"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Friday, October 01, 2010

Links of the Week

Starcraft II Lego Thor
Click the link for a sweet gallery of the new Thor Starcraft unit being Lego-ized. Not sure the specifics on how it was created but worth checking out. Hit the link above for the full gallery of images and Sven Junga's other Lego projects.

The Secrets of Scientology - Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Check out this BBC episode that gets into Scientology and their practices uses new interviews with ex-members who became disenchanted with the cult after years of their rather crappy and abusive tactics. At the heart of Scientology is a desire for power, greed and control with those at the top treating everyone else as slaves complete with a spy unit, threats, breaking of families, recording of secrets for future threats and so much more. The show does a good job of showing some of those tactics like obsessively following critics around, treating people as sub-human, and recording things with not one camera but many. It is overkill at its finest. You may be tempted to defend the cult, but apply even standards. If Christianity, Judaism, etc use these exact same tactics people would hit the roof. Scientology, if it really wants to be religion like it claims, should not get a free pass. What I find really ironic is the cult hates Psychiatry with a passion but at its core is the basic application of Psychiatric science. The short of it is avoiding this cult at all costs, it is truly dangerous. Unless you are filthy rich and then you will be treated like kings and queens.

Stephen J. Cannell 1941-2010
The legendary 80s-90s television pioneer, producer and writer Stephen J. Cannell died Thursday after a battle with cancer. He created or co-created almost 40 television series including The Rockford Files, Wise Guy, Profit, The Greatest American Hero, 21 Jump Street, and The A-Team. There are many actors in Hollywood that owe their careers to him. Condolences to his family.

How Shazam Works
If you have an iPod or iPad you might have heard of Shazam which is a great free tool that helps identify songs. I usually use it for songs stumble across on the radio. Any case the article cover how the device can take a 10 second recording of a song and determine which one it is out of millions of possibilities. The very non-technical summary is it kind of works like human fingerprinting. Songs are given the equivalent of a fingerprint record, the 10 second recording is then fingerprinted and then a search is done to find the song that matches.

Rick Sanchez Fired
Long time CNN news anchor Rick Sanchez was fired today by CNN after comments he made on the "Stand Up! with Pete Dominick" SiriusXM. He called Jon Stewart a bigot, making the argument that he doesn't have life experiences to understand Cuban American or anyone that "Anybody who's different than you are, anybody who's not form your frame of reference; anybody who doesn't look and sound exactly like the people that you sound [like] and grew up with." While I didn't like Pete's defense of Jon "is a standup comedian" which is nonsense defense that even Jon uses too much. I think what ultimately cost him his job was when Rick turned on CNN when he said, "I'm telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they -- the people in this country who are Jewish -- are an oppressed minority? Yeah."

I do think that what was said was wrong, but Sanchez is entitled to a point of view. If Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, etc said the exact same things, Fox News would have celebrated the controversy with an interview tour across their various programs. They would have defended their people. Something CNN should learn to do as they continue to create a toxic environment were they fire people for the smallest controversy. They have now fired people for tweets, for a radio interview, for expression an opinion in conversation and more. They literally have become suicidal in trying to avoid even the semblance of having a stance, resulting in this misplaced belief that all sides of an issue are equal even when it’s clearly not the case. I would hate to work for CNN right now.

MegaMan 8-Bit Deathmatch
Combine Doom 2 and too much love for the 8-bit era of MegaMan and the result is Deathmatch that uses the character and background design of the early MegaMan games to create a new experience for Doom 2. The result is actually pretty sweet.

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