Jocks for Jesus

I have a habit, while reading the Internet (which I do a lot and which is, after all, the subtitle of this blog), of opening interesting-looking links in new tabs to come back to later. This can lead to tab explosion. It can also lead to me opening a tab I’ve not seen before, and having no idea how I found that page. I honestly don’t know which link I clicked on which website to find this.

It is a jockstrap emblazoned with crosses, crucifixes, rosaries, icons, and suchlike paraphernalia.

A photo showing a white male model wearing the jockstrap described in the text.

This is actually an art project, and there’s a whole gallery of similarly decorated jockstraps.


The riddle of Gollum

It is probably well known by any fan of Tolkien that The Hobbit was slightly rewritten to account for the changed nature of the ring in The Lord of the Rings (a book originally intended as a shorter sequel). The original ring was a mere magic trinket which conferred invisibility on its wearer. It had no higher powers or darker purpose, and Gollum himself was a much less dark character. I’ve never actually read the original version of The Hobbit, but one person who has wrote a fascinating article about the genesis of Gollum, and the genius of Tolkein’s 1947 rewrite, maintaining much of the same characterisation, but with a far darker edge.


Where do misogynists get their special biology lessons from?

Warning: This post mentions rape, trivialisation of rape, and abuse of power. Violence is described, a little too graphically for my own comfort.

Remember Todd Akin telling us that women can’t get pregnant from rape? Now a judge has gone one better.

A man who “threatened to mutilate the face and genitals of his ex-girlfriend with a heated screwdriver, beat her with a metal baton and made other violent threats before committing rape, forced oral copulation, and other crimes” was in court, and the judge, Derek Johnson, said that the rape didn’t really count because the woman wasn’t injured enough for a real rape.

As gidgetcommando summed it up on Shakesville,

So it’s either have your vagina “shredded” by a penis that’s entering without your consent or have it burned and mutilated by a heated screwdriver, also without your consent, otherwise you’re a slutty slut-slut who wanted it.


This is not Fredrik Saker

Mr Saker had studied the code of the Swedish Transport Board before he submitted his likeness. It required a photo to be submitted that was a recent likeness. But nowhere did specify that the photograph had to be of the subject.

So Mr Saker thought a photograph of a self-portrait would do just as well.

And it did. Fredrik Saker painted a miniature self-portrait, and submitted a photo thereof with his driving license application. And it worked.



Penn and Teller: Cups & Balls

Here, master magicians Penn and Teller explain the workings of the Cups & Balls trick to Jonathon Ross.

Teller speaks! He was fooled by Egyptian magician with the Cups & Balls trick, and he loved it!

On “Fool Us”, magicians compete to perform on Penn and Teller’s show in Las Vegas. Anyone who can fool the duo can appear on their show. Gazzo tries with the Cups & Balls. It’s an old trick, and they know it well. They’re not fooled (of course), but they love the performance. And Gazzo gets his publicity.

And Penn & Teller aren’t the only people to play with clear cups. Jason Latimer, world champion of magic, does something absolutely extraordinary. It’s not the same version of Cups & Balls done by the other magicians in these videos. It’s strange. And it’s beautiful.

Penn & Teller in Egypt look up the history of the Cups & Balls, which dates back maybe thousands of years in Egypt.


Desmond Tutu on Uganda’s proposed anti-homosexuality bill

People have over many centuries devised all kinds of terrible instruments to oppress other people. Usually, they have rationalised their awful actions on the basis of their belief in their own superiority, in their culture, in their spiritual beliefs, in their skin-colour. Thus, they argue, they are justified to hate and bomb and maim the “other”.

The freedom of one depends upon the freedom of all. We call it the spirit of ubuntu: the idea that I cannot be free if you are not also free.

The proposed anti-homosexuality legislation in Uganda includes the death penalty, not only for homosexual acts, but for failing to report suspect acts of others. It would criminalise landlords, counsellors, parents, priests (in religions which practise confession), and many others.

Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, and a renowned leader on issues of human rights, has an editorial today in the Daily Monitor, Uganda’s biggest newspaper. It’s well worth reading in full. See also Box Turtle Bulletin.

Comic Book Grammar

Convention becomes tradition, and acquires weight. This guide to the workings of comic-book speech bubbles showcases how this can work. One thing not mentioned is the flowery borders used by the Astérix books when someone is being “nice”. There are other conventions, which may arise within the a specific work. In Khaos Komix, for example, each story has a narrator who is looking back on the story and recounting it in the past tense. The narrator’s words are shown in white on a black background, while their actual dialogue within the narrative is shown in normal speech bubbles.