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Ms. America 2011’s Thoughts on Wikileaks

January 16, 2011

“You know when it came to that situation, it was actually based on espionage, and when it comes to the security of our nation, we have to focus on security first and then people’s right to know, because it’s so important that everybody who’s in our borders is safe and so we can’t let things like that happen, and they must be handled properly.”

And then Ms. Nebraska became Ms. America 2011 (with a little help from a black bikini, white evening gown, and a “White Water Chop Sticks” piano recital).

What I hate about pageants is they manage to make me hate on beautiful people, and that my friends is really sad.

(via BoingBoing)

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Everything you need to know about the new Britney single

January 10, 2011

The final version of Hold It Against Me has been released after weeks of demo versions and I’m trying to remain calm and not overreact but it is absolutely amazing. If you thought the bass on the demo was crazy you have not heard ANYTHING EVER. The final version has a grinding bass and dips and drops and highs and lows and then the whole thing stops and it goes into this weird 90’s Britney middle eight with speaky parts which isn’t that great if I’m being honest BUT THEN IT DROPS AGAIN INTO ANOTHER (INSTRUMENTAL) MIDDLE EIGHT that resembles late 90’s early 00’s four on the floor hands in the air dance tracks and then the CHORUS COMES BACK WITH A FULL BACKING TRACK THAT ISN’T EVEN ON THE FIRST COUPLE OF CHORUSES.
Ok I’m done. Sorry.

Year in ReviEWZ: Revisting Ewz’s 2010 Predictions

January 5, 2011

Between 12 months and 1 year ago, we at ewz literally predicted the future, or at least the future  we would like to see… lets see how many of our dreams came true (some of them were even serious!).

Read more…

The Year of Living Seditiously

January 2, 2011

Image sourced from People Tree

It really hasn’t been a great year for Indian democracy. For a long time, the Indian public got along by telling itself that it had a ‘functioning democracy’. “The bureaucracy may be screwed”, went the reasoning, “and our politicians sure as hell are corrupt, but at least our judiciary and our press is still decent and fair.” The Radia Tapes took care of the latter part of that dream. And a recent order by a lower court in Chhattisgarh, the state at the heart of the Naxal (Maoist) insurgency, has seriously shaken the former.

The sentence in question regards Dr Binayak Sen, a 60-year old paediatrician with a long and impressive record of public service, which won him the prestigious Jonathan Mann award in 2008. At the heart of the affair is the accusation that Dr Sen was passing messages for a jailed Naxal leader and supporting the Maoist insurgency in the state. He was arrested in 2007, and released on bail in 2009 after a lengthy legal battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court. On Dec 24th, the lower court sentenced him to life imprisonment. The good doctor has been convicted, amongst other things, of sedition, under an act dating back to the days of the British Raj. It could have been worse. He was acquitted on the charge of waging war against the nation.

Here’s something funny about sedition. MK Gandhi was tried under the same charge, by the British government, in 1922. So was another freedom fighter, Bal Gangadhar Tilak. More recently, a metropolitan magistrate in Delhi ordered the police to register a complaint against writer Arundhati Roy and others on charges of sedition. Roy had criticized government policies in Kashmir and demanded independence for the state while speaking at a public seminar. 2010, it seems, was the year of living seditiously. Read more…

The Forgotten Emperor of the USA

December 15, 2010

You were saner than most, Joshua

Some folks ask, How do I get people to take me seriously?

Here is one answer:

He was a self-proclaimed aristocrat, even going so far as to declare himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, indulging in the sort of monarchy nonsense that the country had spilled blood over less than a hundred years before. Yet in spite of it, when this Emperor finally died in 1880, almost thirty thousand people jammed the streets of San Francisco to attend his funeral. And in 1880, thirty thousand people represented over ten percent of the city’s population.

Exactly when Joshua Abraham Norton was born is a subject of some dispute. Various records and testimonies place his year of birth anywhere between 1814 and 1819, and his obituary cited his age as “about sixty-five.” Regardless of when he was born, it is known that Norton was born in London but spent most of his early life in South Africa.

Thats Right…

Declaring yourself emperor will get you places.

Generation “Then What?”

December 12, 2010

I recently came across an article by Thomas Barlow, written for the Financial Times , basically summing up a generation in their late 20s and early 30s as over-educated, spoilt for options and afraid of commitment, that most likely “grew up in one country, was educated in another, and is now working in a third”. It is damming assessment, but is he right?

For Barlow, the most fascinating feature of this generation is its attitude towards work and the sacrifices that Barlow believes this generation is willing to make for their career. Work “should not be just a means to an end a way to make money, support a family, or gain social prestige but should provide a rich and fulfilling experience in and of itself. Jobs are no longer just jobs; they are lifestyle options.”  Furthermore, this generation taught to strive for all that it possibly can, to learn and amass as much knowledge as possible and to always put itself first, “nothing is valued so highly as accumulated experience. Nothing is neglected so much as commitment.”

“At what point, though, does the experience-seeking end?” Barlow asks, suggesting that it is time to grow up and assume a life grounded in personal commitment and not lofty endless searching that will leave a person lonely, if not bored.

And it certainly seems to have struck a chord. After I read the article, a quick search on Google found a great number of blogs hailing it as the article of our generation; it appears to sum us up and so succinctly states our issues.

But at what point does too much freedom completely miss the point?

Read more…

Irony 101: Wikileaks, the US and Internet Censorship

December 9, 2010

aka ‘This Couldn’t Have Looked Any Worse If They Outright Tried’

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The theme for next year’s commemoration {of World Press Freedom Day} will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals’ right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information. We mark events such as World Press Freedom Day in the context of our enduring commitment to support and expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age.