Monday, July 9, 2012

Mohawk hairstyle 2012

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Northwestern researchers report breakthrough in ALS research:
The apparent discovery of a common cause of all forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — the fatal disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease — could give a boost to efforts to find a treatment for the fatal neurodegenerative disease, a new study by Northwestern University researchers contends.

Scientists have long struggled to identify the underlying disease process of ALS and weren't even sure that a common disease process was associated with all forms of ALS.

In this new study, Northwestern researchers said they found that the basis of ALS [in all three types of ALS: hereditary, sporadic and ALS that targets the brain] is a malfunctioning protein recycling system in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord.

...The discovery, published Aug. 21 in the journal Nature, shows that all forms of ALS share an underlying cause and offers a common target for drug therapy, according to the researchers.
Amazing news, that.

[H/T to @PeterDaou.]

LOL Ricky Gervais Is Such an Asshole

[Trigger warning for violent imagery, including imagery of implied self-harm.]

So, awhile ago, Ricky Gervais submitted two absolutely ridiculous pictures to Rolling Stone for their cover (neither of which they used) and wrote a stupid piece about them for Huffington Post. One of the images is of Gervais dressed like a clown and sticking a gun in his mouth, and the other is of Gervais posed like Jesus, with a microphone stand filling in as the cross, wearing (I cannot even type this without laughing uproariously) a crown of thorns and jeans, with "ATHEIST" written across his chest in faux blood. He is shirtless to show off his recent weight loss, natch.

Ricky Gervais: Sexy Martyr.

It's sooooooooooooo self-indulgent and so cringingly humorless. When I first saw it, I sent it to Deeks and Spudsy and we had a good laugh (for all the wrong reasons), but I didn't think it was particularly worth a post, because who could take that shit seriously?

Well, it turns out New Humanist magazine can, and has decided to use the picture on the cover of their latest issue.

Ricky Gervais as sexy martyr on the cover of New Humanist magazine

"You have the right to be offended, and I have the right to offend you." Ooooh, what a brave teller of rape jokes and trailblazing social commentator whose "edgy" comedy consists of sneering misogyny, fat hatred, and classism. Way to stick it to The Man, Gervais. You're a real fucking hero.

Yes, Ricky Gervais has the right to offend me, but I am not offended. I am contemptuous.

I am contemptuous of anyone who uses humor to be a bully, who directs punchlines at the powerless to the further enrichment of the privileged. Comedy is a weapon, and no one knows that better than people who wield it professionally. Any professional comedian who says it doesn't matter in what direction that weapon gets pointed is full of shit.

Gervais, like most comedians, likes to dismiss his critics as humorless and/or oversensitive, but it is indicative of neither humorlessness nor oversensitivity to observe that some comedy upholds privilege and some comedy challenges it.

If Gervais wants to be an extremely privileged straight, cis, white, Western, wealthy, influential man who uses his sizable platform in service to his own privileges, that's his call. But he ought to at least have the integrity to own it.

"You have the right to assert your privilege, and I have the right to snort derisively."

Anyway! Back to that picture.


I mean, listen, no one knows better than I do that there can be a real and substantial cost to being a public atheist, no less a public atheist who challenges Christian privilege. But that image is just colossally absurd. It's vain, and it's hyperbolic, and it's tedious. And it has nothing at all to do with the actual real-life consequences that atheists can face in their real lives: Job loss, alienation from family, ostracization from community, political and cultural marginalization, etc.

It's so grossly self-centered that all I can imagine what I look at it is that Gervais really does fancy himself some sort of savior, which I suspect was not the irony that was intended.

Blah blah I continue to be unimpressed with evangelical atheists.

State Funeral for Jack

In what I have to say is personally stunning news, our Prime Minister (S. Harper, CPC - Uncanny Valley) has offered Olivia Chow a state funeral for the late Jack Layton, her husband and the Leader of the Opposition NDP. She has accepted, and there will be a full state funeral on Saturday in Toronto (2pm, Roy Thompson Hall, open to the public), for which the PM and his wife will return from their tour of the Arctic areas of Canada. Mr. Layton will also be on Parliament Hill one last time, on Wednesday and Thursday, for scheduled visitations.

State funerals are automatically offered only for current and former PMs and governors-general, and sitting members of Cabinet, so this is an impressive honour being done.

There will also be books of condolence available at every NDP MP's constituency office, as well as Toronto City Hall and at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. For those who can't reach any of those places, there is an online book of condolence at the New Democratic Party's website (en fran├žais ici).

The family have asked that memorial donations be directed to the Broadbent Institute (premier lien en fran├žais, second is in English), a left-wing think tank named for the great Ed Broadbent, former NDP leader, and a good friend of Jack's.

Bear Joins Survivor Cast

An openly gay man who maintains a profile (NSFW) on the Bear411 hook-up site has been cast for the next season of Survivor. Mark Anthony Caruso is identified by the show as a 48 year-old former NYPD detective living in Queens, New York.

Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Ashford & Simpson: "Solid"