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November 21, 2007

John Oliver on the writers' strike

I think sometimes when you see the writers marching up and down and laughing-–because that’s what we do, those of us who write comedy tend to laugh about horrendous situations-–I think sometimes that can look bad because it may look like people are taking it lightly. But no, it’s a horrible situation.

Gothamist: John Oliver, Writer

November 20, 2007

Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes on selling out

In the art industry, it’s extremely difficult to be successful without turning yourself into a cartoon. Even Hunter S. Thompson knew this. God knows Duchamp and Warhol knew it. Some artists are turned into cartoons and others do it themselves. I prefer to do it myself. At least then I can control how my cock is photographed.

stereogum: Of Montreal Talk T-Mobile: "Selling Out Isn’t Possible" by Kevin Barnes (or, as my kids would say, “Bar-NEZ”).

an exceptionally simple theory of everything?

What I think is that the universe is pure geometry — basically, a beautiful shape twisting around — and this shape is described by mathematics. This is a slightly different view than believing the universe IS mathematics, but it’s close. Since E8 is perhaps the most beautiful structure in mathematics, is very satisfying that nature appears to have chosen this geometry.

FQXi Forum: An Exceptionally Simple FAQ

See also: Backreaction: A Theoretically Simple Exception of Everything

November 6, 2007

November is Vegan Month

Egg-laying hens begin their lives in giant hatcheries. The male chicks born in these units are useless to egg farmers, as they cannot lay eggs, so they are gassed to death or tossed alive into giant industrial shredders.

Dairy cows have their calves taken away from them soon after birth, so that the milk meant for them can be bottled up for humans. Some female calves join the dairy herd, others are killed for pet and baby food, or so that parts of their stomachs can be used to make rennet (an ingredient used in cheese). The males are regarded as ‘waste by-products’ as there is limited demand for the ‘low-quality’ beef for which some are reared. ‘Surplus’ calves are shot or sent on punishing journeys to continental veal farms.

Scientific studies show that a plant-based diet is ideal for optimum health and lowers your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and some cancers, as well as increasing your life expectancy.

In terms of an individual’s carbon footprint, switching to a vegan diet would have a greater impact than switching from a traditional to an eco-friendly car.

Almost half of the world’s food harvest is fed to farmed animals and almost all of those calories go into simply keeping the animals alive. Feeding crops to animals is exceedingly wasteful of the world’s resources.

November is Vegan Month. If you care about your fellow earthlings, yourself, or your planet, you should participate. This applies to all of you so-called “vegetarians” too.