« March 12, 2013 | Main | March 14, 2013 »

March 13, 2013

Batman Signal Keychain Light


From ThisIsWhyImBroke : "Feel just like Commissioner Gordon — minus the burly mustache — every time you take out the Batman Signal Keychain Light. This portable beacon comes encased in a sleek case even Bruce Wayne would approve of and works faster than dialing 911 during emergencies."



March 13, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"In Praise of Inconsistency" — Leszek Kolakowski

The Polish philosopher's 1963 essay has become celebrated as an iconic statement of belief in the essentially unquantifiable nature of man.

Below, excerpts from his magnificent piece, which my Crack Research Team®™© has so far been unable to locate online in its full unwalled glory.

My team did track down a page that teases you big-time by saying  "Click here to read the full text of this article."

But that's just a come-on because after you click you have to download stuff and all, the usual nonsense: FAIL.

Anyone with an open, easy-to-access link to the essay in its entirety, joehead Nation thanks you in advance for sending it on.

YouTube caption for the video up top: "Not too many people have the time for extensive study of philosophy and political science. So why not make it easier for everyone by presenting this Great Encyclopædia? Note that the entries are arranged in alphabetical order just like in any other encyclopedia; however, this is not one of those silly old-fashioned alphabets, but rather a modern deconstructionist one. Everybody will easily understand its merits."

"This article by Leszek Kołakowski (1927-2009) was first published in Polish in the Cracow weekly 'Tygodnik Powszechny' in 1992, and lost nothing of its bite since. It has been translated into English for the first time by Frank L. Vigoda. In a truly postmodernist fashion, Theatre Vigoda liberally used images found on the Internet to illustrate the text."

In Praise of Inconsistency

Inconsistency is simply a secret awareness of the contradictions of this world. By contradictions I mean the fact that the various values are, notoriously throughout history, introduced into society by mutually antagonistic forces. If convictions of the absolute and exclusive superiority of a given value to which all else is subordinate were to spread and be practiced widely, they would of necessity transform the world into an ever-larger battleground — which indeed does occur from time to time. The lack of consistency checks this tendency.

The problem of the antinomy inherent in the principle of tolerance is eternal and eternally unresolved: how to preach and practice tolerance towards ideas and movements which are intolerant. We act against our basic tenet if we silence these ideas and movements by force; we also act against our principle if we tolerate them, for we thus enable them to triumph and destroy the principle of tolerance in social practice. And it is cold comfort under the circumstances to hope that this contradiction will besolved in the process of historical development, either because, having slaughtered all the enemies of tolerance, we shall be able to apply it boundlessly; or else because these movements will in the course of time discard their tolerance. In practical everyday actions and in our daily participation in society, such perspectives help us minimally in making decisions.

These examples are not fictitious. Our lives are bound up in conflicting loyalties that we must choose between in concrete situations. We must break one bond in favor of another, while still not questioning the first. Loyalty to the individual, to one's own outlook on the world, to human communities in which we find ourselves either accidentally or of free choice, loyalty to nations, parties, governments, friends, to ourselves and those close to us, to our own nature and our convictions, to the present and the future, to concrete things and universalities — there are as many insurmountable contradictions as there are loyalties. An authentic synthesis resolving chronic conflicts rarely occurs; most often the supposed synthesis is superficial and fraudulent. We deceive ourselves with it in order to appear consistent, for one of the values instilled in us since childhood is consistency. Our proposition, aimed at making us realize that in these conditions consistency is an ideological fiction, is thus also intended to remove at least one kind of conflict: that which results from a belief in consistency as a value. So, proclaiming the contradictory nature of the world, we strive to attenuate it at least at one point, for, as we see, conflicts multiply because they are not recognized as such. In other words, praise of inconsistency is at the same time the rejection of a specific value, that of the consistent life and that of a basically reasonable one belongs to the species of conflict which may perhaps be removed unilaterally not by synthesis, but by the repudiation of one of the sides to the dispute.

March 13, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Pocket-Size Wind-Up Paper Shredder


"Incriminating evidence will become a thing of the past once you begin carrying around this wind-up paper shredder. With a few quick turns of the trusty knob, this handy pocket-sized device permanently erases all traces of any paper document."


Not recommended for use in Tehran.



[via ThisIsWhyImBroke]

March 13, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Best billboard of the year



March 13, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: larger than a bread box.

Another: M.C. Escher had nothing to do with it.

A third: neither did Larry Bell.

March 13, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The largest owl in the world


It's pictured above — a female Blakiston's fish owl, an endangered species, near Amgu, Russia, in a photo taken in 2008.

"The largest owl species, it is especially ferocious and nests outdoors in subzero temperatures," according to an article by Natalie Angier in the February 25, 2013 New York Times.

More: "Nearly a yard high, weighing up to 10 pounds and with a wingspan of six feet, Blakiston's is the world's largest owl, a bird so hulking it's often mistaken for other things, according to Jonathan Slaght [pictured up top with the owl] of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Russia program. It could easily look like a bear in a tree or a man on a bridge."

"This powerful predator can pull from the river an adult salmon two, three or more times its own weight, sometimes grabbing onto a tree root with one talon to help make the haul."

"Ferocity is essential for a bird whose frigid, spotty range extends across northeastern China, the Russian Far East and up toward the Arctic Circle, one that breeds and nests in the dead of winter, perched atop a giant cottonwood or elm tree, out in the open, in temperatures 30° below zero Fahrenheit. Dr. Slaght's colleague Sergei Surmach videotaped a female sitting on her nest during a blizzard. 'All you could see at the end was her tail jutting out,' Dr. Slaght said."

March 13, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

« March 12, 2013 | Main | March 14, 2013 »