petek, 30. avgust 2013

Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Miley Cirus and rape and whatnot

I've seen Thicke's original explicit video so long ago that I can hardly remember ... being put off by it and thinking - jeez, this is demeaning to women. And yet, as Thicke looks nice and shakes his booty in the rhythm of the song (which is, admittedly, quite catchy), they seem to forget all about it. Well, not me. And I'm a guy.

'Thicke's song, "Blurred Lines," doesn't endorse rape, as some have alleged, it does present the most tediously reductive view of sex and women with the idea of "a good girl" just needing to be liberated by alcohol and a penis to become "an animal". It's an idea that was satirised six years ago in Superbad by teenagers and yet remains as credible in pop songs today as it does in porn. It's one of life's ironies that pop music is supposedly a progressive and young person's art form, yet the messages it sends are generally as retrograde as the gruntings of an embarrassing middle-aged uncle at Christmas dinner." —Hadley Freeman, The Guardian'

From: Critics Roundup: What Everyone Said About Miley Cyrus’s VMA Performance | Vulture.com

"But you're an animal, baby, it's in your nature Just let me liberate ya!", "And that's why I'm gon' take a good girl .... I know you want it", "You the hottest bitch in this place", "But you're a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me"

Well, fine. But I follow some of the online life and news and I for one (and apparently, not for one, as it seems to resound in the comments of 'critics' linked to above) think it does create a problem - talking of one sex as Things. .. Sigh. You'll see, they'll be plenty more talk of Rape Culture in the future. Part of the future, precipitated by "meh, it's pop" attitude of today. Unfortunately. Well, we'll see. Maybe I'm just growing old and conservative (I let this be an option).

That being said, it's always good to see some humour reverberating through the digital tides and thus, a link to the Robin Thicke Blurred Lines Parody - #HungryGirl. You should check out some other titles in the flood of "Thicke Blurred Lines parody videos", like "Tan Lines".
  Resorting to humour is as always, a human response. (I believe, a much more productive one than resorting to violence, for example. Lenon agrees.) But will it be enough to save your little [baby] sister (2012, 2013), your teenage daughter, your wife on vacation? Some "reporters" just ride on the media waves ... and masses read/watch and otherwise consume it (example - "twerking" and Miley Cirus ... 'scientifically' explained).

On one hand, it is also true that nowadays, with media, the news spreads around waaaay faster. So, I guess these things happened in the past, maybe even at the same rate as they do today, only when in the past they were frowned upon or locally "contained", nowadays, they spread like virus over the net. Time will tell. Or not.



America is not the greatest country in the world (Jeff Daniels, in Newsroom)

I ... quite adore this speech.
However, it's just one little flap, flapping away in the eddies of otherwise consumer-prone, -happy, -obsessed and otherwise saturated media. In the world and in US&A.

Want additional comment? Fine, check out Times magazine covers (and their titles, the themes they promote) just here. It's fascinating to see what a) the world is "struggling" with and what Americans are have to struggle with. Curious. I wonder, who writes the media agenda. (Whoops.)



 
Will McAvoy’s Epic America Speech (a.k.a. Jeff Daniels in HBO's "Newsroom")

petek, 23. avgust 2013

What a-to-do ... to-day Mind Workshop

What a to do to die today,
at a minute or two to two,
a thing distinctly hard to say,
but harder still to do.

-- Warmup speech exercise at Mind Workshop,
by Matt Baram at Berlin Impro Festival

sreda, 14. avgust 2013

Anti-gay is anti-traditional

I don't know. I seriously don't know how to respond to such ideologies and their manifestations. In a time when its supposed to be more and more accepted. Putin, you suck.

Please, how do you define 'nontraditional'? As in .. not existing ... before or simultaneously with 'tradition'? So, you're saying gay didn't always co-exist with "traditional"? Oh, boy. I seriously hope some of the best athletes of the world will cancel their participation in "The Games" like, 1 day before the event. Or hold hands and kiss. Being incarcerated just AFTER you've won a medal. Mmmm, that'd raise the media and world's attention.

"People of nontraditional sexual orientations can take part in the competitions and all other events at the Games unhindered, without any fear for their safety whatsoever."

From: http://en.ria.ru/russia/20130812/182723811/Russia-Confirms-Anti-Gay-Law-Will-Be-Enforced-at-Olympics.html

torek, 13. avgust 2013

Headaches of the Midnight Fox and Eileen Sheehan

Kr kul.

Sample piece from Song of the Midnight Fox

Ego
When she doesn't want to make love
he says, What's wrong?
As if something must be.
She says, There's nothing wrong.

He says, But there must be something wrong,
the master, needing reasons

She feels she should
have a note from her mother...

Dear Sir
Would you please excuse my daughter from sex
the time of the month is not right
she's worried about he telephone bill
an earthquake rocked Tokyo tonight
she's afraid of waking the baby
Halley's Comet won't pass again for sixty seven years
she's afraid of making a baby
and the Dow Jones index showed
an unfavourable low at close of business
and you probably did it last night
two nights ago at the most...

He nudges her with his elbow;
Go on, you can tell me whats wrong
Was it something I did? Something I said?

But there's nothing wrong. I keep telling you!

Deflated, he heaves towards the wall,
taking his questions and most of the blankets.

Freezing on the edge of the world
she knows that nothing is wrong,
for tonight she has learnt three things:

about ego,
the tug of the moon,
why women invented the headache.


See here about the author, Eileen Sheehan.

petek, 09. avgust 2013

Crappy blockbusters and Bechdel Test

An interesting read.
If nought for else, for the reference to the Bechdel Test Movie List. (See also below.)
The MPAA estimates roughly 600 movies will be released in 2013. At last week’s screening, while I sat eating GMO popcorn and sipping high-fructose lemonade, watching a $100 million, cliché-riddled exercise that glorified guns and explosive violence, I thought to myself: We are doomedSource.



Bechdel Test [link]
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man


Nice. And horrifying in a way. But nothing we didna already kno', right?
Also gives a nice list for movie suggestions, when a person would actually like to see something other than gunfire.

četrtek, 08. avgust 2013

Lagom - just right

Lagom (pronounced [ˈlɑ̀ːɡɔm]) is a Swedish word with no direct English equivalent, meaning "just the right amount".

(From Wiki, here.)

Got it from the talk of Robert Costanza at TEDxUVM (2010), one of the authors of the now famous Nature article titled The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital (link). Which raised a whole haloo around the globe due to its implications and propositions.

I think the new economy could be named Lagom economy. Look here (source 1, Wiki):
"The Lexin Swedish-English dictionary defines lagom as "enough, sufficient, adequate, just right". Lagom is also widely translated as "in moderation", "in balance", "perfect-simple", "optimal" and "suitable" (in matter of amounts)."


Wouldn't that be something? An economy in balance, where everyone has just enough? [Yeah, you might have to work extra for that boat, cause I don't think it's considered just enough for your livin'.]

nedelja, 04. avgust 2013

O laikih, "lifestyle-u" ptic in ekonomskem smislu vetrnih elektrarn

Gasper, tole se strinjam: "da se tovrstne investicije delajo cim bolj javno, da se kar se da najvec vé kdo pije in kdo placa."

  Volovja reber: ko pravis 'Do zdaj me se nihce ni preprical, da bo par vetrnic na Volovji Rebri oz. drugje na primorskem blazno vplivalo na naravno okolje. Tisti argumenti o pticih, ki bojo morali zaradi par vetrnic totalno spremenit svoj lifestyle, se mi zdijo bolj buce kot pa kej drugega.'
Ja, sej. Zdijo.

Dve stvari sta pomembni, v mojem pogledu, pri vsej sagi z Volovjo rebrijo:
  a) dejanski vpliv na krajino, na lokalno bioto in na poembne in zascitene vrste ptic (ki tam lovijo, letijo in v blizini vzgajajo potomce, beri zgoraj)
  b) BOLJ KOT TO, pa je pomembno, da se je s tem primerom zaustavila blaznost postavljanja vsepovprek. Ker se je Elektroprimoska toliko casa dajala s tem primerom, so se morda drugi investitorji (in obcine) ustrasli. Kar je dobro, v smislu, da bi lahko do sedaj imeli precej "degradiranega" okolja iz znj novih vetrnic, ki bi stale naokoli.
  Torej, ne da sem proti "napredku", ampak fino je, da se je vgradil pomislek v cel proces.
In vzpostavil legalni oz. sodni precedens, na katerega se lahko sklicujejo bodoci '-varstveniki'.

Kar se tice argumentov: ... vedno je tezko, biologu govorit 'navadnim' ljudem. In to velja verjetno za vsako stroko: pogovori med strokovanjaki in laiki so ... se lahko zakljucijo v floskulah. Ker jaz ti takoj recem, lej, nisem kemik in to je res stvar kemikov. In se bos strinjal, ker npr. ves, da nisem kemik in ker je kemija specificna znanstvena disciplina.
  No, z biologijo je, ceprav je prav tako znanstvena disciplina, drugace: vsi smo zivi (ja, ja, tud vsi smo iz "kemije"). Ampak, ker je biologija (in podaljsek oz. sestricna ekologija) veda o zivem in interakcijah z nezivim okoljem, ima vsak neko mnenje. Vsakemu se zdi, da nekaj vé. In je res.
  Moj oci vé nekaj o cebelah. Samo ni pa cebelar. Pa tudi ni entomolog, ki bi se specializiral preko let samo na cebelah. Torej, kot jaz vem nekaj o kemiji, ne morem govorit o L-kiralnih aminokislinah na nivoju (in s kompetenco), ki jo ima diplomirani kemik, se vec, kak doktor, ki je na tej temi delal doktorat.
Govorit, da bodo ptice...
(kere, tocno? Katere vrste so tam, katere so zascitene oz. katere so bolj naravovarstveno pomembne kot druge, recimo po definicijah evropske unije? So prisotne v razlicnih stevilkah preko let, preko enega leta? Katere ptice prezimujejo, katere so 'stalnice', katere samo preletijo podrocje? Kaj pa druge zivalske (in rastlinske!) vrste?)

... spremenile "lifestyle" in svojo smer leta, v smislu 'kva, sej so se mogle ze prej prilagajat', ... to je laicno posplosevanje.

Recimo en aspekt, o katerem nismo govorili zgoraj (vsi mi), je obodna hitrost elipse (glej spodaj). Ptice roparice, ki so K-strategi (kratek odgovor na Yahoo.Answers ali daljsa razlaga na Wikipediji), in ki imajo torej manjse stevilo potomcev (prim. 6 z nekaj tisoc od rib ali zuzelk) in zavzemajo vecji teritorij, so na vrhu prehranjevalne verige... Njih nihce ne napada. Torej, tudi ne pricakujejo nevarnosti od zgoraj (OK, drzi za najvecje ptice roparice kot so morda orli ali jastrebi, ki so prisotni na Volovji rebri in o katerih je tukaj govora). Njih lazje zadene rotor vetrnice. In tudi v literaturi je moc zaslediti prevladujoce prepricanje, da so kadavri vecjih ptic lazje najdeni s strani raziskovalcev (in traja dlje casa, preden jih kak mrhovinar odvlece ali preprosto, poje).

Pozornost velja nameniti tudi tehnicnim specifikacijah in ucinkovitosti.
  Vecina vetrnic ima podane minimalne, optimalne in ne-vec-delujoce vetrne hitrost, ki se gibljejo ponavadi med 3 in 4 m/s (cut-in speed), okoli 13.5 (optimum) in do 20-25 m/s (cut-out speed). To je podatek za 2 MW vetrnico podjetja Vestas za majhne in srednje vertne pogoje (V90-2.0 MW GridStreamer™) (1) s premerom d=90m.
  Hecno, vetrni potencijal po Sloveniji ni bas ne vem kaj. Pac nismo Danska, NISMO na obali Severnega morja ali na njegovi sredi in tako pac je. Imamo veter v sunkih, ki je tretji problem.
Ce primerjamo zgornje hitrosti s pregledom potencialno ustreznih območij za izkoriščanje vetrne energije (povezava, 2), pridemo do tega, da se na najboljsih lokacijah veter giblje med minimalno hitrostjo, potrebno za obratovanje vrtnic in med optimumom, torej se gibljemo v sub-optimalnih pogojih delovanja.
  To pomeni tudi, da energetski izkoristki na vetrnico (2 MW, 1.8 MW, kolikor koli ze kW) ne bodo taksni, kot jih promovira a) brosura, b) investitor, c) ime vertnice.

Tretji problem je dobava in ne-kostantnost dobave elektricne energije s stalisca distributerjev elektrike in s stalisca drzave oz. obcin. Z to se pojavi problem peak-hours, ur, ko je veliko povprasevanja po elektriki (zjutraj, zgodaj zvecer) in loceno ali povezano s tem (priznam, si se nisem cisto na jasnem, kako to deluje), problem odkupnih cen.
Zaradi perspektivnosti (razvoj tehnologije, izčrpanje fosilnih virov) države, tudi Slovenija, podpirajo izgradnjo VE. Pri nas velja sistem zagotovljenih odkupnih cen. Na strani "Center za podpore Borzen" najdete podatke o sedanjih odkupnih cenah. Za VE je zagotovljena odkupna cena 95 €/MWh, kar je precej več kot trenutna tržna cena, ki je okoli 50 €/MWh. Dejansko je tržna vrednost vetrne energije še nižja, saj navedena cena velja za neprekinjeno dobavo, česar pa VE ne morejo zagotoviti. Vir (2).

(1) http://www.vestas.com/en/wind-power-plants/procurement/turbine-overview/v90-1.8/2.0-mw-gridstreamer™.aspx#/vestas-univers
Za brosure, tukajle: http://www.vestas.com/en/media/brochures.aspx
(2): Gospod M.T. iz IJS-ja mi je predlagal dokument in povezavo na Wikipedijo, tukajle.
Prav tako mi je napisal tele vrstice:
"Na vprašanje VE na Volovji rebri da ali ne je moj odgovor bil tedaj in je sedaj: če pričakujemo okoljsko škodo (minus) in ker VE itak niso gospodarne, potem ni razloga, da bi jih silili "v vsako vas" oz. na vsak hrib.
Je pa smiselno sodelovati pri tem gibanju, za vzorec. To zaradi tega, ker Slovenija ni posebno ugodna s stališča vetrne energije; naj gredo naprej drugi."


Toliko na kratko o argumentih. Kaj vec pa drugic oz. v kaki literaturi.

sobota, 03. avgust 2013

Eking out

Wau, every now and then, some new words and their combinations enter my vision.
Today, it is eke out, as in:

Installing an incredible 8.4 GW in the fourth quarter in anticipation of the expiration of the PTC, the US installed 13,124 MW, eking out China, which at 12,960 MW had its lowest level of installations since 2008. [link to GWEC]

eke out
vb (tr, adverb)
1. to make (a supply) last, esp by frugal use they eked out what little food was left
2. to support (existence) with difficulty and effort
3. to add to (something insufficient), esp with effort to eke out an income with evening work
 
Totally copied from Free Online dictionary (here).