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Felgraf



Joined: 10 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EDDIE IZZARD IS GOING TO TRY AND RUN FOR MAYOR OF LONDON.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/mayor/eddie-izzard-declares-he-will-stand-for-london-mayor-in-2020-8836541.html
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Mindslicer



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Police are finally cleaning up San Francisco's greatest scourge: public chess games.
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fritterdonut



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.dallasnews.com/entertainment/books/20130925-what-books-were-banned-or-restricted-in-texas-schools-last-year.ece?ssimg=1213286#ssTop1213221

Spoilers: They banned:

To Kill a Mockingbird
Of Mice And Men
The Lottery
Hide And Seek
The Bell Jar
and another 26 or so books.

...
What the fuck?
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what - not huckleberry finn? usually they ban that for having the 'n' word, so they can be all politically correct and stuff (thereby totally missing the message of the book)

Quote:
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Alternate book allowed due to being politically, racially, or socially offensive


hm. a book about a white lawyer fighting to keep a black man from being lynched for a crime he didn't commit. and texas finds that "politically, racially, or socially offensive".

so i'm guessing they don't have a problem with the 'n' word.

wow, the reasons for some of these are just...
Quote:
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; Alternate book allowed (curriculum only); "Note: parent felt story/plot was depressing; student was provided with another book to read"
because all books must be happy happy fun fun!
Quote:
Smile of a Dolphin, Edited by Marc Bekoff; Banned sexual content or nudity
subtitle: remarkable accounts of animal emotions. stupid animals, having emotions while nude.
Quote:
Fade: Book 2 of the Wake Trilogy by Lisa McMann; Banned for profanity, public speaking
wait - books can't depict public speaking?
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Felgraf



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
what - not huckleberry finn? usually they ban that for having the 'n' word, so they can be all politically correct and stuff (thereby totally missing the message of the book)

Quote:
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Alternate book allowed due to being politically, racially, or socially offensive


hm. a book about a white lawyer fighting to keep a black man from being lynched for a crime he didn't commit. and texas finds that "politically, racially, or socially offensive".

so i'm guessing they don't have a problem with the 'n' word.

wow, the reasons for some of these are just...
Quote:
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; Alternate book allowed (curriculum only); "Note: parent felt story/plot was depressing; student was provided with another book to read"
because all books must be happy happy fun fun!
Quote:
Smile of a Dolphin, Edited by Marc Bekoff; Banned sexual content or nudity
subtitle: remarkable accounts of animal emotions. stupid animals, having emotions while nude.
Quote:
Fade: Book 2 of the Wake Trilogy by Lisa McMann; Banned for profanity, public speaking
wait - books can't depict public speaking?


Actually, about of Mice and Men (or, rather, the 'book was depressing') point, if my future hypothetical child's highschool reading list looks ANYTHING like my high school reading list, I am going to bitch. Or at least try to supplement it. (I wouldn't want any of the books *banned*, mind).

Warning, a rant follows.

I agree that life is not happy happy fun, but it seems like 90% of my required highschool reading were depressing, if not *OUTRIGHT NIHILISTIC SEEMING*, books. I'm not even talking 'bittersweet ending'. The ending of the Crucible, for instance, was one of the more *cheerful* endings: He dies, but he remains unbroken. The line "More Weight" still sends (good) chills up my spine.

But the rest of it? Oh my god. (Warning, spoilers follow)
All Quiet on the Western Front (Nihilistic, if I recall. I understand WHY, given WWI, but rather nihilistic), 1000 Years of Solitude (THE WORLD OF THE CHARACTERS ENDS AND IT IS AS IF THEY NEVER EXISTED, SINCE THEY MAY VERY WELL BE FICTIONAL and the author died years ago), Death of a Salesman (Oh dear christ), Of Mice and Men, The Bluest Eye (oh my god that depressed me for weeks), As I Lay Dying, The Great Gatsby (20 pages in: OH MY GOD THERE IS NO CHARACTER IN THIS BOOK I DO NOT DISLIKE with perhaps the exception of the narrator), a number of others that I think I've permanently scoured from my memory.

I am pretty sure Highschool *permanently ruined* all depressing and downer endings for me. I honestly just feel like I've wasted my time when I get to an ending of "And then everyone died/was sad and EVERYTHING WAS RUINED FOREVER".

Even the *parents* called it the "Prozac reading list". Life can be depressing and suck, but that's not *all there is to it*.

Course, I admit I'd petition to get some Pratchett added to the reading list. Small Gods would be a good standalone, but would throw up too many red flags and be hard to sneak in. Maybe Hogfather. Or Wee Free Men. Good Omens would be impossible to sneak in, alas...

Yeah that was a bit of a rant, sorry.
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fritterdonut



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thinking back to my highschool reading:

1984
Death Of a Salesman
Assorted works of Shakespeare (Othello, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth)
To Kill A Mockingbird
Assorted works on Existentialism (Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, etc)

Not exactly books that fill you with happiness, but a good primer if you're going into university. First year English got downright heavy really fast (first a crash course in woman-centric literature with Jane Eyre, The Yellow Wallpaper, The Story Of an Hour, then finished up with Heart of Darkness, which in and of itself is a very disturbing story.

Personally I think the unit we did on Existentialism was probably the best reading a high school student could do, as far as practicalness and critical thinking goes.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The IPCC's 5th Assessment Report is starting to roll out today and will be fully released in stages over the next few months.
The first part to see publication is the Summary for Policymakers, which is the most comprehensive plain-language summary of the state of climate science up to last Spring.

Expect to see a looooooooooot of denialist bullshit flying fast and free in the media, in case you missed the pre-show. In the lead up to release, they've been whipping themselves into a frenzy to try and poison the well by spinning this as some kind of conspiracy to keep TEH TROOF of climate change from people (teh troof being that it's all a conspiracy to raise taxes and Communistize 1st world nations so they can pump cash into 3rd world nations, for some reason).
Now that the final wording is actually set and available, they're going to be spinning extra hard to try and make black into white when anybody can check to see "white" for themselves. That's a tough job, so I predict they're going to have to go absolutely bug-fuck crazy trying to do it. I'm talking 'EARTH IS FLAT!' levels of frantic denial and anti-science.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, To Kill A Mockingbird is a book about racial inequality that manages to be at times both warm and funny. It's sad and filled with people acting terrible, but the main character turns out to be awesome, courageous, compassionate, and smart, and uses all of these traits to battle racial injustice, to defend her father and friends, and to become friends with the recluse Boo Radley. There's a reason it was voted one of the books every adult should read. I'd be pissed if my kid's school didn't have them read it.

Edit: and if you changed the character of Tom Robinson to Tom Crowfoot, First Nations man from Monroeville, Alberta, it would apply as well to Canada as it does to the US.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even Of Mice and Men and 1984, while sad, I think are phenomenal books. I credit Orwell with getting me interested in psychology. How could a man change so much, so fast? Could he really change what he believed so drastically, to betray his own ideas, and be happy about it? I must have read 1984 six times between the ages of 14 and 18, trying to understand it better. Now it creeps me the hell out.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fritterdonut wrote:
http://www.dallasnews.com/entertainment/books/20130925-what-books-were-banned-or-restricted-in-texas-schools-last-year.ece?ssimg=1213286#ssTop1213221

Spoilers: They banned:

To Kill a Mockingbird
Of Mice And Men
The Lottery
Hide And Seek
The Bell Jar
and another 26 or so books.

...
What the fuck?


What the fuck, Speak? yeah, cuz' no high school girls EVER get raped.

And Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief due to religious sensitivities? REALLY?

The bible is banned, right? because I'm pretty sure it's worse than anything on the list, such as:
Quote:

“Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” (1 Peter 2:18 )


“And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, ‘If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return victorious from the Ammonites, shall be the Lord’s, to be offered up by me as a burnt-offering.’ Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah; and there was his daughter coming out to meet him with timbrels and with dancing. She was his only child; he had no son or daughter except her. When he saw her, he tore his clothes, and said, ‘Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low; you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and I cannot take back my vow.’” (Judges 11:30-1, 34-5)

“So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight. When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, ‘Get up; let’s go.’ But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.” (Judges 19:25-28 )

“Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us – he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.” (Psalm 137:9)

“This is what the Lord Almighty says... ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” (1 Samuel 15:3)

"A bitched shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord." (Deuteronomy 23:2)

"When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her." (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)

"For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken. No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God." (Leviticus 21:18-21)


Yeah, no reason to ban the bible Rolling Eyes
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the thing about the bible is, i suspect a lot of people who put a lot of effort into thumping on it have never actually read it.

we read the book of job in one of my high school english classes; led to quite an interesting discussion.
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fritterdonut



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:
Edit: and if you changed the character of Tom Robinson to Tom Crowfoot, First Nations man from Monroeville, Alberta, it would apply as well to Canada as it does to the US.


We had/have racism against black people up here too, y'know?

Not entirely sure what the point of that comment was. To Kill a Mockingbird is just as relevant here as it is in the US, really.

Edit: Forgot to mention, Death Of a Salesman is easily the most depressing story I've ever read.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

History, as well as our current lives, are filled with unhappy endings. Western society, in general, has become overly reliant upon, expectant of, and overall deluded by warped romantic notions of how stories should end.

There was a bit of a snafu recently because one of the local elementary schools had kids reading a modernized version of Goldilocks where the police come and arrest her for B & E and vandalization. The point of the story, as well as the corresponding lessons with it, were to teach 3rd-4th graders (the ages around which which they start being able to biologically understand consequences) that their actions and decisions will have repercussions.

It was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, yet deliver a serious lesson. It was basically one angry, ignorant dad who just didn't get it and was trying to claim that the story was going to ruin his child. Basically, he was all "how DARE they change the story" which is funny, because the version he thinks is the original is far from it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Story_of_the_Three_Bears
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fritterdonut wrote:
Dogen wrote:
Edit: and if you changed the character of Tom Robinson to Tom Crowfoot, First Nations man from Monroeville, Alberta, it would apply as well to Canada as it does to the US.


We had/have racism against black people up here too, y'know?

Not entirely sure what the point of that comment was. To Kill a Mockingbird is just as relevant here as it is in the US, really.

Edit: Forgot to mention, Death Of a Salesman is easily the most depressing story I've ever read.

It was really an aside, based on my experience living in Calgary for six years. The relationship between whites and people of the First Nations there was more reminiscent of the experience I had living in the South and the relationship between whites and blacks there. So, relevant but not central to my point at all.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Link says it all: http://games.yahoo.com/blogs/plugged-in/science-trumps-force-create-real-life-lightsaber-223711142.html
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