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Monthly Archive: December 2013

Dec 31 2013

Documentaries on some famous British comedies

During these holidays, I watched quite a bit of light stuff on the internet. Being partial to British comedies, I enjoyed watching some that revisited some of the well known ones, with the writers, producers and stars talking about their early lives and how they came together on these shows.

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Dec 31 2013

Year-end cartoons

nsa-court

One of the things I dislike about the end of the year are the endless retrospectives of the year gone by and the innumerable lists of the year’s best and worst. I skip over almost all of them.

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Dec 31 2013

More blockbuster NSA revelations

Today comes a story about a talk that privacy advocate Jacob Appelbaum gave at a conference where he says that the NSA has the ability to tap into everyone’s iPhones. Independent journalist and security expert Jacob Appelbaum on Monday told a hacker conference in Germany that theNSA could turn iPhones into eavesdropping tools and use …

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Dec 30 2013

Silly Billy

The Onion’s head film critic Peter K. Rosenthal reviews It’s a Wonderful Life. He is just like me. I too hate it when people in films do something mind-bogglingly stupid just in order to drive the story along. (Language advisory)

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Dec 30 2013

Bipartisan authoritarianism on full display

It is quite impressive how the allegedly gridlocked, fiercely partisan, do-nothing Congress that supposedly seeks to block president Obama’s every move, can get together quietly with him to agree on sweeping powers that endanger our constitutional protections against arbitrary and indefinite arrest and detention by the government.

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Dec 30 2013

The real difference between polygamy and bigamy

Bigamy, the act of one person getting formally married with a civil marriage license to two different people, is a crime in the US and most countries. I had always thought that polygamy was the same act carried out with three or more people. No doubt I had been swayed by the parallel with mathematics …

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Dec 29 2013

A Mormon just believes

Barrett Foa as Mitt Romney sings his version of the song I Believe from the show The Book of Mormon. (This performance is from October 29, 2012, just before the last presidential election.)

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Dec 29 2013

How nice behavior evolved

RadioLab had a good program this week on altruism and how nice behavior could emerge out of natural selection. The first part dealt with the tragic story of George Price, the eccentric but brilliant scientist who developed an equation that showed why someone might sacrifice their life for another. But he personally could not deal …

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Dec 29 2013

“We are the good guys”

Former CIA agent Philip Giraldi gets together with former colleagues from the agency around the holidays and on these occasions tries to understand how they can support the anti-constitutional, anti-human rights, war criminal polices that have now become routine actions of the US government.

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Dec 28 2013

The importance of the status quo in legal proceedings

Newton’s first law of motion, that an object will continue in its current state of motion unless acted upon by an external force, can be used as a metaphor about how changing the status quo is harder than maintaining it. It seems to apply in law too, where the status quo carries with it a …

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