Dave Munger introduces us to the new idea that the Splendid Fairywren not only has "dangerous sex with other wrens", despite having a partner for life and tight family unit, but likes to mate "in the presence of one of their primary predators, the butcherbird." Why? That's not known yet, but it's fascinating stuff.
The article title says it all: 11-Year-Old Girl Horrifically Gang-Raped; New York Times Article Blames the Victim. Personally, I think the author is reading into things here, but I'm new to the concept of "rape culture" so my opinion isn't worth much. Nevertheless, this article deserves to be read, and you should be able to decide for yourself what you think. If true, this is deplorable.
A quick note on the girl: she was raped by 18 men. That's horrible. I don't care if she was dressing like she was 20 (is that even a credible excuse?), these guys (ranging from school kids to adults) have certainly earned their castration, or at the very least a similar fate in prison. Unfortunately, she will never be the same, mentally or physically. What a blemish on the human spirit.
Jonathan Turley calls Barack Obama a hypocrite for committing to "hold Moammar Gaddafi accountable for war crimes", despite blocking Spain from doing the same thing with Bush. Okay, Obama is a hypocrite, but anyone (and I'm not referring to Turley here) that thinks he was going to start some sort of revolution is delusional. No politician rises to that level without making certain deals with powerful groups and willing to bend over when the relevant time comes. At the end of the day, Obama is like every other president I can recall (no use being hyperbolic here and judging those I don't know).
Turley has it right, though, especially this part: "The announcement is likely to increase the view around the world that the United States applies one law to itself and one law to the rest of the world." This perception exists, and not without reason.
All this said, I am not anti-Obama or whatever, and the people that think he is a terrible president are certainly wrong. The truth is that of the promises he made during his election campaign, 39 have been broken and 134 have been kept. Read that again if you need to.
Tony of Kukla's Korner talks about Dan Bylsma's contract extension with the Pittsburgh Penguins and, more interesting to me, his system. Like every system in every sport, the system is bound by its execution. What makes Bylsma such a good coach is that he has made his system work despite several huge injuries, and that extension was definitely earned.
Something I see, however, is how similar Tony's bullet points are to Joe Sacco's system; i.e. the Avs place a huge emphasis on speed and hard work. Sacco often demotes players if they're not working hard enough, and promotes those that give an extra effort. Of course, there are some good players that failed in Bylsma's system: Sykora; Satan; Fedotenko. This fact is something many fans overlook. Sometimes legitimate players fail in certain systems, while others succeed. People blame this on the coach (and sometimes it is warranted), but in Bylsma's case, you see a team that worked despite some players failing, and understand that team is certainly more important than player. (Although fans are still going to be angry about the coach's inability to get anything out of this player, not realising that under- and over-performance is a league-wide occurrence. It doesn't just happen in your city.)
Additionally, when you consider the importance of a system, you see why a player like Matt Hunwick is so valuable to a team like the Avs. The fastest Avalanche according to Adrian Dater (ugh, Denver Post), Hunwick easily skates past and between skaters on the ice. That's a great asset to have in a D-man, his only problem, unfortunately, has been that he took a while to regain his confidence since being traded by the Bruins, drawing the ire of many fans on the way. It is true that he has had some poor, defensively shoddy, games, and is prone to turnovers, but at this point, I would want the Avs to bring him back next season.
He has been one of their better players lately, has started to use his speed more, plays bigger than his actual size, and consistently makes great plays that keep the puck in the offensive zone. He's also by all accounts a great teammate, much like his younger brother. Matt is worth a second year, especially when you don't know how Cumiskey and Quincey are going to recover from their injuries (Cumiskey in particular) and generally poor play this year.
Yeah, yeah, I know this #blamehunwick meme is quite popular right now, but if you happen to traverse into one of the less shiny parts of Hockeh Internetz and witness someone calling Hunwick a bum, you can just rest easy knowing that this person is either, a) stupid, b) ignorant, or c) parroting the latest swanky meme to fit in with the rest of the crowd. Don't fall for it.
Matthew Sekeres has a stunning piece (TWSS) for the Globe and Mail about what looks like Arizona's final moments with a NHL team. It's a sad tale, but this whole affair is ripe with irony, not to mention Sekeres' biting political observations.
Bernard Keane rips into a fallacious report on the effects of illegal downloading, and the propensity of the copyright industry to over-exaggerate in this way. This is a must read if you're interested in this topic.
What consumers perhaps don't know is that there's a lot of money to be had in this field, so of course a lot of people put all their chips in it. You have to exaggerate, create fear, and, best of all, sue everyone and their grandmother (true story) for all they've got. It's capitalism, after all. The end goal is to go home with more money in your pocket than when you left in the morning. So, who cares if you've got to infringe on someone's privacy to do that? Certainly not the people being paid off by these companies.
Yes, I don't want people stealing my stuff, and yes, you should support your favourite artists, but I have no pity for people that distort the truth.