Note: The older the entry, the unlikelier outside links are to work.
|June 30: Obscure|
|By: Jani | Archives|
There's enough of us for every train, as the saying in Finnish goes. A direct translation may not make much sense, but neither do these events, which coincidentally originate and take place in Finland, the land of a thousand queer events. And these two are probably among the less obscure ones, as they have gained international fandoms. The US Air Guitar Championships appear to be over, but you can still catch some of the "action" through images and video. First price: a trip to Finland for the World Championships. I guess someone can appreciate that.
I think we've mentioned swamp football already before, and even that link is about last year's world championships, since I didn't feel like going through any trouble to find any newer material once Google failed me. Still, playing football (or soccer for the regime-changers) in a lot of mud turns out to be one of the more creative ways of using mud. I could provide you with links to even more entertaining forms of playing in mud, but we're trying to keep the site family friendly. Find your own smut.
|June 23: New Orleans|
|By: Jani | Archives|
So one of the places I visited on my recent trip to the USA was New Orleans. Now that's definitely one of those cities people tell you to like, and I have to say that a few day's wasn't enough to make a judgment call on whether it's a likable place or not. Sure, compared to most other cities in the US it has a lot to offer, but does that make it automatically likable? Personally I found Bourbon Street (the main party street in the city) quite tacky and liked the French Quarter beyond it a lot more. And it was nice to be in a city with a working street car system (although it still had a few interstates going right through the heart of the city, raping it like all other US cities).
But rather than babble about my personal feelings about it, there's a much more concrete (?) reason why I bring it up. Even though I'd never been there before and hardly knew much about it, the moment I saw Jackson Square (the main square) I realized I'd seen it before, a long time ago. And it was immediately clear to me where I'd seen it before: a computer game called Gabriel Knight. I remember it was an awesome adventure game, one of the best of its genre. And Jackson Square wasn't the only place I recognized: there was a crypt of a voodoo witch in the game (screen shot), which also really exists, and looks exactly like in the game! (except for the red markings, although there were a lot of X's carved into it). Talk about being surprised: a computer game actually based on reality. So naturally once I got back home I immediately had to look for the game, and as is the case with the Internet, when you search, you find. And you're usually left with something a little extra. This time it was a very good site for finding old computer games. Strangely, you need to register to be able to download anything, but it wasn't too difficult.
Typically, the site doesn't work right at this moment. Hopefully it's just a temporary glitch and you'll be able to retrieve all your favorite games of years gone by in the coming days.
|June 18: Scandals|
|By: Jani | Archives|
So we've finally got something of a political scandal going on in Finland, with government leaks, the prime minister involved and whatnot. Just after we got through an inquiry into what DDR's secret police Stasi had been up to over here. Not that this is of any greater concern to the majority of the world's population (or even Finland's), but at least there's something for the newspapers to fill their front pages with here. I should know: for the last three days I've read about 10 different newspapers a day thanks to my summer job. Not that there's time to read them too extensively, but it sure gives you a pretty good outlook on what's going on in the world.
Arguably Watergate has been the political scandal of the century (making it inevitable that the current scandal in Finland is called "Iraqgate", since the leaked papers were about Iraq) with the biggest reprecussions: first resigned president of the US. Funny thing is, breaking into a party office or getting your hands on confidential government papers are really small potatoes compared to the rest of the stuff that's going on in the world. Just read that Chomsky article from the time of the Watergate to get the point. Sure, it's politicized and you don't have to agree with him always, but you can't say that Chomsky doesn't make some good arguments on issues few people even think about. Thought you had a free press? Think again.
Despite the scandals going on elsewhere, we're finally in the clear here at Kekkuli. That little somewhat-self-inflicted-disaster we had in early May has now been completely fixed, leaving only a few posts that make no sense now that the situation is in control. Carry on your reading as if nothing had happened.
|June 14: I'm Back|
|By: Jani | Archives|
So we're pretty good at having at least one person available to put up something on Kekkuli now and again. Although in the near future, provided my summer job proves to be as quiet as a few other ones I've had, I'll have plenty of time to report on the vagaries of life and the Internet. My checklist for the moment is:
-Get those few pieces of text we lost in May back up
-Make that whole new look for Kekkuli
There are no current estimates on when this might happen, it really depends on how busy my job will keep me. Let's all keep our thumbs up it'll be a pushover. Hell, it's not like they're paying me enough to take 8 hours of my time every day.
Haven't had your share of cutesy-putesy-with-splattering-blood today yet? Check out Happy Tree Friends. Reminds me a lot of those rabbits of Jump'n'Bump (another game which doesn't work in WinXP for some reason, Gates be damned! Censorship I tell you.)
|June 6: Signing Out|
|By: Tero | Archives|
This post will be short, as I have been taken aback by the following article, which comes to us from the US of A of course...
'The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn'
Wednesday, May 7, 2003
As the commissars of political correctness on the left and the fundamentalist sentries of morality on the right have clamped down on the education system, more and more subjects, words and ideas have become taboo. According to Diane Ravitch's fiercely argued new book, "The Language Police," the following are just some of the things students aren't supposed to find in their textbooks or tests: Stories or pictures showing a mother cooking dinner for her children, or a black family living in a city neighborhood (because such images are thought to purvey gender or racial stereotypes). Dinosaurs (because they suggest the controversial subject of evolution). Tales set in jungles, forests, mountains or by the sea (because such settings are believed to display "a regional bias"). Narratives involving angry, loud-mouthed characters, quarreling parents or disobedient children (because such emotions are not "uplifting"). Owls are out because some cultures associate them with death. Mentions of birthdays are to be avoided because some children do not have birthday parties. Images or descriptions of a mother showing shock or fear are to be replaced by depictions of both parents "expressing the same facial emotions." Mentions of cakes, candy, doughnuts, french fries and coffee should be dropped in favor of references to more healthful foods like cooked beans, yogurt and enriched whole-grain breads. And of course words like brotherhood, fraternity, heroine, snowman, swarthy, crazy, senile and polo are banned because they could be upsetting to women, to certain ethnic groups, to people with mental disabilities, old people or, it would seem, to people who do not play polo.
Also, I take this opportunity to sign out for the summer. I am flying to Mexico for two weeks tomorrow morning, and after coming back and sleeping two nights in Helsinki, I am off to Malaysia for almost two months. I plan to spend some time on a deserted island with some other folk, so I guess it won't be so deserted after all, but in any case this piece of reading is worth checking out.
So, all in all my summer is pretty packed. Unfortunately I am not yet, so I gotta go do that right now. Jani will take over once he gets back from Boston or wherever he is now. So, till then or the next time, be well, live long and prosper.
2003: May April March February January
2002: December November October September August July June May April March February January
2001: December November October September August July June May April March February
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