.

First, the chain of events that led to the settlement: Over four years ago, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Golden Gate Audubon, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), Californians for Renewable Energy (CARE), and many of the largest owner/operators of Altamont's wind turbines began to meet to figure out how to reduce bird kills at Altamont. When the county approved new use permits for the turbines in 2004 without requiring the wind companies to reduce the bird kills, CBD filed a lawsuit, first in federal court and then in state court, against the energy companies for violating state and federal wildlife protection laws. CARE and Golden Gate Audubon joined CBD in an appeal when the county, which collects revenues connected to its turbine permitting process, issued 16 permits to turbine operators without requiring environmental reviews (EIRs) or stringent commitments to reduce bird mortality.

Atlanta considering ban on baggy pants, visible bra straps

Atlanta Considers Banning Baggy Pants

Baggy pants that show boxer shorts or thongs would be illegal under a proposed amendment to Atlanta's indecency laws.

The amendment, sponsored by city councilman C.T. Martin, states that sagging pants are an "epidemic" that is becoming a "major concern" around the country.

"Little children see it and want to adopt it, thinking it's the in thing," Martin said Wednesday. "I don't want young people thinking that half-dressing is the way to go. I want them to think about their future."

The proposed ordinance would also bar women from showing the strap of a thong beneath their pants. They would also be prohibited from wearing jogging bras in public or show a bra strap, said Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia.

. . .

But Seagraves said any legislation that creates a dress code would not survive a court challenge. She said the law could not be enforced in a nondiscriminatory way because it targets something that came out of the black youth culture.

Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth

Swans Commentary: Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth, by Michael Parenti - mparen01

But many present-day Buddhists in the United States would argue that none of this applies to the Dalai Lama and the Tibet he presided over before the Chinese crackdown in 1959. The Dalai Lama's Tibet, they believe, was a spiritually oriented kingdom, free from the egotistical lifestyles, empty materialism, pointless pursuits, and corrupting vices that beset modern industrialized society. Western news media, and a slew of travel books, novels, and Hollywood films have portrayed the Tibetan theocracy as a veritable Shangri-La and the Dalai Lama as a wise saint, "the greatest living human," as actor Richard Gere gushed. (4)

The Dalai Lama himself lent support to this idealized image of Tibet with statements such as: "Tibetan civilization has a long and rich history. The pervasive influence of Buddhism and the rigors of life amid the wide open spaces of an unspoiled environment resulted in a society dedicated to peace and harmony. We enjoyed freedom and contentment." (5) In fact, Tibet's history reads a little differently. In the thirteenth century, Emperor Kublai Khan created the first Grand Lama, who was to preside over all the other lamas as might a pope over his bishops. Several centuries later, the Emperor of China sent an army into Tibet to support the Grand Lama, an ambitious 25-year-old man, who then gave himself the title of Dalai (Ocean) Lama, ruler of all Tibet. Here is a historical irony: the first Dalai Lama was installed by a Chinese army.

To elevate his authority beyond worldly challenge, the first Dalai Lama seized monasteries that did not belong to his sect, and is believed to have destroyed Buddhist writings that conflicted with his claim to divinity. (6) The Dalai Lama who succeeded him pursued a sybaritic life, enjoying many mistresses, partying with friends, writing erotic poetry, and acting in other ways that might seem unfitting for an incarnate deity. For this he was "disappeared" by his priests. Within 170 years, despite their recognized status as gods, five Dalai Lamas were murdered by their enlightened nonviolent Buddhist courtiers.

. . .

Young Tibetan boys were regularly taken from their families and brought into the monasteries to be trained as monks. Once there, they became bonded for life. Tashì-Tsering, a monk, reports that it was common practice for peasant children to be sexually mistreated in the monasteries. He himself was a victim of repeated childhood rape not long after he was taken into the monastery at age nine. (12) The monastic estates also conscripted peasant children for lifelong servitude as domestics, dance performers, and soldiers.

Testing the PlayStation on the toilet

– about:blank — the funny, the odd and the strange. Updated daily. Playing the playstation on the toilet

Iran shutting down barber shops that offer Western styles

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iran shuts 'Western' barber shops

Iranian police have closed more than 20 barbers' shops in the capital Tehran.

The authorities say the barbers were encouraging un-Islamic behaviour by offering Western hairstyles, tattooing and also eyebrow-plucking for men.

Police say they have inspected more than 700 shops during a two-week crackdown in the city.

Colbert Round-Up: August 23rd, 2007

Floods, more than any other natural event, seem like a betrayal of nature

BBC NEWS | In Pictures | In pictures: Deadly US floods

Cycles--inspired by ZeFrank

(via Ze)