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Ever wonder where the expression ‘blow smoke up your ass’ came from?
02.06.2012
12:24 pm

Topics:
Amusing
History
Science/Tech

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I’ve always heard the expression “Don’t let me blow smoke up your ass” and never really knew where it came from. Do you?

Through hard research (Google) I found out it was actually a medical procedure used in the eighteenth century where, literally, smoke + tobacco was blown up a drowning victim’s bum to resuscitate them! Makes perfect sense, right?

Below, Stephen Fry and friends go into detail about the small bellows used to “revive” a drowned person.
 

 
Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Breaking Bad’ Valentine’s Day cards
02.06.2012
11:55 am

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs
Television

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Not your traditional Valentine’s Day card… Butthorn, the guy or gal who created these says, “I made Breaking Bad valentines because I couldn’t find any that expressed my love for my friends and the show.”
 

 
(via Super Punch)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Long Snake moan: P.J. Harvey live in concert, 1995
02.06.2012
11:13 am

Topics:
Music

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P.J. Harvey, seen here sporting her “Joan Crawford on acid” look, in this pro-shot show from 1995. No other information was given.

I saw Harvey twice during the To Bring You My Love tour the following year and what a fierce, sexy, evil-sounding blue-based racket she and her band made on both occasions!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
What extreme corsetry does to the human body
02.06.2012
10:48 am

Topics:
Current Events
Fashion

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Romanian “model” Ioana Spangenberg, whose waist measures a shocking 20 inches on her 5ft 6 frame, swears she pigs out on fatty foods daily. Now I’m no doctor here, but this doesn’t look natural at all. I wonder if she wore a corset for years and forced her body to become a “human hourglass”? I don’t know, but it’s shocking to say the least.

Below, an image of how your organs are pushed down after years of extremely tight corset use.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
X-ray images of corsets (1908)
 

 
(via Daily Mail)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Why Conservatives and Liberals see the world differently


 
How absolutely grand it is to have a great American institution like Bill Moyers back on our television airways? After reading about Moyer’s reasons for returning to the public sphere—he feels compelled to re-enter the national conversation at what he believes to be a dark and critical juncture in American civic life—I had been greatly anticipating Moyers & Company. So far, the series has not disappointed, with a discussion on crony capitalism with Reagan’s budget director David Stockman and ace financial journalist Gretchen Morgenson, and a conversation on “winner-takes-all” politics with Yale professor Jacob Hacker and Berkeley’s Paul Pierson. We’ve only got him for two more years—Moyers will retire again when he turns 80—but it’s great to see him back conducting these meaty, intelligent and engaged conversations. Moyers & Company is among the very best programming that PBS has to offer.

On the most recent show, Moyers interviewed University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who many DM readers might be familiar with from his 2008 TED talk on the moral values that liberals and conservatives hold the most highly and how this influences their politics, and from his book The Happiness Hypothesis.

In his upcoming book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion Professor Haidt aims to explain what it means when the other side “doesn’t get it” to both sides. He makes some terrifically good points during his interview with Moyers, especially when it comes to explaining how “group think” and “the hive mind” work on both extremes of the political spectrum in America (and in other countries, too).

As you can see in this piece, Haidt’s research is fascinating indeed, but I found that some of his premises and conclusions were extremely unsatisfying. Some seemed downright counter-intuitive. Unhelpful. Don’t get me wrong, I think this entire interview is worthwhile, thought-provoking—even essential—viewing no matter which bit of the political spectrum you might fall on yourself, but the more or less false assumption that seems to be at the heart of Haidt’s work—that both sides have come to their positions through equally intellectually defensible routes—made my face scrunch up in in an expression that some might describe as a look of “liberal condescension.”

You could say that “Well, isn’t that just what he’s talking about? You’re a socialist, so of course you’d see it that way!” but even if that’s true, let me offer up Exhibit A in a lazy, half-hearted—yet utterly definitive—argument-ending rebuttal: Orly Taitz, WorldNetDaily and the whole birther phenomenon.

How is it “balanced” to give obviously unbalanced people the benefit of the doubt? What would even be the point of that exercise? What purpose would it serve to a social scientist? If someone’s political positions can’t be reconciled with actual facts, then their political opinions are absolutely worthless.

Try having a rational political discussion with a LaRouchie sometime! It can’t be done.

People who have difficulty grasping the complexity of the world they live in should not be seen as coming to the table as equals with people who are not as intellectually challenged! This seems self-evident, does it not? The birther phenomenon among Republican voters was never some fringe faction within the greater GOP. It still isn’t.

It would be a waste of time to try to catalog every instance of ill-informed right-wingers who can’t spell “moron,” vehemently protest policies that would actually benefit their own lives, and who think that every single word in the Bible is the infallible utterance of God himself, but at least in this interview (his book isn’t out yet) Haidt fails to demonstrate why stupidity, superstition and flagrant lies about established historical facts deserve intellectual parity alongside of opinions borne of widely accepted science, common sense and a commonly shared national history, as opposed to the made-up one the Reichwing subscribes to.

The age-old trusim of “There are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle” is no longer the case when you’re having a “philosophical disagreement” with a Drudge Report reader or Fox News fan who lives in their own private Bizzaro World where there is no difference between facts and Rush Limbaugh’s opinon . Internet comments that invoke conspiracy theories about Frances Piven, ACORN, the Tides Foundation, George Soros, Saul Alinsky, Van Jones or that comically conflate “Socialism” with “National Socialism” are dead-giveaways of a stunted intelligence on the other end of the keyboard. Teabaggers who want to pressure school textbook publishers to remove any mention of the Founding Fathers being slaveholders or Christianists who argue that Creationism is as equally valid as Darwin’s evolutionary theories should not be in a position to influence policy and yet in many parts of the country this is exactly what is happening, to the detriment of the school systems, the intellectual growth of the students who will be ill-prepared for higher education, etc. Does Haidt truly feel that these people who deny history and science itself came to their positions honestly and rationally? And if he doesn’t feel that way, wouldn’t that admission require a caveat so huge as to at least partially invalidate much of his take-away?

I’m intrigued by what his research has found, I’m far less impressed by how he interprets it.

I get that Haidt’s thesis must be presented in a manner which bends over backwards not to appear partisan, but when it’s been shown that a statistically significant percentage of lower IQ children tend to gravitate towards political conservatism in adulthood (read “Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice” at Live Science) I feel like Haidt might missing the boat entirely: What if the REAL revelation at the heart of his research is that there’s an unbridgeable IQ stratification in America due to our shitty public schools, and the malign influence of the churches and talk radio/Fox News that may have already rendered this country basically ungovernable. (Jonathan Haidt regularly asks his audiences to raise their hands to indicate if they self-identify as “liberal” or “conservative” and notes that when he’s speaking to an audience of academics, that over 90% tend to call themselves “liberals”—is this merely a coincidence? I should think not!).

I respect what Haidt is attempting to do with his research, but ultimately, watching this, I saw so many flaws in his assumptions and methodology (at least as he explains it here, which I suspect is adequate) that I can’t help feeling that someone else is going to come along later and take up some of the more valid points of his work, discard the less impressive parts and get it right. He’s on to something in a big way, but I have deep reservations with much of what he concludes.

Still, as I was saying before, this is some must-see TV. Most thinking people will find something of value here, for sure. If this is a topic that interests you, it’s a fascinating discussion.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
MIA’s ‘Bad Girls’ - music video of 2012 (so far)
02.06.2012
06:02 am

Topics:
Dance
Hip-hop
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:


 
Despite being a bit of an MIA skeptic in the past, I have to admit I fuckin’ love this video! 

Amid all the brouhaha surrounding Madonna’s “Give Me All Your Luvin’”, which also premiered on Friday (it’s ok, nothing special), it seemed a bit mystifying as to why MIA would choose to premier her own video on the same day. Who the hell competes with Madonna? Especially when you are already featured in her song? Well, put that thought on ice my friends, because “Bad Girls” is worth a dozen “Give Me All Your Luvin’“s.

Director Romain Gavras takes the standard music video tropes of cars and girls, transplants it to a North African setting, and captures some beautiful imagery and wicked stunts on the way (the kind of thing we’re normally used to seeing in shakey, low-res YouTube clips). Most importantly though, this succeeds where other MIA and Gavras videos have failed - in particular the infamous “ginger-killing” clip for “Born Free” - in that it’s not patronising.

To me MIA works best when she’s not trying to be controversial, but just does what she does. She’s so inherently different from what passes for mainstream “pop” performers nowadays, that she doesn’t need to work harder to seem more edgy or confrontational. That’s why “Bad Girls” succeeds where “Born Free” failed, and why its simplicity is a lot more subversive. Rather than bludgeoning us over the head with exploding body parts, it gently reminds us: “Hey guys, look, Arabs are cool too! They’re not just cannon fodder for Arnie films and Western Imperialist wars.”

MIA “Bad Girls”

 
“Bad GIrls” is taken from MIA’s 2010 mixtape Vicki Leekx, which is still available to download.

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
A subliminal message from Mitt Romney?
02.05.2012
02:34 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Current Events
Politics
Stupid or Evil?

Tags:

mitt_romney_money
 
Mitt Romney gets his message out.
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Newt skullfucks Mitt Romney (and Capitalism itself)


Mitt Romney: Disgusting human being


 
Via Democratic Underground
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Elmore Leonard: Rules for Writing
02.05.2012
01:06 pm

Topics:
Books
Literature

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elmore_leonard_10_rules
 
The best advice for anyone wanting to be a writer is, Write. Sure, read books, learn from others, keep a notebook, but it always comes down to just one thing: you and a blank page.

Here Elmore Leonard explains his rules for writing, in this rather hastily edited package from the BBC Culture Show of 2006. As Leonard explains writing is mainly rewriting, and it takes the pulp fiction maestro 4 pages of hard graft to produce one finished page. Now you know, so get cracking.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Reflections on Love: Swinging Sixties Pop Candy
02.04.2012
03:41 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Fashion
Movies
Pop Culture

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Reflections_on_Love_1965
 
Looking like an advert for Swinging London, Joe Massot’s 1965 short Reflections on Love mixes pop documentary with scenes devised by writer Derek Marlowe and (apparently) an uncredited, Larry Kramer. Though everything looks rather beautiful, it is such a terribly straight film, and considering the talent involved, and doesn’t really offer much love for the audience to reflect on. Then, this was the Sixties, when everything was new and exciting, and getting hitched in a registry office was daring and rad. O, how innocent it all seems. Massot went on to direct George Harrison’s Wonderwall and later, Led Zeppelin’s concert film The Song Remains the Same. Kramer went on to script Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1967), and Ken Russell’s Women in Love (1969), before writing his novel Faggots in 1978. As for Marlowe, he wrote the classic double-agent spy thriller, A Dandy in Aspic, and followed this up with a series of idiosyncratic and stylish novels (from crime to Voodoo to Lord Byron), which are all shamefully out-of-print, and not even available as e-books - publishers please note.

The original version was twenty-one minutes long, and this is the revamped, re-scored (by Kula Shaker), re-edited (12 minutes) re-release from 1999, and still watchable pop-candy.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

A Dandy in Aspic: A letter form Derek Marlowe


Wonderwall: The Ultimate Sixties Flick?


Wonderwall Music: George Harrison’s little-known 1968 solo album


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Kenneth Anger!
02.03.2012
05:18 pm

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Movies
Occult

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The magus of American cinema turns 85 today. I had the good fortune to see Kenneth recently at his MOCA opening and he’s looking rather hale and hearty for a man his age, I must say.

Anger’s musical collaboration with Brian Butler, Technicolor Skull, has recently produced a limited edition blood red vinyl album available only at the Technicolor Skull website (I have one, it’s a cool looking object).

Below, Anger’s short film made for the 2010 fall/winter collection of the house of Missoni:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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