Adventure Time!

I dunno about the French literary theory bit, or the bit about Bellini, but I found Adventure Time on Netflix two months ago or so and love it. If you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Maria Bustillos takes a long deep look behind the scenes.

It's Adventure Time

Adventure Time is a smash hit cartoon aimed primarily at kids age six to eleven. It’s also a deeply serious work of moral philosophy, a rip-roaring comic masterpiece, and a meditation on gender politics and love in the modern world. It is rich with moments of tenderness and confusion, and real terror and grief even; moments sometimes more resonant and elementally powerful than you experience in a good novel, though much of Adventure Time’s emotional force is visually evoked—conveyed through a language of seeing and feeling rather than words.

how an undergraduate architecture student saved hundreds of lives

If you've been to midtown Manhattan, you may have noticed the building originally known as Citicorp Center (now just "601 Lexington"). When it was build in 1977, its 59 stories made it the seventh-tallest building in the world. But what makes it especially noticeable is not its top, but its bottom. In order to preserve the property (though not the building) of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, the tower was built on stilts nine stories high.

The structural engineer did all the calculations, it was safe to do this. Except he got them wrong. A good wind could knock it over. That would quite possibly kill hundreds of people, maybe thousands...

Structural Integrity (99% Invisible)

According to LeMessurier, in 1978 he got a phone call from an undergraduate architecture student making a bold claim about LeMessurier’s building. He told LeMessurier that Citicorp Center could blow over in the wind.

The student [actually a woman, Diane Hartley] was studying Citicorp Center as part of [her] thesis and had found that the building was particularly vulnerable to quartering winds (winds that strike the building at its corners). Normally, buildings are strongest at their corners, and it’s the perpendicular winds (winds that strike the building at its face) that cause the greatest strain. But this was not a normal building.

LeMessurier had accounted for the perpendicular winds, but not the quartering winds. He checked the math, and found that the student was right. He compared what velocity winds the building could withstand with weather data, and found that a storm strong enough to topple Citicorp Center hits New York City every 55 years.

But that’s only if the tuned mass damper, which keeps the building stable, is running. LeMessurier realized that a major storm could cause a blackout and render the tuned mass damper inoperable. Without the tuned mass damper, LeMessurier calculated that a storm powerful enough to take out the building hits New York every sixteen years.

In other words, for every year Citicorp Center was standing, there was about a 1-in-16 chance that it would collapse.

bullying is forever

Too true. I don't want to get all weepy here, and all in all I'm doing ok, because I've been fortunate enough to have other factors more than balance it out. But I still find stuff in my head that I can trace back to shit that happened when I was ten years old. If you see it, stop it. Please. Just, stop it.

The Effects Of Childhood Bullying Can Last A Lifetime (Forbes)

A new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry finds what others had hinted at but not quite arrived at: That the effects of childhood bullying can last not only through adolescence and young adulthood, but also through middle age. Earlier studies had shown the negative psychological and social effects of bullying to be evident into a person’s 20s, but the new research tracked the psychological health and cognitive function of once-bullied kids till they were 50. And the effects of bullying – particularly of severe bullying – affected a person’s well-being in a great number of ways. All the more reason, the authors urge, to take bullying just as seriously as we would any other form of childhood abuse.

Santa Fe cop quits after being caught asaulting driver during traffic stop

Business as usual in the police state.

Santa Fe Cop Caught on Video Beating Taxi Cab Driver, Resigns Days Later (The Free Thought Project)

On March 30, Taxi Cab Driver Dawn Bourgeois was detained by Santa Fe Police Officer, Jose Gutierrez. According to an attorney hired by Bourgeois, what happened next is ‘disturbing.’

She committed no crime and certainly didn’t commit a crime for which he takes her to the ground, beat her up, black her eye, and they charge her with resisting or obstructing,” said Tom Clark.

cop tries to shoot pibble, shoots self instead

The dog's "owner" says he feels bad for the cop. I don't. Too bad he only shot himself in the leg. And that's a "large dog"? Ha. It is to laugh.

Instant Karma: Cop Shoots Himself While Trying To Shoot Friendly Dog (Video) (Americans Against the Tea Party)

A Riverside County Sheriff’s spokesperson said the deputy was serving an eviction notice at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday when a “large” dog tried to attack him. It was the usual story. “A dog came at the deputy in an aggressive manner,” Deputy Armando Munoz said. “The deputy...pulled his service weapon, shot one round, and injured himself in the leg.”

When a KNCB news crew arrived on the scene, they found a medium-sized pit bull named “Precious” not running loose in the street, but confined to a pen and playing with several kids. According to the dog’s owner, it was barking when the officer arrived.

right wing "Boats 'N Hoes" PAC shut down

Perhaps it was intended as a (stupid and misogynist) April Fool's joke of some sort?

PAC to Shut Down After Name Draws Furor, by Aman Batheja (The Texas Tribune)

A Texas political action committee called Boats 'N Hoes PAC will be just a memory by Thursday, according to the Republican political consultant who is the boss of the man who started it.

Houston consultant Allen Blakemore confirmed Wednesday evening that his firm’s bookkeeper, Shaun Nowacki, started the PAC, which is a reference to a song from the 2008 film Step Brothers....

... Nowacki filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission to create the PAC on April 1 and named himself treasurer. The PAC has not filed any fundraising reports since its creation two weeks ago. It is the only PAC Nowacki is listed with on the Texas Ethics Commission’s website.


prop. 8 lawyer's stepdaughter about to be same-sex married

Ah, sweet sweet irony. This, folks, is how and why bigotry always falls in the end.

Prop 8 lawyer's views on gay marriage evolving

The lawyer who argued before the Supreme Court in favor of upholding California's ban on gay marriage learned while he was handling the case that one of his children is gay and now is helping her plan her wedding with another woman.

Attorney Charles Cooper says his view of same-sex marriage is evolving after having argued in court that gay unions could undermine marriages between a man and a woman.


Cooper learned that his stepdaughter Ashley was gay as the Proposition 8 case wound its way through appellate court, according to a forthcoming book about the lengthy legal battle.

the fix is ancient Greece

Cheaters never prosper...except when they do.

Match-Fixing Took Place in Ancient Greek Wrestling

Researchers have deciphered a Greek document that shows an ancient wrestling match was fixed. The document, which has a date on it that corresponds to the year A.D. 267, is a contract between two teenagers who had reached the final bout of a prestigious series of games in Egypt.

This is the first time that a written contract between two athletes to fix a match has been found from the ancient world.


Although this is the only known contract recording a bribe between ancient athletes, there are references in ancient sources indicating that bribery in athletic competitions was not unusual. By the time of the Roman Empire, bribery in athletic competitions was getting more prevalent as the events became more lucrative, Rathbone said.

Chicago man responds to 22 cent tax on soda with a .22

1.) No, the Intratech .22 is not a "submachine gun", it's a quite ordinary pistol. As usual, anything you read in the corporate media about firearms is likely to be wrong, meant to cause eyeball-grabbing moral panic. 2.) Whipping out a gun to protest taxes, guy could almost be a teabagger. 22 cents, .22 caliber, someone could make an interesting tax protest slogan here. 3.) Illinois has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, and Chicago bans the sale of guns within the city limits. Yet this convicted felon had a gun. Huh, how about that. Maybe, instead of worrying that if we let law-abiding citizens have their rightful access to the tools of self-defense they might suddenly go insane and hurt people, we need to devote our resources to supervising people who have actually already gone and hurt people?

Angry over 22-cent tax on soda, man pulls out submachine gun in store: police - Chicago Sun-Times

Nahshon Shelton didn’t want to pay the 22-cent tax on his $1.79 two-liter of Pepsi on Saturday afternoon, Chicago Police said.

So he allegedly pulled a blue-steel Intratec .22-caliber submachine [not. -tms] gun out of his Gucci satchel inside the convenience store in the 4000 block of West Madison Street where they tried to make him pay it — and he threatened to kill everyone there, a prosecutor said.


DMARC considered harmful

DMARC ("Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance") is the latest hare-brained scheme to reduce spam and phishing. Like some previous such schemes (I'm looking at you, SPF), it breaks some completely legitimate uses of e-mail.

In this case, it's all about the "From:" line. The "From:" field of an e-mail message is supposed to indicate the author of a message, which can be different from the sender. As RFC 5322 explains

The "From:" field specifies the author(s) of the message, that is, the mailbox(es) of the person(s) or system(s) responsible for the writing of the message. The "Sender:" field specifies the mailbox of the agent responsible for the actual transmission of the message. For example, if a secretary were to send a message for another person, the mailbox of the secretary would appear in the "Sender:" field and the mailbox of the actual author would appear in the "From:" field.

In today's world, the "secretary" is more likely to be some mailing list software. It's quite legitimate for some random internet domain ("") to a mailing list. This list accepts messages from subscribers, such as "some_fake_guy@yah00.c0m"[*], and sends a copy of each such message to each subscriber of the list. The "From:" line of each copy has "some_fake_guy@yah00.c0m", while the "Sender:" is something like "".

([*] 0's instead of o's in the address above so it's definitely a bogus address. I'm deliberately picking on Yahoo here.)

The problem is, DMARC lets Yahoo say, "no one but Yahoo! can send an e-mail message with a Yahoo address in the From: line". This breaks the world.

Yahoo breaks every mailing list in the world including the IETF's

DMARC is what one might call an emerging e-mail security scheme. There's a draft on it at draft-kucherawy-dmarc-base-04, intended for the independent stream. It's emerging pretty fast, since many of the largest mail systems in the world have already implemented it, including Gmail, Hotmail/MSN/Outlook, Comcast, and Yahoo.


For a lot of mail, notably bulk mail sent by companies, DMARC works great. For other kinds of mail it works less great, because like every mail security system, it has an implicit model of the way mail is delivered that is similar but not identical to the way mail is actually delivered.

Mailing lists are a particular weak spot for DMARC....

The reason this matters is that over the weekend Yahoo published a DMARC record with a policy saying to reject all mail that fails DMARC. I noticed this because I got a blizzard of bounces from my church mailing list, when a subscriber sent a message from her account, and the list got a whole bunch of rejections from gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Comcast, and Yahoo itself. This is definitely a DMARC problem, the bounces say so.

Yes, I spent time last week cleaning up after this. It made me want to punch someone in the nose. I'm going to put that punch away for now, but if I ever meet a system administrator who implemented DMARC in a way that breaks mailing lists, I will be happy to pull it out of storage. Don't let that happen. Just say no to DMARC.



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