I'm going back and watching Arrested Development. Yup, I'm late on everything. Except this. This is awesome.
I'm going back and watching Arrested Development. Yup, I'm late on everything. Except this. This is awesome.
Some fool is claiming to hold a patent on all virtual gaming worlds:
Worlds.com claims to hold a patent for the idea of virtual worlds that dates back to 1995 and that could quite literally apply to every 3-D online world currently in existence. In fact, Worlds.com has already taken one MMOG heavyweight to court: Korea-based NCsoft, the company behind games like Lineage and Guild Wars. And while legal expert Ben Buranske, contacted by Business Insider, says the wealth of "prior art" will make the case tough to prove, World.com's court of choice, the Eastern District of Texas, is notorious for handing heavy damage awards to plaintiffs in cases like this. Nintendo was recently ordered to pay $21 million in damages after a jury in the district found the company had violated 12 patents relating to its controllers held by a small Texas company called Anascape.
"Being a foreign defendant in Texas is not a pleasant thing," a lawyer familiar with the NCsoft case said. "The juries are, many would say, biased towards American plaintiffs and have a propensity to offer high damages. Some defendants might view them as an unfriendly jury and it might make the defendant more likely to settle." That could be bad news for companies like Blizzard and Linden Lab, which Kidrin says he is "absolutely" going to sue if his suit against NCsoft is successful.
Ugh. Talk about a hustle...
Here's the chairmen on abortion:
How much of your pro-life stance, for you, is informed not just by your Catholic faith but by the fact that you were adopted?
Oh, a lot. Absolutely. I see the power of life in that--I mean, and the power of choice! The thing to keep in mind about it... Uh, you know, I think as a country we get off on these misguided conversations that throw around terms that really misrepresent truth.
The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.
Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?
Yeah. I mean, again, I think that's an individual choice.
Are you saying you don't want to overturn Roe v. Wade?
I think Roe v. Wade--as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter.
Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?
The states should make that choice. That's what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.
I think that about does it. I don't know when, but I can't see Republicans letting this sideshow continue. It's fascinating. I've been reading about Steele for years, but I still have no idea why he's a Republican. I've yet to get any sense of deep conviction from him. Colin Powell, I got. Condie Rice, I got. I even get Clarence Thomas. But what I get from Steele feels almost like a hustle.
...is going to work for the New York Times as a columnist. Ross and I fight under different flags. But I expect he'll be at the Times, what he always was here--a swordsman of great caliber and greater honor. Here's to him. The roster won't be the same once he's gone.
Folks I'm headed to the Georgia chasing a story I've wanted to do for years, now. All I can say about it is, is that if it comes through a certain sector of the commenters on this blog are gonna lose it. Here's hoping it all works out. Consequently, blogging will be light today. Black Star is gonna have to hold it down for me.
Below is video of Jim Cramer defending himself against Jon Stewart's slam last week. I've got no problem with that. But Scarborough piles on by claiming Stewart is no longer "speaking truth to power" and then saying, "he's an ideologue and when George W. Bush was president, he spoke truth to power. Now that Barack Obama's president, suddenly nothing's funny about attacking the president."
Right. Which would explain this clip. Or this clip. Or this clip. Or this clip. Scarborough goes on to bizarrely criticize Stewart for not having transcripts that can be put up on YouTube (?!?!?). But, in fact, The Daily Show has some of the deepest archives on the net right now. If you want to see Stewart attacking The Surge, as Scarborough apparently would like to, all you need to do is go to Comedy Central's own site and search the archives, and watch the entire episode.
Look, Stewart isn't impartial, and no one who's seen their show would think that he isn't were. But arguing that they're somehow ignoring Obama is demonstrably false.
Awhile back commenter and blogger KevDog, asked me to compile a list of essential hip-hop records, for non-hip-hop fans looking to expand. I've resisted doing this, mostly because these sorts of lists always end with some dude whose tattoed "THUG LIFE" on his chest insisting that Tupac is the most slept-on artist of all time. Or some other dude whose pissed that Divine Styler wasn't on the list. The partisans and the extremist tend to love his sort of thing, and somehow they always manage to take over the conversation.
Anyway, I'm going to venture forth and offer a highly biased, incredibly subjective list of records that are my favorites, and that, I think, display the genius of hip-hop. I encourage people to disagree. I also encourage people to create their own lists. Maybe at the end, we can come up with some sort of highly biased, unauthorative, unofficial master-list. But please, people who stand stand on the trains loudly reciting hip-hop lyrics should not comment here. If you think you may begin your list with "I love hip-hop more than my own Moms, son!!" then nuff respect, kid. But if it's all the same to you, I'd ask that you sit this one out.
Anyway here it goes, in no particular order.
2.) A Tribe Called Quest--
Midnight Marauders The Low End Theory
3.) EPMD--Unfinished Business
4.) Ice Cube--Death Certificate
5.) Jay-Z--The Blueprint
7.) Raekwon--Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
8.) The Fugees--The Score
9.) Gza-Liquid Swords
10.) Public Enemy--It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
11.) De La Soul--3 Feet High And Rising
12.) Gang Starr--Full Clip
13.) The Roots--Illadelph Halflife
14.) Mobb Deep--The Infamous
There's a lot wrong with that list--it's rooted in the early to mid-90s, there aren't any women on there, and its skewed to the East Coast. But beyond that it ignores some truly great feats of MCing. We'll save that for another day, though.
UPDATE: Couple changes, I had the wrong Tribe album as someone mentioned. Also added The Roots--Illadelph Halflife. And yeah Mobb Deep, also. Just forgot those.
It must be read to be believed. Wow. Who paid to see this?
I saw the video of 14-year old Johnathan Krohn at CPAC, last week. I thought about posting it, and didn't, because I wasn't sure what I wanted to say was defensible. I'm a strong believer in social skills, and in children being children. I'm not a fan of, "child-preachers," "pageants" for five-year olds, or intense basketball camps designed to make six-year olds go pro. But as I thought about it, I decided that that's me. Those are my values. And what did I know of the kid? Maybe he actually had a gift, and his parents were just letting him live the dream.
But I do think Matt raises a pretty good point:
I really struggle to understand why this particular gimmick appeals to conservatives. What does it accomplish to put a 14 year-old front and center at CPAC? What's the message it's supposed to send? That the conservative message is childish? That the right's talking points can be easily mastered by a 14 year-old? That the CPAC audience doesn't care about the knowledge-base of the speakers there, they just want to hear certain ritual beats repeated? I wouldn't want to claim that liberals are so high-minded as to be above all that, but I'm hard-pressed to think of an example of liberals trying to flaunt disdain for knowledge and expertise.
And then there is this: When you're young, and you come into some political consciousness, self-assurance, intellectual arrogance, and prejudice come easy. When I got conscious, I would have told you that the Egyptians invented airplanes, black people never had slaves, and that the cold made white people acquisitive by nature. And I would have told you this publicly, in front of a crowd of people. And I'd have slapped you with a Chancellor Williams tome if you dared to disagree. Thankfully, I had parents who protected me from myself. But more importantly, I had people around me who valued reading, listening and life experience over talking, writing and publishing. The dispensation of knowledge must be grounded by the acquisition of knowledge
If you're a conservative and you care about this kid, you don't give him a public forum. You give him your card, and you take his e-mails. You give him a list of books that he needs to read. Then when you see him, you quiz him on those books. You tell him that you're glad he showed the initiative to write and publish himself, but his thesis is actually banal. That if he's going to play in the big leagues, he should expect to get hit and prepare himself thusly. You warn him away from sideshows, and teach him to pride hearing over being heard. You teach him that these are his weapons and his shield in the great war of ideas.
Of course if you did all that, you'd risk turning him into liberal. But that's the chance you take, and that's what a person confident in their ideas does. They don't urge their pupils to turn away from the challenge of foreign ides, but to embrace it, to attack it, relishing the possibilities of how they could ultimately come out. Conservatives should encourage the kid to take himself seriously. Challenge him, and make sure he understands that conservative ideology isn't so rudimentary that a 14-year old could master it.
No idea how Fallon is doing, since I'm disconnected. But here he is with The Roots. Pretty awesome, I gotta say. Props to PostBourgie for teh link.
Today we had a lot of comments like this:
All well and good for the black world, but can we get a translator for the World of Warcraft?
Are you non-WoW people really interested? With WoW/NFL/Comic book posts, I mostly assume that they're only for the hardcore. Is there, like, a 67-year old black grandmother in Mississippi trying to figure this stuff out? All jokes aside, I'll explain if you guys are interested...
About that Michele Obama "dark-skin" post. A few interesting responses. From Chet:
I confess my white ass has a hard time understanding this post, since Michelle Obama seems kind of light, to me. But I suspect I'm just not calibrated to "the line" when it comes to light vs. dark skin re: black Americans.
And then from TexasGirl:
@ Chet - I don't understand the post either. Sometimes I really feel white reading this blog.
I suspect pulling you guys out in block-quotes, isn't helping things. To the point about color, I think Amari gets it:
No worries. We Black folk aren't calibrated either. Ask five different Black people their opinions of who's light versus who's dark, and you'll get five different answers. It's all relative, and, as I've also found, it's all relatives.
I find that folks who grew up around mostly dark-skinned people have a much lower bar for what constitues lightness. Many of my dark-skinned friends think I could easily trip over it, while I'd put myself firmly in a caramel category. On the other hand, my family is chock full of light-skinned folks, so I tend to err on the side of thinking someone is brown when browner folks would categorize them as light.
If that makes any sense at all.
Heh, like most things about human beings, it doesn't. I generally describe myself, to other black people, as "brown." But in my house (where everyone is darker than me) whenever I say this, I'm laughed at. Kenyatta insists that I'm yellow, or red at best, and she's now recruited Samori to her way of thinking. Meh, the perils of family.
Anyway, this isn't even taking into account the seasons when Negroes start changing color, and the fact that eyes are known to go from brown to gray. I've never actually witnessed that last point. I tend to think it's something that girls, back in high school, used to say to elevate themselves from nickel to dime-piece. It's right up there with "My great-grandmother was Cherokee." Whatever. Ain't no Cherokees in West Baltimore.
Where was I? Oh yes, the deeper point. One reason why I resist explaining too much in my post, is because I think it's a good thing for white people, who come here, to "feel really white," as TexasGirl says. I don't define that as "feeling guilty" or any of that business, so much as a nagging sense of having to work to get it. I imagine that many of my black readers have spent some of their lives feeling exactly that way, just in reverse. My first years working professionally made me immediately conscious that I was black, and that there were many people (in fact most people) in the world who were not.
I think we all need more of that in our lives. Here at this site, I try to present the black world as it is, or at least, as I see it. No frills. No translations. Just immersion. I was never the type to go to an island and lay up in a resort. Or go to Paris and eat at McDonald's. I want to see how other people talk, walk and live. I want to see our difference. It's the wierdest thing, but that's where I find the humanity--not in the sameness--but in the small details which I never would have imagined. I don't know how to explain it, but that's where I find unity. And that's what I try to give you here. Just black people as we are. Fucked-up and beautiful. No tourist trap, just the raw.
My moms used to like Salt-N-Pepa. She used to say she felt like they were the only female rappers (of that era) that didn't sound like they were trying to be dudes. Now, Moms wasn't exactly Harry Allen, but that always stuck with me for some reason. Dunno how accurate it was. Anyway, I do know this--that hair and them door-knockers are so Baltimore in 88.
So, in my previous WoW life, I was mostly a PvPer. I still PvP quite a bit (Resil just hit 500. I know, long way to go.) but since I joined a new guild, I'm doing a lot more PvE. I've developed a healthy respect for the teamwork it requires, and how one idiot can ruin the whole thing. People can get a little too intense at times, and when that happens, I start to wonder why I'm even playing. If I want to be stressed out, I could be somewhere writing. But that isn't really a problem in my guild. A couple of weeks ago we wiped like seven straight times on a boss (I kid you not) and no one started yelling. We just needed to learn how to beat him.
Anyway, my larger issue is with the limits of PvE and narrative. WoW is set up in a wierd way, given than both sides are basically warring factions fighting against the same enemy. What you do in PvE doesn't really affect the internecine struggle between Horde and Alliance. One thing I'd love to see in the next big MMOs is for the actions of players to have long-term consequences in the greater war. As I recall, I think they tried this years ago with Total Annihilation--your online matches actually affected the greater war. And, I think, some of the other MMOs have tried it (Shadowbane maybe?) but the word has been that they've been too buggy.
An MMO is a huge enterprise, no doubt. But I can't escape the feeling after downing some boss, and winning a roll for some kick-ass gear of "Now what?" What do I use this arsenal for? Why to kill another kick-ass mob, until you've beaten them all. I'd love it if there was better integration between PvE and PvP. I think Wintergrasp is a really good start (though we lose constantly). But I hope Blizz takes it a little further, as they advance the game.
My man, Eyal Press is a Bills-fan, and Buffalo guy. So I'm wishing the Bills and T.O. nothing but the best, when they aren't playing the Cowboys, and probably the Ravens. Here's Peter King on how it all went down:
The only team to seriously kick the tires on Owens got its man a day later for three major reasons:
1. The Bills think Jauron is the perfect coach -- calm but commanding -- to handle Mount Terrell.
2. The organization is sick of perpetually being one weapon away from catching New England (and Miami and the Jets, as it turns out), and it's willing to take the risk of having Owens ruin the locker room so it can have a chance to win the division.
3. The Bills did the one-year deal for a fairly strategic reason, in my opinion. Owens is good when he's trying to make a good first impression. Check out his first years in his three prior stops -- with the San Francisco season being his first without Jerry Rice on the team, when the focus of the offense was clearly on him:
See the numbers on the link. I like the one-year deal a lot. Gives the guy an incentive to perform.