Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday miscellaneous (6/14)

The horrors of China's one child policy (and the corresponding forced abortions) are back in the news. As are the labor camps. And domestically, since abortion rights are now talked about in terms of punishing women with unwanted children, this author raises an excellent point: does the same argument apply to fathers with regard to child support?

While on life issues, where are all those cures that embryonic stem cells were supposed to produce?

This is a fascinating article for those wondering why young people leave the Church.

Tony Blair shares his thoughts on Islam:
There is not a problem with Islam. For those of us who have studied it, there is no doubt about its true and peaceful nature. There is not a problem with Muslims in general. Most in Britain are horrified at Rigby’s murder. 
But there is a problem within Islam, and we have to put it on the table and be honest about it. There are, of course, Christian extremists and Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu ones. But I am afraid that the problematic strain within Islam is not the province of a few extremists. It has at its heart a view of religion – and of the relationship between religion and politics – that is not compatible with pluralistic, liberal, open-minded societies. At the extreme end of the spectrum are terrorists, but the worldview goes deeper and wider than it is comfortable for us to admit.
Score one for interns: Fox Searchlight is being forced to pay interns for their work on Black Swan.

A new study suggests that undocumented immigrants are the ones keeping Medicare afloat.

The NSA revelations over the past week have caused sales of Orwell's 1984 to skyrocket. But one author suggests that Kafka, not Orwell, is who we should really be reading. And of course, the Progressives are again upset at the Obama Administration.

TARP update: money is now being spent to tear down buildings in Detroit.

Did you now that skyjackings used to be not uncommon? Here's one story of a guy who just wanted to visit his pen-pal girlfriend in Italy.

Michael Lind believes he has come up with the question libertarians can't answer: "Why are there no libertarian countries?" Do any of our libertarian minded readers want to give an answer?

As someone who does a fair amount of writing, I'm always interested in articles that tell me how to improve. This one gave me several books to further explore.

And now for a change of pace. The Atlantic wonders why American men are no longer charming.

Here's a reminder to not fall asleep on the job, especially if you're a bank teller.

We like to joke about reinventing the wheel, but this guy actually did it. And it's square.

And here's a rather adorable hobbit themed birthday party.

Ok, a new study thinks Lego faces are getting angrier (and that it is somehow going to harm children's futures). "We cannot help but wonder how the move from only positive faces to an increasing number of negative faces impacts how children play." It also expressed concerns about the increasing number of Lego weapons:
In addition LEGO has a considerable array of weapon systems in their program, although the weapons mainly appear in the fictional themes. Their presence indicated that also LEGO is moving towards a more conflict based play themes. This development might be unavoidable to sustain a strong market position. Still, LEGO might not be able to hold onto its highly positive reputation. The children that grow up with LEGO today will remember not only smileys, but also anger and fear in the Minifigures’ faces.
 Yeah, try telling that to these guys. And these guys. Besides, the definition of "angry" seemed rather fluid.

Maybe the new angry Lego faces can also be connected to the fairy door trend.

And finally, here's a demonstration of how violent Lego gets (warning: involves Lego character violence and possibly some angry faces).

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