The peasant revolt will be televised

Originally posted on Brad R. Torgersen:

From Merriam-Webster:

Snob (noun)
– one who blatantly imitates, fawningly admires, or vulgarly seeks association with those regarded as social superiors.
– one who tends to rebuff, avoid, or ignore those regarded as inferior.
– one who has an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste.

It’s been most of a full day since the final Hugo award ballot was announced, for the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention. If you’re tuned in to this thing — and if you’re reading this, you probably are — you’ve no doubt seen the small mountain of verbal outrage which has flooded forth. Because the SP3 slate didn’t just do well with nominating voters, it did overwhelmingly well. A raft of notions has been forwarded by different critics, to explain the “discrepancy” in the 2015 ballot. Most of the critical commentary takes the form of very earnest protestations focusing on violation…

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Fort Meade NSA Shooting (Thoughts from a Vet who Trained at Fort Meade)

My thoughts and prayers are with people at Fort Meade, Md., where I spent a good part of my life and received my military journalism/public affairs training, and those who live and work in the area. We do not know everything about it, yet, but I have a sinking feeling that a whole lot of the usual conspiracy theory b.s. from both the left-wing and the right-wing regarding the NSA may have something to do with it. For those who did not know, in addition to having the NSA there, Fort Meade is the home of the Defense Information School, where people who want to draw, write and take pictures for all branches of the military have their training. I owe a great debt to my instructors at DINFOS. When I was there, most people in this country had never heard of the NSA, let alone having such anger towards it that it may have led to this kind of tragedy. And, not for nothing, a whole lot of us do not like or trust any political party, political organization or politician and do not like the shrill, shrieking hate and rage of the left or the right, and this kind of thing is why.


U.S. to auction 50,000 more bitcoins from Dread Pirate Roberts

D.E. Cantor:

What strange times we live in when the U.S. government is involved in the business of Bitcoin.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Want to be the next Dread Pirate Roberts? You can get started by buying 50,000 bitcoins once owned by Ross Ulbricht (aka the Dread Pirate), who is awaiting sentencing on a litany of charges related to his operation of the Silk Road, a defunct drug marketplace.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service announced that it would hold its next civil forfeiture auction on March 5 from 8am to to 2pm EST. The bitcoins will be auctioned off in 10 blocks of 2,000 bitcoins and 10 blocks of 3,000 bitcoins.

This will be the third such bitcoin auction. The first took place last June when Venture Capitalist Tim Draper bought approximately 30,000 bitcoins seized from the Silk Road, and was followed by another one in December in which a consortium of bitcoin investors bought another stash of 50,000 bitcoins once belonging to Ulbricht.

The new auction comes as the price of bitcoin has fallen precipitously…

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My Adoption Story. Full Version.

D.E. Cantor:

One of the best accounts of what it is like for adopted people I have ever read.

Originally posted on chosen2bhis:

I was born on November 22, 1975, downtown, St. Louis, Missouri at City Hospital. My mother currently had two twin children from a previous marriage she was trying to raise on a single, small income. Even though family helped out as much as they could, she did not want to further complicate the situation and add another burden or stress to the family and felt she could not provide for another child. So, before she could be found out by family that she was pregnant with me, she went to the nearest Lutheran Family and Children services (being Lutheran herself) early in her pregnancy and filled out adoption papers for me to be placed at the time of her giving birth.

Around 6 months, she made a home remedy to try to start labor contractions. I believe she was also wanting to be able to keep her job and not…

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Dealing with Depression…The Medical…The Spiritual…

D.E. Cantor:

One of the best things I have ever read about depression and faith and reading it meant a lot to me as someone who has dealt with depression and wrestled with faith.

Originally posted on chosen2bhis:

So many question about depression. Is it me? Am I overthinking things? Being paranoid? Not trusting God enough? Do I lack faith? Here is an article about depression from a mental health standpoint. I guess we could sit around and argue all day about whether or not the information is factual or credible, but I think that’s just a cop out to not try to look at the reality of things. By reducing depression to one simple sentence, ior by trying to explain why someone is suffering from depression to a simple answer, I believe you are not being fair to the person who is struggeling, and your reasoning lacks sufficient understanding.

Depression is very complicated. For some people it could be one event in their life that has caused them to suffer, for others, maybe it was a series of circumstances, for others, it may be seasonal, sporadic, not…

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The Best Movies of 2014

Originally posted on Variety:

Halfway through 2014, our top three critics found themselves in a rare moment of agreement: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was one of the year’s best films so far. Several months later, Wes Anderson’s delightful comic caper still ranks high on two lists, while rating an honorable mention on a third — a sign, perhaps, of the impossibility of total unanimity in a year of such rich and diverse cinematic pleasures. (Other movies that scored top-10 mentions from at least two of our critics: “Foxcatcher,” “Winter Sleep,” “Gone Girl,” “Interstellar” and “Selma.”)

Here are our critics’ choices for the year’s finest achievements in film:

Justin Chang’s top 10 films of 2014 | Read more
1. Boyhood
2. Under the Skin
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Winter Sleep
5. Foxcatcher
6. Bird People
7. Gone Girl
8. Selma
9. Mr. Turner
10. Interstellar

Peter Debruge’s top 10 films of 2014 | Read more
1. Calvary
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Birdman or…

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The 13 Most Disappointing Movies of 2014

Originally posted on Variety:

Many Hollywood executives probably want to forget that 2014 ever happened. The studios overstuffed the summer multiplexes with sequels — yet another “Spider-Man,” “X-Men,” “Planet of the Apes” and “Transformers” — which resulted in audience malaise at the box office (5% down from last year). The indies might have been better in terms of quality, but no title caught fire the way they used to, such as when sleepers like 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine” grossed $60 million. And the latest fad in filmmaking — crowdfunding — turned out to be a bust with the release of two high-profile Kickstarter projects (“Wish I Was Here” and “Veronica Mars”) that barely registered with audiences. If Hollywood wants the movie business to thrive against unprecedented competition (TV, video games, etc.), the industry needs to do better, especially when it comes to original storytelling. Here are the 13 most disappointing films I saw in…

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