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

Friday, April 22, 2011

Links of the Week

R.I.P. Elisabeth Sladen
On April 20th, the fans of Doctor Who experienced a huge blow when Elisabeth Sladen died at the age of 63 after a battle with cancer. She played Sarah Jane Smith, the "companion" in Doctor Who from 1973 to 1976, cameoed several times in the reboot and then starred in the spin-off show "The Sarah Jane Adventures" which still has a few shows left unaired. "Never meet your heroes,' wise people say. They weren't thinking of Lis Sladen," Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat said.

"9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes"
While the GOP with Tea Party assist has done a wonderful job of confusing people about taxes, you really wish people would read things like the above article. It hammers home what I have been saying for a while which is the GOP true slogan is "Make the rich richer, to hell with the rest." The article attacks their main myths about taxes and backs them up with something the GOP doesn't bother - actual facts and not just a bunch of repeated opinions. For example, guess what, the poor do pay taxes. It may not be income taxes but they pay it in federal payroll taxes, gas taxes, sales taxes, utility taxes and a whole bunch more. In fact, because the poor have less that are deductible and less tax loop holes to take advantage of, they pay a higher percentage (11%) then the average rich (4%). But since the GOP like to attack income taxes, then the rich must be paying a high cost. Turns out that isn't true. The reason again is lots and lots of tax loop holes for the rich, loopholes the GOP have refused to close. With a lot of fancy tax work, the average person can abuse the system and take their tax burden down to 2% or less. Another argument of the GOP is the richer the rich are, the more they will help everyone else. Except that has not happened. The top tax rate (pre-deductibles and loop holes) went from 70% in 1980 to 35%. At the same time the average income of 90% of Americans in the last 30 years has increased a whopping $303.00 (around 1%). Nope not a typo. The rich though have enjoyed a $1.1 million add to their bottom line. How about this, tax breaks create jobs. Turns out they don't always, especially when no conditions are tied to the breaks as the GOP prefers to do things. Again thanks to loop holes and the already low tax rate, it is currently more profitable for corporations to create temporary jobs to enjoy the tax rate and then quickly fire people after. All that matters is on paper is the jobs had been created, not how long they had existed. Temporary jobs are not exactly what people have in mind. There is more than that and worth the read. (via Chicago Tribune)

"57 Spectacular Lego Scenes"
Hit the link for the creative use of Legos to create wonderful and compelling photos.

New Commodore 64
As is often the case, the old becomes new again. In this case a game/computer classic returns with same exterior and new interior. While the outside is based on the 29 year old keyboard PC, the interior can contain up to a 1.8 duel core Intel atom processor, HDMI, DVI, USB, Ethernet, and audio ports. It can be configured in various ways and includes ability to play classic Commodore 64 either through emulation or via the classic Commodore 64 interface.

Lego Starcraft II Siege Tank
A brief but cool video of the Siege tank that is remote control. Per its name, it rolls and can enter into siege mode.

Decade of Smallville
A great promo for Smallville's final episodes that looks back on the previous 10 years over the lovely music of John Williams' Superman score that the show only rarely uses for special reasons.

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