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Profile Information

Name: Steve
Gender: Male
Hometown: Florida
Home country: US
Current location: US
Member since: Sat Oct 16, 2004, 01:04 PM
Number of posts: 27,084

Journal Archives

Turkey’s ‘family’ ministry wants to ban Minecraft — just like it did with 4Chan


Minecraft is too darn violent.

This is the conclusion Turkey’s Family and Social Policies Ministry came to after investigating the megapopular block-building game (as first reported by Hurriyet Daily News). As a result, that government agency wants to ban Minecraft. The ministry claims that the open-world game encourages children to resort to violence against enemies and animals. The report goes on to claim that children who play Minecraft are in danger of “social isolation.” The ministry is now petitioning the government’s legal department to go forth with the process to ban Minecraft. The country has a history of blocking websites that it finds offensive. It has previously prevented access to the image-sharing message board 4Chan, the website of atheist author Richard Dawkins, and — on occasion — Google’s video site, YouTube.

Turkey does not have a reputation for limiting the sale of video games. It has a bustling mobile-gaming market that is growing north of $500 million. And while most people play online in Internet cafes, the big consoles makers are also sell their systems in the country. So it is out of character for the country to take action against something like Minecraft — although it maybe felt compelled to do so since the game has such a grip on children.

Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world as well as in Turkey — especially among children. Last year, developer Mojang and its founder, Markus “Notch” Persson, sold Minecraft to Microsoft for $2.5 billion. It is widely seen as a creative outlet that enables young people to explore a virtual world while building structures and tools. If Turkey does go through with a ban, it will go down as the first country to do so when it comes to Minecraft.

The University of Oklahoma Student Rights and Responsibilities Code 2014-2015


I think the University President and his legal team probably perused this document in addition to others before making a final determination. The language in here is pretty broad.

my latest jam: George Howard - Grazing In The Grass (Official Music Video)

Disney's $1 billion bet on a magical wristband


If you want to imagine how the world will look in just a few years, once our cell phones become the keepers of both our money and identity, skip Silicon Valley and book a ticket to Orlando. Go to Disney World. Then, reserve a meal at a restaurant called Be Our Guest, using the Disney World app to order your food in advance.

The restaurant lies beyond a gate of huge fiberglass boulders, painstakingly airbrushed to look like crumbling remnants of the past. Crossing a cartoon-like drawbridge, you see the parapets of a castle rising beyond a snow-dusted ridge, both rendered in miniature to appear far away. The Gothic-styled entrance is teensy. Such pint-sized intimacy is a psychological hack invented by Walt Disney himself to make visitors feel larger than their everyday selves. It works. You feel like you’re stepping across the pages of a storybook.

If you’re wearing your Disney MagicBand and you’ve made a reservation, a host will greet you at the drawbridge and already know your name—Welcome Mr. Tanner! She’ll be followed by another smiling person—Sit anywhere you like! Neither will mention that, by some mysterious power, your food will find you.

“It’s like magic!” a woman says to her family as they sit. “How do they find our table?” The dining hall, inspired by Beauty and the Beast, features Baroque details but feels like a large, orderly cafeteria. The couple’s young son flits around the table. After a few minutes, he settles into his chair without actually sitting down, as kids often do. Soon, their food arrives exactly as promised, delivered by a smiling young man pushing an ornately carved serving cart that resembles a display case at an old museum.

more at link

Obama to announce changes for student loan repayment


(Reuters) - President Barack Obama is slated to speak to students at Georgia Tech on Tuesday about how he wants to make the process of repaying student loans easier to understand and manage.

Obama will sign a “student aid bill of rights” and will speak about an assortment of policy tweaks and projects to try to make it easier to help people with student loans pay back their debt.

"It's our responsibility to make sure that the 40 million Americans with student loans are aware of resources to manage their debt, and that we are doing everything we can to be responsive to their needs," said Ted Mitchell, undersecretary of education, on a conference call with reporters.

More than 70 percent of U.S. students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree leave with debt, which averages $28,400.

If you need to lower your cell phone bill....

I'd like to recommend Consumer Cellular. I don't use a lot of data or texts, and I don't do a lot of calling. My bill will be going down 50% per month. You can keep your phone (maybe) and your phone number (definitely).

I found out about them via AARP. Anyway, caveat emptor, YMMV. Happy to help. Have a lovely day!

The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara


What an 18th century non-war with France has to do with the Senate’s letter to Iran (Logan Act)


Technically, which is to say, legally, you and I are not allowed to travel to Tehran to try to work out a deal between the United States and Iran. There are a lot of reasons why that prohibition makes sense; your ability to gain an audience with the country's leaders being the least of the many difficulties.

But after a doctor named George Logan traveled to France in 1798 to try to prevent war between our two countries, it became illegal for anyone to freelance in that capacity. The law has never been enforced, but it has a habit of popping into the political conversation when someone -- say, most of the Republican conference in the Senate -- tries to influence foreign relations, say, by sending a letter to the Iranian opposition. Which, you're probably aware, has happened.

At the time of Logan's trip, the United States and France were building toward a war, as Michael McConnell, a former federal judge and professor of constitutional law at Stanford University, explained to me by phone. Logan went to France after an official delegation from the United States had been met with demands from anonymous French emissaries for a bribe, an incident known as the XYZ Affair. The Federalist Party of President John Adams was advocating for war, but Logan's visit prompted France to take some actions that defused the situation. Disappointment in Adams's subsequent ramping down of tensions led to the act that bears Logan's name.

As originally drafted, the Logan Act (as it is known) prohibits:

Any unauthorized United States citizen to carry on any verbal or written correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government with an intent to influence its measures or conduct in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States.

more at link

The 47 Republican Senators and their letter to Iran

I'm seeking feedback here. I see it as a blatant political ploy to the racist base back home, a way to "stick it to the black man in the White House". What do you think ?

TAFT CAUSES HOTEL DELUGE (caps in original at NY Times)

June 19, 1915

Tidal Wave from His Bathtub Floods Bankers in Dining Room.

CAPE MAY, N.J., June 18. — Ex-President Taft, who came here yesterday as the guest of the Pennsylvania Bankers' Association, took a bath in his apartments in the Hotel Cape May. He failed properly to consider the size of the average seashore hotel bathtub, however, with the result that when he got into the tub the water overflowed and trickled down upon the heads of the guests in the dining room.


A blast from the past, eh ?
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