Thursday, November 04, 2010

A few links

I've come across a few interesting links recently, and I figured I ought to share:

Jonah Goldberg talks about one consequence of the election: there'll be a lot of infighting in the Republican party. Why? To quote:
It's the nature of politics that when you're out of power, everyone can agree on what the top priority should be: Get back in power. But, the only way to get back in power is to attract people who might not share all of your goals or your passion. Majority coalitions by definition have diverse groups within them. FDR's coalition had everybody from Klansmen to blacks, socialists to industrialists. The new GOP coalition isn't nearly so exotic, but it does have its internal contradictions.
Marcia Morrissey asks "What does God really look like?" Marcia, who has never seen her husband or child, has a unique perspective on this question.

Jason Wire shares twenty untranslatable words from over a dozen languages. He writes:
Thus these words, while standing out due to our inability to find an equivalent word in out own language, should not be appreciated for our own words that we try to use to describe them, but for their own taste and texture. Understanding these words should be like eating the best slab of smoked barbequeued ribs: the enjoyment doesn’t come from knowing what the cook put in the sauce or the seasoning, but from the full experience that can only be created by time and emotion.
Sue Granquist shares what she's learned about the folklore of the Jinn in Morocco:
In Moroccan myth, each time a human is born into our world, a “Jinn” is born into another, adjacent world; more specifically the underworld.

Human beings are created from clay kilned in fire while the Jinn is created from the black smoke produced by the fire; two products of the same creation process.
...
This genie is evil incarnate and is each human beings’ personalized gift straight from Satan himself, so Happy Birthday!

As the story goes, the Jinn’s entire purpose is to stick close to its human counterpart like a dedicated poltergeist pushing him to wicked deeds, tempting him into acts of damnation and generally being a lifetime nuisance.

The Jinn love excess and whisper in the ears of their humans encouraging them to over-indulge in all things because apparently, if we’re too fat and happy, the Jinn finds it easier to plant nasty notions into our psyches.

This potentially explains a whole lot of unaccounted for chunks of time in college if you ask me.

The Jinn also know our deepest, darkest desires and use these “wishes” to tempt us into wickedness.
Livia Blackburne talks about a study showing that how erotic romance is written can have a measurable effect on condom use, and then asks the question: "What, if any, obligation does an author have to avoid promoting dangerous or self-destructive habits in their fiction?"

All in all, a lot to think about.

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