About a week ago Adria Richards, a developer evangelist, overheard a couple guys behind her engaging in “dongle” jokes and may have misconstrued a “forking” reference as another crude joke while attending PyCon. Frustrated at the situation she snapped their picture and called them out on Twitter for their behavior. She also alerted PyCon staff to what was happening and they responded by talking to the individuals in question.
A couple days later one of the guys she called out was fired from his job at Playhaven, a sponsor of PyCon.
Word got out and the internet exploded. DDoS attacks were made against Adria Richards’ web site, her employer’s web site, and Playhaven’s web site. And Adria’s been flooded with the most vile of vitriol, threats, and harassment.
Plenty of commentary on this incident, from many different perspectives, have already been written and there’s little, if anything, of value that I could contribute to the situation. All I have to add is utter frustration at the whole situation. The guys making jokes could have been more aware of their surroundings. Richards didn’t need to call them out in such a public manner. Playhaven didn’t need to overreact and fire one of the guys because of it. The internet didn’t need to lose its shit on Richards in such an unconstructive and counterproductive manner. Now everyone is polarized over this and any chance of having a rational dialog about what happened is about as likely as Israelis and Palestinians settling their “disagreement”.
How do we prevent shit like this from happening? Education. Open dialog. Open minds willing to explore all perspectives. Santa Claus.
And, when all else fails, an emergency anti-rage app for you phone that shows you cute as fuck kittens. Feeling angry? Want to share that rage on the internet in a brutally uncooperative manner? Why don’t you watch some cute as fuck kittens first, then see how you feel.
Brian Krebs is a journalist who specializes in computer security. His blog, Krebs on Security, is worth a bookmark even if you’re not into computer security. If nothing else, it will help expand your knowledge of all things related to that metal box sitting next to you that lets you play on the internet. That’s not a bad thing.
Recently Krebs profiled a web site that specializes in providing personal information about people (for a small fee). With such information it’s possible to gain even more personal information such as full credit reports. Such a scenario was recently put on stage with the news of celebrity credit records being posted online.
Not long after Krebs’ report went online he found his web site being DDoSed (flooded with massive amounts of traffic to the point it became inaccessible to anyone). Some people apparently didn’t like what Krebs was writing about. This was nothing that Krebs hadn’t experienced before. What was new about this particular experience was opening his front door a day later and finding himself staring down the barrel of a police officer’s gun. He had been SWATed.
I tore off the top of the thick, plastic bag and immediately popped the first piece of dehydrated meat into my mouth. I sat the bag down next to my keyboard and continued on with my internet travels. On occasion I would pop another piece into my mouth. The sixth piece caught my eye. One end of it was covered in what looked like a thin layer of cotton. It certainly peeled off the meat like cotton. I was just about to pop the now naked meat into my mouth, but then a small suggestion in the back of my head trickled forward and suggested I look into the bag o’ meat. There I saw that mass of meat pieces, stuck together to form a single entity, were covered on either side of the two-dimensional bag with more white cotton. I was confused at first. It took a good thirty seconds for the next suggestion to trickle forward: inspect the bag. It didn’t take long. I flipped it over and saw it. A long slice right down the middle. Probably made by the person opening the box containing these packages of jerky with an appropriately named “box cutter”.
There were only two questions left to answer. What the fuck was it and how lethal was the unknown amount that had already passed my lips.
I was wavering between writing a post about fantasy baseball or a radio show that you need to be adding to your listening rotation, when a thread on a message board I frequent forced its way into my brain. Though it would be easy to simply list and post over there, the idea is simply too fun to NOT post here. First, the concept:
”Okay. You’ve been made editor-in-chief of MARVEL. You have been given a command by your Corporate Disney Masters: Eliminate the entire X-Universe, save twelve. Twelve Mutants to restart the entire X-Franchise. No more, no less. And the kicker? Anyone you DON’T pick will be killed and the character rights sold off so that they can never be brought back to life.”
Great idea, right? You have the power to trim 50 duodecillion mutants down to 12 and potentially save a comic book franchise that has gotten fat and unwieldy. The problems? First, the idea that any you don’t pick gets killed and the character rights sold. It’s unrealistic – if you hate Wolverine and he doesn’t make the cut, do you REALLY think Disney/Marvel would just sell him off? Of course not, so let’s remove that provision right off the bat. The second problem: Wolverine. You may hate him, but he’s not going anywhere. Fanboys, old and young, love Wolverine. It’s why he’s on every X-Men team, the Avengers, has at least two solo books, multiple monthly appearances, and (for all I know) a regular cameo in DC Comics’ titles. Wolverine makes the cut, so there. Last problem: Who are your villains? You gotta have villains, or X-Men becomes Glee with less singing and more superpowers. Which elevates Glee, but who wants that in their monthly fiX-Men?
So. We refine the original premise: One X-Men team. 12 members. No mutant who misses the cut gets to join…EVER. And you better come up with some sweet villains for your team to fight. Got it? Good. Here’s my list:
Already, I hear the cries of fanboys everywhere. “Where’s Rogue and Gambit, or [random mutant you love]???” Not here. “What about New Mutants and X-Force???” None made it cut, sorry. “For Heaven’s sake, where’s CHARLES BLEEPING XAVIER???”
And on that bombshell, I leave you to your teeth-gnashing, comments, and hate mail. Part Two will explain why Chuck didn’t make the cut, provide you those sweet villains I promised, and maybe even offer up some solid allies who will help our newly streamlined team in their battles.
Yesterday was haircut day for yours truly. I pulled out of my driveway and threw on the radio, ignoring sports talk, the wife’s pop stations, and the local college’s radio offering in favor of some nice rock radio channel-surfing. I tuned into what I thought was the local classic rock station out of Boston and settled in for some Boston or Bob Seger or Led Zeppelin. Maybe some Gimme Shelter, Feel Like Makin’ Love, or Somebody To Love (the Queen version, as Jefferson Airplane would be on the oldies channel). But I had clearly made a mistake of preset, because instead of the sweet riffs of Hendrix or the octopus-style drumming of Ginger Baker or Michael Anthony’s ignorable bass lines, I got an earful of…Slash.
She’s got a smile it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue skies
Well that couldn’t be right. My wife must’ve changed up the presets, right? Obviously I was too busy driving safely out of my street to pay attention to which station I hit, right? Clearly I had stumbled on the rock station out of Providence, RI, right? Classic rock wouldn’t be playing Guns ‘n’ Roses, right? Right? RIGHT???
But it could, and it did, and it had. And as I listened to the song that extended hair metal’s life by about five years, a few things occurred to me:
1) Guns ‘n’ Roses’ classic debut, Appetite For Destruction, is 25 years old this year.
2) The music that I listened to growing up and considered “classic rock” was between 15 and 25 years old at the time.
3) Which means, goddamn it, I am getting older…
* * *
Believe me, I don’t fear it, or try to fight against it. I’m quite comfortable with my age. On my 30th birthday, as I discovered strands of grey in my hair while getting ready for the day, I found myself smiling with pride and relief – grey hair on your head isn’t brown hair in the sink, and I’d rather be grey than bald any day of the week. I am exactly 20 years older than my niece, and 24 years older than my nephew, and I have had the joy and privilege of watching them grow and mature into people that I not only love as family but truly like as people on their own terms. The horror flicks I could only dream of renting as a wee lad are now part of my permanent DVD collection, to be savored any time I want. And I wouldn’t want to be a teenager again for anything – I’m not so far removed from those years that nostalgia colors the reality of those awkward, sometimes terrifying, rites of passage into adulthood.
But I will not lie to you. Hearing Guns ‘n’ Roses (a band that not only has its roots in the 80s, but in the late 80s, which makes it older than a college’s Class of 2012) on classic rock radio (which traditionally featured music from the late 60s through the 70s) was a cold slap of reality. The only 80s music that classic rock would play was (should be?) the later albums of bands with their roots in the earlier decades (Aeromsmith’s Permanent Vacation and Pump…The Police…Van Halen…AC/DC with Brian Johnson on vocals…you get the idea). Now I have to realistically expect music from my teenage years to feature prominently, though I pray it’ll only be true rock bands like Guns ‘n’ Roses, Def Leppard (up to Pyromania, please, as I was sick of the Hysteria album after the 3rd listen), Scorpions, Motley Crue…and not the pretty-boy “glam metal” of Poison, Warrant, Enuff Z’Nuff, Trixter, and what a female friend from my distant past referred to as “White bands” (White Lion, Whitesnake, Great White…). I don’t think my heart can take those slow-dancing pop standards (“Love Of A Lifetime,” “When The Children Cry,” “Fly High Michelle,” “Heaven,” and so on ad nauseum) being lumped in as “classic rock” alongside “More Than A Feeling,” “Seasons Of Wither,” “Unchained,” “Night Moves,” and so many just-plain-great tunes.
Which may be music snobbery on my part. I like those songs for the most part, but I don’t think they belong with the giants of my own youth. Put it this way: whether you love or hate Bruce Springsteen, Ozzy Osbourne (with Black Sabbath or solo), or the Rolling Stones, do you REALLY think Poison’s Open Up And Say Ahhh! album belongs alongside Born To Run, Paranoid, or Sticky Fingers? Can you name a single hair band that belongs in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame? That music speaks to a time in our pop culture history, true, but so do the exploitation films of the 70s. And while I love Coffey, Foxy Brown, the Blind Dead series, The Devil’s Nightmare, School Of The Holy Beast, and the slasher flicks of the 80s, I have no illusions that those movies are not classics in the traditional sense. I’m not kidding myself by putting them at the same level of the first two Godfather films, Glengarry Glen Ross, or the majority of Hitchcock’s filmography. The exploitation genre, and glam metal, is junk food. And while I like junk food, I’m not eating it for dinner.
But the truth is the truth. Time passes whether you like it or not. The “latest” of our parents becomes our “classic.” The music that I remember as new and revolutionary is oftentimes dismissed as “old people’s music.” And so, in the end, I have to make my peace with the fact that I am…shudder…an adult. To be referred to as “Mr. Scheckland” by the kids in my neighborhood. To remember where I was and how I reacted to my first time seeing Guns ‘n’ Roses and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video on MTV. To chuckle at the memories of slow dancing with girlfriends to those wonderfully, awfully cheesy hair ballads. To grit my teeth and get used to hearing “Rock You Like A Hurricane” and “Rock Of Ages” and maybe “I Wanna Rock” on the same radio channel as “Rock ‘n’ Roll Never Forgets” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “We Will Rock You.” To accept my pop culture age with the same grace that I accepted my biological age. Hey, at least I have my iPod to help me ease into that particular tar pit with “Peace Of Mind,” right?
But I swear, the first time I hear “Wish You Were Here” segue-way into “Give It To Me Good” or “Talk Dirty To Me” or – God help me – “The Final Countdown,” I will tear my car stereo out with my bare hands and toss it out of my car…
And John Adams? I wouldn’t laugh. You’re less than five years away from Smashing Pumpkins being tossed in with the rest of us dinosaurs…
Hello to you all,
The tallies are in: ~30 cans of soda over a week long period. My greatest in take was during the week, on Wednesday to be specific.
Why do I state approximately 30 cans? It’s hard to judge how many ounces the glass is when you eat out.
What does this mean? I drink way to much soda.
Where does one go from here? I’m giving myself 60 days to change how I drink soda, first thing will be to use the tracking I have and stay under that value from day to day, then go to under half that value. All the while making sure I don’t increase the amounts of coffee or other caffeinated drinks. There will be headache and sluggishness as my body gets used to a lower amount of caffeine in my system.
At a future date I’ll talk about how I’ve been doing.
Long time no write, sorry about that.
As John Adams has told me on more than one occasion, ‘your posts don’t need to be anything amazing, insightful or especially funny, just write something.’
So I’m going to document my attempts to lessen the amount of soda I drink. Starting August 1st I will track, document, and comment on my active reduction of soda and other soft drinks. It will also be interesting to see what vice I choose to replace this with.
There are currently 2+ 12 packs of soda in my house. Those won’t last the week if I don’t take specific action to reduce how much of it I drink. So as a measure of how bad my ‘soda addiction’ I’ll post again when it’s all gone.
I estimate I go through at least 12 cans of soda a week, not including what I grab at the office in the afternoon.
Lets see how accurate that is starting now: 2 cans already consumed, Sunday July 24th. I am not going to alter or avoid drinking it if my first impulse is to grab a can.
Talk to you next Sunday.
My response to all this?
John Adams don’t give a shit about the PSN hack.
Why is that?
Throughout the video you will see, and especially mid-way through during the particularly dark bits where the Milky Way really comes through, a couple of cloudy features, one large and one small, that seem to float along at a distance from the Milky Way.
Those are the Magellanic Clouds and the view from them must be spectacular!
First, I want you to watch the video below. I want you to fullscreen it and select the 720p option. It’s eight minutes of pure astrological eye candy with a very nice soundtrack to compliment things.
Did you see those lasers shooting up into the sky from the telecsopes? Well about those…