Print Story When the saints go swaggering in
By TheophileEscargot (Tue Jul 15, 2008 at 08:58:00 AM EST) Reading, Watching, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "Terra Obscura", "Killing Monsters". RSS feeds wanted. Watching: "American Gangster". Web.

What I'm Reading
Grabbed the Tom Strong spin-off comic Terra Obscura volume 1 from the library. Fairly decent superhero stuff covering the aftermath of Tom Strong's visit to this parallel world. Artwork wouldn't make the girls read comics crowd happy: lots of awkward postures pointing bums and boobs at the reader. Worth a look if you like the series.

What I'm Reading 2
Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes and Make-believe Violence by Gerard Jones. Short book by a former comics writer who now runs some kind of workshops (without lathes) for kids. Moderately interesting in places. He does a decent potted history of moral panics against new media, starting with the dime novel craze. He's also pretty good at analysing the flaws of research on linking violence and scary media,. He points out that the lab research generally involves forcing children to watch decontexualized clips then trying to measure aggression, but that that experience is different to normal TV watching. He also criticizes over-wide definitions of "aggression" which may actually be measuring emotional arousal.

However, there's also a certain amount of irritating psychobabble. His thesis is that games of fantasy-violence are emotionally useful in allowing children to explore their emotions, but doesn't provide much more evidence than anecdote.

He also criticizes parents for not allowing their children toy guns, toy swords, or rough play. Maybe it's more of a US thing, but I don't really know any parents who are that ideologically rigid: they may be too rare to really worry about.

Overall, it's a bit clumsily written and not wholly persuasive. However, I'm not really the kind of person it's supposed to persuade. Might work better for nervous parents who are susceptible to proof by anecdote.

Also, for the first time I've seen "tow the line" used in an actual printed book. Now that's a bad influence.

RSS feeds wanted
Anyone know of any good RSS feeds along these lines?

I've finally given up on New Scientist with its part-gated content and general dumbing down. Is there a good science news RSS feed?

Ideally I'd like a science equivalent of VoxEU : "written at an analytical level that is higher than a typical newspaper column but very much more accessible than a journal article."

Neither dumb nor impenetrable: can such a science blog exist?

Could also use a decent Word of the Day feed. and Mirriam-Webster are a bit trivial if you've read any Stephen R. Donaldson books. The National Scrabble Association's is nicely obscure but doesn't have much on definitions and etymology.

What I'm Watching
Saw American Gangster on DVD (not the extended edition though, 2hrs 37minutes seemed plenty).

Thought it was OK-ish but a bit disappointing: didn't really seem anything there we haven't seen in many other movies before. Also thought it romanticized well beyond the bounds of plausibility: it was practically a gangster hagiography. Even if you take noble gangster thing seriously, surely ratting out your whole family to get a shorter sentence breaks the code somewhere?

IMDB, Wikipedia.

Tacky weddings. The Klingon ceremony does look quite good though:

The groom's Tawi'Yan presents the couple with bat'leths as they do mock battle with each other in representation of the struggle of the male and female Klingon hearts against one another.

After the couple recites their vows, swearing to unite against all their opponents, the guests attack them with ceremonial weapons, the Ma'Stakas

Via MeFi: Guest blogger Heidi defends her weight-loss surgery on fat-acceptance site.

Scott Adams to "fix world" by asking economists which candidate's policies are best.

Pics: Swedish 1970s bomb shelter complex. Nice rec room (MC)

< Edged out | I'm bored, so why not post? >
When the saints go swaggering in | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)
excellent feed by joh3n (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jul 15, 2008 at 10:35:13 AM EST
fitting only 1/3 of your criteria(it has a word of the day in it every day)

I just ate about 7 pounds of meat

Looks interesting by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Jul 15, 2008 at 11:39:34 AM EST
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Adams and economics by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Jul 15, 2008 at 10:53:22 AM EST
One of the many problems with that is that it ignores the very real fact that any candidate that proposed what most economists would say we should do would see their chance of winning election vanish.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
Another load of problems lie in just by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Jul 15, 2008 at 04:00:48 PM EST
how many economists cheered the Bush administration through those economic policies?


[ Parent ] by Dr H0ffm4n (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 01:31:45 AM EST

Aha, looks good [nt] by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 08:11:20 PM EST

It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Toy weapons by Herring (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 02:26:54 AM EST
I don't stop Small Boy playing with such things (small boys will be what they are), but some agressive phrases and stuff they pick up off the TV makes me a bit uncomfortable.

On the other hand, in his lifetime the ability to wield a sword may be an important skill - once the oil and the banks are gone.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

Holy Crap by Clipper Ship (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Jul 16, 2008 at 07:23:50 AM EST
IKEA isn't joking at all.


Destroy All Planets

When the saints go swaggering in | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)