Monthly Archives: February 2014

Andy

February 28, 2014

Tutorial: Developing a PhoneGap Application

Playing around with the PhoneGap framework. I know it's not real Objective C. Nerd-lite. http://coenraets.org/blog/phonegap-tutorial/

Tutorial: Developing a PhoneGap Application

Tutorial: Developing a PhoneGap Application In this tutorial- you create a fully functional employee directory application with PhoneGap. You will learn:How to use different local data storage strategies.How to use several PhoneGap APIs such as Geolocation- Contacts- and Camera.How to handle specifi…

Andy

February 28, 2014

Check out our newest theme: Tectonic – Everything Typepad

Hey Typepadders: new theme! http://everything.typepad.com/blog/2014/02/tectonic-theme.html

Check out our newest theme: Tectonic – Everything Typepad

We've recently released a new theme and we think it's pretty unique. We combined a sleek- grid-based layout with the colors of nature for a fresh look that will suit all types of blogs. It…

The Fox News Effect

From Salon, a writer reflects on his father’s right-ward shift as he ages:

“My cohort, Generation X, is stuck between two generations of suffering Americans. The millennial generation is losing job opportunities and income as the nation stagnates. They put off marriage and buying homes. While white, Fox News-addicted baby boomers have lost their sense of hope. They’ve been passed over by shifting attitudes about gay marriage, the role of government and a host of issues. They still think of themselves as the “silent majority,” when in reality they are a wounded and thrashing legacy of white hegemony. My parents’ generation is becoming fragile antiques, relics by choice, reassured by Fox News that they are still the only voice that matters.

I, and people like me, have managed to break the cycle of conservative red-and race-baiting. I’ve noticed similar attitude shifts among some of my close friends, who have likewise drifted from the televised rage of our fathers. I only wish I could do something to ease the anxiety of those I love, an emotion that is a cash cow for exploitative right-wing commentators. But I have no real solution, other than to turn off the television. Sadly, for some of the nation’s elderly, they seem to have no desire whatsoever to rethink the politics of fear and Fox News. It’s a criminal waste of retirement.”

Full essay http://www.salon.com/2014/02/27/i_lost_my_dad_to_fox_news_how_a_generation_was_captured_by_thrashing_hysteria/

Andy

February 27, 2014

Fisherman's Wharf tourist icon dies of heart ailment

The guy at Fisherman's Wharf that dresses up like a bush and scares the hell out of people has passed away. http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/fishermans-wharf-tourist-icon-dies-heart-ailment/ndmWy/

Fisherman's Wharf tourist icon dies of heart ailment

For 30 years Gregory Jacobs spent his days at Fisherman's Wharf hiding behind branches- often up against a trash can- silently waiting for unsuspecting tourists to come by.

US Welfare State vs Everywhere Else

An overview comparing the US safety net to other countries:

“Of course. They are the definition of social services. In rest of the western world:

  • Health care is universal[1] , they don’t have age cut offs like Medicare, or ‘means test’ like Medicaid.
  • Retirement Benefit
    • Public Pensions (i.e. social security) are more generous.[4]
    • Mixed and/or Semi-private pension are heavily regulated and often mandated by law.
  • Food and shelter benefits (i.e. food stamps, section 8 housing, work-for-welfare) are more generous.[5]
    • They don’t earmark certain benefits for food – for better or worse, it is straight cash benefit.
    • Most US states have dropped any and all cash benefit for non-families, only offering temporary help for families[6] .
    • Those that still have one, require work.[7]
  • Public housing is usually well-maintained, safer, etc. relative to the US.
    • I’ve seen Canadian public housing, and its nicer than my first few apartments. (If you watch DW, Rose lived in a ‘council flat’, to give you an idea for the UK.)
    • US public housing complexes are barely maintained, underfunded, overcrowded, crime ridden, drug infested hell holes.
  • Vastly more generous unemployment benefit.[8]
    • The duration sometimes upward of 2-3 year.
    • Not subject to legislative whims or the duration of benefits contingent on the unemployment rate, like here.
  • Home health visits are often universally available.
  • Childcare
    • Universal home health and readiness visits for of pregnant mothers. (France[9] , Scandinavia[10] )
    • Inexpensive municipal day care (France[11] , Scandinavia[12] )
    • Tax breaks for families employing in-home child care workers (France[13]
    • Universal free preschool.
    • Universal paid maternity leave for both men and woman.[14]
  • Vacation time is vastly larger,[15] and mandated by law.

These examples are not always the case everywhere, tho, to be clear, the West is a big place. Countries are big places. A countries services or regional services may vary[16] , in scope, quality, etc. On average tho, this is mostly correct. Surveys of social services in most Europe are almost universally positive.

Full thread http://www.reddit.com/r/PoliticalDiscussion/comments/1ygufn/question_for_republicans_and_conservatives_what/cfkofuf

Graphic from http://www.e-manonline.com/images/entry/safetynet.jpg

The History of A Child’s Innocence

The construction of childlike innocence:

“Yes and no – the ‘taboo’ as we currently understand it (ie, the expectation that children should be more or less sexually innocent) dates from the eighteenth century.

Prior to that, children tended to live in close quarters with adults, and they spent much of their time living and working with adults in settings where it would have been pretty hard to keep them from learning about and observing adult sexuality. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that children were allowed to see everything or to act on all of their own sexual impulses. According to the doctrine of original sin, children had an inherent tendency to do wrong and corrupt things, so adults often punished or admonished them for sexual curiosity or sexual behavior that was not in keeping with how good, christian adults were supposed to behave. They may not have been seen as sexually innocent, but they were still expected to live by the same rules that everyone else observed – which means that their sexuality was often tightly controlled (depending, obviously, on what specific time and place we’re talking about).

The late seventeenth and early eighteenth century brought a massive change in how adults looked at children; as European economies and daily life became more complex during this period, parents who were members of the emerging “middle class” began to realize that their children would need a prolonged period of skills training and education if they were to be successful in life. At the same time, philosophers like John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau started to argue that children were “blank slates” (tabula rasa) by nature – that they were not “filthy bundles of original sin,” but rather more or less innocent at birth. The effect of these changes was that more and more adults started to worry about how their children’s adult character and chance of success in life might be affected by what happened to them and what kind of environment they lived in as children – so they began to show more and more interest in keeping children innocent, and keeping them more or less ignorant of sex. The fear of masturbation was particularly pronounced here – there’s a famous work from the early 1700s called Onania: the Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution, and All its Frightful Consequences, in Both Sexes Considered[1] , which warned that masturbation caused a whole range of different physical, spiritual, and psychological afflictions. The book was a raging best seller that went through tons of different editions during the eighteenth century.

Another example is Rousseau’s book Emile: On Education , and was published in 1762. It was supposed to be about educating the perfect citizen, but it placed a great deal of emphasis on the need to keep children from masturbating lest they lose their inherent goodness and capacity for rational thought.

So while adults did exert a fair amount of control over children’s sexuality prior to 1600 or so, it was only after that point that the notion developed that children were innocent by nature, and needed to be kept that way. The enlightenment’s view of children as “blank slates,” the growing importance of education for the elite and middle class, and the protestant reformation all played a key role in brining that transition about. It was more or less complete by the early 19th Century, which is when we first start to see the development of romanticized and sentimentalized views of children – and especially girls – as an embodiment of innocence itself.

Keep in mind, though, that all of this really only applied to middle- and upper-class children in Western Europe and the US. Slave children, working class children, immigrant children, etc were not really “covered” under this idea that kids needed to be protected from adult sexuality – and many of them were exposed to sex or even sexually exploited from an early age well into the twentieth century.”

Full thread http://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/1yn2o9/has_the_taboo_around_childrens_knowledge_of_sex/cfm0ij4

Image from http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/68442-the-my-little-pony-thread-season-4-is-here/page__st__6680

Racism, History and The Confederate Flag

From a discussion about the Confederate flag’s symoblism:

“Jut saying that _______________ isn’t racist because it just reminds me of a time when racism gave me immense power and wealth doesn’t change anything. In fact, I think you are digging your hole deeper.

“The ‘it’s just pride from a time when we were powerful’ argument so easily justifies and covers for the support of deeply racist things, and it does nothing to alleviate the concerns that OP brought up. In my opinion that does make the argument invalid.

As for racial slurs, they are not really different from flags or other symbolic items. I am not saying that confederate flag = racial slur. What I am saying is that the symbols we use to represent concepts have connotations attached to them, whether we like it or not. You can’t just pick one thing that you like about a symbol and say that is what you mean with it. Symbols come prepackaged with the history that created them.

This is exactly why swastikas are offensive. It would be both laughably ignorant and insensitive to use a swastika to represent regional pride/cohesion and claim that Jewish people shouldn’t get offended by it because “that’s not what you mean with that symbol”. No. You cannot separate the swastika from the genocide that occurred under it, and you cannot separate the confederate flag from the institutionalized dehumanization of African Americans. You don’t have that right, no one does.

It doesn’t matter that the Civil War is very alive for some people. If you want to live in the past, that’s fine, but you don’t get to live in the past and expect people to forget it too. The casual and insensitive use of a symbol that represents an institution which literally thought certain people existed to be owned is morally reprehensible in my mind, and it has no place in the 21st century.”

Full thread http://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/1ywoue/i_think_the_confederate_flag_is_nothing_but_a/cfora4g

Graphic from http://guprogressive.com/